Diabetes Studies Illustrate
Need for Education
The State of Maryland recently conducted a study on the costs of providing comprehensive diabetes care, including education and supplies, for a group of Medicaid recipients who have diabetes.
Results: Enrollees had a 50% decreased risk of hospitalization, and a 50% decreased risk of an emergency room visit. There was an average savings of $4,598 per patient per year.
The State of Maine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sponsored a diabetes self-management education program in 30 hospitals and health centers, following 1,488 patients over three years.
Results: Participants had a 32% reduction in hospital admissions, with a saving of $293 per participant, or $3 saved for every $1 spent on diabetes self-management education.
In Los Angeles, as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, 6,000 people participated in an integrated system of diabetes self-management education and care.
Results: Participants had a 73% reduction in hospitalization and a 78% reduction in average length of stay, for an estimated savings of $2,319 per patient per year.
The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), a very large clinical trial carried out by the National Institutes of Health, compared clinical outcomes of people receiving standard diabetes care with those receiving intensive diabetes self-management education. Necessary supplies were provided for all study participants.
Results: The DCCT showed that when people with diabetes are given the knowledge and the supplies they need to control their blood sugar, diabetes complications were reduced by an average of 60%.
"The greatest problem we have in our country is that we have a health-illiterate society. We do not have a health care system. We have a very expensive 'sick care' system."
- Former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders