With U.S. government-mandated universal healthcare, it is believed that everyone will have the opportunity to better manage their health. Although that maybe the case, what about the additional means for one’s health outside of healthcare, particularly for someone with diabetes, that doesn’t fall under the umbrella that the Affordable Care Act?

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital sought out the answer to that question and what they found was issues regarding economic insecurity was a pivotal factor in people poorly managing their diabetes. What do we mean when we say “economic insecurity”?  This terms means struggling to pay for food, medications, housing or utilities, as well as other necessities--which cannot be aided by universal healthcare--but are needed to manage your diabetes effectively.

The study consisted of 411 patients and from the information the researchers gathered they concluded that:

  • 19.1 percent of patients reported food insecurity
  • 27.6 percent of patients cited cost-related medication underuse
  • 10.7 percent of patients reported housing instability
  • 14.1 percent had trouble paying for utilities
  • 39.1 percent reported at least one material need insecurity

The study concludes, “health care systems are increasingly accountable for health outcomes that have roots outside of clinical care. Because of this development, strategies that increase access to health care resources might reasonable be coupled with those that address social determinants of health, including material need insecurities.”

Source: The JAMA Network Journals

                               

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