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November is National Diabetes Month: Theme Focuses on Kidney Health

11/1/2017
November is National Diabetes Month and Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network’s Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program is working with community partners and health care providers to improve health outcomes and quality of life among people with diabetes in its five-state network. The theme for this year includes a focus on the connection between kidney health and diabetes. 
 
EDC Logo PictureQuality Insights offers free diabetes education classes throughout Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia as part of the EDC program, which is a national initiative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
 
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes affects nearly 30 million children and adults in the U.S. today. This equals nearly 10 percent of the population or about 1 out of every 11 people. Another 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Of those at risk, 9 out of 10 do not know they have pre-diabetes. 
 
Additionally, around 30% of people with diabetes develop kidney disease with diabetes being the leading cause of kidney failure, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Data estimates that over 30 million Americans (1 in 7 adults) have chronic kidney disease (CKD) and 9 out of 10 are unaware of it. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, or a family history of kidney disease are all at risk for developing CKD. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are three times more likely than Caucasians, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics, to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).  
 
“Managing your or a loved one’s diabetes now can prevent complications in the future,” Rebecca Cochran, MSN, RN, CPHQ, Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network Director, said. “Our free classes provide strategies and tools to help people with diabetes improve their overall health, which will lead to a healthier future.”
 
The EDC program engages patients in weekly group sessions over a six-week period. Participants learn about preventing complications, healthy eating, exercise, self-monitoring, dealing with stress and difficult emotions, managing medications, effective communication with healthcare providers and much more. Additionally, the program engages healthcare providers to improve their adherence to standards of care for people with diabetes and refer patients to the free self-management classes. 
 
To date, nearly 5,000 people have successfully completed EDC classes throughout Quality Insights’ five-state network. Of those, approximately 3,700 were people with Medicare who have diabetes.   
Graduates have reported weight loss, a gain in confidence, new friendships within the community, and improved blood sugar levels, just to name a few.   
 
“As we celebrate the upcoming holiday season with families and friends, we want to be mindful of people living with diabetes and the challenges they face every day with the disease,” Natalie Tappe, RN, Network Task Lead for EDC at Quality Insights, said. “Through these classes, they will understand that they are not alone. They can get the information they need to manage the disease and improve their quality of life.”
 
“This National Diabetes Month, make a promise to yourself and your loved ones,” says Cochran. “Learn how to manage diabetes so that you and your family have many more years together.”
 
Check out our full list of current and upcoming free diabetes self-management classes. For more information on American Diabetes Month, visit www.diabetes.org. To learn more about chronic kidney disease as it relates to diabetes, visit www.kidney.org