Newly Identified Diabetes Up With Medicaid Expansion

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Newly Identified Diabetes Up With Medicaid Expansion
Newly Identified Diabetes Up With Medicaid Expansion

(HealthDay News) — Medicaid expansion is associated with an increase in diabetes diagnosis, according to a study published online March 23 in Diabetes Care.

Harvey W. Kaufman, MD, MBA, from Quest Diagnostics in Madison, NJ, and colleagues examined the impact of Medicaid expansion on the number of patients with newly identified diabetes among new enrollees in Medicaid (aged 19–64 years) who had laboratory testing through Quest Diagnostics.

The researchers found that 215,398 patients met the definition of newly diagnosed diabetes within the first six months of 2013 (control period), compared with 218,890 patients in 2014 (study period), representing a 1.6% increase. In the control period, the investigators identified 26,237 Medicaid-enrolled patients with new diabetes, compared with 29,673 in the study period, representing a 13% increase. During this period there was a 23% increase in the number of Medicaid-enrolled patients with newly identified diabetes in the 26 states and the District of Columbia that expanded Medicaid, compared with a 0.4% increase in the 24 states that did not expand Medicaid. The differences were similar for younger and older adults and for men and women.

"This study suggests that in the states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA, an increased number of Medicaid patients with diabetes are being diagnosed and treated earlier," the authors write. "This could be anticipated to lead to better long-term outcomes."

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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