Diabetes Mellitus: Disease Management in a Multispecialty Group Practice
Jeremy M. Gleeson
Donna J. Rodriguez
Because of the extensive burden that diabetes mellitus imposes on individuals and healthcare systems, this disease state is frequently on the priority lists of managed-care organisations for improving quality of care while controlling costs. This article explains diabetes disease management concepts and interventions aimed at improving clinical outcomes illustrated with details of the Lovelace Health Systems Diabetes Episodes of Care (R) programme. The effectiveness of diabetes disease management programmes can best be evaluated by the clinical outcome of haemoglobin A1c measures. Process measurements include diabetes education access, annual eye examinations and documentation of annual clinical evaluations of feet. Short term cost reductions are frequently unrealistic expectations of diabetes disease management programmes because of the complex, chronic nature of the disease. Coordination of previously fragmented services, eventual reduction of long term complications and meeting regulatory standards are potential achievements of these programmes.
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