On Friday, January 29, Omada officially submitted comments to the Chronic Care Working Group in the United States Senate. The Working Group, chaired by Senators Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Mark Warner of Virginia, was formed last year to examine solutions to one of healthcare’s most pressing problems — the rising costs (in suffering and dollars) of chronic disease in the United States. In December, the group published a set of preliminary policy recommendations on how Medicare could better treat patients with — or at-risk for — chronic illness.
In our letter below, we made an argument that reflects a consensus in the medical community, and one that’s fundamental to our outlook as a company: the best way to treat chronic disease is to prevent it in the first place. Put simply, chronic disease prevention delivers value — and we believe technology has a large role to play in scaling effective prevention for the tens of millions of Americans at risk for the conditions that are some of the biggest drivers of costs in Medicare: heart disease and diabetes.
Specifically, our comments focused on the need for Medicare to begin reimbursing for the National Diabetes Prevention Program. Right now, Medicare will reimburse providers to screen for diabetes, and pays billions to treat patients with diabetes — but provides no incentive for providers to push prevention. In our letter, we make the case that investing in prevention now will save significant treatment costs in the future, and that recognized, effective digital programs can be an integral part of the solution.
Read the full letter below, and keep an eye out for further updates in the coming months on how we’re ensuring that technology-enabled chronic disease prevention stays at the top of the conversation in policy circles.