Development and evaluation of a patient-centered quality indicator for the appropriateness of type 2 diabetes management

Rozalina G. McCoy, Kasia J. Lipska, Holly K. Van Houten, Nilay D. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction Current diabetes quality measures are agnostic to patient clinical complexity and type of treatment required to achieve it. Our objective was to introduce a patient-centered indicator of appropriate diabetes therapy indicator (ADTI), designed for patients with type 2 diabetes, which is based on hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) but is also contextualized by patient complexity and treatment intensity. Research design and methods A draft indicator was iteratively refined by a multidisciplinary Delphi panel using existing quality measures, guidelines, and published literature. ADTI performance was then assessed using OptumLabs Data Warehouse data for 2015. Included adults (n=206 279) with type 2 diabetes were categorized as clinically complex based on comorbidities, then categorized as treated appropriately, overtreated, or undertreated based on a matrix of clinical complexity, HbA1c level, and medications used. Associations between ADTI and emergency department/hospital visits for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia were assessed by calculating event rates for each treatment intensity subset. Results Overall, 7.4% of patients with type 2 diabetes were overtreated and 21.1% were undertreated. Patients with high complexity were more likely to be overtreated (OR 5.60, 95% CI 5.37 to 5.83) and less likely to be undertreated (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.68) than patients with low complexity. Overtreated patients had higher rates of hypoglycemia than appropriately treated patients (22.0 vs 6.2 per 1000 people/year), whereas undertreated patients had higher rates of hyperglycemia (8.4 vs 1.9 per 1000 people/year). Conclusions The ADTI may facilitate timely, patient-centered treatment intensification/deintensification with the goal of achieving safer evidence-based care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere001878
JournalBMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 24 2020


  • diabetes mellitus
  • health services research
  • insurance claim review
  • quality of health care
  • type 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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