Evaluating Natural Experiments that Impact the Diabetes Epidemic: an Introduction to the NEXT-D3 Network

Karen R. Siegel*, Mohammed K. Ali, Ronald T. Ackermann, Bernard Black, Nathalie Huguet, Abel Kho, Carol M. Mangione, Elizabeth Nauman, Dennis Ross-Degnan, Dean Schillinger, Lizheng Shi, J. Frank Wharam, O. Kenrik Duru

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Diabetes is an ongoing public health issue in the USA, and, despite progress, recent reports suggest acute and chronic diabetes complications are increasing. Recent Findings: The Natural Experiments for Translation in Diabetes 3.0 (NEXT-D3) Network is a 5-year research collaboration involving six academic centers (Harvard University, Northwestern University, Oregon Health & Science University, Tulane University, University of California Los Angeles, and University of California San Francisco) and two funding agencies (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health) to address the gaps leading to persisting diabetes burdens. The network builds on previously funded networks, expanding to include type 2 diabetes (T2D) prevention and an emphasis on health equity. NEXT-D3 researchers use rigorous natural experiment study designs to evaluate impacts of naturally occurring programs and policies, with a focus on diabetes-related outcomes. Summary: NEXT-D3 projects address whether and to what extent federal or state legislative policies and health plan innovations affect T2D risk and diabetes treatment and outcomes in the USA; real-world effects of increased access to health insurance under the Affordable Care Act; and the effectiveness of interventions that reduce barriers to medication access (e.g., decreased or eliminated cost sharing for cardiometabolic medications and new medications such as SGLT-2 inhibitors for Medicaid patients). Overarching goals include (1) expanding generalizable knowledge about policies and programs to manage or prevent T2D and educate decision-makers and organizations and (2) generating evidence to guide the development of health equity goals to reduce disparities in T2D-related risk factors, treatment, and complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-403
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent diabetes reports
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Diabetes
  • Health disparities
  • Health equity
  • Natural experiments
  • Policy
  • Social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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