October 2, 2023
WASHINGTON, DC—October 2, 2023—The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the American Diabetes Association® today announced the release of a new white paper titled, Digital Technology-Enabled Care Models for Diabetes: A Framework for Developing Quality Standards and Measures. The report is based on input from a roundtable discussion hosted by NCQA and the ADA in March 2023 on the need to develop a roadmap that defines standards and quality measures for diabetes digital technologies (DDT). These include products that facilitate virtual care delivery, patient education, information exchange, risk factor monitoring and feedback, and other patient self-monitoring and support tasks.
The roundtable and white paper were both supported by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
In 2021, 537 million people aged 20–79 worldwide were living with diabetes. That number is expected to grow to 643 million people by 2030.1 The increasing prevalence of diabetes has sparked innovation in digital tools to help manage the condition. However, there is a lack of high-quality clinical trial evidence supporting the efficacy of some DDTs. Many software products are not regulated by the FDA and there is no universally accepted infrastructure that defines quality standards and measures for DDT performance or effectiveness.
“Diabetes has a profound impact on the lives of patients and caregivers. It is also exceptionally costly for public and private insurers, and places considerable demands on the health care system,” said Robert Gabbay MD, PhD, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer at the American Diabetes Association. “Digital technologies have made it easier than ever for patients to take a proactive role in managing their condition and for clinicians to monitor their patients’ health. However, with no comprehensive framework to assess DDTs in practice, it is challenging for patients, clinicians, payers and others to make informed decisions about which technologies are best suited to a patient’s needs and will help improve outcomes.”
The white paper provides a practical framework to guide the development of quality standards and measures for DDTs. The report focuses on three key areas:
- A Novel Approach to Categorizing DDTs: A categorization scheme emphasizing the quality of how well technologies support digital technology-enabled care models. This includes categorizing DDTs according to one of three care models: patient-facing apps and tools, virtual self-management and support or virtual diabetes care.
- Identifying a DDT Framework: A framework enabling stakeholders to assess how well DDTs support the relevant care model according to the five classes of properties and impacts defined in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) health technology assessment framework: technical properties; safety; efficacy and/or effectiveness; economic attributes or impacts; and social, legal, ethical, and/or political impacts.
- Development of Quality Standards and Measures: Identifying and prioritizing criteria to develop DDT quality standards and measures, focusing on focus on how well a DDT supports a specified care model and its unique contribution to the care model’s impact on the quality of care and health outcomes.
“Digitization is transforming care for the better. The development of DDT quality standards and measures holds great promise to improve the quality of diabetes care and support greater health equity for millions of people impacted by this chronic condition,” said NCQA Executive Vice President, Quality Measurement and Research Group, Eric Schneider, MD, M.Sc. “We thank all of the roundtable participants for their important contributions creating this framework. NCQA is proud to work alongside the ADA, the Helmsley Charitable Trust and stakeholders across the health care ecosystem to advance the adoption of digitalization and accelerate improvements in care.”
NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA Accredits and Certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also Recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. In recognition for its leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion, NCQA has won the Excellence in Diversity Award from the Chesapeake Human Resources Association. NCQA’s website (ncqa.org) contains information to help consumers, employers and others make informed health care choices. NCQA can also be found at Twitter @ncqa and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ncqa.
About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 83 years, the ADA has driven discovery and research to treat, manage, and prevent diabetes while working relentlessly for a cure. Through advocacy, program development, and education we aim to improve the quality of life for the over 133 million Americans living with diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life®. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Spanish Facebook (Asociación Americana de la Diabetes), LinkedIn (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn), and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).
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- International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas—Diabetes Around the World in 2021. Available at: https://diabetesatlas.org/. Accessed September 16, 2023.