Muskegon YMCA scores new successes with DPP

Since 2018, when the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) offered by the Muskegon YMCA earned full recognition from the CDC, it has continued to expand and improve access across Michigan, thanks in part to a CDC 1705 Expansion Grant through Trinity Health that funds all administration of the DPP and the cost of delivering DPP across the state.

According to Kelli DeLong, who leads the DPP program at the Y, since 2017 the 822 enrollees have lost 6,166 pounds (“More than the weight of a Ford F-150 truck!” she says) from 17 trained lifestyle coaches. These numbers include participants who benefitted from an adapted class that the Y developed last year, in partnership with the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, to serve those with diverse learning abilities.

Expanding the diabetes prevention program

Three big developments signal further expansion of the program this year.

First, the Muskegon Y signed a contract with Welld Health for the use of its billing platform. Because the Y lacks access to a mechanism to bill the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services for all eligible participants, without this agreement it couldn’t afford to serve the Medicare and Medicaid population across the state. A Community Benefit grant from Trinity Health will fund the first year of operations, after which reimbursement from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Health Improvement Alliance cover the cost.

Second, the Muskegon Y has signed an agreement to be the official virtual DPP provider for YMCAs across the state of Michigan.

Finally, the Y is completing a referral agreement with both United Healthcare and Molina Healthcare, a Medicaid and Medicare provider in Michigan. “We’re hoping [these agreements] will set the pace for working with other Michigan payers,” says DeLong.

Next up: The indefatigable DeLong and her team are working with the University of Michigan on a CDC grant to assess and measure the DPP’s long-term impact on participants’ health, the program’s cost-effectiveness, and barriers to enrollment in or completion of the program.

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