A new report commissioned by the California Optometric Association shows that California’s Medi-Cal managed-care plans are making progress in the fight against California’s diabetes epidemic. California’s optometrists and the community health centers who serve Medi-Cal patients said the report also underscores opportunities to improve diabetes care for patients who are at risk of losing their sight or their lives from uncontrolled diabetes.
“California’s optometrists are encouraged to see crucial measures of diabetes care for Medi-Cal patients have improved over the past four years, indicating California is making headway in our fight to save lives and save eyes,” said Dr. Ranjeet S. Bajwa, OD, FAAO, Dipl ABO, president of the California Optometric Association. “Health plans are increasingly recognizing optometric care as an important strategy in fighting the diabetes epidemic, and eye doctors look forward to expanding our outstanding partnerships with health plans and community health centers to accelerate improvements in diabetes care.”
Over the past two years, the California Optometric Association and community health centers have partnered with Anthem on outreach and care models to improve diabetes care for underserved Californians. A series of “Diabetes Days” hosted by community health centers for diabetic patients served by Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal plan connected members with comprehensive diabetes screenings, including eye exams. The outreach effort aimed to ensure diabetic patients have at least annual contact with a medical provider, as well as follow-up care to address conditions identified in the comprehensive eye examinations.
The report from California Health Policy Strategies, LLC reviewed Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures that Medi-Cal plans report to the Department of Health Care Services. The report found the vast majority of California’s 54 Medi-Cal plans have improved their diabetes HEDIS measures over the past four years. The report also ranked plans on their progress in improving key measures of diabetes treatment, including blood pressure control, percentage of patients who received a retinal/eye exam, percentage of patients who received a blood sugar test, patients’ blood sugar levels, and percentage of patients who received a screening for kidney disease.
See the full report here: Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans: Diabetes Care HEDIS Measures.