The Livongo for Diabetes program delivered a 21.9 percent reduction in medical spending for Livongo members when compared to the matched non-Livongo population, according to study findings published in the latest edition of the Journal of Medical Economics. When taking the average price of the Livongo for Diabetes program into account, the study demonstrated that employers experienced a positive return on investment in one year.
Financial Impact of Diabetes Management in the U.S.
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting one in 11 people worldwide, and the prevalence of diabetes in the United States is projected to reach 39 million in 2020 with direct cost of care predicted to rise to $500 billion that same year. Appropriately managing diabetes has been shown to lead to lower medical spending and better outcomes, but many of the 30 million people living with diabetes in the United States face barriers in managing their diabetes.
In an effort to address this problem, there has been an influx of new technologies developed with the aim to better enable real-time monitoring of blood glucose levels and personalized interventions to improve diabetes self-management. However, many of these programs have not demonstrated proven clinical outcomes and cost-savings to date.
The Journal of Medical Economics Study Background
Conducted in collaboration with Eli Lilly and Livongo, the retrospective study compared medical claims of members of the Livongo for Diabetes program and non-members who received health insurance benefits through their self-insured employers. The study’s population consisted of more than 2,200 Livongo members with diabetes compared with more than 8,700 matched individuals with diabetes not using Livongo from three large self-insured employers. Between June 2014 and January 2018, these employers provided their employees with diabetes access to the Livongo for Diabetes program. A difference-in-difference model compared medical spending 12 months prior to the availability of Livongo to 12 months post availability.
Based on the mean monthly medical spending in the pre-program period of $402.79 for Livongo members with high claimants removed, which provides a more conservative interpretation of this association, the 21.9 percent reduction in medical spending translates into an $88.21 per member monthly reduction in medical spending for the Livongo members compared with the non-Livongo population. During the time of the study, the average price of the Livongo for Diabetes program was $68 per member per month, including unlimited blood glucose strips (which typically average $30 per member per month). When taking program pricing into account, employers experienced a positive return on investment in Livongo in year one.
Affirmation of Livongo’s Work to Transform The Healthcare Experience
“At Livongo, we have the rigor and infrastructure to produce academic studies to determine the overall effectiveness of our clinically-based programs,” said Livongo President, Dr. Jennifer Schneider, M.D., M.S., who co-authored the study. “In this study, we determined that utilization of the Livongo for Diabetes program leads to measurable medical cost reductions. This is another great affirmation of the work we are doing to transform the healthcare experience for people living with chronic conditions.”
Livongo partners with more than 650 organizations, including some of the leading Fortune 500 self-insured employers, innovative health systems, five of the seven largest health plans, and the two largest pharmacy benefit managers.