The National Clinical Care Commission Act was first introduced in 2012 and would support better coordination of resources for research on diabetes, which impacts 1 in 9 Americans
Washington, D.C. - Yesterday, the Senate unanimously approved final passage of bipartisan legislation reintroduced by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, to establish a national commission of health care experts to advance diabetes care and prevention. The National Clinical Care Commission Act would bring together public and private sector experts, clinical endocrinologists and other physicians and representatives from the relevant federal agencies most involved in diabetes research and treatment to focus on improving diabetes care delivery and patient outcomes.
“Affecting people of every age, race, and nationality, diabetes takes a devastating human and economic toll. If present trends continue, one in three adults will have diabetes in 2050,” said Senator Collins. “I am delighted that the Senate unanimously passed our legislation, which will help foster public and private coordination in diabetes research, create treatments to develop a strategic plan for improving care for people with diabetes, and change the trajectory of this disease.”
“This is an important step forward for the millions of Americans and their families who are affected by diabetes,” said Senator Shaheen. “I was proud to partner with Senator Collins on this legislation, which will help ensure that the federal government is equipped to streamline and leverage investments in diabetes research, prevention and treatment. Establishing a National Clinical Care Commission will set us on the right track to reverse the human and economic toll of this disease and, hopefully, discover a cure.”
Specifically, the National Clinical Care Commission Act will improve the quality of diabetes care by:
- Identifying gaps where new approaches are needed to improve diabetes care and management;
- Eliminating duplication and conflicting efforts and assisting in coordination of all federal agencies;
- Leveraging the significant federal investment in research by evaluating best practices and other resources and tools for diabetes health care professionals and patients;
- Evaluating the utilization and data collection mechanisms of existing programs; and
- Providing guidance on diabetes clinical care to maximize the effectiveness of our strong federal investment on diabetes research.
Nearly 26 million Americans are afflicted with the disease and another 79 million have pre-diabetes, a condition that is known to progress to diabetes without early intervention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC estimates that if current trends continue, one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and can lead to many other chronic diseases and conditions, such as blindness and kidney failure. As one of the most expensive chronic diseases, diabetes costs the American healthcare system billions of dollars each year. Overall, one in every ten healthcare dollars is spent on diabetes and its complications, and one in every three Medicare dollars is spent on the condition.
As co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, Senators Collins and Shaheen have worked together to increase awareness of the threats posed by diabetes, invest in research, and improve access to treatment options.