GluCare.Health is launching its value-based, insurance-free monthly subscription model for the management of diabetes in the UAE this November, coinciding with National Diabetes Awareness Month.
A recent survey by GluCare.Health, a hybrid digital therapeutics (DTx) company, found that coverage for diabetic patients remains challenging due to the extremely high cost of purchasing insurance. Many insurance companies add up to 500 per cent additional premiums for those declaring themselves as Type 1 or 2 diabetic, resulting in premiums of up to Dh100,000 per annum in some cases.
The survey also found that despite having medical insurance, many patients are routinely denied access to medical services and products required as part of their diabetes care. According to the survey, 42 per cent of respondents value the coverage of speciality medical devices such as CGMs and insulin pumps above all else when searching for a health insurance provider.
According to the Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health, 75 per cent of all people with diabetes in the UAE are classified as poorly controlled, with healthcare facility visits usually exceeding the quarterly visit guidelines. This over-utilisation can lead to insurance providers denying specific services, a frustration echoed by 70 per cent of respondents.
As a result, GluCare.Health is launching the world’s first value-based subscription model for the management of diabetes by offering patients access to hyper-personalised care – whether they are diabetics whose insurance coverage remains inadequate; diabetics who cannot afford optimal coverage for their condition; or diabetics who are not experiencing any improvement in their condition with their current healthcare providers.
“We launched this programme to meet an unmet need. There is an catastrophic misalignment between patient needs, insurance policies and healthcare providers," says Dr Ihsan Almarzooqi, Co-founder and Managing Director. "Insurance companies are generally focused on reducing total spend on medical expenses relative to the premiums they collect (what’s known as their “medical loss ratio”), and unfortunately less focused on a patient’s improvement or outcomes.
"In addition, health insurance premiums are ever-increasing, regardless of whether patients get better. Looking at the healthcare provider landscape, under the existing fee-for-service reimbursement model of care, providers will generally only do what they will be assuredly paid for, not what is actually needed to optimize outcomes. And the patients themselves are not being rewarded for better health, so it is no wonder we are failing in the battle against diabetes.”
How does GluCare.Health’s subscription model work?
The subscription allows patients unlimited access to GluCare.Health’s diabetes-related services, both physical and virtual. Physical services include all required physician consultations, laboratory tests and imaging. Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and wearables are also included, allowing GluCare.Health to practise its unique machine-assisted continuous model of care.
Most insurance companies would not usually cover these devices or services. In addition, all patients will have access to GluCare.Health’s continuous diabetes management platform, meaning they have constant access to their entire care team without needing to visit the facility physically.
“Diabetes is a 24/7 condition and our approach to care does not stop when patients leave our facility. At GluCare.Health, using wearable and connected technology paired with rubust data integration and machine intelligence, we can both better understand what happens to patients between doctor visits, and use that information to empower both the patient and clinical team to drive better decisions. We give our humans super-human abilities,” says Ali Hashemi, Co-Founder and Chairman.
Monthly subscription costs will be priced with affordability in mind and will be cheaper than the cost of a single consultation at most private healthcare facilities.