$10.41?! Why not just give the stuff away?
Did I really say, in my last blog, that expected payment amounts for Round 2 for diabetes test strips would about $15? Boy, was I (and, apparently, pretty much everyone else) wrong. The strips came in at $10.41. How did the price get so low, especially since Medicare implemented its 50% marketshare rule for Round 2. Did some bidders offer to supply them for free?
My first reaction was one of shock, quickly followed by dismay, not for myself but for all the wonderful providers I talk to that will be impacted by this. In fact, I had talked to several of my "sugar peeps" in the days before the announcement. I wanted to know what they thought of the plan to reimburse all Medicare diabetes supplies at the new mail order rate. While none of them were happy, they also weren't wailing and hand-wringing.
I have a feeling that's changed (if you are reading this and supply diabetes products, save me a dime and call me). CMS likes to spin the benefit to the bennies, but I think we'll find, you get what you pay (or in this case, don't pay) for.
Speaking of diabetes, I picked up my new brand of meter and strips the other day. The pharmacy billed it through as a 90-day supply, even though it was supposed to be 30. I hope that was an honest error but really, 200 strips to last a Type 1 90 days? I don't think it will last me 30 days. To give credit where it's due, my new insurer called the pharmacy right away and straightened it out.
It will be interesting to see how quickly I master the meter. Confession: The lancing device looks tricky already.