WILMINGTON, Del., Dec. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) and the Y convened a group of state and national leaders, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden, at a roundtable discussion in Wilmington to discuss the impact of diabetes in Delaware and across the nation, and how the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program is helping to reduce diabetes rates nationwide.
At the event, YMCA of the USA and the YMCA of Delaware thanked Sen. Carper for his efforts to prevent diabetes and encourage Medicare and Medicaid coverage of evidence-based diabetes prevention programs like the Y's.
"It's going to take a coordinated approach where the public and private sector work with community-based organizations like the Y to reduce its impact," said Matt Longjohn, M.D., MPH, YMCA of the USA's National Health Officer. "The Y thanks Senator Carper for his support in working to ensure coverage of this important program. Ys nationwide look forward to working with Congress, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others to make this program accessible to as many people as possible."
Sen. Carper, along with YMCA of Delaware CEO Deborah Bagatta-Bowles, hosted Dr. Frieden and Delaware Governor Jack Markell for a roundtable discussion at the Central Downtown YMCA in Wilmington, DE. Other participants included: Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf; Delaware Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay; Chair of Family and Community Medicine at Christiana Care Health System Dr. Michael Rosenthal; Dr. Stephen Permut, American Medical Association Board of Trustee; representatives from YMCA of the USA and participants from the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program.
Senator Carper recently supported coverage of programs that are part of the CDC's National Diabetes Prevention Program by Medicare and Medicaid by offering an amendment to a bill repealing and replacing the current Medicare physician payments system so that physician payment rates are not subject to annual cuts. The amendment was withdrawn in exchange for a commitment by the Congressional Budget Office to prioritize scoring the potential cost-savings to Medicare and Medicaid of diabetes prevention programs like the Y's. While the amendment was not ultimately voted on, the Senator's effort builds bi-partisan support for the program with his Senate colleagues and may help to pave the way for eventual passage.
"We all know that obesity and diabetes are two of the main drivers of poor health and increasing health care costs in our country," Sen. Carper said. "If we do not rein in the growth of obesity and diabetes, this may be the first generation of Americans with a shorter life span than earlier generations. To get this epidemic under control, we need to ensure that we are supporting a full range of therapies and programs, like the YMCA's program, that might help lower our country's obesity rates and better prevent chronic diseases like diabetes."
The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program, which is part of the CDC's National Diabetes Prevention Program, helps adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes reduce their risk for developing the disease by taking steps that will improve their overall health and well-being. Research by the National Institutes of Health has shown that programs like the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program can reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent, and 71 percent in adults over the age of 60.
"I commend Senator Carper and Delaware, and the YMCA, for leading efforts to prevent diabetes. Programs like this offer practical solutions for improving health," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D. "The CDC looks forward to working with all of our partners to prevent or treat diabetes. We each have an important role to play in these prevention efforts."
The YMCA of Delaware is part of a 17 community demonstration project to show that an evidence-based prevention program delivered by a community-based organization can lower incidence of type 2 diabetes and reduce medical costs incurred by Medicare. If successful, the program could become a model for how the nation's largest payer of health care claims reimburses community-based organizations as providers of evidence-based preventive services.
In these 17 communities, the Y is offering the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention at no cost to 10,000 qualifying Medicare enrollees over the next three years. The Y's estimates suggest that this initiative will save Medicare an estimated $4.2 million over three years and $53 million over six years. The project is funded through a Health Care Innovation Award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).
"We are pleased that the YMCA in Delaware's success and progress with the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program, coupled with Senator Carper's advocacy, made the YMCA of Delaware a focal point for this critical national issue," said Deborah Bagatta-Bowles, CEO of the YMCA in Delaware.
Over the past several years, the Y has worked with CDC to expand the National Diabetes Prevention Program. Currently, the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program is offered in more than 700 locations in 39 states.
The Y is committed to making the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program available to everyone who meets program criteria in communities, and is working with CDC and others to bring more payers and program providers to the table. To date, more than 15,000 individuals have completed or attended at least one session, and participants have attained an average of nearly 5 percent weight loss.
About the Y
The Y is one of the nation's leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation's health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net
YMCA of the USA selected 17 communities nationwide to offer the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program at no cost to qualifying Medicare beneficiaries. This project is made possible by funding opportunity number 1C1CMS330965 from the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The contents of this press release are solely the responsibility of the authors and have not been approved by the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
YMCA of the USA
SOURCE YMCA of the USA