On Jan. 5, 2011, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, released data taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). MEPS is a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which those services are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid. According to this particular AHRQ News and Numbers report, approximately 19 million U.S. adults reported receiving treatment for diabetes in 2007, more than double the 9 million who said they received care in 1996.
AHRQ also found that between 1996 and 2007:
- The number of people age 65 and older treated for diabetes increased from 4.3 million to 8 million; for people ages 45 to 64, the increase was 3.6 million to 8.9 million; and for 18- to 44-year-olds, the increase went from 1.2 million to 2.4 million.
- Treatment costs for diabetes, paid by all sources, more than doubled — rising from $18.5 billion in 1996 (in 2007 dollars) to $41 billion in 2007.
- Outpatient diabetic-care costs also doubled from about $5 billion to roughly $10 billion.
- Total prescription drug costs related to diabetes nearly increased fourfold from $4 billion to $19 billion over the 11-year period. Per patient, the cost of prescription medicines more than doubled, rising from $495 in 1996 to $1,048 a year in 2007.
For more information, go to www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/st304/stat304.shtml.