New diabetes educations program could save the state millions

A pair of state health agencies is launching a new education program aimed at Medicaid patients who are diabetics. The hope is that patients will learn how to maintain their health and save the state tens of millions of dollars with preventive care.

“People who go through diabetes self-management education classes are less likely to end up with some of these devastating long-term outcomes like end-stage renal disease or amputations or heart disease,” said Kelly McCracken, who leads diabetes prevention and management with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

State lawmakers recently okayed funding to provide the classes, and make it a covered Medicaid benefit. Diabetes is more prevalent among Colorado adults with less income and education.