Medicare Provider Incentives May Lead to Reduction of Type 2 Diabetes
Public health and the access to medical care for the impoverished or for those who have lower than average incomes have always been a subject of controversy in the United States. However, in the past few years, increased government investment in this sector have made proper healthcare available for all with Senior Life Insurance Finder, even for those who would normally not have enough money to visit a medical expert, and much less to contract a health insurance policy. Political matters aside, the Obama administration granted the average American citizen access to competitive medical aid if he or she should fall ill with any given ailment.
Unfortunately, said medical care rarely included preventive medicine, and would only cover expenses once the condition or disease had taken hold. However, this might just be coming to an end thanks to the new incentives that federal officials are offering healthcare providers for participating in a new and innovative program to make preventive medicine accessible to patients that meet certain requirements.
This new program, called the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP), was first formulated last year in 2016 and is aimed at increasing the sum of money that healthcare providers receive when treating individuals with prediabetes. Before this program, Medicare would only cover up to $450 in expenses for any given patient. However, once it comes into effect, healthcare providers will receive a varying sum of money for treating prediabetic patients, which varies according to the amount of weight loss the patient has perceived during a set amount of time.
The MDPP is offering healthcare providers up to $785 for treating patients that have lost a total of 5% of their body weight, and a maximum of $810 for providing preventive medical aid to those who have lost 9% of their body weight due to prediabetes. This incentive may also continue increasing the more weight the patient is able to lose through the support of healthcare providers.
Type 2 diabetes characteristics
Type 2 diabetes is a very serious disorder, and also happens to be the most common variation, compared to type 1 diabetes. Said condition is characterized by decreased insulin production capacity in the beta pancreatic cells, leading to a shortage of the vital hormone in the patient’s bloodstream. Consequently, the patient’s blood sugar levels spike to unsustainable levels as there is a notable shortage in the hormone tasked with metabolizing and keeping said levels in check.
Type 2 diabetes is usually caused by a combination of genetics, biological, and lifestyle factors and, up until a few years ago, was more common in adults and the elderly. In other words, the disease was more common in individuals who have lived long enough to trigger the destruction of insulin-producing structures in the pancreas, the time of which, however, also varies according to the patient’s own genetics and biological factors.
Regardless, as sugary treats and beverages become easily accessible to children from a very young age, and the proliferation of passive entertainment such as TV and video games continues to expand, type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common in younger subjects every day. Today, it is as common for a child to develop type 2 diabetes as it was for adults a few years ago; this is a tendency that researchers report is still worsening with each passing day.
When the disease has taken hold, the constant spikes in the patient’s blood sugar levels can cause irreparable damages to his or her body, leading to a decreased life expectancy of around 10 years. Patients that suffer from diabetes usually have two to four times more probability of experiencing cardiovascular disease, as well as almost 20 times increased probability of lower limb amputation due to the complications in blood flow that the disease entails. Furthermore, as the patient is more probable to develop conditions or other diseases, it is very likely that they will be hospitalized at least several times during their lives and, if not treated properly, can also lead to their death due to renal failure or other complications.
Observing these signs can be very distressing for a loved one. If you feel unprepared to handle these changes on your own, or your patient has special needs you are unable to manage, you can find Medicare Special Needs Plans here to help you find the right support they need during this time.
How does prediabetes differ?
Prediabetes, however, has a very different variety of symptoms, which are understandably milder than those of the actual disease. A prediabetic person will often experience increased urination, constant thirst, increased appetite, and a notable weight loss despite craving food more. Other common symptoms of the disease include blurry vision, itchiness, peripheral neuropathy, and a loss of sensation or tingling in the patient’s feet. In women, it is common that prediabetic patients experience vaginal infections with increased frequency.
That being said, despite the lethality of the disease if left unchecked, there are plenty of methods that can be used to establish an early diagnosis and improve the patient’s quality of life in preparation for the disease, or to prevent it entirely. This is the idea behind the new initiative promoted by the federal government.
Prediabetic patients who fulfill the conditions for treatment will have access to up to 36 months of sessions with a medical specialist where they will learn about their condition and the methods that must be used in order to prevent their prediabetes from progressing towards a formal type 2 diabetes diagnosis. To this end, the patients will learn about healthy nutrition, diet, and exercise routines that could be used to improve the patient’s condition. Considering that the diabetes medication and treatment is a $42 billion industry, any initiatives which could prevent the disease from setting in entirely is definitely worth a try.
According to statistics, there are around 20 million individuals aged 65 or older that may be suffering from prediabetes without even knowing it. Through the incentives provided by the MDPP, healthcare providers might be stimulated to delve further into the patient’s medical profile in search of diabetes or symptoms of prediabetes. Furthermore, the tests required to establish a proper diagnosis tend to be time-consuming for most physicians, prompting said professionals to forgo them in lieu of simply getting the job done and seeing more patients. These incentives will also help these physicians to conduct proper prediabetes examinations, which may hopefully reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
The MDPP is still in the works and is expected to launch by November this year.