WASHINGTON — The Obama administration plans on Wednesday to propose expanding Medicare to cover programs to prevent diabetes among millions of people at high risk of developing the disease, marking the sixth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act with the prospect of a new benefit, federal officials said.
Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of health and human services, is scheduled to announce the proposal at a Y.M.C.A. here. Under the plan, Medicare would pay for certain “lifestyle change programs” in which trained counselors would coach consumers on healthier eating habits and increased physical activity as ways to prevent Type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult onset diabetes. Such programs have been found effective in people with a condition known as prediabetes, meaning that they have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes.
Services covered by the proposed diabetes prevention benefit could be provided in person or online. Omada Health, a San Francisco company founded in 2011 with venture capital, says it has provided diabetes-prevention services online to more than 45,000 people, most of whom had employer-sponsored insurance.
“With Medicare coverage, our work with seniors is likely to grow dramatically,” said Mike Payne, the head of medical affairs at Omada.
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Via: The New York Times