Diabetes Care – Why it’s important to know the numbers
Every healthcare provider has heard comments like these from those we are treating:
- “I check my blood sugar almost every day, and it is under pretty good control. I don’t need any other tests done.”
- “I don’t feel bad, so why would I get more labs done?”
- “I can’t take time off work to get labs done and time off to go see the doctor.”
Each of these comments presents an opportunity to educate the member and assist them in keeping their diabetes monitored and their numbers in check. If a members’ condition is not under control, now is the time to work with them to attempt to get it there. Diabetes is not only a chronic health condition, it is a risk factor for other serious health conditions. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower-limb amputations, and blindness among adults. In 2018, 34.1 million adults were estimated to have diabetes.
Many diabetics have other comorbidities, which also need to be monitored. Nearly 98% of all Type 2 diabetics have one comorbid condition. The primary diagnosis seen is hypertension in as many as 75% of people. Members need to be encouraged to make lifestyle changes, including regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. They also need to be encouraged to work with a healthcare provider to monitor their diabetes and ‘know their numbers’.
Knowing their numbers includes knowing their daily blood sugar level and their Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), kidney function, and blood pressure.
- HbA1c is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over a 3-month period.
- Kidney function monitoring includes urine albumin creatinine ratio, measuring the protein in your urine. The glomerular filtration rate is a blood test that measures how well kidneys are filtering the blood. The KED measure is a new HEDISⓇ measure for 2022.
- High Blood Pressure can cause damage to the small vessels in the kidneys which can lead to kidney failure. Members need to work with a provider to determine what good blood pressure is for them and how to maintain it.
Members who know their numbers and participate in screenings have preventable hospitalizations, utilize fewer emergency department visits, and have overall better outcomes.
At ixlayer, we make it easier for your members with diabetes to know their numbers. We meet your members where they are, around their schedule, with an in-home visit, and some may also have the option to complete a telehealth visit. It’s so convenient, we’ve even had members tell us, “I didn’t need to take time off work.”
At-home lab collection and blood pressure monitoring ensure the member completes their much-needed tests and health screenings. These results are shared with the members’ provider and their health plan because when everyone knows the numbers, we can increase member satisfaction, and decrease provider abrasion drive towards better health outcomes.
Learn more about how ixlayer’s solution can address gaps in care for your health plan.
 Manzella, Debra Comorbid Conditions and Diabetes verywell health
 The Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) is a registered trademark of NCQA