Living in the United States, you’ve probably heard the term “Diabetes”. Diabetes is a common disease characterized by high blood glucose or large quantities of sugar within the blood. Prediabetes is also a common disease where the blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered Type II diabetes. Nearly 26 million Americans are living with diabetes, and 79 million have prediabetes. Diabetes comes with significant damages to your health and wallet. One out of every four federal health care dollars is spent treating people with diabetes making the average yearly cost for a diabetic about $13,700. To the U.S. healthcare system, the cost of diabetes was estimated to $322 billion, with $244 billion in excess medical expenditures and $78 billion in reduced national productivity. In perspective, 35 to 40 percent of people with diabetes have the disease listed as their cause of death on their death certificates.
With the increasing number of diabetes cases and healthcare costs, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance have been actively meeting with congressional staff from the House and Senate to plan, coordinate, develop and pass legislation that could help prevent type II diabetes, improve diabetes care, patient outcomes and cost effectiveness of care. They are currently looking for bipartisan Senate sponsors to support the Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act (H.R. 1257). The bill is bipartisan and currently stands having 167 co-sponsors within the House and 21 co-sponsors in the Senate.
What the Bill consists of:
Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act (H.R. 1686): Would allow Medicare to cover medical nutrition therapy (MNT) services performed by a registered dietitian nutritionist to patients with prediabetes.
National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act (H.R. 1074, S. 539): Would establish a Commission to evaluate and make recommendations about how to coordinate and leverage federal programs that relate to clinical care for people with prediabetes and diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes Act (H.R. 1916, S. 907): Would require the development of a gestational diabetes research program to expand and enhance surveillance data and public health research on gestational diabetes.
Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act (S. 452, H.R. 962): Would allow participation in the National Diabetes Prevention Program to be a covered benefit under Medicare.
Passage of this legislation would be extremely beneficial to both diabetes patients as well as registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). It will give an opportunity to RDN’s to use their knowledge and scope of practice in diabetes education and medical nutrition therapy to help cure and assist patients.
To learn more about this legislation, check out the source below used to create this week’s nutrition in health care post!
Source: Diabetes and Prediabetes