More MS news articles for February 2001

Accordant Documents and Quantifies Effectiveness Of Its Disease Management Programs

Results Validate That Continued Patient Participation Improves Clinical Outcomes, Resulting in Lower Costs for Health Plans

http://finance.individual.com/display_news.asp?doc_id=PR20010215NYTH071&page=news

Thursday February 15 11:23am
Source: PR Newswire

GREENSBORO, N.C., Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Accordant Health Services, Inc., a leading provider of technology-enabled disease management programs, reports results from the analysis of its consolidated program data that indicate its programs have achieved a significant financial savings for their managed care sponsors. These results also point to a strong positive clinical impact for enrolled patients. Accordant's aggregate population used for this study consisted of 9,000 patients nationwide with complex, chronic diseases who were managed for more than six months.

Across all disease states covered by Accordant, the data show a 40% (p- value .01) decrease in hospital admission rates, with an impressive 50% to 60% (p-value .01) decrease for MS and Lupus patients respectively. These results demonstrate an impact on a major cost of care, as industry studies show that the average hospitalization costs range from $1,000 to $2,000 per day.

Accordant's participation and satisfaction rates are among the highest in the disease management industry. Of the 9,000 patients reflected in this study, 80% of the eligible participants share detailed health information with Accordant, allowing the company to provide personalized program support. Of these patients, over 94% are satisfied or very satisfied with Accordant's patient-centric support and education initiatives.

The analysis of individuals with Multiple Sclerosis, one of the largest patient populations in Accordant's base of 15 complex chronic conditions, yielded convincing clinical results. "For those patients enrolled in our program for the greatest length of time, Accordant's MS data show that patient exacerbations, a leading driver of inpatient costs, dropped almost 50%," explains Steven Schelhammer, founder and CEO of Accordant. "The number of patients reporting significant depression also dropped almost 50%. Furthermore, the patients' quality of life, as measured by the program's quarterly assessment process, stabilized. This is a noteworthy result. Accordant supports disease states that are all progressive. Left unmanaged, the patients' quality of life naturally tends to worsen over time as a function of the condition."

Tom Wilson, PhD, DrPH, an independent epidemiologist, was commissioned to apply his "epidemiology of value" methods to Accordant's programs. Dr. Wilson has extensive population health experience in academic settings as well as with major managed healthcare organizations. "We used scientific techniques akin to a dose-response model to test the value proposition. The relationship between Accordant's patient-based interventions over time and subsequent outcomes -- health, satisfaction, and financial -- were extremely encouraging."

"Accordant's program is designed to facilitate more effective communication between physicians and patients," says Ed Dasso, MD, Accordant's Medical Director for Clinical Informatics. "Patients who become more informed about their condition and learn to act on that information in concert with their physician are better managers of their health and ultimately achieve better results."

An example of how Accordant achieves better patient-physician communication can be found in such common MS symptoms as fatigue and urinary tract infections. The data indicate that generally 10% or more of patients do not report these situations to their physician. Accordant's programs stimulate proactive education designed to enhance the patients' comfort in communicating such matters to their physician. Physicians are then better informed and can address these issues in a timely manner, thereby minimizing exacerbations (or flare-ups) that mark the progression of the disease.

Accordant's educational model makes patients more aware of the early signs and symptoms of potential complications of their disease. For example, the program educates Lupus patients on the symptoms of infection, a frequent cause of hospital admissions for these patients, and then tracks the number of admissions that actually occur. For those patients who are able to identify the signs and symptoms of infection, the Accordant program realized a 45% decrease in hospital admissions (p-value .01). Lupus patients may also suffer from high blood pressure. Accordant nurses work with patients to ensure that they actively monitor, recognize, and appropriately report abnormalities in their blood pressure to their physicians. The most recent data show the number of Lupus patients monitoring their blood pressure increased almost 20% while the hospital admissions for these specific patients decreased by approximately 45% (p-value of .01).

"Accordant provides considerable information resources to support the proactive management of complex, chronic conditions by our patients and their caregivers," says Schelhammer. "Accordant's approach is designed to work for all parties involved. Our patient surveys show very high levels of satisfaction. Our data indicate that doctors are able to interact more efficiently with patients in addressing specific concerns. The managed care organizations enjoy the financial rewards of providing quality healthcare."

"Such statistics are evidence that a high personal value exists for participating in these programs," says Dr. Dasso. "Self-reported and third-party satisfaction rates of this magnitude are especially compelling. The intersection of high patient satisfaction with compelling outcome results is our goal, and it appears to be evident."

"The cornerstone of Accordant's program is the principle that better healthcare information in the hands of patients, caregivers, physicians and payers results in better healthcare decisions which lead to better outcomes, " says Schelhammer. "Our approach is built upon strategies that provide high quality patient education, intervention strategies that lead to improved clinical outcomes, and initiatives that improve the patient/provider relationship. The end results are improved quality of life for our patients and impressive clinical outcomes and significant cost savings for our health plan customers."

About Accordant Health Services

Accordant Health Services, Inc., based in Greensboro, N.C., focuses on assisting patients who have complex, chronic diseases with the goal of improving clinical, patient satisfaction, and cost-of-care outcomes. The company relies on its expert "Tele-Web" system that integrates Internet and call-center technologies to enable flexible, intelligent and customized information sharing among patients, providers and health plans. At present, Accordant offers programs for 15 complex, chronic diseases in the areas of neurology, rheumatology, pulmonology, and hematology. Accordant has supported over 15,000 chronic patients whose participation has been sponsored by their health plan. Accordant's Medical Advisory Board is comprised of national medical experts who participate in the development and continuous quality improvement of the company's programs. For more information about Accordant, visit http://www.accordant.com or call 1-800-948-2497.

Source: Accordant Health Services, Inc.
Contact: Accordant Media Relations - Jerry Schranz, 201-641-1911, ext. 14, jschranz@cpronline.com