Details About the Program
CDC-recognized lifestyle change programs run for 1 year. In the first 6 months, your patients will meet weekly for 1 hour to learn to:
- Eat healty without giving up all the foods they love
- Add physical activity into their busy schedules
- Deal with stress
- Cope with challenges that can derail their hard work—like how to choose healthy food when eating out
- Get back on track if they stray from their plan—because everyone slips now and then
In the second 6 months, they will meet monthly for 1 hour to build on the skills they’ve learned and maintain their positive changes. They will review key concepts such as setting goals, tracking food and physical activity, staying motivated, and overcoming barriers. The second 6 months is essential to help your patients stick with new habits.
Over the course of 1 year, CDC-recognized lifestyle change programs offer about 24 hours of instruction to lower your patients’ risk of type 2 diabetes by more than half. There are also online programs available for patients who have difficult schedules or mobility and transportation issues.
The lifestyle change program has key features to guarantee its quality and outcomes:
- CDC-approved curriculum with lessons, handouts, and other resources to help participants make healthy changes.
- A lifestyle coach, specially trained to lead the program, help teach new skills, encourage participants to set and meet goals, and keep them motivated. The coach also facilitates discussions and helps make the program fun and engaging.
- A support group of people with similar goals and challenges. Together, the group will share ideas, celebrate successes, and work to overcome obstacles. In some programs, participants stay in touch with each other during the week, and sometimes well after the program ends. It may be easier to make changes working as a group than doing it alone.
The cost of participating in a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program depends on location and the organization offering it. Many employers and insurers offer the program as a covered benefit, and Medicare Part B now covers the program at no cost for your eligible patients when they sign up to take the program with a registered Medicare supplier.
If you serve a large number of Medicare-eligible patients, ask someone in your office to call local programs to find out if they are registered suppliers, or visit the Medicare locator mapexternal icon.