November is National Diabetes Month. For 2021, the focus is on prediabetes and preventing type 2 diabetes. Almost half of adults 65 years of age or older have prediabetes, which is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. By joining a Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP), patients can lower their risk of type 2 diabetes by improving their health and building healthy habits.
The National Diabetes Prevention Program was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. The program is evidenced-based with research that shows lifestyle modifications can cut the risk of type 2 diabetes in half. People in the program who have a modest weight loss of 5-7% of their body weight and work up to 150 minutes of exercise per week cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 58% (71% for people over 60 years old). Support is given by Lifestyle Coaches on how to eat healthy, manage stress, stay motivated, problem solve and provide tips on how to get more physical activity. Coaches help keep the motivation going by suggesting small changes to lifestyle and daily habits. Attendees also are supported by the other people in the class who have similar goals.
For the MDPP, sessions are offered over a 2-year period, although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are considering shortening the program to 1 year. The first 16 modules are presented over the first 6 months of the program, then there are 10 presented over the next 6 months to help maintain healthy habits. Participants are weighed each week, give coaches their activity minutes and discuss how their action plan went for the week. Monthly maintenance sessions are offered for an additional 12 months for eligible beneficiaries who have met certain weight loss and attendance goals.
To be eligible for the MDPP, beneficiaries must have:
We have lifestyle coaches who are currently providing virtual programs for the MDPP. There is no cost for eligible beneficiaries. If your organization is interested, please contact Harmony at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
To learn more about the MDPP, please see the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/lcp-details/mdpp.html.