CHICAGO A group that promotes education and awareness around diabetes is calling on the government and private insurers to use diabetes education as a cost-saving strategy.
The American Association of Diabetes Educators hopes to provide diabetes self-management training to patients with prediabetes and recommended that private insurers and Medicare include it as a covered benefit.
The group said that DSMT programs taught by professionally qualified educators can reduce healthcare costs for patients with diabetes and those at risk of developing it. For example, in a study of 32,500 high-risk pregnant women with gestational diabetes, DSMT reduced healthcare costs by an average of $13,000 per pregnancy. Another study, involving 3,200 overweight and obese adults with prediabetes, found that lifestyle intervention techniques reduced the incidence of diabetes by 58% overall, and by 71% in older adults.
“We really view this as common sense,” AADE president Deborah Fillman said. “It is clear that diabetes education not only improves the health of people at risk, but generates a net savings to the healthcare system.”