The clinical and economic benefits of better treatment of adult Medicaid beneficiaries with diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent and expensive medical conditions in the U.S. Today, nearly half of adults in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes.1 According to the CDC, more than 29 million American adults have diabetes, more than five times higher compared to three decades ago. In addition, it is estimated that more than one-third of the remaining adults have prediabetes.2 As a result of the current trend, the prevalence of diabetes in the US could be doubled by year 2030.3 Individuals with diabetes tend to develop serious comorbidities including cardiovascular diseases, blindness, kidney disease, amputations and depression. These complications lead to substantial treatment costs to patients and the health system. Diagnosed diabetes is estimated to cost $244 billion in excess medical costs annually and care for people with diagnosed diabetes accounts for more than 1 in 5 health care dollars in the U.S.4


Previous studies have linked higher diabetes prevalence to low socio-economic status. The likelihood of developing type-2 diabetes can be doubled or even tripled for those living in poverty. This is due to multiple reasons, including high rates of obese and physical inactivity, insufficient nutrition, and stress related to financial adversity as well as lack of proper management of chronic disease.

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