Twice the cost and worse results…..hmmmmm

By Dr. Alan Kadish

Diabetics  should be doing better with our innovations and the millions spent on the change in lifestyles along with the big push to address diets via limits on trans-fatty acids and all the press. Unfortunately this is far from the desired result being seen.

As the cost of  medications goes up and the multitude of choices expand one would hope that the result would impact on the  patients receiving a better health result. Unfortunately this is not the case as seen by this 20+ year evaluation study.

Isn’t it time for a better approach. Obviously the implementation of both movement (exercise) and further changes in diet are a far better approach, coupled with good supplementation ? Continuing to increase the use of medications which are amazingly expensive is not an affordable approach for the medical system.

More than time for a change. If you’re going down this road of increased cost and more doctor visits… us at the Center of Health and let’s get you on a better course of action. 541.773.3191 

Cost of managing diabetes per person doubled over 2 decades

Zhuo X. Diabetes Care. 2015;doi:10.2337/dc14-1687.

January 23, 2015

Managing diabetes has become more costly in the past 2 decades, primarily because of increased spending on drugs, according to research published in Diabetes Care.

Medical spending attributable to diabetes per person doubled between 1987 and 2011, based on an investigation by researchers from the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Despite the modest decline in the use of inpatient, ER and other medical services, the excess medical spending on those services that is attributable to diabetes continued to grow due to a substantial increase in the price of those services,” the researchers wrote.

Xiaohui Zhuo, PhD, of the agency’s Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, and colleagues compared per person medical costs and uses among adults aged ≥18 years with and without diabetes.

The researchers used three time points, based on data from the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey and Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys 2000 to 2001 and 2010 to 2011.

Inpatient care, ER visits, outpatient visits and prescription drugs were among the types of medical services included in the analysis. The investigators also considered changes in unit cost, as defined by expenditure per encounter for the services.

Excess medical spending per person attributed to diabetes was $2,588 (95% CI, $2,265–$3,104) in 1987, $4,205 (95% CI, $3,746–$4,920) from 2000 to 2001 and $5,378 (95% CI, $5,129–$5,688) from 2010 to 2011.

The largest proportion of the $2,790 increase was spent on prescription drugs (55%), followed by inpatient visits (24%), outpatient visits (15%) and ER visits and other medical spending (6%).

The rise in prescription drug spending was due to increases in volume of use and unit cost, but the growth in outpatient spending was almost exclusively due to more visits. Heightened unit costs drove the increases in inpatient and ER expenditures.

“Further studies are needed to assess the cost-effectiveness of increased spending on drugs,” the researchers wrote.

Disclosure: Zhuo reports being a federal employee at the time of the study.

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Dr. Kadish is an unusual physician often referred to as a "doctor detective". His expertise is the evaluation and treatment of complex disorders, typically after other physicians have been stumped, is renowned. He provides care for all family members and has additional training in autistic spectrum disorders and chronic complex diseases.