Patient Education Proves Cost-Effective in Controlling Diabetes

By May, Bill | THE JOURNAL RECORD, February 16, 1994 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Patient Education Proves Cost-Effective in Controlling Diabetes


Journal Record Staff Reporter

Patient education is one of the most cost-effective methods of controlling problems associated with diabetes, a local certified diabetes educator says.

In fact, a 10-year nationwide study showed that for every $1 spent on patient education, $3 was saved on medical care, said Anastasia Marie Chehak, 6520 N. Western Ave.

"Besides the direct savings in lower medical costs, think of the savings in possible loss of life, sight or limbs," she said. "Also, the quality of life appears to be better when the patient is educated about the disease and is empowered to take control of the treatment."

Patient education is a relatively new concept, even within the American Diabetes Association.

"Ten years ago, I was working with Dr. (James R.) Gavin (III) developing procedures for patient education," she said. "At that time, most people in the industry didn't feel like this was the proper thing to do, that patients could learn more from their medical care specialists.

"Now, though, nearly everyone has come around to our way of thinking."

Education _ that is, teaching the patient how to monitor and control blood sugar levels, how to properly control the diet and how and when to exercise _ has become so accepted that most insurance companies cover office visits. Some insurance companies, however, don't recognize this and still others pay for only a maximum of two office visits in a lifetime.

"That means that many who could receive benefit of education are denied this," Chehak said. "I feel that insurance companies should reconsider their positions on this."

A certified diabetes educator should not replace a physician or a member of the medical team, but should be an addition to the team, she said.

"Many times the physician is just too busy to take the time to properly educate the patient," she said. "Even if the physician had the time, it would be too expensive for the patient.

"Too many times, a physician or nurse will simply tell a patient what needs to be done and expect the patient to follow through with it. That's what they call education.

"But it just doesn't happen that way. The medical team seldom takes a person's lifestyle into consideration when offering education on how to control complications and symptoms of diabetes.

"For a treatment regimen to be successful, it must be built around the lifestyle of the patient, and there must be follow-up visits to insure the patient is following the prescribed routine."

Chehak, who sees about 35 patients weekly, is able to empathize with her patients, because she is a diabetic. That's why she became interested in learning about the disease and helping others.

"When I was diagnosed as diabetic about 25 years ago, I thought people didn't know enough about it, especially ways in which I could care for myself," she said.

So, she became a licensed and registered dietitian, clinical nutritionist, a practicing medical nutrition therapist and a certified diabetes educator.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Patient Education Proves Cost-Effective in Controlling Diabetes


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?