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Humana partners with ADA to improve patient education


Patients to assist insurer, association in creating program to ensure its relevancy and practicality for those with diabetes.

Humana and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) have partnered to develop a consumer-centric diabetes curriculum and delivery model with the goal of helping slow the progression of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes can be effectively managed with appropriate education and self-management behaviors. However, research shows that almost two-thirds of adults with type 2 diabetes do not receive any diabetes education. Lack of standardization in diabetes education also often creates conflicting information for those who have the disease. 

Related:Study finds earlier diabetes diagnoses in Medicare expansion states

The new delivery model between Humana and ADA will offer curriculum that is evidence-based, culturally relevant, engaging, and available in multichannel formats, according to Chris Kay, Humana chief innovation officer. A core component of the delivery model will be community-based engagement that extends beyond the workshop in the form of support groups, digital tools and peer-to-peer service to provide accessible support, education, and information for people with diabetes and family members.

Humana partnered with the ADA because of its evidence-based diabetes knowledge, community outreach expertise, and desire to advocate for those with diabetes, according to Kay.

"We recognize the value of working with partners in order to create mutual value and accelerate the goal of improving health,” Kay says.


NEXT: What the new partnership means for the industry


What the new partnership means for the industry

 “The decision by Humana, one of the largest Medicare Advantage companies in the country, to help develop diabetes education programs recognizes the high cost of diabetes and its impact on a wide range of other health issues,” Managed Healthcare Executive Editorial Board Member Don Hall, says.

“The incidence and cost of care for diabetes rises dramatically with age making it an enormous factor in managing costs in Medicare Advantage plans,” says Hall, of Delta Sigma LLC, in Littleton, Colorado, and a former health plan CEO. “The American Diabetic Association estimates that 1 in 5 healthcare dollars are spent on diabetes and diabetes-related health conditions. Even worse, the cost of treating people with diabetes has grown by over 40% in the last five years due to a rising incidence of diabetes and the cost of treating it."

Patients with diabetes will also assist in the co-creation of the program to ensure it is relevant and practical at an individual level. The model is designed for both those who are newly diagnosed and also for those individuals who have long-standing diabetes.

Related: Models for diabetes prevention go beyond traditional approach

“People with diabetes have significant unmet needs when striving for better self-management of their condition,” says Kay. “Most diabetes education is broad and one-size-fits-all. This type of education often fails to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills to manage their disease in the context of their lives. While individuals have told us diabetes education is important, they also need help in applying the information to their life. We have set out to design diabetes education content and programs that address the needs of individuals and ensure we remove barriers that keep people from successfully managing their condition.”

The partnership will allow the Louisville, Kentucky-based insurer to approach diabetes in an entirely new way, according to Kay. “We anticipate this approach will result in several new ways-ones that are personalized, culturally relevant and available in multichannel formats-to help remove barriers for those with diabetes better so they can better manage their condition and slow the progression of its complications.”

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