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  • Insulin Syringe Chart
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  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
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Health Insurance and Diabetes Article Archives

May 2014

Saving Myself with Savings

The price of everything seems to be increasing. Grocery costs, gasoline costs, and, of course, healthcare costs are steadily rising. If you've ever wondered how you were going to pay for your next bottle of insulin or test strips without cutting back on buying necessities like food, I am here to give you some tips. Despite my health insurance, living with diabetes is incredibly expensive. Years ago I had to walk away from my test strips at the pharmacy because I couldn't cover the cost, so I decided to get creative with finding other ways to save money.

comments 1 comment - Posted May 1, 2014

September 2013

Money and Medication

Money. No one wants to talk about it, but it affects all of us. In the United States of America, having a health condition can put you in the poorhouse. In a recent survey, the U.S. Census determined that medical bills were the biggest cause of bankruptcy filings in 2012. Many people will even hesitate to take their necessary medications in order to slow the financial bleed.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 22, 2013

November 2012

President's Win Is Reprieve For 'Obamacare'

President Barack Obama’s victory cements the Affordable Care Act, expanding coverage to millions but leaving weighty questions about how to pay for it and other care to be delivered to an increasingly unhealthy, aging population.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 8, 2012

October 2012

Settlement To Deliver Victory For Tens Of Thousands Of Older And Disabled Adults Served By Medicare

Burlington, Vt. - The Center for Medicare Advocacy and co-counsel from Vermont Legal Aid today announced that plaintiffs and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius filed a Settlement Agreement in the landmark case of Jimmo v. Sebelius, bringing an end to Medicare's long-practiced but illegal application of an "Improvement Standard." The settlement of the case [Jimmo v. Sebelius, No. 5:11-cv-00017 (D.Vt.)] will improve access for tens of thousands of Americans, especially older adults and people with disabilities, whose Medicare coverage is denied or terminated because these beneficiaries are considered "not improving" or "stable." Resolution of this legal challenge effectively ends this harmful practice and ensures fair coverage rules for those who live with chronic conditions and rely on Medicare to cover basic, necessary health care.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 29, 2012

Why Is My Health Insurance Coverage Getting Worse Instead of Better?

I’m not sure how everyone else is feeling about health insurance in the United States of America right now, but I know I’m worried. Ever since my type 1 diabetes diagnosis at 18 years old, I’ve been concerned about the possibility of losing my health insurance. But now, I’m even more worried by the fact that, despite my health insurance, my healthcare costs seem to be rising by the minute. It strikes me as colossally unfair that you can faithfully stick with your employer and still end up with health insurance that’s much worse than what you started with.  I feel overwhelmed by the new costs I’m seeing, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

comments 1 comment - Posted Oct 22, 2012

April 2012

Medicare To Tie Doctors' Pay To Quality, Cost Of Care

Twenty thousand physicians in four Midwest states received a glimpse into their financial future last month. Landing in their e-mail inboxes were links to reports from Medicare showing the amount their patients cost on average as well as the quality of the care they provided. The reports also showed how Medicare spending on each doctor's patients compared to their local peers in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska.

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 17, 2012

Imagining the Unimaginable

As I listen to the news of the recent Mega Millions jackpot of over $600 million, my dreams aren't about fast cars, vast mansions, or plush vacations. My thoughts revolve around my diabetes. How awesome would it be to have the best care that money can buy?

comments 7 comments - Posted Apr 1, 2012

October 2011

My Greatest Diabetes Fear

When I think about my greatest diabetes-related fear, the first thing that comes to mind isn't complications. It's health benefits. It may seem funny that my fear of health problems is second to my concerns about health insurance, but without coverage my good health would be close to impossible to maintain.

comments 17 comments - Posted Oct 3, 2011

April 2011

Las Vegas Will Host 2nd Annual Native American Healthcare Conference in Late May

The Second Annual Native American Healthcare Conference will take place May 23 through 24 at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The conference will be held in conjunction with the Native American Diabetes Workshop at the same site.

comments 1 comment - Posted Apr 4, 2011

March 2011

Diabetes Education Under-used by Medicare Recipients

A paid Medicare benefit for diabetes education is rarely used by those who qualify for it, despite the fact that diabetes education provides clear health benefits.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 13, 2011

Diabetes: A Homeopathic Journey

Ten years ago, an astute physician diagnosed me with Type 2 diabetes. I exhibited none of the classic symptoms of rapid weight loss, extreme thirst, and frequent urination. I attributed fatigue to my job. For about a year before diagnosis, I experienced what I thought were yeast infections and treated them with over-the-counter medications. I later learned that this condition is a symptom of diabetes. I am non-insulin dependent.

comments 3 comments - Posted Mar 3, 2011

Dr. Jane Delgado, Author of The Buena Salud Guide to Diabetes and Your Life

Hispanics are almost twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to have type 2 diabetes, and more than a third of working adult Hispanics do not have health insurance. For this audience, Jane Delgado, PhD, has written The Buena Salud Guide to Diabetes and Your Life. Available in both Spanish and English, it's a culturally sensitive and reassuring book that dispels myths and presents detailed science while gently guiding readers toward the right path in caring for their diabetes. The tone is conversational, as Dr. Delgado speaks to her readers like a family member who knows them well and has their best interests at heart.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 2, 2011

February 2011

Need Medicine and Have No Insurance for Your Diabetes?

Nearly one in six people in the United States has no health insurance. If you have diabetes, that's a very tough position to be in. There are, however, resources that can cut the costs that you have been paying out of pocket for medicines and supplies.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 14, 2011

Government Recoups Record $4 Billion from Healthcare Defrauders

During 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Attorney General's office recovered $4 billion related to healthcare fraud. According to the HHS press release, this record sum was due to "President Obama making the elimination of fraud, waste, and abuse a top priority in his administration" and the 2009 creation of the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT). They will do even better in the future, said the press release, "with the new tools and resources provided by the Affordable Care Act."

