The High Cost of Diabetes



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According to a report released in January by the American Diabetes Association the” total annual economic cost of diabetes in 2007 was estimated to be $174 billion. This is an increase of $42 billion since 2002. This 32% increase means the dollar amount has risen over $8 billion more each year.

A study by the CDC states that for every $1 spent on diabetes training and education, $8.76 is saved on health care costs. Forty six states now have passed diabetes bills and the states of Ohio, Alabama, Idaho and North Dakota have not. We should be asking WHY NOT?


Per the American Diabetes Association, “people with diagnosed diabetes, on average, have medical expenditures that are approximately 2.3 times higher than the expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes. Approximately $1 in $10 health care dollars is attributed to diabetes. Indirect costs include increased factors such as absenteeism, reduced productivity, and lost productive capacity due to early mortality.”

What exactly is the cost of diabetes in your state? Check the Diabetes Cost Calculator to find out.

The State of Diabetes in America report gives the following stunning figures:

  • In 2006, the nation spent an estimated $22.9 billion on direct medical costs related to diabetes complications.*
  • Annual healthcare costs for a person with type 2 diabetes complications are about three times that of the average American without diagnosed diabetes. These complications, which include heart disease, stroke, eye damage, chronic kidney disease and foot problems that can lead to amputations, cost almost $10,000 per person each year.
  • People with diabetes complications pay nearly $1,600 out of their own pockets for costs that are not reimbursed by insurance, such as co-payments and deductibles.

In 2003 President Bush and Congress signed into law H.R. 5738, extending the Special Diabetes Program for five years, through 2008, to provide $1.5 billion for diabetes research and programs. The Special Diabetes Program includes Type 1 research at the National Institutes of Health and diabetes prevention and treatment programs for American Indians through the Indian Health Service. The funding for area of the program was increased from $100 million annually to $150 million annually. (Source:American Diabetes Association)

While this is a positive, it’s obvious that more should be being done to control the diabetes epidemic. Unfortunately the American health care system continues be oddly dysfunctional in that it is often easier to receive approval for treatment than for screening or education. Your insurance carrier may cover the cost of complications such as surgery at $50 to $100 thousand dollars (if your maximum lifetime limit allows it) but may deny requests for nutritional counseling with a registered dietitian at about $300 dollars. Only by education and prevention of diabetes in those at risk and education and prevention for those diagnosed with diabetes will the high cost of diabetes truly be dealt with.

No answers.

Just much to consider.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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