Fitbit, WellCare of Georgia Bring Healthcare Technology to Underserved Population

December 15, 2019

New program helps Medicaid enrollees proactively manage their type 2 diabetes.

Fitbit and a Medicaid plan in Georgia aim to help an underserved population get healthier and better manage a chronic condition.

Approximately 4,000 WellCare of Georgia Medicaid plan enrollees with type 2 diabetes will be eligible to receive a Fitbit Inspire device if they complete their annual diabetic retinal exam (DRE) beginning on January 1, 2020.

This is Fitbit’s first partnership with a Medicaid plan, and it is also the first time that WellCare has created a program like this in Georgia.

Once enrollees are set up with their device, they will receive educational materials and activity challenges through Fitbit’s platform, to help them adopt healthy habits and stay engaged in their health plan. The resources, educational content, and activity challenges are designed to reinforce the benefits of activity for people with type 2 diabetes.

“The latest in healthcare tech has not often been available to people with Medicaid, and this partnership aims to change that,” says Amy McDonough, SVP and GM of Fitbit Health Solutions. “Fitbit is an ideal partner for this work, and has had success in driving behavior change for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes working with partners including Solera Health. Fitbit’s goal is to make health more accessible for everyone, and this initiative is another example of how we are executing on that mission.”

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In addition, a DRE is critical for detecting diabetic retinopathy, a condition related to diabetes that can cause vision problems and even blindness, McDonough says.

“Fitbit and WellCare of Georgia hope that this new program will encourage more Medicaid members to complete their exam so they can participate in the Fitbit program,” she says.

This program is focused on type 2 diabetes because lifestyle changes like activity and exercise can play an important role in the management of this condition, according to McDonough.

“From our experience, activity, sleep, nutrition, and mindfulness are the four key foundational behaviors that, when changed, can help prevent, manage, and/or reverse chronic diseases, like Type 2 diabetes,” she says. “This program aims to help WellCare of Georgia Medicaid enrollees proactively manage their diabetes by driving healthy behaviors such as increased activity, while also encouraging them to complete their annual diabetic retinal exams. Fitbit is dedicated to working with partners across the healthcare ecosystem to provide its engaging devices and easy-to-use platform to motivate people to be healthy, and help with management of chronic conditions like diabetes,” she says.