Sue Marshall blogs about diabetes for Desang

Diabetics who get educated about their condition incur lower healthcare costs | November 6, 2009

People Who Receive Diabetes Education Incur Lower Healthcare Costs, says Patrick Totty, Oct 17, 2009 on Diabetes Health:

A study of healthcare claims by 8.75 million health plan members and 632,000 Medicare patients shows that referring people with diabetes to diabetes educators notably lowers healthcare costs. Health plan members incurred 5.7 percent lower costs for their healthcare, while similar costs for Medicare patients dropped by 14 percent. The study, “Assessing the Value of Diabetes Education,” was conducted by Solucia Consulting of Hartford, Conn., and also involved researchers from the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the University of Missouri School of Medicine.

In the study, researchers sought to assess the impact of diabetes education and self-management training on the cost of patient care in two distinct patient groups: a “commercial group” consisting of 8,749,569 members of private health plans, and a “Medicare group” consisting of 631,931 enrollees in a government program.

The study showed that savings did not occur at the level of primary or preventative outpatient services. For example, in the commercial group, insurees with diabetes education had higher outpatient claims than insurees who had not received education. However, their level of claims for acute inpatient services were considerably lower, an indication that diabetes education allowed them to avoid some of the disease’s harsher and more injurious outcomes.

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