Bariatric Surgery Resolves Diabetes, Saves Money


Three-fourths of patients with type 2 diabetes were able to stop taking medications six months after undergoing bariatric surgery -- and almost 85% no longer needed drug treatment at two years cutting their healthcare costs, according to a review of health insurance records. The analysis of insurance claims data for more than 2,200 adults with type 2 diabetes who underwent bariatric surgery found that despite the $30,000 median price tag for the procedure and hospitalization the surgery also saved money in the long run, Martin A. Makary, MD, of Johns Hopkins, and co-authors reported. While annual healthcare costs increased by 9.7% in the first year after bariatric surgery, costs decreased by 34% in the second year, and dropped by 70.5% in the third year, compared with preoperative expenditures, the team wrote in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery. "Health insurers, private and public, should pay for bariatric surgery for appropriate candidates, recognizing a potential annualized cost savings in addition to the benefit to health," Makary and co-authors commented.

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Bariatric Surgery Resolves Diabetes, Saves Money