Published September 14, 2011
Rite Aid is joining the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA), an initiative aimed at tipping the scales against the epidemic of diabetes, prediabetes and obesity by expanding access to innovative, community-based programs that use evidence-based approaches to help prevent and control diabetes.
Rite Aid, one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with approximately 4,700 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia, will support patients enrolled in the Alliance’s program to help people control their diabetes. This support is available now to program participants at select New York City Rite Aid stores in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, and is coming to select stores in Washington, D.C., in mid-October.
Rite Aid will provide patient education and support from trained pharmacists to help people with diabetes better control their condition and reduce the risk of developing complications from diabetes, such as cardiovascular, kidney and eye disease. In-store pharmacists in select Rite Aid locations will consult quarterly with enrolled patients to evaluate their success adhering to prescribed diabetes regimens and to review patients’ test results for blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol.
“We welcome Rite Aid as a new Alliance partner, and with its added support, we look forward to helping more people across the country take control of their diabetes and improve their health,” said Deneen Vojta, M.D., senior vice president, UnitedHealth Group and chief clinical officer of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance. “With partners like Rite Aid, the DPCA is making an impact on the diabetes epidemic that is burdening people and communities across the country.”
UnitedHealth Group created the Alliance to help address the growing epidemic of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, which, if current trends continue, will affect more than half of all Americans by 2020 at an annual cost of $500 billion, according to a report from the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization.
There are two main components to the Alliance: the Diabetes Control Program, designed to reduce health complications among people with diabetes; and the Diabetes Prevention Program, which seeks to prevent the onset of diabetes among people who are at higher risk for the disease.
“Diabetes is taking a staggering toll on the health of our country,” said Robert I. Thompson, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy. “By participating in the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, Rite Aid is able to offer participating patients the benefit of one-on-one counseling from a Rite Aid pharmacist specifically trained in diabetes care and medication therapy management. This type of care has been proven to better manage diabetes and improve overall health, lowering health care costs in the long run.”
Diabetes Control Program: Reducing Dangerous, Costly Diabetes Complications
The Diabetes Control Program provides individuals with diabetes access to trained pharmacists who provide personalized coaching and counseling to help improve adherence to treatment plans. Face-to-face consultations with community pharmacists have long proved effective in controlling diabetes and other chronic diseases. The goal of the Control Program is for patients to lower their blood glucose and HbA1c levels, an indicator of glucose management. According to the National Institutes of Health, every percentage point drop in HbA1c correlates to a 40-percent decreased risk of developing complications from diabetes such as heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and limb amputations.
Pharmacy partners receive incentive payments based on participants’ results, helping to drive performance. For example, Rite Aid pharmacies will receive incentive payments based on their participating patients’ weight loss, improvement in their blood glucose control and decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as reimbursement for each patient’s participation. Advanced health plan swipe-card technology introduced by UnitedHealth Group also will enable the pharmacies to process payments at the point of service and be paid within 24 hours. Rite Aid is joining existing Alliance partners including UnitedHealth Group, the Y and other prominent pharmacy retailers.
Diabetes Prevention Program: Addressing Obesity to Prevent Diabetes
The Diabetes Prevention Program, offered through the Y, uses a group-based lifestyle intervention designed especially for people with prediabetes (people who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes).
Research on the Diabetes Prevention Program clinical trial, conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has shown that a person with prediabetes can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent simply by making basic lifestyle changes and achieving modest weight reduction.
Services offered by the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance may be contracted by any health insurer or plan sponsor. The Alliance marks the first time in the United States that a health plan is paying for evidence-based diabetes prevention and engaging pharmacists to support critical diabetes management programs. DPCA services are currently available at no out-of-pocket cost to participants enrolled in employer-provided health insurance plans through UnitedHealthcare in select markets.
The Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance is one of many UnitedHealth Group programs and services that fight diabetes, obesity and related health problems in creative, practical ways to help improve health care quality, expand support and coverage, and bend the cost curve.
About Rite Aid
Rite Aid is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with approximately 4,700 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through Rite Aid’s website at www.riteaid.com.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide. Visit www.unitedhealthgroup.com for more information.
About the National Diabetes Prevention Program
The National Diabetes Prevention Program is managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program is establishing a network of evidence-based lifestyle intervention programs for those at high risk of type 2 diabetes. CDC’s role with the National Diabetes Prevention Program includes helping train the work force that can implement the program cost effectively and setting standards that will help ensure program quality and consistency. Visit www.cdc.gov/diabetes/projects/prevention_program.htm for more information.