Congress established the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) in 1997 as part of the Balanced Budget Act to address the growing epidemic of diabetes in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. The Special Diabetes Program for Type 1 Diabetes (SDP) was established at the same time to address the opportunities in type 1 diabetes research. Together, these programs have become the nation’s most strategic, comprehensive and effective effort to combat diabetes and its complications. SDPI currently provides grants for 404 programs in 35 states.
At a rate of 2.8 times the national average, AI/ANs have the highest prevalence of diabetes. In some AI/AN communities, over 50% of adults have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and AI/ANs are 177% more likely to die from diabetes. But SDPI is changing these troubling statistics with marked improvements in average blood sugar levels, reductions in the incidence of cardiovascular disease, prevention and weight management programs for our youth, and a significant increase in the promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors. This success is due to the nature of this grant program to allow communities to design and implement diabetes interventions that address locally identified community priorities.
On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Senate passed a two (2) year renewal of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI). The renewal was contained in a larger bill called: "H.R. 2 - The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015." The measure passed the Senate by a bipartisan vote of 92-8. This follows action by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 26, 2015, which also passed the legislation by a bipartisan vote. SDPI is one of many programs in this legislation. Other provisions included a 2-year authorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and a permanent adjustment of the Medicare physician payment formula. You can read a summary of the legislation here.
THANK YOU to all of those who contacted their Member of Congress in support of SDPI. This could not have been done without you!
NIHB is also especially grateful to Members of Congress who worked diligently to make this legislation happen. NIHB also maintains the position that continued multi-year renewal of SDPI would accomplish much more. It would help provide a more stable stream of funding for the program and – most importantly – it gives Tribal and Urban SDPI programs the uninterrupted care their community members deserve. We will be working diligently over the next two years to ensure that another multi-year renewal of this program is realized.