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 9, 2011

January 2011

The Healthcare Bill: We're Confused, But Our Opinions Are Very Firm Nevertheless

As the new House of Representatives pumps itself up to repeal Obama's healthcare bill because it's "the will of the people," Kaiser has released survey results that probe the details of that will. When you dig a little deeper, it turns out, we might not really know what we are talking about.

comments 9 comments - Posted Jan 11, 2011

Taking Your Medicine Is Healthy for the Healthcare System

Taking your medicine can lead to quite a windfall in reduced medical claims, according to a study recently published in Health Affairs. Over the course of a year, patients with diabetes who took their medications as directed saved their insurance companies a handsome $3,756 compared to people who didn't, even after claiming as much as $1000 for those very medications. The money was saved because the patients spent less time at the emergency room and in the hospital, a nice benefit in itself.

comments 1 comment - Posted Jan 11, 2011

UnitedHealthcare to Introduce a Diabetes-Prevention Program in Rhode Island in 2011

UnitedHealthcare of New England has announced that it plans to introduce a statewide program to prevent type 2 diabetes in Rhode Island sometime in 2011. Of the state's 2010 population of 1,053,000, an estimated 62,000 adults have diabetes-almost 6 percent of the population-according to the Rhode Island Department of Health. The department estimates that another 31,000 adults have the disease but have not yet been diagnosed.

comments 2 comments - Posted Jan 4, 2011

December 2010

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is Introduced

Very recently, the Obama Administration announced some new initiatives with regard to the new healthcare law, in what could be one of the biggest and farthest-reaching benefits of the Affordable Care Act. The $10 billion, 10-year plan is being spearheaded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), which was created by the Affordable Care Act.

comments 1 comment - Posted Dec 18, 2010

Life and Long-term Care Insurance Becoming Increasingly Available for Those With Type 1 Diabetes

If you have type 1 diabetes, you know that the process of obtaining life insurance or long-term care insurance has been a long, tough road, most often leading to the dead end of declined coverage. In fact, most insurance companies have classified anyone with type 1 as an automatic decline, without any consideration of each case individually.

comments 7 comments - Posted Dec 14, 2010

Health Law Cut Some Health Costs in Retirement, But Retirees Will Need Big Savings

WASHINGTON-Even though the new health reform law will reduce some health costs in retirement for many people, retirees will still need a significant amount of savings to cover their out-of-pocket health expenses when they retire, according to a report released by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). Women in particular will need more savings than men because they tend to live longer.

comments 1 comment - Posted Dec 2, 2010

November 2010

When Diabetes Steals Your Livelihood

Too often our preconceptions of work-limiting disabilities are confined to suddenly devastating conditions, such as spinal cord injury or stroke. We rarely consider how diseases such as diabetes can be just as debilitating and just as costly to a family. With November being recognized as National Diabetes Awareness Month, we should remember the people who are unable to work due to the complications of diabetes and who need the benefits to which they are entitled under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

comments 4 comments - Posted Nov 30, 2010

Recession Weighs Heavily on People With Diabetes

The economic recession has hammered people with diabetes, according to a new survey. Many say that their health has been harmed by the crisis, and more expect their health to suffer in the future. What's more, most don't expect the government's health reform bill to improve their situation.

comments 1 comment - Posted Nov 28, 2010

The United States of Diabetes

More than 50 percent of Americans could have diabetes or pre-diabetes by 2020 at a cost of $3.35 trillion over the next decade if current trends continue, according to new analysis by UnitedHealth Group's Center for Health Reform & Modernization, but there are also practical solutions for slowing the trend.

comments 1 comment - Posted Nov 24, 2010

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicines Cut From 2011 Flexible Spending Accounts

Get ready for a major change to the way you can use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Staring in 2011, you won't be able to use your FSA to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medications unless you have a prescription from your doctor.  By the year 2013, FSAs will also  be capped at $2,500, down from the $5,000 currently allowed under the program. These changes, which are the result of the Affordable Care Act, could have a significant impact on both the revenues of the federal government and your wallet.

comments 1 comment - Posted Nov 23, 2010

West vs. South: Regional Differences in Views of the Health Reform Law

In the wake of the November midterm election that resulted in a landslide victory for Republicans and a shift in party control of the House of Representatives, the debate about health reform continues to play out in Washington and in many states across the country. Republican lawmakers from many states have made public calls for repeal of or drastic changes to the law, and governors from several states have signed on to a lawsuit filed in Florida that challenges the law on constitutional grounds. The November Kaiser Health Tracking poll finds the public is still largely divided in their opinions of the law and what should happen next. In this Data Note, we examine how those opinions differ by region of the country.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 19, 2010

Diabetes Association of Atlanta Caps Off Successful Diabetes University

Atlanta, Ga. -With more than 30 state and nationally-renowned speakers, 400 attendees and dozens of workshops and panels, the 17th Annual Diabetes University concluded Saturday as one of the largest in the Diabetes Association of Atlanta's history.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 17, 2010

Open Enrollment for 2011 Medicare prescription drug and health plans begins Nov. 15th

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging all Medicare beneficiaries to take advantage of the annual Open Enrollment period to make sure they have the best coverage available to meet their health care needs in 2011.

comments 1 comment - Posted Nov 16, 2010

Congressional Leaders to Discuss Healthcare Equity and Health Reform Bill at Fourth Annual National Conference on Health Disparities

A group of congressional leaders is convening in Philadelphia from November 10 to November 13 to discuss an issue becoming more and more prevalent in the political and medical communities: access to healthcare services. This is an important topic in today's economic environment and one that has come to the attention of more people since the passage of the Affordable Care Act earlier this year.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 6, 2010

October 2010

The Cost of Diabetes

In July, I went to order a refill of my pump and was refused. My account was overdue, and my pump company wouldn't issue a refill until I could pay at least $400 of the $1200 I owed. I didn't have $400. I am a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom with a knack for stretching my husband's paycheck. I'd been making small monthly payments of about $50 because that was all we could afford, but now they wouldn't send me any more. So I went to the pharmacy and bought a box of syringes for $25. I didn't want to go back to multiple daily injections, but I didn't see that I had a choice.

comments 2 comments - Posted Oct 9, 2010

Innovative Web-Based Tool Helps Doctors Improve Care

A Web-based tool that extracts information from the electronic medical record helps primary care physicians improve care and manage their entire panel of patients. Those are the findings of two new Kaiser Permanente studies - the first to examine the effectiveness of a population care tool in a large, diverse patient population.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 9, 2010

September 2010

How the New Health Care Law Impacts YOU!

