Shift Shapers Podcast

13 Feb 2017

Ep #149: The True Cost of Diabetes for Employees and Employers – with Tom Milam

David Saltzman 0 Comments

ShiftShapersCoverArtAccording to the CDC, over 29 million people in the US are diabetic. It costs more than $176 billion to treat diabetes – so how can employers and employees manage the treatment and complications of this lifelong disease?

Today Tom Milam of TrueLifeCare talks about just how big the diabetes problem has become in the workforce. He distinguishes between the two components contributing to the scope of the problem, which is affecting employees across age cohorts: costs associated with diagnosing and maintaining diabetes, and those associated with its complications. Tom also shares some staggering figures about how much employers pay for employees with diabetes compared to those without.

We then cover how advisors can find data about their clients’ employees to understand how diabetes is affecting their workforce. Tom talks about some of the tools advisors are using to discuss diabetes management with employers and strategies to minimize the disease’s costs. He also shares some research from the Northeast Business Group on Health describing why previous attempts to curb diabetes costs in employees haven’t been successful, and how to change tactics going forward.

Tom shares how much of a struggle it can be to keep employees engaged with the daily choices they must make to keep diabetes in check. While there is no single solution, incentives and other tools can help employers keep their employees healthy and save money for them both.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • How large the problem of diabetes has become in employee populations.
  • Why it’s important to consider complications of diabetes when calculating healthcare costs, not merely diagnosis and maintenance.
  • How much diabetes currently costs employers and employees, compared to average employee costs.
  • How advisors should discuss these challenges and potential solutions with prospects and clients.
  • Why it can be tricky to get employees engaged in counteracting diabetes.
  • The shift from tell-oriented to help-oriented disease management programs and their effect on employees with diabetes.

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