MAG & AMA promoting diabetes prevention program

The Medical Association of Georgia and the American Medical Association (AMA) are encouraging physicians to take advantage of the National Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Change Program (NDPPLCP), which is a “structured, year-long program that has been proven to help patients delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.”  

AMA points out that “one out of three American adults have prediabetes, yet 90 percent of them don’t know they have it…[and] the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has been rising over the past 20 years.”

AMA also notes that, “Even more adults are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, as the Centers for Control and Prevention estimates that 84 million adult Americans have prediabetes.”

And AMA stresses that, “Prediabetes can be a reversible condition and treating it can delay or prevent progression to type 2 diabetes.”

Physicians can take the following three steps to identify patients who have prediabetes and refer them to an NDPPLCP…

Step 1:  Identify patients with prediabetes

Prediabetes can be diagnosed through one of three laboratory tests, including the hemoglobin A1C, the fasting plasma glucose, or the oral glucose tolerance test. The diagnostic ranges for normal glucose, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes are highlighted in the following graphic… 

Risk factors for prediabetes mirror those of type 2 diabetes and include a BMI that is consistent with overweight or obesity, among others. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has a screening recommendation for abnormal glucose in adults, or you can use an alternative screening protocol. For patients who have had a recent laboratory test, you can use your electronic health record or laboratory reports to identify patients who meet the diagnostic criteria for prediabetes. Once patients with prediabetes have been identified, they should be informed of their diagnosis – either during their next office visit or through an established notification process. This diagnosis should be documented in their chart using the ICD-10 code R73.03.

Step 2: Provide patients with evidence-based treatment

The NDPPLCP is an effective and evidence-based treatment for patients who have prediabetes that has been proven to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. It is an intensive lifestyle change program that can be delivered in-person, through distance learning or through virtual modalities. Individuals participate in group sessions that are led by a trained lifestyle coach that take place on an approximate weekly basis for the first few months of the program and then transition into a maintenance phase, which consists of sessions approximately once a month. It is comprehensive and gives participants the knowledge and skills to make sustainable healthy lifestyle changes. The curriculum addresses healthy diet and physical activity, as well as stress management and behavioral strategies, to make lasting changes. The CDC provides oversight and quality assurance of the NDPPLCP, and it maintains standards for program sites to receive approval and recognition.

Step 3: Monitor and follow-up

If you refer patients to a NDPPLCP, it is recommended that you monitor their progress and follow-up on their outcomes to help support them. A process should be established with the provider of the NDPPLCP to share regular updates about participation and achievement of goals for patients in the program. It is recommended that communication occur at designated points during the program. This will also allow you to arrange any appropriate follow-up visits or repeat laboratory testing for patients.

By using these three steps, you can help your patients reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and make them aware of the NDPPLCP. As a result, you empower your patients to improve their health and provide them with the skills and strategies to make long-term healthy lifestyle changes.

Click to find NDPPLCP in your area

Click for CDC/AMA ‘Prevent Diabetes STAT’ website