Diabetes is not only a problematic disease to live with but it’s certainly a tremendous health risk. Those suffering pay extreme attention to their blood sugar levels, their diet, and their exercise regime. Companies with diabetic employees also have to pay attention – rising healthcare costs are posing new challenges for human resources and personnel management.
To combat the epidemic, more than 70 percent of large employers are targeting diabetes this year, according to Human Resource Executive Online. That percentage has risen significantly since 2008, where it stood at 46 percent.
“We know diabetes is our No. 1 cost item among all our employee health issues,” Keith Clark, a human resource manager for an industrial-based products company in Michigan, told HREO. “We think we can get the biggest bang for the buck if we can do something about it.”
Companies taking a proactive approach against the disease are using tactics tied to corporate wellness programs such as promoting on-site fitness facilities, encouraging walking clubs, sponsoring an annual “walk day,” and offering weight-management programs.
Here are some other staggering facts about diabetes:
- An employer with 9,500 employees and 500 pre-65 retirees spends $18 million to $22 million on direct medical care for diabetes.
- Diabetes costs $174 billion in direct medical and indirect costs in the United States.
- An estimated 23.6 million people have diabetes.
- 5.7 million people have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed.
- 68 percent of diabetics will die of heart disease or stroke.
- 75 percent suffer from high blood pressure.
Is your company being proactive in the fight against diabetes?