CMS Must Ensure Seniors Have Access To Diabetes Prevention Resources

CMS Must Ensure Seniors Have Access to Diabetes Prevention Resources

CMS Must Ensure Seniors Have Access to Diabetes Prevention Resources

The scourge of type 2 diabetes across the United States costs American taxpayers billions of dollars every single year. Diabetes and diabetes-related treatment is one of the biggest drivers of rising health care costs for every payer — with Medicare spending more on treating those with the disease every year. This is particularly true in rural America, as the prevalence of diabetes and coronary heart disease is approximately 17 and 39 percent higher in rural areas than urban areas.
Policymakers from both sides of the aisle recognize this reality, and have embraced the challenge of confronting a preventable, but devastating, epidemic. Last month, for the first time in the agency’s history, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services laid out proposed rules to reimburse providers to proactively prevent chronic disease by paying for the evidence-based Diabetes Prevention Program for eligible beneficiaries. Last year, the CMS Actuary certified that this program both improved quality of care and reduced costs for Medicare.
But unfortunately, the proposed rule missed a huge opportunity to extend access to this benefit to the area most in need: rural America.
In the July 13 rule, CMS proposed only making in-person DPP providers eligible for reimbursement, despite enormous evidence that virtual providers can achieve equal, or even better, results with senior populations. In addition, CMS’ sister agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been recognizing digital programs for more than two years while also collecting data demonstrating these programs’ eff Continue reading

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Seniors and Diabetes: Latest Info and Actions for Family Caregivers

Seniors and Diabetes: Latest Info and Actions for Family Caregivers

Many of our senior loved ones have diabetes — 25.9%, or 11.8 million seniors over 65 are affected, according to the American Diabetes Association. That includes both cases that have been diagnosed and those that are undiagnosed.
A diabetes diagnosis means our blood glucose (sugar) level is too high. The higher the level, the greater the risk for complications.
It is also estimated that 50% of seniors have pre-diabetes which is a higher than normal level of blood sugar not yet diabetic. This is the point where prevention strategies can be effective if you are aware of the diagnosis.
Diabetes Care Challenging
Caring for person with diabetes can be complicated and challenging for family caregivers.
There are many complications from diabetes that family caregivers are struggling to prevent including heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, gum disease, nerve damage, amputations and heart attack or stroke. As a result we work very hard to manage the symptoms in our senior loved ones, follow a diabetic meal plan and help them get plenty of exercise.
Unfortunately, diabetes continues to be the 7th leading cause of death in the US as of 2010, with the diagnosis of diabetes taking an estimated 4-11 years off the life expectancy for our senior loved ones.
Because dealing with diabetes can become more difficult as your senior loved one ages, it is important to understand the risks of uncontrolled diabetes and the ways you can help manage it to help keep them healthy.
Latest Challenges for Seniors with Diabetes
There continues to be more information about diabetes coming out of the Continue reading

Managing type 1 diabetes is 'essentially my day job'

Managing type 1 diabetes is 'essentially my day job'

Amber McGrath is 18 and for most of her life she's lived with type 1 diabetes.
She's one of about 35,000 under-19s in the UK with the condition, according to the charity Diabetes UK.
Type 1 diabetes, which is different to type 2 diabetes, is an autoimmune condition which means a person's pancreas has stopped working.
There is no cure and Amber will spend the rest of her life monitoring her blood glucose level constantly as well as giving herself insulin injections.
BBC Advice has more help and information about diabetes.
"Essentially my day job is being an organ in my body, which is the pancreas I'm missing," Amber, who is from Portsmouth, tells Newsbeat.
"People don't realise how much hard work goes into it."
"On average, a blood glucose test, which I should be performing at least four times a day probably takes about two minutes," says Amber.
"An [insulin] injection probably takes about five minutes.
"It doesn't sound like a lot but there are all of the mental calculations you have to do when it comes to eating food, drinking alcohol, exercising especially, which I don't think I could put a time on."
You can read more about Lydia Parkhurst, who has type 1 diabetes and explains why it's not down to her diet or weight.
Amber's goal is to keep her blood sugar reading between four and seven.
You can see from her diary that Amber woke up at 10.20pm, not long after going to bed and just before 5am, with readings lower than four.
This means she was hypoglycemic and the amount of glucose in her blood was too low.
"I will physically shake, I will feel very tired. I usually get emo Continue reading

Diabetes Is Already Psychologically Demanding, So Cut the Stigma Too

Diabetes Is Already Psychologically Demanding, So Cut the Stigma Too

When Rachel Kerstetter woke up the morning of Aug. 11, 2011, she knew something was wrong. She had risen multiple times during the night. She was extremely thirsty and her vision was blurry. She needed to go to the bathroom more often than usual.
She could trace some of the symptoms back a couple of weeks, but she thought it was just stress. She and her husband, Brad, had just married that May, and were adjusting to life as newlyweds; they were both searching for jobs right out of college; and Kerstetter was dealing with family drama, all while her father was hospitalized with cancer.
But after she experienced nausea and vomiting that particular night, Brad made her go to the doctor — and it ended up saving her life.
Kerstetter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that causes a person's pancreas to produce little or no insulin — a hormone that converts sugar into the energy we need to survive. Doctors found high glucose and ketones in her urine, and after a three-night stay in the hospital, she was released with basic instructions for insulin shots, along with some dietary guidelines. For the past few years, she has used an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor to keep her blood sugar in check.
But even after her third "diaversary" earlier this month, Kerstetter, now 25, continues to deal with a less talked-about side effect of diabetes: stigma.
As with other diseases, such as mental illness, a general lack of information causes many to misunderstand and judge those with diabetes. People often combine the disease's different types under one Continue reading

What To Drink With Diabetes?

What To Drink With Diabetes?

Is there anything good for diabetes you can buy in a bottle and drink? If not, what can you drink that’s healthy?
Beverages to avoid
First off, do not drink bottled fruit juice. Health author Joy Bauer rated fruit juice the number one worst food for diabetes. Most bottled juice is not 100% juice and has additional sugar added. But according to Bauer, “Fruit juices, even 100% fruit juices, are chock-full of fruit sugar and cause a sharp spike in blood sugar.”
Juice has a very high glycemic index, which means the sugar gets into your blood very fast. According to diabetes.co.uk, unsweetened orange juice has a glycemic index between 66 and 76, higher than most chocolate cake. People with diabetes do not have enough insulin to keep up with such a fast surge of sugar.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) agrees. “Avoid sugary drinks like regular soda, fruit punch, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, or sweet tea. They can provide several hundred calories in just one serving.
ADA advises tea, coffee, water, or milk instead. They do say that less than 4 ounces of juice at a meal might be manageable for some people with diabetes.
There are other problems with juice besides the sugar. Compared to whole fruits and vegetables, juice has almost no fiber. Bottled juice is usually stored in massive oxygen-depleted holding tanks for up to a year before it is packaged. Then lost flavor iss restored with “flavor packs.”
Recent studies, however, have shown that juice does have some benefits. It helps prevent cancer and heart disease as well as whole fruits. It has more Continue reading

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