San Francisco - Six months after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, patients and families are beginning to reap rewards.  The nation's new health care law is now delivering protections and cost benefits; yet it will affect consumers differently, and that may cause confusion.  Understanding will contribute to its effective implementation and this will involve all ends of the spectrum.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 29, 2010

Even Before Recession, 14 Million Kids 'Underinsured'

Even prior to the onset of the economic recession in 2008, nearly one in four American parents with health insurance reported that their coverage was so inadequate they were unable to access the medical care their children needed.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 2, 2010

August 2010

Health Insurance Costs Rise Sharply For Unemployed As COBRA Subsidy Ends

Jennifer Richards of Park Ridge, Ill., is angry that her family's monthly health insurance bill tripled in August to $1,250 after her husband lost his job and health benefits. But as bad as that is, what really upsets her is the inaction of Congress.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 20, 2010

Health Leaders Announce Initiative Bringing Diverse Voices Together to Tackle Critical Healthcare Innovation Issues

The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) - a coalition of chief executives representing all sectors of American healthcare - announced the formation of the National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation (NDHI), a forum in which leaders from private sector healthcare, government, academia and patient and consumer organizations can work toward consensus on the most important issues affecting healthcare innovation.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 6, 2010

July 2010

Pre-Diabetes: Using Diabetes Self-Management Education/Training to Prevent Diabetes Onset

Overview: 57 million Americans are estimated to have pre-diabetes, a condition in which a person's blood sugar (glucose) level is above normal but below a level that indicates diabetes. Pre-diabetes may have no outward symptoms, and is diagnosed with a blood glucose test.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 16, 2010

HHS Secretary Sebelius Announces New Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the establishment of a new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) that will offer coverage to uninsured Americans who have been unable to obtain health coverage because of a pre-existing health condition. 

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 12, 2010

June 2010

California Chronic Care Coalition is Seeking Stories

The definition for a chronic illness is one lasting 3 months or more (U.S. National Center for Health Statistics). Seventy-five per cent of our health care spending is on people with chronic conditions. These persistent conditions - the nation's leading causes of death and disability - leave in their wake deaths that could have been prevented, lifelong disability, compromised quality of life, and burgeoning health care costs. The facts are arresting:

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 22, 2010

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Expand Pediatric Partnership to Combat Childhood Obesity

WASHINGTON - In collaboration with Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) launched the Good Health ClubSM Physician Toolkit - unique educational materials designed to foster better communication between pediatricians and their patients on childhood obesity and diabetes prevention.  The toolkit will be available to pediatricians in communities across the country.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 11, 2010

May 2010

National Plan to Improve Health Literacy

The United States Department of Health and Human Services released The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy aimed at making health information and services easier to understand and use. The plan calls for improving the jargon-filled language, dense writing, and complex explanations that often fill patient handouts, medical forms, health web sites, and recommendations to the public.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 30, 2010

April 2010

The Medicare Donut Hole: Now You're Covered, Now You're Not

If you're older, a woman, and suffering from either dementia or diabetes, you are the most likely to be exposed to unsubsidized medication costs in the US. This is known as the coverage gap for enrollees of Medicare Part D - the US federal program which subsidizes the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. According to Dr. Susan Ettner from UCLA in the US, and her colleagues, these clinically vulnerable groups should be counseled on how to best manage costs through either drug substitution or discontinuation of specific, non-essential medications. This is important so that more essential medication is not discontinued with adverse effects on patients' health, for cost reasons only. Their findings¹ have just appeared online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine², published by Springer.

comments 2 comments - Posted Apr 2, 2010

March 2010

President Obama's Letter to Americans

This morning, I gathered with members of Congress, my administration, and hardworking volunteers from every part of the country to sign comprehensive health care reform into law.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 24, 2010

Piecemeal COBRA Health Insurance Subsidy Extensions Puzzle Laid-Off Workers

Every day, dozens of confused, laid-off workers call the privately-run COBRA Help Center in Long Island, N.Y., which administers COBRA group health insurance plans. They're struggling to understand whether they're eligible for federal subsidies. It's not surprising, says George Fox, a field underwriter for the company Planning Financial Futures Inc., that runs the center on behalf of employers and consumers.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 17, 2010

Northern California's Biggest County Sues Glaxo Over Avandia

Santa Clara County, the largest county in Northern California (nearly 1.9 million people), has filed a federal lawsuit against pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, alleging that Glaxo knowingly sold its type 2 diabetes drug Avandia for several years despite indications the drug causes heart attacks and strokes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 9, 2010

February 2010

Doctors' Group: Obama Plan Leaves Millions Uninsured, Boosts Private Insurers

President Obama's health care proposal, preserving as it does a central role for the for-profit, private health insurance industry, is incapable of achieving the kind of universal, comprehensive and affordable reform the country needs, a spokesman for a national doctors' group said Wednesday.

comments 2 comments - Posted Feb 26, 2010

January 2010

Moving Toward a Healthcare Bill: What People with Diabetes Need to Know

The effort underway in Washington, D.C., to draft a healthcare bill is often described as "trying to get a handle on so many moving parts." At issue is this: the House passed a 1,990 page bill in December followed by the Senate passing a 2,074 page bill on Christmas Eve. Now, those two versions are being merged into one with a conference committee that would be composed of House and Senate Members while, at the same time, the White House has been pushing for a deadline by the State of the Union Address, now scheduled for Wednesday, January 27.  So far, all sides believe there will be a health care bill in front of the president within the next few weeks. What it looks like is one of the "moving parts."

