Patients with Type 2 diabetes often tested much more frequently than clinically indicated, resulting in increased cost, time and potential overtreatment
ROCHESTER, Minn. — In a study released online today in The BMJ, researchers from Mayo Clinic report a national trend toward overtesting glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) levels in adult patients with Type 2 diabetes.
Overtesting causes redundancy and waste says the study team, adding unnecessary costs and time burden for patients and providers. In addition, excessive testing can result in overtreatment with hypoglycemic drugs, adding additional cost and potential health complications.
Type 2 diabetes monitoring and treatment protocols are not well defined by professional societies and regulatory bodies. While lower thresholds of testing frequencies often are discussed, the upper boundaries are rarely mentioned. Yet, most agree that for adult patients who are not using insulin, have stable glycemic control within the recommended targets and have no history of severe hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, checking once or twice a year should suffice. Yet, in practice, there is a much higher prevalence of excess testing.
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