Think about the people you work with – remote or onsite. One out of every three is likely to be prediabetic.
What’s worse, 10% of these folks aren’t even aware of their condition, according to the CDC.
And when there’s no intervention for prediabetics, 15-30% will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. The other two causes are heart disease and cancer, according to the CDC’s latest data. And diabetes was number four of the most expensive chronic diseases to treat.
Employers know diabetes is a major healthcare issue. The tricky part is finding an effective, long-term way to combat the problem.
Program reduced health claims
“We rolled out a program called the ABCs of Diabetes, and it was designed for prediabetic and diabetic employees,” said Debbie Zimmerman, wellness manager, Polk County School Board in Florida.
The program consisted of educational classes, free screenings and heavily discounted diabetes prescription meds. Those enrolled attend classes on:
- managing diabetes with nutrition and exercise
- advanced diet planning, and
- managing heart disease and high blood pressure.
A model to follow
Another Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) option is following the model of the Medicare DPP rolled out by CMS.
When compared to a similar population not in the program, there was an estimated savings of $2,650 for each DPP participant over a 15-month period.
Get with a program: 5 steps
Looking to add a DPP? Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Go with a CDC-recognized program. CDC programs are based in science. They include a model that meets the CDC criteria needed to prevent diabetes. The CDC’s Prevent T2 Program is a program that helps people who are prediabetic from developing type 2 diabetes.
- Fit a DPP into your current wellness strategy. Personalized, digital programs tailored to difficult-to-reach populations tend to work best. The CDC’s Prevent T2 can be covered under wellness programs. Insurance providers are willing to give Wellness Fund money to clients because healthier employees mean clients’ claims will be reduced.
- Look for sustainable outcomes. The CDC evaluates these prevention programs to make sure they meet evidence-based standards to achieve expected results. To prevent diabetes, the program must achieve at least 5% average weight loss that can be sustained long term.
- Check for the right tools. The program should make it easy to identify staffers at risk for diabetes. And biometric screening tools – for the most part – should be built in.
- Take steps to ensure staff has what they need. Maintain healthy food options in vending machines and at work functions. And encourage employees working from home to eat healthy and have healthy options in their house.