Business Case of DiabetesToolkit

Diabetes Management in the Workplace

Building a Business Case: Diabetes at a Glance

>37 million

people in the U.S. have diabetes and 1 in 5 are undiagnosed1

1 in 3

American adults have prediabetes and most don't know it2

1 in 4

health care dollars in the U.S. is spent on care for people diagnosed diabetes3

$90 billion

the cost of reduced productivity while at work for the employed population with diabetes3


Every year, over 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report 20224:

  • Just over one in 10 Americans have diabetes
  • For adults diagnosed with diabetes 89.9% were overweight, 34.3% were physically inactive and 13.8% were smokers
  • Newly diagnosed cases of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have significantly increased among U.S. youth

Even more alarming is the 96 million American adults with prediabetes (blood sugar levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes) – and eight out of 10 don’t know they have it. Without lifestyle change, many of these individuals will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.2

If this trend continues, it will result in an enormous economic burden for employers. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. is $327 billion per year. This includes direct medical costs and the dollars lost from reduced productivity due to illness and disability.3

The average working adult spends thousands of hours at work each year, but rarely or never visits their doctor. This represents an opportunity for employers to use the workplace to engage employees in their health and to encourage a proactive approach to prevention and effective management of conditions such as diabetes.

Research has shown that interventions involving weight, diet and physical activity are key in preventing, delaying onset and/or controlling type 2 diabetes and can result in substantial long term savings in health care costs for both employees and employers. Additional cost savings can be realized when individuals diagnosed with diabetes are given the tools and resources they need to better manage their conditions.4

Gaining Management Support

A successful diabetes management initiative begins with a strong business case, specific objectives, a good strategy and a means to evaluate whether the program objectives were met. Having senior management support and involvement improves employee engagement in your programs and helps to build a culture of health.

Use clear and compelling arguments backed by easy-to-digest data to demonstrate the value of investing in a diabetes initiative. Effectively managing diabetes brings value to the business, for example through improved productivity, and has a positive impact on employees’ health. The value to the business and an employee’s health is too important to not effectively manage this challenging disease. Click here to view employer case studies

As you build a business case, consider the answers to these questions: Download PDF

  • How does the initiative support the organizations overall strategy/values/mission?
  • Are the goals clearly defined? Are they aligned with the corporate strategy/goals?
  • How much will the initiative cost? What is the cost of doing nothing?
  • What is the investment in terms of health, financial, productivity, retention and other areas of importance?
  • What is the health cost exposure based on your employee population and their covered dependents?
  • What is the risk level (low, moderate or high) found within your employees and their covered dependents?
  • What plan member resources do your payers, PBMs and providers offer to more effectively manage costs and improve health?
  • What are the optimal chronic disease tools available through your vendors?
  • What are the interdependencies with other departments in your organization and/or other projects (e.g. IT, internal communications) that could positively or negatively impact the strategy?
  • How will you show program progress and report the outcomes?

Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals5

S.M.A.R.T. is a framework used for effective goal setting that provides structure and guidance throughout a project.

As you plan a project or initiative and set related goals, ask (and answer) these questions:


Is the goal specific and well-defined?


How will you track progress? What metrics will you use?

Agreed upon

Is the goal agreed upon by all stakeholders?


Is the goal tied to the broader business goals of your organization/dept?

Time bound

When will you complete the goal? Is the timeline realistic?

Economics of Diabetes

Gathering Meaningful Data

Tools & Resources