Skip Navigation Archive: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Archive: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archive print banner
Instructions for Using the Diabetes Cost Calculator for Employers

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

The calculator can generate several executive summary reports. The files are generated in Microsoft® Word®. For users without access to Word®, HTML versions of the report templates are provided, indicating field codes and their definitions so that users can create their own reports.

@#$_n001 [Today's Date]

Diabetes Cost Calculator for Employers
Executive Summary for @#$_n002 [employer name]

Current Impact and Costs of Diabetes
Of the @#$_n003 [estimated number of the organization's employees and covered dependents. Users enter the number of employees. Based on that information and other information that they enter, the calculator generates an assumption about the total number of dependents who are covered] employees and dependents receiving medical coverage from @#$_n002 [employer name], the calculator estimates that @#$_n004 [estimated number of employees and dependents diagnosed with diabetes] are diagnosed with diabetes and @#$_n005 [estimated number of employees and dependents who have diabetes but have not been diagnosed] have undiagnosed diabetes. The estimated annual cost attributed to diabetes for your organization is $@#$_n006 [estimated annual cost of diabetes]. This includes $@#$_n007 [organization's estimated direct medical expenditures for diabetes] in direct medical expenditures and $@#$_n008 [organization's estimated lost productivity costs] in lost productivity costs.

Chart 1:
@#$_Chart001 [covered lives by estimated diabetes status]

Improving Health and Costs
The calculator is based on evidence showing that improved glycemic control in people with diabetes results in lower medical costs and lower costs attributable to lost productivity. You elected to estimate the impact of @#$_n009 [intervention that the user chooses] for improving control of diabetes on your organization's diabetes-related direct and indirect costs. The best available summary of the evidence1 found that on average, @#$_n009 [intervention that the user chooses] programs reduced median hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)2 levels by @#$_n010 [average number of reduction in HbA1c points that the selected intervention is estimated to achieve] points. The calculator estimates that a reduction of this level among covered lives with diabetes would shift the distribution of HbA1c levels among your organization's covered lives with diabetes as shown in Chart 2 below.

Chart 2:
@#$_Chart002 [estimated Hemoglobin A1c distribution before and after intervention]

This reduction in average HbA1c level would lower your organization's annual health care costs by an estimated $@#$_n011 [estimated annual reduction in health care costs (including direct and indirect costs) that would be achieved by implementing the selected intervention] or $@#$_n012 [estimated annual per person reduction in health care costs (including direct and indirect costs) that would be achieved by implementing the selected intervention] per person receiving the intervention. This includes $@#$_n013 [estimated annual reduction in direct medical expenditures that would be achieved by implementing the intervention] in medical savings from improved @#$_n009 [selected intervention], $@#$_n014 [estimated annual cost of the selected intervention] in increased costs to implement the intervention, and $@#$_n015 [estimated annual reduction in indirect costs that would be achieved through the selected intervention] in indirect savings due to improved productivity.3 See Chart 3 below. These estimates include the costs of the intervention (if entered) and are based on your projection that @#$_n016 [percentage of the organization's employees and dependents with diabetes that the user estimates would receive the intervention] of covered lives with diabetes would receive the intervention.

Chart 3:
@#$_Chart003 [gross annual savings broken out by savings from reduced direct health care expenditures and reduced lost productivity costs]

1. Shojania KG, Ranji SR, Shaw LK, Charo LN, Lai JC, Rushakoff RJ, McDonald KM, Owens DK. Diabetes Mellitus Care. Vol. 2 of: Shojania KG, McDonald KM, Wachter RM, Owens DK. Closing the Quality Gap: A Critical Analysis of Quality Improvement Strategies. Technical Review 9 (Contract No. 290-02-0017 to the Stanford University-UCSF Evidence-based Practice Center). AHRQ Publication No. 04-0051-2. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. September 2004.
2. For diabetes patients, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels indicate how successfully patients are managing their condition, with lower levels indicating greater success.
3. The estimated cost savings may be lower because the primary studies were cross-sectional, not longitudinal. This means that in estimating the costs of care for individuals at different HbA1c levels, they did not distinguish between the costs for people who had maintained those levels for long periods of time and people whose HbA1c levels may have been higher or lower in the past.

Return to Instructions


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care