COMMENTARY

Stop Diabetes With the National Diabetes Prevention Program

Ann L. Albright, PhD, RD; Mark Harmel, MPH

Disclosures

October 17, 2018

The National Diabetes Prevention Program is the opportunity to bring to scale the most proven lifestyle program for the prevention or delay of type 2 diabetes in those at high risk. It's an exciting time in the National Diabetes Prevention Program. There have been tremendous gains in getting coverage, enrolling people in the program, and increasing awareness about prediabetes in the country. More remains to be done, and it is necessary that we all join forces.

We have some exciting things going on in the area of coverage of the lifestyle change program of the National Diabetes Prevention Program. We now have increasing numbers of commercial health plans that are providing coverage, both for in-person and virtual delivery of the intervention. We know that people need options for accessing the intervention in the way that best suits them.

We also have work going on with Medicaid. We are working with many partners, including state health departments, to increase access to this program for Medicaid beneficiaries. Much is going on in this area, including grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to serve those in places where no programs exist.

In exciting news, Medicare is providing payment for the lifestyle program. This service went live for beneficiaries on April 1, 2018. I want everyone to be aware that this is brand new. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has never done anything like this before. This is the first time that they are providing payment for an intervention that can be delivered both inside and outside the healthcare setting.

Right now, it's really important that we are all increasing the number of suppliers of this lifestyle intervention. If you are interested in becoming a provider of the program, I encourage you to look into receiving CDC recognition, which is necessary to become a Medicare supplier. Alternatively, you can find out if there are programs near you. CDC has a map for locating these programs, and CMS is posting a map to help locate the Medicare suppliers.

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