Diabetes is at its highest prevalence in 30 years, affecting nearly 11% of Americans and 13% of Texas residents, according to the America’s Health Rankings 2019 Annual Report. It is the nation’s seventh-leading cause of death, accounting for an estimated $327 billion in direct medical costs and lost productivity.
The United Health Foundation and the Texas Association of Community Health Centers (TACHC) have joined forces to provide better care for adults living with diabetes across the state of Texas. A four-year, $2.5 million grant from the United Health Foundation will help TACHC improve treatment for at least 40,000 diabetic adult patients at 24 health centers, with the goal of expanding the project statewide.
The grant partnership, which is especially timely during National Diabetes Awareness Month in November, will expand access to care for tens of thousands of Texans living with diabetes, decreasing the percentage of patients with poorly controlled type 1 or type 2 diabetes from 35% to 30%, or more than 40,000 individuals. Properly managing diabetes can reduce serious complications such as amputation, blindness, cardiovascular disease and kidney failure.
The partnership will also enrich and expand TACHC’s Optimizing Comprehensive Clinical Care program to advance patient-centered care and improve health outcomes. Health center staff will learn to use data to drive better quality care – understanding the link between access, efficiencies, continuity and improved patient health. During the second year of the partnership, two health centers will also participate in a pilot focused on peer-to-peer support for diabetes care.
“The United Health Foundation and the Texas Association of Community Health Centers share the goal of addressing uncontrolled diabetes,” said Don Langer, chief executive officer, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas. “This partnership will assist TACHC in its mission to support its member centers, their patients and the communities they serve and ultimately help Texans live healthier lives.”
Partnering with TACHC is the latest effort by UnitedHealth Group to address the growing problem of diabetes. UnitedHealth Group recently launched Level2, an innovative new therapy that combines wearable technology and customized personal support to help improve the health of people living with type 2 diabetes.