UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, is expanding the reach of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA), a community-based initiative aimed at tackling the epidemic of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. The health plan, in partnership with the Y and Smith’s and Vons pharmacies, is bringing the DPCA’s programs to Las Vegas and the surrounding communities of Clark County beginning immediately.
The DPCA was launched in 2010 through a partnership with UnitedHealth Group, YMCA of the USA and retail pharmacies. UnitedHealthcare is the first health plan to offer the DPCA’s programs in Nevada. The DPCA’s programs will be made available at no additional cost to participants enrolled in employer-sponsored health benefit plans through UnitedHealthcare and its affiliates Health Plan of Nevada and Sierra Health and Life. This marks the first time in the region that a health plan is paying for evidence-based diabetes prevention programs and engaging pharmacists to support critical diabetes management.
The DPCA is anchored by two evidence-based programs that are each based on curriculum that has been clinically proven to help prevent, delay the onset of and/or control type 2 diabetes:
- The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), which is an innovative lifestyle coaching program conducted in a group setting through the Y that helps people with prediabetes and who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes prevent or delay the onset of the disease through healthy eating, increased physical activity and other lifestyle changes. It is a year-long program with 16 weekly sessions and then monthly follow-up. The DPP is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- The Diabetes Control Program (DCP), which offers private, one-on-one consultation with pharmacists who provide education and support to help people with diabetes better control their condition and reduce the risk of developing complications from diabetes. In the Las Vegas area, the DCP will be offered at select Smith’s and Vons pharmacies.
In Nevada, 8 percent of the population has diabetes, and diabetes costs the state $167 million annually, according to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. Diabetes is closely tied to obesity, and according to the CDC, 63 percent of Nevada adults are overweight or obese. The prevalence of diabetes in Clark County is 8.2 percent, slightly higher than the state rate.