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Newly Identified Diabetes Up With Medicaid Expansion

Twenty-three percent increase in newly identified diabetes in 26 states that expanded Medicaid

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (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, M.D., M.B.A., from Quest Diagnostics in Madison, N.J., and colleagues examined the impact of Medicaid expansion on the number of patients with newly identified diabetes among new enrollees in Medicaid (aged 19 to 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 percent 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 percent increase. During this period there was a 23 percent 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 percent 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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