Cost of hypos

From Jeff H @ CWD.

Updated with cost figures from:

"The mean costs for hypoglycemia visits were $17,564 for an inpatient admission, $1387 for an ED visit..."
- See more at:

This is rather startling.
This article looks at how many incidents of hypoglycemia result in ER visits and subsequent hospitalizations:
Doing the math results in a staggering annual cost — about half a billion dollars.

Number of IHE ER visits


Cost per ER visit


ER vost for IHE


% of ER visits admitted




Average cost for hospital visit


Additional hospital cost


IHE Cost


Half a billion. That will buy a lot of continuous glucose sensors. And right now, Medicare won’t pay for CGM, even though that age group was singled out as most at risk for ER visits.
I’ve attached the spreadsheet from which this is derived which includes citations for ER visit and in-patient costs. You’re welcome to mess with the costs.


That is more hypo ER visits than, "stimulants, including amphetamines and methamphetamine, were involved in 93,562 ED visits" from

I am going to lean a elevator pitch like this:

Insulin is a very dangerous drug.

Comparing studies of both, suggest that insulin is responsible for more ER visits in the USA than Meth. Insulin overdosing cost well over a half billion dollars and impacts senior citizens most. Safer insulins are needed and until they are developed, grandma and granddad should have access to tools to stay safe, like continuous glucose monitors.

Breaking bad was high profile fiction. The reality is a quiet crisis of american seniors facing serious overdosing without Medicare protecting them with proven safety devices.

Thanks for all of this info, Bennet. Spreadsheets, rather than personal stories, will probably do the most to convince decision-makers that policies need to be changed.

I think it will take personal stories, spreadsheets, journal citations, letters to the editor, calls to policy markers, face to face meetings with congress members, relationships with industry, Talking nicely with policy makers (that will be hard), twitter, crying in frustration, smacking head against the wall, rinse - lather - repeat.

I'm up for that.