National Diabetes Prevention Program is a Covered Insurance Benefit for HCMC Employees

The Holy Cross Medical Center (HCMC) Diabetes Self-Management Program is thrilled to announce our plan to offer the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) as a covered insurance benefit for HCMC employees beginning in the summer of 2020.

The NDPP was created in 2010 to address the increasing burden of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in the U.S. It is a partnership between public and private organizations in communities across the U.S with the purpose of offering evidence-based, cost-effective interventions that may help to prevent type 2 diabetes. This program is based on research which revealed that people with or at-risk for pre-diabetes who take part in a structured lifestyle change program can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% (71% for people over 60 years old).

Participation in the group-based, year-long program is a 100% covered benefit for HCMC employees with 1) the hospital-sponsored Blue Cross Blue Shield health plan and, 2) a positive risk-screening test for pre-diabetes as shown on the following page.

Weekly classes will be offered by a trained Lifestyle Change Coach and Registered Dietitian here on the HCMC campus with the goal of eating well and being active to lose at least 5-7% bodyweight. The program lasts one year with classes occurring less frequently as time goes on – i.e. classes are weekly in the first 4 months and progress toward monthly in the final 6 months.
You may be asking, “If this program is so great, why don’t we offer it to the community?” to which we reply, “That’s the plan!” In order to become a CDC-recognized branch of NDPP, all programs must first submit one year’s-worth of anonymous data about their participants’ progress – something like a “pilot cohort”. With the interest and committed participation of HCMC employees, we hope to offer the same preventative services to the whole of Taos County within the next few years. Given that 1 in 3 American adults are living with pre-diabetes (most of whom are un-diagnosed), we know the need exists here in our community, too.

Most cases of pre-diabetes will develop into overt diabetes within 5 years. Although individuals who live with diagnosed diabetes can live fulfilling, joyful lives, they pay more than 2.5 times as much in health care costs annually when compared to an individual living without diabetes. Not to mention many folks living with diabetes are less present for both work hours and social events due to health related issues and face higher risks for other conditions such as kidney and heart disease.

If you’re living with or at-risk for pre-diabetes and are asking yourself whether or not you can afford to make the time for this preventative program – to potentially save thousands over your lifetime, extend your years to be spent with loved ones, and just feel all-around better – ask instead, “Can I afford NOT to?”

For more information or to submit your completed risk-screening form, email kswalwell@taoshospital.org, call (575) 737 – 3285, or visit the HCMC Diabetes Self-Management Program.

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