American Diabetes Association® Celebrates Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Launch

Arlington, Virginia
April 2, 2018

Evidence-based community program is now available to Medicare beneficiaries 

ARLINGTON, Va. (April 2, 2018) – Today, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) celebrates the launch of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP). For more than a decade, the ADA has worked tirelessly to ensure that evidence-based community prevention programs like the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) are accessible and affordable for all Americans who need them. 

America’s seniors (≥65 years of age) are at greatly increased risk for type 2 diabetes with more than one in four people over the age of 60 living with diabetes. Additionally, nearly 50 percent of seniors in Medicare have prediabetes. As reported in our recent Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2017 study, diagnosed diabetes costs the United States an estimated $327 billion annually, posing a significant threat to our nation’s health care system. By offering the MDPP to Medicare beneficiaries starting today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have taken a momentous step in preventing diabetes, improving seniors’ health, and tackling growing federal health care costs. It has been estimated that this evidence-based program could save $2,650 in health care costs per enrollee for the first five quarters of the program.

Over time, as the MDPP gets underway, more seniors across the country will gain access to this successful, evidence-based community intervention. The ADA is eager to see the incidence of type 2 diabetes among seniors shrink and recognizes that progress will be gradual as community-based providers learn to navigate the Medicare system. Important factors, such as the technical assistance offered by CMS, will help community suppliers make the transition to Medicare’s reimbursement system and subsequently, the number of participating program sites will increase. A commitment by physicians to screen and refer patients to community MDPP programs will also be key to ensuring the at-risk population is able to access and benefit from the program. Community organizations and advocates can help by educating health care providers and the public about the program’s availability.

MDPP is a first of its kind prevention program in Medicare that stands to serve as a model for other evidence-based community interventions to follow. 

“This is a prime example of the importance of federal investment in prevention research and the translation of those findings. With the launch of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program, federal policy is working hand-in-hand with public health expertise to bring this groundbreaking prevention program to one of the nation’s most vulnerable populations,” said William T. Cefalu, MD, Chief Scientific, Medical and Mission Officer of the ADA. “As participation in MDPP grows and individuals achieve success, we hope CMS continues its commitment to diabetes prevention by working to expand access to this program, including coverage for programs that offer virtual delivery of the MDPP. The ADA is committed to continuing its advocacy to increase participation in, and access to, critical preventions programs, such as the MDPP, as well as reducing the incidence of diabetes in seniors.” 

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn). 

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