AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is joining a multi-state pioneering initiative to improve diabetes care for Medicaid recipients.
The Center for Health Care Strategies announced in October that HHSC is joining the Continuous Glucose Monitor Access Accelerator, a program that addresses health disparities for Medicaid recipients who have diabetes. Other states chosen for the program are Oklahoma, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey and South Dakota.
Through the 18-month program, HHSC intends to increase access to continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) for clients treated in primary care settings across the state’s diverse population.
CGMs are used by millions of people throughout the U.S. to monitor glucose levels and avoid complications and emergencies, according to the American Diabetes Association. Texas Medicaid provides CGMs and other benefits related to diabetes, including lab services and other equipment and supplies for monitoring and treatment.
The accelerator program provides information and resources on CGMs and fosters networking opportunities with the other participating states. Additionally, HHSC will use the program to explore ways in increasing the understanding and prescription of CGMs through education and training to providers.
“The accelerator program is a unique opportunity for us to improve the health of Texans with diabetes,” said Dr. Ryan Van Ramshorst, chief medical director of HHSC Medicaid & CHIP Services. “We are thankful for being a part of this multi-state initiative that focuses on making a long-lasting positive impact on Texas health care.”
The program provides as much as $75,000 to support initiatives for providing CGMs. The funding could help forecast the financial impact of policy changes or develop engagement plans with Medicaid recipients with diabetes, among other possible initiatives.
Nearly 2.8 million Texans live with diabetes and approximately 174,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Approximately 187,000 Texas Medicaid recipients had a primary diagnosis of diabetes in 2022. Among those, 11,500 were ages 17 and younger.
Additionally, diabetes directly contributes to $18.9 billion in medical costs each year in Texas, according to CDC data.
In the U.S., 37.3 million people — or 11.3% of the national population — have diabetes, according to the CDC.
The Center for Health Care Strategies is a policy design and implementation organization devoted to improving the lives of people receiving Medicaid. The center is funded by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
Learn more about HHSC at hhs.texas.gov. Texas residents can dial 2-1-1 to learn about programs and services.