Anthem Seeking Participants for Free Online and in-Person Diabetes Management Program for Members and Non-Members

Some workshop participants can choose to be involved in study

Anthem Seeking Participants for Free Online and in-Person Diabetes Management Program for Members and Non-Members

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in MissouriDeb Wiethop, (314) 923-4767

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri is seeking participants in a Type 2 diabetes management program developed at Stanford University and shown in studies to help lower blood sugar, reduce emergency room visits and improve communication with caregivers. The Better Choices, Better Health - Diabetes program is available to Anthem members and non-members who meet certain criteria.

St. Louis-area residents with Type 2 diabetes who are 18 or older can register for the program by either calling 855-805-6168 or going to selfmanage.org. The Better Choices, Better Health -Diabetes workshops are available now.

Better Choices, Better Health - Diabetes is a series of six online or in-person sessions that connect trained, peer facilitators with people who have diabetes so that they may share and solve problems together. People within the groups may help each other discover new ways to maintain their independence, enjoy food that’s good for them, manage their blood sugar, start or stay with an exercise routine and communicate more effectively with their doctors, families and friends.

“We developed this program so that each person can customize it to their own needs," said Kate Lorig, professor emeritus and director of the Stanford Patient Education Research Center. “Better Choices, Better Health - Diabetes helps each person to reach health goals that are attainable for them and in the process gives them a better quality of life.”

Almost 12 percent of all men 20 years or older, and 11 percent of all women 20 years or older, have diabetes, according to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Type 2 diabetes occurs most commonly in adults aged 40 or older, and the likelihood of developing it increases with age. The St. Louis Diabetes Coalition estimates that nearly one in five residents aged 55 and older has Type 2 diabetes.

“Type 2 diabetes is also becoming much more common among younger adults,” said Wayne Meyer, M.D., medical director of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri. “We want to make sure people with Type 2 diabetes have the skills and the support to lead the healthiest lives they can. This program may make a difference to people in managing their blood sugar, maintaining their independence and in gaining support in knowing they are not alone.”

The National Council on Aging, YMCA, OASIS, and the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation are collaborating with Stanford University on a study of these workshops to determine if this community-based program can be implemented successfully and economically on a larger scale. The study is funded by the National Council on Aging through grants from the Bristol-Meyers Squibb Foundation and the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation. Workshop participants are not required to be part of the study.

Workshops in St. Louis will be held for 2.5 hours once a week for six weeks at local OASIS facilities. Internet workshops are also six week sessions, but are self-paced and available at any time with participants encouraged to check in twice a week.

“The workshops were designed to work with people’s lifestyles and comfort levels,” said Jay Greenberg, senior vice president, National Council on Aging. “Some may prefer talking to others face-to-face, while others may find the Internet more convenient or more private. Both have been shown to help people better manage their diabetes.”

In Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area) Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name for RightCHOICE® Managed Care, Inc. (RIT), Healthy Alliance® Life Insurance Company (HALIC), and HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates administer non-HMO benefits underwritten by HALIC and HMO benefits underwritten by HMO Missouri, Inc. RIT and certain affiliates only provide administrative services for self-funded plans and do not underwrite benefits. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri is available at . Also, follow us on Twitter at , on Facebook at , or visit our YouTube channel at .

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