PrintImagine gathering 37 people in a room to work on a problem.

Each get a piece of paper with the name of a disease written at the top and special assignments for that person. Those assignments could be to raise awareness, build and implement a screening program for potential patients, provide funding for clinical programs, and decide what new programs should be developed.

Imagine now that while the 37 people could talk to each other and share their ideas, it’s not required. In fact, they don’t need to talk with each other at all, even if they have the same assignments. (And some of them do have the same assignments!) They leave the room and sit in their own offices, scattered throughout a city, creating their own programs, even if they overlap.

And then imagine that no one is in charge. 

emptyroomThat’s what is happening today with the 35 federal agencies that are working (not always together) with patients, practitioners, and payors of diabetes products, services, and programs.

The National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act of 2015 seeks to change this, putting a commission together for better diabetes care. It would assess existing programs, looking for overlaps and gaps, and advise on the overall care options for people with pre-diabetes, diabetes, and the conditions associated with diabetes.

Once enacted, it would create a commission of diabetes experts including medical professionals that treat patients with diabetes, diabetes patient advocates, and representatives from the federal agencies  involved in diabetes care and programs. This commission would be formed under the department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

Why does this bill need to pass?

One in three Medicare dollars is spent on people with diabetes. 35 agencies not coordinating. There’s a lot of work being duplicated and more that aren’t being done at all. There are currently no true patient representation. Patients should be at every table, advocating for access, safety, and quality of the services and programs those impacted with diabetes, now and in the future, should receive.

The Health Omnibus Programs Extension (HOPE) Act of 1988  (see H.R.2881 – National Commission on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Act, which was folded into the Hope Act of 1988) established an AIDS Commission. This commission provided insight, recommendations, and a targeted strategy for the AIDS epidemic. It was needed then.

It is needed now for diabetes. We need another commission for the diabetes epidemic. A generation ago, a commission for diabetes was created and from it, the DCCT and the concept of managed control revolutionized diabetes care. With a new generation of medications, devices, and innovations, it’s time to coordinate care again.

The National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act of 2015 would do this. Let your Congressional representative know this by taking action now with just a few clicks with DPAC.