News Center for Health Economics & Policy Behavioral/ Mental Health

Center releases white paper on strategies to improve outcomes for diabetes and obesity

Written by Kim Furlow, communications manager for the Institute for Public Health


Healthy food that can reduce the risk of diabetes Photo: Maddi Bazzocco, Unsplash

According to a report by America’s Health Rankings, Missouri ranks 26th and 32nd among U.S. states in health outcomes related to diabetes and obesity respectively. Missouri Foundation for Health also reports that Hispanic Missourians experience disproportionate mortality rates for stroke and diabetes.

At Part VI of its Transforming Healthcare in Missouri meeting series, our Center for Health Economics and Policy convened Missouri stakeholders for presentations on diabetes, obesity, and related health problems, and hosted breakout discussions on innovative ways to improve outcomes for Missouri Medicaid beneficiaries who experience these conditions. Stemming from this event, the center has released a comprehensive white paper titled Policy and Community Strategies to Improve Outcomes for Diabetes and Obesity, which summarizes current care models and related Missouri policies, and offers policy recommendations based on the event’s consensus views.

The challenge for Missouri Medicaid is not only identifying innovative care approaches that can affect outcomes in a meaningful way, but also to figure out ways to change the payment models so that delivering these types of treatments is heavily incentivized so it can actually happen at scale,” said center affiliate, Abigail Barker, PhD, who led the design and structure of the event. “Our speakers and attendees suggested some possible answers to these questions.”

The white paper includes endorsed suggestions for improving health outcomes related to the following:

Childhood and Intergenerational Obesity

Weight Management & Diabetes Prevention

Gestational Diabetes

Obesity Treatment and Diabetes Management

The paper notes: “Priorities identified at this convening may be considered for implementation to improve outcomes for Medicaid participants with diabetes and obesity in the future.”

Also featured are summaries of the presentations and research by the following experts:

Nancy Schoenberg, PhD, the Marion Pearsall Professor Director of the Center for Health Equity Transformation, associate vice president for research, health disparities at the University of Kentucky: Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide: Leveraging Common Bonds to Impact Obesity and Diabetes Outcomes

Debra Haire-Joshu, PhD, the Joyce and Chauncy Buchheit Professorship in Public Health, Brown School and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; director of the Center for Diabetes Translation Research and Center for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research: A National Community-Academic Partnership to Prevent Intergenerational Obesity

Denise Wilfley, PhD, the Scott Rudolph University Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Psychology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis: Increasing Access to USPSTF-Recommended Care for Obesity: The Journey to Change Reimbursement Policy and Build a Multidisciplinary Workforce

For the Transforming Healthcare in Missouri meeting series, the Center for Health Economics and Policy convenes healthcare providers, payers, consumers, researchers, economists, advocates and policymakers to generate and discuss ideas for healthcare reform in Missouri under the banner of Transforming Healthcare in Missouri.