Some valuable nuggets I unearthed last week:
* Anyone heard of the new print magazine called Diabetes Explorer? It's a bright, colorful 6x/year glossy that focuses on "brief, useful 'hands-on' articles," editor Kathy Spain tells me. Looks pretty neat, although I was surprised to learn that anyone's launching a new paper-based publication in this increasingly digital age.
Thus, you won't find the magazine content there, but you can subscribe or order individiual copies on the media group's website. Or you can find copies at Barnes & Noble, Albertson's supermarkets, and many Wal-Mart stores on the east coast. Y'all let me know what you think.
* Another new online health community website (the concept is on fire!) called CarePlace. Also designed to help people find others who share their health-related issues, they've apparently just added a specific Diabetes Community area to the site. Lots of personal stories and photos here, and the company is actively seeking feedback on new features -- although you can't view much of anything without registering. Again, let me know if any of you decide to take it for a test drive.
* Along the same web-based health community lines, check out Manage Your Illness, a new blog from Dr. Tomas L. Creer, a clinical psychologist aiming to help patients learn about self-management of chronic conditions. Lots of information on what he calls "self-efficacy," the linchpin to success with meeting your goals and bouncing back from setbacks. His daughter Jen has sent out a call to the health blogging community to give him a shout out, so consider yourself plugged, Dr. Creer :)
* Finally, new tips from the from the JDRF on obtaining case-by-case insurance coverage for emerging CGM devices. (That's continuous glucose monitors, for anyone new here. If you need background, have a look at my Diabetes Forecast article on continuous monitors HERE - pdf file.)
If you've already invested in a CGM, or are about to, the JDRF recommends an eight-step process to help you succeed. Note that step No. 8 is "Appeal, appeal, appeal." There are no guarantees yet, but clearly the JDRF is hoping to make enough noise with all these appeals to get the health plans to stand up and take notice. Let's pave the way for CGM to become standard therapy once it's really ready for prime time.
To aid the cause, the JDRF is also issuing a Call For Stories: "We would love to hear from you on your experiences seeking case by case coverage. Whether you beat the odds and received coverage or are still trying, please share your experiences with us so we can share them with others."
And/or you can become a JDRF advocate, helping lobby for health coverage for continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and funds for diabetes research. Click here to sign up for that option.
Frankly, following a lengthy appeal process, I'd all but given up hope on obtaining any coverage for my DexCom. Nice to know the JDRF is throwing some big organizational muscle behind this.