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Senators Franken and Collins Introduce Legislation to Extend National Diabetes Prevention Programs to Millions of Seniors

Yesterday, Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and Representatives Susan Davis (D-CA) and Peter King (R-NY) introduced the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act (MDPA), bipartisan legislation that would make the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) a covered benefit under Medicare.

We’re proud to be one of over one hundred organization’s to officially support this legislation — the reform represents a critical investment in the health of America’s seniors, and could save Medicare as much as $1.3 billion over the next decade.

Stopping the spread of diabetes isn’t just a clinical imperative – it’s an economic one. In 2012, more than one in four Medicare beneficiaries – 11.2 million seniors – had the condition. If current trends continue, the disease is estimated to cost Medicare over $2 trillion in the next ten years.

Slowing the epidemic of chronic disease is a top priority for Medicare; the National DPP has already been shown to reduce incidence of diabetes by 71 percent in prediabetic patients over the age of 60.

Under MDPA, Medicare patients diagnosed with elevated glucose levels – known as ‘prediabetes’ – would be referred to year-long lifestyle interventions. Importantly, the legislation makes allowances for seniors to participate in these programs in a face-to-face setting, or online.

We’re particularly proud the legislation’s co-sponsors recognize the power digital programs can have in combating the spread of the disease. Earlier this month, we published two-year program outcomes that demonstrated digital programs can be effective in achieving meaningful weight loss and reductions in blood sugar levels. In March, Omada’s Prevent was one of the first digital programs recognized as meeting the CDC standards.

We’ll have much more to say on this topic in the coming weeks – but for now, we stand ready to support the bill’s sponsors in advancing this critical proposal – for the health of America’s seniors, and the health of Medicare’s bottom line.

Click here to read more about the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act.