NEW YORK, April 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW) announced that a partnership with Solera Health will make Weight Watchers for Prediabetes available to Solera's health plan clients, connecting eligible patients identified as high risk for developing diabetes with an evidence-based program that produces changes in eating, activity and weight to help prevent diabetes.
Weight Watchers, recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2015 as a provider of the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP), provides a combination of face-to-face and online tools to help people with prediabetes reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The National DPP acknowledges organizations that have demonstrated the ability to deliver proven type 2 diabetes prevention programs to at-risk patients.
"Preventing the progression to diabetes in the estimated 86 million adults who have prediabetes is critical to our nation's well-being," said Gary Foster, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Weight Watchers International, Inc. "Our partnership with Solera Health will enable Weight Watchers to bring our evidence-based and scalable solution to healthcare providers and payers, and ultimately reach and favorably impact more at-risk individuals."
Solera Health partners with health plans and employers to connect people with enhanced risk for developing diabetes with the most appropriate chronic disease prevention resources, including national, community-based and digital programs. As part of the partnership, Solera Health will offer a diabetes prevention program from Weight Watchers to members as an Affordable Care Act (ACA)-covered preventive benefit.
"Empowering patients with more choices when it comes to chronic disease prevention is critical to their ongoing engagement and successful health outcomes," said Brenda Schmidt, CEO of Solera Health. "With the addition of Weight Watchers to our network of National DPP providers, we are giving individuals enhanced options and greater access to an effective lifestyle modification program, proven among those with prediabetes, which can help stem the growing diabetes epidemic."
This partnership will enable Weight Watchers to leverage payer reimbursement for diabetes prevention programs and encourage referrals by healthcare providers. As the reach of the program expands and insurance reimbursement is put in place, health care teams are encouraged to screen, test and refer patients with prediabetes to National DPPs such as Weight Watchers. For qualified patients, coverage for the Weight Watchers DPP as an ACA benefit will be communicated through their employer or health plan.
A recent studyi conducted by Indiana University School of Medicine, supported by Weight Watchers, and published in the American Journal for Public Health, found that adults with prediabetes who participated in the prediabetes specific Weight Watchers program lost significantly more weight and experienced better blood glucose control than those following a self-initiated program using supplemental counseling materials. In fact, on average, Weight Watchers participants lost 5.5% of their body weight at six months and fully maintained that loss at 12 months, while the control group lost 0.8% of their body weight at six months and experienced slight regain for a loss of 0.2% of their body weight at 12 months.
For more information on Weight Watchers for Prediabetes, visit https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/dpp.
The Weight Watchers program meets the definition of intensive behavioral counseling as described in the latest recommendation from the United States Preventive Health Services Task Force (USPSTF).
About Weight Watchers International, Inc.
Weight Watchers International, Inc. is the world's leading commercial provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. Weight Watchers holds more than 32,000 meetings each week where members receive group support and learn about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and physical activity. Weight Watchers provides innovative, digital weight management products through its websites, mobile sites and apps. Weight Watchers is the leading provider of paid digital subscription weight management products in the world. In addition, Weight Watchers offers a wide range of products, publications and programs for those interested in weight loss and weight control.
About Solera Health, Inc.
Solera Health helps health plans and healthcare providers improve outcomes, lower costs and increase patient engagement by consolidating highly fragmented community and digital programs and services into one integrated network. Solera supports value-based care by connecting a nationwide network of community organizations and digital solutions for chronic disease prevention programs with technology that manages service referrals, reimbursement and payment; aggregates data and reporting; simplifies enrollment; and supports increased consumer engagement and choice. Learn more at soleranetwork.com.
i David G. Marrero, Kelly N. B. Palmer, Erin O. Phillips, Karen Miller-Kovach, Gary D. Foster, and Chandan K. Saha. (2016). Comparison of Commercial and Self-Initiated Weight Loss Programs in People With Prediabetes: A Randomized Control Trial. American Journal of Public Health. e-View Ahead of Print.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jenny Zimmerman, Weight Watchers
SOURCE Weight Watchers International, Inc.