Diabetes is primarily a self-managed disease. Tools to help in the management of diabetes include Healthcare Provider’s partnership/guidance, education, healthy meal planning, exercise, glucose testing and possibly use of diabetes medication. Many health insurances cover the costs of Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) and/or Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT), diabetes testing supplies and some diabetes medications/supplies. In some cases, however, obtaining and keeping health insurance and life insurance can be difficult.
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act, which establishes comprehensive health insurance reforms. These reforms are meant to guarantee more health care choices, enhance the quality of health care, lower health care costs and hold insurance companies more accountable. The Affordable Care Act is designed not just to control health care costs, but also to improve quality of care. To help you be an informed consumer, the federal government has created several on-line tools that allow you to compare a variety of quality measures of health care and service providers:
The Partnership for Patients program highlights hospitals and other providers that have made a commitment to reducing medical errors, improving health care quality and reducing costs.
The Compare Physicians tool helps you search for and compare Physicians. It provides information on medical specialty, clinical training, foreign languages spoken and more.
The Compare Hospitals tool lets you compare the quality of care that hospitals provide. It includes hospital demographics (location, hospital type), and lists 44 quality-of-care measures; and includes data on some Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.
The Compare Nursing Homes tool helps you compare the quality of care that nursing homes provide. It provides a list of U.S. nursing homes which includes demographics (location and type of facility) and nursing home ratings, which include health inspection reports, staffing data and quality measures.
The Compare Home Health Agencies tool provides comparison information on the quality of care that they provide, including demographics, services provided and quality measures.
The Compare Dialysis Facilities tool compares the quality of care that dialysis facilities provide. It provides a list ofU.S. dialysis facilities which includes services provided, quality measures and resources.
The Affordable Care Act will not be implemented all at once, but rather in stages. Portions of the law have already taken effect, while some of the regulations will be implemented through 2014 and beyond. For the most-up-to-date information on finding insurance options, the Comparison Tools and other information, refer to the Health Care Web Portal at www.healthcare.gov. Additionally, for a timeline of what is changing and when, refer to this link.