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Asheville, North Carolina recently saved $25,000 in treating diabetes-related conditions under its self-funded health insurance program. The city owes its savings to a novel pilot project conceived by the North Carolina Center for Pharmaceutical Care in cooperation with Mission St. Joseph's Hospital System and local pharmacies.
The project had local pharmacists provide diabetes counseling to city employees and check glucose readings. As an incentive to the employees, the city supplied free glucose meters and waived all co-payments.
The pharmacists reduced the need for extensive, and costly, medical treatment among city staff with diabetes by detecting problems before they became very serious. The gross savings realized over the six-month study period was $86,000. After subtracting co-payment costs, fees paid to the pharmacists, baseline HbA1c tests, and the cost of the glucose meters, the net savings was $25,000. In addition to saving money, the average HbA1c level for the group dropped by 1.5 percent. According to John Miall, Asheville's risk management director, "We never dreamed of this kind of result when we started."
For more information, contact John Miall at (704) 259-5684.
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.