|The Economic Impact Restrained by Care|
By: Mark Bernstein
The first in a series of articles by Mark Bernstein, a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes thirteen years ago. Over the following months, Mr. Bernstein will address the financial impact of diabetes and offer some practical financial suggestions to living with diabetes.
Through my initial years of independence with daily treatments and regimens, countless finger sticks and syringes, I realized that becoming involved with organizations and working with others in the community can only enhance the power of raising awareness and finding a cure. It is crucial to understand that while we are lucky for the medicine and technology constantly evolving around diabetes, we need to continue our fight for the research that brings us closer to the ultimate goal: finding a cure.
I volunteered to submit a series of articles for Jewish Diabetes Association to help people learn ways to reduce the financial burden of diabetes until that cure is found.
The economic perspective of the diabetes epidemic is a unique way to understand the true burden that diabetes has on individuals, but also on society as a whole. Based on the last economic study on diabetes from 2002, direct medical and indirect expenditures attributable to diabetes were estimated at $132 billion. From another angle, although diabetics comprised of only 4% of the non-ethnic Caucasian population in 2002, it was calculated that nearly $1 of every $5 spent on health care was diabetes related. These staggering figures incorporate the actuality of the disease in terms of the increased risk and susceptibility of diabetics to additional medical consequences.
In order for us to limit the expenses that we incur on a monthly basis, this figure reiterates the importance of proper daily care of medication, exercise, diet, and rest. Preventing the daily fluctuations of sugar levels and maximizing our control will significantly curb the consequences of the disease. It is estimated that the domestic costs for diabetes will rise to $156 billion by 2010 and approach $200 billion by 2020. By furthering your education, understanding your condition in order to be able to choose the correct treatment option to help you live a healthy, balanced lifestyle and true dedication to a daily regimen will significantly reduce the liabilities associated with the disease for you and your family. The diminishing worries of expenses can allow us to continue living our ordinary lives and motivate us toward our extraordinary goals.
The direct costs to patients are understood clearly throughout the community, but the costs to society, non-diabetics, businesses, and our government are frequently overlooked. Substantial productivity is lost due to the indirect costs associated with
diabetes, mainly viewed as resources lost, instead of used, as a result of an illness. This includes time lost due to physician visits; lost workdays and long term care issues.
Rationally speaking, some of these costs are unavoidable. However, proper care and diligence in our daily care, diet, routines and lifestyle will mitigate these costs and allow us to contribute to society while having a healthy roadmap toward longevity.
Feel free to voice your opinion, continue a discussion, or ask any questions related to the disease. If you have an exceptional idea for a topic, please let us know. Over the course of the next year, I hope you find my articles useful in your everyday management, motivating in your daily care, and inspirational in working together to find a cure.
Lowering the costs of out of pocket expenses can be a tricky and tedious process. The article next month will outline strategies that are easy to implement and follow, allowing monthly expenses for supplies, insulin, and other medications to be significantly decreased.
Javitt, Joanthon C. MD, MPH, Chiang, Yen-Pin, Ph. The Economic Impact of Diabetes, Diabetes in America Ch. 30
Poinasamy, Darren. Diabetes: Evaluating the True Impact; www.touchbriefings.com