comments 3 comments - Posted Jan 20, 2010

JDRF Forms Partnership with Animas to Develop First-Generation Automated System for Managing Type 1 Diabetes

NEW YORK, January 13, 2010 - The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation today announced an innovative partnership with Animas Corporation to develop an automated system to help people with type 1 diabetes better control their disease - the first step on the path to what would be among the most revolutionary advancements in treating type 1 diabetes: the development of an artificial pancreas, a fully automated system to dispense insulin to patients based on real-time changes in blood sugar levels. 

comments 9 comments - Posted Jan 15, 2010

December 2009

Eliminating Endocrinologist Consultations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 7 -- A survey just conducted by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) indicates that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decision to eliminate consultation codes will force four out of five endocrinologists to reduce the number of Medicare patients seen in their practices.

comments 7 comments - Posted Dec 15, 2009

Pharmacists, Drug Wholesalers Offer Solutions to Avoid Disruption for Medicare Beneficiaries

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Dec. 1, 2009) - Seniors may find that many common prescription drugs that Medicare Part D has covered for years may suddenly be denied due to a new policy being implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

comments 7 comments - Posted Dec 3, 2009

November 2009

Primary Care Doctors, Endocrinologists Feel Ill-Equipped to Provide Ideal, Multi-Disciplinary Team Care

PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly one-third of doctors surveyed said they did not have enough time and did not receive sufficient reimbursement to provide comprehensive care to their patients with diabetes, according to the results of a study of endocrinologists and primary care doctors published in American Health & Drug Benefits.

comments 4 comments - Posted Nov 20, 2009

Secretary Sebelius Releases New Report on Health Insurance Reform and Diabetes in America

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As the nation marks American Diabetes Month, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released a new report today, Preventing and Treating Diabetes: Health Insurance Reform and Diabetes in America. The report comes one day after Sebelius toured the East Manatee Family Healthcare Center in Bradenton, Fla. At the center, Sebelius met with patients and Floridians who care for people with diabetes.

comments 2 comments - Posted Nov 12, 2009

More Employers Turning to UnitedHealthcare's Diabetes Health Plan to Help Improve Health, Control Costs

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Employers are signing up for a first-of-its-kind health plan by UnitedHealthcare designed to help control the escalating costs of insuring diabetic and pre-diabetic employees and their families while improving their health.

comments 4 comments - Posted Nov 7, 2009

October 2009

Making Health Ends Meet

In these challenging economic times, when unemployment is so high and insurance coverage is being lost, many people find themselves having to miss doctor's visits, skip preventive care, and do without their prescriptions. Change is in the air, but in the meantime, there are programs that can help.

comments 3 comments - Posted Oct 8, 2009

September 2009

Survey: Uninsured Diabetics Increasingly Turning to Free Clinics and Community Health Centers

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (August 26, 2009) - The nation's nonprofit community health centers and free clinics saw a 13 percent increase in uninsured patients with diabetes seeking care during the first six months of 2009 versus the same period in 2008, according to the results of a national survey released today by humanitarian medical aid organization Direct Relief International. 

comments 3 comments - Posted Sep 17, 2009

August 2009

Finally, a Bailout of Millions for Folks Who Actually Need It!

The American Diabetes Association estimates that about 18 million Americans have diabetes. Given that millions of people have lost their jobs during the current recession, the law of averages would suggest that at least a few hundred thousand folks with diabetes are now unemployed.  Loss of a job, unfortunately, usually means a concurrent loss of health insurance.  For those hundreds of thousands of people with diabetes, no health insurance means big trouble.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 18, 2009

July 2009

Medicare helps cover diabetes supplies and services

Medicare offers: Screenings for people at risk, Diabetes self-management training, Medical nutrition therapy services, Hemoglobin A1c tests, Glucose monitors, test strips, lancets, insulin, and some insulin pumps, Glaucoma tests, Foot exams, foot treatment, and therapeutic shoes, Flu and pneumonia shots, and Cholesterol and lipid checks.

comments 1 comment - Posted Jul 15, 2009

May 2009

Diabetes Educators and Their Supporters Asked to Rally Behind “Catalyst to Better Diabetes Care Act”

Diabetes educators and their supporters nationwide are being asked to rally behind congressional legislation that would establish a "national diabetes report card," promote better training of doctors with regard to reporting diabetes as a factor in births and deaths, and set federal standards requiring doctors to achieve a level of diabetes education before they can be licensed or certified.

comments 7 comments - Posted May 8, 2009

Attention Healthcare Professionals: Grants Available for Integrating Patient-Recorded Observations into Clinical Care Processes

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has issued a call for proposals through its national program, Project HealthDesign: Rethinking the Power and Potential of Personal Health Records. Grant recipients will work to assess and test the potential of "observations of daily living" (ODLs) to help patients and physicians better manage chronic illnesses. 

comments 0 comments - Posted May 1, 2009

April 2009

Really Great Diabetes Information, From Medicare of All Places

Well, this is a surprise. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003 contains a little known section, Section 1013, that has actually led to something really useful: Up-to-date information about diabetes culled from real research and presented in language that we all can understand. Section 1013 authorizes the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to compare the effectiveness of different approaches to difficult health problems and to make that information accessible and understandable to "decisionmakers": that is, you, me, and our doctors. And diabetes is one of the difficult health problems to which the AHRQ is directing its attention.

comments 2 comments - Posted Apr 21, 2009

OneTouch Teams up with Consumer Advocate to Offers Tips on Maintaining Your Health in Tough Economic Times

The majority of U.S. adults are worried about being able to afford medical care and prescription medications.1  In addition, a recent study reveals that one in seven children and working-age Americans went without needed prescription medications in 2007 due to cost concerns, up from one in 10 in 2003.  Experts predict these statistics are likely to get worse in 2009, and this could present even greater hardships for those Americans with chronic conditions such as diabetes.2

comments 3 comments - Posted Apr 3, 2009

March 2009

The Broken Safety Net

If you live in California and have been denied insurance coverage because you have diabetes, you'll probably have to wait to enroll in the state-run program that's supposed to offer you health benefits. But California Republican Senator Sam Aanestad of Grass Valley hopes to change that with legislation he introduced January 20th. Aanestad says his bill, Senate Bill 57, would alter that program in ways that will allow more people access to coverage.

comments 1 comment - Posted Mar 10, 2009

February 2009

Sample Request for CGM Insurance Coverage

We recently published an article about how you can avoid losing money in insurance claims. The article gave helpful hints on how to deal with your insurance company including an sample appeals letter. We promised to publish in the near future a sample CGM appeals letter. Here they are!

