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    Four Big Changes Health Plans are Making to Lower Diabetes Costs

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    Community Health Choice focuses on support

    The Houston-based plan believes it is at the forefront of slowing the prevalence of diabetes while improving care and lowering costs by being a founding member of Cities Changing Diabetes, a global partnership between health organizations, researchers, and civic leaders in response to the dramatic rise of urban diabetes. Houston is the only U.S. city in this global initiative, which includes Rome, Mexico City, Shanghai, and other major urban areas encompassing almost 70 million people. As part of the endeavor, Community Health Choice helps facilitate an in-person support group for people with diabetes and creates peer support booklets to encourage groups to discuss actions for healthier lifestyles. The program is currently being tested citywide through community organizations.

    “We hope to see our members engage in more preventative behaviors, such as walking and losing weight, and having conversations about the cause and effect of diabetes as a result of our initiative,” says Daisy Morales, vice president, Community Affairs, Community Health Choice. “When compared with other diseases, diabetes genuinely can be prevented by choices. We believe we are investing in our member’s health with this program, because it helps them to make choices that prevent diabetes.”

    Health Care Service Corp. focuses on adherence

    In 2016, Health Care Service Corp., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, launched Pharmacists Adding Value & Expertise (PAVE), to improve members’ medication adherence. The PAVE program works directly with select pharmacies to promote medication adherence for Medicare, Medicaid, and retail-exchange members with a focus on adherence to diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol medications. Since the program began, adherence among PAVE program members in four states for diabetes-related medications has increased on average by 9%, says H. Scott Sarran, MD, divisional senior vice president and chief medical officer, government programs.

    Health Care Service Corp.’s support for Blue Cross and Blue Shield members with diabetes begins with their initial diagnosis. Members receive a “first fill” diabetes mailer designed to educate them on care and provide them with clinically appropriate information. The PAVE program also partnered in 2017 with Albertsons stores to offer free in-person diabetes management classes for Medicare Advantage and Medicaid members in four states. The classes include a grocery store tour focused on healthy food choices led by a registered dietitian and a question and answer session with an in-store pharmacist to teach participants more about diabetes and treatments.

     

     

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