eCQM Title

Diabetes: Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) Poor Control (> 9%)

eCQM Identifier (Measure Authoring Tool) 122 eCQM Version number 8.4.000
NQF Number Not Applicable GUID f2986519-5a4e-4149-a8f2-af0a1dc7f6bc
Measurement Period January 1, 20XX through December 31, 20XX
Measure Steward National Committee for Quality Assurance
Measure Developer National Committee for Quality Assurance
Endorsed By None
Percentage of patients 18-75 years of age with diabetes who had hemoglobin A1c > 9.0% during the measurement period
This Physician Performance Measure (Measure) and related data specifications are owned and were developed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). NCQA is not responsible for any use of the Measure. NCQA makes no representations, warranties, or endorsement about the quality of any organization or physician that uses or reports performance measures and NCQA has no liability to anyone who relies on such measures or specifications. NCQA holds a copyright in the Measure. The Measure can be reproduced and distributed, without modification, for noncommercial purposes (eg, use by healthcare providers in connection with their practices) without obtaining approval from NCQA. Commercial use is defined as the sale, licensing, or distribution of the Measure for commercial gain, or incorporation of the Measure into a product or service that is sold, licensed or distributed for commercial gain. All commercial uses or requests for modification must be approved by NCQA and are subject to a license at the discretion of NCQA. (C) 2012-2019 National Committee for Quality Assurance. All Rights Reserved. 

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Measure Scoring Proportion
Measure Type Outcome
Risk Adjustment
Rate Aggregation
As the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., diabetes kills approximately 79,500 people a year and affects more than 30 million Americans (9.4 percent of the U.S. population) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2017a, 2017b). Diabetes is a long-lasting disease marked by high blood glucose levels, resulting from the body's inability to produce or use insulin properly (CDC, 2017c). People with diabetes are at increased risk of serious health complications including vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputation of toes, feet or legs, and premature death (CDC, 2016). 

In 2017, diabetes cost the U.S. an estimated $327 billion: $237 billion in direct medical costs and $90 billion in reduced productivity. This is a 34 percent increase from the estimated $245 billion spent on diabetes in 2012 (American Diabetes Association, 2018a).  

Controlling A1c blood levels help reduce the risk of microvascular complications (eye, kidney and nerve diseases) (CDC, 2014).
Clinical Recommendation Statement
American Diabetes Association (2018b):

- A reasonable A1C goal for many nonpregnant adults is <7%. (Level of evidence: A)

- Providers might reasonably suggest more stringent A1C goals (such as <6.5% [48 mmol/mol]) for selected individual patients if this can be achieved without significant hypoglycemia or other adverse effects of treatment (i.e. polypharmacy). Appropriate patients might include those with short duration of diabetes, type 2 diabetes treated with lifestyle or metformin only, long life expectancy, or no significant cardiovascular disease (CVD). (Level of evidence: C)

- Less stringent A1C goals (such as <8% [64 mmol/mol]) may be appropriate for patients with a history of severe hypoglycemia, limited life expectancy, advanced microvascular or macrovascular complications, extensive comorbid
 conditions, or long-standing diabetes in whom the goal is difficult to achieve despite diabetes self-management education, appropriate glucose monitoring, and effective doses of multiple glucose-lowering agents including insulin. (Level of evidence: B)
Improvement Notation
Lower score indicates better quality
American Diabetes Association. (2018a). Economic costs of diabetes in the U.S. in 2017. Diabetes Care, 41, 917-928. Retrieved from
American Diabetes Association. (2018b). 6. Glycemic targets: Standards of medical care in diabetes—2018. Diabetes Care, 41(Suppl. 1), S55-S64.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017a). Health, United States, 2016: With chartbook on long-term trends in health. Retrieved from 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017b). National diabetes statistics report, 2017. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC. Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017c). About diabetes. Retrieved from
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). At a glance 2016: Diabetes—Working to reverse the U.S. epidemic. Atlanta, GA: Author.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). National diabetes statistics report, 2014. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC. Retrieved from
Patient is numerator compliant if most recent HbA1c level >9%, the most recent HbA1c result is missing, or if there are no HbA1c tests performed and results documented during the measurement period. If the HbA1c test result is in the medical record, the test can be used to determine numerator compliance.

Only patients with a diagnosis of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes should be included in the denominator of this measure; patients with a diagnosis of secondary diabetes due to another condition should not be included.
Transmission Format
Initial Population
Patients 18-75 years of age with diabetes with a visit during the measurement period
Equals Initial Population
Denominator Exclusions
Exclude patients whose hospice care overlaps the measurement period.

Exclude patients 66 and older who are living long term in an institution for more than 90 days during the measurement period. 

Exclude patients 66 and older with advanced illness and frailty because it is unlikely that patients will benefit from the services being measured.
Patients whose most recent HbA1c level (performed during the measurement period) is >9.0%
Numerator Exclusions
Not Applicable
Denominator Exceptions
Supplemental Data Elements
For every patient evaluated by this measure also identify payer, race, ethnicity and sex

Table of Contents

Population Criteria




Data Criteria (QDM Data Elements)

Supplemental Data Elements

Risk Adjustment Variables

Measure Set