INTRODUCTION: Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPPs) have shown that healthy eating and moderate physical activity are effective ways of delaying and preventing type 2 diabetes in people with impaired glucose tolerance. We assessed willingness to pay for DPPs from the perspective of potential recipients and the cost of providing these programs from the perspective of community health centers and local health departments in North Carolina.
METHODS: We used contingent valuation to determine how much potential recipients would be willing to pay to participate in DPPs under 3 different models: delivered by registered professionals (traditional model), by community health workers, or online. By using information on the minimum reimbursement rate at which public health agencies would be prepared to provide the 3 models, we estimated the marginal costs per person of supplying the programs. Matching supply and demand, we estimated the degree of cost sharing between recipients and providers.
RESULTS: Potential program recipients (n = 99) were willing to pay more for programs led by registered professionals than by community health workers, and they preferred face-to-face contact to an online format. Socioeconomic status (measured by education and employment) and age played the biggest roles in determining willingness to pay. Leaders of public health agencies (n = 27) reported up to a 40% difference in the cost of providing the DPP, depending on the delivery model.
CONCLUSION: By using willingness to pay to understand demand for DPPs and computing the provider's marginal cost of providing these services, we can estimate cost sharing and market coverage of these services and thus compare the viability of alternate approaches to scaling up and sustaining DPPs with available resources.