CHICAGO — Ahead of National Diabetes Awareness Month in November, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) today announced a joint effort aimed at reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes in Michigan. The collaboration will serve as a blueprint for preventing future cases of the disease in other states across the country.
The AMA and MSMS will work to significantly increase the number of Michigan physicians and health care providers screening and testing patients for prediabetes—the precursor to type 2 diabetes. The partnership will also encourage more referrals of high-risk patients to evidence-based, diabetes prevention programs (DPPs) recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"The goal of this partnership is to get patients with prediabetes into proven lifestyle change programs that have been shown to cut the risk in half of progressing to type 2 diabetes," said AMA President Andrew W. Gurman, M.D. "By working with a variety of practices and health systems within Michigan, we are learning the best ways to implement processes for screening, testing and referring across different clinical settings. We will use these models in the future to support other states as they adopt a similar process—helping even more Americans stave off or delay type 2 diabetes to improve health outcomes."
More than 86 million Americans are living with prediabetes, but most of them are unaware. In the state of Michigan alone, an estimated 2.6 million residents have the condition, putting them at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes without intervention.
"In Michigan, the prevalence of diabetes over the past three decades has exceeded U.S. national statistics," said MSMS President David M. Krhovsky, M.D. "In partnership with the AMA we are working hands-on with Michigan's physicians and health systems to take action in implementing meaningful diabetes prevention efforts to improve the health of our residents in Michigan and ultimately improve the health of people across the country."
In 2015, the AMA launched Prevent Diabetes STAT in collaboration with the CDC to reach more Americans with prediabetes and stop the progression to type 2 diabetes, one of the nation's most debilitating chronic diseases. Since the campaign's kick-off, the AMA has been working to extend this national effort by identifying states where there is already strong work underway to strengthen the linkages between the clinical care setting and communities to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes. The new partnership announced today between the AMA and MSMS is part of this strategic effort at the state level aimed at making the most immediate impact on the nation's health.
The AMA began working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) in 2015 to galvanize support behind a statewide effort and is already engaged with one of Michigan's' leading health systems, Henry Ford Health System.
"By partnering with the AMA we hope to engage physicians and care teams in systems that will help us create a bridge between clinical practice and a community-based lifestyle change intervention," says Christopher O'Connell, D.O., Division Chief of Ambulatory Medicine, Chief Experience and Community Service Officer, Henry Ford Macomb Hospital. "The AMA collaboration has allowed us to provide our physicians and their care teams with educational opportunities and training materials. We look forward to continued collaboration to develop additional tools that we can adopt as part of the prediabetes screening and referral process to prevent diabetes in our patients and communities."
With the help of MSMS leadership, the AMA has already begun to build other strong collaborations within Michigan. Just last week, the organizations joined with MDHHS as it kicked-off its statewide Diabetes Prevention Action Plan. The plan aims to increase awareness of prediabetes, expand health plan coverage of evidence-based DPPs and also increase the number of health care providers in the state who screen, test, and refer at-risk patients to local DPPs.
In addition to its work in Michigan, the AMA is also gearing up to begin similar diabetes prevention efforts in New York, California and South Carolina.
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