A RAND Corporation study found that every $1 invested in programs targeting chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity yields a return on investment (ROI) of $3.80.

In my presentation, I will highlight how having an American Association of Diabetes Educators Accredited or American Diabetes Association Recognized Diabetes Self-Management Education/Support (DSME/S) program embedded throughout your health benefits program can help you to maximize your ROI by targeting this disease.

I will share through story telling, case studies, and research the following:

  1. Research has demonstrated that an evidence-based, accredited/recognized DSME/S program can reduce hospital admissions and readmissions, reduce estimated lifetime health care costs related to lower risk for complications, and reduce A1c by as much as 1% which can translate into an annual savings of $875-$1,1188.
  2. To maximize employee engagement and participation, there needs to be clear communication about the benefits DSME/S program.
  3. Certified diabetes educators are the experts.
  4. More than any other chronic disease, self-management education is critical to positive outcomes for diabetes.
  5. Providing DSME/S services on-site during work hours can ensure your program is both convenient and easily accessible for your employees.
  6. Reducing out of pocket expenses can help incent individuals to improve their diabetes self-care.
  7. .Employers that have incorporated DSME/S services into their health benefits program have reported improvement in clinical measures such as A1c, improved employee satisfaction, and a significant reduction in employee health care costs.
  8. Beyond the direct savings to the medical costs, other benefits include achieving recruitment, retention, and productivity goals.

Insurers have reported spending $5,000 a year per member with pre-diabetes, $10,000 per member with diabetes with no complications, and $30,000 per member with diabetes with complications. Beyond cost-sharing for medical expenses, employers face a very real burden from the indirect costs associated with their employees’ diabetes-related absenteeism, presenteeism, disability, early retirement, and early mortality.

The following are essential to reducing these costs:

  1. Screening employees for diabetes.
  2. Cost avoidance by providing a diabetes prevention program to employees with pre-diabetes in order to reduce the number of employees that go onto developing type 2 diabetes.
  3. Ensure that employees with diabetes have DSME/S at diagnosis to reduce the risk of complications early on.
  4. Encourage employees to return as appropriate for a “diabetes self-management” tune-up to maintain or improve their diabetes management.

It is a privilege to be apart of the 2017 Indiana Health and Wellness Summit that is focused on healthcare to optimize workforce goals.

Brenda Jagatic