October 15, 2008

HCSC to Offer New Program Targeting Chronic Diseases Before They Start

Health Care Service, a health insurer through its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, has announced that it is developing a new wellness program targeting a condition shown to be a precursor to obesity and many of the chronic conditions related to it.

Health Care Service (HCSC) has said that its program is based on results from a landmark employer pilot study that identified and addressed Metabolic Syndrome (Met-S). After completing the program, 53% of the Met-S pilot study participants showed significant reversal for Met-S risk and participants lost an average of 15 pounds each.

Paul Handel, senior vice president and chief medical officer for HCSC, said: "For people who have three or more of those factors, their chance of developing a chronic disease greatly increases. By identifying the factors and then engaging in a program to eliminate them as early as possible, a person can address a minor health concern before it becomes a debilitating, costly health complication."