NBCH To Prevent Diabetes And Improve Care For Patients With Diabetes

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To further efforts to improve the quality of diabetes care at a local level, the non-profit National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) announced the availability of a new mini-site for business and health coalitions and the general public - the Community Health Value Collaborative. The site also hosts evidence-based cost calculators for employers, allowing them to quantify the return on investments in better care for employees with diabetes.

The mini-site is a vehicle for all to share their knowledge and tools and to network across communities and stakeholder groups to make measurable improvements in care for diabetic patients. It contains a comprehensive collection of models, tools including diabetes cost calculators, community experience and links for the improvement of diabetes prevention and care at the market level.

Since March of 2005, three of NBCH's member business coalitions have partnered with Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as pilot sites for the Improving Diabetes Care in Communities Collaborative, a diabetes improvement initiative. The participating coalitions are the Greater Detroit Area Health Council, the Memphis Business Group on Health and the MidAtlantic Business Group on Health.

"Diabetes is a costly disease which is rapidly growing in prevalence," said Andrew Webber, president and CEO of NBCH. "As we're building an infrastructure at the community level to address the disease, credible evidence-based tools, like the one developed by AHRQ, makes the urgent business case to employers; investing in better diabetes care will yield significant return."

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Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., director of AHRQ, commented "We're pleased to work in partnership with NBCH and its business and health coalitions to bring evidence-based tools directly to organizations in the front lines of delivering and purchasing health care services. Our hope is that with this information employers and other stakeholders will work together to improve the quality of health care in their communities."

Diabetes cost calculators

The new NBCH site offers two Web-based calculators to help employers and health plans with managing diabetes for their covered populations and improving diabetes benefit plans and care system performance.

The first tool was created by The Lewin Group, with support from AHRQ, and it incorporates a full evaluation of the scientific literature in developing the formulae for return on investment calculations. It is designed for employers to use in estimating how much diabetes costs them and the potential savings that would result from better management of diabetes. The calculator is being made available to employers in partnership with NBCH. Cost savings estimates are based on evidence that better management of diabetes (e.g., improved blood glucose control) is linked to lower health care costs. The calculator draws on the best available evidence from peer-reviewed medical journals and trusted data sources such as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the National Health Interview Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the AHRQ Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

The Diabetes Outcomes Analyzer(TM) is also available on NBCH's mini-site through a partnership with Pfizer, Inc. This tool helps employers assess the impact of implementing value based benefit design for diabetic-related pharmaceuticals.

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