The Economic Burden of Elevated Blood Glucose Levels in 2017


Posted Jul 26 , 2019 01:37 AM

The Economic Burden of Elevated Blood Glucose Levels in 2017: Diagnosed and Undiagnosed Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes, and Prediabetes.
Dall TM, et al. Diabetes Care 2019_Online April 2

Institute Summary (excerpted from the abstract and article):

Diabetes Care journal has published updates of the costs of diabetes over many years. This study and publication was conducted to update national estimates of the economic burden of undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes in the United States for year 2017 and provide state-level estimates. Combined with published estimates for diagnosed diabetes, these updated statistics provide a detailed picture of the economic costs associated with elevated blood glucose levels. This study estimated medical expenditures exceeding levels occurring in the absence of diabetes or prediabetes and the indirect economic burden associated with reduced labor force participation and productivity. Data sources analyzed included Optum medical claims for ∼5.8 million commercially insured patients continuously enrolled from 2013 to 2015, Medicare Standard Analytical Files containing medical claims for ∼2.8 million Medicare patients in 2014, and the 2014 Nationwide Inpatient Sample containing∼7.1 million discharge records. Other data sources were the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The economic burden associated with diagnosed diabetes (all ages), undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes (adults), and gestational diabetes (mothers and newborns) reached nearly $404 billion in 2017, consisting of $327.2 billion for diagnosed diabetes, $31.7 billion for undiagnosed diabetes, $43.4 billion for prediabetes, and nearly $1.6 billion for gestational diabetes. Combined, this amounted to an economic burden of $1,240 for each American in 2017. Annual burden per case averaged $13,240 for diagnosed diabetes, $5,800 for gestational diabetes, $4,250 for undiagnosed diabetes, and $500 for prediabetes.

Why is this important?

Updated statistics underscore the importance of reducing the burden of pre-diabetes and diabetes through better detection, prevention, and treatment. And every bit as important as those things are, so also is the need to help people with diabetes adopt healthy behaviors, and help payers understand the value of the team approach to care delivery. Diabetes is the ‘poster child’ for chronic illness, and there are so many ways we can improve our care of patients and our understanding of the impact of diabetes on family members. As our payment system shifts toward value-based care and we are increasingly payed for better outcomes and not just the fee for a service, hopefully these costs will come down.

Concluding Thought: That’s Billions with a capital “B”

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