Removing Barriers to Diabetes Treatment

The Diabetes Working Group, composed of representatives from various medical associations, recently released a white paper containing recommendations for addressing barriers that prevent providers from delivering appropriate care to patients with diabetes.

The working group based its recommendations on findings from a survey conducted by the Endocrine Society. The survey, which was the largest of its kind, indicated that health care providers thought the three most frequent barriers to care were time with patients, inadequate reimbursement and patient adherence. To deal with these issues, the working group focused on payment reform, care management and work force supply.

In terms of payment reform, the working group recommended:

  • Appropriate reimbursement for providers meeting standards of care in treating their patients by paying adequately for all services delivered.
  • Testing and implementing payment models that reward providers for supplying optimal care to patients with diabetes.

The group also made the following recommendations to improve care management:

  • Increase use of shared decision-making opportunities with patients in the office setting to maximize patient engagement in self-management of diabetes.
  • Fully leverage existing health information technology tools to assist patients in diabetes self-management and track performance.
  • Create strong provider teams and share roles and expectations with patients.

To address work force supply problems, the group recommended:

  • Working to make diabetes care an attractive choice for new medical professionals through educational loan forgiveness.
  • Promoting the importance of providing optimal diabetes care as an essential aspect of the health care system.

In your experience, what are the two biggest barriers to the successful treatment of patients with diabetes?


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