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Report: strategies to save states money as Medicaid is expanded

United Health Group issued a report that outlines strategies that will help states save money as Medicaid is expanded. The new federal health care reform and the growing number of seniors enrolling in Medicaid is causing the expansion and pressure on state budgets. The report identified $366 billion in savings from implementation of several strategies, including uses of technology for:

  • Predictive modeling and payment accuracy
  • Increased EHR and PHR integration
  • Greater use of electronic data interchange
  • Increased use and improved coordination of care

To read the complete report click here

Diabetes Prevention and Control

In addition, United just announced a partnership with the CDC, Wallgreens and the YMCA to promote diabetes education and treatment.  The program uses data to identify pre-diabetics and to help prevent the onset of the disease through exercise and healthy eating.  The program also assists those with Type 2 diabetes to better control their condition through education and assistance from pharmacists.  Pay for performance will be used to encourage lifestyle coaches and pharmacists to actively engage, treat and improve a patient’s condition.

A YMCA lifestyle coach will receive a higher payment for helping an individual achieve greater weight loss, as well as reimbursement for each patient’s participation.  Also, advanced health plan swipe-card technology introduced by UnitedHealth Group will enable Walgreens to process payments at the point of service and be paid within 24 hours. The YMCA also will be paid automatically through a paperless system, using an innovative UnitedHealth Group tool.

Link to the New York Times story is here

According to the CDC, in 2007 nearly 24 million people in the United States had diabetes, 24 percent of them undiagnosed.  Another 57 million people, or 26 percent of the adult population, are considered pre-diabetic, with about 85 percent of them unaware of their condition.  The vast majority of people with pre-diabetes are struggling with obesity.  Obesity is a cause of many preventable health problems including diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer.

Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance programs will be available initially in six markets in four states: Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Indianapolis; Phoenix, and in Minneapolis-St. Paul for participants in self-insured employer-provided health plans purchased from Medicaid.  The programs will roll out nationally through 2010, 2011 and 2012.

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