The Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group recently conducted a study assessing the effectiveness of diabetes prevention using either medication or weight loss via lifestyle changes in pre-diabetic patients. Results demonstrated that both the drug as well as diet and activity coaching reduced the risk of developing diabetes. However, participants in the lifestyle coaching group were 58% less likely to develop diabetes compared to the control group. The lifestyle changes that you, as RDNs help your clients to make, were nearly twice as effective as medication.
As research of this type becomes more prolific, the more aware the public will become of the value of nutritional counseling for those who are pre-diabetic and diabetic. There are a few programs we’d like to introduce you to that do already recognize your value in providing preventive care and counseling to those who are pre-diabetic and those with diabetes.
National Diabetes Prevention Program
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) is a partnership of public and private organizations working to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. The program provides opportunity for people at risk for diabetes to participate in evidence-based lifestyle change programs to reduce their risk of developing the chronic disease.
One key feature of the NDPP is the CDC-recognized Lifestyle Change Program focused on healthy eating and physical activity – the very program mentioned in the above study, for clients in need of long-term additional lifestyle support to help reinforce the important advice that you provide during your one-on-one visits with clients.
Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program
The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) is described by CMS as set of structured behavior change sessions delivered using the above-mentioned CDC-approved curriculum delivered by an approved Medicare supplier of the MDPP. This is essentially the CMS’ program for preventing type 2 diabetes in individuals with an indication of pre-diabetes, using the CDC’s programming criteria. Medicare beneficiaries with Medicare Part B who meet eligibility criteria have a once-in-a lifetime, free benefit for the MDPP services. The program has been well-received and is celebrating its first anniversary this month!
Learn more about the MPDD:
Value of Dietitians as Medicare Providers
As registered dietitian nutritionists, you are the most qualified healthcare professionals to provide nutrition-based lifestyle interventions, including MNT and evidence-based nutrition counseling, to individuals with pre-diabetes and diabetes. The programs above recognize your expertise and the importance of preventive care for those at risk of developing diabetes.
If you are interested in seeing clients covered by Medicare, your Healthy Bytes experts are here to help!