Aetna and Silverlink Help Seniors More Successfully Monitor and Control Their Hypertension

Nov 15 2011
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Dateline City:
HARTFORD, Conn. & BURLINGTON, Mass.

Hypertension Program Helped Lower Blood Pressure, Improve Screening Rates, and Increase Satisfaction

Aetna (NYSE: AET) and Silverlink Communications, Inc. today announced successful results of a hypertension management program designed to help Aetna Medicare Advantage members deal with this chronic condition. During the one-year program, more than half (57 percent) of the participants who started with “uncontrolled” blood pressure and stayed engaged in the program moved their blood pressure to “controlled” levels.

The program also achieved high levels of engagement, with nearly 60 percent of participants continuing to actively monitor their blood pressure by using a free blood pressure monitor and submitting readings on a monthly basis. The frequency of participants’ cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol) screening also improved 5 percent.

“By helping our Medicare members manage their high blood pressure, we are hoping to help prevent heart disease, strokes and even deaths,” says Randall Krakauer, MD, FACP, FACR, Aetna’s national Medicare medical director. “Our nurse case managers work closely with our members and do a tremendous job providing them with the information, tools and support they need to help them control and improve various chronic conditions, including hypertension. The results of our program with Silverlink demonstrate that an automated program can further support and engage members in managing their own health conditions.”

The initial program included nearly 1,200 Aetna Medicare Advantage members with hypertension. These members received free blood pressure monitors that they used to measure readings on a monthly basis. Participants reported their readings by phone, actively keying values into an automated system managed by Silverlink, an approach designed to directly engage members in their health. Silverlink’s system provided immediate feedback and education, and alerted Aetna nurse case managers when members’ blood pressure readings were out of range. Members in the hypertension management program also received personalized automated calls and mailings to educate them on ways to lower their blood pressure and on the value of cholesterol screening.

“This program supports the idea that communications is truly the foundation of good health. Through education and support we believe we can engage, educate and empower people to improve their health,” says Jan Berger, MD, MJ, chief medical officer of Silverlink Communications. “We were delighted to work with Aetna on this program that used technology to measurably impact a pervasive chronic condition and keep individuals engaged in their health.”

This hypertension management program is now available to all hypertensive Aetna Medicare Advantage members. The hypertension program currently includes more than 20,000 participants.

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.3 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.

About Silverlink

At Silverlink, we get that health and healthcare costs — which are enormous, in both size and significance — are actually the sum of millions of individual decisions. When one person decides to smoke, another gets a cancer screening, a third abandons diabetes medication — these are the individual behaviors that taken together make up the state of our nation’s health and the costs associated with it. That is why, when Silverlink set out to transform healthcare, we went right to the individual. Our entire focus, our mission, and our method are about helping move individual people in small, healthier ways — the cumulative effect of which can save millions of lives and billions of dollars.

To learn more about what makes Silverlink the leader in consumer health engagement, please visit www.silverlink.com, email info@silverlink.com, or call 1.781.425.5700.

Silverlink is a registered trademark of Silverlink Communications Inc. All other brand and product names contained in this release may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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