Skip to main content

Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act


Diabetes is a tremendously costly illness, both in terms of health outcomes and of our nation’s escalating health care costs. In 2015, 30.1 million people (or 1 in 10 people in the U.S. had diabetes); an additional 84.1 million people were estimated to have prediabetes. The prevalence of diabetes is even more staggering among those eligible for Medicare. In 2015, over one-quarter of U.S. residents 65 and older (9.9 million) had diabetes and nearly half 65 and older (23.1 million) had prediabetes. In other words, seven out of 10 people eligible for Medicare are affected by diabetes or prediabetes. For half of these individuals, however, diabetes could be prevented if they had access to a diet and exercise lifestyle intervention.

Academy Resources

Key Points

  • The Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act will allow Medicare to reimburse RDNs to provide MNT to patients at risk of diabetes or with prediabetes, in addition to patients with diabetes and renal disease.
  • The total cost of diabetes to our health care system in 2012 was estimated to be $377 billion.
  • Research shows that diabetes is preventable in people exposed to diet and exercise lifestyle modification programs, particularly among people over the age of 60.
  • Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) is an effective evidence-based practice that can result in weight loss, obesity prevention and improved prediabetes insulin markers which are the same essential outcomes of other diabetes prevention programs.

Join the Academy

Members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics receive exciting benefits including complimentary continuing professional education opportunities, discounts on events and products in, invitations to exclusive members-only events and more!