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Through the Medicare Diabetes Screening Project (MDSP), n4a and partner Novo Nordisk is working to create awareness and use of the free screening benefit for diabetes and pre-diabetes available under Medicare.

Medicare Diabetes Screening Project (MDSP)

At Issue

  • 10.9 million Americans age 65 and older have diabetes
  • 3 million of them are undiagnosed
  • 14 million Americans—50 percent of those ages 65 and older—have pre–diabetes with the vast majority undiagnosed. Pre–diabetes is a condition that raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and eye disease.
  • Medicare recipients who have diabetes account for 34 percent of Medicare spending

Medicare now covers a free annual screening for beneficiaries at–risk for diabetes. However, data suggests that these benefits are underutilized. Screening and early detection are essential first steps for improved care and prevention of complications. Research shows that older adults with pre–diabetes could lower their risk of developing diabetes by 71 percent with modest changes in diet and physical activity.

Grassroots Initiative

The 2013 n4a grantees will incorporate collaboration among health care providers, faith-based organizations, tribal clinics and community health councils. Projects focus on diverse communities of veterans, Native Americans, Latinos, Cambodians and African Americans. Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI Native American volunteers expect to reach over 100,000 seniors age 65+ resulting in over 20,000 diabetes screenings.

2013 grant recipients include Southwest Georgia Council on Aging (SOWEGA): Albany, GA; Yellowhawk Tribal Health Clinic Senior Services Program: Pendleton, OR; United Cambodian Association of Minnesota: Inver Grove Heights, MN; Minnesota Indian Area Agency on Aging: Cass Lake, MN; Community Council of Greater Dallas/Dallas Area Agency on Aging: Dallas, TX; Central Indiana Council on Aging (CICOA)Aging and In-Home Solutions: Indianapolis, IN; Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Inc.: Toledo, OH; Area Agency on Aging of Tarrant County: Fort Worth, TX.

CMS Innovation
YMCA Sites

Seventeen (17) communities were selected to offer the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program at no cost to qualifying Medicare beneficiaries. The program provides a supportive environment where participants learn about healthier eating and greater physical activity to reduce their risk of diabetes. The 12-month program, led by a Lifestyle Coach, begins with 16 weekly sessions followed by monthly maintenance.

Communities: Phoenix and Tucson, AZ; Wilmington, DE; Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Venice, FL; Indianapolis, IN; Minneapolis, MN; New York, NY; Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton, OH; Arlington, Dallas, and Fort Worth, TX.


Maria Gonzales Jackson
Program Manager,
Consumer Outreach