Banner|Aetna partners with Virta Health on diabetes reversal

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Banner|Aetna, a joint venture owned by Banner Health and Aetna/CVS, have partnered with Virta Health on a Type 2 diabetes reversal program.

The program is available for the more than 100,000 members in Banner/Aetna’s fully insured and Administrative Services Only groups.

Virta combines personalized nutrition and virtual care to achieve normal blood sugar without medications. Its carbohydrate restricted nutrition therapy is in line with recommendations by the American Diabetes Association, the company said.


In a competitive insurance market, the diabetes program gives the Banner/Aetna health plan an edge that’s in line with the larger industry shift towards disease reversal.

With 133% year-over-year growth with large insurer customers, Virta now works with 20-plus national and regional plans.

For patients completing two years of  treatment, peer-reviewed clinical trial results show average daily insulin dosage was reduced by 81%; 67% of all prescriptions were eliminated; and patients experienced a 12% weight loss.
One in 10 Arizonans suffer from Type 2 diabetes and one in three from prediabetes, according to an Arizona Diabetes Action Plan and Report. 


In 2021, Banner|Aetna announced a long-term extension of the joint insurance company venture formed four years ago by Banner Health, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, and Aetna, which is owned by CVS. It has grown to approximately 350,000 members.

This partnership was built on the success of Aetna and Banner’s five-year accountable care organization relationship that formed in 2011.


“Combined, these conditions overwhelmingly affect more American adults than any other disease, particularly when you consider the physical
havoc that diabetes wreaks on the body, as well as the emotional and financial toll of treating diabetes-related conditions,” said Dr. Robert Groves, chief medical officer at Banner|Aetna. “An epidemic of such massive proportions requires a better approach to how we talk about and treat these conditions. Virta offers that – a clinically sound, evidence-based program that achieves glycemic control while at the same time eliminating the need for medications.”

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