StripSafely is privileged to share a guest blog post by Larry Ellingson, spokesperson for the National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council (NDVLC) and past chair of the American Diabetes Association board (2005)
Feb 13, 2014
I am sure that members of the StripSafely community recall that last July, Medicare rolled out a new competitive bidding program for durable medical products that was intended to reduce health care costs. While a good idea in theory, significant issues have surfaced in reality — especially when it comes to diabetes care.
I recently sent a letter to members of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus with survey data just released by the American Association of Diabetes Educators that demonstrates the true consequences of competitive bidding. One shows that the ability of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to deliver quality care and maintain access at these reduced costs is proving to be a challenge. Specifically, it shows that the U.S. government’s competitive bidding program limits access to quality blood glucose meters for patients with diabetes. A second survey confirmed that 27 percent of patients with type 1 diabetes had experienced health problems due to inaccurate blood glucose meter readings. Moreover, this survey confirmed the startling truth that more than two-thirds of patients surveyed were not even aware that these accuracy issues could exist among the meters they rely on each day to make critical lifesaving decisions.
In my letter, I ask for a Congressional oversight hearing to ensure that those on Medicare have access to quality blood glucose monitors that meet FDA Clearance guidelines under the current competitive bidding system. Please join me by writing or calling your elected officials and asking then to help people with diabetes to StripSafely. You can find the name of your representatives at www.contactingthecongress.org.
About National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council
The National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council is an organization comprised of former chairs of the board and past officers of the American Diabetes Association who are committed to ensuring the well-being of diabetes patients across the country.