Testimony in Support of H.1128, an Act Relative to Diabetes Prevention before the Joint Committee on Public Health

The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) wishes to be recorded in support of H.1128, legislation that would establish the Massachusetts Diabetes State Action Plan within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.  The bill also encourages coordination by state agencies including EOHHS, the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Health Policy Commission (HPC), the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA), the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) and MassHealth to reduce the incidence of diabetes in the Commonwealth and improve diabetes care.

Diabetes is growing at an epidemic rate in the United States and in Massachusetts.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the America Diabetes Association, nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes, making it one of the nation’s leading killers.  Approximately 680,771 people in Massachusetts, or 11.9% of the population have diabetes.  Diabetes and complications thereof, including heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, blindness and death, costs a staggering $8.1 billion in Massachusetts each year.  And these figures don’t include those who have prediabetes who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.  

The Diabetes Action Plan envisioned by H.1128 would improve coordination of care by all relevant state agencies in the Commonwealth and would provide a range of actionable items for consideration by the Legislature to better address the diabetes epidemic in our state.  This plan would be provided to the Legislature biennially, providing a foundation as to what the state is currently doing to address diabetes, and a proposal for how those efforts could be improved or expanded.

The concept of a state Diabetes Action Plan has already been put in place through legislation or by executive order in about 20 states. Last year, this bill passed the House last year before dying in the Senate at the end of the session.  

The MMS urges the Committee on Public Health to act favorably on H.1128.

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