The world around you


When you are immersed in a particular world long enough, you begin to see it everywhere. For example, I see home medical equipment in use everywhere I go. Prior to joining HME News, it might as well not have existed.

I got an email today asking if I "currently have T1..." Why yes, I do have Type 1 diabetes, but that's not what the email was about. The rest of the sentence was as follows: "...and up data services that have inconsistent speeds or blackout?"

It was an ad for AT&T, nothing to do with diabetes, although I could draw a parallel between blood sugar control (inconsistent speeds and blackouts) and data problems. The ad goes on to offer to help me "increase productivity and efficiency" which could arguably be a case for good diabetes managment.

I just finished writing a story on the OIG report that found bennies switching to retail from mail order in the Round 1 areas. In speaking with people about the report, we raised the old topic that having access to supplies is vitally important for diabetes patients. It's enough of a pain to test daily and calculate insulin dosages and carbs accordingly without a payer, be it Medicare or a private insurer stepping in with a bunch of hoops to jump through. In the case of competitive bidding, the biggest concern is that the artificially low payment amounts will make it difficult for suppliers to offer the supplies. They certainly won't be able to offer a lot of name brand stuff. That's likely to get worse when the national program kicks off in earnest next summer. Many of the folks I talk to think beneficiaries in many cases will simply cease to test as the doctor ordered.

That's not going to save money for anyone. As to whether AT&T could solve either my data transmission problems or improve my blood glucose levels, the jury is still out.

Theresa Flaherty
Type 1, 13 years