SPRINGFIELD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Health New England announced today a new diabetes program, taking effect January 1, 2021, that is aimed at improving health outcomes and lowering costs for its commercial members with diabetes.
According to the CDC, over 10% of the U.S. population has diabetes,1 and having it can lead to increased medical costs, lost work and wages. Diabetes costs the U.S. health care system over $200 billion annually, and medical costs for people with diabetes are twice as high in comparison to people without diabetes.2 Recent studies indicate that having type 2 diabetes increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19,3 reaffirming the importance of managing this chronic disease.
The Health New England Diabetes Solutions program includes:
- Lowering members’ out-of-pocket costs for insulins.
- A new Diabetes Medication Therapy Management program for high-risk members. Members will receive free one-on-one coaching sessions to help better manage their condition, medications, nutrition, and to provide diabetes education. They will also receive a full medication screening from a pharmacist who specializes in diabetes care.
“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is a heightened need to manage chronic conditions like diabetes,” said Ira M. Klein, MD, MBA, FACP, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Health New England. “At Health New England, we recognize that people with diabetes may have difficulty in affording the costs that come with a treatment plan. Our new diabetes solutions are designed to reduce cost barriers to the medications our members need to consistently manage their health and provide support in addition to their regular medical care.”
Diabetes is commonly treated with medication, which includes insulin injections. Insulins Lantus®, Humalog® and Humulin® will be moved to the lowest tier level of the company’s commercial list of covered drugs to reduce out-of-pocket costs. In addition, these medications will no longer be subject to a deductible, meaning the costs will remain consistently low for members. The Diabetes Medication Therapy Management program will provide telephonic support by a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) as well as a clinical pharmacist to provide extra support, education and accountability for members in the achievement of their health goals. Together, these initiatives, as part of the Health New England Diabetes Solutions program, will work to improve health outcomes and quality of care while lowering costs for members with diabetes.
About Health New England
Based in Springfield, Massachusetts, Health New England is a not-for-profit health plan serving members in Massachusetts and Connecticut. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Baystate Health, Health New England offers a range of health care plans in the commercial, Medicaid and Medicare markets. For more information, visit healthnewengland.org.
1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services; 2020.
2American Diabetes Association. Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2017. Diabetes Care 2018;41(5):917-928.
3The Lancet. “COVID-19 in people with diabetes: understanding the reasons for worse outcomes.” Accessed at: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(20)30238-2/fulltext