Fact Sheets

Diabetes Prevention Program Independent Evaluation Report Summary

Diabetes Prevention Program Independent Evaluation Report Summary

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center awarded the National Council of Young Men’s Christian Associations of the United States of America (Y-USA) more than $11.8 million under Round 1 of the Health Care Innovation Awards to test the Diabetes Prevention Program’s impact on Medicare beneficiaries.

Between February 2013 and March 2015, the Y-USA in partnership with seventeen local YMCAs, the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, and seven other leading national non-profit organizations, enrolled 6,874 Medicare beneficiaries at high risk for diabetes into the program.  Enrolled beneficiaries represented a diverse geography across eight states including Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Texas.

The Diabetes Prevention Program consists of 16 weekly sessions plus eight monthly maintenance sessions for a maximum of 24 one-hour sessions. The overarching goals of Y-USA’s Diabetes Prevention Program are to get participants to lose five percent or more of their body weight and gradually increase their physical activity to 150 minutes per week.

RTI International evaluated the results of the Y-USA Diabetes Prevention Program over the first eight quarters of the program and prepared follow-up reports, which were then used by the Office of the Actuary for their certification analyses. Some of the key findings in this report include:

  • As of March 2015, 6,874 beneficiaries have been recruited (that is, have attended at least one session), and, of those recruited, 5,696 have been enrolled (that is, have attended at least four sessions).
  • Participants who attended at least four core sessions lost an average of about 9 lbs, a clinically significant weight loss.  
  • Over 80 percent of participants have attended at least four sessions.
  • These effects appeared to be sustained over time.  The average weight loss for participants attending four core sessions and one maintenance session was approximately 11.7 lbs at one year post participation.
  • Over 60 percent of the participants were between the ages of 65 and 75.
  • The results generally showed reductions in inpatient hospital admissions and fewer Emergency Department visits.  

For their certification analysis, the CMS Office of the Actuary noted that the evaluation showed statistically significant savings of $2,650 for each enrollee over the first 5 quarters. These savings coupled with the positive financial results for similar Diabetes Prevention Programs led the Office of the Actuary to conclude that an expansion of the Diabetes Prevention Program would result in savings to the Medicare program.  

The full Diabetes Prevention Program evaluation report can be viewed on the CMS Innovation Center website at: