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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2010 Oct;90(1):40-4. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2010.06.013. Epub 2010 Jul 13.

The impact of health insurance coverage on pediatric diabetes management.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, School of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA.



To examine the association between health insurance coverage, insulin management plans, and their impact on diabetes control in a pediatric type 1 diabetes mellitus clinic population.


Retrospective cohort design drawn from the medical records of the Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.


Out of 701 patients, 223 had public insurance, and 478 had private insurance. 77% of publically insured used two or three injections per day vs. 40% private. Conversely, 58% of privately insured used a multiple daily injection (MDI) plan or insulin pump (vs. 21%). 84% of MDI patients had private insurance with 93% using insulin pens compared with 38% of publically insured. Mean HbA1c was 8.6% for privately insured vs. 9.8% public, p<0.0001. Privately insured MDI and pump patients had the lowest HbA1cs.


Insurance type had a significant effect on the insulin management plan used and was the most significant factor in overall diabetes control. Limitations on insulin pen use and number of glucose test strips may play a role in the decreased use of MDI/insulin pumps by publicly insured patients. Addressing factors related to insurance type, including availability of resources, could substantially improve diabetes control in those with public insurance.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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