ADA implements provider recognition program

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) in Alexandria, VA, will soon be implementing a "provider recognition program" that will give its seal of approval to hospitals and other health care organizations providing quality diabetes care. ADA spokeswoman Lisa Joyner says the organization has already convened a committee of health professions with expertise in diabetes care to define key diabetes care performance and outcome measures that will be consistent with the ADA’s Standards of Medical Care. Nine performance and outcomes measures have been identified, and a pilot study is under way to determine their feasibility.

The measures identified as essential to quality diabetes care are as follows:

• HbA1c testing;

• eye exams;

• foot exams;

• self-monitoring of blood glucose;

• blood pressure measurement;

• urinary protein measurement;

• lipid profiles;

• tobacco status and referral for counseling in smokers;

• patient satisfaction.

Joyner says that to apply for the program, applicants must submit patient data on those measures through medical records and patient survey data. Other essential aspects of diabetes care also will be considered, such as self-management education, nutrition counseling, and preconception counseling.

Provider recognition from the ADA will provide benefits to health care organizations, says Joyner, such as allowing them to benchmark with other facilities and designating them as referral sites by ADA affiliates.

The provider recognition program is expected to be launched early this year by ADA, says Joyner, and both individual and group practices are eligible to apply. For more information, contact: Provider Recognition Program, American Diabetes Association, 1660 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Telephone: (703) 549-1500.