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 27, 2009

Young Adults and Health Insurance

Editor's note: We recently received the following heartbreaking letter. The article that follows was first published in May, 2006. Little has changed.

comments 13 comments - Posted Feb 12, 2009

December 2008

Avoid Losing Thousands in Denied Health Insurance Claims: Here’s How
Avoid Losing Thousands in Denied Health Insurance Claims: Here’s How

It should have been a slam-dunk. My wife underwent two back-to-back surgeries to treat an eye melanoma. Through the surgeon, she had obtained written permission from our health insurance company to use his services and those of the hospital where he operated. Neither was in our specific insurance plan--in health insurance vernacular, they were out-of-network--which explains why the pre-approval was mandated.

comments 1 comment - Posted Dec 15, 2008

November 2008

Making the Medicare Prescription Drug Program Work For Boomers and Their Parents
Making the Medicare Prescription Drug Program Work For Boomers and Their Parents

No one knows better than people with diabetes how expensive prescription drugs are.  A recent DH article reported that the annual cost for drugs to treat type 2 diabetes nearly doubled between 2001 and 2007, skyrocketing from $6.7 billion to $12.5 billion six years later.

comments 3 comments - Posted Nov 17, 2008

September 2008

Out of the Pot and Into the Fire: Pressuring Insurance Companies to Cover Continuous Glucose Monitors
Out of the Pot and Into the Fire: Pressuring Insurance Companies to Cover Continuous Glucose Monitors

When Gina Capone, a thirty-something type 1 for eight years, got married this year, she and her husband decided it was time to start thinking about having a baby. Like all women with diabetes who are planning a pregnancy, Gina needs her A1c to be as low as possible in order to prevent complications for her and her baby. This strict control can be very challenging and time-consuming, requiring up to 20 blood sugar tests a day. 

comments 3 comments - Posted Sep 4, 2008

August 2008

Family with Nine Kids, Three with Type 1, Finds There Are Some Silver Linings
Family with Nine Kids, Three with Type 1, Finds There Are Some Silver Linings

My husband and I have nine children. Elliott is our oldest and when he was diagnosed with type 1 at age 11 in 1996, we were blindsided. Neither my husband, nor I, nor anyone in our extended family had diabetes. Elliot had all of the classic symptoms: excessive thirst, frequent urination, uncontrollable hunger, occasional blurry vision, and (something I think a lot of parents don't recognize as a sign) bedwetting.  

comments 11 comments - Posted Aug 29, 2008

July 2008

Diabetes Community Rallies Against Insurance Providers for Repeated Denials of Life Saving Device
Diabetes Community Rallies Against Insurance Providers for Repeated Denials of Life Saving Device

VALLEY STREAM, NY: July 2, 2008 -- On Tuesday, July 1 online community Diabetes Talkfest sponsored the first CGMS Denial Day online rally highlighting the excessively high rate of denials issued by insurance companies for continuous glucose monitors. CGMS have been proven to help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels, and quality of life. The event was held in association with social network site

comments 5 comments - Posted Jul 3, 2008

June 2008

Letter of the Week: Mother Caught Between Medtronic and BlueCross BlueShield  Refuses to Give Up
Letter of the Week: Mother Caught Between Medtronic and BlueCross BlueShield Refuses to Give Up

Dear Diabetes Health,

After reading the story in the April/May Diabetes Health about the mother and daughter who won approval from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to pay for the continuous monitor, I wanted to share our story.

comments 5 comments - Posted Jun 12, 2008

March 2008

What happened after Blue Cross rejected her daughter Laura's application for a continuous glucose monitor?  Gillian Miller took on the big boys and won!
What happened after Blue Cross rejected her daughter Laura's application for a continuous glucose monitor? Gillian Miller took on the big boys and won!

Fifteen-year-old Californian Laura Miller, a brittle diabetic, and her mother, Gillian, thought they had a strong case when they asked Blue Cross in late 2007 to pay for a continuous glucose monitor for her.

comments 15 comments - Posted Mar 27, 2008

Health Care: You and Your Diabetes

For people with diabetes, healthcare is just plain more involved. Hospitalizations require extra work because you must control your diabetes during your stay, and insurance can be problematic because insurers are often unwilling to pay for what you need.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 9, 2008

January 2008

Survey Says U.S. Healthcare System Stinks

A survey of people's experience with healthcare in seven countries - Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States - shows that we Americans don't stack up very well.

comments 9 comments - Posted Jan 28, 2008

A Reader Falls Through Medicare's
A Reader Falls Through Medicare's "Doughnut Hole"

Editor:  I am an enthusiastic reader of your magazine. I appreciate the number of times you have tackled some of the bigger questions of diabetes management that others have ignored.

comments 31 comments - Posted Jan 23, 2008

New Jersey Law Covers Amputees' Access to Orthotics and Prosthetics

New Jersey has enacted a law guaranteeing access by amputees to comprehensive health insurance coverage for orthotic and prosthetic care. The new law mandates that health insurance plans offer coverage for orthotic and prosthetic care without caps and co-pays that restrict access to prescribed devices.

comments 1 comment - Posted Jan 21, 2008

December 2007

Hooray! Now We Have Billing Codes for Continuous Monitors

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved new Healthcare Common Procedural Coding System (HCPCS, known as "hickpicks") codes for continuous glucose monitoring.

comments 8 comments - Posted Dec 12, 2007

November 2007

Our Healthcare System:  Too Broke to Fix?
Our Healthcare System: Too Broke to Fix?

