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ARTICLE UnitedHealthcare Expands Reach of Diabetes Prevention and Control Programs to Las Vegas and Clark County


LAS VEGAS (Nov. 13, 2012) – UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is expanding the reach of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA), a community-based initiative aimed at tackling the epidemic of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. The health plan, in partnership with the Y and Smith's and Vons pharmacies, is bringing the DPCA's programs to Las Vegas and the surrounding communities of Clark County beginning immediately.

The DPCA was launched in 2010 through a partnership with UnitedHealth Group, YMCA of the USA and retail pharmacies. UnitedHealthcare is the first health plan to offer the DPCA's programs in Nevada. The DPCA's programs will be made available at no additional cost to participants enrolled in employer-sponsored health benefit plans through UnitedHealthcare and its affiliates Health Plan of Nevada and Sierra Health and Life. This marks the first time in the region that a health plan is paying for evidence-based diabetes prevention programs and engaging pharmacists to support critical diabetes management.

The DPCA is anchored by two evidence-based programs that are each based on curriculum that has been clinically proven to help prevent, delay the onset of and/or control type 2 diabetes:

  • The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), which is an innovative lifestyle coaching program conducted in a group setting through the Y that helps people with prediabetes and who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes prevent or delay the onset of the disease through healthy eating, increased physical activity and other lifestyle changes. It is a year-long program with 16 weekly sessions and then monthly follow-up. The DPP is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • The Diabetes Control Program (DCP), which offers private, one-on-one consultation with pharmacists who provide education and support to help people with diabetes better control their condition and reduce the risk of developing complications from diabetes. In the Las Vegas area, the DCP will be offered at select Smith's and Vons pharmacies.

In Nevada, 8 percent of the population has diabetes, and diabetes costs the state $167 million annually, according to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. Diabetes is closely tied to obesity, and according to the CDC, 63 percent of Nevada adults are overweight or obese. The prevalence of diabetes in Clark County is 8.2 percent, slightly higher than the state rate.

Nationwide there are nearly 27 million adults with diabetes – 90 percent or more of them with the often preventable form, type 2 diabetes. Another 79 million Americans – more than a third of the adult population – have prediabetes, the precursor to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes cost the country an estimated $194 billion in 2010. If current trends continue, more than half of all Americans will have diabetes or prediabetes by 2020 and diabetes will account for an estimated 10 percent of total health care spending, or almost $500 billion a year, according to an analysis from the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization.

"Diabetes is taking a staggering toll on children, families and communities in Clark County, across Nevada and throughout the country," said Don Giancursio, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual of Nevada. "The good news is that type 2 diabetes is largely preventable, and it is the small lifestyle decisions we make every day that have the biggest impact. These two programs provide an opportunity for people in Clark County to take control of their health. We look forward to working with the community to increase awareness of meaningful lifestyle changes that can help people improve progress against an epidemic that threatens our nation's health and its resources."

To mark the launch of the DPCA programs in the Las Vegas area, UnitedHealthcare and the YMCA of Southern Nevada are holding a Community Forum today featuring distinguished panelists including Mike Lubbe, president and CEO of the YMCA of Southern Nevada; Lisa Chapman-Smith, senior vice president, UnitedHealth Group; Paul Tomasic, M.D., Southwest Medical Associates; Kay Lynn Bowman, Pharm.D., with Smith's, and Misha Osborne, Pharm.D., Vons Pharmacy. The forum, being held at 10 a.m. at the Bill and Lillie Heinrich YMCA in Las Vegas, 4141 Meadows Lane, is a call to action for the community to join forces to address the diabetes epidemic.

The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program

The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program uses a group-based lifestyle intervention designed especially for people with prediabetes. Research from the original Diabetes Prevention Program clinical trial, led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with support from the CDC, demonstrated that with lifestyle changes and modest weight reduction of 5-7 percent, a person with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.

"Type 2 diabetes is an irreversible diagnosis, but a person can prevent or delay the disease before it develops," said Mike Lubbe, president and CEO of the YMCA of Southern Nevada. "The YMCA of Southern Nevada has the reputation, the roots and the experience to tackle this problem through community-based intervention, reaching people through their friends and family at the Y. The Y is in a unique position to promote healthy living and offer this solution to thousands of Las Vegas-area adults."

The Diabetes Control Program

Smith's, which has more than 31 pharmacies in Clark County, and Vons, which has more than 9 participating pharmacies in the region, will offer the Diabetes Control Program geared toward helping people with diabetes better manage their disease and reduce the risk of developing related complications. This program provides people with diabetes access to local pharmacists trained to help manage their condition and improve adherence to physicians' care treatment plans.

About Vons/Safeway

Von's is a division of Safeway Inc. Safweway is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,644 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $43.6 billion in 2011. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY.

About Smith's

Smith's is a division of the Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) and has served customers since 1932. From its district office in Las Vegas, 4,050 Smith's associates currently work in 33 stores and 11 fuel centers in Southern Nevada. In 2011, with support from associates, customers and suppliers, Smith's Food & Drug donated a total of $2.4 million worth of product and cash to local nonprofit organizations in Nevada.

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation's leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,687 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation's health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. The YMCA of Southern Nevada, established in 1944, invites community members to stay active at the Bill & Lillie Heinrich YMCA, 4141 Meadows Lane; the City of Las Vegas' Durango Hills Community Center, 3521 N. Durango Drive, and Centennial Hills Community Center, 6601 N. Buffalo Drive, both operated by the Y; and the City of North Las Vegas SkyView Multi-Generational Center, 3050 E. Centennial Parkway, operated by the Y. No one is turned away because of an inability to pay.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.