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Washington, DC - On December 3rd Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Tom Rice (R-SC), and G.K. Butterfield (D-CA) introduced The Promoting Responsible and Effective Virtual Experiences through Novel Technology to Deliver Improved Access and Better Engagement with Tested and Evidence-Based Strategies (PREVENT DIABETES) Act.

"By dramatically expanding virtual access to the Diabetes Prevention Program, a critical Medicare service, we will ensure more Americans can utilize the informational resources they need to make healthy decisions. As Co-Chair of the Diabetes Caucus, we know how important it is to reduce the incidence of diabetes in the United States and support those Americans battling the disease," said Congressman Tom Reed, who serves as co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus.

"Nearly one-third of all adults in this country have either diabetes or prediabetes," said Congressman DeGette, who serves as co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus. "Finding ways to prevent more Americans from developing this deadly disease must remain one of our top priorities. This legislation will help us expand access to important resources and make them more available to more Americans – including our seniors, and those living in more rural areas, who may otherwise be unable to utilize them."

"Today I introduced the PREVENT DIABETES Act. Approximately 500,000 South Carolinians have diabetes. This legislation will expand virtual suppliers in the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) to those in rural, minority, or medically undeserved communities to help address disparities and improve lives. My goal is to create policies that give South Carolinians and all Americans access to high quality, efficient health care services under Medicare. MDPP expansion will help empower residents and families to make healthier choices, so we can prosper as a community," said Congressman Tom Rice.

According to the CDC, 13% of American adults have diabetes, including 26.8% of those aged 65 or older. Diabetes prevalence varies substantially by race/ethnicity, affecting 16.4% of Black adults, 14.9% of Asian adults, and 14.7% of Hispanic adults, versus 11.9% of White adults. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in South Carolina. Inclusion of virtual suppliers in MDPP could help to address these disparities and improve outcomes for older Americans across the board.

The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program expanded model is a structured intervention with the goal of preventing type 2 diabetes in individuals with an indication of pre-diabetes. The primary goal of the expanded model is at least 5 percent weight loss by participants. The study found that lifestyle changes resulting in modest weight loss sharply reduced the development of type 2 diabetes in people at high risk for the disease.

This legislation is supported by American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Medical Association (AMA), Association of Diabetes Care + Education Specialists (ADCES), Black Women's Health Imperative (BWHI), Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC), Endocrine Society, National Kidney Foundation, Novo Nordisk, Omada Health, Teladoc Health, YMCA of USA, Connected Health Initiative, and Noom.

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