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    Four biggest challenges in diabetes health management


    Diabetes seems to have more than its fair share of challenges, when compared to other diseases. Managed Healthcare Executive asked experts to define the top challenges, and offer some suggestions on how to overcome them.

    Challenge #1: Coverage for diabetes-related medications and supplies

    Now more than ever, individuals must assume greater responsibility for their healthcare costs. “Not only do they have to pay for increasing insurance premiums, but they also have to pay the additional cost of meeting deductibles, copays, and coinsurance,” says Michelle Buysse, director, Commercial Care Management, Priority Health, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

    To help patients overcome this challenge, Priority Health members can contact care managers dedicated to providing price transparency. “By giving individuals more control in the form of pricing information and treatment options, they will have the tools and support to engage in their healthcare spending and overall health,” Buysse says.

    Priority Health is making a concerted effort to pull back the curtain on pricing and quality information for consumers. It recently launched the Cost Estimator, a resource on priorityhealth.com and its mobile app, which is designed to give members instant access to their specific costs for more than 300 healthcare procedures such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, laboratory tests, and surgeries. “This information will ensure that members know what their out-of-pocket costs will be before choosing to have a procedure,” Buysse says.

    Challenge #2: Medication adherence

    Patients with diabetes often point to cost, access, competing priorities, or lack of awareness when they have difficulty taking or sticking with a medication. Some ways to aid with medication adherence, according to Buysse, are:

    • Reducing copays for diabetes-related medications;

    • Offering care management to help members address barriers and determine an optimal plan of care;

    • Attending diabetes self-management education to further educate patients about medications and disease problem solving; and

    • Working closely with healthcare provider partners to make sure they can find a plan that works for each member.


    Next: Challenges #3 and #4



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