This week, the Center for Medicare andMedicaid Services (CMS) proposed a change to its Medicare policies intended to prevent diabetes, an epidemic affecting an increasing number of Americans each year. The program could roll out nationally as early as 2018 and has already been piloted in 8 states since 2013. Because of the success the program has had so far, the CMS is allowed to scale it nationally without the approval of Congress.
In a nutshell, the program aids beneficiaries in three ways:
- Pre-diabetics receive nutritional coaching to improve the diet and nutritional choices they make to prevent onset.
- Patients participate in a lifestyle intervention program to adjust mindset and instill healthy values once nutritional coaching program ends.
- Beneficiaries are encouraged to engage in moderate physical exercise throughout the program.
We are encouraged by the positive results participants have experienced so far. Pre-diabetics with high blood sugar saw particularly great results; patients who attended at least 4 sessions lost 5% of body weight.
The program is expected to increase reimbursement of services for clinicians (including RDs) in the amount of >$500 million nationwide.
At Healthie, we look forward to watching the development of this initiative, and we consider this program to be a promising enterprise nationwide in the future.