Health Policy

Disparities in diabetes management among medicaid recipients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD): Evidence from five U.S. states

Lu, Z.; Cogan, L.; McDermott, S.; Lauer, E.; Lindner, S.; Tracy, K.; Momany, E.T.



Diabetes is one of the most common chronic conditions among adults. Little is known about the quality of diabetes care received by adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).


To determine the extent to which the diabetes care needs are met for a population with both IDD and diabetes who are solely insured by Medicaid in five states (Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and South Carolina).


Medicaid administrative data in 2012 were used to identify Medicaid members (excluding dual eligibles) with diabetes and IDD in five states. Four diabetes care measures were compared between members with and without IDD using bivariate analyses. For those with diabetes and IDD, a logistic regression model was fitted for each state with the following predictors: age, sex, IDD subgroup, and occurrence of a specialist visit in the current or past year. A meta-analysis was then conducted to synthesize cross-state results.


Across the five states, 6229 (2%) of the 308,804 non-dual adult Medicaid members 18–64 years old with diabetes in 2012 also had IDD. Comparing those with IDD to their non-IDD peers on receipt of all four diabetes care measures showed differences by state, but state rates of overall adherence were very low, ranging from 16.6% to 28.5% of the population.


Meta-analysis results identified specialist visits as a strong predictor of adults with diabetes and IDD receiving all four components of diabetes care. This important information should be considered in efforts to improve quality care for this population.