Measurement’s Meaning in Diabetes Care Gets Attention

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Quantifying progress in diabetes care, by measuring blood pressure, A1C, and cholesterol, laid the foundation of healthcare’s movement from fee-for-service toward payment for value. Today, diabetes metrics are entering a more patient-centered era, as discussed in the new issue of Evidence-Based Diabetes Management from The American Journal of Managed Care.

The American Journal of Managed Care and Joslin Diabetes Center will present Patient Centered Diabetes Care in Teaneck, N.J. April 7-8, 2016.

Clinical indicators of diabetes care--A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol--are so basic to measuring population health that payers tie them to reimbursement.

To understand healthcare’s movement from fee-for-service toward payment for value, it helps to know a truism of diabetes management: you can’t treat what you can’t measure.

As discussed in the new issue of Evidence-Based Diabetes Management, the clinical indicators of diabetes care—glycated hemoglobin (A1C), blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol are so basic to population health management that Medicare and commercial health insurers now tie them to reimbursement. It won’t be long before every physician will be judged, at least in part, by how well he or she keeps these benchmarks of diabetes under control among the practice’s patients.

But as commentators note in EBDM, a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care, there’s more to diabetes care than the “A,B,C,s.” Authors discuss why it’s important to take individual needs into account, especially for older patients, as well as a second generation of indicators that speak more to patient need.

With diabetes affecting 29.1 million Americans and prediabetes affecting as many as 86 million, measurement isn’t going away—but its nature may change. Features include:

  • Ian Hargraves, PhD; Rene Rodriguez-Gutierrez, MD; and Victor M. Montori, MD, MSc, of the Mayo Clinic discuss the need for flexibility in “When Quality Fails Patients: Finding the Best in Diabetes Care.”
  • Helen Burstin, MD, MPH, and Karen Johnson, MS, of the National Quality Forum discuss what’s ahead in measurement in “Getting to Better Care and Outcomes for Diabetes Through Measurement.”
  • Joanna Mitri, MD, MS, and Robert A. Gabbay, MD, PhD, FACP, of the Joslin Diabetes Center introduce readers to the Joslin Clinical Analytic Tool in “Measuring the Quality of Diabetes Care.” Dr. Gabbay, the chief medical officer and senior vice president at Joslin, is the editor-in-chief of EBDM.

Other features include a discussion of the role of the clinical pharmacist in improving diabetes care, the use of questionnaires to record patient-reported outcomes, the importance of data security as health systems store patient measures, and the emergence of a novel serum biomarker test to predict cardiovascular events among diabetes patients.

EBDM’s mission is to bring together stakeholder viewpoints from across diabetes care: providers, payers, patient advocates, policymakers, and the pharmaceutical industry. AJMC’s upcoming meeting, Patient-Centered Diabetes Care, will meet April 7-8, 2016, in Teaneck, N.J.

For registration, visit here. Dr. Gabbay is the meeting chairman, and Dr. Lonny Reisman of HealthReveal will offer the keynote address.

About the Journals and AJMC.com

The American Journal of Managed Care is the leading peer-reviewed journal dedicated to issues in managed care. AJMC.com distributes healthcare news to leading stakeholders across a variety of platforms. Other titles in the franchise include The American Journal of Accountable Care, which publishes research and commentary on innovative healthcare delivery models facilitated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. AJMC’s Evidence-Based series brings together stakeholder views from payers, providers, policymakers and pharmaceutical leaders in oncology and diabetes management. To order reprints of articles appearing in AJMC publications, please call (609) 716-7777, x 131.

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Mary Caffrey
The American Journal of Managed Care
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Nicole Beagin
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