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True Cost of Diabetes Reaches Beyond the Patient

True Cost of Diabetes Reaches Beyond the Patient

cost of diabetes

Families of diabetes patients understand too well the true costs associated with the management of this disease. From increased doctor’s visits to the purchase of insulin to specialized shoes, the costs of diabetes reach far into their pockets. Many people without diabetes do not realize how large those costs truly are and how they affect people beyond the patient.

Increasing Costs

A year ago the American Diabetes Association released a report detailing the full cost of diabetes. The results of their research showed the total cost of diabetes to Americans increased by 26% between 2012 and 2017. The report also says “1 in 4 health care dollars in the U.S., and more than half of that expenditure is directly attributable to diabetes.”

Individually, an average of $9,601of a diabetes patient’s medical costs are attributed to diabetes care. That’s an average of $800 a month spent on diabetes care. When you consider the median home mortgage is $1030, that’s a big chunk of a person’s monthly budget.

Government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid or the military cover the majority of these costs. Private insurance picks up another 30%. A small minority of patients have no insurance and spend less on physicians visits and medication, but more on emergency room visits due to complications from the disease.

Indirect Costs

What do these numbers mean if you’re one of the fortunate ones not buying diabetes supplies and paying hospitalization bills? The costs we’ve discussed so far cover the direct costs of managing diabetes. The indirect costs impact anyone who works with or employs someone with diabetes by loss of productivity, increased absenteeism, inability to work and loss of productivity due to early mortality.

Combatting Diabetes

The true cost of diabetes isn’t meant to shame those dealing with the disease on a daily basis. They already understand too well the costs associated with their disease. We know people who aren’t paying those bills have no idea what the true cost of the disease is. Encourage your friends, family, and co-workers managing their diabetes to keep up the good work. They’ll experience good days, bad days and setbacks along the way. Your encouragement keep them going.

The best way to reduce the direct and indirect costs of diabetes is to reduce the number of people dealing with Type 2 diabetes and to help those who are diagnosed to manage their disease.

We can all do more to reduce our risk of Type 2 diabetes by:

  • Losing excess weight (which we all know is easier said than done)
  • Replacing sugary drinks with good ole water (more H2O and fewer sodas will make the first suggestion a little easier)
  • Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Moving more (start by walking farther across the parking lot to the store)
  • Decreasing stress (moving more can help with this)
  • Sleeping more soundly
  • Giving up smoking
  • Keeping wellness check-ups

Want to learn more about managing diabetes or supporting those around you with the disease? We host a Diabetes Education Class on the third Tuesday of the month in the community room of our dental clinic. Call us to confirm the day and time of our next class.

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