The Role Of Healthcare Professionals
From the healthcare professionals perspective, CGM is often a cost burden and inaccessible for people who are underinsured, have lapses in health plans or new deductibles, or cant get CGM covered due to not yet meeting insurance requirements, says diabetes care and education specialist in Ohio.
Its more accessible now, though.
Blanchette says commercial insurers have loosened requirements, such as the 60 to 90 days of blood sugar logs they once mandated to approve a CGM. She says Medicaid in her state of Ohio eliminated any logbook requirement. But Medicaid still only covers CGM for people requiring insulin, taking at least 3 injections per day, or using insulin pump therapy.
Blanchette, who also lives with T1D, says she faces CGM affordability struggles herself too. That helps inform how she talks with people about this technology.
I struggled to pay for very costly CGMs over the past few years. I maxed out my flex spending and found other ways to pay for the high cost, like charging my credit card until I could pay, she says.
CGM is trying to move towards the pharmacy model, which will save people a lot on monthly payments. For people with high costs through durable medical equipment suppliers, I encourage them to look into changing over to the pharmacy. This is successful and much cheaper in some cases but definitely not in all situations.
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Order The Freestyle Libre 2 System Starter Kit From Ehcs*
Ready to get started with the FreeStyle Libre 2 System? Order the starter kit, which includes the FreeStyle Libre 2 reader and two FreeStyle Libre 2 sensors. *The FDA requires a prescription for the FreeStyle Libre 2 System.
Sensor is water-resistant in up to 1 meter of water.
* Fingersticks are required if your glucose alarms and readings do not match symptoms or when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol during the first 12 hours. Reference: 1. FreeStyle Libre 2 Users Manual.
**Please refer to www.FreeStyleLibre.us for the indications and important safety information.
The shape of the circle sensor unit, FreeStyle, Libre, and other brand marks are owned by Abbott. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners. ©2020 Abbott. ADC-25758 v1.0 09/20
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More Medicare Change Needed
Even with these latest changes, many see a need for more Medicare reform across the board.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, CMS eased some of their coverage restrictions temporarily including a push toward telehealth as shelter-in-place orders forced PWDs across the globe to stay at home rather than travel to clinics or doctors offices. Those revisions were extended through 2021 and have become more established.
Yet, the cost and access barriers for CGM use remain a significant burden for most PWDs, and Communities of Color who are already disproportionately hit by diabetes are even more likely to be hit by these barriers.
This is important, given that studies show how
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Cms Expands Medicare Coverage For All Cgms
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CMS will expand Medicare coverage for all types of continuous glucose monitors, including adjunctive and non-adjunctive CGMs.
The final rule, issued Dec. 21, classifies adjunctive CGMs under the Medicare Part B benefit for durable medical equipment and finalizes certain DME payment provisions that were included in two interim final rules. It will be effective starting 60 days after official publication.
The Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies final rule aligns with the key goals of the administration to create a health care system that results in better accessibility, quality, affordability, empowerment and innovation, CMS stated on its web site.
In a fact sheet, noted it is not finalizing the proposed categories of supplies and accessories and fee schedule amounts for three types of CGM systems.
After consideration of public comments, CMS does not believe it is necessary at this time to further stratify the types of CGMs beyond the two categories of non-adjunctive and adjunctive CGMs, the agency stated. The fee schedule amounts for the newly covered adjunctive CGMs and related supplies and accessories will be established in accordance with existing regulations for establishing fee schedule amounts for new durable medical equipment items and services without a fee schedule pricing history at 42 CFR 414.238.
