Empowering Patients for Diabetes Management

07 Aug 2013
In the state of New York, diabetes statistics are alarming—8.9 percent of New York residents currently have diabetes, and 5.6 percent have pre-diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention project that by 2050, one out of every three people in the United States will be diabetic. 
But, as targeted efforts by Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) in Western New York show, these trends can be stopped, or even reversed. Diabetes care has improved thanks to the P2 Collaborative of Western New York, leader of the AF4Q in Western New York, and their partners in the community. In 2007, only 75 percent of patients with diabetes in the region were screened for kidney damage. Now, 84 percent of those insured through commercial plans or Medicaid have received the proper testing. 
P2 Collaborative has taken a multi-pronged approach to help people with diabetes better manage their condition, working with both providers and consumers. Over the past year, P2 Collaborative has enrolled more than 150 physician providers in the New York State Health Foundation’s Meeting the Mark Diabetes Recognition Program. This program is designed to recognize physicians who use evidence‐based guidelines to achieve excellence in diabetes care. The initiative has the potential to reach an estimated 22,500 patients with diabetes in Western New York. As a result, 62 percent of physician providers in the region have achieved NCQA Diabetes Recognition Certification.
Empowering consumers through two self-management programs also has made an impact. The Diabetes Prevention Program, an evidence-based, structured lifestyle change program, employs lifestyle coaches to work with patients on healthful eating habits and physical activity. The second consumer-oriented program, called “Living Healthy,” seeks to educate patients with chronic disease so they can fully engage in their care. Within specific high-poverty areas, P2 is working with physicians to increase referrals to both programs. As a result of P2 s efforts, people with diabetes in Western New York have more opportunities to manage their health.