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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Gives Grant To WellPoint Relative to Hispanic and African American Americans Controlling Their D

Posted Nov 17 2010 11:59pm

Back in 2008, Aetna tried a pill lottery with incentives for taking prescriptions.  The Foundation is more ore less trying to figure out how to work better with those in ethnic groups to eat better and control their diabetes.  image

Wellpoint and insurance companies have the data via claims and the article states they will be able to identify by working with physicians those who are not controlling their diabetes in the pilot program.  In other words this is one more look at how to bring compliance and diabetes control into the picture for patients.  The financial type of incentive to be given was not listed.  BD 

"This grant will assist WellPoint in its ongoing efforts to bridge cultural health care gaps in diabetes and improve the lives of our Hispanic and African American members," said WellPoint Chief Medical Officer Sam Nussbaum. "By sharing our programs and our results, it also confirms our commitment to address health inequities—not only those that impact our members—but those that affect all Americans."

WellPoint will provide additional resources and conduct the program in California, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Georgia. The program, led by WellPoint's Health Equities & Cultural and Linguistic Programs Office, will build on an award-winning pilot already conducted in California and Georgia that focused on providing meaningful information to members of WellPoint affiliated health plans tailored to the cultures of African American and Hispanic members.

The California and Georgia pilots focused on creative and culturally appropriate ways to communicate with members—including providing information on how members could reach out to local churches to share these messages with others and providing bilingual Spanish print fotonovelas, a photographic version of a soap opera. These pilots also provided diabetes educational materials that included ways to substitute ingredients in favorite ethnic meals to make them healthier.

This new program will also study the application of behavioral economics by offering financial incentives to those members who reduce and maintain their blood sugar levels within healthy ranges at two different points within the eight month-long intervention. The team also will assess whether improvements in diabetes control are sustained after the financial incentives are removed. The study will last three years.

WellPoint plans to work with physician practices in these five states to identify interested members with poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes.

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