Advocating to Improve the Financial Burden of Diabetes
- The Interprofessional Diabetes Education & Advocacy (IDEA) Group
Many patients with diabetes face challenging barriers and are unable to afford essential supplies and medications. Lack of ability to pay decreases medication adherence in over half of all patients with diabetes, manifesting in increased complications rates among patients of low socioeconomic status. The Interprofessional Diabetes Education and Advocacy (IDEA) Group was founded in July 2016 to help bridge this gap as part of a resident advocacy project at the University of Toronto. The mission of this group is to assist medical professionals in providing necessary resources to their patients who have limited financial coverage or are unable to locate the resources needed to help their situation.
Project Members 2016-2017:
- Amina Hussain, MSW intern
- Cheryl Harris-Taylor MSW RSW, Social Worker for Chronic Disease Management, Women’s College Hospital Dr. Jenny Wang, Fellow University of Toronto Endocrinology
- Calvin Ke, Fellow University of Toronto Endocrinology
- Christine Ibrahim, Fellow University of Toronto Endocrinology
- Bikram Sidhu Fellow University of Toronto Endocrinology
- Angela Assal Fellow University of Toronto Endocrinology
- Sheila Laredo, Faculty Supervisor Endocrinologist, Women’s College Hospital
Education and Advocacy:
Each year the senior trainees in Endocrinology & Metabolism do a yearly patient advocacy project in endocrinology.
Description of Project:
The financial burden associated with diabetes is a significant issue. Patients with diabetes often have to pay for medications, medical supplies, and additional required care (e.g. foot care) and this is estimated to require on average >3% of their income or >$1500 (Canadian Diabetes Association, 2011). Fifty-seven percent of Canadians with diabetes report they do not comply with prescribed therapies due to cost (Canadian Diabetes Association, 2011). Socioeconomic disparity is known to predict poorer outcomes for patients with diabetes (Booth et al., 2012).
We created a manual to assist medical professionals and patients to provide necessary resources to patients with diabetes who have limited financial coverage and/or are unable to locate the resources needed to help their situation. We are currently disseminating this manual through a variety of channels to healthcare professionals working with diabetes patients.