Easily Track Your Glucose Levels And More At Your Fingertips
Dr. Danielle Weiss is the founder of the Center for Hormonal Health and Well-Being, a personalized, proactive, patient-centered medical practice with a unique focus on integrative endocrinology. She enjoys giving lectures and writing articles for both the lay public and medical audiences.
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Daily blood sugar testing is a vital component of any successful diabetes management plan. It can help determine if you have your blood sugar under control, while also helping identify patterns that can lead to a spike or crash. It also reveals how factors like stress and exercise can impact your blood sugar, and it assists you in examining the effectiveness of any diabetes medications you may be taking.
While the frequency and cadence of your blood glucose testing depends on your specific diagnosis and your physicians recommendations, its up to you to select the glucometeror at-home blood sugar-monitoring devicethat will best support your needs.
No calibration required on test strips
Allows you to set reminder alarms
Saves pre- and post-meal glucose levels
Medicaid And Diabetic Supplies
Medicaid typically covers diabetic supplies and medications. You should always check your states specific coverage and eligibility requirements before ordering your diabetes testing supplies. Most states have disease state management programs to help in areas like diabetes supplies, glucose meters, test strips and more.
Whether you have type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or have gestational diabetes, as long as youre eligible to receive Medicaid, your diabetes supplies and medications may be covered. In some states you may be required to pay a co-pay to receive your diabetes testing supplies. Again, this will vary by state .You should also check with your Medicaid fiscal intermediary to see the specifics regarding the exact Medicaid coverage for your state and region .
Medicare Expands Coverage Of Diabetes Devices
Recent expansion of Medicare coverage for diabetes devices means millions of diabetes patients may have greater access to more affordable means of managing the disease.
Medicare will now cover a continuous glucose monitor that doesnt require diabetes patients to prick their fingers. And the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services also will now cover more innovative insulin pumps for diabetes patients.
New Coverage for Glucose Monitoring
Abbott Laboratories FreeStyle Libre System, which allows continuous blood sugar level monitoring without having to draw blood through a finger prick, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September, but its usage has been somewhat limited as it awaited approval by insurance companies and the CMS. The decision in January by the CMS, which oversees the federal health programs of Medicare and Medicaid, expands the coverage to millions of diabetes patients.
The FreeStyle Libre Flash is the second continuous glucose monitoring system after DexCom Incs G5 Mobile that the federal agency has covered.
New Coverage Possible for Some Insulin-Delivery Devices
Modern Healthcare reported on the under-the-radar notice issued in early January by the CMS that Part D sponsors can now cover new products that deliver insulin through the skin directly, rather than through a catheter placed under the skin.
CMS is not requiring Part D sponsors to include them in their formularies, however.
Covered Doesnt Mean Free
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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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Is Livongo Covered By Medicare
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved Livongo as an enrolled provider for Medicare Advantage members, the company announced in a press release. Beginning next month, the Livongo for Diabetes program will be available to Medicare Advantage members of Cambia Health Solutions’ regional health plans.
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What Should Providers Do When Contacted By Cms Regarding Their Cgm Device Billing History
With CMS, the HHS OIG, and the DOJ all prioritizing enforcement with regard to Medicare billing for CGM devices, entities that bill Medicare for CGMs need to be prepared for the possibility of an audit or investigation. If contacted by auditors or federal agents, providers, pharmacies, and others should be prepared to:
Identify Relevant Documentation and Initiate an Internal Compliance Audit
Immediately upon learning of an audit or investigation, it is imperative to identify and preserve all relevant documentation. This includes Medicare compliance policies and procedures, patient records, and billing records pertaining to DME and non-DME continuous glucose monitoring devices. An internal compliance audit needs to be conducted at this time as well, as it will be necessary to determine whether auditors or investigators are going to uncover Medicare billing violations.
Establish Clear Lines of Communication and a Chain of Command
All internal personnel should be instructed not to communicate with auditors or agents directly. There should be a clear chain of command, and all communications with federal authorities should be routed through the practices or companys defense counsel.
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Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Autoantibodies
Aetna considers measurement of autoantibodies to GAD medically necessary for distinguishing type 1 from type 2 diabetes when the clinical history is ambiguous and the results of testing will influence patient management. Measurement of anti-GAD antibodies is also considered medically necessary in diagnosing stiff-person syndrome. Anti-GAD antibody measurement is considered experimental and investigational for predicting the onset of diabetes and for all other indications.
