Diabetes Basics

Cutting the Cost of Diabetes Care

Seeing your doctor probably costs a lot more than you think. Even if you have health insurance with a minimal co-pay, that’s not the half of it.

If you need to see your endocrinologist every quarter, these costs can really add up. You need to factor in the cost of travel, which can include meals out and even overnight accommodations, particularly if you live a long way from the doctor’s office. If your child is the one with diabetes, one or both parents will need to take off from work.

Until Kevin McMahon, the president and CEO of Diabetech in Dallas, told me about a new online cost calculator I hadn’t realized what a financial burden these doctor visits could be. Kevin just told me about this neat way to help you determine the cost of these visits.

Dr. Steven Ponder, an endocrinologist who works with Kevin, developed to program. You might be as surprised at the cost of visiting your endo as I was when you check it out on Diabetech’s website.

Their point is the alternative that Diabetech offers. I wrote about it here earlier this year and gave it such a positive review that Kevin features it on his site.

But my point now is not to repeat my support of their system. Instead, I would like to get all of us thinking about how much we are spending for health care and what we can do about it.

Certainly, the Diabetech system is one way. It is a type of telemedicine, which I have advocated ever since I benefited from participating in Dr. Joe Prendergast’s program a decade ago.

Doctors as well as people with diabetes will benefit when we switch to telemedicine. A couple of years ago I reported here how telemedicine can save a lot of time for doctors.

Now, with the economy in the mess that it’s in, it makes more sense than ever for us to reduce our health care costs.

This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.

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  • Yorrick BENOIST January 21, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Dear David
    thank you so much for your answer
    I hope you now recover after your operation
    all the best from France

  • David Mendosa January 21, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Dear Yorrick,

    Yes, $20,000 for a room for five nights is enormous. I agree as would most Americans. But unfortunately it is quite normal.

    For example, I had an operation in a hospital in November. My bill — for just two days in the hospital — was more than $20,000. Fortunately, I have medical insurance.

    I suggest that you or the musician contact the hospital and plead that you just can’t afford it. They can probably help.

    Best regards,


  • Yorrick BENOIST January 21, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Goodmorning Sir
    We organise tours all over the world for musicians
    During a tour in USA last October , 1 musician coming from Africa (Mali) had a diabetic problem and spent 5 days in an hospital and get medications for 1 month (injections)
    We had a medical insurance but maybe they will not cover the medical costs , because they say it was a preexisting problem (even if the musician was in very good shape when he arrived in USA)
    We have been informed that we have to pay more than 20000 us $ for this
    Is that price a normal price in USA
    It is enormous
    Thank you for your answer and your help
    Best regards
    Yorrick Benoist +33 549 59 10 10