Improvement of Metabolic Control and Diabetes Management in Insulin-Treated Patients Results in Substantial Cost Savings for the German Health System


Posted Jul 26 , 2019 01:43 AM

Improvement of Metabolic Control and Diabetes Management in Insulin-Treated Patients Results in Substantial Cost Savings for the German Health System.
Fritzen K, et al. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology 2018;12:1002-1006

Institute Summary (excerpted from the abstract)

Blood glucose self-monitoring has progressed with newer technology, diabetes apps, and a variety of techniques to enhance the value of this major component of diabetes care. Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) using the ColourSure™ Technology to visualize target range showed improvement of metabolic control and overall diabetes self-management in insulin-treated patients. This economic analysis aimed to identify cost savings for the German health system projected to result from an HbA1c reduction due to the utilization of user-friendly glucose meters. The study utilized patient data from a recently published observational study on SMBG, which were evaluated for risk using the UKPDS risk engine. These values were integrated in an economic analysis regarding costs of myocardial infarctions (MIs) related to diabetes for the German health system. Based on an earlier assessment these calculations were combined with a 10% reduction of severe hypoglycemic episodes. In the current study, 0% severe hypoglycemic episodes were observed. An HbA1c reduction of 0.69% over 6 months found in the original study was associated with a 3% decreased risk of MI in 10 years. In this model the decrease led to cost savings of €4.90 per patient-year. Considering 2.3 million insulin-treated patients in Germany, this 3% reduction of MI could result in annual savings of €11.27 million. Combining this with a 10% reduction in severe hypoglycemic events, the cost savings would increase to €30.61 per patient-year or €70.4 million for 2.3 million insulin treated patients in Germany.

Why is this important?

OneTouch Verio® is a blood glucose meter that informs users via a color-coded display system whether the measured values are within (green), below (blue) or above (red) their target range, which would be individually tailored to the patient by their health provider. It provides this color coding to the digital value to improve understanding of measurement results, increasing patient awareness, thus allowing for better self-management of their blood glucose levels, irrespective of whether exercise, food choice or insulin dose adjustment is required. The system stores measurements and therefore allows for tracking progress. Patients are informed and encouraged by the system via automatic on-screen messages. A recent study demonstrated that this color-based blood glucose meter can help to optimize diabetes self-management and glycemic control (Schnell O, et al. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2017;11(6):1218-1225). The authors used a well-documented risk analysis system to estimate the potential cost savings related to myocardial infarctions in diabetes patients if this system was widely utilized. Clearly, patients are aided by the colors to better understand their glucose control, and the messages reinforce that learning. The improvement of metabolic control and diabetes self-management that was achieved with the ColourSure™ Technology has the potential to generate substantial cost savings for the German health system underlining the importance of user-friendly methods for SMBG. Have you looked at the ColorSure technology? Do your patients find it helpful?

Concluding Thought: Sometimes the simplest aids can reap significant benefits!

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