Jill Hutt, vice president of member services at the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health, explains how public and private employers can take advantage of the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP).
Employers can talk to their local health coalitions about initiatives addressing diabetes prevention and obesity, said Jill Hutt, vice president of member services at the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health.
How can cities or employers get involved with the National Diabetes Prevention Program?
There are several ways that employers can get involved, both public and private employers, whether you're a small business, medium-sized business or a jumbo employer, whether you're local or national, [there are] several ways to get involved. Number one, I would recommend talking to your local business coalition on health, such as, here in our region, our coalition, the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health. Talk to your coalition about the initiatives they are working on in addressing diabetes prevention and obesity and other conditions as well. They've got many resources and partnerships for employers to utilize. Importantly, employers should be talking to their health plans about this program. Does the health plan offer it? Can they administer it for them? If they don't ask them to do so. Talk to your benefits advisor, your benefits consultant to make sure they are partnering with you in looking at your data. You want to look at your data to understand the health conditions of your workforce, understand the obesity rate, if you can get that. Understand the diabetes prevalence in your workforce, and other conditions that may be related to it, so that you have that picture available to you, which will help you focus on how you may want to implement and roll out a National Diabetes Prevention Program to make sure you are getting to those populations who need the program the most.
Also, employers can engage with the employer learning collaborative with the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. They have an incredible platform with many resources and tools that benefits consultants, and employers, and we, coalitions, utilize to create the messaging and promote the program so that employees, the workforce, their dependents can engage in it. And so I would encourage employers to certainly work with the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors.
Do you have any closing thoughts you'd like to share?
These statistics that I've mentioned, the huge cost nationwide and state by state and employer by employer of key drivers of chronic disease in the workforce, obesity being an underlying condition, heart disease, of course being an underlying condition, etc. So it's so important for employers to be aware, as I've mentioned before, of the health of the workforce and the health indicators to the extent they can get that information and important for employers to reach out because the resources are there. Talk to your coalition, talk to your health plan, talk to your benefits advisor. We can work alongside you to prevent diabetes. And of course, ultimately, what's our collective goal? Our collective goal is improved health and productivity for the workforce and the community. And studies have shown that does avoid cost, it does help address the cost issues as well related and helps employers and their workforce prevent or delay type 2 diabetes as well as other chronic diseases.