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HHC continues to improve diabetic patient health outcomes

Monday June 4, 2012
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The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation reports that its comprehensive chronic-disease management program has been successful in helping diabetic patients control their blood sugar.

About 48.1% of HHC’s diabetic patients monitored in the past six months achieved healthy A1c blood sugar levels of 7 or less in 2011, up nearly 6% from 2007. HHC credits the improvements to a management program that includes innovative interventions such as the House Calls Telehealth program that helped reduce hospitalizations for a high-risk group of diabetics, the diabetes patient electronic registry that allows doctors to better monitor patients, and education classes and support groups available across the HHC public hospital system.

"Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in New York City, and HHC facilities are battling the disease on many fronts," HHC President Alan D. Aviles said in a news release. "Our comprehensive approach to diabetic care, which includes free screenings, increased attention to early diabetes detection in clinical visits, and innovative patient-centered interventions have helped more and more of our patients reach healthy controls. We know these interventions not only improve health outcomes, but also help reduce the long-term costs associated with diabetes complications."

HHC’s House Calls Telehealth program has helped nearly 1,200 New Yorkers with severe diabetes significantly lower their blood sugar levels, avoiding hospitalizations and trips to the ED, according to an HHC release. More than 70% of the patients enrolled in House Calls for at least six months significantly decreased their A1c levels and, of those, nearly 40% reached the recommended goal of an A1c of 7. When patients first start the House Calls program, A1c levels can range from more than 9 to as high as 16.

Patients enrolled in House Calls also have seen an 8% decrease in hospitalizations and a 6% reduction in ED visits. The program is available to patients enrolled in the MetroPlus Health Plan. The program costs about $3,600 a year per patient, less than the cost of a single hospitalization, which is about $7,200.

For HHC’s Diabetes Wellness Center, visit www.NYC.gov/html/hhc/diabetes/html/home/home.shtml.