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Know Diabetes by Heart

Thursday, December 12, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Written by: Cherish Hart, Vice President, Health for the American Heart Association in Puget Sound


Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and a major cause of heart attacks, strokes and disability for people living with type 2 diabetes? In fact, people living with diabetes are two times more likely to develop and die from cardiovascular disease. In a recent online survey conducted by The Harris Poll, only half of people age 45 and older diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have discussed their risk for heart attacks, strokes or cardiovascular disease with their health care providers.


Although the risks are great, it’s not all doom and gloom as we head into the rainy winter. The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) have launched a collaborative initiative called Know Diabetes by Heart™ to comprehensively combat the national public health impact of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease by:


  • Raising awareness and understanding of the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Positively empowering people to better manage their risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes.
  • Supporting health care providers.

Know Diabetes by Heart aims to facilitate meaningful conversations between health care providers and their diabetic patients regarding the critical link between type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

  • Helping patients living with type 2 diabetes make tangible progress toward their health goals with practical tools and emotional support.
  • Supporting health care providers who treat patients living with type 2 diabetes by providing educational tools and resources to help reduce their patients’ cardiovascular disease risks.
  • Supporting quality improvement measures for clinics and hospitals caring for patients living with type 2 diabetes.
  • Encouraging patients living with type 2 to talk with their health care provider at their next appointment about ways to reduce their risk for heart attacks, strokes and heart failure.

While the AHA Guidelines and the ADA’s Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes were developed independently from Know Diabetes by Heart, the initiative offers webinars and other non-CME education for health care providers, including professional podcast series, tools and resources to support adherence to guidelines and a tracking survey for providers. The Know Diabetes by Heart Clinical Practice and Health System Change Guide for Ambulatory Care Settings is a great resource to help further efforts you already have or to launch something new.


Along with the great quality improvement and patient resources, the American Heart Association also just launched the Target: Type 2 Diabetes recognition opportunity for organizations providing outpatient care related to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors. The initiative brings together resources, education materials, regional AHA staff support, and recognition opportunities to target improvement and acknowledge organizations for their impactful work. Registered organizations will receive communications regarding events, recognition, education and science. AHA staff are also available to support your improvement journey. Recognized organizations may receive certificates of achievement, listing on our national websites, promotional materials, opportunities for best practice showcases, resources for self-promotion, and more.


There is no fee for the Target: Type 2 Diabetes Ambulatory Program. Registration is open now and year-round HERE. You’ll just need:

  • Your organization’s contact information
  • Your organization’s total adult (18-85 years) patient population count
  • Your organization’s total adult patients (18-85 years) that are a race other than white and/or identify as Hispanic
  • The total number of clinic locations in your health system. Note: You may register each of your health center locations individually or as a single system overall.
  • Your organization’s characteristics, such as multi-specialty, Federally Qualified Health Center, etc.

Target: Type 2 Diabetes Ambulatory Recognition has two levels of recognition available to registered, eligible organizations. All data for recognition must be received in the data submission platform for eligibility.

  • Participant Award – Recognizes organizations who complete the data submission process inclusive of summary numerator/denominator data on the following measures for the previous calendar year:
    • Diabetes: Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) Poor Control (>9%) (NQF 0059/MIPS #1)
    • AND one of the following two CVD related measures:
      • Statin Therapy for the Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease (MIPS #428)
      • Controlling High Blood Pressure (NQF 0018/MIPS #236)
  • Gold Achievement Award – Recognizes Organizations who submit the information listed above for participant and meet specified thresholds for each clinical measures the site wishes to submit.
    • Annual rate of 25% or less for HbA1c Poor Control (>9%) based on NQF 0059/MIPS #1
    • AND one of the following two CVD related measures:
      • Annual rate of 70% or greater for appropriate statin therapy based on MIPS #428
      • Annual rate of 70% or greater for blood pressure control based on NQF 0018/MIPS #236

Data may be entered for 2020 award recognition beginning January 1 of 2020. All recognition data must be received by 8:59 PST on May 29th, 2019.


Register today to stay up-to-date with the latest resources and guidelines. If you need assistance, contact us at WSA-chonicdiseasemanagement@heart.org. Your involvement can make an impact in improving the health outcomes of your patients and improving their quality of life.





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