Dr Scott Breidbart Discusses the Impacts of Patient Behavior on Diabetes Care

A patient may be aware of the complications that could arise from a lack of adherence with a chronic disease like diabetes, but education is not enough to change a patient’s lifestyle, explained Scott Breidbart, MD, MBA, chief clinical officer of EmblemHealth.

A patient may be aware of the complications that could arise from a lack of adherence with a chronic disease like diabetes, but education is not enough to change a patient’s lifestyle, explained Scott Breidbart, MD, MBA, chief clinical officer of EmblemHealth.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How does the lack of adherence for diabetes add costs in the long run?

Well that’s very clear that medications have beneficial effects, that’s why we prescribe them. And if patients don’t take the medications, they don’t get the beneficial effects. There are financial costs but far more importantly, there are the costs to our membersblindness, cardiovascular disease, renal failure and amputationsdiabetes is a terrible disease.

Do patients fully understand the complications that could occur from a lack of adherence?

I think all patients have had sufficient education to know the serious effects. Education is not enough to change someone’s lifestyle. I have to admit, I know that I should floss my teeth every day. I know what’s, going to happen in terms of potential gingivitis and periodontal disease and potentially tooth loss but I still don’t do it. I know that I shouldn’t sit as much as I do at the computer and that I should exercise more and I know there are cardiovascular implications to my sitting as much as I do and not exercising as much as I should but I balance that with my lifestyle. I like to earn money to do things that I find fun, so I’m balancing it.

I can’t be surprised that people with diabetes aren’t doing the same thing. Their risks are much higher than mine, because fortunately I don’t have diabetes, but everyone balances his or her lifestyle with what needs to be done to keep his or her health optimal.