Care continuum: An important aspect of treating diabetes

Offering comprehensive health care plans is an important step to help keep your employees healthier, especially when it comes to managing chronic conditions, like diabetes. A recent survey found employees with diabetes miss more than five unplanned days of work each year, which costs employers up to $16 billion annually. To help improve employee health outcomes and decrease medical costs, employers may consider solutions that take a comprehensive and integrated approach to diabetes management and focus on more than the disease.

At UnitedHealthcare, that means additional health plan options to help support employees with diabetes through assessments and care management for other health conditions, such as obesity, heart conditions, kidney disease or behavioral health needs.

For diabetes-specific care, integrated programs span the care continuum and include those who may potentially develop diabetes, to those trying to manage the condition.

Healthier lifestyle habits are key factors in helping to manage type 2 diabetes. Weight loss programs, wellness coaching and tobacco cessation may help. For example, UnitedHealthcare programs like Real Appeal, Quit For Life, UHC Rewards and Level2 offer additional accountability and engagement, which may lead to better overall health outcomes.

Internal data shows many members enrolled in these types of programs have lost weight, increased their daily fitness activity and made better lifestyle choices, which has helped improve their overall well-being.

In addition, employees diagnosed with diabetes may be able to access educational resources, tools and personalized coaches to help them avoid disease progression and better manage complications. This ultimately can help members avoid unnecessary medical visits and hospitalizations and may lead to cost savings.

More importantly, the diabetes care continuum may help improve the quality of life for your employees, while helping them take control of their health. 

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