The Rapid Transition to Telemedicine and Its Effect on Access to Care for Patients With Type 1 Diabetes During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Research Design and Methods: The study analyzed demographic information of patients with type 1 diabetes seen between 1/1/2018 and 6/30/2020 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%, 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 use of telemedicine does not exacerbate these inequities.