AMA President Calls on Payer Partners to Curb Type 2 Diabetes

March 26, 2018

The American Medical Association (AMA) is working to prevent new cases of type 2 diabetes-a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. However, we know that we cannot do it alone.

As part of our commitment to improving the health of the nation, the American Medical Association (AMA) is working to prevent new cases of type 2 diabetes-a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. However, we know that we cannot do it alone.

BarbeThe best way for us to reach more patients directly is through partnerships. Our work to prevent type 2 diabetes is centered on building clinical-community linkages that will enhance the delivery of care and enable us to partner with our patients for better health.

We are currently working together with medical societies in 11 states to help reach more of the 84 million American adults who live with prediabetes-the precursor to type 2 diabetes.

Through these collaborations, we are developing models to help galvanize more physicians throughout the country to screen their at-risk patients for prediabetes and refer those at high risk to the evidenced-based National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) which has been shown to cut in half the risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes. This is also the primary mission of Prevent Diabetes STAT™, the ongoing national initiative that the AMA and CDC launched in 2015. 

We are also forging partnerships to expand enrollment and coverage of the DPP, and our work is paying off. Last year, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield implemented coverage of the DPP in two states and is currently expanding nationwide-a move that is now prompting other national health plans to expand pilots through their physician networks.

Additionally, our work with HHS to expand coverage of the National DPP to Medicare beneficiaries at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes resulted in a huge victory for America’s seniors last year when HHS made the decision to authorize expanded coverage of the program.

Through new and continued partnerships, the AMA is making progress in reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes and improving health outcomes for our patients. We will not be able to truly improve the health of the nation until, in partnership with our patients, we do a better job of preventing chronic conditions.

David O. Barbe, MD, is president of the American Medical Association