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Feds Mull Medicare Changes After Big Success in YMCA’s Diabetes Program

People at high risk of developing diabetes lost about 5 percent of their body weight in a YMCA program that federal regulators said Wednesday was successful enough to expand. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) gave YMCAs nearly $12 million in 2011 to launch the program, which includes nutrition and fitness counseling and lifestyle coaching for Medicare recipients. The funding was provided by the Affordable Care Act, which also marked its 6th anniversary Wednesday. Speaking at a YMCA here as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in yet another Supreme Court challenge to the law, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said it was a fitting day to talk about going from “treating the sick to preventing the illness.” About 20 million people have gained coverage since the law was enacted.

CMS’ actuaries certified the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program would more than pay for itself for Medicare if the YMCA program was expanded, saving $2,650 per participant over 15 months. CMS plans to include details about how it could expand the program in its 2017 Medicare fee schedule for doctors, which should be out this summer.

Source/more: USA Today


David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.

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