Tag Archives: Diabetes

Mobilizing around diabetes?

We have talked before about diabetes. Today, the Task Force for the National Conference on Diabetes issued a diabetes-related call to action:

The Call to Action seeks to address diabetes prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management, as well as to identify the practices and resources required to meet the needs of people with, and at risk for, diabetes,” said Steve Edelman, M.D., a practicing endocrinologist and Founder and Director of Taking Control of Your Diabetes, one of the members of the Task Force.

Diabetes currently affects nearly 24 million people in the U.S.(1) and is expected to reach 32 million by 2031.(2) (p.2,l.81-2) Modeling by Milliman, an actuarial firm, indicates that diabetes-related costs could increase from 10 percent of U.S. health expenditures in 2011 ($340 billion) to 15 percent by 2031 ($1.6 trillion).(2) (p.2,l.90-2)

Read more here.

An ounce of prevention…

We’ve blogged before about the difficult question of wellness and whether or not it actually helps to contain costs. The New York Times picks up on this with a recent story about disease management. Here’s an excerpt:

Though chronic ailments like asthma, diabetes and heart disease consume a disproportionate share of health care costs, many critics are skeptical about the potential of improved care alone to reduce expensive hospitalizations and cut costs.

“I think it would be optimistic to assume these programs alone are going to be the savior of the cost issue that we’re challenged with,” said Robert Parke of the actuarial firm Milliman Inc., who is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries’ working group on disease management.

“That’s not to say we shouldn’t be doing them,” he went on. “Even if they don’t save you money, even if they break even, they still might be the right thing to do because they’re improving the quality of care. But there’s a cost involved in managing them, and the savings may be more than offset by those costs.”

He and other experts noted that Medicare’s efforts to stem costs through chronic disease management and care coordination among the elderly were largely unsuccessful, leading instead to higher fees.

For more on disease management, click here.

Minimizing the economic burden of type 2 diabetes

We blogged previously about a new diabetes study that is now available in its entirety. The study, “Improved Management Can Help Reduce the Economic Burden of Type 2 Diabetes: A 20-year Actuarial Projection,” indicates that a 50% improvement in diabetes management and control will have immediate and longer-term implications, including:

  • A reduction in diabetes-associated deaths by 49,000
  • A reduction in diabetes-associated complications by 239,000
  • Annual cost reductions of $196 billion (in 2031 dollars)

Read the full study here.

The economic burden of diabetes

A new study, “Improved Management Can Help Reduce the Burden of Type 2 Diabetes: A 20-Year Actuarial Projection,” was announced yesterday at the National Conference on Diabetes in Washington, DC. Here is an excerpt from the press release:

“The expected growth of type 2 diabetes in America and the resulting healthcare costs are alarming,” said Kathryn Fitch, a co-author of the study and principal and healthcare management consultant at Milliman.  “We calculated that even modest improvements in diabetes control measures could reduce health complications, deaths and costs, particularly for the elderly.”

Milliman’s study estimated the impact of improving blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol control in type 2 diabetes patients. According to the report, fewer than two-thirds of patients meet the target ranges for any of these three measures (A1C <7%:49%; Systolic blood pressure <130:60%; LDL <100:39%)(1). The study found that reducing by half the number of people who are not meeting targets could, by 2031, reduce annual costs from diabetes-related complications by nearly $200 billion(2), reduce diabetes-related complications by 18 percent and reduce deaths from diabetes-related complications by 9 percent(3).

The study noted that the diabetes epidemic will continue to expand, and improving treatment and management practices are vital to reversing this trend. Over the next 20 years, type 2 diabetes cases outpace the growth of the U.S. population, to eventually affect 32 million patients (8.6 percent of the population)(4). With this jump in type 2 diabetes prevalence – and with people who have the disease expected to account for 15 percent of all national healthcare expenditures by 2031(5) – better patient management practices are urgently needed.

Here is the full study.