March 15, 2011
Contact: Anne Prince
The U.S. Diabetes Index: Mapping the Diabetes Community
Measuring Prevalence, Outcomes and Cost
WASHINGTON, DC: The National Minority Quality Forum and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, in collaboration with the CBC Health Braintrust, is launching the U.S. Diabetes Index (USDI) (www.usdiabetesindex.com)—the national index by which diabetes in the United States will be measured. Other stakeholders include the Diabetes Care Project, and Gallup and Healthways, authors of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
USDI and its companion website, www.usdireport.com, provide the most comprehensive source of available data about people living with diabetes, their care, and the trends that are shaping the disease in the United States. USDI houses more than 30,000 maps, charts and graphs depicting diabetes prevalence, costs, the uncontrolled and pre-diabetes populations, co-morbid conditions, and other important indices segmented by geography, including national, state, county, city, congressional, state legislative and zip code levels, and by age, gender, and race/ethnicity. USDI Report is an online web site designed to provide critical intelligence about the diabetes epidemic in the United States. Its mission is to reduce the incidence of the disease, improve patient outcomes while encouraging the effective management of our health care resources. USDI Report not only draws upon the robust amount of information to be found in the U.S. Diabetes Index, but also collaborates with Gallup and Healthways and other third party information providers to present the most current and updated depiction of diabetes in America.
Diabetes is a public health crisis in America with the elderly and minority populations most vulnerable to the ravages of this disease. According to the USDI, almost half of all patients with diabetes are not controlled; only 55 percent of diabetics check their blood sugar at least once a day; and more than half report not visiting their doctor over a 12-month period. The rising rates of obesity, the aging of the American population, the higher risk for the disease among minorities, and poor prevention are creating a health and economic crisis for the U.S.
Dr. Gary Puckrein, USDI developer and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum, observed that, “Diabetes has geographical features to it; that is, blood glucose levels, prevalence, rates of hospitalization vary by geography. USDI allows us to direct our resources to the most affected areas so that those living with the disease in high-risk communities are no longer subjected to the patterns of avoidable hospitalizations and premature death that currently afflict them. We are pleased to make this resource available to our industry partners as well as to patient advocates and health partners such as the Diabetes Care Project (www.diabetescareproject.org)—a coalition of patient advocates and health partners committed to improving each patient’s health outcome while lowering costs for the entire health system.”
“We are pleased to collaborate with the National Minority Quality Forum,” says Congresswoman Donna Christensen, MD, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust. “Given the health care and budgetary concerns that are in the forefront of deliberations on Capitol Hill and in state capitols across the country, this tool can help inform the public discourse on how and where health care dollars are best spent on diabetes prevention, care and treatment.”
Dr. Jaime Davidson, Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School, Division of Endocrinology and a past Council member for the Texas Department of Health, noted that, “Mapping diabetes can help local physicians understand the populations they are working with and better tailor prevention and treatment efforts to that particular community. The maps crystallize the problem unlike any other resource available and graphically illustrate the diabetes crisis and the need for urgent action.”
About the National Minority Quality Forum
The National Minority Quality Forum (www.nmqf.org) is a non-profit healthcare research and educational organization dedicated to the elimination of health disparities. The Forum supports national and local efforts to eliminate the disproportionate burden of premature death and preventable illness in racial and ethnic minorities and other special populations. The Forum has introduced user-friendly, web-based disease indexes to provide a unique two-dimensional view of various diseases, including diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and HIV/AIDS, by ZIP code. Look for the National Minority Quality Forum on Facebook, and follow the Forum on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/NMQF).
About the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust
The Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust has long established itself as an authority on African American and minority health policy on Capitol Hill. The CBC Health Braintrust, under the able leadership of its Chair, Congresswoman Donna Christensen of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is on the front lines of ascertaining the minority health repercussions of all health policy proposals, as well as other social and public policy proposals, and supporting legislation that will ensure health equity and justice across all populations.
About the Diabetes Care Project
The Diabetes Care Project (DCP) (www.diabetescareproject.org) is a coalition of patient advocates and health partners whose goal is to educate patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and policymakers on the value of developing personalized management plans for diabetes patients in an effort to improve each patient’s health outcome and lower costs for the entire health system. The DCP was founded by the National Minority Quality Forum and Roche Diabetes Care. Partners include the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), the Alliance for Aging Research, and Healthways, Inc.