Sign Up for Email Alerts Visit us on Twitter Visit us on Facebook Visit us on YouTube Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Home > Past Briefings > Briefing Detail Page

Briefing Detail Page

Change Text Size:   Smaller Text Size   Larger Text Size   Default Text Size    

The $174 Billion Question: How to Reduce Diabetes and Obesity

Friday, July 23, 2010

Diabetes and obesity have evolved from a national public health concern to a problem of epidemic proportions. Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity and physical inactivity, accounts for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases for people over 40. Moreover, in 2007 an estimated 57 million American adults had “pre-diabetes,” the precursor to diabetes. Childhood obesity, which has more than tripled in the last three years, impacts these numbers because obese children are at greater risk of developing diabetes as an adult.

Costs associated with diabetes exceeded $174 billion in 2007. Prevention, treatment and management of the condition are primarily based on health behaviors, so it can be challenging to identify effective treatment and prevention efforts.

What models exist to prevent and manage diabetes, and how can they be more widely implemented? How long will it take to identify programs that are proven effective? Is there evidence that improved treatment of diabetes can reduce costs? Or will it increase costs? How can we identify those at risk as children so that they can be taught healthy behaviors, encouraged to engage in more active lifestyles, and supported in these efforts.

To address these and related questions, the Alliance for Health Reform and the United Health Foundation sponsored a July 23 briefing. Panelists were: Lynne Vaughn of the YMCA, Robert Berenson of the Urban Institute and Ron Ackermann of the Indiana University School of Medicine. Ed Howard of the Alliance and Deneen Vojta of the UnitedHealth Group co-moderated.


 Ed Howard, Alliance for Health Reform, Moderator
 Deneen Vojta, UnitedHealth Group, Moderator
 Lynne Vaughn, YMCA, Speaker
 Robert Berenson, Urban Institute, Speaker
 Ron Ackermann, Indiana University School of Medicine, Speaker
(Click on the camera icon to see a video of the speaker's presentation.)

Transcript, Event Summary and/or Webcast and Podcast

Transcript: The $174 Billion Question: How to Reduce Diabetes and Obesity (Word Document), 7/27/2010
Full Webcast/Podcast: The $174 Billion Question: How to Reduce Diabetes and Obesity

The full webcast and podcast for this briefing, as well as videos of individual speakers' presentations, are provided by Kaiser Family Foundation.

Speaker Presentations

Ronald Ackermann's Powerpoint Presentation (PowerPoint), 7/23/2010
Lynne Vaughan's Powerpoint Presentation (PowerPoint), 7/23/2010
Event Summary (Word Document), 7/27/2010
Deneen Vojta's Powerpoint Presentation (PowerPoint), 7/23/2010

(If you want to download one or more slides from these presentations, contact us at info@allhealth or click here for instructions.)

Source Materials

Diabetes Materials List (Word Document), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/22/2010
Speakers Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/22/2010
Selected Experts List (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/22/2010
Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF), Alliance for Health Reform, 7/22/2010
National Experts Advocate for Mandatory Prevention Funding To Be Spent on National Diabetes Prevention Programming and the YMCA’S Diabetes Prevention Program (YDPP) (Adobe Acrobat PDF), The Y, 7/22/2010
- This 2 page document provides news clippings that usher support for the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program
Potential Roles for Policy Makers in Developing a National Diabetes Prevention Plan (Adobe Acrobat PDF), The Y, 7/21/2010
- This one page document provides policy suggestions for developing a nation-wide effort to reduce the prevelance of diabetes and provide better diabetes care.

