Dr Jeremy Wigginton on Preventing, Managing Diabetes in Louisiana

Jeremy Wigginton, MD, vice president of health quality and innovation at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, explains how the company works with employers to prevent and manage diabetes.

Employers in Louisiana with a self-funded health plan can make more deliberate choices to support the health of their employees and their dependents, said Jeremy Wigginton, MD, vice president of health quality and innovation at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

Transcript

How is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana working with employers to prevent and manage diabetes?

Employers in the state of Louisiana, as well as in our region, are in a very unique position in the health care ecosystem. They are able to really look at individual populations at a much smaller scale than large insurers. So employers that have their own self-funded health plan, they can really make individual particular choices to support the health of their employees and their dependents that may be on the health plan.

There are many programs that insurers offer, including Blue Cross, that can help to focus on those conditions which impact health long-term, especially diabetes. We particularly at Blue Cross Louisiana have a program, for example, called Omata through the Omata program, which is focused on diabetes prevention. This is something that we work with employers on to get their members enrolled in that program, which includes a digital scale, it includes some digital resources for health coaching, and it really helps members to look at their health holistically in order to prevent diabetes.

We also look at benefit structure for employers that have health plans, such as telehealth benefits. We want to make sure that members within health plans as well as across the whole state, actually, have access to telehealth and digital resources. Telehealth is a very important resource not only for the augmentation of the support of patients and those that may be on an employee health plan to connect to their primary care physician, but it also can be a very important tool to bridge the gap between visits to help support them holistically as well so that they can get continued support.

Some technology that is emerging is remote patient monitoring so that providers can monitor patients remotely that have conditions such as diabetes. So there's really a lot of advancement of technology that requires some coordination of employer benefits on health plans, specific population education. So those employers are really positioned well to maximize those resources so that members can get the best outcomes possible.

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