Assessing Appropriateness of Lipid Management Among Patients With Diabetes Mellitus
Moving From Target to Treatment
Background—Performance measures that emphasize only a treat-to-target approach may motivate overtreatment with high-dose statins, potentially leading to adverse events and unnecessary costs. We developed a clinical action performance measure for lipid management in patients with diabetes mellitus that is designed to encourage appropriate treatment with moderate-dose statins while minimizing overtreatment.
Methods and Results—We examined data from July 2010 to June 2011 for 964 818 active Veterans Affairs primary care patients ≥18 years of age with diabetes mellitus. We defined 3 conditions as successfully meeting the clinical action measure for patients 50 to 75 years old: (1) having a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) <100 mg/dL, (2) taking a moderate-dose statin regardless of LDL level or measurement, or (3) receiving appropriate clinical action (starting, switching, or intensifying statin therapy) if LDL is ≥100 mg/dL. We examined possible overtreatment for patients ≥18 years of age by examining the proportion of patients without ischemic heart disease who were on a high-dose statin. We then examined variability in measure attainment across 881 facilities using 2-level hierarchical multivariable logistic models. Of 668 209 patients with diabetes mellitus who were 50 to 75 years of age, 84.6% passed the clinical action measure: 67.2% with LDL <100 mg/dL, 13.0% with LDL ≥100 mg/dL and either on a moderate-dose statin (7.5%) or with appropriate clinical action (5.5%), and 4.4% with no index LDL on at least a moderate-dose statin. Of the entire cohort ≥18 years of age, 13.7% were potentially overtreated. Facilities with higher rates of meeting the current threshold measure (LDL <100 mg/dL) had higher rates of potential overtreatment (P<0.001).
Conclusions—Use of a performance measure that credits appropriate clinical action indicates that almost 85% of diabetic veterans 50 to 75 years of age are receiving appropriate dyslipidemia management. However, many patients are potentially overtreated with high-dose statins.
- Received April 27, 2012.
- Accepted October 11, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.