Diabetes, a disease in which the body does not make any insulin or can’t use the insulin it does make as well as it should, is the most rapidly growing chronic disease of our time. It has become an epidemic that affects one out of every 12 adult New Yorkers. More than one million New Yorkers have been diagnosed with diabetes and it is estimated that another 450,000 people have diabetes and don't know it, because the symptoms may be overlooked or misunderstood.
Recognizing the scope of the problem, and with the knowledge that diabetes can be managed, the New York Health Plan Association (HPA) in 1999 initiated an effort to bring together local and statewide representatives of professional medical academies and societies, health departments and health plan medical directors to help health care providers deliver state of the art care for diabetes through the promotion of provider tools to encourage common treatment practices, patients tools for self-management, and resources to eliminate barriers to care, close gaps in services and manage the complexities of diabetes care.
HPA formed the New York Diabetes Coalition (NYDC), a unique collaboration of managed care plans, professional medical societies, state and county health officials, community organizations and other health-care focused agencies, which led the effort to develop a set of common “tools” that have been adopted by health plans across the state.