Scott’s bill allows virtual providers to participate in diabetes prevention program

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) on June 22 sponsored a bipartisan bill to improve health outcomes and save lives by expanding access to virtual diabetes prevention programs for Americans.

“One quarter of South Carolina’s elderly population and one in five South Carolinians living below the poverty line have diabetes,” Sen. Scott said. “Our bill not only expands access to life-saving health care options for those who already have the disease, but it also supports programs that can delay or prevent the full onset of diabetes.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is a higher prevalence of diabetes within minority populations. However, the existing Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) Expanded Model currently is only available through in-person sessions, which is challenging for individuals in rural or medically underserved areas to access the program. 

The Promoting Responsible and Effective Virtual Experiences through Novel Technology to Deliver Improved Access and Better Engagement with Tested and Evidence-based Strategies Act, also known as PREVENT DIABETES Act, S. 2173, would increase access to the MDPP Expanded Model by allowing CDC-recognized virtual suppliers to participate in the program. 

“By opening the door to virtual suppliers, we can ensure all patients have access to care regardless of zip code,” said Sen. Scott, who was joined by seven original cosponsors in introducing the bill, including U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

Numerous organizations and companies endorsed Sen. Scott’s bill, including the American Diabetes Association, the American Kidney Fund, the American Telemedicine Association, Banner|Aetna, Children with Diabetes, Patient & Provider Advocates for Telehealth, the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, and many others.