Horizon BCBSNJ members can use mobile glucose monitors to manage diabetes

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey plans to help members monitor diabetes with cell phones, under an agreement with Livongo, provider of a chronic condition management platform.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey will give members more tools to monitor diabetes with cell phones, under an agreement with Livongo, provider of a chronic condition management platform.

The agreement, announced this past week, will make available Livongo’s diabetes solution for the nearly half a million New Jersey state and school employee health plan members.

Approximately 29,000 people were eligible for the diabetes program immediately, when the agreement was reached in 2019, with an additional 5,000 members anticipated to be added this year, Livongo says.

Livongo’s Applied Health Signals platform helps members manage their diabetes through the use of mobile devices integrated with continuous glucose monitors, round-the-clock access to health coaches and real-time health insights, the Mountain View, Calif.-based IT company says. The platform uses data analytics to determine unique health needs, which it combines with clinically based guidance to drive positive behavior change.

“As the prevalence and cost of chronic conditions continues to rise, we are excited to be able to offer these new tools and services to make it easier for our members to manage their health,” says Christin Deacon, assistant director for the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits.

Livongo CEO Zane Burke says the company has more than 770 clients, including four of the top seven health plans and more than 20 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Livingo also partners with two of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit managers. Its partnership with Horizon BCBSNJ is an example of the “significant progress” the company is making into broader markets, Burke says.

A 2019 study conducted in collaboration with Eli Lilly demonstrated that 94 percent of members who used Livongo’s diabetes management program improved their confidence in self-management of the condition while decreasing burnout related to diabetes management.

More health plans are putting into place digital strategies for containing costs and improving outcomes for chronic conditions. This month, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota began offering Omada Health’s type 2 diabetes digital care program to its commercial members, expanded from a digital diabetes prevention program begun in 2013 for state employees.

Last month, AllWays Health Partners, in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center, announced the launch of a new program that will use virtual group sessions along with other techniques to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

And in November, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts added Learn to Live’s evidence-based digital cognitive behavioral therapy to help its members struggling with depression, insomnia, stress and anxiety. The digital therapy will be available to employer clients with 500 or more members.

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