American Medical Association Meeting

American Medical Association Meeting

June 24, 2016
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AMA calls for public, private health plans to cover CDC diabetes prevention program

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The AMA during its annual meeting in Chicago announced a new policy encouraging both private and public health care plans to include the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program as a benefit for patients with prediabetes, according to a press release.

The new policy also calls on hospitals to offer the CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), and supports allocating community benefit funds to cover the cost of enrolling patients into an in-person or virtual version of the program. The AMA stated it will reach out to organizations including the American Hospital Association to develop and distribute guidance for covering the costs of the DPP.

“More than 86 million Americans are currently living with prediabetes and nearly 90% of them are unaware they have it and are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” Andrew W. Gurman, MD, incoming AMA president, said in a press release. “We have a proven way to help these people make necessary lifestyle changes that can help them avoid developing the disease, but health coverage for these programs is limited and varies by location and insurer.”

HHS earlier this year announced plans to authorize coverage for DPP to Medicare beneficiaries at high risk for type 2 diabetes, a move applauded by AMA officials.

According to the AMA, the new policy is an expansion of the organization’s efforts over the past 2 years in type 2 diabetes prevention. Previous strategies have included increasing awareness of prediabetes and calling on physicians to screen their patients at risk for the disease, referring them to local, CDC-recognized prevention programs if necessary.

In March 2015, the AMA and CDC partnered to increase awareness of prediabetes as a serious medical condition, developing resources they now provide to physicians to help screen their patients, and refer them to diabetes prevention programs. The programs can be found at www.preventdiabetesSTAT.com.

Disclosure: See the full study for relevant financial disclosures.