Do I check my sugar? Yes. Do I write it down? Not so much.

 - 
11/07/2011

I was talking to the folks at the National Community Pharmacists Association last week and the subject of audits, especially for test strips, came up. As with so many segments of the HME industry, getting the appropriate documentation to back up medical necessity is difficult, if not often impossible.

Even better, patients are being required to fork over testing logs to prove they are using strips as prescribed. Don't get me wrong: I don't think people should get strips that they don't use or need (neither does NCPA or any of the other providers I talk to). I just think, especially for certain diabetes patients, that's a lot to ask.

I confess: I rarely track my numbers although I test 6 to 8 times a day. I rely on the doctor's office to download my data when I go in for a visit, although without also making a log, I can't always remember what might have contributed to a high or a low 3 weeks back. Doesn't mean I need to test less. It just means I'm human.

In fact, when I have tracked my numbers religiously, I tend to get a little over-obsessed, which to me, is never a healthy thing (I once read a great quote about Type 1 diabetes: It's the only disease where they prescribe an eating disorder to control it).

I count carbs (and fiber/calories/fat),  check my blood sugar (yes, it hurts), measure insulin (two different kinds) doses 5 or 6 times a day, (no, injections don't hurt that much—usually) and try not to run out of any of my prescriptions. I do that on top of a full-time job, and a part-time job (Borders is gone, but I am trying my hand at Books-A-Million which replaced it). I also keep track of the household bills and repairs.

Whew!

NCPA also heard recently of at least one instance where the doc said handing over some of this information could violate HIPPA. I have often wondered that myself. Speaking of which, I have an appointment with the diabetes center this week. It will be interesting to see if my missing records have reappeared cause I still think they got misfiled in someone else's records, which sounds like a HIPPA violation to me.

No wonder the doctor gets so touchy when I bring it up. I'm glad I'm not an HME provider.

Theresa Flaherty