Trends in the Financial Burden of Medical Care for Nonelderly Adults with Diabetes, 2001 to 2009

AJMC: February 20, 2014

Objectives: To examine trends in out-of-pocket spending and the financial burden of care for persons with diabetes between 2001 and 2009, and to examine whether these trends are consistent with trends in access to prescription drugs and utilization of hospital services. Study Design and Methods: Data are from the 2001 to 2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). The sample includes persons aged 18 to 64 years with diagnosed diabetes. The primary outcome variable is the percent of people with out-of-pocket spending on insurance premiums and services that exceed 10% of family income. Secondary outcome measures include the percent with diabetes-related prescription drug use, perceived access to prescription drugs, hospital inpatient stays, and emergency department use in the past 12 months. Multiple regression analysis is used to control for changes in comorbid chronic conditions and other characteristics of persons with diabetes. Results: Both out-of-pocket spending and the percent with high financial burden decreased markedly for persons with diabetes between 2001 to 2003 and 2007 to 2009. The decrease in spending was driven primarily by a decrease in spending on prescription drugs, including diabetes-related prescriptions. Read more