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Press release from Business Wire

Aetna and AbilTo Introduce Program to Help Diabetics Manage Depression

<p class='bwalignc'> <b>-- Remote therapy helps members manage emotional challenges accompanying diabetes --</b> </p> <p class='bwalignc'> </p>

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Aetna and AbilTo Introduce Program to Help Diabetics Manage Depression09:18 EDT Wednesday, August 08, 2012 HARTFORD, Conn. (Business Wire) -- The combination of depression and diabetes is common and potentially dangerous. People with depression can find it hard to make the lifestyle changes needed to manage diabetes. If not well managed, diabetes often leads to additional health issues, like heart, circulatory and kidney disease. Today, Aetna (NYSE: AET) and AbilTo are announcing a new program to help members with diabetes combat depression and take control of their diabetes. “More than 25 million adults suffer from diabetes. This group is twice as likely as others to suffer from depression,” said Michael Golinkoff, Ph.D., senior advisor, Aetna Behavioral Health Operations. “Depression increases the risk of more health problems, higher prescription drug use and additional medical visits. If we can help members effectively manage depression, we can help members control diabetes and have better health.” Aetna's Care Management teams identify eligible members and invite them to join AbilTo's Diabetes Forum. The program began in June for members in Aetna's commercial self-insured and fully insured medical plans in the following states: Arizona Connecticut Florida Georgia New Jersey New York Ohio Pennsylvania Texas Virginia During the eight-week program, members meet with a therapist who helps them address the emotional challenges that come with diabetes. They also have a behavioral coach who helps them make healthier lifestyle choices. Members meet with the same therapists and coaches throughout their programs. Sessions can be conducted by telephone or video conferencing. Aetna and AbilTo will measure the Diabetes Forum's effectiveness at lowering rates of depression and health care costs. The program expands on Aetna's success with AbilTo's Cardiac Health Forum that was launched in 2011. The cardiac program helps members manage depression, anxiety and stress after a heart attack or other major heart-related event. Early results show that, on average, graduates of the cardiac program experience a 75 percent drop in depression. “Our proven, evidence-based approach has already been used to help many individuals manage depression and improve their overall health,” said Michael Laskoff, CEO of AbilTo. “We remain committed to working with Aetna to bringing even greater health care innovation to its members.” About Aetna Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.7 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, Medicaid health care management services and health information technology services. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com. About AbilTo LLC AbilTo's turnkey, behavioral health programs help health plans and employers to lower medical utilization by addressing depression in significant patient populations – e.g., heart patients, diabetics and individuals with mild/moderate depression. The company's single price, fixed duration programs result in measurable behavioral health improvements and reduced health spending. AbilTo's approach is based on well-accepted protocols and delivered ‘face-to-face' to participants using web-based videoconference. Current offerings include Cardiac Health Forum, Diabetes Forum, Momentum and Resilience. Please visit www.abilto.com or contact Lilibeth Gecale at lilibeth.gecale@abilto.com for more information. AetnaTammy Arnold, 713-721-7891ArnoldTD@aetna.com