Flexibility and direct financial incentives may be key to increasing exams, reducing cases of avoidable blindness due to diabetic retinopathy.

Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal and Pursuant Health are rolling out a new health incentive program aimed at reducing the leading cause of avoidable blindness – diabetes.

From a press release issued today by Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal:

Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal has launched a new program that rewards members with Walmart gift cards for getting their yearly eye exams. Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness. Blindness due to diabetic retinopathy is completely preventable with early detection and annual screenings. Alameda and Contra Costa [and Fresno] Counties Blue Cross Medi-Cal members who complete their annual eye exams will be rewarded with Walmart gift cards that can be used to purchase healthy, nutritious items and earn additional rewards to combat the diabetes epidemic.

“Diabetes is taking a significant toll on people and families in California,” said Barsam Kasravi, MD, chief medical officer, Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal. “More than half of California’s population has diabetes or is at risk for developing the disease, which can lead to significant health issues, including loss of vision. Therefore, it is imperative that action be taken to improve the future health and lives of Alameda and Contra Costa residents.

You can read the full press release on Business Wire here.

According to the National Eye Institute, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among working age adults. According to the American Diabetes Association, “over time, high blood sugar levels from diabetes can lead to damage of the retina, the layer on the back of the eye that captures images and sends them to the brain.

“Eye damage can be occurring without any initial symptoms! That is why it is so important for people with diabetes to get regular eye examinations and catch problems before serious retinal changes occur.”

“Yet documented compliance with annual retinal exams is often less than 50 percent,” says Pursuant Health Chief Revenue Officer Ryan Sloan.

Pursuant Health currently screens more than 30 million Americans every year through its network of more than 3,600 self-service kiosks. In October, Pursuant debuted a first of its kind retinal screening system addition, placed specifically for diabetic retinopathy, to those kiosks. After completing the in-kiosk exam, images are read by a board certified ophthalmologist and results returned to the member’s primary care physician for evaluation and patient follow up. The company is currently seeking retail health and health plan partners to roll out additional U.S. pilots.

Are your incentive-based wellness programs struggling to achieve successful engagement rates? Pursuant Health provides the platform, data and outreach needed in order to drive member engagement and rewards positive behaviors.

To find out how we can help measurably boost your member engagement, wellness and population health initiatives, contact Henry McAlpin at henry.mcalpin@pursuanthealth.com.


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