Now that a final health care bill seems likely to reach President Obama's desk, the rising cost of health care is a popular topic of discussion--especially among wellness professionals. Does the bill do enough to "bend the curve" of rising costs? Will it really make a difference?
When I see cost projections that reach decades into the future, I have to remind myself that health care economists--as brilliant as they are--don't have a crystal ball. There are just so many factors that can and will affect our nation's future health care bill.
One of those factors is diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, 7.8 percent of the U.S. population has the condition--23.6 million adults and children. A staggering 57 million individuals are pre-diabetic. Overall, diabetes costs $116 billion a year to treat.
The Wall Street Journal recently profiled several studies that examined the link between diabetes and heart disease. Specifically, researchers questioned whether current diabetes treatments reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke. The answer, unfortunately, was no.
During our health fair screenings, it isn't unusual to discover an individual with dangerously high glucose levels--high enough to warrant further testing. The screening process also encourages known diabetics to keep their condition top-of-mind. We've coached a number of diabetics who now watch their sugar levels more closely, thanks to their company's wellness offerings.
If you're a diabetic, when was your last A1C test? If you're in need of an A1C refresher, we have a free PDF just for you. Know your numbers!