Beginning this month, Aetna (NYSE: AET) and Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) will work with doctors in a new program to reach up to 300 fully insured members with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes who may improve their health using insulin pump therapy. Eligible members will receive targeted education, case management and other patient support to help control blood sugar, which also may lower their health care costs. Information gathered from the program also is expected to help doctors and other health care providers more easily identify and support those who can benefit most from this therapy.
"We want to help members with type 2 diabetes to enjoy a more flexible lifestyle and have better glucose control. Improving education and assistance for those learning to use insulin pumps may help increase consideration and successful use of a proven therapy that can help them achieve these goals," said Ed Pezalla, M.D., Aetna's national medical director for pharmacy policy and strategy. "We also are excited to create value-based arrangements with companies like Medtronic who are ready to share accountability for the role their products and services play in improving members' health."
Using claims data, Aetna will identify members who may be good candidates for insulin pumps and, with Medtronic, will notify their doctors about the program. If a doctor and member decide to use a Medtronic insulin pump, the member will be enrolled in Medtronic's Getting2GoalSM program, designed to help simplify insulin pump therapy. Additionally members benefit from StartRightSM, Medtronic's comprehensive and personalized onboarding program to help increase success, confidence and engagement in transitioning to insulin pump therapy.
"Insulin pumps have been shown to improve glucose control in people with insulin-dependent diabetes and better glucose control reduces the risk of diabetes complications. By working with Aetna, we look forward to supporting health care providers and patients so that they can enjoy the quality of life that can come from fewer hospital visits, better glucose control and a simplified diabetes management routine," said Francine Kaufman, M.D., chief medical officer and vice president of global clinical affairs for the Diabetes business of Medtronic.
The program is expected to run for two years. Aetna and Medtronic will evaluate the rate of success in glucose control among participants and determine the impact of the program on overall health outcomes and medical costs such as reduced ER and hospital stays and optimized diabetes medication regimens.
"We are working with health care companies in new ways to deliver value," Pezalla said. "The program is another step in creating a sustainable health care system that supports better health outcomes and lower costs for consumers."
*Doctors can prescribe the insulin pump or other therapy of their choice. However, only members who use Medtronic pumps will be included in the pilot program and have access to Medtronic's support programs.