Bassett Medical Center and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) are collaborating on a program to improve the health and quality of life of patients with diabetes. A three-year, $129,584 Member and Community Health Improvement (MACHI) grant from Excellus BCBS will support expansion of a diabetes management program that, in addition to improving the health of patients with diabetes, will also reduce the costs associated with their care. Among the program’s key components will be regular retinopathy eye exams during patients’ primary care visits.

Dr. James Dalton, an internal medicine specialist at Bassett Medical Center, explains, “People with diabetes are at risk for a number of serious eye conditions, which is why regular eye exams are important. The Excellus funding will allow us to purchase the technology and train our primary care staff to conduct diabetic retinopathy screenings. Retinopathy is a serious condition that can lead to vision loss if it goes untreated. Further, incorporating the eye screenings into the regular primary care visit will increase the likelihood that patients will get the proper follow-up eye care they need.”

Reaching the Diabetic Population

The primary care eye-screening program will focus on 12 community-based health centers with a high prevalence of people with diabetes. These health centers are located in Chenango, Delaware, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Otsego and Schoharie counties. Here is a breakdown of health center locations by county and the number of patients diagnosed with diabetes who have the potential to benefit from the program:


Chenango County –

  • Norwich Health Center (334 patients)
  • Sherburne Health Center (382 patients)

Delaware County –

  • Delhi Health Center (470 patients)
  • Sidney Health Center (228 patients)
  • Walton Health Center (152 patients)

Herkimer County –

  • Herkimer Health Center (795 patients)
  • Little Falls Health Center (279 patients)

Madison County –

  • Hamilton Health Center (370 patients)

Montgomery County –

  • Canajoharie Health Center (338 patients)

Otsego County –

  • Cooperstown Prime Care Clinic (1,075)
  • Oneonta Health Center (224 patients)

Schoharie County –

  • Cobleskill Health Center (1,080 patients)

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