DALLAS, December 6, 2011 — The Ohio Medicaid coverage available to low-income patients living with diabetes is a lifesaving resource in a state where 15 percent of the population lives in poverty.i Today, efforts to reduce diabetes complications are extending beyond the doctor’s office and into patients’ hands with a new mobile health program led by AT&T* and Centene, the largest Medicaid provider in Ohio.
Under a six-month agreement between AT&T and Centene, this initiative will offer a limited group of high-risk diabetes patients under Centene’s Buckeye Community Health Plan access to AT&T mHealth Solutions Presents DiabetesManager, the enterprise mHealth solution from AT&T and WellDoc. The FDA-cleared solution is a self-management tool that enables patients to manage their diabetes by offering real-time tips and advice based on their individual data. Patients can use DiabetesManager to not only track food consumption and blood sugar levels, but to take better control of self-management of their type 2 diabetes to support them in establishing long-term healthy habits and improved quality of life.
This highly-secure technology also empowers Centene nurse case managers to monitor patients virtually, so they can more efficiently intervene when necessary.
The State of Diabetes in Ohio ii
• Ohio has the highest diabetic population among the 14 states Centene serves.
• Diabetes prevalence among Ohio adults increased from six to 10 percent in less than a decade.
• Diabetes prevalence is approximately 13 percent within the black and Hispanic populations, which are likely to be medically underserved.
• If trend continues in Ohio as they have nationally, one in three adults will have diabetes.
• The prevalence of diabetes among adults with an annual income less than $25,000 is more than 32 percent.
• More than 23 percent of Ohio’s Medicaid program expenditures were spent on diabetes patients, who represent less than seven percent of the Medicaid population, based on 2004 statistics. iii
“This is a group that doesn’t get cell phones for work, and some may have never used a smartphone before,” said Dr. Mary Mason, Chief Medical Officer of Centene, adding that DiabetesManager has promise because it is operational on a broad range of cell phones, not only smartphones. “Diabetes patients in this program are faced with issues that extend beyond their daily health concerns, and our team is prepared to meet with them individually to train them and establish new habits in using this innovative mHealth solution.”
Managing the disease is a difficult road for any patient. Only 39 percent of patients with type 2 diabetes succeed in proper self-management, according to The Diabetes Attitudes Wishes and Needs (DAWN) study. iv Wireless technology is revolutionizing the way diabetes patients not only manage their glucose levels, but also obtain feedback on daily habits that may be hindering their progress. This initiative provides additional tools and resources to support patients by combining Centene’s healthcare expertise with AT&T’s continued commitment to mHealth solutions.
“This initiative is a testament to the value mHealth technology provides healthcare organizations that are constantly looking for ways to improve patient outcomes,” said Randall Porter, Assistant Vice President, AT&T ForHealth. “There is a real opportunity to make a difference for patients struggling with diabetes by offering a platform where healthcare providers and other caregivers can stay connected to patients on a regular basis.”
I Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies, The State of Poverty in Ohio, January 2011
II Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Diabetes Fact Sheet 2010**
II Ohio Department of Health*, Burden of Diabetes in Ohio 2008**
IV Cross-National Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs (DAWN) Study, “Psychosocial problems and barriers to improved diabetes management;” 2005
**This information is provided by the Ohio Department of Health and does not constitute an endorsement of this product.