The Rapid Transition to Telemedicine and Its Effect on Access to Care for Patients With Type 1 Diabetes During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- PMID: 33849938 [PubMed].
OBJECTIVE: We compared the uptake of telemedicine for diabetes care across multiple demographic groups during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic to understand the impact of telemedicine adoption on access to care.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The study analyzed demographic information of patients with type 1 diabetes seen between 1 January 2018 and 30 June 2020 at a single center. We compared the odds of completing a visit via telemedicine across multiple demographic characteristics.
RESULTS: Among 28,977 patient visits, the odds of completing a visit via telemedicine were lower among non-English-speaking (1.7% vs. 2.7%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.45, 95% CI 0.26-0.79) and Medicaid-insured (32.0% vs. 35.9%; aOR 0.83, 95% CI 0.72-0.95) pediatric patients. No clinically significant differences were observed for other demographic factors.
CONCLUSIONS: Rapid transition to telemedicine did not significantly impact access to diabetes care for most demographic groups. However, disparities in access to care for historically marginalized groups merit close attention to ensure that use of telemedicine does not exacerbate these inequities.