Physicians and employee health experts are increasingly recommending that employers include diabetes screening, prevention and management in their company-sponsored wellness programs.
Diabetes — known as the "silent killer" — afflicts more than 29 million Americans, or 9% of the population.
Type 2 diabetes — or adult-onset diabetes — accounts for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity.
The fallout from the disease has a significant impact on businesses as it can lead to stress, depression and a number of other health problems, including cancer, stroke and heart issues. That in turn leads to lost productivity for you as well as presenteeism, or the dilemma of a worker being at work but not being productive.
Medical costs and costs related to time away from work, disability and premature death that were attributable to diabetes totaled $245 billion in 2019, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Of that total, $69 billion was due to lost productivity.
With these statistics in mind, it's imperative that employers help their workers manage their diabetes. Helping them get diabetes under control or helping them avoid developing the disease can keep your productivity strong, reduce your workers' comp claims and also chip away at your health insurance expenses thanks to lower premiums.
Diabetes means decreased productivity
Of the roughly $69 billion that U.S. employers lost in 2019 from decreased productivity due to diabetes:
Prevention and management
Employers can help by providing their employees with a voluntary diabetes management and prevention program. This wellness benefit can take many forms.
The Integrated Benefits Institute during an annual forum recently held a session highlighting what some employers are doing to educate their workers on how to manage diabetes:
Having a diabetes wellness program among your voluntary benefit offerings can help your employees avoid diabetes or manage it if they already have the disease. That helps not only their health, but also your bottom line.
If you would like to know more about educating your employees about diabetes and helping those with pre-diabetes or diabetes manage their condition, call us.