March 16, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC—The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) announced a major update for its Diabetes Recognition Program. It also revealed plans to develop new diabetes measures that align with evolving data collection and technology. These efforts are generously funded by a $3.5 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
NCQA’s Diabetes Program evaluates and recognizes clinicians and group practices that deliver a higher standard of diabetes care.
Advances in diagnostic and treatment technology, evolving clinical practices, and a continued effort to encourage primary care participation led NCQA to revisit the program’s structure and standards. It gathered a collective of diabetes and quality measurement experts at the annual Digital Quality Summit to assess the program and make recommendations for an upgrade. Their collective expertise led to the white paper: Rethinking Diabetes in the Digital Age. The paper, also funded by The Helmsley Charitable Trust, now serves as a blueprint for the updates.
Planned changes include:
- Updates to NCQA’s Diabetes Recognition Program measure set.
- Modernized program infrastructure to allow for digital measure adoption.
- New measure development exploring one to focus on the behavioral health component of diabetes care and another that embraces advancing glucose monitoring technology.
All of these updates aim to strengthen the clinician accountability structure—the program’s standards and quality measurement—to improve outcomes among patients with diabetes. Updates mean value-added for clinicians and practice sites, state managed care programs, payers, and the broader quality measurement community.
“We hope this refresh attracts more clinicians to the Diabetes Recognition Program approach,” said Peggy O’Kane, NCQA President. “It builds stronger standardized accountability structures to improve diabetes health outcomes while also easing the reporting burden for clinicians. Even more, it significantly accelerates innovation in diabetes measure development.”
That includes a significant focus on the use of information that comes directly from the patient. The Glucose Management measure concept would include data gathered from personal glucose monitoring devices to provide a more accurate understanding of blood sugar levels over time. The Diabetes Distress measure concept focuses on the mental health and well-being of people with diabetes by collecting patients’ perspectives with the use of the Diabetes Distress Scale.
“A major goal at Helmsley is to find partners who have bold ideas to improve care delivery for people living with diabetes,” said Laurel Koester, MPH, Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes Program. “NCQA will help make a new era of diabetes care possible through a Diabetes Recognition Program that accounts for advancements in glucose monitoring technology and considers the emotional impact of diabetes.”
Staff at PRECISIONvalue are contributing their expertise and providing strategic counsel for this work.
Currently, more than 4,000 clinicians have earned Diabetes Recognition. The Recognized status lasts for three years and is highlighted on NCQA’s publicly available Report Card.
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. NCQA’s website (ncqa.org) contains information to help consumers, employers and others make informed health care choices. NCQA can also be found on Twitter at @ncqa, on Facebook at facebook.com/NCQA.org/ and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ncqa.
About the Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $3 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. The Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes Program is one of the largest private foundation funders of T1D in the nation focused on understanding the disease, developing better treatments, and improving care and access in the U.S and low- and middle- income countries. For more information on Helmsley and its programs, visit helmsleytrust.org.
PRECISIONvalue is a healthcare agency with an unparalleled team of experts experienced in supporting pharmaceutical and life science innovators in delivering improved access and health outcomes for patients. PRECISIONvalue’s team of quality and population health experts facilitate quality collaborations, supporting population health advancements, engagements, and strategies to build consensus and shape the future of value-based care. For more information, visit precisionvalue.com.