Message from the Medical Director
I am writing to share some exciting news with you! The CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is now a covered benefit for members of MedStar Family Choice. The DPP is a yearlong, lifestyle change program with a wealth of scientific studies supporting its effectiveness at reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in at-risk individuals.
Attached is a document from the American Medical Association (AMA) and CDC with some of the evidence. Both the CDC and AMA acknowledge the rising prevalence rate of type 2 diabetes and how it is a significant healthcare concern on a national scale. Closer to home, the DPP is also included in the recently published Maryland State Diabetes Action Plan (which is on the Maryland Department of Health website at PHPA.Health.Maryland.gov/CCDPC/Pages/Diabetes-Action-Plan.aspx). We encourage you to review the Maryland Diabetes Action Plan so you know how to become involved in this very important public health initiative.
Patients may self-refer to a DPP program, but I hope you will help identify patients in your practice who qualify for the program. A recommendation coming from you would be strong encouragement for your patient to participate.
Eligible MedStar Family Choice members can participate in one of three ways: 1) online; 2) distance learning (via phone or video conference); or 3) in-person. To be eligible for the DPP, patients must:
- Be ages 18 to 64 at the start of the year-long program;
- Be overweight or obese with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or more
(23 or more if of Asian descent);
- Be diagnosed with gestational diabetes or pre-diabetes; and
- Have had one of the following blood tests in the last 12 months with results in the range below:
- Fasting glucose of 100 to 125 mg/dL;
- Plasma glucose measured 2 hours after a 75 gm glucose load of 140 to 199 mg/dL; or
- Hemoglobin A1C level of 5.7% to 6.4%
All three versions follow a curriculum outlined and approved by the CDC. All of the programs are either recognized or in-process to be recognized by the CDC and Maryland HealthChoice. MedStar Family Choice has DPP providers who can offer one, two, or all three options to accommodate members’ preferences and needs. All modalities have been shown to be effective in clinical studies.
I hope that you seek out patients under your care who have pre-diabetes and take action to refer them to this program. You can recommend a patient to join a DPP program by completing the recommendation form enclosed and faxing it to the DPP provider of your choice like a referral.
Let’s take an active approach in partnering with our available resources to help serve our patients. If you have any questions, please contact your Provider Relations representative.
Dr. Patryce Toye
Medical Director, MedStar Family Choice