HealthSmart Recognizes World Diabetes Day with Resources to Help Members Manage This Chronic Disease
By Pam Coffey, RN, CHCQM, Executive Vice President, Chief Clinical Officer
More than 100 million Americans and 463 million people worldwide are currently living with diabetes or prediabetes. Globally, the incidence of diabetes is increasing at a rapid rate. Analysis of HealthSmart’s claims data shows that diabetes is one of our members’ most common chronic diagnoses.
That’s why we’re pleased to join with health care organizations around the world to recognize World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14, to shine a light on this challenging and growing chronic illness. The International Diabetes Foundation chose Nov. 14 as World Diabetes Day to honor the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best and John James Rickard Macleod, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.
The American Diabetes Association has compiled these sobering facts about the direct costs of the disease:
- Total costs of treating diabetes run more than $327 billion annually, a 26% increase over five years. This includes $237 billion in direct medical costs and $90 billion in reduced productivity.
- Of the total costs, hospital inpatient care represents 30%, prescription medications to treat complications of diabetes makes up 30%, anti-diabetic agents and diabetes supplies represents 15%, and physician office visits are 13%.
- People with diabetes incur average medical expenditures of more than $16,750 annually, of which around $9,600 is attributed directly to diabetes. People with diabetes have, on average, medical expenditures approximately 2.3 times higher than those without diabetes.
- Care for people with diabetes accounts for 1 in 4 health care dollars in the U.S.
The $90 billion in reduced productivity includes absenteeism, inability to work and early mortality. Total per capita healthcare expenditures on diabetes are higher for men than women and higher for non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites than among Hispanics. The four states with the largest populations with diabetes are California, Texas, Florida, and New York. On a percentage of population basis, the four highest states are West Virginia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama.
Because diabetes impacts so many of our members, HealthSmart has created the 6-week Diabetes Education Course, an intensive, interactive education program to help manage diabetes and promote a healthy lifestyle. Concern for our members with diabetes not only extends to their diabetes, but also to other serious complications such as chronic kidney disease and renal failure.
Designed and managed by our certified diabetes care and education specialists, the proprietary course is specifically tailored for members with type 1 and type 2 diabetes using the “teach-back” methodology. Weekly assignments are given to ensure that the concepts are received and understood. This is critical because proactive self-management is the key to keep members with diabetes at their highest level of well-being possible. Classes are typically offered in the evenings and can be accessed from any location through our webinar format.
HealthSmart’s 6-week Diabetes Education Course engages and educates newly diagnosed members which mitigates costs related to complications. Program attendees participate in clinical assessments with a registered nurse and a registered dietitian. The program’s curriculum includes presentations by a board-certified endocrinologist, registered nurse, registered dietitian certified in diabetes education and a PharmD.
We’ve seen excellent results from members who have attended the program. The education is an important part of helping them manage their diabetes. They become more engaged in their care by better understanding the disease, treatment, risk factors, and skills needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle and self-manage diabetes.
Learn more about HealthSmart’s Diabetes Education Program