Have You Heard the One…?
OK – have you heard the one about the physician, the insurance company and the pre-Diabetic guy?
Well it is no joke. Here is a scenario:
A 50-something man goes to see his physician and finds out that not only is he 60 pounds overweight, he’s pre-Diabetic. The physician prescribes a weight-loss regimen and a physical activity program. It all seems to make good sense.
If patients with pre-diabetes lose between 5 and 7% of their weight and they exercise half an hour every day, five days a week, the risk for developing diabetes type 2 Mellitus can be lowered by 60 percent in 3 years.
Insurance companies pay for this sort of advice exchange thousands of times each year. So, what’s the punchline?
People who find themselves in the pre-Diabetic situation are, more often than not, among those who simply do not like to exercise. Why is it so tough to get them doing the minimal quota of physical activity that could actually improve their wellness?
- They don’t have the family or social network that will help them maintain participation once they begin.
- In a world of endless choice, they don’t know what to do – they need and want a specific program designed appropriately for their age and condition. They need the program delivered by someone who knows how to interact with someone with that age and condition
- They need options that are relevant and access within 5-10 minutes of home – a network of destinations is ideal
- They need to enroll in the program – and then actually begin participation
- Somehow their compliance with the program must be shared with their physician or insurer in a non threatening manner
- Opportunity for social interaction and feeling “part of the group” should be inherent in program delivery
- The program should be reliably delivered with consistent and appropriate frequency, intensity and duration
- The “wellness destination” needs to be able to validate and administer the program easily.
How can one “wellness specialist” and program deliver all this? The answer is clear – they cannot. HCD designed the Wellness Resource Network for exactly the scenario described here. When hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on Type 2 Diabetes prevention and care via physical activity programming each year, it is time that we demand:
- Clear validation of what populations actually do
- A network of wellness participation that will engage that population over the long term
- One on one support programs are great – they cannot be scaled enough to make the difference we need now.