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YMCA Partners with athenahealth to Extend National Diabetes Prevention Program

July 15, 2016
by Heather Landi
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YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), a community-based nonprofit, and health IT vendor athenahealth are partnering to support community integrated health programs, including the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program (YMCA’s DPP). 

As part of the partnership, Y-USA and athenahealth will support local Ys and their healthcare partners as they manage and refer patients with prediabetes to the YMCA’s DPP, according to a joint press release from both organizations.

The YMCA’s DPP is a twelve-month behavioral and lifestyle intervention initiative targeting adults at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. athenahealth’s health information network and services will allow the Y to connect its programs to over 78,000 clinical providers and expand the services and support it provides to health-seekers in thousands of communities across the U.S.

Recently, the Obama Administration issued a proposed rule that would expand the DPP within Medicare and would allow DPPs recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to submit claims to Medicare for providing diabetes prevention services. The proposed rule follows a recently released Certification of Cost Savings issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the YMCA’s DPP.  According to the announcement, the YMCA’s DPP is the first community-based preventive service proven to reduce healthcare costs and improve health outcomes for people with diabetes.

“The YMCA’s DPP is one of the most tangible examples of how community integrated health may help reduce healthcare costs and prevent chronic diseases like diabetes,” Matt Longjohn, national health officer, Y-USA, said in a prepared statement. Longjohn said that in preparation for the YMCA’s DPP’s coverage by Medicare, the partnership with athenahealth will further increase the clinical integration of evidence-based Y programs.

“By integrating program data with athenahealth’s network-enabled EHR and patient engagement services, our programs will become more accessible to healthcare providers and better able to coordinate care at the community level with data-backed, targeted precision,” Longjohn said.

“Y-USA’s work in community integrated health is indicative of a trend we’ve seen across the healthcare continuum,” Jonathan Bush, CEO at athenahealth, said in a statement. “Care is moving out of the hospital and into more accessible, convenient, and cost effective venues. The YMCA’s DPP is proof that community integrated health, delivered outside of traditional clinical settings, is highly effective in delivering strong health outcomes. We believe the Y is a disruptive force shaking up the way that we treat the most insidious chronic diseases.”





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