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

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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. Nephropathy assessment is one of the tests.

Why should I get a Nephropathy Assessment?
Diabetes can cause kidney disease by damaging the parts of the kidneys that filter out waste. Kidney disease can lead to kidney failure. Diabetes is the leading cause of end stage renal disease (ESRD), which is a growing problem in AI/AN communities. Early testing can help prevent or delay the need for costly care such as dialysis or renal transplant.

What is the GPRA measure?
The GPRA measure is the percentage of IHS AI/AN diabetes patients who were assessed for kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy) during the year.

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 57.8% for the proportion of patients diagnosed with diabetes who are assessed for nephropathy. IHS exceeded the goal by reaching 66.7%. The bars on the graph below show that IHS has increased the rate from 35% in 2002 to 66.7% in 2012. However, prior to the year 2007, this measure was defined differently. So, the 2002-2006 rates cannot be compared with the 2007-2012 rates.

Percentage of IHS AI/AN Patients with Diabetes  Assessed for Nephropathy  (IHS 2013 goal is 64.2%)  Note: A higher score is better

View a table of this chart's data.

Year Percent
2002 35
2003 38
2004 42
2005 47
2006 55
2007 40
2008 50
2009 50
2010 55
2011 56.5
2012 66.7
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To see how IHS is doing on this measure at the Area (regional) levels, click here.