June 2005[SAMPLE!!] - How Safety Net Hospitals Are Managing Diabetes Care

eAlert 91a28a86-27fb-4f42-a73e-5a18034557dd

<p>"Safety net hospitals," those public institutions that care for a large volume of underserved Americans, provide care to patients with diabetes that is generally as good as the national average, a new Commonwealth Fund report finds.
The study, by the Consortium for Quality Improvement in Safety Net Hospitals and Health Systems, found that patients' outcomes were on par with, and in some cases, better than, national averages. The study is the first to assess how public hospitals manage diabetes care for a diverse, underserved population.

In <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=17307&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D281960%26%23doc281960">Caring for Patients with Diabetes in Safety Net Hospitals and Health Systems</a>, Marsha Regenstein, Ph.D., and colleagues report that two-thirds of patients in the hospitals studied exhibited moderate control of their diabetes, and patients had similar or better cholesterol levels than those in national surveys.

Despite these positive results, however, disparities remain. Black and Latino patients, for example, were less likely than their white counterparts to have their diabetes under control, and uninsured patients received less care, reflecting national averages, the study found.

Services associated with significantly better health outcomes for diabetes patients at the study hospitals include diabetes education programs, on-site pharmacies that offer free prescriptions or discounts, and non-clinical services that address financial, cultural, language, and educational barriers to care.</p>