Programs & Initiatives Through Policy – Cardiovascular Health Resources

Programs & Initiatives through Policy
State Employees Receive Diabetes Prevention Program

Recent research shows the number of new cases of diabetes in the US has declined from 1.7 million in 2008 to 1.4 million in 2014. The report states that lifestyle changes like reducing calorie intake, limiting soda consumption, and increased physical activity may have contributed to the drop in diagnoses.

While the risk of developing type 2 diabetes has slowed down, the rate of prediabetes is still on the rise. That’s why the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) continues efforts to increase access for all Minnesotans to CDC’s proven Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), which supports positive lifestyle changes for people who are at high risk for type 2 diabetes.

In April 2015, the State of Minnesota began offering this proven program as a covered benefit for all Minnesota State employees and their dependents.

Securing and implementing the DPP as a benefit for State Employees was a collaborative effort. Minnesota Department of Health’s Diabetes Unit along with key stakeholders created the statewide Minnesota Diabetes Collective Impact Initiative. This group developed a common purpose and agenda, identifying coverage of the DPP for State employees as a priority. Collaboration and leadership from the State Employee’s Insurance Plan (SEGIP) was essential to reaching this goal.

Success for the State

The State of Minnesota has already seen great success from offering the program as a covered benefit. The program not only shows people how to take charge of their health and make lasting changes, it also helps the State cut down on health care spending. Diabetes care and management costs Minnesota an estimated $3.1 billion a year. By offering the DPP, the State is working to reduce the number of people with type 2 diabetes and the healthcare costs associated with the disease. 

The results as of January 2018

  • 6,621 members enrolled
  • To date, enrollees have lost 50,916 pounds
  • After graduating from the 16 week course, participants had lost an average of 4.8 percent of their body weight
  • At this time, 79 percent of SEGIP participants are satisfied or completely satisfied with the program
  • 81 percent of participants have found increased appreciation with employer

Past participants rave about their experience in the program.

“I have very much enjoyed the Prevent Program. My coach is an awesome encouraging person. Not pushy, just full of good advice. I like the skill challenges, new ideas, grocery lists, and group encouragement. I would highly recommend the program to anyone who needs a little push to make better, healthier choices.”            

– Diane, Minnesota Department of Health

What you can do

The Minnesota Department of Health’s Diabetes Unit is building a statewide Diabetes Prevention Network to provide the DPP to all Minnesotans. They can help you take the first steps and learn how to get involved.

For individuals

Diabetes prevention programs are offered in a variety of community settings, like the University of Minnesota Extension, the YMCA and health care organizations. You can contact these providers directly or visit the I CAN Prevent Diabetes calendar to find a class in your area.

For employers

  • Tell your health insurance provider(s) you would like the DPP to be a covered benefit. They can help determine potential return on investment and value specific to your organization.
  • Engage employees in their health and host a prediabetes awareness education meeting, offer a comprehensive worksite wellness program or provide free diabetes screenings for employees.
  • Consider offering the DPP through your worksite wellness program. 
  • Make connections with other local diabetes prevention groups, community centers, clinics, and health centers who offer can offer the DPP at your work locations.

Learn more about how you can implement the DPP at the I CAN Prevent Diabetes website. Or call Kris Haugen, 651-201-4134 for more information for employers.