Blog // HealthSmart Blog // November 2021

Helping Clients Effectively Minimize the Health Impact and Cost of Diabetes

11/29/2021 3:53:52 PM

Helping Clients Effectively Minimize the Health Impact and Cost of Diabetes

HealthSmart’s Comprehensive Diabetes Management Program


By Monica Schwindt, Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

Diabetes is costing Americans their health and lives and it’s putting a financial burden on the country’s healthcare infrastructure, including insurers. If you’re looking for a resource to help your members manage the health impacts of diabetes and to help your health plan manage the financial impacts of the disease on your bottom line, HealthSmart’s proprietary comprehensive Diabetes Education Course delivers proven results.

The current state of diabetes in the U.S.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 34 million people of all ages, about one in 10, have diabetes and 88 million adults, one in three, have prediabetes.  Diabetes complications are increasing for young adults ages 18 to 44 and middle-aged adults ages 45 to 64. Diabetes is more common among Asian, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic people than non-Hispanic White people. Nearly one in five adolescents ages 12 to 18 years and one in four young adults ages 19 to 34 have prediabetes.

As most health plan leaders know, diabetes is costly to treat and manage. In fact, diabetes is the most expensive chronic condition in the U.S.
•    $1 out of every $4 in U.S. health care costs is spent on caring for people with diabetes.
•    $237 billion is spent each year on direct medical costs and another $90 billion on reduced productivity.
•    The total economic cost of diabetes rose 60 percent from 2007 to 2017.
•    61 percent of diabetes costs are for people 65 years of age or older
•    48 to 64 percent of lifetime medical costs for a person with diabetes are for complications related to diabetes, such as heart disease and stroke.  

HealthSmart’s Evidence-Based, Results-Driven Approach to Diabetes Management
Created by physicians, nurses, and registered dietitians specialized in treating people with diabetes, HealthSmart’s Comprehensive Diabetes Management program emphasizes prevention and early interventions, along with ongoing education designed to keep individuals with diabetes as healthy as possible. Preventing the potentially severe complications of diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease and renal failure is the overarching goal of the program. 

Anchoring the Diabetes Management program is HealthSmart’s proprietary Diabetes Education Course. The course tackles the rising healthcare costs associated with diabetes through intensive and interactive education. It is specifically tailored for members with type 1 and type 2 diabetes using the “teach-back” methodology. Weekly assignments are given so instructors can ensure the concepts are received and understood. Classes are available weekly in the evenings and can be accessed from any location through our webinar setting. 

Program classes:
The purpose of the Diabetes Education Course is to:  
•    Engage and educate newly diagnosed members which helps mitigate costs due to complications.
•    Provide members with clinical assessments from a registered nurse and a registered dietitian certified diabetes educator
•    Include presentations by a board-certified endocrinologist,  registered dietitian certified diabetes educator, registered nurses, and registered pharmacist. 
•    Provide comprehensive, interdisciplinary education and support to members with diabetes
•    Improve members’ abilities to self-manage their diabetes
•    Reduce risk of diabetes-related complications and disease progression

If complications develop, HealthSmart’s Specialty Case Management services address Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, and Transplant management. These extend the scope of diabetes-related care
Sometimes, even intensive education and monitoring doesn’t prevent complications from diabetes. One of the most common complications is chronic kidney disease and renal failure. If a patient with diabetes’s disease progresses to these stages, HealthSmart’s integrated approach to managing diabetes offers Dialysis and Transplant Case Management. These programs are grounded in the same principles as the Diabetes Management program – maximizing health outcomes and minimizing the health impacts and costs of the disease. 

HealthSmart’s Specialty Case Management clients have shown a 9 to 1 Return on Investment. Learn more about our programs at