About the Diabetes
Care Link

About MyDiabetesCoach

About CareRewards

What's in the Diabetes CareGuide?

What is CareJournal?

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About the Diabetes Care Link

Welcome to the Diabetes Care Link! This program falls within the overall Bridges to Excellence program, and is sponsored by a coalition of local employers, health plans and national health care organizations. It is designed to help you manage your diabetes and improve your health, by providing you with information, tools and access to doctors who deliver high quality diabetes care.

The information used in this program comes from the National Standards Diabetes Self-Management Education Program. Organizations such as the American Diabetes Association and the National Certification Board of Diabetes Educators have compiled guidelines on the best quality care for someone with Type II Diabetes.

We have integrated this information into the MyDiabetesCoach web site, your personal health care coach to help you better understand diabetes, support self-care activities and improve the care you receive from your doctor. MyDiabetesCoach also offeres you the chance to use the CareRewards point system to stay motivated.

MyDiabetesCoach: an online tool to help you organize and update all your diabetes-related health data.

A key element of the Diabetes Care Link is MyDiabetesCoach. MyDiabetesCoach is a tool that will help you work with your doctor to set your treatment goals concerning nutrition, exercise and medications, and to develop a daily plan for meeting these goals. By knowing your goals and following your plan every day, your health should improve and you can avoid many complications from diabetes.

With MyDiabetesCoach, you can:

  • Keep track of the most important self-care activities, such as measuring blood sugar and Hemoglobin A1C levels, maintaining your exercise regimen, and achieving your weight and exercise goals.
  • Make sure you're getting all the tests and treatments recommended by experts such as the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
  • Earn incentives for taking good care of yourself with CareRewards, a program to help you monitor your diabetes care in a simple, engaging and effective way … and earn valuable rewards as your measures improve.
  • Feel better, enhance your quality of life, and reduce your risk of complications. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, lower extremity amputation and kidney disease. And it increases your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke significantly. By monitoring your condition and your progress toward goals using MyDiabetesCoach, you can help avoid these serious complications.

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CareRewards: extra incentives for following a sound self-care regimen.

In America today, the state of diabetic care is far below what it should be. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that only 30% of diabetic patients received care meeting the recommendations of the American Diabetes Association (ADA). That means 70% are not getting all the care they need to decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, amputation, and other serious side effects diabetes can cause.

CareRewards will help you to understand and request the best care from your doctors…and take good care of yourself as well. That means taking your medication as prescribed, maintaining your diet and exercise routines, tracking your blood pressure, glucose, hemoglobin and cholesterol levels, and more. For most diabetics, keeping up with these types of regular self-care activities has always been a challenge. But CareRewards helps keep you motivated as you accumulate CareReward points.

What is CareRewards?

CareRewards is a system for tracking key diabetes self-care activities. By registering for MyDiabetesCoach, you'll get the tools you need to monitor regular activities related to quality diabetes care. Each quarter, you'll record this information on the CareRewards page and earn reward points.

What activities earn CareRewards?

You'll earn points for performing seven important self-care activities. According to the ADA, these activities comprise an effective regimen for successfully managing your diabetes:

  • Monitoring your blood sugar level at the frequency prescribed by your doctor.
  • Taking your diabetes medication as prescribed.
  • Exercising at least four times per week and either maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight.
  • Getting your annual eye exam.
  • Discussing diabetes foot care during your doctor's visit.
  • Getting your blood pressure and cholesterol level checked during your doctor's visit.
  • Getting your Hemoglobin A1C checked. You'll also be asked to record this level over time.

How many CareRewards points can you earn for each activity?

Points will be awarded as follows:

Exam Frequency Point Value Maximum Points
Eye Exam Annually 1000 1000
Hemoglobin A1C Checked Every 3 months 500 1000
Foot Care At quarterly routine visit 500 1000
Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Checked At quarterly routine visit 500 1000
Diet and Exercise Exercise 4 times per week on a diet regimen, maintain healthy weight or lose weight 250 1000
Medications Taken as prescribed (yes/no) 250 1000
Blood Sugar Level Monitored 3-4 times daily (yes/no) 250 1000
Total Points Before Bonus Points* 7000
*Bonus Points: You can also receive Bonus Points for reducing your Hemoglobin A1C level. Each quarter, your level will be measured, and a baseline established. If your reading the following quarter is lower than this baseline, you are eligible for bonus points. By reducing this level each quarter, you can receive up to 5000 bonus points per year.

