Success Stories

Information on Heart Disease Prompts Beneficiary to Seek Care

John attended a Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) classes offered through the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) programs. The course was led by the West Virginia Medical Institute (WVMI), the Quality Innovation Network Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for the state. In the course, participants obtained knowledge, skills and tools for managing their diabetes. During one of the classes, the instructor noticed that John didn't seem well, and he continued to feel worse as the day progressed. He could not tell exactly what was wrong. John remembered some information he learned during one of the DSME classes. The instructor had discussed the signs of a heart attack - a risk factor for diabetes - explaining that the stereotypical sharp chest pain is not always present. The symptoms of a heart attack can include a feeling of pressure in the chest, like one has his exact symptoms. He took an aspirin and had his wife drive him to the hospital. A 100 percent blockage in John's heart required the placement of two stents. John later shared with his DSME instructor and fellow class participants that the information he learned in class saved his life!

North Dakota QIN-QIO's DSME Classes Help Beneficiary Control Blood Pressure

One of the primary components of the EDC Program is offering evidence-based Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) classes to eligible Medicare beneficiaries. QIN-QIOs and their partners recruit, enroll, and teach beneficiaries utilizing evidence-based DSME curricula. DSME classes are taught by certified diabetes trainers and are comprised of weekly group sessions that typically last six to ten weeks. Participants are guided to effectively self-manage their diabetes by learning about nutrition, exercise, self-monitoring, diabetes medications and community resources and support, among other important topics.

In early 2015, the Great Plains QIN-QIO team in North Dakota partnered with a local senior citizen center to offer DSME classes. During the DSME class, at around the third session, one woman disclosed her diagnosis of high blood pressure among other issues she was having. The class trainer asked the woman if she was open to learning how to do self-guided relaxation to help control her high blood pressure. Relaxation exercises are one of the many useful tools provided in the DSME curriculum. The woman was agreeable and said she would practice the exercises and report back her progress to the other participants in the class. During the last session, she reported that she had been using the techniques daily. She explained that she would go into her office at work, close the door and practice the self-guided relaxation.

Following the completion of DSME class, the QIN-QIO received a follow up call from the woman. She was excited to report that at her recent doctor’s appointment, her blood pressure was not elevated. She explained that her primary care provider was very impressed and proud of her work to manage her high blood pressure.

The woman shared that she was very grateful for attending the DSME class and that the self-guided relaxation techniques, along with the general knowledge she gained during the class were very beneficial for her blood pressure management and improvement.

Arizona QIN-QIO Teams Up with the City of Phoenix to Promote Local Seniors Getting Fit and Managing Diabetes

Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG), the Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) for Arizona, California, Florida, Ohio and the U.S. Virgin Islands, has been using the Everyone with Diabetes Counts (EDC) program to provide and facilitate diabetes self-management education (DSME) training classes to improve the health literacy of Medicare and dual-eligible beneficiaries with diabetes in minority and rural populations.

After conducting successful DSME workshops at City of Phoenix senior centers and hearing positive feedback from participants, HSAG was invited by the city’s Human Services Program Coordinator to present at its FitPHX event. FitPHX, a city-wide healthy living initiative led by Mayor Greg Stanton, Councilman Daniel Valenzuela and Olympic Gold Medalist Misty Hyman, aims to create programs and utilize existing resources to improve health and wellness in the region. The program encourages residents to lead healthier lifestyles, focusing on childhood and adult obesity, nutrition education, walking, bicycling, the use of public transportation and healthy worksites.

On August 3, 2015, a year after the QIN-QIO began offering the EDC program, HSAG staff members participated in a FitPHX Senior Field Day at Paradise Valley Senior Center. HSAG representatives took this opportunity to deliver information on nutrition and diabetes to the more than 200 participants from various senior centers in the Northeast Valley. Senior participants competed in eight different fitness events and visited tables set up around the gaming activities to speak with a variety of vendors throughout the event, including the American Association of Retired Persons and the faith-based Foundations for Senior Living, all of which provided valuable information about healthy lifestyles.

“Our table displayed three different food menus comparing nutrition information in carbohydrates and fats, poster boards about blood pressure control, and additional resources on the importance of healthy eating to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels,” said Padma Taggarse, MMI, MBA, executive director, physician office quality at HSAG. “Our staff members were also able to meet face-to-face with many individuals with diabetes and enlist them to participate in DSME workshops at area senior centers.”

Moving forward, HSAG plans to continue to focus on sustainability planning by training more peer educators who can conduct DSME workshops throughout Arizona. HSAG is also partnering with many community organizations like Lions Clubs, faith-based nurse groups and public libraries throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area to offer DSME workshops. The QIN-QIO’s immediate efforts in Fall 2015 will focus on recruitment at recreational vehicle parks in Phoenix and rural communities to provide self-management education to seniors living in Arizona during the winter months.

“We’re extremely excited about the future of our diabetes self-management programs and the influence we can have on our local population to help make the Phoenix area one of the healthiest in the nation,” said Taggarse.

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