AMA News Room
March 23, 2016
AMA Applauds Administration for Advancing Efforts to Expand Medicare Coverage to Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
For immediate release:
March 23, 2016
Statement attributable to:
Andrew W. Gurman, M.D.
President-Elect, American Medical Association
“The AMA applauds the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for moving toward authorizing coverage for the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) to Medicare beneficiaries at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Today’s announcement signifies an important step toward ensuring all Americans at risk for type 2 diabetes have access to the resources they need to prevent this debilitating disease.
“Confirmed by HHS today, the Y-USA’s diabetes prevention program has been shown to provide significant cost savings for Medicare participants. These cost savings could benefit some of the more than 86 million American adults currently living with prediabetes. Research shows that up to one-third of these individuals will develop type 2 diabetes within five years unless they lose weight through healthy eating and increased physical activity.
“The National DPP, which the Y-USA’s program is modeled after, is a proven, evidence-based lifestyle change program that has been shown to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Only 10 percent of people with prediabetes in our country actually know they have it and are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The AMA has been focusing its efforts over the last two and a half years on increasing awareness of prediabetes and encouraging more physicians to screen their at-risk patients for prediabetes and refer them to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-recognized diabetes prevention programs in their communities.
“The AMA began its work through a partnership with the Y-USA in 2013 to increase the number of physicians who screen patients for prediabetes and refer them to diabetes prevention programs offered by local YMCAs that are part of the CDC’s recognition program. This joint effort included several physician pilot sites.
“Last spring, the AMA built on the learnings garnered through its work with the Y-USA pilot project to inform the development of tools and resources that it now provides for physicians and care teams to screen, test and refer their patients to diabetes prevention programs which can be found at www.preventdiabetesSTAT.com. The AMA has also developed a diabetes prevention cost-savings calculator to highlight the potential benefits for employers and insurers for improving health outcomes, while also reducing health care costs.”
“As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the health of the nation, we will continue to support and advocate for policies aimed at reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes and reducing the fiscal burden associated with the disease.”
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