Legislators Push for National Diabetes Commission

The National Clinical Care Commission Act would better coordinate diabetes research.

Recently, a bipartisan legislative effort led to the reintroduction of the National Clinical Care Commission Act by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). This bill was initially introduced in 2012 with a goal to better coordinate resources for research on diabetes, according to a press release from Collins.

In September 2017, the bill was unanimously approved and now heads to the desk of President Donald Trump.

Under the National Clinical Care Commission Act, public and private sector experts, endocrinologists, and other stakeholders from federal agencies involved in diabetes research would collaborate to improve diabetes care and patient outcomes, according to the release.

“Families across our country know all too well the human and economic toll associated with diabetes. If present trends continue, one in three adults will have this disease in 2050,” Collins said. “By bringing together public and private experts in diabetes research, our legislation would help scientists develop a strategic plan for improving care and change the trajectory of this devastating disease.”

The legislators said that the law would identify gaps that need to be addressed to improve diabetes care and management, while also reducing repeated efforts and coordinating federal agencies, according to the release.

The bill would also use federal funds to evaluate best practices and resources for both patients with diabetes and for providers who treat them. It would also provide guidance on diabetes care to ensure that federal investments are being maximized.

Additionally, researchers would evaluate current methods of data collection and utilization under the law, according to the release.

Diabetes is a leading cause of death and can result in numerous chronic diseases, including heart disease and kidney disease. The CDC estimates that 26 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, with 79 million Americans having pre-diabetes. If this trend continues, 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes by 2050.

Since billions of dollars are spent on diabetes care annually, maximizing research efforts may help streamline care and inform best practices.

“Diabetes is personal for many of us, and establishing a National Clinical Care Commission will play an important role in improving health outcomes for the millions of Americans with diabetes,” Shaheen said. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure that the federal government is equipped to streamline and leverage investments in diabetes education, research, prevention and treatment. We must continue to push forward as we seek to reverse the human and economic toll of this disease and, hopefully, discover a cure.”