Supporting diabetes education and prevention in the state of Virginia: A partnership with the Virginia Department of Health

23 June 2023

96 million people in the U.S. are living with prediabetes,1 which can lead to Type 2 diabetes. In the state of Virginia, diabetes is particularly prevalent, with 1 in 3 Virginians living with prediabetes.

Prediabetes is most prevalent among racial and ethnic minority groups, older populations, those with obesity and those without healthcare access.2 These groups have historically been underserved by the healthcare system, meaning traditional communication channels may not reach patients with the most risk.

To help combat progression of the disease, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) in 2010.3  Through the NDPP, researchers found that people with prediabetes who participate in a program to eat healthier and increase their physical activity can reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58%.3

Key takeaways

  • Labcorp partnered with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to enroll patients with prediabetes in the evidence-based, CDC-backed National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP)
  • Labcorp leveraged its robust lab data to email NDPP education and enrollment information to 156K Virginians meeting this criterion
  • As a result of the program, the VDH saw a 20-fold increase in enrollment in the NDPP

The challenge

The VDH wanted to reach prediabetic Virginians via a targeted health promotion campaign with the following goals:

  1. Educate: 90% of prediabetic Virginians do not know they have the condition.4  Most people with prediabetes do not get screened regularly and lack the diagnosis and knowledge to treat the disease. Raising awareness and early diagnosis are essential, as people who are aware of their condition can implement lifestyle changes to help slow or reverse prediabetes.
  2. Engage: 70% of individuals with prediabetes will develop diabetes in their lifetime.5  Increasing enrollment of priority populations in the NDPP can lower diabetes risk. Treatment programs for prediabetes are comparatively low cost, long-term and noninvasive, being focused on sustainable lifestyle and behavior change. The NDPP is an evidence-based lifestyle change intervention that deploys a CDC-approved curriculum, lifestyle coach and support group network.6

The Labcorp clinical data advantage

The VDH wanted to contact patients with HbA1C numbers in the prediabetes zone in order to intervene before patients became diabetic and risked worse health outcomes.

Three key aspects made Labcorp uniquely suited to inform and engage vulnerable patients with prediabetes:

  • Standardized clinical data
  • Efficient patient communications, including email
  • A considerable presence in the state of Virginia, comprising 56 patient service centers that service nearly 213,000 Virginians every month

Labcorp maintains diagnostic results from more than 50% of patients in the U.S., making it a data partner well positioned to help tackle large public health challenges. As the only lab network with metrics nationally standardized across the U.S., Labcorp quickly and efficiently identified patients with elevated blood glucose levels.

Using its database of contactable patients in Virginia who met VDH criteria, Labcorp helped the VDH email educational content and support materials to 156,000 prediabetic Virginians.

“Labcorp has been an integral partner in the Medicaid Beneficiary Enrollment Project with the Virginia Department of Health," says Jennie Dinh, acting diabetes supervisor for the VDH. "The use of lab data and identification of patients with prediabetes has increased referrals into the National Diabetes Prevention Program dramatically.”


This program generated the following impacts:

  1. Raised awareness: The campaign was part of a national effort to improve access to and awareness of diabetes self-management education. In total, nearly 50,000 Virginians read the prediabetes patient education materials. 60% of email recipients clicked through to a Labcorp website featuring the CDC Prediabetes Risk Assessment.
  2. Generated increased enrollment: The VDH saw a 20-fold increase in enrollment in the NDPP from 2021, with nearly 2,000 patients engaging in prediabetes screening activities. Ultimately, this saved an estimated $408,000 in direct medical expenses and indirect costs for Virginians most vulnerable to this disease.7

We found that patients trust Labcorp's messaging as they would their primary care provider. The targeted messaging has become so effective that it's been recognized by multiple states.

Jennie Dinh Acting Diabetes Supervisor, Virginia Department of Health

Future solutions

The VDH’s next goal is to focus on five cities with vulnerable populations within the state, deploying resources by ZIP code.

After the success of Virginia’s program, Labcorp began collaborating with several other states to support their diabetes challenges.

Lab data supports public health initiatives by helping health departments and other organizations identify and reach underserved patients quickly and efficiently.

"Lab data can be a valuable tool to help public health officials deploy programs that have a significant impact on patients' health," says Dr. Robert Schmidt, health systems medical director and head of population analytics at Labcorp. "The challenge is often identifying and educating patients that these programs exist. That’s where Labcorp can help.” 

Labcorp’s analytics solutions provide actionable insights for managing population health by:

  • Helping identify and monitor high and rising-risk patients
  • Supporting health equity planning through targeting of underserved communities and those with high disease severity and prevalence
  • Assisting community interventions with improved care access and home collection options.
  • Improving patient coding accuracy and optimizing use of laboratory testing
  • Identifying lab-based gaps in care (and addressing them through home kit testing programs)

To start a discussion about how Labcorp might assist you with your health system’s unique challenges, contact us at

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