Continuous Glucose Monitoring in Primary Care: Understanding and Supporting Clinicians' Use to Enhance Diabetes Care

Ann Fam Med. 2022 Nov-Dec;20(6):541-547. doi: 10.1370/afm.2876.


Purpose: Diabetes affects approximately 34 million Americans and many do not achieve glycemic targets. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is associated with improved health outcomes for patients with diabetes. Most adults with diabetes receive care for their diabetes in primary care practices, where uptake of CGM is unclear.

Methods: We used a cross-sectional web-based survey to assess CGM prescribing behaviors and resource needs among primary care clinicians across the United States. We used descriptive statistics and multivariable regression to identify characteristics associated with prescribing behaviors, openness to prescribing CGM, and to understand resources needed to support use of CGM in primary care.

Results: Clinicians located more than 40 miles from the nearest endocrinologist's office were more likely to have prescribed CGM and reported greater likelihood to prescribe CGM in the future than those located within 10 miles of an endocrinologist. Clinicians who served more Medicare patients reported favorable attitudes toward future prescribing and higher confidence using CGM to manage diabetes than clinicians with lower Medicare patient volume. The most-needed resources to support CGM use in primary care were consultation on insurance issues and CGM training.

Conclusions: Primary care clinicians are interested in using CGM for patients with diabetes, but many lack the resources to implement use of this diabetes technology. Use of CGM can be supported with education in the form of workshops and consultation on insurance issues targeted toward residents, recent graduates, and practices without a nearby endocrinologist. Continued expansion of Medicare and Medicaid coverage for CGM can also support CGM use in primary care.

Keywords: primary care; type 1 diabetes; type 2 diabetes; wearable electronic devices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring
  • Blood Glucose*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Medicare
  • Primary Health Care
  • United States


  • Blood Glucose