Cape Gazette: YMCA Offers Diabetes Prevention Program To Medicare Patients

The YMCA of Delaware is expanding the availability of its Diabetes Prevention Program to eligible Medicare participants as a covered benefit.

The YMCA’s DPP is a group-based lifestyle intervention for adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It has been shown to reduce the number of new cases of diabetes by 58 percent overall and by 71 percent in adults over 60.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 84 million people in the U.S. have prediabetes, yet only 10 percent are aware they have the condition. Without weight loss and moderate physical activity, 15 to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years. Having prediabetes means a person has elevated blood glucose levels that are not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis.

The YMCA of Delaware becomes one of the first organizations in the country certified to offer a diabetes prevention program as a covered Medicare benefit, vastly expanding access to the more than 196,363 Medicare participants in Delaware, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“Prediabetes is a preventable condition if people, especially older adults, make behavioral changes such as increasing physical activity and eating healthier foods,” said Tricia Jefferson, RD, director of programs and partnerships for the YMCA of Delaware. “Expanding access of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program to Medicare-eligible participants will help improve the health and well-being of our community.”

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a year-long program consisting of 25 group sessions. In a relaxed classroom setting, a trained lifestyle coach helps participants learn skills that will help them incorporate healthy eating, increased physical activity and other behavior changes into their everyday lives. The goals of the program are 5 to 7 percent weight loss and an increase in physical activity to 150 minutes per week. In Delaware the YMCA has served approximately 2,000 participants, in all three counties, with an 82 percent retention rate. Program participants also achieve an average weight loss of 5 percent and 187 minutes of physical activity per week.

To be eligible for this program, participants must be at least 18 years old with a BMI of 25 or greater (BMI of 23 or greater for Asian individuals), and at risk for developing type 2 diabetes or diagnosed with prediabetes. People under 18 and those diagnosed with diabetes do not qualify. Medicare participants may have additional eligibility requirements. A YMCA membership is not required for participation.

For more information, contact the YMCA Healthy Living Department at 302-572-9622 or go to

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