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CDC gives $12.5M grant to Trinity Health to improve equity in diabetes

The grant will allow Trinity Health to start a hub to help adults over 65 and Black and Latinx/Hispanic adults who are at risk for type 2 diabetes.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Photo: SimpleImages/Getty Images

Michigan-based Trinity Health is the recipient of $12.5 million through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that aims to prevent type 2 diabetes and reduce disparities.

The grant will allow Trinity Health to start a hub to help adults over 65 and Black and Latinx/Hispanic adults 18 or older who are at risk for type 2 diabetes.

The hub is one of four across the U.S.听and includes a network of partners from other health and human service sectors to increase participation in the CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). This 12-month lifestyle change program is designed to help participants achieve moderate weight loss through healthy eating habits and increased physical activity.

The overall goals are to improve access to DPP, reduce disparities in outcomes, increase the use of existing coverage benefits听and work to expand payer coverage of this intervention.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT

Hub partners will work together to remove barriers for participants to successfully participate in the program. Trinity said the network will address the social needs of participants, such as transportation, food and housing, and will improve access to DPP by increasing the number of public and private payers or employers that offer the program and its social care interventions as benefits.

The Trinity Health hub includes diabetes prevention providers, community health workers, payers, clinicians, community-based organizations, professional organizations and technology partners across a 16-state service area.听

The initial partners on the project include Aetna/CVS Health, American Medical Association, Catholic Charities USA, YMCA of the USA, Capital District Physician Health Plan, Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN NY), HabitNu (a digital DPP provider)听and The Public Good Projects.

The new cooperative agreement builds on a previous six-year, $8.5 million grant Trinity Health received in 2017 to increase the number of DPP delivery sites, increase program enrollment, maintain participation rates and increase benefit coverage. The grant was also used to standardize clinical screening and detection of diabetes.

During the grant period, Trinity Health built the DPP into its electronic health record to make identifying patients and enrolling them in the program easier. Since September 2017, 5,988 participants have enrolled in a Trinity Health DPP and have collectively lost a total of over 51,000 pounds.

THE LARGER TREND

The spending on care for diabetes is significant at over $240 billion annually, with the Medicare program responsible for nearly 60% of that spending, the American Diabetes Association. And patients with diabetes typically have greater healthcare needs and higher spending leading up to their diagnoses.

Medicare Advantage patients fare better on diabetes outcomes than their counterparts in traditional fee-for-service Medicare, according to study findings published in February.

This has implications for older Americans especially, since from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services indicates that nearly one-third of people aged 65 and older have type 2 diabetes 鈥 a chronic condition that significantly worsens health status. With half of those eligible now enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, policymakers are focused on assessing the clinical impact of the MA model on such diseases.

Twitter: @JELagasse
Email the writer:听Jeff.Lagasse@himssmedia.com