Magnolia Health Improves Diabetes Outcomes in Last Four Years

Epidemic Hits 29.1 Million People -- Nearly 10 Percent of U.S. Population

JACKSON, Miss., May 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While the diabetes epidemic has spiraled upward across the United States – hitting some 29.1 million people and nearly 10 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control – Magnolia Health, a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, has improved outcomes of patients with diabetes across Mississippi.

Through its prevention and wellness programs, Magnolia Health has increased diabetes care through a broad spectrum of exams and screenings developed to improve care for its diabetic members. Since the baseline year of 2011, the percentage of patients receiving eye exams increased by 27 percent. Hemoglobin HbAIC testing – an important blood test that measures how well diabetes is being controlled – increased more than 10 percent. LDL-C cholesterol screening – a test that helps determine the risk of heart disease – vaulted by 17 percent and kidney disease monitoring moved up to 82 percent of the Magnolia Health diabetic population receiving this important screening test.

"Diabetes is a life-threatening disease for millions of Americans and thousands of Mississippians," said Dr. Jason B. Dees, president and CEO of Magnolia Health. "It is one of the biggest health issues facing our nation, our state and our members. And we are advancing a comprehensive program of preventative care through a rigorous screening process, along with education and wellness programs dedicated to improving outcomes across the state."

Mississippi has one of the largest diabetic populations in America. In 2012, Mississippi ranked second in the nation for overall diabetes prevalence, with more than 276,000 adult Mississippians having type 2 diabetes – which is more than 12.5 percent of the adult population – according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. Four of every 1,000 Mississippi deaths were from diabetes in 2012, accounting for 1,039 total deaths. In addition, many more Mississippians live with the complications of type 2 diabetes, including lower extremity amputations, end stage renal disease, blindness, loss of protective sensation and heart disease.

However, diabetes can be treated and managed by healthful eating, regular physical activity, and medications to lower blood glucose levels. Another critical part of diabetes management is reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high lipid levels, and tobacco use. Patient education and self-care practices also are important aspects of disease management that help people with diabetes stay healthy.

  • People with type 1 diabetes must have insulin delivered by injection or a pump to survive.
  • Many people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose by following a healthy meal plan and a program of regular physical activity, losing excess weight, and taking medications. Medications for each individual with diabetes will often change during the course of the disease. Insulin also is commonly used to control blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Blood glucose control reduces the risk of developing the eye, nerve and kidney complications of diabetes.
  • Hypoglycemia or low blood glucose is a complication of diabetes treatment with insulin or certain oral medications that can have serious consequences such as seizures, unconsciousness, or death. Older patients with type 2 diabetes and children with type 1 diabetes are at particularly high risk for adverse outcomes associated with hypoglycemia.

Since diabetes is one of the biggest disease facing its members, Magnolia Health has launched a comprehensive diabetes awareness, education and wellness campaign to improve outcomes that lead to a healthier – and happier – lifestyles. Magnolia Health's care management department offers a wide array of diabetes care that educates about:

  • The many facets of the disease itself
  • Glucose testing
  • Stress management
  • Medication compliance
  • Nutrition and exercise
  • Smoking cessation
  • Signs and symptoms of complications.

About Magnolia Health

Magnolia Health is a long-term solution to help the state of Mississippi enhance care for Medicaid and CHIP recipients, while most effectively managing taxpayer dollars. A physician-driven, Mississippi-based Coordinated Care Organization (CCO), Magnolia is backed by its parent company, Centene Corporation (Centene). Centene has more than 30 years of experience in Medicaid, CHIP and other government-funded programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and long-term care. For more information about Magnolia, visit


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