Most patients with diabetes mellitus are prescribed medications to control their blood glucose. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) led to improved access to healthcare for patients with diabetes. However, the impact of the ACA on medication use among patients with diabetes is less clear. This study assessed if long-acting insulin and newer diabetes medications were prescribed more frequently following the ACA in states that expanded Medicaid compared with non-expansion states.
There was a larger increase in newer diabetes medications in states that expanded Medicaid than in non-expansion states.
This study published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care found a larger increase in the prescription of newer diabetes medication in expansion states relative to non-expansion states. These newer medications are less burdensome for patients and have shown cardiovascular disease benefits. Reducing administrative barriers and improving the ability of providers to prescribe such newer therapies is critical for caring for patients with diabetes—particularly in states that did not expand Medicaid.