AllWays tackles diabetes with virtual prevention program

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AllWays Health Partners is starting a program that will use virtual group sessions along with other techniques to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Somerville, Mass.-based Allways is a health plan that serves commercial members throughout Massachusetts and MassHealth members enrolled in My Care Family, an accountable care organization. The new diabetes prevention program, called “Path to Lifestyle Change,” will be offered free to AllWays members who have been identified as being at-risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The program is being run in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as one in four individuals with diabetes are unaware they have the disease. AllWays says its goal in launching the program is to help at-risk patients reduce their weight by seven percent and increase their minimum time spent exercising to 150 minutes per week—goals that research has proven can reduce the risk developing type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent for all adults under age 60 and by more than 70 percent for people older than 60.

For the program, lifestyle coaches from MGH will help patients improve their diet and exercise regimens using a curriculum developed by MGH. Information and resources will be given to patients during virtual group sessions, with the goal of helping them maintain momentum in their lifestyle changes. The lifestyle coaches will monitor the progress of program enrollees and engage with them regularly to motivate success, recommend needed clinical interventions and to suggest other healthy lifestyle resources available through Partners HealthCare and AllWays.

The approach in the program has been proven to be effective, AllWays says. A randomized, controlled clinical trial showed that completing this lifestyle change program reduced program participants’ chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent (71 percent for individuals aged 60 and older), nearly twice as much as the reduction among the group taking metformin (31 percent), a drug commonly used for diabetes management.

“The Path to Lifestyle Change is the latest collaboration between Partners and AllWays designed to promote healthy living habits,” says Tony Dodek, chief medical officer for AllWays Health Partners. “We are employing proven strategies that will have a real and positive impact on the quality of life of our members by helping to prevent potential diseases.”

In addition to the Path to Lifestyle Change, HealthCare and AllWays are also offering the iHeart Champion program, a remote medical management approach from Brigham Health that helps high-risk patients reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke.

AllWays Health Partners says it is dedicated to transforming the health insurance experience by challenging the status quo and putting the needs of members front-and-center. “As a member of Partners HealthCare, we are helping to redefine the provider-payer relationship to improve both care and coverage,” executives of the plan say.

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