Blog | Friday, March 8, 2013

QD: News Every Day--Diabetes' rising prevalence driving increased costs of care

The cost of diagnosed diabetes rose to $245 billion in 2012 from $174 billion in 2007, a 41% increase, reported the American Diabetes Association.

The study considered the increased financial burden, health resources used and lost productivity associated with diabetes.

Robert Ratner, MD, FACP, the association's Chief Scientific and Medical Officer, said, "The cost of diabetes is rising at a rate higher than overall medical costs with more than one in 10 health care dollars in the country being spent directly on diabetes and its complications, and more than one in five health care dollars in the U.S. going to the care of people with diagnosed diabetes."

The total cost includes direct medical costs of $176 billion, which reflects costs for hospital and emergency care, office visits and medications, and indirect medical costs totaling $69 billion, which includes absenteeism, reduced productivity, unemployment caused by diabetes-related disability and lost productivity due to early mortality.

In addition, the study found that:
--Medical expenditures for people with diabetes are 2.3 times higher than for those without diabetes;
--Increasing prevalence is the primary driver of increased costs; and
--Antidiabetic drugs and supplies account for only 12% of medical expenditures, and has held steady since 2007.

Other findings include that government insurance covers 62.4% of the costs of diabetes, with 34.4% covered by private insurance and 3.2% incurred by the uninsured. The per-capita cost of medical care attributed to diabetes was $6,649 in 2007 and $7,900 in 2012, a 19% increase.