How Does Medicare Cover Diabetic Supplies
Medicare Part B covers a wide range of diabetes testing supplies, including:Medicare.gov, Medicare Coverage of Diabetes Supplies, Services, & Prevention Programs, Accessed November 23, 2021
- Blood sugar monitors
- Lancet devices and lancets
- Glucose control solutions used to verify test equipment accuracy
Medicare covers the testing equipment and supplies listed above whether you use insulin or not. However, the number of supplies covered by Medicare Part B varies:Medicare.gov, Medicare Coverage of Diabetes Supplies, Services, & Prevention Programs, Accessed November 23, 2021
If your doctor determines that its medically necessaryServices or supplies that are needed for the diagnosis or treatment of your medical condition and meet accepted standards of medical practice., and completed the required documentation, Medicare will cover additional test strips and lancets. If you meet the necessary criteria, Medicare will cover a therapeutic continuous blood glucose monitor and related supplies.Medicare.gov, Medicare Coverage of Diabetes Supplies, Services, & Prevention Programs, Accessed November 23, 2021
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How Do I Get Medicare To Cover Cgm
For Medicare to cover a continuous glucose monitor, you need to:
- Pay your Part B premium and the 20% of the cost that you’re responsible for
- Have already met your Part B deductible
- Get a prescription for a CGM from a Medicare-participating doctor
- Purchase your CGM from a Medicare-approved provider
- See your doctor for checkups once every six months
Does Medicare Cover Diabetic Sensors
Diabetic sensors are also referred to as glucose sensors. Theyre used to measure blood sugar as part of a CGM system. Medicare does not cover every CGM system. If your system is covered, your diabetic sensor will be, too.
Diabetic sensors are professionally inserted under the skin, usually on the abdomen or arm. They take continual glucose measurements, which you can monitor at a glance. You can share your readings with a mobile device, such as your smartphone.
Are you eligible for cost-saving Medicare subsidies?
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How Do Cgms Work
CGMs are small devices worn on the body, typically on the abdomen or back of the arm, that monitor the interstitial glucose every 1 to 5 minutes. To understand interstitial glucose, think about a blood vessel underneath the skin. The vessel is surrounded by fluid called the interstitium. When sugar is in the bloodstream, it moves from the blood vessel into the interstitial fluid, where it is detected by a tiny sensor . The sensor sends the reading to the glucose monitors transmitter, which then sends it to the patients receiver or their smartphone.
With CGM, people living with diabetes always know what their blood sugar is. There are also features on the device which tell the patient if their blood sugar is trending high or if they are headed for a Alarms can be set to alert the person to these events so they can make informed decisions. For example, if the persons blood sugar hits 70 mg/dL or less, an alarm will go off so that the person knows to eat or drink a small amount of sugar before they drop any lower.
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Which Glucose Meter Has The Cheapest Test Strips
Prodigy test strips for several brands of Prodigy meters, which cost about $.19 per strip, appeared to be the cheapest at the time of our research in August 2021.
But remember that even among the most budget-conscious glucose meters and strips, there are many different features that may factor into your choice of product. See this guide to drugstore brand glucose meters for details.
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How Much Does It Cost To Get An Insulin Pump
Medicare covers 80% of the Medicare-approved cost of insulin pumps. You are responsible for the other 20%, plus the Part B deductible and monthly premiums.
Your pump must be prescribed by a Medicare-approved physician and purchased or rented from a Medicare-approved medical supplier for Medicare to cover it.
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License For Use Of Physicians Current Procedural Terminology Fourth Edition
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Medicare Eligibility For A Therapeutic Cgm
A therapeutic CGM is a medical device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a replacement for home blood sugar monitors. It provides you and your doctor with the medically necessary information to make diabetes treatment decisions, such as changes in diet and your insulin dosage.
To qualify for a therapeutic CGM, you must be undergoing treatment for diabetes and meet certain other criteria.
To be eligible for a therapeutic CGM under Medicare, you must meet the following requirements.
- You are using insulin to treat Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.
- You need to check your blood sugar four or more times per day.
- You must use an insulin pump or receive three or more insulin injections per day.
- You must make routine, in-person visits to your doctor.
- Your doctor has determined that you meet all Medicare eligibility requirements.
The decision between a therapeutic CGM or a traditional monitor is one you should make after talking to your doctor. A therapeutic CGM may be a better option if you use insulin and frequently change your dosage.
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Best For Glucose Alarms: Freestyle Libre 2 System
- List price: no more than $60 per month with insurance
- Type of monitor: continuous glucose monitor
The FreeStyle Libre 2 system is another CGM that automatically measures glucose levels.
