Press release

American Diabetes Association Releases Study on Access Barriers to Continuous Glucose Monitors at Cost of Care Summit

November 8, 2021 | Arlington, Virginia

Last week, at its first-ever Cost of Care Summit, the American Diabetes Association® (ADA) shared the results of a new study on Health Equity and Diabetes Technology: A Study of Access to Continuous Glucose Monitors by Payer and Race. The study, featuring analysis by Health Management Associates, finds that although access to CGMs provides potentially life-changing benefits for diabetes management, poorer, older, and Black Americans have less access to these devices than others. 

“It is disappointing to see that, today, access to vital diabetes management technology like CGMs is uneven and often inequitable,” said Dr. Robert Gabbay, Chief Science and Medical Officer at the ADA. “Lowering payment and other systemic barriers to these devices is urgently needed to allow patients across all income levels, ages and races to manage their diabetes effectively and reduce their risk of preventable complications and even mortality.”

The new study shows that Americans on Medicaid are the least likely to have access to a CGM—individuals enrolled in Medicaid who take insulin are two to five times less likely to have a CGM than those with a commercial health insurance plan. Within Medicaid, those with the least access to CGMs are people of color with diabetes. States with higher rates of white Americans in Medicaid also have a much higher CGM use than states with more Black patients in Medicaid do.  

Older Americans also have less access to CGMs, the study demonstrates. Insulin-dependent children under 18 are more than five times more likely to use a CGM than pre-Medicare age individuals between the ages of 45 and 64 with a commercial insurance plan.

Among all surveyed populations, Black Americans experience face the greatest access barriers to CGM access. Black individuals with diabetes get CGMs less often, regardless of age or health insurance coverage. This discrepancy is most evident among the Medicare population. States with a larger portion of white individuals on Medicare or Medicare Advantage have a significantly higher CGM access rate than states with a greater proportion of Black Medicare beneficiaries.

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About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 81 years the ADA has driven discovery and research to treat, manage, and prevent diabetes while working relentlessly for a cure. Through advocacy, program development, and education we aim to improve the quality of life for the nearly 122 million Americans living with diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Spanish Facebook (Asociación Americana de la Diabetes), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).