Study: Diabetes costs warrant prevention efforts

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Medicare and other payers could do more to reduce the number of people with diabetes, a new study finds.

The federal government spent upwards of $80 billion in fiscal year 2005 on diabetes care, according to the study by Mathematica Research. A larger focus on prevention, early detection and early treatment, as well as better cooperation between federal programs, could have reduced these costs, researchers say. Diabetes is linked to health problems affecting the heart, kidney and circulatory system.

Appropriate screening and early detection of diabetes should be a priority in all federal programs, particularly Medicare and Medicaid, the study said. In FY 2005, one out of eight federal healthcare dollars went towards diabetes-related treatment.

An Opportunity for Federal Leadership: A Study of Federal Spending on Diabetes, is available at http://www.ncdp.com/projects/federalSpending.aspx.