According to a May 2007 CNN opinion poll, 64 percent of us think that our government should provide a national health insurance program for all Americans, even if it would require higher taxes. So what's in the works?

comments 15 comments - Posted Nov 21, 2007

October 2007

Famous Columnist Gets Type 1 Diabetes and Runs Smack Into the Insurance Industry

David Lazarus, famous columnist for the Los Angeles Times, was just diagnosed, at the age of 46, with type 1 diabetes. The diagnosis brought him face to face with something he'd always taken for granted, and it wasn't his health - it was his health insurance.

comments 1 comment - Posted Oct 20, 2007

Seniors Quit Their Drugs When They Reach Spending Cap

A review of prescription drug use by more than 60,000 seniors has found that when their insurance plan reaches its spending cap for medications, they often just quit taking the medications.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 7, 2007

September 2007

Children of Single Fathers Have Less Access to Healthcare
Children of Single Fathers Have Less Access to Healthcare

In an analysis of a survey that included 62,193 American children under the age of eighteen, researchers found that single dads are less likely to have health insurance and less likely to take their kids to well-child doctor visits than single mothers.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 5, 2007

August 2007

People Without Insurance Need More Medicare Services
People Without Insurance Need More Medicare Services

A new report in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that if people are uninsured between the ages of 50 and 65 and if they have cardiovascular disease or diabetes, they will require costlier and more intensive services from Medicare than previously insured people.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 15, 2007

July 2007

Presidential Candidates Scramble Around Healthcare
Presidential Candidates Scramble Around Healthcare

It's still awhile even until the primaries, but already candidates of both parties are jostling to get their healthcare plans out there. In recent polls, healthcare was rated as the top issue on the domestic scene. And no wonder: premiums for family coverage have risen by 87 percent since 2000, according to Kaiser.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 26, 2007

June 2007

New Legislation Proposed: The Diabetes Prevention and Treatment Control Act
New Legislation Proposed: The Diabetes Prevention and Treatment Control Act

A new bill to address the growing diabetes epidemic has been introduced by Senator Hilary Clinton of New York and Senator Susan Collins of Maine, along with Representatives Eliot Engel and Vito Fossella of New York.

comments 1 comment - Posted Jun 7, 2007

Men With Heart Disease and Diabetes Get Better Care Than Women
Men With Heart Disease and Diabetes Get Better Care Than Women

A study just published by the RAND Corporation, a well-known think tank, has found that routine care received by women for their heart disease and diabetes isn't as good as that received by men.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 6, 2007

May 2007

When Insurance Is Out of Reach
When Insurance Is Out of Reach

While much of the diabetes community eagerly anticipates the latest research and treatment, many diagnosed with the disease struggle to gain access to doctors and the most basic supplies because they are poor or uninsured.

comments 1 comment - Posted May 17, 2007

February 2006

Financial Concerns About Insulin Pumps
Financial Concerns About Insulin Pumps

Many concerns arise when patients consider the costs of insulin pump therapy. The following are a few of the most frequently asked questions:

comments 9 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2006

January 2006

Competitive Bidding
Competitive Bidding

We would probably all agree that diabetes is anything but a one-size-fits-all condition. This disease takes its own form in each of our bodies and requires different levels of care and treatment.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jan 1, 2006

March 2005

2005 Priorities for Diabetes: The U.S. Congress is Back in Session
2005 Priorities for Diabetes: The U.S. Congress is Back in Session

The U.S. Congress is back in session and hopes are high for diabetes victories.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2005

December 2004

The Medicare Mystery
The Medicare Mystery

Understanding the federal government is complex, and the Medicare program can be even worse.

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 1, 2004

April 2004

Does Paying for Diabetes Medication Cause You Financial Hardship?

“Out-of-pocket medication costs pose a significant burden to many adults with diabetes and contribute to decreased treatment adherence.”

comments 1 comment - Posted Apr 1, 2004

Medicare Reform Act

By far, the most important medical legislation passed in 2003 was the Medicare Reform Act

comments 1 comment - Posted Apr 1, 2004

February 2004

When the Insurance Company Denies Coverage for Your Pump

You’ve gone through all the diabetes education classes. The insurance company pays for them.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2004

March 2003

Funding Bill Becomes a Law

On December 17, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law H.R. 5738—a $1.5 billion bill that will substantially increase and extend funding for the Special Diabetes Program.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2003

Diabetes Costs No More Than Other Chronic Diseases

Diabetes is no more expensive for consumers or for their employer-sponsored health insurance plans than any other chronic disease.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2003

February 2003

Diabetes Care Varies Among States

If you are a Medicare recipient with diabetes and you live in New England, the upper Midwest or the Pacific Northwest, you're more likely to get A1C tests and eye exams than people in other parts of the country. For lipid testing, however, you'd be better off living in the mid-Atlantic states or some Southern coastal states. Those who live in the Ohio Valley, the lower Mississippi Valley or the Southwest are least likely to have their A1C levels measured and eyes examined. Lipid testing was least likely to occur in the Rocky Mountain states and parts of the lower Mississippi Valley.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2003

September 2002

Check It Out!

If you don't have insurance, your children could be eligible for free or low-cost health insurance, which is available in each state through the Department of Health and Human Services.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 1, 2002

Check It Out! Your Child Could Be Eligible for Free or Low-Cost Health Insurance

If you don't have insurance, your children could be eligible for free or low-cost health insurance, which is available in each state through the Department of Health and Human Services.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 1, 2002

June 2002

No Insurance?

