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. An eye exam is one of the tests.

Why should I get an Eye Exam?
Diabetes can affect sight by damaging the blood vessels inside the eye. This condition is known as "diabetic retinopathy". Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. An early eye exam is an important part of the effort to lower the chance for visual disability in patients with diabetes.

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

How is IHS doing?
The United States long-term goal is for 58.7% of adults aged 18 years and older diagnosed with diabetes to have a dilated eye examination in the past year by the year 2020 (Healthy People 2020). The IHS 2012 goal was to achieve the rate of 54.8% for the proportion of patients with diagnosed diabetes who receive an annual retinal examination. IHS exceeded the goal by reaching 55.7%. The bars on the graph below show the rates for all IHS facilities from 2006-2011. However, prior to 2006, the rate was only for certain IHS facilities and beginning in 2010 refusals was removed from the rates. So, the 2002-2005 rates cannot be compared with the 2006-2009 rates and the 2010-2012 rates cannot be compared with the previous yearsā€™ rates.

Percentage of IHS AI/AN Patients with Diabetes  Assessed for Retinopathy  (IHS 2013 goal is 56.8%)  Note: A higher score is better

View a table of this chart's data.

Year Percent
2002 55
2003 58
2004 55
2005 50
2006 49
2007 49
2008 50
2009 51
2010 53
2011 53.5
2012 55.7
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To see how IHS is doing on this measure at the Area (regional) levels, click here.