Health Care Costs, Hospital Admissions, and Glycemic Control Using a Standalone, Real-Time, Continuous Glucose Monitoring System in Commercially Insured Patients With Type 1 Diabetes

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Abstract

Background:

Studies comparing standalone real-time continuous glucose monitoring (rtCGM) to self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) have found that rtCGM is associated with lower glycated hemoglobin (A1C) levels, yet does not increase the risk of severe hypoglycemia. However, little is known about the relationship between rtCGM and health care costs and utilization. The objective of this study was to compare health care spending, hospital admissions, and A1C levels of patients using rtCGM to that of patients not using rtCGM.

Methods:

This retrospective, cross-sectional analysis used a large repository of health plan administrative data to compare average health care costs (excluding durable medical equipment), hospital admissions, and A1C levels of those using rtCGM (N = 1027) versus not using rtCGM (N = 32 583). To control for potentially confounding variables, a propensity score method was used to match patients using rtCGM to those not using rtCGM, based on characteristics such as age, gender, and comorbidities.

Results:

Patients using rtCGM spent an average of approximately $4200 less in total health care costs, when compared to patients not using rtCGM (P < .05). They also experienced fewer hospital admissions (P < .05) and lower A1C (P < .05) during the postindex year.

Conclusions:

Use of rtCGM by patients with T1DM is associated with lower health care costs, fewer hospital admissions, and better glycemic control.

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