UnitedHealthcare Brings Clinically Proven Diabetes Prevention and Control
Programs to Los Angeles County Employees
*Community-based Diabetes Prevention Program at local Ys will help
participants reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes through
*Diabetes Control Program at select Ralphs and Vons pharmacies will help
patients better control their diabetes and reduce its devastating
*Actors and professional dancers Allison Holker and Stephen “tWitch” Boss
lead group fitness/dance activities at the Fourth Annual Countywide
LOS ANGELES -- May 21, 2013
UnitedHealthcare, in partnership with the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles,
and Ralphs and Vons pharmacies, is making Diabetes Prevention and Control
Alliance (DPCA) programs available to Los Angeles County employees and their
Actors and professional dancers Stephen "tWitch" Boss (left) Allison Holker
(right) of "So You Think ...
Actors and professional dancers Stephen "tWitch" Boss (left) Allison Holker
(right) of "So You Think You Can Dance" lead Los Angeles County employees in a
group dance activity Tuesday, May 21, at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles.
Holker and Boss helped announce UnitedHealthcare's expansion of the Diabetes
Prevention & Control Alliance programs to Los Angeles County employees. The
announcement was made at the Fourth Annual Countywide Fitness Challenge at
Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles where early 1,000 county employees attended
(Photo: Jamie Rector).
The DPCA, launched in 2010 through a partnership with UnitedHealth Group, YMCA
of the USA and retail pharmacies, is a clinically proven community-based
initiative aimed at tackling the epidemic of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
UnitedHealthcare is the first health plan to offer the DPCA programs in Los
Angeles County. The programs will be made available at no additional cost to
Los Angeles County employees and their family members who are enrolled in
UnitedHealthcare health plans. This marks the first time in the area that a
health plan is paying for evidence-based diabetes prevention and engaging
pharmacists to support critical diabetes management programs.
UnitedHealthcare’s expansion of the DPCA program was announced during the
kick-off event for the Fourth Annual Countywide Fitness Challenge at Grand
Park in downtown Los Angeles, where nearly 1,000 county employees participated
in various fitness activities including free health screenings and exercise
demonstrations. Actors and professional dancers Allison Holker and Stephen
“tWitch” Boss of So You Think You Can Dance helped lead attendees in a group
“The prevalence of diabetes in Los Angeles County continues to rise, affecting
families’ health and contributing to higher health care costs,” said Mark
Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles County supervisor. “By launching UnitedHealthcare’s
DPCA program for county employees and their families, we are taking an
important step in helping prevent and control diabetes with proven,
evidence-based programs that will increase awareness through education and
activities aimed at making a positive impact.”
The DPCA has two core components:
*The Diabetes Prevention Program – an innovative lifestyle coaching program
conducted in a group setting through the Y – that helps people with
prediabetes and who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes
prevent or delay the onset of the disease through healthy eating,
increased physical activity and other lifestyle changes. It is a year-long
program with 16 weekly sessions, followed by monthly follow-up meetings.
The program is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program led by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
*The Diabetes Control Program (DCP), which offers private, one-on-one
consultation with pharmacists who provide education and support to help
people with diabetes better control their condition and reduce the risk of
developing complications from diabetes. In Los Angeles, the DCP will be
offered at select Ralphs and Vons pharmacies.
UnitedHealthcare’s research has found the prevalence of diabetes among Los
Angeles County employees has risen an additional 3 percent in the past year,
12 percent above the rate among UnitedHealthcare plan participants in
California. The disease now affects more than 7 percent of the county’s 50,000
employees and families enrolled in UnitedHealthcare benefit plans, driving
$1.3 million in pharmacy costs. This is significant, considering the cost of
care for a person with diabetes is almost nine times higher than that of a
Last year, the American Diabetes Association, Los Angeles released a report
citing that nearly 10 percent of adults in Los Angeles County have diabetes;
it is now the fifth leading cause of death in the county. The study
demonstrated increases in the disease among all income and ethnic groups, with
slightly more cases among men than women.
Across the nation, there are nearly 27 million American adults with diabetes –
90 percent or more of them with the often preventable form, type 2 diabetes.
Another 79 million Americans – more than a third of the adult population –
have prediabetes, the precursor to type 2 diabetes. If current trends
continue, more than half of all Americans will have diabetes or prediabetes by
2020, according to an analysis from the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform
& Modernization. By the end of the decade, diabetes and prediabetes will
account for $500 billion in health care spending annually – up from an
estimated $194 billion this year.
“Diabetes is taking a staggering toll on children, families and communities in
Los Angeles County and throughout California,” said Brandon Cuevas, CEO,
UnitedHealthcare of California. “The Diabetes Prevention and Diabetes Control
programs enable Los Angeles County employees to take control of their health.
We look forward to working with the L.A. Department of Public Health to
increase awareness of meaningful lifestyle changes that can help people
improve progress against an epidemic that threatens our nation’s health and
The Diabetes Prevention Program
The program uses a group-based lifestyle intervention designed especially for
people with prediabetes. Research from the Diabetes Prevention Program
clinical trial, led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with support
from the CDC, demonstrated that with lifestyle changes and modest weight
reduction of 5-7 percent, a person with prediabetes can prevent or delay the
onset of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.
“Diabetes is a serious health condition that can lead to heart disease,
stroke, kidney failure, high blood pressure and blindness,” said Jennifer
Bolger, vice president of Healthy Living for the YMCA of Metropolitan Los
Angeles. “Prediabetes is a potentially reversible condition that often leads
to diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, or believe you may
be at risk for developing the disease, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program
will help you learn about and adopt the healthy eating and physical activity
habits that have been proven to reduce the risk of developing type 2
The Diabetes Control Program
Ralphs, which has 128 stores in Los Angeles County, and Vons, which has 276
stores in the region, will offer the Diabetes Control Program geared toward
helping people with diabetes better manage their disease and reduce the risk
of developing related complications. This program provides people with
diabetes access to local pharmacists trained to help manage their condition
and improve adherence to physicians’ care treatment plans. In-store
pharmacists at select Ralphs and Vons locations will conduct blood glucose,
cholesterol and blood pressure testing services for program participants and
provide them with on-the-spot results, enabling them to get immediate feedback
on their progress.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier
lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and
wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The
company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals,
employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with
780,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care
facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in
health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:
UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.
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Matthew Yi, 714-822-1097
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