Per capita spending on patients with diabetes hit $16,021 in 2014, which was an increase of about 6 percent or $897 from the previous year, according to a report released Monday.

The average person in an employer plan during 2014, meanwhile, wracked up $4,396 in medical spending, which was up 3 percent compared with the previous year.

The numbers come from the Health Care Cost Institute, a research group that's backed by large national health insurers including Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group.

Spending increased primarily due to more ER visits and medication use among people with diabetes, according to the report, which is based on health care claims for more than 40 million Americans under age 65 covered by employer-sponsored health plans.

The report found people with diabetes used more mental health and cardiovascular disease services than others.

"By looking beyond treatment for diabetes we can see what other health issues people with diabetes are facing -- such as heart disease -- so that the health care system might better address those complex needs," said David Newman, executive director of the Health Care Cost Institute, in a statement.

The report highlighted costs and use of health care by children with diabetes in 2014, find they used more than twice as many health services and their parents paid more than four times the dollars out-of-pocket.

The report made no mention of insulin pumps. Last month, the Star Tribune wrote about UnitedHealthcare's attempt to steer patients to certain insulin pumps -- a move that has upset many patients.

The study from the Health

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