UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) has launched an online version of its NOT ME® Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), expanding the reach of the National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle-change program to millions of Americans in a new, convenient way.
The DPP is a group lifestyle change program that helps people who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes prevent or delay the onset of the disease through modest weight loss via healthy eating, increased physical activity and other lifestyle changes.
The new online version of NOT ME is available at no additional charge to millions of consumers who already have access to the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance through employer-provided health insurance from UnitedHealthcare and other national insurers in select markets
"The online version of NOT ME makes it easier and more convenient for people to participate in the program on their own terms – when and where they want – helping potentially millions of Americans reduce their risk of developing diabetes," said Deneen Vojta, M.D., senior vice president of UnitedHealth Group and chief clinical officer of the DPCA. "The launch of the online NOT ME program marks the culmination of a multiyear journey to bring this initiative to national scale. Our goal has always been to bring NOT ME to as many people as possible in new, more convenient, more effective, and more affordable ways including at community locations, in their homes, and online."
Thirty of UnitedHealthcare's largest employer customers currently offer the online NOT ME program to their employees, and more self-funded and fully insured customers are adding the benefit.
GE was the first national employer to offer the online version of NOT ME to eligible employees and their dependents in Connecticut, Erie, Pa., and Greenville, S.C., with the goal of helping program participants lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight in 20 weeks. Enrollees have the freedom to participate in the program whenever and wherever they have access to an Internet connection. Participants watch 16 episodes of Project NOT ME, have 24/7 access to track progress and goals, and can choose to interact with a supportive online community as well as with an online health coach. The program is available at no additional cost to employees who are covered under a GE-sponsored health benefits plan.
"We were proud to be the first national employer to offer this program, and we're pleased to have the opportunity to expand the reach of this model with the virtual NOT ME solution," said Virginia Proestakes, director of Health Benefits for GE. "This is a program that has shown great promise in helping our employees achieve weight loss, which can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes."
At the core of the online version of NOT ME is the 16-episode "Project NOT ME" television series that follows six adults who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes as they go through the evidence-based DPP. Each session features a health and wellness coach leading a class of DPP participants who are working to reach a healthier weight and reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Between each session, participants practice at home the skills they learn from the program using tracking tools, linked electronic scales and support from an online community and coach. The goal for participants in the group lifestyle change program is to lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight, which has been shown to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes by up to 58%, according to research led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The DPP is based on the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program, which is designed to bring evidence-based lifestyle interventions to communities by working through organizations that adhere to CDC-recognized, evidence-based standards.
In addition to its new online format, the Diabetes Prevention Program is available through lifestyle coaching classes delivered at local YMCA branches in markets across the country.
Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, and another 79 million American adults have prediabetes, according to the CDC. Diabetes cost the country an estimated $245 billion in 2012, and, if current trends continue, more than half of all Americans will have diabetes or prediabetes at an annual cost of $512 billion by 2021, according to analysis by the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization.
To learn more about NOT ME, click here.
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, Minnesota, UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two business 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 80 million people worldwide. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/.