Our grassroots survey/petition in support of diabetes technology is going strong! At last count, there were close to 1,900 respondents, with more coming in daily. Close Concerns reports that they're even working directly with the JDRF to send the link out to all their constituents, which is extremely good news. Because no one's life has been affected more by new diabetes treatment technology than diagnosed children and their families -- with us LADA types taking a close second, of course.
Not surprisingly, respondents have been quite loquacious in the comments section -- about why diabetes technology is so critical to their well-being, and therefore why insurance companies should open their eyes to its value. A few excerpts:
"I support better reimbursement for blood glucose monitoring because..."
- Peopleshouldn't have to stop and think about how much a test strip costs beforethey do a test. Frequent testing is the only way to stay in control ofyour glucose levels, and thus is necessary in order to prevent long-term complications.
- A diabetic without monitoring is flying "blind."
- Currently insurance companies cover 6 blood glucose tests per day, but most children with type I diabetes need to test far more frequently especially when battling lows or highs, or participating in physical activities.
- Continuous glucose monitoring is the next step to better control, especially for people who have hypo or hyperglycemia unawareness. It is also important for young adults, such as myself, who live alone because the alarm on the monitor can wake you out of a nocturnal hypo episode.
"I support better reimbursement for insulin pumps because..."
- The insulin pump has changed my life. I control the diabetes, it no longer controls me. I was lucky enough to have 100% insurance coverage, but being able to use pump therapy should not depend on the luck of the insurance coverage draw.
- While my son has used an insulin pump for the past three years and we have beenable to pay for upgrades out of pocket, many children must do without thistechnology, and/or wait for long periods of time before they are eligiblefor upgrades due to insurance issues!
- Studies have proven that those who have good control havebetter quality of life, and even if medical journals haven't proven it,those of us fortunate enough to have access to technology can attest tothe fact that it has increased our control. However, there still existsa "diabetes elite," if you will. The elite consists of those withgood medical care, those who can afford to pay multiple co-pays amonth. Unfortunately, not everybody falls into this category, and thuspeople who are not insured, who are underinsured, or who cannot afford $50+in co-pays a month do not receive the tools necessary to keep theirdiabetes under control.
"I support better
reimbursement for Continuous Glucose Monitoring because..."
- It will aid in keeping better glucose control.
- My son used a continuous glucose monitor for one month last year. We returned it because we found the equipment to be unreliable at times and because the out of pocket expense would have been $4,200 per year to cover the cost of the sensors. We might have stuck with it had it been covered by insurance. With insurance reimbursement, more people would be able toafford to use this equipment. If companies could sell more monitors andsensors there would be greater incentives to create better technology.
- While the technology is new, it has tremendous potential for people withdiabetes. The more it is available for use, the more improvements can bemade in the technology, so that it may one day significantly improve the lives of many.
- It is next to impossible for growing children with Type 1 diabetes to maintain "good control." Accurate Continuous Glucose Monitoringwould greatly increase their chances.
- Without reimbursement, few can afford to pay the high costs associated with devices such as continuous glucose monitoring. Without wide use, further development of this technology will be slow.
- So many uninsured and underinsured people are unable to afford the fantastic technology available to them. And the technology is only useful if quality, affordable education is available on its use.
On a somewhat related note, I wanted to share the video of our San Francisco World Diabetes Day event:
Why bother lighting up the world in support of diabetes if treatment is moving "backwards" in one of the wealthiest countries on Earth? Diabetes technology can and does save lives.
[If you still haven't done so, please take a moment to fill out the survey HERE]