Ackermann RT, Marrero DG, Hicks KA, Hoerger TJ, Sorensen S, Zhang P, Engelgau MM, Ratner RE, Herman WH. An evaluation of cost sharing to finance a diet and physical activity intervention to prevent diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2006 Jun 1;29(6):1237-41.

OBJECTIVE- The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) lifestyle intervention is a cost-effective strategy to prevent type 2 diabetes, but it is unclear how this intervention could be financed. We explored whether this intervention could be offered in a way that allows return on investment for private health insurers while remaining attractive for consumers, employers, and Medicare. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS- We used the DPP and other published reports to build a Markov simulation model to estimate the lifetime progression of disease, costs, and quality of life for adults with impaired glucose tolerance. The model assumed a health-payer perspective and compared DPP lifestyle and placebo interventions. Primary outcomes included cumulative incidence of diabetes, direct medical costs, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and cost per QALY gained. RESULTS- Compared with placebo, providing the lifestyle intervention at age 50 years could prevent 37% of new cases of diabetes before age 65, at a cost of $1,288 per QALY gained. A private payer could reimburse $655 (24%) of the $2,715 in total discounted intervention costs during the first 3 intervention years and still recover all of these costs in the form of medical costs avoided. If Medicare paid up to $2,136 in intervention costs over the 15-year period before participants reached age 65, it could recover those costs in the form of future medical costs avoided beginning at age 65. CONCLUSIONS- Cost-sharing strategies to offer the DPP lifestyle intervention for eligible people between ages 50 and 64 could provide financial return on investment for private payers and long-term benefits for Medicare.

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