For self-insured companies, it’s critical to offer superior and specialized care management as a health benefit for employees. Learning you have a complex medical condition can be scary and overwhelming but having a dedicated support team with experience in specific diseases can make the diagnosis easier for employees to understand and seek treatment.
Take, for example, diabetes—a diagnosis that can touch almost every facet of an employee’s life: physical, mental, emotional, occupational, financial, and even spiritual. Research from The Commonwealth Fund, The New York Times and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that when Americans face a serious diagnosis—such as diabetes—they often feel confused and helpless (62%), fear financial ruin (53%) and experience serious issues with their level of care (61%).
“That’s why Lucent Health offers specialized care management—powered by Narus Health—that goes beyond medical expertise and offers compassionate support,” explains Sheila Goode, a certified case manager at Lucent Health. “In 2021, we hired Jana Gaston, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, to help members manage their diabetes.”
Gaston has years of clinical experience helping patients make healthier choices and improve their quality of life. But she also brings her personal experience with diabetes to the table.
“I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 45 years ago,” Gaston says. “I’m able to use my own experience with the disease to bring empathy and understanding to the people I’m serving. I can meet people where they are and deliver specialized care.”
The Benefits of Specialized Care Management
Having a certified diabetes educator on our complex care management team means that members have someone to reach out to about managing the disease, technology and devices, nutrition and exercise, and more.
“When I first connect with a member, I start with an assessment,” Gaston says. “I ask questions about their medication, diet, exercise routines, blood sugar levels and devices they use. It’s important to gather every piece of information so that I can more easily pinpoint areas of improvement.”
Lucent Health’s specialized diabetes care management team can also help members in other ways, too.
- Help control glucose levels. Although there is no cure for diabetes, it can be managed by controlling blood glucose levels. “Many people do not understand how their medication affects them—and how taking it at a certain time of day may impact their blood sugar levels,” Gaston explains. “Those are problems that can be addressed easily with education.” She works with diabetic members to help them keep track of their blood glucose levels and offers education on ways to keep them in check—through weight loss, healthy meals, exercise and physical activity, and correct
- Help prevent complications or related A diabetes diagnosis can increase your risk for other health conditions, such as neuropathy, skin, eye and foot complications, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and stroke. Gaston works with members to ensure they are proactive about cholesterol screenings, podiatry exams and eye care visits to prevent complications.
- Help locate resources for diabetic patients. Members with diabetes often need compression stockings, prescription glasses, glucose monitors, insulin delivery pumps, and Gaston helps members determine what works for their specific needs.
The Financial Benefit
With Lucent Health’s care management platform, powered by Narus Health, members with diabetes (and their selected family members and medical providers) have access to their care team—including Gaston—through phone, and secure text messaging.
“The platform is a simple and convenient way for members to log their symptoms and glucose levels, manage prescriptions, find education materials related to diabetes, share care plans and medical documents, and have secure text conversations with caregivers and members of the care team,” Goode says.
Studies show that platforms like ours work—and save members money. Because diabetes can lead to other conditions and complications, medical expenses for those with the disease are approximately 2.3 times higher on average compared to people without diabetes. But a 2019 study from the University of California at Berkeley found that people living with diabetes who use a mobile health platform for care management save approximately $88 a month in medical costs.
For more about Lucent Health’s complex care management program, visit https://lucenthealth.com/for-employees.