Rite Aid Joins Alliance to Provide Counseling for Diabetes Patients

Published Online: Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Rite Aid is joining the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA), an initiative designed to combat diabetes and obesity by expanding access to community-based programs that use evidence-based approaches to help prevent and manage the condition.

Rite Aid will provide patient education and support from trained pharmacists to help patients with diabetes better control their condition and reduce the risk of developing complications from diabetes, such as cardiovascular, kidney, and eye disease. The program is available in select New York City Rite Aid stores in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, and is coming to select stores in Washington, D.C., in mid-October. In-store pharmacists in select locations will consult quarterly with enrolled patients to evaluate their success adhering to prescribed diabetes regimens and to review patients’ test results for blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol.

“We welcome Rite Aid as a new Alliance partner, and with its added support, we look forward to helping more people across the country take control of their diabetes and improve their health,” said Deneen Vojta, MD, senior vice president, UnitedHealth Group and chief clinical officer of the DPCA.

UnitedHealth Group created the Alliance to help address the growing epidemic of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. The 2 main components are: the Diabetes Control Program, designed to reduce health complications among people with diabetes; and the Diabetes Prevention Program, which seeks to prevent the onset of diabetes among people who are at higher risk for the disease.

“Diabetes is taking a staggering toll on the health of our country,” said Robert I. Thompson, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy, in a statement. Through the program, patients can receive “one-on-one counseling from a Rite Aid pharmacist specifically trained in diabetes care and medication therapy management. This type of care has been proven to better manage diabetes and improve overall health, lowering health care costs in the long run.”

Diabetes Control Program: Reducing Dangerous, Costly Diabetes Complications
The Diabetes Control Program provides individuals with diabetes access to trained pharmacists who provide personalized coaching and counseling to help improve adherence to treatment plans. Face-to-face consultations with community pharmacists have long proved effective in controlling diabetes and other chronic diseases. The goal of the Control Program is for patients to lower their blood glucose and HbA1c levels, an indicator of glucose management. According to the National Institutes of Health, every percentage point drop in HbA1c correlates to a 40-percent decreased risk of developing complications from diabetes such as heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and limb amputations.

Pharmacy partners receive incentive payments based on participants’ results, helping to drive performance. For example, Rite Aid pharmacies will receive incentive payments based on their participating patients’ weight loss, improvement in their blood glucose control and decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as reimbursement for each patient’s participation. Advanced health plan swipe-card technology introduced by UnitedHealth Group also will enable the pharmacies to process payments at the point of service and be paid within 24 hours. Rite Aid is joining existing Alliance partners including UnitedHealth Group, the Y and other prominent pharmacy retailers.

Diabetes Prevention Program: Addressing Obesity to Prevent Diabetes
The Diabetes Prevention Program, offered through the Y, uses a group-based lifestyle intervention designed especially for individuals with prediabetes.

Services offered by the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance may be contracted by any health insurer or plan sponsor. The Alliance marks the first time in the United States that a health plan is paying for evidence-based diabetes prevention and engaging pharmacists to support critical diabetes management programs. DPCA services are currently available at no out-of-pocket cost to participants enrolled in employer-provided health insurance plans through UnitedHealthcare in select markets.
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