What measurement means for eye health in patients with diabetes

Patients with diabetes are at greater risk of developing:

  • Glaucoma, or increased pressure in the eye causing gradual vision loss
  • Cataracts, or clouding of the lens of the eye
  • Diabetic Retinopathy, or damage to the blood vessels in the retina

Routine eye exams are the best way for patients with diabetes to monitor their eye health. Retinopathy treatments have made great strides; however, the sooner the condition is diagnosed, the more likely treatment will be successful. The best results occur when sight is still normal. A patient’s retina can be badly damaged before there is any noticeable change in vision and many patients have no symptoms until it is too late to treat them.

The statewide rate of eye exams being performed for patients with diabetes by all reporting medical groups is 66%. This means 66 of 100 patients with diabetes between the ages of 18 and 75 in Minnesota and neighboring areas had received an eye exam in the past year. High rates of eye exams being performed for patients with diabetes can be a sign of strong clinic performance in overall diabetes care. It’s important to know that small differences in percentages don’t necessarily reflect the quality of care you’ll receive with a certain medical group or clinic. It is more important to note the large differences between providers and speak with your doctor if you have questions or concerns.

HOW WE CALCULATE THE MEASURE

We measure how well medical groups perform in making sure their patients with diabetes between the ages of 18 to 75 had received an eye exam in the past year.

This measure is evaluated annually. The current data is based on information collected from the billing data of health plans for dates of service between January 1 and December 31, 2017.