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December 17, 2006

Health Insurance Company Offering First Ever Bipolar Disease Management Program

Aetna Behavioral Health, a leading diversified health care benefits companies, introduces the industry first Bipolar Disease Management Program. This voluntary program plans to better treat clients suffering with bipolar disorder by giving information and care management; all in hopes of increasing medication and treatment adherence, and in turn reducing relapse.

"Studies about bipolar disorder show that it is the sixth leading cause of disability ahead of other long-term conditions such as HIV, diabetes and asthma," said Mary Fox, head of Aetna's Behavioral Health and Pharmacy Management businesses. "Research, as well as Aetna's own positive experience developing disease management programs for mental health conditions, spurred us to take a leadership position by developing a program that could have a significant impact on both our members and customers."

Aetna hopes that this program will not only decrease overall medical costs for bipolar disorder clients, but that it will also increase these clients quality of life. To be enrolled, one must have a fully insured HMO plan with Aetna, be 18 years old or older, be diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and either recently discharged or currently hospitalized for bipolar disorder.

Each client enrolled in the program will be assigned:

"a care manager who will partner with them to enhance disease and treatment awareness, facilitate coordination of care, and improve treatment adherence. Care managers will call members at least monthly, and may call more often depending on the level of severity of their disorder. Care managers also personally assist members with finding community-based resources that help people cope with the disorder, encourage family support for members and coordinate care between different health care providers. Program participants will receive educational mailings about bipolar disorder and treatment options. In addition, members have access to a customized website, providing 24 hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week educational information and resources for bipolar disorder.”

Read Full Press Release:

Aetna Behavioral Health Introduces Industry-first Bipolar Disease Management Program

Aetna

Aetna Behavioral Health

AETNA CONTACT: Aetna
Kate Prout, 215-775-6264
ProutKF@aetna.com

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