The calendar year is full of days, weeks and months dedicated to bringing about awareness to health, social, political and other important efforts and November has been designated as National Diabetes Awareness Month.
Diabetes is an ever-growing health issue. In fact, almost 30 million Americans, both adults and children, have diabetes and over 85 million more are at risk for developing it. Managing this disease is an important and critical part of improving the overall health of our country.
There are many organizations dedicated to assisting those with the disease through nutrition, exercise and other health advice. But at the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, we believe treating diabetes should also involve a good care team and a well designed disease management plan. This takes diabetes management beyond what one can do in their own home to utilizing the medical community in an effective and efficient manner. We understand that chronic diseases, like diabetes, put patients at risk for potentially avoidable complications and are often the most expensive to treat and manage due to their continual nature.
So how does a patient know they are getting the best care and a good addition to their diabetes care management team?
Our Bridges to Excellence (BTE) Diabetes Recognition Program is designed to identify those clinicians who deliver low cost, high quality care to diabetes patients. To do this, clinicians should deliver high-value care from the outset of patient contact and work to avoid inappropriate treatment by considering previous treatment history.
To earn Recognition, clinicians must meet benchmarks on measures, based on clinical evidence, such as blood pressure, LDL levels, HgBA1x levels and others. These measures also promote a model of care that includes comprehensive patient assessment and reassessment, patient education and shared decision-making, which not only engages the patient, but also empowers them by emphasizing the importance of patient roles.
Over 8,800 clinicians across the United States have earned a BTE Diabetes recognition of which nearly 3,700 have earned a Level II or Level III recognition demonstrating very good or exceptional diabetes care performance. These are clinicians who are striving to not only provide the best care they can to diabetes patients, but also model their care to educate their patients and act as an important member of their diabetes management team.
To help patients find these exceptional clinicians, the recognitions are displayed on various consumer-focused sites such as Vitals, Castlight Health, the Blue Cross Blue Shield National Directory and our own INQUIREhealthcare Clinician Search. By showcasing their achievement on websites such as these, it is easy for patients to find the best quality care and feel assured they are seeking out the right provider.
This recognition provides those 8,800 clinicians with the distinguished acknowledgment of being a high-value provider. But clinicians who are recognized through our BTE Diabetes Recognition program may also be eligible for bonus payments through employers or health plans rewarding them for their high quality care efforts.
We consider our BTE Diabetes Recognition program a win-win-win. Clinicians win by being recognized and earning patient confidence and potential financial rewards, plans and employers win through savings and patients win through better outcomes.
All in all, managing diabetes should be a team effort. Those who suffer from this chronic disease deserve to have the highest quality of care to give them the confidence and ability to effectively manage it.
To learn more about the Bridges to Excellence Diabetes Recognition program or see our other recognition programs, visit www.hci3.org/what_is_bte