A company that runs health plans for large, self-insured employers is adding programs for members who suffer from chronic pain and severe kidney disease.[@@]

The company, Great-West Healthcare, Greenwood Village, Colo., says its new pain management program will offer counseling about dealing with chronic pain and help with handling conditions such as depression that often accompany chronic pain.

The kidney program, which will serve patients with “end stage renal disease,” will provide nurse counselors who will help members with medications and special diets and provide information for members with multiple conditions, such as a combination of end stage renal disease and diabetes, according to Great-West.

Great-West also is adding 24-hour access to nurse counselors to its existing maternity program, and the maternity program will be making more of an effort to identify women with high-risk pregnancies.

Great-West, which administers health coverage for 2 million people, says the new programs and program features will go into service Sept. 1.

Great-West is a unit of the Power Corp. of Canada, Montreal.