Depression and Diabetes
The combination of depression and diabetes is common and potentially dangerous. People with depression can find it hard to make the lifestyle changes needed to manage diabetes. If not well managed, diabetes often leads to additional health issues, like heart, circulatory and kidney disease. Today, Aetna (NYSE:AET) and AbilTo are announcing a new program to help members with diabetes combat depression and take control of their diabetes.
"More than 25 million adults suffer from diabetes. This group is twice as likely as others to suffer from depression," said Michael Golinkoff, Ph.D., senior advisor, Aetna Behavioral Health Operations."Depression increases the risk of more health problems, higher prescription drug use and additional medical visits. If we can help members effectively manage depression, we can help members control diabetes and have better health."
Aetna's Care Management teams identify eligible members and invite them to join AbilTo's Diabetes Forum. The program began in June for members in Aetna's commercial self-insured and fully insured medical plans in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.
During the eight-week program, members meet with a therapist who helps them address the emotional challenges that come with diabetes. They also have a behavioral coach who helps them make healthier lifestyle choices. Members meet with the same therapists and coaches throughout their programs. Sessions can be conducted by telephone or video conferencing.