More than 37.3 million people, or 11.3% of the population, are living with diabetes, making it an epidemic in the United States. In Nevada alone, 11.5% of the population is diagnosed with diabetes.
Recognizing this pressing health concern, Health Plan of Nevada (HPN), a UnitedHealthcare company, worked with Mom’s Meals® to provide fully prepared, diabetes friendly, home-delivered meals to diabetic Medicaid members, as part of a 12-week pilot program.
Good nutrition and improved access to diabetic friendly options can help reduce A1c levels (a measure of average blood glucose levels over the last three months) and therefore, help control diabetes.
Targeting type 2 diabetes, HPN was able to support 125 eligible Medicaid members who participated in the pilot program. The program included:
- 12 weeks of educational disease management counseling with a registered nurse (RN) specializing in diabetes
- 8 weeks of diabetes friendly meals from Mom’s Meals
The results exceeded expectations.
“On average, (HPN) Medicaid members who participated in the pilot program with Mom’s Meals saw a decrease in their A1c of 1.9 points,” said Kelly Simonson, CEO of HPN Medicaid.
Subsequently, the program also saw the following results:
- 32% decrease in total cost of care
- 82% decrease in acute inpatient costs
- Overall increase in diabetes management program engagement
Following the success of the pilot phase, HPN and Mom’s Meals expanded its program to include adult Medicaid members affected by type 1 diabetes.
Isabella Brawer has dealt with the effects of type 2 diabetes ever since she can remember. Isabella is HPN member and participated this pilot program in 2022. This program helped ease her stress of living with diabetes while also improving her overall health by having access to healthy food options and consistent hands-on communication with her HPN-certified diabetes educator, Teresa Shepard.
“The best part of this program is the education I received over the course of 12 weeks,” Isabella said. “With my case manager’s guidance, the variety of food and exercise options, I noticed an improvement in my day-to-day life – I wasn’t tired at work and my health was in a better place overall. This program improved my life in more ways than one.”
Isabella said she enjoyed the variety of meals the program provided, never growing bored or feeling stagnant of the options. She also noticed an increase in energy throughout her workday. Without the burden of having to plan, shop and create healthy meals, Isabella was able to focus on her diabetes self-management skills.
She plans to implement the healthy habits she learned through this program into her daily routine.
Seeing the positive effect of the program on Isabella’s life, Teresa said she is thrilled with the expansion of the program to include type 1 diabetes members.
“The success of the program is so vital for the overall health of our members because diabetes affects so many different aspects of life,” Teresa said. “The ultimate goal of the program is to ensure the member has the right tools to achieve a healthy lifestyle, which in turn improves other aspects of disease management like medical costs, program engagement and A1c levels.”
To learn more about HPN, visit takingonhealthy.com.