Maryland has launched an online education series to try to help the nearly 45% of adults in the state who have diabetes or prediabetes.
The free webinars can be found here on the Maryland Department of Health’s website. They’re intended for health care providers, people who have diabetes or who are at-risk of developing it.
Working to prevent Type 2 diabetes can save people a lot of money and hassles, according to Maryland’s medical director of the Center for Population Health Initiatives.
“People who have diabetes have two to three times more medical costs compared to people who do not,” Dr. Sadie Peters said. “Not only is it expensive in terms of how much you might have to pay for supplies and medications, but it takes a lot of time to manage diabetes.”
Peters said patients frequently feel overwhelmed with the number tasks involved with managing the condition.
“You have to check your feet, go to the doctor and get your shots, you have to get vision checks, you have to get your kidneys checked, you need to make sure your teeth are OK,” Peters said. “And you have to do all these things while you’re eating well and exercising more than you probably did. It’s a lot to do.”
Diabetes is Maryland’s sixth leading cause of death.
The “Diabetes Education for Better Health” series fulfills one of the commitments outlined in Maryland’s Diabetes Action Plan that was released in November 2019.
Elsewhere, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., last week was among U.S. senators introducing the PREVENT DIABETES Act to increase access for diabetes care. The legislation would increase access to the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Expanded Model by allowing CDC-recognized virtual suppliers to participate in the program.
“It’s no secret that diabetes is a disease that has disproportionately affected minority communities across the country. To ensure that all individuals have the tools needed to combat this preventable disease, the PREVENT DIABETES Act would help expand access to virtual classes under the existing Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program,” Warner said in a news release.
“This common-sense and cost-saving expansion will ensure that more Americans at-risk of developing diabetes who are living in either rural or medically underserved communities can participate in this critical program that has been proven to delay the full onset of this preventable disease,” Warner said.
You can find a 60-second Type 2 diabetes risk test on the American Diabetes Association website.