U-M Premier Care to cover diabetes prevention program

July 29, 2015  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

U-M Premier Care members who meet clinical criteria for prediabetes will be able participate in a Diabetes Prevention Program at no cost through a new collaboration between the Benefits Office, MHealthy and Blue Care Network (BCN).

Initially, the pilot program will be available to U-M Premier Care members who have been invited to participate by BCN.

An estimated 86 million Americans are considered prediabetic, with higher than normal blood sugar and an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes within five years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with type 2 diabetes have higher medical costs and a higher risk of serious health complications.

“We know from claims data that diabetes is among the most significant health issues facing our faculty, staff and their families in terms of cost and quality of life,” said Marsha Manning, manager of medical benefits in the U-M Benefits Office. “But there is also growing evidence that type 2 diabetes can be prevented. We’re excited to begin covering the Diabetes Prevention Program as an investment in the long-term health of our community.” 

The Diabetes Prevention Program is a lifestyle change program developed by the CDC for people with prediabetes. Participants work with a trained lifestyle coach to make sustainable changes related to healthy eating, physical activity, problem solving and coping skills.

Community organizations throughout southeast Michigan offer the Diabetes Prevention Program, which is also available online.   

Research funded by the National Institutes of Health found that the year-long program cut participants’ risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.

“The Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidence-based program that has been shown to be effective in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes for individuals who are at high risk for developing this disease,” said LaVaughn Palma-Davis, senior director of University Health and Well-Being Services. “We hope that eligible members will take advantage of this tremendous value.”

U-M Premier Care members who do not receive an invitation letter from BCN but believe they may be eligible for the program should contact their primary care physician. A physician may refer a member with prediabetes to the program by contacting BCN.

For members who do not meet the clinical criteria to participate, MHealthy physical activity and nutrition programs are available to help participants reduce their health risks by maintaining a healthy weight and active lifestyle.     

Coverage for the Diabetes Prevention Program will be available within U-M Premier Care on a pilot basis and may be expanded to other U-M health plans in the future based on the results of the pilot. Participation is confidential and no identifying information will be shared with U-M.

Visit hr.umich.edu/diabetes-prevention to learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program.

Website: http://hr.umich.edu/diabetes-prevention