The Department of Veterans Affairs health system is better at caring for diabetics than private managed-care plans, according to researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of California. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that diabetics in the VA system had better-controlled cholesterol and received blood tests and eye and foot exams more frequently than diabetics in eight commercial managed-care plans. The study compared 1,285 patients in five VA facilities in California, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas with 6,920 patients in the eight plans. Among the findings: 93% of VA patients received a blood glucose test vs. 83% of managed-care patients, and 91% of VA patients received an annual eye exam vs. 75% of managed-care patients. In addition, 75% of VA patients were told about aspirin as a preventive measure against heart attacks compared with 49% of managed-care patients. Read the study. -- by Tony Fong
VA outperforms private plans in diabetes care
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