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Weekly Roundup: September 20-24 Posted: September 24th, 2010

By Anne Dullaghan

Health insurance continues to dominate the news as one national insurer, Aetna, announced a partnership with a beneficial sleep apnea provider. Another regional health insurance company, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee celebrated six years of success in encouraging kids to be more active through walking programs. Finally, UnitedHealthcare, offers expanded services to Texas plan members.

Aetna and LifeWatch AG partner to help solve sleep apnea

Aetna recently announced its partnership with LifeWatch AG, to provide access to the NiteWatch Home Sleep Testing (HST) service for members. A large percentage of patients with suspected Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) are reluctant to go to a sleep lab to be tested. 38 million Americans are affected by OSA, but millions of patients remain undiagnosed and are at risk for more serious complications from OSA including stroke and heart disease.

For patients, the benefit of NiteWatch HST is that the procedure is clinically equivalent to sleep lab testing for diagnosing OSA in the privacy of patients' homes. For physicians, it integrates with electronic medical records (EMR) with remote telemedicine services to support more cost-effective and timely services, as well as clinically relevant information.

Amerigroup Foundation honors a "Healthy Hero" in Georgia

The Amerigroup Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Amerigroup Corporation, recently honored Fulton County Women's Health Program Coordinator, Karen Russell, by designating her a "Healthy Hero." Amerigroup Foundation also presented a $1,000 contribution to The Breast Health Connections of Georgia.

Russell has spent 18 years helping others, especially women and children in need. For the past five years, she has worked with underinsured and uninsured women to provide information on health screenings and referrals for The Women's Health Program.

Additionally, Russell works with special needs children for the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness, and with a number of local health care organizations to meet the needs of children and their families.

The Amerigroup Foundation periodically honors "Healthy Heroes" who have made a difference in the communities. Amerigroup Community Care of Georgia offers health care services to 259,000 people enrolled in Medicaid in Georgia.

BlueCross WalkingWorks celebrates its sixth year of success

Now in its sixth year, the BlueCross WalkingWorks for Schools program has grown from 34 schools to 150 schools with nearly 70,000 students currently enrolled for the 2010-2011 school year.

BlueCross WalkingWorks for Schools was developed in 2005 by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Health in partnership with FedEx, the Tennessee Department of Education, the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

BlueCross WalkingWorks for Schools seeks to address the growing trend of childhood obesity by teaching grade school students, kindergarten through fifth grade, the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The program requires classes to walk at least 5 minutes a day for 12 weeks each semester, while Extra Mile Schools walk at least 10 minutes a day, adding up to at least 600 minutes or 40 miles during a 12-week period.

During the past school year, BlueCross WalkingWorks for Schools saw more than 95,000 Tennessee students participate in regular physical activity with more than 60 participating schools earning Extra Mile status by surpassing the program requirements. The program hopes to continue that success into this school year, teaching students healthy habits at a young age.

UnitedHealthcare and WhiteGlove House Call Health expand Texas network

In Texas, UnitedHealthcare commercial health plan participants now have access to services from WhiteGlove House Call Health. WhiteGlove offers cost-effective and quality, routine medical care at home or at the workplace 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

WhiteGlove's services include routine medical care, most generic prescription medications prescribed during the visit, and a "well-kit" of foods, beverages and over-the-counter remedies, all for the same price as a regular primary care physician co-payment.