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Diabetes Care – Eye Exams

2017 HEDIS Bar Chart for Diabetes Care – Eye Exams graph: VA average 88 percent, non-VA average 61 percent

The graph above shows VA medical center scores compared with non-VA hospital scores for eye exams given to patients with diabetes. The percentages represent the number of patients with diabetes who received the recommended annual eye exam. For this measure, a higher percentage indicates a higher quality of care, with 100 percent being the target.

What is this measure?
Individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing eye problems such as diabetic retinopathy (damage to the retina), cataracts or glaucoma. If left untreated, these conditions can eventually cause severe sight loss or blindness.

What are we measuring?
It is recommended that individuals with diabetes between 18 and 75 years old receive an eye exam at least once a year to detect problems with their eyesight. The graph above shows the percentage of diabetics in this age range who received a yearly eye exam.

Why is this important?
There are often no symptoms of an eye condition until an individual’s sight has already been affected, so regular eye exams are important in order to detect problems early. The earlier a problem is detected, the more effectively a health care provider can treat it.

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