The Role of Managed Care in Identifying and Counseling Patients With Prediabetes

John A. Johnson, MD, MBA: In the managed care community, what we’ve seen in the United States is a growing incidence and prevalence of obesity and Americans who are overweight. Obesity, being overweight, and inactivity are all risk factors for developing diabetes. So is low social economic status—whether it’s low-income or low-educational background.

So, managed care likes to partner with community entities. For example, at WellCare, we partner with agencies to host health fairs. We do this to screen the general public and enhance awareness of diabetes.

Twenty-nine million Americans have diabetes, 25% of them are unaware that they have diabetes, and 86 million Americans are pre-diabetic. The more of those Americans that we can screen and find the diagnoses, the more we can avoid some of the downstream complications.

The managed care organization partners with providers to ensure that patients receive a BMI (body mass index), and to determine an exercise regimen, and to counsel regarding nutrition to help ensure that they are less likely to develop diabetes by becoming more active and managing their diet.

In managed care, it’s really more of a partnership to prevent the onset of diabetes with earlier screening and earlier intervention. At WellCare, we do that by partnering with agencies that help us.

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