Last fall, Brian Sekula, President and CEO of Health Performance Institute (HPI), took to the blog to pen a guest post about how to manage Type 2 Diabetes at your company and how proactive analytics, biometric testing and wellbeing programs can go a long way in finding and treating conditions that are common in the workplace. Today, Brian returns to share more information on implementing a Type 2 Diabetes strategy, including how analytics and data can help improve an existing program.
There are many reasons organizations should implement a strategy for handling Type 2 Diabetes among their employees, but there are three that stand out:
1. Current population estimates are inaccurate
2. Long term, Type 2 Diabetes is the most expensive condition to treat
3. Treatment doesn’t improve the condition
Most population estimates are derive from fasting blood glucose tests, which lack accuracy in predicting Type 2 Diabetes. Rather, a better test is hemoglobin A1c (or simply A1c), which measures blood sugar control over the previous 60-90 days.
The CDC estimates that approximately 30 million adults in the US have Type 2 Diabetes – diagnosed or undiagnosed – and that one in three adults can be considered pre-diabetic. However, a recent publication showed that, when using A1c as an indicator (as opposed to fasting blood glucose tests), more than 50 percent of the adult population in the US fell into the category of being undiagnosed, diagnosed or pre-diabetic. This is a significant issue.
As part of your Type 2 Diabetes strategy, we recommend that A1c data be a part of the biometrics that are collected on your employee population. Furthermore, we recommend housing this information in an appropriate analytics platform, something that will allow your organization to do two important things:
1. Measure the impact
Have a more accurate picture of the impact Type 2 Diabetes is having on your employee population. Additionally, since Type 2 Diabetes is one of the most expensive conditions to have, having this picture will provide you some insight as to why your healthcare expenses are so high.
2. Improve decision making
Make better decisions regarding strategy implementation and vendor selection.
As you work to identify ways to reduce your healthcare expenses, implementing an effective strategy for Type 2 Diabetes should be part of your plan. To make the plan effective, it’s important to incorporate A1c as part of your biometric screening and to use that information with an appropriate software platform that will allow you to both understand the impact of the disease and track your population health progress.
To read more about the final two reasons why implementing a diabetes plan is important, you can read Brian’s full article on LinkedIn.
Having a plan in place to find and treat Type 2 Diabetes within your population is more important than ever. Like Brian mentioned, one part of a successful plan is to work with vendors who are equipped with the proper programs to skills to help you discover and empower treatment of the condition (like partnering with a vendor that can help you get A1c numbers through biometric screening). Perhaps you currently have an analytics or wellbeing program in place, but the results aren’t what you’re looking for and, for example, expensive conditions like Type 2 Diabetes are going untreated or participation rates are low.
This is where DHS Group can help. We take the lessons you have learned and re-deploy them on an integrated platform that includes both analytics and wellbeing – a change that, most importantly, will result in healthier and happier employees, but also cost savings.