MVP Health Care First to Offer Diabetes Prevention Program to Medicare Advantage Members

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MVP partners with national diabetes prevention group and Rochester YMCA to present important program

Diabetes is taking a staggering toll on the health of seniors in New York and across the nation. The good news is that type 2 diabetes is largely preventable.

MVP Health Care is making the Diabetes Prevention Program available to its Medicare Advantage plan members in the Greater Rochester area. The Diabetes Prevention Program, offered through YMCAs, is a proven 16-week lifestyle change program that helps people at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes prevent or delay the onset of the disease. MVP is the first health plan nationally to offer the Diabetes Prevention Program as a benefit for Medicare Advantage members.

The Diabetes Prevention Program is made available by UnitedHealth Group’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA), and is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program funded by the National Institutes of Health and supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Diabetes is taking a staggering toll on the health of seniors in New York and across the nation,” said Catherine Mercury, Director of Medicare Health Promotion and Sales at MVP. “The good news is that type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. We look forward to working with our partner, the YMCA of Greater Rochester, to increase awareness of meaningful lifestyle changes that can help our Medicare Advantage members in this community decrease the likelihood that they will develop type 2 diabetes.”

The Diabetes Prevention Program is a lifestyle coaching program conducted in a group setting through the Y that helps people who have been identified as having prediabetes and who otherwise are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The program helps prevent or delay the onset of the disease through healthy eating, increased physical activity and other lifestyle changes. It is a year-long program with 16 weekly sessions and then monthly follow-up maintenance sessions. It is available at no out-of-pocket cost to approximately 73,000 participants enrolled in MVP’s Medicare Advantage plans in the Greater Rochester area.

To find out more about the Diabetes Prevention Program, visit

Results from the original National Diabetes Prevention Program showed that making modest behavior changes, such as improving food choices and increasing physical activity to at least 150 minutes each week, helped participants lose 5-7 percent of their body weight. These lifestyle changes reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent in people at risk for diabetes. The results also showed that a person 65 years or older with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by 71 percent. In New York, about 8.5 percent of the population has diabetes, including an estimated 450,000 people who don’t know they have it, according to the New York State Department of Health.

“The Y, as part of its charitable heritage, is committed to helping prevent chronic disease by giving individuals of all ages tools for healthy living,” said George Romell, President and CEO of the Y of Greater Rochester. “There is substantial evidence that supports early and aggressive intervention to help people avoid the health and financial toll of diabetes and we know the Diabetes Prevention Program offers great promise to help those Americans at risk of developing diabetes. We are thrilled to be partnering with MVP to bring this clinically-proven program to seniors in the Rochester area.”

About MVP Health Care
Founded in 1983, MVP Health Care is a community-focused, not-for-profit health insurer serving members in the states of New York, Vermont and New Hampshire. Through its operating subsidiaries, MVP Health Care provides fully-insured and self-funded employer health benefits plans, dental insurance, and ancillary products, such as flexible-spending accounts, to more than 650,000 members. For more information, visit

About the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA)
The Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance is an employer- and community-based initiative aimed at tipping scales against type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and obesity. Launched in April 2010 by UnitedHealth Group, with support from the Y and retail pharmacies, the DPCA is structured to deliver an industry solution available to all insurers who want to offer proven programs for the prevention and control of diabetes.

About the YMCA of Greater Rochester
The YMCA of Greater Rochester is the area’s leading nonprofit, strengthening our community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Rochester Y serves more than 128,000 men, women and children — regardless of age, income or background — to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve health and well being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored throughout our community for more than 156 years, the Y has longstanding relationship and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting and personal change. To find out more about how to join or support your local Y, visit

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Robin Wood
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