Florida Blue Partners with CDC and AHIP to Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida Blue, Florida's Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, received an award today from America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), under funding provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to make an effective program to help prevent type 2 diabetes available to Florida Blue beneficiaries in Florida.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120904/MM67207LOGO )

This 2012 Prevention and Public Health Fund cooperative agreement is part of a national effort to reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes through the National Diabetes Prevention Program. CDC awarded $6.7 million to six organizations to bring the National Diabetes Prevention Program to their communities.

Classes offered through the National Diabetes Prevention Program help participants learn how to make healthy lifestyle changes that can reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent. Those changes include losing a moderate amount of weight and increasing physical activity.

"Type 2 diabetes is a serious problem in our community," said Dr. Jonathan Gavras, chief medical officer and senior vice president for Florida Blue. "We welcome the chance to work with CDC to bring an effective program to prevent type 2 diabetes to Florida and help Florida Blue members and our community make lasting changes to protect their health."

CDC estimates 79 million have pre-diabetes, a condition of elevated blood sugar that often leads to type 2 diabetes within a few years.

With this funding, Florida Blue will be able to offer the educational program in more communities across the state. The funds will help:

  • To recruit and train lifestyle coaches to lead classes;
  • To build alliances with businesses and insurers to provide long-term financial support for lifestyle change classes, providing them as a covered health benefit for employees, while establishing reimbursement criteria that rewards successful programs.

Florida Blue has long been a strong advocate for diabetes education and care. As such, the company will be adding this preventative component of care to its Better You from Blue, the health promotions program that was the first health insurer sponsored wellness program in the state of Florida to earn the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) accreditation. NCQA Wellness & Health Promotion Accreditation is a nationally recognized accreditation that evaluates how well a health and wellness promotion organization manages all aspects of its program.

CDC leads the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which offers communities an evidence-based lifestyle change program to prevent type 2 diabetes. The program targets those at high risk of type 2 diabetes. People have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes if they are overweight, age 45 years or older, have a family history of the disease, get little physical activity, developed gestational diabetes while pregnant, or are members of certain racial/ethnic groups, including African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. For more information about the National Diabetes Prevention Program, visit www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention.

About Florida Blue
Florida Blue, Florida's Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, is a leader in Florida's health care industry. Our mission is to help people and communities achieve better health. Florida Blue has approximately 4 million health care members and serves 15.5 million people in 16 states through its affiliated companies. Florida Blue is a not-for- profit, policyholder-owned, tax-paying mutual company. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.FloridaBlue.com.

SOURCE Florida Blue