National Council on Aging and Medicare Diabetes Screening Project Launch New Program to Educate Seniors about Medicare’s Benefits for Diabetes Screening
Daschle and Others Call the Need Urgent; Among Seniors with Diabetes, Half Are Unaware; Medicare’s Free Diabetes Screening Benefits Underutilized
“Diabetes is a major health threat for seniors and a driver in escalating Medicare costs,” said Daschle. “Screening and early diagnosis are critical to managing diabetes effectively and to prevent the onset of the disease for those at risk. And yet, less than 10 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are screened annually for diabetes, even though Medicare offers a free diabetes screening benefit. We have to do better.”
“When diabetes is undiagnosed and untreated, it can be devastating, and new government statistics show that older adults are especially vulnerable,” said
According to a study in the
In addition to those with diabetes, another 40% of adults ages 65 and older have pre-diabetes, putting them at very high risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, and it is likely that most of them are unaware of their status.
For people who are ages 65 and older and have one risk factor for diabetes, Medicare offers a free diabetes-screening test in a health care provider’s office, with no deductible and no co-pay. If seniors are found to have pre-diabetes, they are eligible for another free screening in six months.
“Since 2005, Medicare has offered benefits for diabetes screening, but usage of these benefits has been minimal, hovering around 10 percent,” said
The new program is called “Diabetes Screening: Medicare Benefits for Better Health,” and consists of outreach to leaders of organizations, agencies and companies that serve older adults, informing and educating them about Medicare’s benefits for diabetes screening and encouraging these community leaders to make presentations and distribute information to older adults across the country. A key element of the program is a comprehensive kit of materials that includes information for the public and health care providers, as well as ready-to-go presentations with instructions and notes for speakers who can spread the word about diabetes screening.
Additionally, NCOA and MDSP are planning additional “train-the-trainer” sessions in
At the session today in
Additionally, participants heard from
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a non-profit service and advocacy organization headquartered in
The Medicare Diabetes Screening Project is a national effort to reach and motivate seniors who have undiagnosed diabetes or pre-diabetes, and encourage them to see their doctors or other health care providers and take advantage of the free diabetes screening benefits offered by Medicare. To learn more, visit www.screenfordiabetes.org.
SOURCE National Council on Aging