New Diabetes Program to Target Patients of Hispanic and African American Descent

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Aetna, one of the leading diversified health care benefits companies in the US, serving approximately 35.4 million people, announced a pilot program aimed at improving the care of diabetic patients of Hispanic and African American descent. The new program is a year-long initiative that includes adding a bilingual diabetes educator, as well as introducing culturally appropriate materials to educate and engage patients in their health care. The pilot, which will be conducted in cooperation with the Medical Clinic of North Texas, will strengthen Aetna’s ongoing efforts to reduce disparities in health care, as well as develop and deliver culturally appropriate care for its members.

The success of the pilot will be determined by the health outcomes of the patients, which will be based on 17 distinct measures. These measures include improving levels of diabetic control, such as medication compliance, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol rates, eye and foot screening rates, as well as other measures of quality health care, such as reducing avoidable inpatient and emergency room stays.

A primary component of the pilot is the hiring of a part-time bilingual diabetes educator, who will serve as a care coordinator to assist in diabetic education and patient coaching. Additionally, patients and staff will be provided with bilingual, culturally competent educational materials that are easy to understand. These include brochures produced by the American College of Physicians Foundation as well as materials from the Joslin Diabetes Center, considered the world’s preeminent diabetes research and clinical care organization.

The pilot will be conducted in cooperation with the Medical Clinic of North Texas.

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