1996 to 2013 Saw Large Increase in Diabetes Spending

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Increased spending per encounter has been the biggest driver of overall rise in spending.
Increased spending per encounter has been the biggest driver of overall rise in spending.

HealthDay News -- In 2013, $101 billion was spent in the United States on diabetes, almost a three-fold increase since 1996, according to a study published in the July issue of Diabetes Care.

Ellen Squires, M.P.H., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues estimated health care spending on diabetes from 1996 to 2013 using the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's Disease Expenditure 2013 database. Analysis included 38 age and sex groups and six types of care.

The researchers found that U.S. spending on diabetes increased from $37 billion in 1996 to $101 billion in 2013. In 2013, the greatest amount of diabetes spending was for prescribed retail pharmaceuticals (57.6 percent of spending growth), followed by ambulatory care (23.5 percent). Over the study period, pharmaceutical spending increased by 327 percent, which can be attributed to changes in demography, increased disease prevalence, increased service utilization, and increases in spending per encounter. Increases in spending per encounter accounted for 144 percent of the increased spending on pharmaceuticals.

"Health care spending on diabetes in the U.S. has increased, and spending per encounter has been the biggest driver," the authors write. "This information can help policy makers who are attempting to control future spending on diabetes."

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