On the October 2, 2019, Governor Stitt signed a proclamation designating November as Diabetes Awareness Month. In Oklahoma there are 1.03 million persons with prediabetes, most of whom don’t even know it. Oklahoma spends 3.8 billion in health care dollars annually treating diabetes. Oklahoma is unique in that it has the Oklahoma Diabetes Senate Caucus, which is led by Senators Simpson and Senator Hicks, both of whom have personal interest in diabetes. The caucus' members include stakeholders from healthcare settings, insurance groups, pharma, Native tribes, hospitals, diabetes management and diabetes prevention programs (DPP). The caucus meets on the first Thursday of every month to discuss current events in diabetes care. The caucus has four work groups to focus on specific areas of importance in Oklahoma and are as follows:
- Workgroup 1- Increase DPP and DSME programs and referrals to these programs
- Workgroup 2- Advocate for increased DPP and DSME reimbursement
- Workgroup 3- Define and recognize DPP and DSME for pediatric population
- Workgroup4- How do you best advocate for those with Type 1 Diabetes?
The Senate Caucus has given presentations to Legislatures and insurance companies showing the importance and cost saving benefits of diabetes education and diabetes prevention programs. Starting in January 2020, if you are a fully recognized DPP and meet their requirements, OMES Health Choice will reimburse the full cost of DPP for all state employees. Also beginning in January 2020, Sooner Care, the state’s Medicaid program, will be providing reimbursement to fully recognized for DSME programs. This has all been possible due to the efforts of this phenomenal group of people who make up the Oklahoma Diabetes Senate Caucus. We are dedicated to improving the lives of every person in the State of Oklahoma.
Tara Conway, MS, RDN, LD, CDE
Diabetes Care and Education Specialist