Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Special Statement: Quality metric on the rate of postpartum diabetes screening after pregnancies with gestational diabetes mellitus
As many as 1 in 3 patients with gestational diabetes mellitus have impaired glucose metabolism when screened postpartum. These patients have a 40% to 70% lifetime risk of progression to type 2 diabetes mellitus, but progression can be delayed or prevented by lifestyle interventions or medication. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Diabetes Association recommend a glucose tolerance test at 4 to 12 weeks postpartum for all patients with gestational diabetes mellitus. Despite these recommendations, postpartum screening rates are typically <50%, representing a major healthcare “quality gap.” The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine proposes a uniform metric that identifies the percentage of persons with gestational diabetes mellitus who completed a 75-g, 2-hour glucose tolerance test within 12 weeks after delivery. The metric is designed to be measured using diagnosis and procedure codes in payor claims data. Barriers to screening are discussed. Possible uses of the metric for quality improvement projects are outlined. Increasing the rate of postpartum diabetes screening should facilitate timely referral to implement lifestyle modifications, medication, and long-term follow-up. Use of the metric in financial incentive programs is discouraged at this time.