News release: State receives up to $10 million federal grant to help prevent diabetes

News Release
Sept. 23, 2011
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State receives up to $10 million federal grant to help prevent diabetes

Joint agency effort aimed at Medicaid enrollees

Two state agencies have been awarded $10 million over five years to help people enrolled in Minnesota’s Medicaid program prevent diabetes and other chronic disease by participating in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program and receiving other incentives for healthy behavior.

The award, through the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is part of the recently announced Million Hearts initiative (PDF), which aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. Minnesota is one of 10 states receiving Medicaid incentive grants to support prevention programs. The Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Department of Health could receive a total of $10 million in federal funding through October 2016, but they will need to re-apply each year to access the full amount.  The initial funding through September 2012 is for $1 million with funding for future years at higher levels as it is fully implemented.

“This funding gives us the opportunity to help our clients improve their health,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, “and could also help lower state health care spending for chronic conditions.” 

Through the Minnesota Diabetes Prevention Project, which will begin Jan. 1, enrollees in Medical Assistance, Minnesota’s Medicaid program, will have the opportunity to participate in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program at 30 sites across the metro area over the next five years. The project will be administered by the two state agencies.

“This grant builds on our partnership with the YMCA over the past four years in implementing the scientifically proven Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP),” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger. “We are confident that the strong presence in Minnesota of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program and the support of this grant will take prevention of type 2 diabetes to a whole new level over the next five years.”

According to Ehlinger, a large national study has shown that people with pre-diabetes who lost 7 percent of their body weight showed a 58 percent reduction in their progression to type 2 diabetes over three years by following the DPP program. More than 1 million Minnesotans have pre-diabetes.

Approximately 2,700 people with a pre-diabetes diagnosis or who are at risk for developing diabetes are expected to take part in the project. Some participants will also receive health-related incentives for completing the program and achieving weight loss goals, which help reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes. Focus groups will determine which incentives are most effective.

The project will be implemented through health care homes, as well as other primary care and safety net clinics and will provide funding to clinical partners for outreach and coordination associated with the program.

The project will test two different participant incentive structures to determine whether providing individual and group incentives improves the outcomes of such programs. HealthPartners Research Foundation will design the study and conduct the evaluation. 


For more information, contact:

Doug Schultz
MDH Communications

Karen Smigielski
DHS Communications