The Number, Adam Boehler, Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program, Kaiser Health News

The Number: 23 Million

Submitted by Rob Wyse on Sat, 06/30/2018 - 07:35

Beyond the estimated 30 million people who have diabetes is another 23 million estimated to have prediabetes – defined as elevated blood sugar levels putting them at heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

A subset of the 23 million are those on Medicare. Preventing the disease is a growing priority of Medicare. In April, Judith Graham of Kaiser Health News (KHN) wrote about a new initiative, The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program, “a yearlong series of classes about healthy eating, physical activity and behavioral change for people at high risk of developing diabetes.”  It has been struggling to get off the ground, according to her interviews with experts, but the program may be picking up.

In a written comment (in April), a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said about 50 of more than 400 eligible programs are in the process of submitting applications,” reported Graham.