DIABETES: We can’t stop it, we can only hope to contain it?

To steal a line from former Sportscenter anchor Dan Patrick, that is the feeling I have after reading some great work this week by Health Affairs and their January issue dedicated to  the multi-factorial challenges involved in addressing diabetes, from prevention to treatment.  Heatlh Affairs social media editor Chris Flemming has a very good summary of the issue, if you don’t have several hours to dive into this subject.   Health Affairs also sponsored a day long symposium on the challenges earlier this week, you can catch a feeling of the proceedings via their twitter feed HERE.

So what does it all mean?   Of all the articles and discussions, Richard Kahn’s work and comments seemed the most rationale and realistic: prevention programs are  challenging and expensive to implement, the data is mixed as to their actual long term impact, and we can do more treating the people we know have diabetes.  His comments I believe lead into the “Quality Care/ACO” discussion.  The role of Medicare bonus STAR payments for achieving quality metrics in diabetes care management and in Part D for compliance will focus on treatment, and increasingly  the private sector are evaluating these metric in making health care plan choices for their employees.


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