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Incentives and Pharmacist Coaches Lead to Improved Health and Lower Health Care Costs for Diabetic Patients
Date:5/7/2009

MBGH program helps Chicago employers reduce costs by $1,467 per participant

CHICAGO, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the non-profit Midwest Business Group on Health announced the first-year results of Taking Control of Your Health (TCYH), an employer-based diabetes management program, at its annual conference being held May 7-8. The results indicate high satisfaction, cost savings and improvement in key clinical indicators used to measure how well a patient is managing their diabetes. In just one year, the employers' return on investment of actual savings per participant was $1,467 or $126,162 for all 86 participants, compared to the projected costs for diabetics not in the program. Average total health care costs for participants declined by almost $625.

The TCYH program, which now has over 200 participating patients, is open to covered employees, dependents and retirees from employer members of the Midwest Business Group on Health. There are three unique elements of the program: 1) The employer reduces or waives co-pays for diabetic drugs and supplies; 2) The patient signs an agreement that commits them to education and face-to-face coaching on diabetes self-management in return for the reduced drug costs; and 3) Pharmacists are trained as diabetes coaches to assist patients on a regular basis. MBGH partners with the Illinois Pharmacist Association to train pharmacists in patient education, monitoring of clinical conditions and motivation according to guidelines of the American Diabetes Association. The objective is to enable patients to reach individual goals for medication compliance, fitness and weight management.

The first-year results looked at 86 participants who received benefits from four Chicago-area based employers: the City of Naperville, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Hospira and Pactiv Corporation.

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SOURCE Midwest Business Group on Health
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