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ARTICLE A Revolutionary Approach to Diabetes

More than 80 million Americans are either diabetic or pre-diabetic – that's over one quarter of us.1 The good news is that early and aggressive intervention can help people avoid the health and financial toll of diabetes. Therefore, to help our members prevent or control the course of this dangerous disease, UnitedHealth Group is launching The Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance. The Alliance consists of two programs:


Diabetes Prevention Program

UnitedHealth Group and the YMCA of the USA will offer a program proven to prevent diabetes among pre-diabetics. Just weekly sessions with a YMCA-trained lifestyle coach and basic lifestyle changes can help people with pre-diabetes reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent.2


Diabetes Control Program

UnitedHealth Group is also collaborating with Walgreens pharmacies. Their pharmacists will conduct face-to-face counseling with our diabetic members to track their weight, blood pressure, and blood work. Working closely with the member's primary care physician, they aim to keep diabetics healthy: Every percentage point drop in a blood sugar test reduces the risk of diabetic complications by 40 percent.1


As part of UnitedHealthcare's ongoing effort to help people live healthier lives on a massive scale, we're starting literally at the corner drug store and the local YMCA. With demand for primary care services expected to increase dramatically as more Americans gain access to health insurance, the Alliance represents an impressive extension of our national health care resources.


UnitedHealthcare will cover these services at no charge to plan participants enrolled in employer-provided health insurance plans, marking the first time that a health plan will pay for evidencebased diabetes prevention and control programs.


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  1. "2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet," National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention.
  2. Knowler WC, Barrett-Connor E, Fowler SE, et al. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. N Engl J Med. Feb 7 2002;346(6):393-403.