The American Diabetes Association issued a statement of support following last week’s launch of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program, a first of its kind prevention program in Medicare that stands to serve as a model for other evidence-based community interventions.
For more than a decade, the ADA has worked to ensure that evidence-based community prevention programs like the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) are accessible and affordable for Americans who need them, the organization noted in a press release.
The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) expanded model is a structured behavior-change intervention that aims to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes among Medicare beneficiaries with an indication of prediabetes, according to CMS. This model is an expansion of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) model program, which was tested through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s Health Care Innovation Awards.
“This is a prime example of the importance of federal investment in prevention research and the translation of those findings,” William T. Cefalu, MD, chief scientific, medical and mission officer of the ADA, said in the statement. “With the launch of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program, federal policy is working hand-in-hand with public health expertise to bring this groundbreaking prevention program to one of the nation’s most vulnerable populations.”
Nearly 50% of seniors enrolled in Medicare have prediabetes, and more than 25% of people aged at least 60 years have diabetes, according to the ADA. As Endocrine Today previously reported, the ADA’s recent Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. study noted that the economic burden of diabetes grew by 25% between 2012 and 2017, rising from $261 billion to $327 billion after adjustment for inflation, according to an analysis of survey and claims data.
CMS estimates state that the MDPP program could save $2,650 in health care costs per enrollee for the first five quarters of the program.
Important factors, such as the technical assistance offered by CMS, will help community suppliers make the transition to Medicare’s reimbursement system, and subsequently, the number of participating program sites will increase, the ADA said in the release, adding that physicians committed to screening and referring patients to community MDPP programs will also be key to ensuring the at-risk population is able to access and benefit from the program.
Cefalu added that ADA would like to see CMS expand access to the MDPP, including coverage for programs that offer virtual delivery.
“The ADA is committed to continuing its advocacy to increase participation in, and access to, critical preventions programs, such as the MDPP, as well as reducing the incidence of diabetes in seniors,” Cefalu said in the statement. – by Regina Schaffer
American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care. 2018;doi:10.2337/dci18-0007.