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$0 Copays On Preferred Brand Diabetic Test Strips And Glucose Meters For Medicare Advantage Members
In 2018, Independence will continue the requirement for Medicare Advantage members to use diabetic test strips and a glucose meter from the preferred manufacturer brands, Accu-ChekÂ® and OneTouchÂ®, in order to have their test strips and glucose meters covered at $0 copayment. All other manufacturersâ brand of test strips and glucose meters will not be covered by Keystone 65 HMO plans. For Personal Choice 65SM PPO plans, an out-of-network coinsurance will apply to all other manufacturersâ brand of test strips and glucose meters. If their current glucose meter does not work with either of the preferred brands of test strips, Medicare Advantage members can obtain a new glucose meter at no cost. Test strips can be purchased from either a network pharmacy or durable medical equipment supplier. The $0 copayment on Accu-Chek and OneTouch test strips will apply at both preferred and standard pharmacies. Providers may appeal if they feel a member is unable to use Accu-Chek or OneTouch test strips and glucose meters. Note: Independence Medicare Advantage plans will continue to offer a $0 copayment on all brands of lancets and solutions.Continue reading > >
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Beginning on July 18, 2021, Medicare will permanently eliminate the requirement of the four-time-daily fingerstick in order to qualify for coverage of a continuous glucose monitor . This requirement was an unnecessary barrier for Medicare beneficiaries, delaying access to this effective technology for individuals with diabetes. CGMs.
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Medicare coverage is available to beneficiaries with high-risk for diabetes. Detecting diabetes in the earlier stages may prevent future health complications. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for up to two screenings each year. And, if your condition is chronic, talk to your doctor about chronic care management covered by Medicare.
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What The Experts Say
According to advice published by the American Diabetes Association, blood sugar testing is vital to check that your blood glucose levels stay in a healthy range. If glucose levels get too low, we can lose the ability to think and function normally. If they get too high and stay high, it can cause damage or complications to the body over the course of many years.
To ensure you choose the best glucose meter for your needs, the American Association of Diabetes Educators recommends considering whether the following features are helpful to you:
- A high contrast display if you have low vision, or a meter that speaks results
- Lancet function and needle removal if you have a dexterity condition
- Portability for taking readings multiple times a day
- Smartphone app connectivity
- A bolus calculator
- Approved for Alternate Site Testing
Susan Stauffer, BSN, RN, CDE, diabetes educator and nurse clinician at UCHealth Diabetes and Medical Nutrition Therapy in Fort Collins, Colorado, also highlights how insurance and the cost of test strips should factor in your decision: The most important factor for people who routinely check their blood sugar is insurance coverage. Whether you use the Walmart Prime, the Freestyle lite or the Contour Next One, it is insurance coverage that rules. Some strips cost $18 for 100 and some will cost $150 for 100.
Does Medicare Cover The Cost Of A Glucometer
Original Medicare covers continuous glucose monitors through Part B of Medicare. In most cases, Medicare covers the monthly supplies for a monitor, which is a combination of sensors, transmitters and batteries depending on the brand. Although devices are covered, beneficiaries may have to pay copays or deductibles.
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What Brand Of Glucose Meter Medicare Advantage Cover
What Brands Are Covered? Most brands currently on the market are covered through Medicare. This includes Medtronic, Dexcom, Eversense and Freestyle Libre 1 and 2. In the past, Medicare only covered non-adjunctive monitors, which dont require a finger stick glucose check to confirm findings.
Measurement Of Advanced Glycation End Products By Skin Autoflourescence
Skin autofluorescence is a non-invasive measurement of the level of tissue accumulation of advanced glycation end products , representing cumulative glycemic and oxidative stress. Several studies have shown that AGEs accumulate in skin faster in individuals with poor blood sugar control and that measurement of AGEs by skin autofluorescence may be able to predict the risk of developing diabetes and related complications .
The Scout DS system measures skin AGEs by autoflorescence spectroscopy. The device is a portable desktop system with an arm cradle. The subject places the palm side of their forearm into the cradle and the device shines multiple wavelengths of light into the skin causing the AGEs to fluoresce. The instrument optically calibrates for skin pigmentation, making the measurement impervious to variations in skin color. A specially designed fiber-optic probe sends excitation light to the subject and relays resulting skin fluorescence to the detection module. A value from 0 to 100 representing the likelihood of that subject having an abnormal glucose tolerance test is reported in about 60 seconds. The proposed benefits of the Scout DS system is that the patient would not need to fast or provide a blood sample and results are received much quicker. The system is not intended to replace an oral glucose tolerance test.
