Sunday, June 29, 2014

Diabetes prevalence goes up - again!

The good folks at the Centers for Disease Control recently put out the 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report. They estimate that over 29 million Americans have diabetes. That puts the overall prevalence at 9.3% or more than one in 11 people. The vast majority of them are adults, with prevalence rising to over 25% after age 65. There are 1.7 million new cases per year. In addition to the huge burden of illness, disability and premature death, the current cost of the diabetes epidemic is $245 trillion per year.

But there is some good news. Patients with diabetes who are engaged in their care, especially with primary care services, have better outcomes and require a lot less time in the hospital. Their costs are thousands of dollars lower per patient. The tools to do this are available at remarkably low cost in just about any kind of primary care setting.

New payment structures mean that the incentives to reduce costs and improve quality are in place. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) can't just pass the costs of bad quality along; they need to capture the savings that have been proven to occur with this kind of Patient Engagement, and they are starting to do it.

If you know of an ACO (or other practice setting) that is motivated to reduce total utilization for diabetes and other chronic conditions without disrupting provider workflow, please let them know about Patient Engagement Systems. Call Toll-free: (855) 870-4337 or email

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