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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 18, 2007 / 30 Nissan, 5767

Firms gang up on diabetes

By Bruce Japsen


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) After years of raising co-payments and deductibles for prescription pharmaceuticals, some employers are taking an unorthodox approach to lowering health-care costs in an experimental program by — get this — paying for diabetes drugs and consultations.


For patients the savings could amount to $2,000 a year.


If the program proves successful it could be expanded to include other common diseases and chronic conditions such as asthma, depression or arthritis and extended beyond its one-year pilot phase, according to the Midwest Business Group on Health, a Chicago-based coalition of employers that is coordinating the program.


Nationally, more than 30 employer groups are rolling out similar programs this year in cities including Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.


Results from a model project launched in 1997 by the city of Asheville, N.C., show a 50 percent reduction in sick days and no worker's compensation claims filed by the diabetes patients in the program between 1997 and 2003.


Asheville has expanded its program to people with asthma and high blood pressure.


So far, Chicago-area employers Pactiv Corp., the City of Naperville and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago have agreed to participate in the program.


"Employers are beginning to realize that cost-shifting by itself will not change behaviors," said Larry Boress, chief executive of the Midwest Business Group on Health. "This is not just an isolated incentive where you are giving away trinkets or dollars but is part of a change in employee-benefits strategy to move people away from an entitlement mentality. The idea is that in order to change employee behavior and change the attitude in the way employees manage their health, employers are moving to value-based benefit designs."


Direct and indirect costs of diabetes to the U.S. health-care system are more than $130 billion a year, including emergency room visits, extended hospital stays and absenteeism, the Chicago group said, citing national studies. Some 20 million people have diabetes.


By waiving the so-called co-payment or co-insurance, employers who are part of Chicago's program are hoping that people will take better care of themselves and avoid costly hospitalizations. Inadequate treatment can lead to blindness, amputations of limbs or even death. More than 200,000 Americans die of diabetes-related complications each year.


Diabetics need greater attention partly because they usually take 7 to 12 prescriptions regularly for the disease and related conditions, and that makes compliance difficult.


"As a patient group they are one of the most highly medicated groups because they frequently have other conditions like obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure problems and vascular issues," said Dr. James Webster, an internist and president of the Chicago Board of Health, the governing body of the Chicago Department of Health. "It's a lot of medication to keep straight. They have to be encouraged to take their medication and know what the medication is for."


Chicago program participants, who are expected to number about 100 at the outset, will be matched up with pharmacists who will be paid undisclosed fees for private consultations.


"The pharmacist's role is to be an educator and motivator, ensuring the patient follows their physician's orders and understands how to manage and monitor their diabetes and medications," Boress said. "Studies have shown that with the treatment, education and motivation provided by this program people can dramatically improve their health while positively impacting employer health-care costs."


The Illinois Pharmacists Association has trained about 50 pharmacists to work with the program's diabetics.


"It's different than a consultation at the pharmacy counter because all of the meetings are done, face-to-face, by appointment and in private counseling areas ... this is not done at the drive-through window," said Dan Garrett, a pharmacist and senior director of medication adherence programs for the American Pharmacists Association Foundation, which has been involved in similar programs in smaller markets.


Doctors will be given results of the consultations and provide information to a "research unit tracking the patients' medical and cost trends," the Midwest Business Group said.


The Chicago employers are hoping to do as well as smaller markets, such as Asheville, which started out with 46 diabetes patients covered by two employers' health plans. It has expanded to more than 1,000 patients from five employers who are enrolled for diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and lipid therapy management, the foundation and Midwest Business Group said.


"The patients sign up and they are assigned to a specific pharmacist and that is the pharmacist who is going to be the pharmacist coach on an ongoing basis," said Garrett, who was involved in the Asheville project. "Once that relationship is established the patient will meet every month initially, then every two months. At a minimum, for the patient to continue to have a waived co-pay they have to meet with a pharmacist at least quarterly."


A financial incentive for the employee coupled by close monitoring are reasons it should work, the Chicago Board of Health's Webster said.


The program differs from other employee wellness initiatives such as corporate health fairs, newsletters and e-mail reminders, which have not slowed the increase in employer-paid and worker insurance premiums.


"If this is a successful model then it can be applied to almost any condition where medication compliance is a key factor in improving someone's health and quality of life," said Midwest Business Group's Boress.


Pactiv, the maker of Hefty garbage bags, is interested in expanding the pilot program beyond Illinois. "Pactiv is making this program available to its employees enrolled in PPOs in Illinois and will consider adding additional states as the program expands," said Judy Hearn, the company's manager of health and welfare.


Such programs could be a boost to makers of diabetes drugs, who are helping to underwrite administrative costs.


British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline PLC, for example, is providing financial support to the American Pharmacists Association Foundation through a grant to underwrite costs for enrollment forms and guidelines for counseling sessions.


However, drugmakers are not able to influence the outcome of the study, pharmacists and employers involved say.


"There is no money that flows to any employer from a drugmaker," Garrett said. "The employer's commitment is to provide the waived or reduced co-pays and paying the pharmacists."

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