Humana’s Sarah Ahmad, vice president of consumer health solutions, and Todd Prewitt, director of clinical best practices, recently spoke with Managed Healthcare Executive about the importance of fighting obesity and the many ways that Humana is helping its members address obesity and its related complications.
Sarah explained Humana’s partnership with San Francisco-based Omada Health and its online Prevent program. The 16-week program provides a health coach, smart technology, online support groups and an interactive curriculum to change participants’ behaviors.
“The communication about the program actually comes from patients’ doctors—rather than the insurer,” the magazine wrote. “The message received by patients has to be right—whether they’re learning about the Prevent program from a personal conversation or a letter from their doctor. And the way the doctor delivers this message to patients is just as important as the news itself—which is all the more reason focusing on the conditions associated with obesity is important.”
A trial group of nearly 500 Humana Medicare Advantage members have achieved success with the program. Six months after beginning the program, Prevent graduates lost an average of 8.7 percent of their body weight. Data from the Diabetes Prevention Program clinical trial indicates this level of weight loss in at-risk individuals over 60 years old is associated with a 71 percent reduction in type 2 diabetes risk at three years.
The article also noted that chronic conditions like diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, and the risk of heart attack or stroke are related to obesity. Todd recommended that doctors lead with those facts when they talk with their patients.
“You don’t go in first with obesity. You actually go in with the complications, which are the underlying driver of obesity,” he says.