People with diabetes who don't have healthcare insurance may be more likely to receive tests that monitor diabetes control and assess risk for complications at community and migrant health centers than they do at a private doctor's office, according to researchers in North Carolina.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 2002

March 2002

Rapid-Acting Insulin Now Approved for Use With Pumps

NovoLog (insulin aspart) has received supplemental approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in external insulin pumps, Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals announced in December 2001. This decision, according to Novo Nordisk, makes NovoLog the only rapid-acting insulin analog to be indicated for use with pumps.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2002

December 2001

New Insulin Under Development

A new insulin preparation reduces after-meal blood-glucose (BG) values in people with diabetes without causing hypoglycemia.

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 1, 2001

November 2001

A Question of Coverage

It wasn't the marriage proposal you think of—you know, the one where your Prince Charming falls to his knees and promises undying love. And yet, it held a very attractive promise to somebody who has diabetes: A good health-insurance policy.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 2001

Medicares Best-Kept Secret Offers Free Foot Care Services for People With Diabetes

The number of lower-limb amputations related to diabetes complications is growing-there were 86,000 such amputations in 1999 alone-according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 2001

August 2001

Medicare Chips In

The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) recently revised its policy for coverage of insulin pumps so that more people may now get the cost of their pumps paid for by Medicare.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 1, 2001

April 2001

Health Policies to Cover Diabetic Supplies and Services in Michigan

According to a January 9 press release from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), a new law in the state of Michigan requires health policies to cover supplies, medications and related services for people with diabetes within 90 days.

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 1, 2001

February 2001

The Top 10 Plans and the Percentages of Diabetic Patients Who Received Specific Tests

The Top 10 Plans and the Percentages of Diabetic Patients Who Received Specific Tests

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2001

September 2000

AADE Seeks Passage of House Resolution—Will Add CDEs as Medicare-recognized Providers for Diabetes Education

The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) is seeking passage of House Resolution (HR) 3003, which will add Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) as Medicare-certified providers for diabetes self-management education services.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 1, 2000

May 2000

BMJ Reports Insurance Providers May Not Cover New Diabetes Devices

In the February 26 issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ), it was reported that U.S. insurance companies may not pay for new devices such as the GlucoWatch monitor.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 1, 2000

January 2000

HMOs Not Screening Enough For Diabetes Complications

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) like to emphasize preventative medicine as a way to cut costs. Their screening rates for diabetic complications, however, suffer in comparison to screening rates by traditional fee-for-service organizations, according to a report published in the October 29, 1999 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jan 1, 2000

Medicare's Therapeutic Shoe Bill

Are you eligible?

comments 0 comments - Posted Jan 1, 2000

November 1999

Medicare to Cover Insulin Pumps for Beneficiaries

After years of lobbying and letter writing by endocrinologists and thousands of people with diabetes, Medicare will finally cover insulin pumps for its beneficiaries with type 1 diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Nov 1, 1999

October 1999

Nonprofit HMOs Give Better Care

Researchers have discovered not-for-profit HMOs have better quality-of-care rates than investor-owned HMOs.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 1, 1999

July 1999

Good Intentions: HMO Covers Only One Brand of Meter and Syringe—Patients, Educators Challenge Policy and Create Change

Imagine if a free glucose meter showed up at your door. You'd be thrilled, right? Well, it happened to David Fogarty, but he wasn't thrilled. This Berkeley, California, father was fuming mad. Fogarty's HMO, Health Net, sent a free Precision Q.I.D. meter to his 11-year-old son, Lucas, and to all its other members with diabetes. The catch was, Health Net would soon stop covering strips for Lucas's One Touch Profile.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 1, 1999

December 1998

Survey Indicates That Many Do Not Have Insurance Coverage for Supplies

According to a survey conducted by Consumer Health Sciences (CHS), only 70% of people with type 1 and 2 diabetes who are insured have coverage for glucose meters. It was also revealed that 88% have coverage for test strips; 80% have pharmaceutical coverage; 55% have insurance coverage for syringes and only 12% have coverage for insulin pumps.

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 1, 1998

Controversial Medicare Policy Gets a Makeover—Diabetes Community Still Not Pleased

DIABETES HEALTH reported in the October 1998 issue that the Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carriers (DMERC) had established an interim policy on Medicare coverage of glucose monitors for people with type 1 and 2 diabetes ("Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Glucose Monitors").

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 1, 1998

October 1998

How are Doctors Treating Medicare Patients with Diabetes?

It was reported in the August 1998 edition of Diabetes Care that the attitudes, knowledge and practice patterns of primary care physicians in delivering effective treatment to patients with diabetes was up to standards, but could still make room for improvement.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 1, 1998

The Increased Cost to the Poor

How does the cost of increased blood glucose testing and more injections affect those with lower incomes? According to the third National Health and Nutrition Survey, "those without health insurance are twice as likely to suffer a lack of food as those who have health insurance."

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 1, 1998

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Glucose Monitors

Many people are dissatisfied with a new interim Medicare policy. The policy was considered to be a breakthrough for Medicare patients because for the first time it will cover patients who are not being treated with insulin injections. Prior to July 1, 1998, these patients were not covered by Medicare for their diabetes testing supplies.

comments 2 comments - Posted Oct 1, 1998

August 1998

Older and Wiser-Seniors and Diabetes

Two things that affect every aspect of one's life are having diabetes and becoming a senior citizen. When these happen together their impacts can become even more pronounced. As if this isn't enough, seniors with diabetes have to confront less-than-flattering stereotypes every day. This can be especially frustrating, and potentially damaging, when dealing with health care providers. Despite these added challenges, the plight of seniors with diabetes is often overlooked.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 1, 1998

Medicare Coverage Extended, But Only Covers 25 Strips

As of July 1, 1998, Medicare began covering the cost of home blood glucose monitoring for people with diabetes who do not use insulin-the program had previously covered only those treated with insulin. Medicare now pays the cost of a glucose meter and up to 25 blood test strips per month for Part B program enrollees. People using insulin are covered for the cost of their meters and 100 glucose test strips per month. All applicable Medicare deductibles and co-payments apply to these benefits.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 1, 1998

