Insurers, CDC work to stamp out diabetes, costs

America's Health Insurance Plans and four of its member insurers have joined the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help combat a major cause of rising healthcare costs--diabetes.

The insurance lobbying group and the government agency are working with four insurers--Aetna, EmblemHealth, Florida Blue and Molina Healthcare--to implement the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which helps people with pre-diabetes avoid developing type 2 diabetes. The participating insurers will collect data, which AHIP will compile and report to the CDC, according to AHIP.

"Health plans have a long-standing commitment to preventing type 2 diabetes and its related risk factors through innovative and collaborative efforts with community partners," said AHIP CEO Karen Ignagni last week in a statement. "Our shared goal is to identify successful models for prevention and wellness across the entire healthcare system."

By participating in the diabetes program, which includes classes on how to maintain a healthful lifestyle, eating well and exercising, members could lower their chances of developing diabetes by 60 percent, the Florida Times-Union reported.

If insurers can help prevent diabetes, they can help temper rising costs. Diabetes-related spending totaled $340 billion last year and the CDC estimates that almost 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes, according to Healthcare Finance News.

To learn more:
- here's the AHIP statement
- read the Florida Times-Union article
- see the Healthcare Finance News article

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