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UW Research to Help Feds Target Diabetes Outreach

Where you live has a major impact on your health.


As that simple idea gains more traction in public-health research, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is now employing a novel tool to target disparities in diabetes care.


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Dr. Amy Kind, associate professor of medicine (geriatrics) at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and her team have refined the Area Deprivation Index (ADI), which allows neighborhoods to be ranked by socioeconomic disadvantage.


Two years ago, she published findings showing seniors from at-risk neighborhoods are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital than those from less disadvantaged neighborhoods. In that work, the team matched these geographic data in more than 30 million U.S. zip codes with Medicare claims and other data.


As part of a study funded by the National Institutes of Health on Minority Heath and Health Disparities, Kind’s team has now updated these metrics for every neighborhood in the United States.


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services took note of the work and will now use these links to target diabetes education efforts to seniors residing in the most disadvantaged areas (in addition to targeting traditional individual disparities).


The Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program, which provides diabetes self-management education to medically underserved seniors, will add neighborhoods and communities that had not been identified for inclusion before, allowing the EDC program to reach additional seniors in need.


The Area Deprivation Index score from Dr. Kind’s group offers statistical data that help to take some of the burden off the individual person, while simultaneously allowing for the identification and targeting of highly disadvantaged neighborhoods. By making the neighborhood the focus of intervention, this tool encourages the development of new approaches and collaborations to improve health outcomes.


“We are thrilled that our research has contributed in a meaningful way to this critical policy initiative. In the coming year we will be making these updated metrics freely available to the public for all to use in health, research, policy and other community initiatives,” said Dr. Kind.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29.1 million Americans have diabetes and another 86 million have prediabetes (a precursor of diabetes). The Centers for Disease Control’s 2014 national diabetes statistical report also states one in 10 health care dollars is spent treating diabetes and its complications. Also, 30 percent of those with a known diagnosis of diabetes require more than two overnight hospitalizations per year.

Date Published: 02/17/2017

News tag(s):  researchdiabetes

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UW Research to Help Feds Target Diabetes Outreach

Last updated: 02/20/2017
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