NCQA White Paper: Optimizing Care for Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Failure

Did you know that more than 34.1 million American adults are affected by diabetes? [1]This means that these individuals are four times more likely to develop heart failure.[2] When you’re affected by both type 2 diabetes and heart failure (T2DM+HF) your health needs are complex and you will receive care in a complex environment.

Despite the strong connection between diabetes and heart failure, there is a clear disconnect between the care for each condition. A focus on treating each condition separately ignores the complexity of treating people with T2DM+HF. As a result, there are many opportunities for improvement in quality of T2DM+HF care.

Breaking Barriers and Improving Care

In 2020, NCQA convened a diverse panel of clinicians to address the limited resources and efforts aimed at treating T2DM+HF. The Diabetes and Heart Failure Roundtable panelists represented a range of disciplines (cardiology, endocrinology, pharmacy, family medicine, nephrology) across various rural and urban settings (specialty clinics, family practices, academic centers, community hospitals).

NCQA asked the panelists to articulate optimal care when presented with a hypothetical patient with T2DM and a new diagnosis of early HF. Panelists then explored barriers that clinicians and care teams continually encounter. Building a cohesive care team and care environment was identified as an overarching challenge to ideal T2DM+HF care delivery. The panelists carried this theme throughout the discussion as they outlined factors that create barriers at all levels of care.

Panelists concluded by mapping out strategies for achieving optimal care for patients with T2DM+HF. Four categories emerged from their discussion: practice, policies, technology, knowledge. These strategies focused on patient needs and aimed to create an environment that encourages a network of connections between patient, clinician and system.

Detailed findings from the roundtable discussion are presented in the white paper, Optimizing Care for Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Failure. The white paper is a resource for breaking down barriers and driving improvements in the quality of care for people with T2DM+HF. Navigation links throughout the white paper will guide you as you explore the three key sections outlined in the table below.

NCQA created the T2DM+HF white paper in sponsorship with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pdfs/data/statistics/national-diabetes-statistics-report.pdf

[2] https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000691