Healthcare spending increased faster in 2013 for children with diabetes who were covered by employer-sponsored health insurance than any other age group with the disease, according to a recent report by the Health Care Cost Institute.
The report, released May 7, is titled “Per Capita Health Care Spending on Diabetes: 2009-2013.” It shows that diabetes spending for children rose 7% between 2011 and 2012 and 9.6% between 2012 and 2013.
Researchers looked at healthcare claims of more than 40 million Americans younger than 65 who were covered by private health insurance from 2009 to 2013. They found that 5.3% of patients on employer-sponsored health insurance had diagnosed diabetes, either type 1 or type 2, between 2009 and 2013. In 2009, when researchers started looking at the data, that number was lower — 4.7%, according to the report.
The report cites higher spending on branded insulins for children as a possible factor in the higher cost, with spending on branded insulin being $2,511 per person for child diabetic patients and $616 per person for adults. More than $10,000 more per person was spent on healthcare for people with diabetes than those without the condition.
“There has been extraordinary growth in healthcare spending for children with diabetes,” HCCI Senior Researcher Amanda Frost said in the news release. “It appears that higher spending on branded insulin is one factor influencing this trend. Moving forward, it will be important to continue to analyze these spending trends to see what else we can learn about how the way we manage diabetes contributes to its costs.”
Researchers also found healthcare spending for diabetes in general was higher in 2013, with $14,999 per capita being spent on people with diabetes — nearly 71% more than those without the disease. Out-of-pocket per capita costs also were higher for diabetes patients, according to the report. Consumers with diabetes had costs that were more than double those without the disease, spending $1,922 per capita in 2013 as opposed to $738.
Other key findings in the report was a gender gap in spending, with women ages 19 to 54 with diabetes spending more per capita than men with the disease. Pre-Medicare adults ages 55 to 64 with diabetes also spent more at $16,889 per capita in 2013 — a $603 increase from 2012. “The number of people with diabetes continues to grow, as does the healthcare spending for these individuals,” HCCI Executive Director David Newman said in a news release. “We, and others, need to better understand the relationship between spending and actual health outcomes for people with diabetes, particularly children.”
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