WellPoint, Inc., (NYSE:WLP) one of the nation's largest health benefits companies, today announced it has worked with the American Lung Association to develop an informative learning series to help address childhood asthma.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asthma is a common, potentially life threatening condition, affecting more than seven million children in the U.S. It is a prevalent issue in our nation's schools. In a typical classroom of 30 students, it is estimated that three could be living with the condition. Asthma is a leading cause of missed school days and hospitalizations as well.

The good news is, there are steps we can take to learn more about asthma and how to better control some of its symptoms. It's a matter of health care providers, families, schools and communities sharing information and working together to lessen asthma's impact. That's the message of the Pediatric Learning Collaborative on Childhood Asthma, a new educational resource designed to offer health care providers an opportunity to learn the latest asthma information and best practices in management from the American Lung American Lung Association, the nation's leading organization committed to supporting healthy lungs and healthy air.

The American Lung Association and WellPoint's Enhanced Personal Health Care program together are presenting these educational seminars and asthma intervention programs throughout 2014. The interactive webinars are another installment in WellPoint's Learning Collaborative Series that promotes evidence-based care and innovative approaches to a variety of childhood illnesses including: obesity, asthma and behavioral-health issues, and also focuses on the importance of child well visits and immunizations.

"WellPoint and its affiliated health plans have been very supportive of our health care initiatives such as the patient-centered medical home and population health management. They provide us with actionable reports that the quality nurses can use to improve patient outcomes," said Judith E. Minaudo, R.N., and quality improvement manager and patient-centered medical home coordinator with Central Ohio Primary Care. "Our quality team has built valuable relationships with their quality team. Our goals are aligned; they value us as their partner."

The learning series was developed for and is available to network providers participating in WellPoint's affiliated health plans' Enhanced Personal Health Care arrangements, which include value-based payment and expansion of the patient-centered care model. Enhanced Personal Health Care arrangements reward providers when they succeed in delivering care focused on preventive health, population health management and the management of chronic disease, and compensate them for time spent working on those goals.

"The American Lung Association is committed to promoting optimal care for children, which includes helping health care providers learn and apply helpful information and positive experiences to enhance the health of our nation's children," said Barbara Kaplan, MPH, CHES, director of asthma education for the American Lung Association and one of the presenters in the series. "We are glad to be working with WellPoint on this project and believe it's a great opportunity for health advocates to join the conversation, and implement solutions that support children's health today and in the future."

Expert national speakers from universities and professional organizations as well as WellPoint thought leaders are participating in the series, sharing their knowledge and experiences so that they might be applied in other settings. While developed to support families with children and adolescents with asthma, the webinars focus on the importance of health care providers, organizations, schools and communities all working together toward common goals for supporting healthier youth.

"WellPoint is pleased to join with the American Lung Association in creating this forum for exchanging ideas and solutions to help America's children with asthma feel better and live healthier," said Amy Cheslock, vice president of payment innovation for WellPoint. "It's truly remarkable the progress we can make when we share our knowledge and apply it collectively to common practice."

About WellPoint, Inc.

WellPoint is working to transform health care with trusted and caring solutions. Our health plan companies deliver quality products and services that give their members access to the care they need. With nearly 69 million people served by its affiliated companies, including more than 37 million enrolled in its family of health plans, WellPoint is one of the nation's leading health benefits companies. WellPoint companies serve members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; and as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensees for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In most of these service areas, WellPoint does business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). It also serves customers in other states through its Amerigroup, CareMore and UniCare subsidiaries. To find out more about WellPoint, go to wellpoint.com.

About the American Lung Association

Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit  www.lung.org.

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