Diabetes’ reach is long, and its touch too often deadly.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 10% of the United States population, 34.2 million people, have diabetes, and an additional 88 million are prediabetic. It’s no wonder diabetes remains America’s seventh-leading killer, connected to more than a quarter million annual deaths, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
Left untreated, Type 1 diabetes kills, and Type 2 and prediabetes increase the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis.
“It is critical that individuals with diabetes focus on controlling what they can to decrease their chances of developing complications, or having existing complications progress to be more serious and even life threatening,” said Dr. Jennifer Chambers, chief medical officer at Capital Blue Cross. “That can mean improving lifestyle choices to be more active, eating healthier, stopping tobacco use, or following your doctor’s direction with respect to your medications.”
The disease doesn’t spare the businesses community. Diagnosed diabetes cost the country $327 billion in 2017, according to the ADA, a whopping $90 billion of which was in lost productivity.
Employers can help manage diabetes through initiatives that urge healthy lifestyle choices, and by offering healthcare plans that don’t merely cover diabetes services, but also offer modern approaches to diabetes management. Capital Blue Cross, for instance, is expanding its broad diabetes treatment and preventive-services coverage with innovative technology.
Capital is the only Pennsylvania health insurer to offer a one-of-a-kind app that works to reverse Type 2 diabetes via a well-formulated, ketogenic diet that helps the body use fat, rather than carbohydrates, as its primary fuel. Capital also offers an app that helps members stop prediabetes from escalating into Type 2, and helps those with types 1 or 2 manage their disease.
Both apps are free to Capital Blue Cross members with individual coverage and those with most types of employer coverage.
In addition, Capital Blue Cross:
- Reaches out to high-risk members with diabetes to provide care management opportunities.
- Sends targeted text messaging and e-mails reminding members with diabetes of required lab testing, diabetes eye exams, adherence to statin medications, and more.
- Offers multiple programs to employer groups, including a diabetes presentation, an awareness toolkit, and Take Charge, a virtual, self-paced course that helps participants develop lifestyle habits to control diabetes.
“These forward-thinking apps and Capital’s broad coverage offer our members proactive options in their battle with diabetes,” Dr. Chambers said. “Whether someone has Type 1, Type 2, or prediabetes, we are here to help you lead a healthier life through better management of your condition.”