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09-01-2012 | General practice | Article

New diabetes QOF measure proposed


NICE Consultation on QOF indicators

MedWire news: GPs may be able to gain QOF points for demonstrating good practice in lipid management, rather than just lipid control, in patients with Type 2 diabetes, a NICE consultation on new indicators is proposing.

It is hoped the indicator will promote more individualised treatment of patients, some of whom find achieving lipid control targets particularly challenging.

The proposed indicator for lipid management will nevertheless include a lower target cholesterol level, so GPs will be expected to use more aggressive lipid-lowering treatment strategies.

The new indicator, the first "tightly linked measure" to be developed, is outlined in NICE proposals for the 2013-2014 QOF.

"Tightly linked measures specify processes that are strongly associated with important outcomes, and intrinsically take the severity of disease into account and identify appropriate quality improvement responses," NICE states.

The current QOF indicator for diabetes cholesterol management, DM17, promotes statin therapy when patients' total cholesterol is above 5 mmol/L.

Under the new measure, GPs would essentially be rewarded for initiating statin therapy in all diabetes patients over 40 years of age with a 20% or higher risk for cardiovascular disease (based on the diabetes-specific UKPDS risk score), and for intensifying statin treatment if total cholesterol is above 4.0 mmol/L.

The proposal comes after criticism that simple measures based on the proportion of people in control of their condition can underestimate the quality of care patients are receiving, and calls for more sophisticated measures.

Responses to the consultation will be accepted until Monday 6 February and the final menu of indicators will be published in August.

MedWire News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Caroline Price