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Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health Releases Report on the State of Diabetes in Texas

Texas lags the nation in percentage of diabetes patients receiving recommended care despite increase in number of diabetes patient claims

DALLAS, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health (DFWBGH) announced today the release of a new report on the prevalence, costs and quality of care for Texans with type 2 diabetes. The Texas Type 2 Diabetes Report 2007 presents an overview of patient demographics, hospital and professional charges, utilization of clinical services and drug therapy for type 2 diabetes patients in key local markets across the state including Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth/Arlington, Houston and San Antonio. The report was developed to help providers and employers better identify opportunities to serve the health care needs of Texans with type 2 diabetes. Produced with support from sanofi-aventis, the report is publicly available and can be accessed at DFWBGH's Web site:

"The prevalence of diabetes is growing in Texas, yet utilization rates (patients receiving necessary, appropriate care) for diabetes-related care are lower than the national averages as evidenced by the report findings," said Marianne Fazen, PhD, executive director of DFWBGH. "It's critical that we find ways to improve the quality and efficiency of care for patients with chronic diseases, which was the impetus for a new community-wide health care improvement initiative in DFW that involves physicians, employers, health plans and consumers. Through the DFW Value-Driven Health Care Collaborative, we are working to increase awareness of and compliance with recommended care for diabetes and to create a high quality, efficient and affordable health care delivery system."

Key findings

-- The prevalence of patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has increased for most major markets across the state with Dallas seeing the largest increase of diabetes patient claims in 2006, up 28 percent from the year before; Austin had the second highest increase of 24 percent; Fort Worth saw an increase of ten percent; San Antonio had the smallest increase of less than two percent; and only Houston experienced a decrease in the number of diabetes patient claims, with nine percent fewer than the year before.

-- The cost of care varies from city to city, with Dallas having the most expensive charges for outpatient diabetes care among the five markets profiled in the report. In contrast, outpatient diabetes care in San Antonio is relatively inexpensive.

-- Utilization rates for diabetes-related tests in Fort Worth and San Antonio were similar to Dallas, suggesting a similar level of diabetes care quality.

-- Only in Austin did professional charges for outpatient diabetes care decline in 2006 to $1,404 per patient per year, compared to $1,818 the year before.

Texas lags the nation in use of recommended diabetes services

The report also examined utilization of diabetes care management services such as A1c (a test that helps doctors understand how well a diabetes patient's treatment plan is working), glucose and cholesterol tests, and eye exams. These tests are useful measures of diabetes care quality and also a key focus of the DFW Value-Driven Health Care Collaborative diabetes care improvement initiative.

The Texas Type 2 Diabetes Report 2007 is a valuable resource for Texas employers, health plans and providers to promote effective diabetes care management strategies to avoid complications and the onset of other health problems.

About the Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health

The Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health is a 130-member coalition of Dallas and Fort Worth area employers committed to market-based health care reform. A member of the National Business Coalition on Health, DFWBGH's goals are to empower employers to make informed health care purchasing decisions and to encourage health care providers to continuously improve their performance.

SOURCE Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health
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