Offsite Materials (briefing documents saved on other websites)

Diabetes Prevention Program, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Insittue of Health, 10/1/2008
- This 6 page document outlines the basic methodology and results of the Diabetes Prevention Program study, as well as the future implications of the program's success
Diabetes Statistics, American Diabetes Association, 1/1/2007
- A basic Diabetes fact and statistics sheet from the American Diabetes Association
Innovations in Preventing and Managing Chronic Conditions: What's Working in the Real World (Adobe Acrobat PDF),Center for Studying Health System Change, 6/1/2010
- This Issue Brief outlines how investing in wellness and prevention programs may help lower the costs for both insurance companies and employers.
Insurers Tout Disease Management Programs, but Critics Are Wary, The Washington Post, 7/20/2010
- This article draws skepticism to the potential for success of disease management programs, by taking a closer look of factors that may differ between programs.
Insurers Tout Disease Management Programs, but Critics Are Wary, The Washington Post, 7/20/2010
- This article draws skepticism to the potential for success of disease management programs, by taking a closer look of factors that may differ between programs.
Kentucky Town of Manchester Illustrates National Obesity Crisis, Washington Post, 7/12/2010
- This article provides an in-depth look at the health and living conditions of a family living in Manchester, Kentuck; a town ranked as the least healthy in Kentucky with a 24% adult obesity rate.
Michelle Obama: ‘Let’s Move’ on Childhood Obesity, Washington Post, 2/10/2010
- This short article announces the first lady's "Let's Move" campaign and outlines how the program envisions fighting the childhood obesity epidemic facing the nation.
Sebelius Announces New $250 Million Investment to Lay Foundation for Prevention and Public Health, Business Wire, 6/18/2010
- A compilation of fact sheets, this article describes how the newly created National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council will divide the Prevention and Public Health fund for the 2010 fiscal year.
Telemedicine-Based Diabetes Management Program Focusing on Education and Eye Exams Improves Self-Management Capabilities and Outcomes for Low-Income Rural Patients, The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality , 4/1/2009
- A 7-page innovation profile that outlines the procedure and results of a diabetes management program that used regular check-ins with patients to improve the self-management behaviors and reduce the blood glucouse and cholesterol levels of patients
Translating the Diabetes Prevention Program into the Community: The DEPLOY Pilot Study, American Journal of Preventive Medicine , 10/1/2008
- This study evaluates the efficacy of a Diabetes Prevention Program type management program within the YMCA. The results find that the YMCA appears a promising venue for future disease management programs
Diabebtes Successes and Opportunities for Population Based Prevention and Control, CDC, 1/1/2010
- This CDC document provides an overview of the diabetes disease and those affected by diabetes.The doocument also notes some current programs around the country geared towards improving diabetes management.
Diabetes Successes and Opportunities for Population Based Prevention and Control, CDC, 4/8/2010
- This short piece provides a brief overview of basic diabetes information and examples of disease management programs nation-wides
Tipping the Scales Against Diabetes, Pre-Diabetes, and Obesity in the U.S., July 20, 2010 (Adobe Acrobat PDF),UnitedHealth Group, 7/21/2010
- This fact-sheet not only provides bullet points regarding the high costs and prevelance of diabetes and pre-diabetes, but also offers advice on how to begin reversing the diabetes epidemic.


Deneen Vojta of the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization outlined the seriousness of the diabetes epidemic in the U.S. at the July 23 briefing co-sponsored by the United Health Foundation. (9 min.)

Ronald Ackermann of Indiana University Medical School described a lifestyle intervention program that helped 58 percent of pre-diabetic participants avoid developing the disease, at the July 23 briefing cosponsored by the United Health Foundation. (12 min.)

Lynne Vaughan, senior vice president of the YMCA of the USA, explained the Y's efforts in diabetes prevention, at the July 23 briefing cosponsored by the United Health Foundation. (14 min.) 

Robert Berenson of the Urban Institute said disease management programs need to target very specific populations and have reachable goals in order to be successful. From the July 23 briefing cosponsored by the United Health Foundation. (13 min.)


Toolkit: Emergency Preparedness in the U.S.: The Ebola Threat

Is the U.S. prepared for a potential virulent pandemic? This new Alliance toolkit examines public health infrastructure, funding and policy levers that deal with these kinds of health crises in America.

