Quality of Care for US Adults With Medicaid Insurance and Type 2 Diabetes in Federally Qualified Health Centers Compared With Other Primary Care Settings

Med Care. 2022 Nov 1;60(11):813-820. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000001766. Epub 2022 Aug 29.


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate indicators of diabetes quality of care for US nonelderly, adult Medicaid enrollees with type 2 diabetes and compare federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) versus non-FQHCs.

Research design and methods: We analyzed diabetes process measures and acute health services utilization with 2012 US fee-for-service and managed care Medicaid claims in all 50 states and DC. We compared FQHC (N=121,977) to non-FQHC patients (N=700,401) using propensity scores to balance covariates and generalized estimating equation models.

Results: Overall, laboratory-based process measures occurred more frequently (range, 65.7%-76.6%) than measures requiring specialty referrals (retinal examinations, 33.3%; diabetes education, 3.4%). Compared with non-FQHC patients, FQHC patients had about 3 percentage point lower rates of each process measure, except for higher rates of diabetes education [relative risk=1.09, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03-1.16]. FQHC patients had fewer overall [incident rate ratio (IRR)=0.87, 95% CI: 0.86-0.88] and diabetes-related hospitalizations (IRR=0.79, 95% CI: 0.77-0.81), but more overall (IRR=1.06, 95% CI: 1.05-1.07) and diabetes-related emergency department visits (IRR=1.10, 95% CI: 1.08-1.13).

Conclusions: This national analysis identified opportunities to improve diabetes management among Medicaid enrollees with type 2 diabetes, especially for retinal examinations or diabetes education. Overall, we found slightly lower rates of most diabetes care process measures for FQHC patients versus non-FQHC patients. Despite having higher rates of emergency department visits, FQHC patients were significantly less likely to be hospitalized than non-FQHC patients. These findings emphasize the need to identify innovative, effective approaches to improve diabetes care for Medicaid enrollees, especially in FQHC settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Insurance*
  • Medicaid
  • Primary Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care
  • United States