U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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  Quality of IHS Health Care

Performance Measures

Health Topic: Diabetes
Diabetes affects many American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). In fact, between 1997 and 2003, the number of AI/AN patients who have diabetes and get their health care from IHS increased by 41%. The high costs of health care along with more patients getting diabetes represent a challenge for IHS.

Between the years of 2002 and 2004, the number of deaths from diabetes in the AI/AN population was almost 3 times higher than all other races.

Patients who have diabetes also are more likely to have heart disease (Cardiovascular Disease), which affects the heart and blood vessels. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for AI/AN patients. It is very important for patients who have diabetes to take care of themselves. You can do this by getting the tests you need. The tests will show how well diabetes is being controlled. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is one of the tests.

What is an LDL cholesterol test?
Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is sometimes called the ?bad? cholesterol. When it gets too high, it increases the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. Blood tests are used to measure your LDL cholesterol.

Who should get this test?
It is important for people with diabetes to have this test done once a year or more.

Why are LDL cholesterol levels important?
Patients with diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease. It is important to test and treat patients with high LDL cholesterol. People who are able to lower their LDL cholesterol by eating healthier, getting more physical activity, and taking medications ordered by their doctor may be able to cut their risk of a heart attack by half!

What is a good LDL cholesterol number?
A lower number is a better score.

  • A number lower than 100 mg/dl shows you have ideal (best) LDL cholesterol control.
  • A number of 100 mg/dl or higher shows you have poor LDL cholesterol control.

What is the GPRA measure?

How is IHS doing?
IHS has not established a long-term goal for this measure. The IHS 2012 goal was to achieve the rate of 70.3% for the proportion of patients diagnosed with diabetes who are assessed for dyslipidemia (LDL cholesterol). IHS exceeded the goal by reaching 71.0%. The bars on the graph below show that IHS has increased LDL cholesterol testing in diabetes patients from 44% in 2002 to 71.0% in 2012 During the same time IHS was providing care to more patients with diabetes. In fact, between 1997 and 2003, the number of AI/AN diabetes patients who received their health care from IHS increased by 41%.

Percentage of IHS AI/AN Patients with Diabetes  with LDL Cholesterol Assessed  (IHS 2013 goal is 68.0%)  Note: A higher score is better

View a table of this chart's data.

Year Percent
2002 44
2003 48
2004 53
2005 53
2006 60
2007 61
2008 63
2009 65
2010 67
2011 68.7
2012 71.0
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To see how IHS is doing on this measure at the Area (regional) levels, click here.