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Re: [IP] Test Strip Restrictions and CGM Usage

Jerry, I can't say that I agree with your statement that one needs only
test 3 times per day when using a CGM.  You only need to calibrate 2 times
per day, but to trust a CGM that much that you feel the need to test only
three times per day is a bit dangerous to me.  One of the problems being
the inaccuracy of the glucose monitors and the the fact that they can be
off by as much as 20%.  When dosing insulin, it is always a good idea to
poke the finger rather then just trusting a CGM.  There are times that I
have a sensor that is so amazingly accurate that I don't always poke before
dosing, but that's rare and really not a good idea.

I also prefer to do two pokes when the finger poke reading is different
from my CGM.  I do these two pokes on different meters just to see which of
the three machines are more accurate and the two closest win whether or not
they are more accurate.  It then becomes a crap shoot.

Then when I first insert a sensor it can take up to 24 hours to start
giving me correct readings.  That means every time it buzzes to tell me I'm
going low or high I have to test, because I don't trust it.  When I get a
couple of accurate readings in a row, then I can relax and trust Dex once

Then there's the issue of having enough test strips on hand, just in case.
When I changed insurance companies, it took a good three weeks to get
approval for 10 strips a day and then to get the prescription written
properly.  If I didn't have extra strips, I would have been in major

Then there are those sick days or weird diabetes days where you just go
bonkers and can't believe that your CGM is correct, but it is. You need
extra strips to test away the horror of that amazing high of sky rocketing
for absolutely no apparent reason.

So, I'll take all the strips that I can and I will never sell them on the
open market as I think that's awful. So far, stockpiling has just not
worked well for me.  I always seem to use the strips up.  Susan

On Fri, May 30, 2014 at 8:30 AM, Jerry Smith <
jsmith93+email @ redacted> wrote:

> 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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