What is this measuring?
The percentage of UMP members age 18 to 75 diagnosed with diabetes (type 1 and type 2) whose blood sugar was tested using a HbA1c test by a doctor or other health care provider at least once in the one-year measurement period. The HbA1c test is different from a test of one's 'fasting' blood sugar. HbA1c tests measure the amount of glycated hemoglobin in the blood. It is used to measure blood sugar control over several months. It can give a good estimate of how well diabetes has been managed over the last 2 or 3 months.
Why is this measure important?
People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugar levels under control. HbA1c will be higher if there has been high levels of glucose in the blood. In general, the higher the HbA1c, the higher the risk that an individual will develop problems such as eye disease, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage and stroke. This is especially true if a patient's HbA1c level stays high for a long time. Overall, the closer HbA1c is to normal, the lower the risk for complications.
How are UMP members doing?
For the most recent measurement period, 69% of UMP members who are diabetic received this test. This compares with 87% of diabetics in the 5-county Puget Sound Health Alliance region in the same time period. In the previous measurement period, 70% of diabetic UMP members received this test, compared with with 5-county region average of 78%.