Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have just published an interesting story showing that people with diabetes seemed to be much less likely to suffer complications such as strokes and heart attacks in 2010 than they were in 1990.
Here at LifeHealthPro.com, we have a system of “channels” designed to help get the articles we post in front of the eyeballs. We’re supposed to limit ourselves to putting any one article to no more than three channels, to keep from making the channels all look the same.
But, of course, if the United States really figures out how to keep diabetes from causing terrible complications, that’s a story that belongs in every possible channel on every possible website. It would make everything better.
A diabetes care improvement story belongs on any cooking website, sports website, home decorating website, music website, and even online poker website. If Americans lose fewer years of healthy, active life to diabetes, they can spend less money on dealing with loss of feet, earn more income, and spend money on everything from disability insurance to annuities to houses to big bets on poker games.
Maybe the whiz kids at the NSA could reprogram the HeartBleed virus to celebrate a public health triumph like that and tell every computer and phone in the world (including the ones that are allegedly turned off) to proclaim the message: “Diabetes complication preventive care has improved!!”
But the story is, weirdly enough, less relevant to acute health insurers than it could be, because they (and group health plan sponsors), don’t necessarily get that much financial value from improving preventive care.
In many cases, an acute health insurer (or an employer plan sponsor) will invest heavily today on care that will make patients happier today but may not do much to reduce the current cost of the patients’ care. By the time the U.S. health care system benefits financially from the preventive care, the patient may have health coverage from the traditional Medicare program, not from a commercial health insurer.