Why are these seven self-care activities so important?

  • Monitoring your blood sugar level at the frequency prescribed by your doctor. Keeping your blood sugar in control is the key to treating diabetes. It won't just help you feel better, but will also prevent or delay the onset of diabetes complications. When monitoring blood glucose, you should log the result, time, and date of each check. This log is vital because it tells you how certain foods, medications, and exercise are affecting you. Regular monitoring gives your doctor a clear day-to-day picture of your sugar levels, and is a critical tool in evaluating and adjusting your treatment plan.
  • Taking your diabetes medication as prescribed. Diabetes medication can be vital to keeping your glucose levels in check, and helping to prevent complications. Medication can be very effective in helping your body to produce more insulin, or making your body more sensitive to the insulin it produces. But diabetes is a complex disease, and treatment plans often need adjustments. Taking your medication as prescribed helps your doctor understand if the medicine is working correctly, and, if not, to make the correct adjustments.
  • Exercising at least four times per week and either maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight. According to many studies, people with diabetes feel better and live longer if they exercise regularly. As a result, exercise and weight control are essential to any treatment plan. Exercise increases muscle mass and reduces fat. That helps the body to use insulin efficiently, and makes blood sugar levels easier to control. Exercise also strengthens the heart and lungs, and helps reduce the risk of clotting, heart attack and stroke. And it improves circulation, stimulating blood flow in the legs and feet to help prevent complications.
  • Getting your annual eye exam. People with diabetes have a relatively high risk of developing eye problems that can lead to blindness. For example, according to the ADA, diabetics are 40% more likely to suffer from glaucoma than people without diabetes, and are 60% more likely to develop cataracts. Often, symptoms don't become obvious until it is too late for treatment. The only way to catch these diseases early is to have your eyes examined regularly. The sooner eye problems are diagnosed, the more likely treatments will be successful.
  • Discussing diabetes foot care during your doctor's visit. People with diabetes are at risk for several different foot problems that can lead to serious complications, even amputation. Neuropathy, or nerve damage, can reduce your ability to feel pain. This means you may not feel a foot injury, which can lead to infection. Calluses also build up faster on the feet of diabetics. If not cared for, they can turn into open sores, which are easily infected. Diabetes can decrease your body's ability to fight off foot infections. So caring for your feet on a regular basis is essential.
  • Getting your blood pressure and cholesterol level checked during your doctor's visit. Diabetics are more susceptible to heart attack and stroke, and at an earlier age, than someone without diabetes. High blood pressure and high cholesterol increase the risk even further. In addition to heart problems, high blood pressure can also increase the risk of kidney and eye problems. That's why it's essential that your doctor monitor your cholesterol and blood pressure as part of your diabetes treatment plan.
  • Getting your Hemoglobin A1C checked, and monitoring this level over time. Your Hemoglobin A1C level is the best way to know how well you are controlling your diabetes over time; it presents a good overall picture of the effectiveness of your treatment plan. Chronically high levels mean you are more vulnerable to diabetes-related health complications. But for every 1% decrease in Hemoglobin A1C level, you reduce your risk of complications significantly. So it's critical to lower your Hemoglobin A1C and keep it under control, through diet, exercise and proper use of your medications.

How are doctors participating in the program?

Doctors can participate in the program after becoming certified under the Diabetes Physician Recognition Program (DPRP). This is a joint effort of the American Diabetes Association and the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the nation’s leading health care quality organization. By participating in the Diabetes Care Link, doctors will also earn rewards for qualifying for either the one-year certification or three year DPRP recognition. This way, the incentives among all participants in the health care system - payers, consumers and providers of care - will be aligned with objective measures of quality care.

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What's in the Diabetes CareGuide

The Diabetes CareGuide provides you with helpful and important information about diabetes so that you can take charge of your health. The CareGuide is divided into several sections, each of which provide answers to specific questions about diabetes and how it is treated.

Use the CareGuide to learn about:

  • General diabetes information
  • Treatment options
  • The kind of doctor you need, and how to find him or her
  • Your doctor visit, and how to get the most out of it
  • Things you can do to manage your health

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What is CareJournal?

The CareJournal is the place to learn how to meet your personal goals and track your progress. The CareJournal is divided into three main sections:

  • CareProfile: This is where you can enter test results, your medication list, medication allergies and other baseline information
  • CareGoals: In this section you can set your goals and learn what ActionSteps to take to meet them
  • CareLog: The CareLog is where you can review your progress to date

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