Cigna, Omada Health expand diabetes prevention program

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Cigna is expanding access to digital healthcare company Omada Health’s diabetes prevention program, the health insurer announced Tuesday.

The expanded program will integrate Omada’s diabetes prevention program in Cigna health plans to prevent the onset of diabetes and other chronic diseases. The program will be available to employers starting in January.

The Omada program will be synchronized with other Cigna health services, including discounted gym membership program, health coaches and program accessibility via the myCigna mobile application. The health insurer also offers premium discounts and contributions to health savings accounts to reward progress in the program.

“We are excited to expand our relationship with Omada, and integrate their program into our full suite of health services that encourage individuals to focus on preventing serious health conditions,” says Dr. Alan Muney, chief medical officer and executive vice president at Cigna in a statement. “This collaboration represents some of the most important aspects of successful healthcare delivery — simplicity and convenience with tangible results for individual customers, and a seamless, data-driven approach with proven results for employers.”

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Measuring blood sugar on finger - diabetes and glicemia concept

The 16-week diabetes prevention program gives support to participants by providing them ongoing access to professional health coaches, peer group support and lessons on nutrition, exercise, and stress and time management. Participants also can integrate wireless scales, pedometers and mobile applications to help them track their progress. Omada offers IOS and Android apps, as well as web access for individuals using the program.

Sean Duffy, CEO of Omada Health, says the benefit of offering a digital program is that it is easier to customize it to fit the needs of each user. It also increases the likelihood that users will continue to use the program, as it can be logistically difficult for someone to show up to a coaching session every week.

“People are living their lives in front of their screens right now, and you have to meet people where they are,” Duffy says.

Omada also offers self-management programs for people living with Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

Cigna launched a pilot program with Omada in 2015 and led a $50 million fundraising round in the company last June. The diabetes prevention program received full recognition from the Centers for Disease Control in May.

Cigna provides employers with reports on the program’s engagement and outcomes. Coverage for the program is administered as a preventative care benefit.

Last week, Cigna launched a venture fund and committed $250 million of its own capital to invest in healthcare startups. The investment builds on Cigna’s existing venture activity that includes partnerships with Omada, Prognos, Contessa Health, MDLive and Cricket Health. A spokesperson from Cigna indicated that the updated diabetes prevention program was a separate announcement and effort from the venture fund.

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