To identify people with diabetes who underutilize healthcare, you don’t need real-time video hookups or smartphone apps. You just need a lot of data to find the people and a big physical infrastructure to deliver the care.
That’s the approach theNational Association of Area Agencies on Aging is proposing to cut the costs of diabetes care. The group has teamed up with the National Minority Quality Forum to identify and track people in the early stages of diabetes, and particularly focus on people who underconsume healthcare. The idea is to help diabetics before their disease gets to the point where it’s difficult and expensive to manage.
N4A presented its Diabetes Care Center proposal at the Sanofi Data Design Diabetes Innovation Challenge this week in New York. Part of the competition is public voting. Check out the four other competitors and vote for the best idea here.
N4A’s predictive analysis system uses tools already in place. N4A staff would make the initial contact with diabetics and identify barriers to accessing proper healthcare and provide appropriate services to them. The association assists older Americans with health, independence and productivity.
In an interview with MedCity News, Courtney Baldridge of the N4A said: “The benefit of our network being involved in this is we can absolutely go to scale and they are on the ground already doing similar activities.”
Baldridge added: “We think the problem is we are going after patients too late in the progression of the disease and we need to focus on core data management. About 50 percent with diabetes go to the hospital and ER every year and a lot of that is avoidable. There’s a tremendous financial toll and we have really been quite unsuccessful in addressing this.”
The business model is based on a fee-for-service plan, with health plans and employers providing services.
Addressing audience members at the Demo Day for Sanofi’s (NYSE:SNY) innovation challenge, the company said Medicaid and Medicare would get the return on investment. Since adverse events cost $30,000 at a time, the company said cost savings for avoiding these could be considerable.
The National Minority Quality Forum tracks diabetes in the U.S. using the “D-Atlas” to identify hospitalizations, cost disparities across legislative districts. It would focus on recruiting diabetics in the early stages of the disease and where the majority of people with the disease live: across 8,000 of the 80,000 zip codes in the country.
According to statistics from Gary Puckerein, the CEO of the forum, 30 percent of diabetics do not use all the treatment options available to them.
N4A is one of five semifinalists participating in Sanofi’s Data Design Diabetes Innovation Challenge, which held its Demo Day yesterday. Two finalists will be selected based on public voting from May 17 to 23. They will get $10,000 each to get feedback from a community of people with diabetes. The winner will be announced in July.