FITBIT SCORES A DEAL WITH ITS FIRST MEDICAID PLAN

Wearable maker Fitbit landed a partnership with WellCare of Georgia’s Medicaid plan that will grant 4,000 members with Type 2 diabetes access to Fitbit devices, per FierceHealthcare.

Enrollees who complete their annual diabetic retinal exam will be eligible to receive a wearable accompanied with resources and activity challenges meant to keep members active and more effectively manage their condition.

Empowering members to live a more active lifestyle can boost health outcomes and help payers trim down on astronomical diabetes spending, considering higher activity levels increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar, per TriHealth.

Because costs for beneficiaries with chronic diseases far surpass those of members without, insurers are racing to bulk up plans with tools that boost health outcomes, and insurers covering more costly cohorts of individuals are pegging wearables as a smart bet: Medicare Advantage (MA) insurer Devoted Health offers members Apple Watches — and UnitedHealth is embedding Fitbit into more MA plans this year.