With the continued impact of COVID-19, many diabetes prevention organizations are wondering how to sustain their CDC-recognized lifestyle change programs. In the past few days, ADCES members, DAPS subscribers, and diabetes prevention providers have contacted us at DPP@adces.org with questions like these:
- If we’re registered as an in-person provider with CDC, can we hold our sessions as online or distance learning “make-up” sessions?
- We’re holding our cohort at a senior center that provides activities, meals and programming for people over 60. We’re three weeks into our program now, and we’re having great success, but the senior center has officially closed until mid-May. What are our options? Can we pause our cohort until May? Should we start over?
- We’re starting a program this month, but so many people have cancelled that we’re worried about our CDC data submission. What are our options? We don’t want to lose our preliminary recognition because of COVID-19!
If you have similar questions, check out this new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As you can see, the CDC encourages organizations to use as many virtual make-up sessions as needed, regardless of how you typically deliver the program. If virtual or tele-health make-up sessions won’t work for you, or for your program participants, pause your cohort until it’s safe to resume your lifestyle change program. If that means you won’t have enough data for your six-month submission, your organization can use this blank template to stay on track for CDC recognition. Whatever you decide, CDC won’t penalize your organization for programming interruptions due to COVID-19. If your organization holds preliminary or full recognition, you’ll keep your status even if you cannot make a full data submission to CDC.
When you resume your group, talk with your team, and your program participants, about whether you want to start where you left off or start over from session one. That may depend on how long you were holding your group, the length of the program lapse, and the personal preferences of your program participants. If your organization does decide to start over, contact the Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program (DPRP) data team at DPRPData@cdc.gov to discuss how to adjust your data submission.
Finally, CDC is working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to determine how a pause may impact Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) participants. MDPP suppliers should submit questions to the CMS MDPP Inquiry Portal at https://cmsorg.force.com/mdpp/.
What is your organization doing to continue your diabetes prevention programming during COVID-19? Are you switching to virtual delivery or distance learning? Pausing your program? Or is your team dealing with competing priorities that make it challenging for your healthcare professionals and lifestyle coaches to continue their work?
Tell us how you are adapting your lifestyle change program on the ADCES member-only Public Health COI COVID-19 thread! For additional updates on COVID-19 for your practice and clients, visit DiabetesEducator.org/COVID-19.