Report: California Spends Least per Person on Diabetes Prevention
While more than 2.3 million adults in California have diabetes, the state spends the least amount of money per person in the country on prevention programs for the chronic disease, according to a report from the California State Auditor, Kaiser Health News reports.
In fiscal year 2012-2013, California spent three cents per resident on diabetes prevention efforts -- the least amount of any state, according to the report. In comparison, New York spent 42 cents per person.
The report noted that California only used federal grants, as no state funding for such programs is available.
Further, the report found declines in federal funding led the state in 2012 to close nine centers that worked to reduce gestational diabetes.
While the report acknowledged that California appropriately used its federal grants, it noted that the state Department of Public Health did not do enough to identify other opportunities to secure funding. For example, the report found two federal grants totaling $1 million for which the state was eligible but did not apply.
In addition, the report called DPH's goal of preventing diabetes among 380,000 by 2022 "lofty." As such, it concluded that the department "will need to do more than it has been able to in the past with its limited funding" (Feder Ostrov, Kaiser Health News, 2/2).
The report recommended that DPH:
- Develop a process to identify and apply for additional funding opportunities;
- Follow its process to monitor caregiver training related to diabetes prevention; and
- Secure state funding to improve prevention efforts (California State Auditor report, January 2015).
Michael Chae, executive director of the American Diabetes Association's Oakland office, said, "I know we're on the bottom of the pile on this, but what money is out there for diabetes is just a pittance across the country, when you look at the size of the problem of diabetes." He added, "I'd say you could take this report for most large states and it would read similarly."
Meanwhile, Joan Werblun, who helped found the Diabetes Coalition of California, said, "When you get these grants, you're so tied into the specifics of the grants, and most of the time, it's about data collection on how the grant is going." She added, "What we need are more people in the communities doing the work" (Kaiser Health News, 2/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.