This post was originally published on the Fitbit press site. It has been adapted from its original format.
WellCare of Georgia, a WellCare Health Plans, Inc. company, is partnering with Fitbit to deliver Fitbit devices to WellCare Medicaid members in Georgia who take positive steps to manage their diabetes by completing their annual diabetic eye exams.
More than one in 10 Georgia adults is currently living with Type 2 diabetes, a condition that if not properly managed, can impact many areas of the body, including the eyes, increasing risk for conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and even blindness.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, in an effort to help its members manage their condition and prevent complications from diabetes, WellCare is offering Georgia Medicaid members ages 18 and older with a diabetes diagnosis who are enrolled in the Fitbit Diabetes Program a Fitbit Inspire upon completing their annual diabetic eye exam.
WellCare's Fitbit Diabetes Program is the first time Fitbit will be included in a Medicaid program.
"Partnering with Fitbit helps incentivize our members living with diabetes manage their condition," Dr. Clarence Davis, WellCare's senior medical director for Georgia. "Diabetic eye exams are a critical part of effective diabetes management, so we wanted to find an innovative way to not only motivate our members to complete their annual eye exam, but encourage additional healthy behaviors such as walking and physical activity."
Studies show exercise is a key component to managing diabetes. According to a study in the World Journal of Diabetes, walking for at least 30 minutes per day was shown to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes by approximately 50% and was associated with a reduction in mortality.
"We are excited to partner with Fitbit as we work to educate, motivate and support our members around the benefits of physical activity. Fitbit's fitness tracker complements WellCare's existing care management resources and will provide yet another resource to help our members living with diabetes manage their condition and improve their overall health and wellbeing," said Davis.
As of Sept. 30, 2019, WellCare serves approximately 492,000 Medicaid members, 52,000 Medicare Advantage plan members and 26,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Georgia.