National Changing Diabetes Program praises preventive healthcare legislation


WASHINGTON Legislation introduced in July to promote preventive health has drawn praise from a diabetes organization run by Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk.

The National Changing Diabetes Program complimented Reps. Donna Christensen, D-Virgin Islands, and Michael Burgess, R-Texas, for their sponsorship of H.R. 3148, the Preventive Health Savings Act of 2009.

The legislation would require the Congressional Budget Office to weigh clinical or observational studies when modeling projected costs and savings related to preventive health and, in some cases, make projections beyond the traditional 10-year budget window. Under current law, the CBO uses traditional economic and actuarial approaches to make projections within a 10-year time span and assign health programs “scores” based on their financial effects.

“Healthcare reform represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for creating a system which values prevention, but this promise will not be fully realized without modernizing the way Congress scores preventive health legislation,” Christensen said in a statement. “The Preventive Health Savings Act requires CBO to conduct an initial analysis to determine whether the preventive health measure would result in substantial savings outside the scoring window, and if those savings exist, CBO must include an estimate and description of those future-year savings in its budget projections.”

The program also funded a group of researchers, led by University of Chicago economist Michael O’Grady, who created a simulation model incorporating clinical trial data, finding that early, aggressive prevention and treatment of diabetes yields payoffs that increase over time, beyond the CBO’s 10-year window.

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