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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: May 11, 2010
Blues Plans Setting Sights On Sugar And Fat

A new Pediatric Obesity and Diabetes Prevention Pilot Program has been launched by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) in five states in an effort to help stem childhood obesity and to prevent future cases of diabetes.

The pilot program consists of an easy-to-use obesity and diabetes prevention toolkit designed forphysicians including reference materials, as well as educational and behavior changing tools for doctors to share with patients and parents.

The toolkit, developed in consultation with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), encourages healthy choices and behaviors. Blues plans in Texas, New Mexico, Mississippi, North Carolina and Kansas City, Mo. are in the pilot program.

"Diabetes is not merely a condition … it is an epidemic," said Larry Hausner, ADA CEO. Nearly 24 million children and adults in the United States live with diabetes and an additional 57 million Americans are at risk, making the status quo "unbearable," he added.

The toolkit materials display healthy messages from The Good Health Club, featuring a group of animal characters with messages encouraging healthy eating and physical activity.

The pilot program includes more than 1,600 physician practices. Toolkits will be tested through participating Blues. Nationally, the Blues cover more than 100 million Americans and boast that 80 percent of U.S. doctors participate in their plans.

"Although chronic diseases [such as] diabetes are among the most common and costly health problems, they are also among the most preventable," said Ken Thorpe, executive director, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. The Atlanta-based Partnership is a national- and state-based coalition of patients, providers, business, labor and health policy experts.

Upon conclusion of the pilot, BCBSA will use the findings to create a toolkit to be made available nationally.

Address: Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, 225 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60601; www.bcbs.com.


  This article was taken from:
The Executive Report on Managed Care

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