National Diabetes Prevention Program

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Since 2012, CDC has worked to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by leading the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP). The National DPP is a partnership of public and private organizations working together to build the infrastructure for nationwide delivery of an evidence-based lifestyle change program for adults with prediabetes to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Participating organizations include employers, insurers, community organizations, nonprofits, academic institutions, and federal, state, and local governments. Policy changes that allow health care delivery and payment systems to interact with community organizations and service delivery networks have been shown to help build a sustainable system to deliver an effective lifestyle change program.26

The National DPP lifestyle change program is group-based and led by a trained Lifestyle Coach. The program’s CDC-approved curriculum can be delivered in-person, online, through distance learning, or through a combination of these delivery modes. The curriculum:

  • Supports regular interaction between the Lifestyle Coach and participants.
  • Builds peer support.
  • Focuses on helping people eat healthier, be more physically active, and reduce stress.

The National DPP lifestyle change program is based on the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) research study, a randomized, controlled clinical trial conducted at 27 clinical centers around the United States from 1996 to 2001.

After 3 years, the DPP study showed that making realistic behavior changes helped people with prediabetes lose 5% to 7% of their body weight and reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% (71% for people older than 60).27

Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program

CDC also manages the Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program (DPRP), which is the quality assurance arm of the National DPP. The DPRP awards CDC recognition to organizations that have demonstrated their ability to effectively deliver the lifestyle change program and achieve the outcomes proven to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. The DPRP is the only centralized source of performance data for organizations delivering the National DPP lifestyle change program. It awards three categories of recognition: pending, preliminary, and full.

As of March 2022, CDC recognizes 2,147 organizations to deliver the lifestyle change program in all 50 states. Since February 2012, more than 600,000 people at high risk of type 2 diabetes have participated in the National DPP lifestyle change program. Participants whose data have been evaluated lost an average of 5.4% of their body weight over 1 year.

Covering the Cost of the Lifestyle Change Program

With technical assistance and support from CDC, state health departments and other partners have expanded access to the National DPP lifestyle change program for populations at higher risk of type 2 diabetes. One way to increase access to this highly effective program is to provide insurance coverage. Currently, more than 5 million public employees and their dependents in 29 states have coverage for this program. Twenty state Medicaid programs have or are working toward adding the lifestyle change program as a benefit for eligible Medicaid beneficiaries and are in various stages of defining and implementing this change. In addition, 96 public and private employers across the United States include the program as a covered health or wellness benefit for their employees at high risk of type 2 diabetes, and 53 commercial health plans provide some coverage.28

In March 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) certified the expansion of the National DPP lifestyle change program into Medicare. About 24 million US adults 65 or older with prediabetes could directly benefit from the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP), which became available in April 2018.

As of December 2021, 316 CDC-recognized program delivery organizations had enrolled as MDPP suppliers. These organizations reported 1,059 locations, of which 573 are community settings like churches or recreation centers.