Cost of Diabetes rising in the past decade

Has the Cost of Diabetes Increased in the Past Decade?

We have seen progressive improvements in glycemic control in the past 15 years, but what about the cost of diabetes? Has the cost burden of diabetes gone down as the management of diabetes has improved? Lets take a look at the trend of diabetes cost in the last decade and see how much medical expenditure, on average, a diabetic patient incurs per year.

The American Diabetes Association conducted a study on the economic costs of diabetes in the United States in 2012. This study was aimed to update previous estimates of the cost burden of diabetes and quantify the increased healthcare resource usage and lost productivity associated with diabetes in 2012. The numbers they revealed are staggering!

From 2007 to 2012, the cost of diabetes in the United States has increased from $175 billion dollars to $245 billion dollars. When we look at the cost of diabetes in 2012, about $69 billion dollars are attributed to the reduced productivity, and the rest, $176 billion dollars, are in direct cost. Breaking down the $176 billion dollars revealed that 43% of the cost is in hospital inpatient care, 18% is for prescription medications to treat the complication of diabetes, 12% is for the cost of medications for treatment and supplies, 9% is for physician office visits, and nearly 8% is for nursing home residential facilities. [1]

Cost of Diabetes rising in the past decade

Picture taken From Medscape Education Cardiology. Unique Perspective on the Cost Burden of Diabetes in the United States. CME Released: 07/31/2013. [2]

Apart from the $176 billion dollars in direct cost, $76 billion dollars is indirect. That is the lost productivity due to early mortality, or to disability, including work issues such as absenteeism (regularly staying away from work without good reason) and presenteeism (meaning you are at work, but you are not as productive). Their study also revealed that a diabetic patient incurs an average medical expense of approximately $13,700 per year, from which nearly $7,900 is spent for diabetes itself. Diabetics, on average, have medical expenses roughly 2.3 times higher than what expenses would be without diabetes. [1]

Another study by American Diabetes Association on Economic cost of diabetes in the United States revealed that about 1 in 5 U.S healthcare dollars is spent on diabetes, nearly all of this is because of the increased incidence of diabetes. [3].

The growing cost of diabetes as shown by the above studies suggests that there is an urgent need to find out “why the cost burden of diabetes is still going up”, and what are steps to be implemented at all levels including hospitals, insurance, and workplace to reduce it.

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References:
1. American Diabetes Association. Economic costs of diabetes in the U.S. in 2012. Diabetes Care. 2013;36:1033-1046
2. Unique Perspective on the Cost Burden of Diabetes in the United States. CME Released: 07/31/2013 . Robert E. Ratner, MD; John E. Anderson, MD; Sergio Fazio, MD, PhD; Sheldon J. Rich, RPh, PhD. From Medscape Education Cardiology.
3. American Diabetes Association. Economic costs of diabetes in the U.S. in 2002. Diabetes Care. 2003; 26:917-932.

By: DiabeticCare editorial team; Published: 11-26-2013, 4:00 PM

 

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