In October of this year the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released its recommendations for adults aged 40 to 70 years who are overweight or obese. The USPSTF recommends screening for abnormal blood glucose as part of cardiovascular risk assessment, and that clinicians should offer or refer patients with abnormal blood glucose to intensive behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthful diet and physical activity. This recommendation received a B rating, which means that under the Affordable Care Act, the service must be a covered benefit. National policy experts believe that as a result of this recommendation, there should be an uptick in screening and referrals to evidence based programs such as the National Diabetes Prevention Program.
Statistics from the CDC indicate that 1 out of 3 American adults have prediabetes and 9 out of 10 do not know they have it. Furthermore, providers may lack awareness about prediabetes and knowledge of the National Diabetes Prevention Program. In order for the DPP to be an effective referral option, providers must know where there are DPP classes in their communities and adopt easy systems to refer their patients. This presents a huge opportunity for communities throughout California to raise awareness about prediabetes and to encourage providers to screen, test, and refer their patients with prediabetes to the National Diabetes Prevention Program and its lifestyle change classes. Luckily, there are many free and accessible tools to help you with your efforts: