Statement attributed to

Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A.,

President, American Medical Association

“The American Medical Association welcomes the support from senators who see the promise of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) model and agree that fine-tuning will help deliver its potential for millions of patients.

“The AMA has strongly supported the administration’s historic creation of this program. Diabetes is costly and places patients at high risk for severe complications and other chronic diseases. The implementation of the MDPP is an essential step forward in a national strategy to improve health outcomes. It has the potential to reduce health inequities, which are aggravated by lack of access to important preventive services.

“We recognize that scaling an ambitious new model takes time. Early returns suggest that a few changes would expand the program’s reach. Allowing Medicare patients to virtually access this program, as many patients with private insurance are doing, would benefit the most underserved and vulnerable patients, as well as those in remote areas, who cannot access the program without this option. Here is an opportunity for Medicare to encourage a practical use of digital health tools.

“The AMA has collaborated with the YMCA of the USA and others to increase physician screening of patients for prediabetes and referrals to diabetes prevention services. We agree with the bipartisan group of senators who wrote Wednesday: ‘A Medicare beneficiary’s access to this life-improving program should not, and cannot, be determined solely by the zip code in which he or she lives.’

“To that, we can only say, Amen.”

Media Contact:

Jack Deutsch

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.