Diabetes Caucus Legislation
H.R. 1274, the Access to Quality Diabetes Education Act of 2013. The bill would make a technical clarification to recognize certified diabetes educators (CDE) as providers for Medicare diabetes outpatient self-management training services (DSMT). CDEs are the only health professionals who are specially trained and uniquely qualified to teach patients with diabetes how to improve their health and avoid serious diabetes-related complications. The 1997 authorizing DSMT statute did not include CDEs as Medicare providers and it has become increasingly difficult to ensure that DSMT is available to patients who need these services, particularly those with unique cultural needs or who reside in rural areas.
H.R. 1257, the Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act of 2013. The bill would extend Medicare coverage to medical nutrition therapy services for people with prediabetes and other risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. Under current law, Medicare pays for MNT provided by a Registered Dietitian for beneficiaries with diabetes and renal diseases. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover MNT for beneficiaries diagnosed as having prediabetes. Nutrition therapy services have proven very effective in preventing diabetes by providing access to the best possible nutritional advice about how to handle their condition. By helping people with prediabetes manage their condition, Medicare will avoid having to pay for the much more expensive treatment of diabetes.
Diabetes Legislation Sponsored by Caucus Members
H.R. 1761, the Helping Ensure Life- and Limb-Saving Access to Podiatric Physicians (HELLPP) Act (Rep. Lee Terry and Rep. Diana DeGette). The HELLPP Act amends SSA title XVIII (Medicare) to revise requirements for coverage of therapeutic shoes for individuals with diabetes regarding the processes of: (1) documentation by a physician of, and certification of a comprehensive plan of care related to, the diabetic condition; (2) prescription by a podiatrist or other qualified physician upon a finding of the medical necessity for the therapeutic shoes, including findings communicated to a certifying doctor of medicine or osteopathy of certain related foot conditions; and (3) fitting and supplying the shoes.
H.R. 1915, the Gestational Diabetes Act (GEDI Act) (Rep. Eliot Engel and Rep. Michael Burgess). The GEDI Act aims to lower the incidence of gestational diabetes and prevent women afflicted with this condition and their children from developing Type 2 diabetes. This legislation:
- Creates a Research Advisory Committee headed by CDC to develop multi-site gestational diabetes research projects to enhance surveillance
- Provides demonstration grants to focus on reducing the incidence of gestational diabetes
- Expands basic, clinical and public health research investigating gestational diabetes and current treatments and therapies
H.R. 1074, the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act (Rep. Pete Olson). The National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act establishes a National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission comprised of diabetes experts to provide a mechanism for federal engagement with professionals and advocates who will bring clinical expertise to implementing initiatives intended to improve diabetes care.
H.R. 962, the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Act of 2013 (Rep. Susan Davis). This bill will extend the proven benefits of the National Diabetes Prevention Program to Medicare beneficiaries by making the community-based intervention available as a Medicare benefit.
H.R. 3322, the Eliminating Disparities in Diabetes Prevention, Access, and Care Act of 2013 (Rep. Diana DeGette, Rep. Ed Whitfield, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Marcia Fudge, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa). This bill will enhance research at the National Institutes of Health on the causes and effects of diabetes in minority communities. Additionally, under the bill, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will provide more effective diabetes treatment, prevention, and public education to highly impacted populations. This will include access to effective community interventions like the National Diabetes Prevention Program. Lastly, the bill will strengthen the public health workforce in areas highly impacted by diabetes through efforts by the Health Resources and Services Administration. For long-term improvements, H.R. 3322 requires a report to Congress on the existing federal activities with respect to diabetes and prediabetes in minority populations followed by a strategic plan to address these disparities over time.