SIDEBAR: Shout-out to Policymakers on Diabetes Education

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“If we could just give a shout-out to policymakers to understand that in the long term,” when patients who have diabetes and cancer receive adequate diabetes education, “we are cutting our length of stay, we are decreasing hospital costs, we are decreasing readmission rates,” June McKoy, MD, MPH, JD, MBA, Director of Geriatric Oncology for Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chicago, said in an interview with The ASCO Post.

Patients with cancer and diabetes, whether they have Medicare or other health insurance, should be covered for diabetes education, she said. While it is sometimes covered now for a short period of time, Dr. McKoy said that insurers “should be more liberal with diabetes education. In the long run, it is much cheaper than the morbidity and mortality you get when patients don’t take care of their diabetes and cancer. Alternatively, you have increased costs to the system in terms of hospitalizations, increased readmission rates, and all the downstream drugs needed to get someone well in the hospital.” ■

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