Read More 

Mike Leavitt Video: Consolidation and Control-The Evolving Health Care System

Mike Leavitt, chairman of Leavitt Partners and former HHS secretary, addresses the aggressive repositioning of players in the evolving health care system in a new Alliance for Health Reform video.

Read More 

Telemedicine Toolkit: The Promise and Challenges

The integration of technology and health care is on the rise. Although evidence shows that telemedicine has improved access to health care and resulted in lower costs in rural and underserved areas, challenges to expansion include reimbursement policies and acceptable security measures. A new Alliance for Health Reform Toolkit, “Telemedicine: The Promise and Challenges,” addresses the effectiveness of telemedicine as a tool for communication, as well as the expected outcomes and challenges ahead.

Read More 

Toolkit on Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS)

The aging of the baby boomers and the increase in the number of old-old persons (those 85 and older) are predictors for the increasing need for long-term services and supports (LTSS). Among persons age 65 and over, an estimated 70 percent will use LTSS. A new Alliance for Health Reform toolkit, “Long-Term Services and Supports: Changes and Challenges in Financing and Delivery,” provides a background on LTSS and discusses policy issues surrounding the topic.

Read More 

Experts Discuss Workplace Wellness Programs

In a new interview video, Karen Pollitz, senior fellow, private insurance and health reforms, The Kaiser Family Foundation and Dan Newton, vice president, product/solutions development and behavior economics, Anthem Care Management discuss the impact of workplace wellness programs. They address questions about regulations and program design and analyze the scope of wellness programs.

Read More 

Alliance Search for New CEO

WASHINGTON, DC (Aug. 3) – Edward F. Howard, founding executive vice president and CEO of the Alliance for Health Reform in Washington, DC, will retire in March 2016. A nationwide search is underway for his successor.

Over the years, the Alliance has presented hundreds of seminars on Capitol Hill and elsewhere, has organized briefings for reporters around the country and has prepared dozens of issue briefs and “toolkits,” as well as a series of highly-regarded sourcebooks for reporters on health policy topics.

Dr. Robert Graham, Chairman of the Board, noted that the search for a new CEO is being coordinated by Association Strategies of Alexandria, Va. Those interested in learning more about this opportunity should email or call 703/ 683-0580. You can also view the position profile on their website. The deadline for applications is Monday, October 12. 

Read More
Position Profile

Read More 

Toolkit on Biosimilars

The Alliance for Health Reform has released a new toolkit, “Biosimilars: Unpacking Complex Issues.”

The Affordable Care Act created an expedited licensure pathway for biosimilars, and, in March 2015, the U.S. approved the first biosimilar, leaving policy makers, regulators, providers and stakeholders to grapple with regulatory and financial questions.

Biosimilars are similar – but not identical – to biologic drugs, and cost less. Unlike traditional pharmaceuticals, biologic drugs are derived from living organisms and tissues, making them more complex and expensive to produce.

Read More 

Toolkit on Connection Between Health and Housing

A new Alliance toolkit, “The Connection between Health and Housing: The Evidence and Policy Landscape,” provides a detailed look into federal, state and local initiatives, as well as cost implications for health and housing programs.

Attempts to tie health and housing policy are gaining momentum, amid evidence that housing, a social determinant of health, is an important factor in the health status of various populations. More than 610,000 people experience homelessness in the U.S., and over 250,000 individuals within that population have a severe mental illness or a chronic substance use disorder, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Read More 

Video from Reporter Roundtable on Open Enrollment III

On October 5, speakers at a reporter roundtable held at the National Press Club on open enrollment III provided the latest information about premium trends and drivers, health plan availability and new comparison tools for consumers to use in choosing health plans. They discussed trends in the role of navigators and brokers, and increasing consumer expectations, particularly around the ease of the process.

Click here for video.

Read More 

Copyright 1997-2015 Alliance for Health Reform
1444 Eye Street, NW, Suite 910 Washington, DC 20005-6573      202-789-2300      202-789-2233 fax      Sitemap