Study: Intervention raises costs for diabetes

October 9, 2009

Medical interventions for patients with type 2 diabetes won't reduce health costs over the long term, according to a recently published study, but that doesn't mean they don't offer benefits.

Medical interventions for patients with type 2 diabetes won't reduce health costs over the long term, according to a recently published study, but that doesn't mean they don't offer benefits.

Over the next 25 years, public and private payers would spend an additional $7 billion ensuring treatment adherence and preventing complications of type 2 diabetes compared with no intervention, say the authors of "Using Clinical Information to Project Federal Health Care Spending." The study was published last month in Health Affairs.

"Quality of life has some value to people, but [the Congressional Budget Office] has never attempted to assign a dollar value to that," says co-author Elbert Huang, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago School of Medicine. Huang points out if the CBO or he and his co-authors considered quality of life and improved productivity due to the interventions, their projections would likely look quite different.