When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released its 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report, those of us in the endocrine community were not surprised: 29 million Americans are projected to have diabetes, another 86 million are expected to have prediabetes, and the economic burden of the disease is expected to worsen in the near future.
In an era of healthcare reform where millions of Americans are expected to gain insurance coverage, we expect to see improvements in the care of these patients in the future.But, for now, the diabetes epidemic is a key contributor to excessive healthcare costs and the seventh leading cause of death for Americans.
To more closely examine these data and determine where opportunities exist to improve care, the Society recently held a policy summit, ACA Implementation: Impact on the Patient with Diabetes. Robert Vigersky, MD, past president of Endocrine Society and director of the Diabetes Institute at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, chaired the Summit where he also presented data on endocrine workforce shortages which are expected to be exacerbated in the coming years. Th e Summit featured talks from key offi cials at CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) on the current clinical, economic, and political landscape and ways in which the healthcare community can innovate change to reduce the burden of diabetes in America.
Additional presentations on community health initiatives, healthcare delivery models, emerging therapies and devices for diabetes management, the bionic pancreas, and the intent of the ACA were also held and will be available to members of the Society at endosessions.org.
In the coming months, the Society will release a white paper detailing policies that can help improve diabetes care as the implementation of the ACA continues to be underway.An outline of these recommendations was presented at the Summit, which included tactics aimed to implement patient interventions, to prevent complications and costs, to advance research and therapy options, and to address provider shortages. Encouraging team-based care, promoting adherence to screening recommendations, pilot testing new healthcare delivery models, and increasing research funding are several examples that were included and will continue to be explored. We will keep you informed as the Society continues to lead and influence important policy issues like diabetes.
Finally, I want to remind all Society members that the 2015 Election for Society Offi cers and Council launched in early September. Th e election period will end on October 20 and I encourage all voting members to participate in this very important activity. Please remember to cast your vote and remind your colleagues as well. Th is is YOUR Society, and your participation in our election is vitally important!
Additionally, Endocrine Reviews, the Endocrine Society’s bimonthly review journal, is currently seeking candidates to take on the role of editor-in-chief for a fi ve-year term beginning in early 2015. Endocrine Reviews publishes comprehensive and timely review articles on a variety of topics in endocrinology and related areas. The application period is open until October 31st and I encourage those of you interested to visit ’’’ for more information.
Richard J. Santen, MD
President, Endocrine Society