Controlling Blood Sugar for Diabetes Patients 2017-18 Edition
Why is it important to control blood sugar if you have diabetes?When a person has diabetes, the body's blood sugar (glucose) builds up above the normal level. When the level of blood sugar is high, diabetes can cause damage to the small blood vessels. By keeping your blood sugar closer to the normal level, this will help prevent or delay problems like blindness, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and loss of limbs, especially the feet and toes. To control your diabetes and blood sugar, you may need to check your blood sugar levels at home, eat healthy, maintain a healthy weight, stay active and take medicine as needed.
How should doctors help control blood sugar?Doctors should regularly order the "A1c" blood test for you. The A1c test measures your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. To have good control, your A1c level should be less than 8%.
Doctors should work with you to help control the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood. The doctor can help you in many ways. They can help you to better plan your meals and to stay physically active. Your doctor may also teach you how to check your blood sugar at home using a small meter. And when needed, the doctor can also order medicine that lowers the blood sugar level.
Talk with your doctor and health plan to find out about what other services are available. Many health plans offer additional support and resources for patients with diabetes. These additional services may be educational materials (online and in print), classes or support groups, such as home blood sugar testing or phone counseling.
What do the scores mean?The scores show how well each health plan did at making sure patients with diabetes had well-controlled blood sugar levels, which is an A1c level of less than 8%. The higher score means more patients got the right care at the right time.
The scores are based on information from at least 30 health plan member administrative records in 2016. Some plans also use patient medical records which are often more complete and result in higher scores. Plans that decide not to use medical records are likely to have lower scores.