Federal dollars could help prevent diabetes in San Diego

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego County health officials say half of the adults here are on the path to diabetes. It's a problem communities nationwide are trying to grapple with, no turning to prevention efforts.

Those at risk have prediabetes, meaning their blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says they are more likely to develop diabetes within five years and more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

Health Care Providers like Scripps Health already have prevention programs underway.

"Here at Scripps we've put together a full education program and support program for people in the community who are at risk for diabetes or have prediabetes," said Robin Morrisey, a Scripps Health Lifestyle Coach. "And we're using the CDC's curriculum for diabetes prevention."

She says Medicare has proposed to pay for a formal diabetes prevention program beginning in 2018. Right now Scripps is in the process of getting recognized by the CDC as a diabetes prevention program so they can be eligible for Medicare reimbursement.

"That will help us so we can maintain resources and staff to be able to conduct the program, to be able to hopefully provide some more ongoing support to those who participate," said Morrisey.

Providers could receive up to $785 for each participant who loses 5% of their body weight and participates in a comprehensive lifestyle program. The funding goes up to $810 for 9% body weight loss.

Morrisey says they expect to hear by November if the Medicare funding will be moving forward.

You can learn more about free Scripps programs below or call 1-800-SCRIPPS

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