PHARMACY

Medical care for pre-diabetes costs nation $25 billion annually, new data shows

BY Anna Mcgrath

WASHINGTON One-in-4 American adults suffers from a silent condition known as pre-diabetes, a condition that costs the nation $25 billion a year in medical costs, according to new data.

Studies also show healthcare costs attributed with some 180,000 pregnant women diagnosed with gestational diabetes are estimated at $623 million a year.

In response to high diabetic healthcare costs, The American Diabetes Association recently engaged The Lewin Group to build upon a 2008 study that determined the estimated total direct and indirect costs of diagnosed diabetes in the United States to be $174 billion. 

“It is absolutely critical that we understand the economic impact of diabetes on the nation so that we can develop health care policies that can effectively support the necessary behavior change and aggressive medical management needed to stem the diabetes epidemic,” said Dana Haza, senior director of NCDP, an initiative created by Novo Nordisk to drive systems change at the national and local level.

The studies, conducted by The Lewin Group, can be found in the current edition of the peer-reviewed journal Population Health Management.

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NBGH recognizes employers that promote healthy living

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON A nonprofit organization has awarded more than 60 employers for promoting healthy living.

The National Business Group on Health announced Wednesday that it had recognized 63 large employers as the winners of the “2009 Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles” award.

“We are proud to recognize 63 large employers for their unparalleled commitment to a healthy workplace and for making their employees’ health and well-being a top priority,” NGBH president Helen Darling said. “Employers know first-hand that a healthy workforce is essential to increasing productivity and to maintaining a competitive edge in the new global economy.”

Companies that won the award – given in Platinum, Gold and Silver categories – included Hannaford Supermarkets, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, CVS Caremark, General Mills, Wal-Mart, Cardinal Health, Meijer and Target.

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MinuteClinic becomes participating provider in all CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield plans

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS MinuteClinic is now a participating provider in insurance plans offered by CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the company announced on Wednesday.

Nearly 3.4 million CareFirst members now have in-network access to MinuteClinic healthcare centers located inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in Maryland and portions of northern Virginia in the CareFirst service area.

Previously, MinuteClinic was a participating provider with CareFirst’s preferred provider and federal employee plans in Maryland only.

“This is an important development in the growth of our business in Maryland and northern Virginia as we expand access to care to new customers,” stated Chip Phillips, MinuteClinic president. “By offering high-quality treatment in a convenient setting, we are working with CareFirst to help reduce healthcare insurance expenses for its members, as well as time spent away from members’ families and the workplace.”

MinuteClinic, which is owned by CVS Caremark, has about 500 locations in 25 states.

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