June 18, 2008
WellPoint NextRx Announces Results of Five State Pilot Program to Help Manage Insomnia
INDIANAPOLIS, June 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WellPoint NextRx, the nation's largest health plan-owned pharmacy benefit management (PBM) subsidiary, announced today the results of a program to treat insomnia that was piloted in five states. The pilot program was designed to encourage a dialogue between members and their physicians about best approaches to treat insomnia before seeking the aid of sleep medications. As a result of the positive outcomes of the pilot program WellPoint's affiliated health plans will make this program available through its pharmacy benefits manager (PBM), NextRx to members in 14 plans across the country.
According to the National Institutes of Health, each year an estimated 70 million adult Americans suffer from some form of sleep problem. "In the last year, we've seen a continued growth in the use of sleep aids and over time that use can prove very costly for our members. There are many nonpharmacological treatments that physicians and members may want to consider," said Colleen Haines, staff vice president clinical pharmacy services. "We know there are many health factors that could contribute to an individual suffering from insomnia. Our goal is to encourage physicians and health plan members to discuss those health factors together and explore all therapy options available as well as ensure appropriate use of drug therapy for the treatment of insomnia," added Haines.
The pilot program identified a targeted group of health plan members in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin who had been using sleep aids for more than 100 days within a six-month period and provided them with a sleep diary and insomnia educational brochures. In addition, the members' physicians also received updated treatment guidelines for insomnia along with information about the program to help them begin an active dialogue with the member. Both members and physicians were encouraged to discuss sleep patterns and concerns to help identify what other factors may be contributing to their insomnia and look to other therapies such as daily behavioral changes that could help induce healthier sleep habits. Those changes could include a bedtime routine, improving exercise and eating patterns or avoidance of alcohol and caffeine before bedtime, in an effort to help induce healthier sleep habits.
The feedback about the pilot program from health plan members was positive with many reporting that it helped to change their sleep habits and that they would be more inclined to discuss sleep concerns with their physicians. Over the course of the study, the analysis showed a 3.5 percent higher rate of reducing the quantity of sleep aid they were using, resulting in an average cost saving of $14 per member.
WellPoint NextRx is a service mark of WellPoint, Inc. Services are provided by a WellPoint PBM (either NextRx Services, Inc. or NextRx, LLC, as applicable). WellPoint NextRx is a division of WellPoint, Inc.
About WellPoint, Inc.
WellPoint, Inc. is the largest health benefits company in terms of medical membership in the United States. WellPoint is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as Empire Blue Cross or Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the city of Fairfax, the town of Vienna and the area east of State Route 123.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at http://www.wellpoint.com/.
CONTACT: Media: Lisa Greiner, +1-646-957-4312; Investor Relations:Michael Kleinman, +1-317-488-6713, both of WellPoint, Inc.
Web site: http://www.wellpoint.com/