Diabetes Programs

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What Are Diabetes Programs?

Diabetes Management Programs

November is National Diabetes Month, which is the perfect time for employers to assess how their employees are managing one of the most common comorbidities.  In the U.S. one in ten people is affected by diabetes, generating estimated annual costs of $237 billion in medical expenses and $90 billion in reduced productivity.  

Employers need to evaluate whether the health and benefits they provide are beneficial and helping their workforce stay productive and motivated.

WHAT ARE DIABETES MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS?

Diabetes management programs are specifically tailored to help people with this condition by educating, offering medical advice, and implementing the use of digital tools. These programs offer an integrated approach, with a person-centered user experience. The objective is to identify, treat, and manage this condition, and consequently help manage diabetes symptoms, like pain, fatigue, and emotional issues.  

What do diabetes management programs include?

WHY SHOULD EMPLOYERS CONSIDER DIABETES MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS?

Unmanaged diabetes translates to a lot of absences in the workplace, an increase in emergency room visits, high medical costs, which ultimately means a great loss of productivity.  By going to a vendor partner, employers are ensuring that their employees have all the necessary tools to manage this condition.  

Diabetes has been identified as one of the chronic conditions with the greatest potential for being managed. If left untreated diabetes is linked to other health problems; people with diabetes are twice as likely to have a heart attack, and two out of three people with diabetes will die from a cardiovascular disease. 

How is diabetes affecting the workplace?

If the current growth patterns continue, it is estimated that one in three people in the United States will have diabetes by 2050. Employers face extensive direct costs related to diabetes-related medical claims, as well as indirect costs from reduced productivity, employee absenteeism, understaffing, and poorer performance.

For the employer, a true indicator of a great Return on Investment (ROI) would be the reduction of both the direct and indirect costs. Although it is difficult to measure the indirect cost of diabetes, it is clear that it presents a large financial burden in the workplace. 

Why is self-management important with diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that is preventable, as well as reversible. There is a multitude of testimonials from previously diagnosed patients who are now no longer in the diabetic classification. 

Diabetes management teaches people living with this condition how to successfully self-manage it. Counseling on self-management skills and home blood glucose monitoring is essential for treating diabetes. By educating on the risk factors associated with diabetes, like cardiovascular issues, participants are proactive and motivated to be healthier. Registered dietitians and nutritionists provide insight on healthier eating alternatives, how to count carbs, so that participants can track their nutrition even outside of the program.   

Flexible spending accounts have become a recognized benefit that is used by many employers to help recruit and retain employees. It is a win-win benefit, where employers save on payroll taxes and employees pay less taxes on their income.