Healthcare Finance Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1429 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare

Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act of 2013

Healthcare Finance

Senator Franken (D-MN) introduced a bill (S. 452) into the Senate on March 5, 2013 that provides a mechanism through which Medicare and Medicaid recipients, who are at risk for developing diabetes, can receive preventive care services (Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act, 2013; Civic Impulse, 2013). The Senate version of the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act of 2013 (MDPA) has 14 cosponsors, all Democrats, while the House version has 17 Democrat sponsors. This bill is quite detailed and lengthier than previous bills intended to state a policy position, which suggests there may be considerable interest in moving this bill through the respective committees for a floor vote.

MDPA Details

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The main provision in the MDPA gives authority to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish public and private diabetes prevention services providers for individuals who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid coverage (Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act, 2013). The main target of the bill is Medicaid recipients, because these individuals tend to be underserved. The rationale behind the bill is provided at the end, which predicts that13 million diabetes and 9 million pre-diabetes patients will qualify for coverage under Medicaid by 2021. The healthcare cost of servicing this patient population is an estimated $83 billion annually. The justification for this bill is based on a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study suggesting diabetes prevention programs (DPPs) can lower diabetes care costs by 58% (DPPRG, 2003), which would amount to a predicted savings of over $48 billion annually by 2021.

Disparities in Access to Diabetes Care

Term Paper on Healthcare Finance Assignment

Minority populations in the United States disproportionately suffer from lower socioeconomic status and access to health care (reviewed by Rhee et al., 2005). Minorities also suffer disproportionately from diabetes and comorbid conditions, therefore improving care access should lower both the risk and prevalence of diabetes among this demographic. When researchers surveyed 605 primarily African-American adults (89%) about their efforts to control hyperglycemia, 47% reported trouble getting medical care (Rhee et al., 2005). When HbA1c levels were examined, levels were higher for survey respondents without insurance coverage (p = 0.08) and significantly higher for those getting care through acute care facilities (30%) or not getting care (13%) (p < 0.001 for both). All patients in this study were low income, with 86% having incomes below $15,000 per year. These findings reveal community-based DPPs could have a significant positive impact on the health of underserved populations.

Administrative Impact

If this bill were to be enacted, the administrative impact would be significant (Green, Brancati, Albright, and PPDWG, 2012). Diabetes prevention training programs would have to be implemented or expanded, prevention teams assembled, support personnel recruited (dieticians and trainers), and technical resources allocated to support DPP activities. Legal and regulatory issues would be moot, since the Medicaid infrastructure already exists. What this bill does is expand DPP access to the underserved through state-funded Medicaid programs. The primary obstacle to DPP implementation under Medicaid will therefore be whether any providers will be willing to accept low reimbursement payments in exchange for services provided (Pear, 2011).

Impact on Nursing

Nurse practitioners (NPs) will be affected the most should the bill be made into law. NPs play a major role in providing primary care services to the underserved and many of their patients are covered under state-run Medicaid programs (reviewed by Kaplan, 2012). However, given the massive expansion if the Medicaid program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), which emphasizes expanding preventive services to Medicaid enrollees (Medicaid.gov, n.d.), the impact of implementing a DPP or referral service should be relatively minor. Probably the most significant change would be the need for additional training in diabetes prevention services.

In Support of S. 452 Passage

There are a number of programs already in existence that can provide diabetes preventive care to at risk individuals. Under ACA provisions, services for obesity prevention, screening, and treatment are mandated for Medicaid enrollees (Medicaid.gov, n.d.). Under this program, many patients at risk for developing diabetes could qualify for care, but the overlap would not be complete. Another prevention program implemented under the ACA offers incentives to Medicaid recipients for their participation in programs designed to reduce the incidence of chronic disease, including diabetes. However, this program is being administered… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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