ADA 2024 NEWS: ADA initiative aims to improve primary care for diabetes

By Editor
4th July 2024

The new Diabetes Primary Care Alliance aims to improve diabetes outcomes by accelerating the adoption of evidence-based standards of care in primary care.

This comes after the ADA announced its aim to improve care for the 90 per cent of people with diabetes who receive care for the disease from a primary care provider (PCP).

Dr Kevin A. Peterson, Vice President of the ADA, said: “We are looking for 5,000 early adopters committed to improving diabetes care.

“Those early adopters can drive improvement across all 280,000 primary care practices in the United States.”

There has been a confusing variation in services a person with diabetes can expect when they walk into a PCP office, Dr. Peterson said.

Care can vary by geography, provider, insurance coverage, the provider’s knowledge and education, resources, and other factors.

The problem with this is less knowing how to improve diabetes outcomes and more getting providers to do what is already known to work and keeping up as clinical evidence evolves, he explained.

The Primary Care Alliance is working with educational and policy initiatives from the ADA’s Primary Care Council. The Council includes the ADA and seven primary care provider groups:

  • American Association of Physician Associates (AAPA)
  • American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • American College of Physicians (ACP)
  • American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP)
  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
  • American Pharmacists Association (APHA).

Dr Andrea Haynes said: “We don’t manage diabetes alone. It is a collaboration across the care spectrum.”

Like other providers, family physicians are challenged by changing technology, new drugs, new continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems, automated insulin dosing, and more.

Prevention is key, and patients should expect regular and routine monitoring for diabetic kidney disease, diabetic retinopathy, and foot care from their family physicians, Dr. Haynes said.

Nurse practitioners are the fastest-growing Medicare-designated provider population, noted AANP representative Kimberly D. Broughton-Miller.

She identified key challenges for nurse practitioners such as providing equitable care, keeping current with evolving standards of care, improving patient access to diabetes-related technology, and achieving equitable reimbursement for their own services.

Physician assistants practice across all specialties and practice settings said Cara Orr, MS, MMS, PA-C, representing AAPA.

Key challenges for these providers include keeping up with new information and concepts in diabetes management, integrating CGM and other emerging technologies, equitable care, and the growing administrative burden of prior authorisation.

“Diabetes is a whole-body disease, and osteopathic medicine treats the whole person,” said Greg Cohen, DO, FACOFP, representing ACOFP.

He added: “About 30 per cent of us are in primary care, and diabetes education has been the number one request from our members in our last two surveys.”

Challenges for osteopathic specialists include patient education, resources to improve culturally competent care, improved patient access to new medications and technologies, and better access to in-person and virtual care team resources.

Internal medicine providers face similar challenges, said Dr Peterson, speaking for ACP representative Dr Sarah Candler, who was unable to attend.

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