There are several strategies for sustaining diabetes prevention and management programs. The Rural Community
Health Toolkit provides general information on sustainability in the following sections: Sustainability Strategies.
Community partners play an important role in supporting the sustainability of rural diabetes programs. In some
rural communities, partners provide in-kind resources, such as transportation to and from diabetes education
classes, or physical space for program activities. Sustainability also depends on the ability of rural diabetes
programs to continually engage new patients or participants. Building strong relationships with social services
agencies, senior centers, community-based organizations, schools, and other community-serving institutions can
help maintain steady referrals to program services.
Sustainable Funding Models
Time-limited grants may provide funding for initial investments in resources and staff and for ongoing support
of program operations. However, many successful diabetes prevention and management programs also leverage
payment and reimbursement from insurers to sustain program services.
Many private and public insurers cover services related to diabetes education, case management, and treatment.
However, eligibility criteria for coverage differ across payers and states. Rural program planners may need to
investigate local, state, and national policies for coverage of diabetes prevention and management activities to
understand their options for billing and reimbursement:
Assessing the health insurance coverage among the community or patient population may help rural communities
understand potential options for payment and reimbursement:
Medicaid – While coverage varies from state to state, Medicaid programs typically
offer coverage for diabetes medication, equipment, education (such as nutritional therapy), and
self-management services. States are also exploring a range of other strategies to address diabetes, such as
1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waivers to test new and innovative approaches to better serve Medicaid
enrollees with diabetes. For instance, the Brazos
Valley Care Coordination Program, which offered home visiting services to rural patients with
diabetes, was funded by a Section 1115 Medicaid Waiver.
Medicare – Medicare covers a range of services
related to diabetes care and control. For example, Medicare covers prevention services for organizations
that are enrolled in the Medicare
Diabetes Prevention Program.
Commercial/private insurers – Many commercial or private insurers offer coverage
for services related to diabetes prevention and management. For example, in 43 states,
private insurance companies are required to cover diabetes self-management education and training for
Many private and public payers are testing alternative payment
models, in which providers receive incentives to decrease healthcare costs, increase healthcare quality,
and improve health outcomes. Requirements for receiving incentives could involve diabetes prevention and
management, such as demonstrating a decreased rate of diabetes-related hospitalizations for the patient
Arkansas Medicaid, the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and
QualChoice of Arkansas are participating in the Arkansas
Health Care Payment Improvement Initiative. As part of the initiative, Arkansas is implementing a
Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Program, which rewards providers for offering comprehensive and
coordinated care. For example, SAMA
HealthCare Services in rural Union County, Arkansas has increased their patient population and
improved diabetes-related outcomes through participation in the PCMH program.
Rural communities may also fund diabetes services through Medicare and Medicaid
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which refer to groups of hospitals and providers who work together to
provide coordinated care.
Leveraging Telehealth Capabilities
Many rural communities offer telehealth services for diabetes
self-management services and education. There are many considerations for reimbursement for telehealth services. The
American Diabetes Association also has information about changes in Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement policy
telehealth during the COVID-19 national pandemic.
Working with Policymakers and Payers
To achieve a sustainable funding stream for diabetes prevention and management services, rural communities may
need to work with policymakers and payers to make changes in coverage for diabetes programs. The National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) Coverage Toolkit
provides strategies for increasing reimbursement for National DPP activities, including approaching commercial health plans and engaging state
legislatures to advocate for Medicaid coverage.
Resources to Learn More
Sustainability of Diabetes Self-Management Programs
Discusses effective sustainability strategies identified from a study of 14 sites involved in a diabetes
self-management grant program funded through the Diabetes Initiative, a national program of the Robert Wood
Organization(s): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Health Care Providers to Scale and Sustain the National Diabetes Prevention Program
Describes the sustainability efforts of PartnerSHIP 4 Health (PS4H), a coalition of rural counties in west
central Minnesota that engaged healthcare providers and community partners to provide the National Diabetes
Prevention Program (NDPP) to community members.
Organization(s): National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
Lists resources that provide strategies supporting the sustainability of community health workers (CHW) in
diabetes prevention and management programs.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Early Results of States' Efforts to Support, Scale,
Sustain the National Diabetes Prevention Program
Discusses the activities, facilitators, and barriers to sustaining the National DPP for the prevention and delay
of the onset of type 2 diabetes, as identified by program funded states during the first 3 years of a 5 year
Author(s): Mensa-Wilmot, Y., Bowen, S., & Rutledge, S., et al.
Citation: Preventing Chronic Disease, 14, E130