Making A Difference In Diabetes Prevention

posted by AHIP

on November 10, 2016

An estimated 86 million Americans have prediabetes, leading to many other health issues and compromising their quality of life. Many health care organizations have been working to help individuals avoid developing diabetes. One such initiative is the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP), which brings together health plans to help diverse populations make healthy lifestyle changes. The National DPP receives support and funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

As part of the National DPP:

  • EmblemHealth uses claims data to identify diabetic and pre-diabetic members to encourage them to participate in preventive and self-management programs. The health plan also launched its first Chinese language class so that more people can participate in the diabetes prevention program in their preferred language.
  • Denver Health shared new National DPP findings at the 2016 American Public Health Association annual meeting. Denver Health sought to address the question, “Does outreach to increase prediabetes awareness lead to weight loss?” Previous studies of national surveys found that simply being told of having prediabetes was associated with self-reported efforts to lose weight among 52 percent to 68 percent of at-risk individuals. Turns out that participants who completed outreach calls about prediabetes did experience significant weight loss at six months out. Findings suggest that brief telephonic education about prediabetes may support modest weight loss and risk reduction. Of course, they still recommend the National DPP to help achieve greater weight loss, but every little bit of increasing prediabetes awareness helps!
  • Florida Blue offers “Better You Prevention” as a lifestyle change program to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Participants work with life style coaches and a group of their peers to identify and overcome barriers to making sustainable lifestyle changes. Sessions meet weekly for six months followed by six monthly follow-up sessions, combining active member engagement and health professional involvement. Also, beginning in January 2017, Florida Blue Medicare Advantage and commercial group members will be able to access the  DPP.

More can be done – and is being done through the support of both health plans and physicians. For example, dietitians and nutritionists can educate members on how to plan for healthier holiday eating to avoid the onset of conditions like diabetes. Health plans also offer diabetes self-management programs that allow people with diabetes to live healthier lives. Printed materials, electronic resources, and classes focus on empowering individuals to live better with their condition.

For more information on what health plans are doing to prevent diabetes, please visit for issue briefs, videos, and archived webinars.

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