Quality of Care
Diabetes Care - Treatment for Kidney Disease
The graph above shows VA medical center scores compared with non-VA hospital scores for patients who are diabetic and were screened for kidney disease or have kidney disease. For this measure, a higher percentage indicates a higher quality of care, with 100 percent being the target.
What is this measure?
Diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease associated with diabetes) affects approximately 40% of type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients. It increases the risk of death, mainly from cardiovascular causes, and is defined by increased urinary albumin excretion (UAE) in the absence of other renal diseases.
What are we measuring?
Generally, diabetes patients age 18 to 75 should receive a test for nephropathy on a yearly basis. The percents in the graph above show the number of diabetic patients who received the recommended screening, or who already showd signs of kidney disease.
Why is this important?
Diabetic nephropathy develops in, at most, 40% of patients with diabetes, even when high glucose levels are maintained for long periods of time. Regular outpatient follow-up is key in managing diabetic nephropathy successfully. Currently, diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease in the United States and other Western societies. It is also one of the most significant long-term complications in terms of morbidity and mortality for individual patients with diabetes. Good evidence suggests that early treatment delays or prevents the onset of diabetic nephropathy or diabetic kidney disease.