Engaging Payors and Primary Care Physicians Together in Improving Diabetes Prevention

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through lifestyle programs like the Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPP), but few people with prediabetes participate in them, in part because their insurance does not reliably cover DPPs. Prior studies have not focused on payor-level barriers. Objective: To understand barriers to DPP uptake that exist and intersect at different levels (patients, PCPs, and payors) to inform strategies to improve diabetes prevention in primary care settings through interviews with PCPs and payors. Design: From May 2020 to October 2021, we conducted remote, semi-structured interviews with PCPs and payors. Participants: PCPs were from primary care practices affiliated with one mid-Atlantic academic system. Payor leaders were from regional commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid plans. Approach: Using a standardized interview guide focused on barriers, facilitators, and potential intervention components, interviews were audio-recorded using Zoom and professionally transcribed. Two reviewers double-coded transcripts using the framework analytic approach. Key Results: We interviewed 16 PCPs from 13 primary care clinics and 7 payor leaders representing 6 insurance plans. Two themes emerged from PCP reports of patient-level barriers: (1) lack of programs and insurance coverage of resources to address nutrition and exercise and (2) inadequate resources to address social determinants of health that impact diabetes prevention. Among barriers PCPs faced, we identified two themes: (1) low PCP knowledge about DPPs and misperceptions of insurance coverage of DPPs and (2) inadequate clinical staff to address diabetes prevention. Barriers common to PCPs and payors included (1) absence of prediabetes quality measures and (2) inadequate engagement of PCPs and patients with payors. Conclusions: Discussions with PCPs and payors revealed systemic barriers that suggest important priorities to improve prediabetes clinical care, including universal coverage of DPPs, clarity about coverage benefits, data reporting and outreach by payors to PCPs, and adoption of appropriate prediabetes quality measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-314
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • barriers and facilitators
  • clinic intervention
  • diabetes prevention
  • insurance
  • primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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