June 1998

Basic Guidlines for Diabetes Care

The following is a list developed by the California Diabetes Control Program and the Diabetes Coalition of California detailing the specifics of good diabetes care. This list can be used to illustrate to your HMO the level of care essential to maintaining your good health, and its financial incentive to provide you with these services.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 1998

Support For Your Claims

The following is a greatly abridged list of quotes from respected medical journals on the financial and medical impact of various diabetes practices and products. These can be used in letters to HMOs and purchasers of HMO plans to impress upon them the importance and financial good sense of providing good diabetes care. Again, this list is just a short list of the many facts gathered on the subject. The more you investigate and the more you learn the stronger the case you can present to get the coverage you need and deserve.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 1998

Advocate for Yourself: Sample Letter

Are you a member of a HMO but not getting the coverage you need for proper diabetes care? After finding a primary care physician who is sympathetic to your needs, you may need to contact your HMO and appeal for coverage for the services and equipment you need for good preventative care.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 1998

Breaking the HMO Woes: How to Become Your Own Advocate

Bring up the subject of HMO medicine and you are bound to get a wide range of opinions. On the one hand there is the argument that HMOs have tamed the runaway costs of medical care and promise to "manage" health rather than cure illness. On the other hand, there is the view of the late Kenneth Facter, MD, JD, MBA. "HMOs run on a sick system that rewards doctors for lesser care ... HMOs reward doctors who deal with you quickly and inexpensively and penalize doctors who spend too much time and money," said Facter at a diabetes patient education conference in 1997.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 1998

December 1997

Consumers Frustrated with HMOs

People are losing patience with managed health care providers and favor federal action to protect patients' rights. Results of a recent nationwide survey show that consumers feel that managed care organizations should not be able to deny treatment and that HMOs should be legally accountable when inappropriate decisions result in harm to a patient. The survey was conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide and commissioned by the Patient Access to Responsible Care Alliance (PARCA).

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 1, 1997

October 1997

The ADA Wants Insurance Companies to Cover Supplies

The ADA hopes to get California Senate Bill 1220 passed by January, 1998. The bill would require insurance carriers to provide coverage for diabetes supplies, equipment and self-management training as deemed necessary by a physician. The bill was prompted by some insurance companies refusals to provide coverage for these basic items necessary for good diabetes control.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 1, 1997

September 1997

Clinton Clinches the Deal - $300 Million and New Medicare Policies for Diabetes Prevention

This year Christmas came in August for millions of people with diabetes. With a few strokes of his pen, President Clinton signed into law new Medicare policies and allocated $300 million for the prevention and treatment of diabetes. These funds are in addition to the money the NIH receives for diabetes research every year.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 1, 1997

July 1997

Medicare Misses the Mark

After conducting a three-year audit of the effectiveness of Medicare, the United States General Accounting Office (USGAO) has found some disturbing facts about diabetes care.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 1, 1997

June 1997

Insurance and Kids with Diabetes—Parents Pay the Price

Compared to families unaffected by diabetes, families with a child with type I diabetes have similar rates of insurance coverage, according to a recent study. But out-of-pocket medical expenses are 56 percent higher for families with a child with type I diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 1997

Health Insurance or Food on the Table?

One in three children in the United States lacked health insurance for at least one month in 1995 and 1996, according to a study by the health consumer group Families USA.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 1997

The ABCs of HMOs

How can I get the best diabetes care from an HMO? As health management organizations become more and more popular millions of people with diabetes find themselves asking this question every day. There are no easy answers, but there is one thing that all the experts agree upon - you must be your own tireless advocate.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 1997

Questions for Your HMO

What kind of durable medical equipment (DME) coverage will you receive?

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 1, 1997

March 1997

Motivational Conference and Product Fair Tours the U.S.

Interested in learning more about how to control your diabetes? Steven Edelman, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California at San Diego, is directing a series of conferences specifically designed for people with diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 1997

July 1996

Diabetes Coalition Stands Up To HMO’s

Now that HMOs have become the most popular choice of health plan for employers, some employees-especially those with diabetes-have found themselves disappointed with the care they receive. Many HMOs do not provide lancets, blood test strips, alcohol swabs or syringes. Many do not cover the cost of specialists such as podiatrists or ophthalmologists.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 1, 1996

February 1996

How To Get The Care You Need

Getting the services you need from an HMO often takes more than just a simple phone call. Convincing an HMO that you need a physician who understands diabetes care and that you need to be provided with up-to-date diabetes therapies, treatments, supplies, and equipment can be quite a daunting prospect. But it is possible, and it may be more straightforward than you think.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 1996

October 1995

Educator Of The Month: Persistence Pays Off: Nurse Persuades HMO To Augment Patient’s Plan

How many times have you skipped a blood sugar test because you didn't want to waste a meter strip?

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 1, 1995

Specialist Care Less Expensive Than You Thought

Despite the common belief that specialists contribute to the staggering cost of medical care, a recent study has shown that they may actually reduce the length of the average hospital stay. Of course, less time in the hospital means big savings.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 1, 1995

January 1994

New Medicare Cuts Affect Millions of Seniors with Diabetes

The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), a US federal agency, has established new Medicare reimbursement rates for home blood glucose testing strips. The new rates represent a huge drop from what Medicare has been paying, and could trigger a dramatic change in the availability of test strips to senior citizens.

comments 1 comment - Posted Jan 1, 1994

August 1993

Poor Health Insurance Coverage

A survey of 997 persons with insulin-dependent diabetes reports that, overall, 30.7% of the repondents polled had been uninsured at some point after their eighteenth birthday. Males are uninsured more frequently and for longer durations than females. In addition, 22% of all those uninsured reported that they had been denied health insurance, suggesting barriers to health insurance coverage.A study conducted by researchers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, suggests that the availability of HbgA1c data makes a significant difference in clinical decision-making. In a sample of 70 insulin-dependent patients, the availability of HbgA1c data before therapeutic decision-making resulted in a significant changes made in insulin adjustment and treatment regimens.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 1, 1993

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