YMCA-led project shows how prevention programs save money and improve health
The YMCA of the USA, a leading community-based nonprofit committed to improving America’s health, together with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced today that a successful demonstration project of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program for the prevention of type 2 diabetes has shown to produce cost savings for Medicare participants. In Western North Carolina, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is offered throughout Buncombe, Henderson, and McDowell counties, to Y members and non-members alike.
This is the first time a preventive service pilot funded by the government’s CMMI office has been proven to reduce cost and lower incidence of type 2 diabetes. When compared with similar beneficiaries not in the program, Medicare estimated savings of $2,650 for each enrollee in the Diabetes Prevention Program over a 15-month period, more than enough to cover the cost of the program.
This announcement is a result of the findings from a three-year project, spearheaded by Y-USA, which was awarded funding from The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to deliver the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program (YMCA’s DPP) to nearly 8,000 participants.
Y-USA’s CMMI-funded project provided a platform for several of the nation’s leading public health organizations to join forces to issue a shared message with a common goal — know your risk to prevent new cases of type 2 diabetes. These organizations included: the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Medical Association, Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Council of LaRaza, National Council on Aging, and YMCA of the U.S.A.
Since 2005, the Y has worked to become a leading provider of chronic disease prevention programs and has positioned itself as a catalyst in community integrated health, spearheading research and scaling proven efforts to show that prevention and behavior change programs like the YMCA’s DPP are effective in combatting, reducing, and ultimately avoiding health risks associated with type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions.
The YMCA’s DPP is a shining example of the benefits of community-based organizations partnering with health care providers to deliver preventive services outside of the clinic and hospital setting – particularly services that community members may not otherwise be able to afford or access in traditional health care settings:
• The YMCA’s DPP helps adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity, and losing a modest amount of weight in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease.
• The program is a 12-month lifestyle behavior intervention with 25 sessions delivered over the course of one year.
The YMCA’s close partnerships with public health agencies, physicians, health care systems, employees, insurers, patient advocates, policymakers, and others have enabled the Y to effectively address gaps in care and reach more people. Through this work, health resources have become more accessible, health care providers leverage support of natural partners in the neighborhoods where their patients live, health outcomes improve, costs go down, and the entire community can take accountability for population health.
Nationwide, as of February 2016, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program had served over 42,000 participants at more than 1,400 sites in 45 states, resulting in average weight loss of 4.6% at the end of weekly sessions and 5.5% at the end of year.
Regionally, between May 2012 and March 2016, the YMCA of Western North Carolina’s Diabetes Prevention Program served over 720 participants throughout Henderson, Buncombe and McDowell counties, resulting in an average weight loss of 4.6% at the end of weekly sessions and 4.5% at the end of the year.
For more information about the YMCA of Western North Carolina’s Diabetes Prevention Program, please visit our website at www.ymcawnc.org/diabetes-prevention. You may also contact Melissa Pennscott, Marketing and Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828 210 2267.