Some features include:
- 14-day free trial period with guided how-to support
- sensors that last for 14 days
The system currently requires a person to use a compatible device. As of 2021, the app for this system is FDA-approved.
Individuals can sign up for a free trial on the companys website.
Get In Touch To Learn More About How To Get Started On Eversense
Please complete your contact details and an Ascensia Diabetes Care representative will follow up with you shortly. Curious about cost? Ascensia Diabetes Care can assist you in navigating your insurance coverage.
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The Eversense® Continuous Glucose Monitoring System is indicated for continually measuring glucose levels in persons age 18 and older with diabetes for up to 90 days. The system is indicated for use to replace fingerstick blood glucose measurements for diabetes treatment decisions. Fingerstick BG measurements are still required for calibration twice per day, and when symptoms do not match CGM information or when taking medications of the tetracycline class. The sensor insertion and removal procedures are performed by a Health Care Provider. The Eversense CGM System is a prescription device patients should talk to their Health Care Provider to learn more. For important safety information, see Safety Information.
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Best For Complete Diabetes Management: Dario Smart Glucometer
- List price: around $30 with an optional subscription of $396 per year
- Type of monitor: blood glucose monitor
The FDA-approved Dario Smart Glucometer is a BGM glucometer that connects to both iOS and Android smartphone devices. It syncs with the Dario app to measure, record, and track blood glucose levels.
This monitor also measures a persons carb intake, blood pressure, weight, physical activity, and more to provide complete diabetes management. The product provides options for on-demand sharing and emergency hypo-alerts with a GPS locator.
Those who purchase Darios blood glucose meter starter kit receive:
- all-in-one glucose reader
- a free mobile application
Dario offers the Diabetes Success Plan that includes individual and personalized support from a Dario Coach. The plan also includes diabetes supplies, such as unlimited strips and lancets.
Dario also offers a Pro Membership plan that includes:
- Free blood glucose monitoring system
- the Pro Membership Plan may be too expensive for some people
Do You Need A Prescription For A Glucometer
Blood testing meters, strips, lancets and supplies are sold at pharmacies, adaptive equipment catalogs, and mail-order companies. You do not need a prescription from your physician to buy a blood glucose testing meter , strips and supplies, but without a prescription you will have to pay 100% of the costs.
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Discover The Benefits Of Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems
Because your blood glucose levels are visible continuously with CGM, you can see how various activities affect you and then make immediate adjustments. Testing with CGM can also warn about impending highs and lows and can help improve your A1c level. Our specialists can help you learn more about Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems and find out if it is right for you.
Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialists are available to answer your questions about glucose testing, blood sugar levels, nutrition, and exercise.
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Does Medicare Cover Hospice
Part A covers hospice care when you have a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plans cover glucose monitors in the same way as Medicare Part B and often offer additional benefits, such as vision, dental, and prescription drug coverage. Some types of Medicare Advantage plans use provider networks, and may reduce the amounts you pay
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Does Medicare Cover Glucose Meter And Supplies
Glucose meters are portable devices that measure blood sugar. They are also known as glucometers.
You must meet the following requirements for Medicare to cover your glucose meter:
- You have been diagnosed with diabetes
- Your doctor has stated that a professional can train you to use this device
- If you cant operate the device, another person will be available to do it for you
- The monitor is for use in your home, rather than clinical use
Medicare Part B covers 80% of the Medicare-approved cost of glucose meters and the supplies needed to operate them after you meet the Part B deductible. These supplies include:
- blood sugar testing strips
- glucose control solutions that check the accuracy of your at-home equipment
Medicare will cover these costs whether or not you use insulin. If you use insulin, you may be eligible for a larger quantity of test strips and other supplies than you would be if you dont use insulin.
Typically, a person who uses insulin will have Medicare coverage for 300 test strips and 300 lancets every three months. If you dont use insulin, youll have coverage for 100 test strips and 100 lancets every three months.
If your physician can prove that its medically necessary for you to receive more supplies than your eligibility indicates, you may be able to get them.
For coverage to take place, your physician and medical supplies provider must both accept Medicare assignment.