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[IP] Test Strip Restrictions and CGM Usage



I have found the comments on test strip restrictions to be thought provoking.
There are signs posted at local intersections offering to buy test strips.
Where do these strips come from?  Some people are using strips paid for by
their health insurance companies and selling them to hustlers.  Medicare,
Medicaid, and the insurance companies are trying to limit payment for extra
strips that are not being used.

Then there is the CGM issue.  I have found that I can get by with 3+ strips
per day when I am using my CGM system.  My MM trainer said that her biggest
problem with CGM patients is overuse of test strips.  Effective use of a well
calibrated CGM system should only require three or four strips per day.  If a
CGM user requires ten or more strips per day, then there must be a problem
with either the user or the system.

It is difficult to justify a CGM system if ten or more strips per day are
required.  The Enlite sensor has a retail price of $95.  Each sensor costs my
insurance company approximately $52 and my co-pay is $13.  BG test strips cost
the insurance company about $1 each.  If I am able to reduce my use of strips,
the sensors will pay for themselves.

Since Medicare will not pay for sensors and is also trying to limit test
strips, they are trying to save money.  However, if we are limited in our use
of these items, then we will be subject to severe hypoglycemia and its
complications such as seizures, coma, cognitive impairment, and untimely
death.  If we die from a severe hypoglycemic episode, then all Medicare has to
pay is the $255 death benefit.  Do you think that the objective is to just let
us die?

Jerry Smith
Rochester, NY
.
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