Home > Consultant Tips, Insurers & Physicians, Wellness Programming > Diabetes or Prediabetes Could Cost the U.S. $3.35 Trillion by 2020

Diabetes or Prediabetes Could Cost the U.S. $3.35 Trillion by 2020

UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization released a new report on diabetes: The United States of Diabetes: Challenges and Opportunities in the Decade Ahead.

According to the report, if current trends continue, more than half of all Americans could have diabetes or prediabetes by the end of this decade – at a cost of $3.35 trillion. The report offers practical solutions that could both improve health and life expectancy and save up to $250 billion over the next 10 years, if programs to prevent and control diabetes are adopted broadly and scaled nationally. This figure includes $144 billion in potential savings to the federal government in Medicare, Medicaid and other public programs. Physical activity participation is key to those outcomes.

A new type 2 diabetes prevention program that involves dropping a reasonable amount of weight — and making a handful of lifestyle adjustments — can help prevent or delay diabetes, says Ann Albright, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s Division of Diabetes Translation.  HCD lauds this position.  Increasing physical activity participation among the least active or inactive is our mission.  Keeping the targeted population engaged in participating and validating that participation are key aspects of our Wellness Resource Network.

We are actively seeking the best in Diabetes Prevention Programming that includes physical activity and nutrition components. For more on this initiative please see D-FENS.

Research by the National Institute of Health and the CDC, has demonstrated that by improving exercise and other habits, along with modest weight reduction — 7% of body weight — people with pre-diabetes have a 58% chance of preventing or delaying diabetes if they follow the plan. Albright says it involves 16 one-hour sessions with monthly follow-ups for a year. HCD would like to offera valuable PROGRAMMING piece to that initial impact on their target population.

Classes are available at 28 sites in metropolitan areas. UnitedHealthcare (one of the USA’s largest health insurers) joined the CDC and the Y to pick up costs in some areas. “A web is building across the country. This is a monumental amassing of partners,” Albright says.

“It’s a great approach, a model we should be taking more often in medicine,” says Richard Bergenstal, American Diabetes Association president for medicine and science.

“The biggest reason we came on board was we recognized that diabetes and obesity are becoming epidemic. We have to give this the same amount of focus as HIV and breast cancer,” says physician Deneen Vojta, senior vice president of the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization.

HCD welcomes conversations around this topic and invites anyone involved in the DPP initiative to contact us.

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