Medicare’s initiative for diabetes patients off to a rocky start

Type 2 diabetes is a serious health challenge faced by Americans and to tackle this mounting health challenge, patient provider communication has to be more effective. Not only healthcare providers and doctors have taken on the mantle to educate people but, organizations like Medicare too are contributing.

An initiative for seniors and people with serious disabilities has been launched by Medicare to prevent them from developing Type 2 diabetes. According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), atleast 23 million people aged 65 years and older are prediabetic, and this puts them at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program is for seriously disabled people and older adults with Medicare Part B coverage with prediabetic condition, free for those who qualify. Once this program is available in your area, you can sign up individually or the doctor will refer you, only if your BMI is atleast 25, (BMI of 23, if you’re Asian), your blood sugar levels are consistent with prediabetes and you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes.

The prevention program is a year-long series about healthy eating, behavioral changes and physical activity for those who are highly vulnerable to diabetes. But, the facilities aren’t ready yet. There aren’t any easy ways to know where these programs are available. This is the first of a kind for Medicare and is to be run by community organizations like YMCA and senior centers.

Supporters are pleading to be patient as this transformational step needs proper infrastructure to deliver the services and it’s going to take time.