Humana and National Council of La Raza Embark on Unique Study of Diabetes Management among Hispanic Seniors

Collaboration will test “promotores” approach to improve management of type 2 diabetes

SAN ANTONIO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- In a joint effort to improve the health of Hispanic seniors with type 2 diabetes, Humana (NYSE: HUM) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) have launched a study to test the “promotores de salud” – or, community health worker – approach to help this patient population better manage their disease to improve their health and well being.

Diabetes is a serious health problem among Hispanics in the U.S. More than 2.5 million Hispanic adults age 20 and older have been diagnosed with the disease, and among seniors age 65 and up, Hispanics are disproportionately affected.

If not properly managed, diabetes can lead to serious and costly complications such as amputation, stroke, blindness and even premature death. The burden caused by this diagnosis can be greater among Hispanics due to numerous factors, including poor self-management of the disease, and barriers to high-quality care. Social and peer support are important strategies in self-management education.

“There is evidence that community health workers can effectively engage, educate, and activate individuals with chronic diseases in ways that the formal health system cannot,” said Dr. George Smith, president of Humana Senior Products in Texas. “This one-year pilot program will study how interventions from community health workers may better serve and support Hispanic seniors who have type 2 diabetes, and allow us to apply best practices to reach even more patients.”

“Among the Latino population, access to health education and overall health care is our community’s greatest barrier toward fighting diabetes,” said Dr. Maria E. Rosa, Vice President, Institute for Hispanic Health, NCLR. “We are hopeful that the promotores approach will break down these barriers to educate and help Latinos with diabetes better manage their disease.”

Through this intervention, participants will learn how to incorporate nutritional management and physical activity into their lifestyles; how to use medications safely and for maximum therapeutic effectiveness; how to monitor and interpret blood glucose and other measures to enable self-management decision making; how to prevent, detect, and treat acute and chronic complications; how to develop strategies to address psychosocial issues and concerns; and, how to develop strategies to promote health and behavior changes.

This project will pilot test a promotores-driven approach to diabetes management and self-care among 100 Hispanic seniors with type 2 diabetes who are members of the Mexican American Unity Council (MAUC), a community-based organization and NCLR affiliate. About half of the participants are Humana Medicare Advantage members.

“Humana looks to find ways to engage our members to improve their ability to manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, especially among populations where disparity issues exist. We hope that the community health worker model proves to be something we can incorporate in the future,” said George A. Andrews, M.D., Corporate Chief of Quality, Health Guidance Organization, Humana.

With the participation of the promotores, MAUC staff and NCLR, measures on diabetes self-management knowledge, intention to change self-management behavior and clinical outcomes will be obtained from participants and evaluated by the NCLR California State University, Long Beach Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training (NCLR-CSULB Center). Study results are expected by late fall.

San Antonio was selected as the target community for the intervention based on previous research that identified disproportionate percentages of diabetics among Hispanic Humana Medicare members in the area, combined with NCLR and MAUC’s strong footprint in the community and ability to reach this population.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health and supplemental benefits companies, with approximately 10.2 million medical members, 7.1 million specialty members, and operates more than 300 medical centers and 240 worksite medical facilities. Humana is a full-service benefits and well-being solutions company, offering a wide array of health, pharmacy and supplemental benefit plans for employer groups, government programs and individuals, as well as primary and workplace care through its medical centers and worksite medical facilities.

Over its 50-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders;
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings;
  • Most recent investor conference presentations;
  • Quarterly earnings news releases;
  • Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls;
  • Calendar of events (including upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors);
  • Corporate Governance information.

About NCLR

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow us on Twitter | Facebook | MySpace.

Institute for Hispanic Health (IHH) promotes the health and well-being of Hispanic Americans by reducing the incidence, burden and impact of health problems in the Hispanic community.

About Mexican American Unity Council

The Mexican American Unity Council, Inc. (MAUC), a not-for-profit, tax-exempt community development corporation, was established in 1967 and is headquartered in San Antonio’s Westside. MAUC is committed to improving the quality of life in our community in areas of education, housing, community and economic development. MAUC has become an alliance of innovative, responsive programs that keeps reaching further into the community, strengthening its role and strengthening the community it serves. MAUC is committed to economic self-sufficiency, encourages pride and participation in the economic mainstream and continuously attempts to leverage its financial, public and private resources. MAUC offers a wide array of critically needed community services ranging from early childhood development to family wellness, tutoring, ESL, GED and education through its Spirit of Education Scholarship Fund. Over the years MAUC has taken a leadership role in building communities….developing human potential. MAUC has built affordable housing and has created hundreds of family supporting jobs through strategic investment in the community. These efforts have resulted in a steady growth of $60 million in assets and 630 affordable housing for senior and multifamily units through today. MAUC has firmly established itself as a vital entity bridging our communities with our ever-changing world.

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CONTACT:

Humana Inc.
Corporate Communications:
Ross McLerran, 210-617-1771
[email protected]
or
NCLR
Julian Teixeria, Director of Communications, 202-776-1812
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Kentucky  Texas

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Seniors  Practice Management  Health  Clinical Trials  Fitness & Nutrition  Genetics  Hospitals  Other Health  Consumer  Nursing  Hispanic  General Health  Managed Care

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