More states join AMA diabetes prevention program

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The American Medical Association (AMA) announced it will expand its effort to prevent Type 2 diabetes to eight additional states after it was launched last year in California, Michigan and South Carolina.

The goal of the program is to develop models to prevent incidences of the disease. In Michigan, for example, AMA began working with Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and health IT giant Epic Systems in a patient registry pilot program for screening and referring patients with prediabetes to a diabetes prevention program.

The expanded efforts will involve working with medical societies in eight states: Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

“With 90 percent of the people living with prediabetes in this country unaware they have the condition and at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, we are excited to now be working with eight new states to help reach thousands more patients with prediabetes,” AMA President David Barbe, MD, said in a statement. “Using what we’ve learned through our ongoing work, we will have more opportunities to get more patients into proven programs that can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.”

Forty-five health systems are already involved in diabetes prevention efforts, the AMA said.

Reducing incidences of the disease has been shown to be most effectively done through lifestyle changes, rather than medications, according to a recent JAMA Internal Medicine analysis. It’s been a consistent focus of the AMA in recent years, being the subject of conference presentations and ad campaigns.

CMS has also taken notice. The most recent Physician Fee Schedule rule implemented the expanded model for the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program, which will begin in 2018.