Updates from EIM

Opportunity for EIM Credentialed Pros & ACSM Certified Pros

March 25, 2020 by Liz Joy, M.D., M.P.H., FACSM, FAMSSM and Robyn Stuhr, M.A., ACSM-CEP, RCEP

The team at Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) would like to make you aware of an emerging opportunity for ACSM certified exercise professionals and those with the EIM credential.  

One third of American adults have prediabetes (fasting blood glucose: 100-125 mg/dL or HbA1c 5.7 - 6.4%), and most are unaware they have it.  Without intervention, most will go on to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years.  New federal guidelines provide an expanded opportunity for ACSM members and certified professionals to positively impact this public health crisis through the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP).

The CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidence-based, structured lifestyle change program that was developed to provide lifestyle coaching, education, and group support for individuals with prediabetes.  https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/index.html  Several commercial insurance companies and employers reimburse for participation in the program.  As of April 1, 2018, Medicare Advantage health plans and Medicare Part B began to reimburse for Medicare DPP (MDPP) community delivery, based on the achievement of attendance and weight loss goals.  *Reimbursement is provided to a CDC-recognized program, NOT to individual facilitators/lifestyle coaches.  Now that both commercial and public health insurance will be reimbursing the DPP, these payers will need to prepare DPP access for a potential annual enrollment of 2% of the available population of those with prediabetes - or more than one million participants.  A huge workforce shortage of DPP lifestyle coaches is eminent as the demand for qualified DPP lifestyle coaches will likely grow in the near term from 3,000 to 20,000 coaches.  Health systems, health plans, physician groups, state and local health departments, community centers, and many other organizations have committed to deliver the DPP in their communities.

The program is facilitated by lifestyle coaches with varied backgrounds, but all must complete a required DPP lifestyle coach training. A list of lifestyle coach training organizations can be found at:  https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/lifestyle-program/staffing-training.html.  ACSM certified exercise professionals and those with the EIM Credential can bring added expertise to the role of DPP lifestyle coach and may also create opportunities to provide personal training or group exercise to participants. 

The CDC maintains a registry of CDC-recognized programs that use the CDC-approved curriculum that meets duration, intensity, and reporting requirements.  

If you would like more information about the CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program and are interested in training to become a DPP facilitator/lifestyle coach, please click on the links provided. YOU could make a difference! 

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