Senior Care Blog

Medicare Now Covers the Cost of a Diabetes Prevention Program

By Jonathan Marsh, Owner

Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program

Do you have prediabetes, and you’re a Medicare patient? Good news: Medicare will now cover the cost of using a Diabetes Prevention Program. This went into effect earlier this year.

With the large number of Americans who have diabetes, the use of a Diabetes Prevention Program could make a key difference in Americans’ health. About 29.1 million adults in the U.S. have diabetes, and an additional 1 in 3 have prediabetes, meaning they could develop Type 2 diabetes within five years without key lifestyle changes.

Medicare’s Diabetes Prevention Program consists of structured meetings and life changes, with the goal of preventing Type 2 diabetes in those with prediabetes, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS; this is the organization that regulates Medicare). “The clinical intervention consists of a minimum of 16 intensive ‘core’ sessions of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved curriculum furnished over six months in a group-based, classroom-style setting that provides practical training in long-term dietary change, increased physical activity, and behavior change strategies for weight control,” according to CMS. “After the completing the core sessions, less intensive follow-up meetings furnished monthly help ensure that the participants maintain healthy behaviors.”

The ultimate goal? In addition to preventing diabetes, the goal is at least a 5% weight loss by participants. Weight loss is associated with better health outcomes and a lowered chance of developing diabetes. A large study led by the National Institutes of Health found that lifestyle changes that led to weight loss markedly reduced the chances of Type 2 diabetes in people at high risk, according to CMS.

Find out more about Diabetes Prevention Programs in your area at the following link: Diabetes Prevention Programs, available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some of the programs are offered in Spanish.

One Bradenton/Sarasota area location for a Diabetes Prevention Program is Sarasota Memorial Hospital. A number of YMCAs around the U.S. also offer Diabetes Prevention Programs.

Medicare also covers the cost of diabetes self-management training—see details at the following link: Diabetes Self-Management Training.

You can read more here about what it’s like to participate in a Diabetes Prevention Program. If you don’t have Medicare, check with your insurance or your employer to see if they will cover the cost of participation.

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