Jan 29 2015

Employers' Diabetes Expense Featured

The CDC estimates that 29.1 million people (9.3% of the U.S. population) have diabetes. We’ve been hearing for years about the obesity epidemic in our country, and with that comes a host of other related health problems such as this. But of those people who have diabetes, 27.8% of them are undiagnosed.  What does this mean for employers, and what can be done to address this expensive issue?

Employees with type 2 diabetes:

·       Pay about 2.3 times more in healthcare expenses

·       Annual medical expenses average $13,700, $7,900 of which is attributed specifically to diabetes

·        Spend more time in doctors’ offices (and away from work), picking up prescriptions and testing supplies, and monitoring their condition

Diabetes costs us nationally $245 billion; 1 in 5 healthcare dollars in the US.

·         $176 billion in direct medical costs

·         $69 billion in reduced productivity.

   To break the productivity factor down further:

     o   increased absenteeism ($5 billion)

     o   reduced productivity while at work ($20.8 billion)

     o   reduced productivity for those not in the labor force ($2.7 billion)

     o   inability to work as a result of disease-related disability ($21.6 billion)

     o   lost productive capacity due to early mortality ($18.5 billion)

What can an employer do to help combat this pressing issue?  Show your employees that you care.  Take the effort to help them address diabetes and other chronic health conditons.  Offer preventative health screens and biometric testing, then follow the test results up with step by step instructions on how they can take steps to address these conditions.  TRS|Wellness provides one-on-one health coaching where the test results are clearly explained, and an improvement path is developed.  Beyond that, employees have someone they can confide in as well as someone who holds them accountable for their health progress.  

You can find out more by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Sandy Greeson

Ergonomic Assessment Specialist, Essential Functions Evaluator, & Certifed Clinical Instructor