Issue: March 2012
January 31, 2012
2 min read

Diabetes Working Group releases recommendations for eliminating obstacles to diabetes care

Issue: March 2012
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The Diabetes Working Group, composed of representatives from various medical associations, recently released a white paper containing recommendations for addressing barriers that prevent providers from delivering appropriate care to patients with diabetes, according to a press release.

The working group based its recommendations on findings from a survey conducted by the Endocrine Society. The survey, which was the largest of its kind, indicated that health care providers thought the three most frequent barriers to care were time with patients, inadequate reimbursement and patient adherence. To deal with these issues, the working group focused on payment reform, care management and work force supply.

Robert A. Vigersky, MD
Robert A. Vigersky

In terms of payment reform, the working group recommended:

  • Appropriate reimbursement for providers meeting standards of care in treating their patients by paying adequately for all services delivered.
  • Testing and implementing payment models that reward providers for supplying optimal care to patients with diabetes.

The group also made the following recommendations to improve care management:

  • Increase use of shared decision-making opportunities with patients in the office setting to maximize patient engagement in self-management of diabetes.
  • Fully leverage existing health information technology tools to assist patients in diabetes self-management and track performance.
  • Create strong provider teams and share roles and expectations with patients.

To address work force supply problems, the group recommended:

  • Working to make diabetes care an attractive choice for new medical professionals through educational loan forgiveness.
  • Promoting the importance of providing optimal diabetes care as an essential aspect of the health care system.

“Given the high and growing prevalence of diabetes, the chronic nature of the disease, lack of success in achieving desired patient outcomes, and the high cost of treating complications resulting from poor diabetes control, the barriers to providing optimal diabetes care must be brought to the forefront of the national health care discussion,” the working group wrote in the paper.

Robert Vigersky, MD, past-president of the Endocrine Society, and Karen Fitzner, PhD, of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, co-chaired the Diabetes Working Group, which also included members from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the American Diabetes Association, diatribe, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Pediatric Endocrine Society.

Disclosure: The Diabetes Working Group received funding through unrestricted grants to the AADE Foundation from Abbott Laboratories, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Dexcom Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic Inc., Roche Diagnostics Diabetes Care and Sanofi-Aventis.

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