I came across this statistic the other day:
Only 10 percent of the U.S. population accounted for nearly two-thirds of all health care costs in 2008. The average annual cost for each of these individuals totaled almost $24,000, which includes costs covered by insurance and paid out-of-pocket.
Think about what that means for just a moment. 10% of the total US population accounted for 66% of all health care costs. What’s this mean?
To me it points to one of the flaws in our current system. Our health care system is designed to treat the sick and heal the injured. Our health care system falls short in preventing illness and controlling chronic disease. As we continue to struggle with rising health care cost in the United States we may benefit by spending more money.
I know it sounds odd for me to suggest that we should spend more money to save money but we may save money in the long run if we spend more money helping people better understand how to prevent disease and better manage chronic disease.
Diabetes is a great example. Diabetes is an expensive disease to control but uncontrolled diabetes is even more expensive. GVMH has an excellent Diabetes Skills and Self Management Program that is administered by Jamie Ketterman RN, Certified Diabetes Educator. Jamie does a great job teaching people how to control their diabetes and diabetes is a condition that can be controlled, and when controlled, quality of life increases and health care expense decreases. The problem with diabetes education is that not all insurances pay for the service and many patients can’t afford to pay for the education out-of-pocket not to mention the difficulty many patients have paying for test strips, foot exams, vision exams and insulin.
GVMH has recognized the value of diabetes education in terms of improving long-term outcomes and quality of life and we are committed to not letting affordability stand in the way of a person in our community receiving the service and that’s the purpose of our Diabetes Walk scheduled for this Saturday.
The Diabetes Walk is sponsored by the GVMH Foundation and the walk will take place Saturday, March 31 at the high school beginning at 8:00 a.m. All of the money raised at the walk stays in Henry County to pay for diabetes related care and treatment like diabetes education, test strips, shoes, medication and vision exams.
Make a point to help your friends and neighbors by attending the diabetes walk, if you can’t attend, support the walk by donating a couple of bucks. You never know, it might just be you or someone you love who benefits in the end.