National Council on Aging

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Addressing Diabetes Health Disparities through Telephonic Support

Locations: High Pointe, North Carolina; Tucson, Arizona; Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Scott Depot, West Virginia

The National Council on Aging (NCOA)—in partnership with Anthem Health Insurance, Stanford University, OASIS, YMCA of the USA, and Canary Health—sought to nationally implement Better Choices, Better Health®-Diabetes, an implementation of Stanford’s Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) online and within selected locations.

The case study for this project is being created and will be posted here when it is completed.


NCOA sought to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Stanford Diabetes Self-Management Program, set the conditions to bring the implementation to scale at a national level, and demonstrate a business case for implementing the DSMP. The Better Choices, Better Health®—Diabetes initiative, an iteration of the Stanford DSMP, was directed by NCOA and implemented by their partners, including:

  • Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. (and their research subsidiary, HealthCore)
  • Stanford Patient Education Research Center
  • OASIS Institute
  • YMCA of the USA
  • Canary Health


The Better Choices, Better Health®-Diabetes intervention featured three primary intervention components: 1) Diabetes Self-Management Education; 2) Support for Managing Diabetes and Distress; 3) and Enhanced Access/Linkage to Care. The intervention featured both in person and online DSMP workshops.


Key lessons from this project include:

  • Evidence suggests that direct email campaigns sent from insurers or employers are effective in increasing member enrollment in online DSMP workshops.
  • Program marketing must be multi-modal and repeated; there is no single “silver bullet” recruitment strategy.