USA – As the prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes rises, Walmart Health’s national telehealth provider MeMD has launched the Walmart Health Virtual Care Diabetes Program, which aims to improve diabetes care through virtual care capabilities.
Walmart Health, which debuted in 2019, offers a wide range of healthcare services, including primary and urgent care, laboratory, X-ray and diagnostic, and behavioral health services.
MeMD was acquired by Walmart Health in May 2021. It offers telehealth services for a wide range of conditions, from minor injuries to behavioral health issues.
The new Walmart Health Virtual Care Diabetes Program will combine personalized diabetes education with behavioral health counseling.
The platform, which is available as a standalone or as part of a comprehensive medical and behavioral telehealth program, was created to assist employers and payors in closing gaps in diabetes management among employees and their families through early intervention with the goal of improving health outcomes.
Additionally, patients can also get necessary vaccinations, as well as low-cost insulin and diabetes medications, at any of the more than 4,600 Walmart pharmacies in the United States, according to the company.
With its US$4 generic prescription program and low-cost ReliOn insulin, as well as test kits and supplies, the company hopes to increase access to affordable medications.
In an initial consultation, practitioners in the program will review the patient’s history and background. They can then make an appointment with a licensed behavioral health therapist to fill any mental healthcare gaps.
The program’s goal is to reduce diabetes complications and educate providers on how to better manage conditions.
John Wigneswaran, MD, Walmart’s chief medical officer said in a press release, “Our aim is to empower patients with the most up-to-date diabetes education and clinical care so they can take control of their health.
“Our program focuses on a patient’s physical and mental health, which also helps employers maintain healthier workforces and drive down overall healthcare costs.”
Diabetes affects 37.3 million people in the United States, accounting for 11.3 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Collaboration with ADA
Walmart health also collaborated with the American Diabetes Association to create the evidence-based virtual program for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
“At the American Diabetes Association, we believe successful diabetes management starts with knowledge,” said Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief scientific and medical officer for the ADA.
“Education is key, and we are proud to partner with Walmart Health to develop a virtual diabetes management program for businesses.”
With the rise in telehealth since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing accessible, remote diabetes care has become more common.
The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) collaborated with a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in September 2021 to provide remote patient monitoring (RPM) services to diabetes patients.
The collaboration’s goal was to care for 1,000 patients, with UMMC providing a tablet service to FQHC patients with diabetes.
Virtual diabetes care is also becoming more popular, according to research. A study published in October 2021 discovered that remote patient monitoring helped people with type 2 diabetes lower their glycated hemoglobin (A1C) levels.
Pharmacists at St. Joseph’s/Candler health system in Savannah, Georgia, launched an RPM platform that pioneered a hybrid approach to diabetes care.
Researchers examined data from 30 patients with type 2 diabetes before and after RPM implementation, noting a steady decrease in A1C levels