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Groundbreaking diabetes reversal program delivers impressive six-month results

Diabetes is a costly and complex metabolic condition that impacts about 1 in 101 Americans. Even young adults2 are seeing higher rates of the disease, which can mean a greater risk of potentially fatal and lifelong health concerns. Though diabetes is considered a chronic condition, it doesn’t have to be progressive or worsen over time. For people with Type 2 diabetes, or 90-95% of those with the disease, clinical trials3 have shown it’s possible to actually reverse the condition.

Preliminary data from an innovative BannerlAetna diabetes reversal program4 , powered by Virta Health, showed participants with Type 2 diabetes were able to effectively lower blood sugar and lose weight while eliminating the need for medications, such as insulin. Now, six-month outcomes from the diabetes reversal program offer ongoing proof that it is an effective weapon against Type 2 diabetes.

Below are just a few incredible highlights of individuals’ outcomes after their participation in the program.5

  • Members significantly reduced their blood sugar and improved A1c levels by 1.4% on average. For every one-point decrease in the blood sugar measure A1c, a person’s risk of long-term diabetes complications—such as eye, kidney, and nerve disease—decrease by up to 40%.
  • Participants eliminated 50% of diabetes medications (excluding metformin). Members who use insulin successfully reduced their dose by 85% with 40% no longer needing any at all.
  • On average, members experienced weight loss of 8.2%. (5% is clinically significant). Nearly a quarter of participants in the diabetes reversal program achieved a weight loss of 15% or more.

Beyond the clinical success of the diabetes reversal program, Banner|Aetna CEO Tom Grote finds the personal stories behind the data deeply inspiring. “People are getting their lives back,” he notes. 

Paula Drum was struggling with Type 2 diabetes for more than a decade before enrolling in Banner|Aetna’s diabetes reversal program. She had even tried other programs, but they didn’t “click” for her. Now, she’s down more than 20 pounds, has lowered her A1c to 5.7%—nearly below prediabetes levels—and no longer needs her diabetes medication. Unlike the other programs Paula had tried, “[Banner|Aetna’s] approach isn’t one-size-fits-all,” she said. “I worked with my coach to find a plan that works for me, so I know this is a lifestyle change I’ll stick with long-term.”

Banner|Aetna currently offers Type 2 diabetes reversal to eligible members of fully insured and Administrative Services Only groups. To learn more about our coverage, visit our Employer page.



Our programs, care team and care managers do not diagnose or treat members. We assist you in getting the care you need, and our program is not a substitute for the medical treatment and/or instructions provided by your health care providers. Does not guarantee similar results. Results may vary depending on individual’s use of Banner|Aetna diabetes reversal program and participation.

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, April 18). Type 2 diabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2Bowman, E. (2023, March 6). Diabetes and obesity are on the rise in young adults, a study says. NPR.

3Hallberg, S. J., Gershuni, V. M., Hazbun, T. L., & Athinarayanan, S. J. (2019). Reversing Type 2 Diabetes: A Narrative Review of the Evidence. Nutrients, 11(4), 766.

4Grote, T. (n.d.). Virtual diabetes management is changing the game for Banner|Aetna members [web log]. Retrieved May 31, 2023, from

5Actual results may vary, depending on a variety of factors including plan model. Information sourced from member and claims data for those with type 2 diabetes who have been enrolled in Virta for ≥180 days starting on or after January 2021 through March 2023.

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Health benefits and health insurance plans are offered, underwritten, and/or administered by Banner Health and Aetna Health Insurance Company and/or Banner Health and Aetna Health Plan Inc. (Banner|Aetna). Banner|Aetna is an affiliate of Banner Health and of Aetna Life Insurance Company and its affiliates (Aetna). Each insurer has sole financial responsibility for its own products. Aetna and Banner Health provide certain management services to Banner|Aetna. Aetna, CVS Pharmacy® and MinuteClinic, LLC (which either operates or provides certain management support services to MinuteClinic-branded walk-in clinics) are part of the CVS Health® family of companies.

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