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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Diabetes Cost Calculator for Employers

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has created an evidence-based tool that employers can use to estimate how much diabetes costs them and the potential savings that would result from better management of diabetes.

The calculator was developed at the request of members of the Mid-Atlantic Business Group on Health and in partnership with the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH).

Screen shot of diabetes calculator showing sample results charts.

Based on an employer's industry, location, and firm size, the calculator estimates:

  • Number of people with diabetes.
  • Annual diabetes-related medical costs.
  • Annual diabetes-related productivity costs.
  • Potential savings associated with better management of diabetes.

Cost savings estimates are based on evidence that better management of diabetes (e.g., improved blood glucose control) is linked to lower health care costs. The calculator draws on the best available evidence from peer-reviewed medical journals and trusted data sources such as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, National Health Interview Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and AHRQ Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

Screen shot of diabetes calculator with information about sample Company A.

The calculator is:

  • Evidence based. It combines findings from literature, analysis by The Lewin Group, and expert opinion.
  • Easy to use. It requires minimal information from the user.
  • Individualized. For most user inputs, the calculator provides default data based on State, industry, and firm size.
  • Adaptable. Users can choose to model projected savings based on several interventional scenarios.
  • Scalable. Users can adjust potential savings based on the percentage of covered lives likely to receive an intervention or achieve a target.
  • Transparent. Assumptions and sources are stated.

Select to access the Calculator (Excel® file, 2.4 MB).

Select for instructions for downloading and using the calculator (PDF file, 280 KB; PDF Help) .

For more information about the calculator, please contact Sarah Stout at

Current as of November 2008

Internet Citation:

Diabetes Cost Calculator for Employers. November 2008. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.


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