Health foundation expanding diabetes prevention program


Courtesy Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

A health insurance company is donating $50,000 to help a health foundation expand its diabetes prevention program.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation is giving a two-year, $50,000 grant to the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan to offer the diabetes prevention program to people in high-risk communities throughout Michigan. NKFM, based in Ann Arbor, has offices in Grand Rapids, Detroit and Flint.

The grant will allow Medicaid-eligible participants to access the CDC-certified lifestyle change program and demonstrate that “sustainable payment for the DPP is an essential state strategy,” NKFM said.

The NKFM will work with local health clinics and three health plans to inform providers about the DPP and enroll Medicaid and Medicaid-eligible participants in the program. NKFM staff also will collaborate with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Diabetes and Kidney Section, the state and Medicaid to promote favorable policy.

Diabetes disproportionately affects some groups of people more than others, including African-Americans and Latinos, NKFM said. Without intervention, one-third of those with pre-diabetes will progress to Type 2 diabetes within three years. Those most at risk for Type 2 diabetes live in communities where a healthy diet is not accessible.

The NKFM said it has long worked to prevent kidney disease by focusing on preventing two of its most prevalent causes: diabetes and hypertension. The DPP is an evidence-based program that reduces the rate of progression from pre-diabetes to Type 2 diabetes.

“This project addresses the identified participant barriers of health literacy, lack of transportation and food access,” said Charlene Cole, vice president, NKFM. “The long-term goal is to have Medicaid fund the DPP so that all members who have pre-diabetes can access the program.”

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