ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gina Gavlak, chair of the American Diabetes Association's National Advocacy Committee, will join Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, local health care experts and advocates, and National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) participants to highlight the expansion of the National DPP, the nation's first preventive health initiative eligible for Medicare coverage, at a Roundtable event on Thursday, July 7, 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. ET, at the YMCA of Greater Cleveland.
To further engage the public and share key diabetes and healthcare resources, today's roundtable will be followed by a Facebook Live chat at 10:45 a.m. ET with Secretary Burwell, Gina Gavlak and Cleveland YMCA DPP participant Richard Maudsley. The live chat is available on the American Diabetes Association's Facebook page here.
Currently, 50 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have prediabetes, and earlier this year, Secretary Burwell announced that these individuals will soon have access to National DPP certified programs as part of their coverage through the plan. Today's event kicks off the Secretary's tour spotlighting three health systems that are delivering improved health care as part of the Affordable Care Act.
The Cleveland YMCA was one of 17 locations chosen to receive a 2012 Health Care Innovation Award grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) for a demonstration project that confirmed participants in the National DPP program achieved approximately 5 percent weight loss and saved Medicare $2,650 in health care costs.
"In my state of Ohio alone, diabetes costs an estimated $12 billion each year and there are over 3 million people living with prediabetes. Medicare coverage of the National DPP is a phenomenal step forward in advancing diabetes prevention for at-risk populations. We are encouraged by Secretary Burwell's continued championship of this cause," said Gina Gavlak. "We hope that this leads to more private insurers to cover this lifesaving program and that all states elect to include coverage of the National DPP in their Medicaid packages."
The National DPP is led by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and consists of an intensive, 12-month, evidence-based intervention program that includes 16 weekly core sessions followed by monthly maintenance sessions. Delivered in a classroom setting by trained coaches, the National DPP provides a supportive, small group environment to promote healthier eating habits and increase physical activity, with goals of reducing body weight by 5 to 7 percent and increasing physical activity to 150 minutes per week. In 2010, the National DPP was authorized by Congress as part of the Affordable Care Act to build an infrastructure of programs across the country. The American Diabetes Association has advocated tirelessly for years for this vital prevention program and was pivotal to its creation as well as efforts to secure funding for expansion and delivery.
"Once diagnosed, patients with prediabetes need critical support to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes and this is why further coverage of preventive programs like the National DPP is so necessary," said Robert E. Ratner, MD, chief scientific and medical officer for the American Diabetes Association. "When it comes to prediabetes, another of our largest hurdles is public awareness. Of the 86 million American adults with prediabetes, less than ten percent are aware of their status. We need to educate individuals about the risks for diabetes and prediabetes so those in need can participate in programs like the National DPP." Ratner played a key role in the creation of the National DPP, as the lead investigator at Medstar Research Group, one of the participating centers for the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group's historic clinical trial, and as a member of the National Institutes of Health team that developed the DPP protocol.
In an effort to educate the public about the risks and symptoms of prediabetes, the American Diabetes Association has teamed up with the American Medical Association, the CDC, and the Ad Council to launch the first national prediabetes awareness campaign. The campaign's humor-based PSAs, in English and Spanish, have already reached millions of Americans and encouraged them to take a short prediabetes risk test at DoIHavePrediabetes.org.
About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes® and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, the Association's mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information, please call the American Diabetes Association 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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SOURCE American Diabetes Association