CHICAGO — The need for diabetes educators will rise sharply between now and 2025 as the diabetes epidemic worsens, according to a new study by the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
The study, conducted by Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, found that the need would increase by at least 60% over the next 14 years, with new career opportunities likely to emerge as private insurers and Medicare recognize the role the educators play.
As this happens, the range of work settings for diabetes educators will expand and include retail clinics, home health and long-term care centers and others in addition to hospital outpatient and physician office positions.
"The research confirms that diabetes education is a growing and vitally important healthcare specialty," AADE CEO Lana Vukovljak said. "Diabetes education, in addition to being a public health benefit, is a proven way to reduce healthcare costs."
In addition, payers are likely to view diabetes education more favorably, thanks to the growing body of literature supporting its cost effectiveness and the trend toward greater integration in health care.
The study included literature review, a search of employment websites to find job postings for diabetes educators, a claims analysis using Medicare claims from 2006-2009 and the development of a quantitative workforce model of the supply and demand for educators through 2025.