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Can Food Stamps Help to Reduce Medicare Spending on Diabetes?

Publication Abstract

Nicholas, Lauren. 2011. "Can Food Stamps Help to Reduce Medicare Spending on Diabetes?" Economics & Human Biology, 9(1): 1-13.

Diabetes is rapidly escalating amongst low-income, older adults at great cost to the Medicare program. I use longitudinal survey data from the Health and Retirement Study linked to administrative Medicare records and biomarker data to assess the relationship between Food Stamp receipt and diabetes health outcomes. I find no significant difference in Medicare spending, outpatient utilization, diabetes hospitalizations and blood sugar (HbA1c) levels between recipients and income-eligible nonrecipients after controlling for a detailed set of covariates including individual fixed effects and measures of diabetes treatment compliance. As one-third of elderly Food Stamp recipients are currently diabetic, greater coordination between the Food Stamp, Medicare, and Medicaid programs may improve health outcomes for this group.

DOI:10.1016/j.ehb.2010.10.003 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC3032985. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: United States.

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