Diabetes attacks!


The other day, there was yet another article in which a person with diabetes experienced a low blood sugar while driving. The driver had a "diabetic attack," said the article. Which led to commenters posting how much they hated that phrase.

Diabetes doesn't "attack" and it's poorly written stuff like this that makes people with diabetes sound like we are walking around in imminent danger from ourselves. We are not and I think most of us have a sense of humor about the disease. Check out this picture I snapped this morning on the sidewalk in front of my house. I guess we know who lives here. 

You know what's under attack? The Medicare benefit for diabetes testing supplies. CMS not only has put the category out for its national mail order bid, but plans to lower pricing for testing supplies to mail order payment rates, no matter where they are obtained. 

Setting aside the argument that many folks don't even like mail order, I, and many of the providers I have been talking to this week, are concerned about the types of products that they will be able to offer, if they continue to do so at all. If beneficiaries have no choice but to go to mail order, will they lose that contact with the pharmacist, asks John Keegan.

"I see these people as a healthcare professional and I discuss their diabetes with them," said Keegan, a pharmacist. If there's a problem evident, that can "initiate a conversation between the pharmacist and the doctor if there needs to be a change in therapy."

I could go on, but I think you've heard it all before. And, to make it clear, I think mail order is great for those who want to use it. I talk to some great mail order providers as well. In theory, there's room for everybody, but not under an expected payment rate of about $15.

Stay tuned.

Theresa Flaherty
Type 1