California is facing a diabetic crisis, with 55% of adults and 23% of teens having type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. The problem is growing, with 1.9 million Californians expected to be diagnosed with diabetes in the next 5 years – along with an expected 15 billion extra healthcare costs. Last week, however, California took huge steps in the fight against diabetes. $5 million has been designated for diabetes prevention programs across the state, with coverage through Medicaid starting in 2018. This is great news for us at Skinny Gene, as the DPP is the core focus of what we do in the community. The bill, SB 97, is made with the expectation of another $8 million to be matched by the federal government in the coming years. Together, this $13 million is expected to save Californians $45 million a year that would have been associated with the immediate costs of diabetes. The important part about prevention is that besides the health benefits, the costs associated with it compared to treatment are substantially lower.
The acknowledgment and legislative commitment shown by California puts it in league with only two other states, Minnesota and Montana, as states that provide diabetes prevention programs as a Medicaid benefit. Daniel Zingale, senior vice president at the California Endowment, said, “What’s revolutionary about this change is that it finally starts to recognize that by investing modest amounts on the front end on prevention, we can save enormous amounts in the long term”. This change helps Skinny Gene to continue doing what we have been doing, and will allow roughly 25,000 prediabetics to receive DPP care every year through their insurance. The only requirements to benefit from this bill is to be overweight and have high blood sugar levels, so that the ones who receive care are those who need it most.
Designs By: Courteney Lisowski