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How Do I Get Medicare To Cover A Cgm
For Medicare to cover the cost of FreeStyle Libre, you must:
- Continue to pay your Part B premium
- Have already paid your Part B deductible
- Receive a prescription for the device from a physician who accepts Medicare
- Buy the CGM from a supplier who accepts Medicare
- Cover whatever portion of the costs that Medicare doesnt
More Cgms Now Covered By Medicare
In March 2022, Medicare beneficiaries became eligible for coverage for a greater number of CGMs than ever before. Due to a final rule issued on December 21, 2021 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services , any CGM that connects with an insulin pump or a standalone receiver will be covered by Medicare for anyone otherwise eligible. This rule took effect at the beginning of this month, so people with Medicare now have access to Dexcom G6, Abbott Freestyle Libre, Senseonics Eversense and Medtronic Guardian, as long as these CGMs are used with an insulin pump or with use of a standalone receiver.
Previously, CMS only covered therapeutic CGMs which are those devices approved by the Food and Drug Administration to make insulin dosing decisions. This expansion means that people on Medicare with diabetes will now have access to a broader choice of CGMs similar to what is available to those with commercial insurance.
In July 2021, CMS announced that people with diabetes no longer needed to prove that they are testing their blood sugar at least four times per day with a blood glucose meter to get initial Medicare coverage for a CGM device. Additionally, language was clarified to allow individuals using inhaled insulin, not just injected insulin, to access CGM. To read more about this, read our blog post here.
All of these recent changes are long-sought advocacy goals for JDRF and welcome news for members of the T1D community.
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Does Medicare Cover Diabetic Foot Care
Medicare may cover more frequent visits if youve had a non-traumatic amputation of all or part of your foot, or your feet have changed in appearance which may indicate you have serious foot disease. Remember, you should be under the care of your primary care doctor or diabetes specialist when getting foot care.
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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Does Medicare Pay For Test Strips For Diabetes
Medicare Part B covers blood sugar test strips and some other diabetic supplies such as blood glucose self-testing equipment and supplies, therapeutic shoes and inserts, and insulin pumps and the insulin for the pumps. These items are covered for people with diabetes whether or not they take insulin.
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Alternate Site Blood Glucose Monitors
Aetna considers alternate site blood glucose monitors medically necessary DME for the following persons with diabetes, when an alternate site blood glucose monitor is recommended by their physician:
Alternate site blood glucose monitors have no proven value over standard blood glucose monitors for other indications.
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Are Additional Diabetic Supplies Covered By Medicare
Additional diabetic supplies are covered by Medicare, including test strips, traditional blood glucose meters, lancets and control solutions. Therapeutic shoes may also be available to people who have foot problems caused by diabetes.
Insulin and other glucose-controlling medications may also be available through Medicare but only through prescription drug coverage. To access prescription drugs, you must either get Medicare Part D or a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes prescription medications.
Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Antibodies
Glutamic acid decarboxylase is an enzyme that is produced primarily by pancreatic islet cells. A number of recent studies indicate that patients with type 1 diabetes often have antibodies to GAD and several other islet cell antigens. This is consistent with the hypothesis that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and that autoantibody production is an early step in the development of type 1 diabetes. Autoantibodies can be detected in many cases prior to the onset of glucose intolerance. The presence of GAD autoantibodies has been shown to be a strong predictive marker for the eventual onset of type 1 diabetes.
Measurement of anti-GAD antibody can be of use in distinguishing type 1 from type 2 diabetes when the clinical history is ambiguous. Guidelines from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners explained that measurement of GAD can be of particular use in diagnosing Late onset Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults , a form of late onset diabetes that is autoimmune and requires treatment with insulin within a relatively short period of time after diagnosis . RACGP guidelines explained that persons with LADA tend to be young . The guidelines stated that testing for GAD antibodies can confirm the diagnosis in ambiguous cases and prompt counseling the person about the likely time course of diabetes progression and the possibility of other autoimmune disease. In addition, the establishment of the LADA diagnosis may be useful in selecting therapy
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