Albertson’s LLC is joining the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, giving Albertson’s LLC shoppers access to the Alliance’s innovative, community-based programs that use proven approaches to help prevent and control diabetes.
The retail grocery chain, which has more than 200 stores from Arizona to Florida, will support patients enrolled in the Alliance’s Diabetes Control Program at select store pharmacies. Albertson’s LLC joins UnitedHealth Group, the Y, Walgreen’s, Novo Nordisk and others as Alliance partners.
Albertson’s LLC will participate in the Alliance’s Diabetes Control Program (DCP), which provides patient education and support from trained pharmacists to help people with diabetes better control their condition and reduce the risk of developing complications, such as cardiovascular, kidney and eye disease. In-store pharmacists in select Albertson’s LLC locations will conduct blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure testing services for program participants and provide them with on-the-spot results, enabling patients to get immediate feedback on their status or progress in managing their diabetes.
Albertson’s LLC is now offering the Alliance’s Diabetes Control Program at stores in Phoenix and Tucson, and will offer the program at Dallas, Texas, and Tampa and Orlando, Fla., stores later this year.
“With Albertsons LLC as a new DPCA partner, we will be able to help even more people with diabetes take control of their health and reduce the effects of this disease on individuals, families and communities,” said Deneen Vojta, M.D., senior vice president, UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization and one of the chief architects of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance. “With more partners like Albertson’s LLC to broaden the Alliance’s reach and help patients at the community level through these programs, we will be able to make greater progress against this epidemic.”
UnitedHealth Group created the Alliance to help address the growing epidemic of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, which threaten to affect more than half of all Americans by 2020 at an annual cost of $500 billion if current trends continue, according to a recent report from the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization.
In addition to the DCP, the Alliance includes the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). This partnership with the Y helps people with prediabetes, who are at high risk for diabetes, prevent the disease through healthy eating, increased physical activity, and other lifestyle changes. The DPP has been tested through controlled trials with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of the Diabetes Prevention Program clinical trial. There is substantial evidence that supports early and aggressive intervention to help people avoid the health and financial toll of type 2 diabetes.
“Diabetes is becoming increasingly pervasive in the United States and in the communities we serve,” said Raymond McCall, vice president of pharmacy operations for Albertson’s LLC. “By participating in the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, we are able to offer more specific disease management to participating patients that will help them control their diabetes and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Diabetes Control Program: Reducing Dangerous, Costly Diabetes Complications
The Diabetes Control Program provides individuals with diabetes access to trained pharmacists and nurse practitioners who provide personalized coaching and counseling in the convenient setting of a local pharmacy, and help patients improve adherence to their physicians’ treatment plans. The goal is for patients to improve blood glucose control – every percentage-point drop in HbA1c levels, a commonly used blood glucose marker, reduces by 40 percent the risk of developing complications from diabetes, which include heart disease, nerve disease, blindness and limb amputations.
The pharmacy partners will receive incentive payments based on participants’ results, helping to drive performance. For example, Albertson’s LLC pharmacies will receive incentive payments based on their participating patients’ weight loss, decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and improvement in their blood glucose control, as well as reimbursement for each patient’s participation. Also, advanced health plan swipe-card technology introduced by UnitedHealth Group will enable the pharmacies to process payments at the point of service and be paid within 24 hours.
Diabetes Prevention Program: Addressing Obesity to Prevent Diabetes
The Diabetes Prevention Program is offered in partnership with the Y and is part of CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program. The CDC program is designed to bring evidence-based lifestyle interventions to communities by working with community-based organizations and third-party payers who adhere to a CDC-recognized evidence-based curriculum. UnitedHealth Group and the Y are inaugural partners in the National Diabetes Prevention Program.
The DPCA program offered by the Y uses a group-based lifestyle intervention designed especially for people with prediabetes, meaning they are at high risk of developing diabetes. In an interactive group setting, a trained lifestyle coach helps participants change their lifestyle by educating them about healthy eating, physical activity and behavior modifications over a 16-session program. After the initial 16 core sessions, participants meet monthly for up to one year for added support to help them maintain their progress.
Research from the Diabetes Prevention Program clinical trial, led by the NIH with support from the CDC, has shown that with lifestyle changes and modest weight reduction, a person with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease.
Services offered by the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance may be contracted by any health insurer or plan sponsor. The Alliance marks the first time in the United States that a health plan is paying for evidence-based diabetes prevention and engaging pharmacists to support critical diabetes management programs. Currently, DPCA services are available at no out-of-pocket cost to participants enrolled in employer-provided health insurance plans through UnitedHealthcare and Medica in select markets.
The Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance is one of many UnitedHealth Group programs and services that fight diabetes, obesity and related health problems in creative, practical ways to help improve health care quality, expand support and coverage, and help bend the cost curve.