You likely have patients in your practice with prediabetes, a common but treatable, condition found in 79 million Americans. A pilot project now aims to keep prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes. Using evidence-based lifestyle coaching, the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was designed to help local communities nationwide with efforts to delay or prevent the progression of prediabetes.
Now, Indianapolis-area physicians can refer people who have prediabetes to a DPP at the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis. A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation grant is paying for at-risk people over age 65 to attend evidence-based diabetes prevention programs in Indianapolis and 17 communities across the country.
The one-year grant program is aimed at improving diet and physical activity and achieving moderate weight loss. The DPP is based on a program that has been shown to reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes among people with prediabetes by 58 percent in adults ages 18-60, and by 71 percent in adults over the age of 60.*
In 2008, researchers at IU School of Medicine demonstrated that a DPP could be implemented by a community YMCA, rather than clinicians – increasing the opportunity for cost-effective use and spread of the DPP.
Physician referral pilot
The AMA has engaged IU Health Physicians in a six-month pilot project, during which AMA staff will collaborate with approximately 200 primary care physician practices to create a referral process that works well across different types of practices.
Once the pilots are completed mid-2014 in Indianapolis and elsewhere, the AMA will expand the project to more cities, creating more clinical-community linkages.
In partnership with the YMCA the pilot project seeks to:
- Increase education and awareness of prediabetes to promote screening by physicians of those at risk
- Increase physician referrals of people at risk for diabetes to the DPP at their local YMCA
- Create a feedback loop so the patient’s experience at their YMCA becomes integrated into the physician’s care plan
- Encourage physician-patient shared decision-making
The AMA is also collaborating with insurers on strategies for expanded coverage of evidence-based services shown to prevent type 2 diabetes, including those in a non-clinical setting.
For more information, email Janet Williams.
*(Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)