SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Nov. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- IEHP has launched a new Chronic Kidney Disease Program (CKD) that may delay the progression from early to advanced stages of the disease, helping up to 40,000 IEHP members. The program, introduced July 1, helps IEHP members better manage their health and improve their quality of life by providing tools including, lifestyle coaching, educational literature and CKD classes. "IEHP is one of the few health plans with a formal CKD program," said Dr. William Henning, IEHP chief medical officer. "Our members learn how to improve their diets, get more exercise, control their blood sugar, quit smoking and reduce their blood pressure. "They also get one-on-one support from care managers and referrals to CKD classes and kidney specialists." More than 10 percent of American adults – 20 million people – have CKD and millions of others are at increased risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As one of the most under-diagnosed diseases, CKD is irreversible and progressive. However, early detection, lifestyle improvements and treatment can delay or halt the progression, often before it leads to heart disease, the major cause of death for all people with CKD. "The program plays a crucial part in our response to the growing prevalence of the disease, said Dr. Bradley Gilbert, IEHP chief executive officer. "We believe offering these services will help our members better care for their health." Diabetes is the leading cause of CKD, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Seniors, African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans are all at increased risk of developing the disease. IEHP, Inland Empire Health Plan, a Knox- Keene licensed health plan located in San Bernardino, California, is a not-for-profit public agency. IEHP services San Bernardino and Riverside counties and has over 570,000 members in the following programs: Medi-Cal (including seniors and people with disabilities), Healthy Families, Healthy Kids, and a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan. Through a dynamic partnership with providers, award-winning service and innovative products, IEHP is fully committed to providing members with quality, accessible and wellness based healthcare services. www.iehp.org.