Today’s guest blogger, Howard M. Lando, MD, FACP, FACE is a practicing endocrinologist with Medical Specialists of Northern Virginia in Alexandria and Reston, Virginia. He is the Chair of the AACE Legislative and Regulatory Committee, Vice-Chair of the AACE Socioeconomics Committee and is a member of the Board of Directors of AACE. AACE is a medical professional community of clinical endocrinologists committed to enhancing its members’ ability to provide the highest quality of care.
National Diabetes Awareness Month reminds us of the devastating effect of diabetes and its complications on Americans and on our healthcare system.
According to the CDC, 26 million Americans have diabetes and another 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes within 7 to 10 years. Over the past 30 years, the percentage of Americans diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled and the CDC estimates that as many as 1 in 3 adults could have diabetes by the year 2050 if current trends continue. Last year the nation spent $245 billion on diabetes, an increase of 41% from 2007, with $1 of every $3 Medicare dollars spent on diabetes.
These grim facts are the reason that the diabetes community, including the American Diabetes Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The Endocrine Society, The Pediatric Endocrine Society and the American Association of Diabetes Educators, are all supporting the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act advanced by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). This legislation (H.R. 1074/S. 539) creates a Commission to focus on improving the quality of diabetes care using existing funds. The Commission will evaluate federal diabetes activities, seek to eliminate redundancies; identify effective policies; and make recommendations to Congress and the Secretary of Health and Human Services to leverage the federal investment in diabetes research. Passage of this legislation will lead to improved patient outcomes and will reduce the burden of diabetes. The National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act is also supported by the Co-Chairs of the House and Senate Diabetes Caucuses.
The National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act provides Congress the opportunity to address the growing epidemic of diabetes and its devastating effects on current and future generations of Americans. We know that maintaining the status quo is not an option; diabetes will overwhelm the healthcare system and bankrupt the Medicare program if it continues to grow unchecked. We also know that type 2 diabetes and the complications of the disease are largely preventable with early intervention and appropriate care. New, effective approaches to diabetes and pre-diabetes are needed to ensure patients get the high quality care they need.
Your help is needed to pass this important legislation. Please contact your Representatives and Senators and ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 1074/S. 539. For more information, go to www.aace.com