Today’s guest blog comes from George Grunberger, MD, FACP, FACE, President Elect of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and Chair of the AACE/ACE Consensus Conference on Glucose Monitoring. Dr. Grunberger is a clinical endocrinologist practicing in Bloomfield Hills, MI. AACE, the largest association of clinical endocrinologists in the world, represents more than 6,500 endocrinologists in the United States and abroad.
Imagine this: A widow who lives alone and has a history of severe hypoglycemia and now hypoglycemia unawareness turns 65 and is dismayed to learn that unlike her prior insurance carrier, her new healthcare provider - Medicare - does not cover the cost of her continuous glucose monitor (CGM), a device she’s used for almost a decade and considers to be a lifesaver. Happy birthday indeed.
Or this: An active 30 year-old man with diabetes no longer trusts his blood glucose monitor. Even though the device had been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before it went on the market, the device provides widely varying (and possibly faulty) readings. Who is checking the device’s accuracy now?
And (sigh) this: More than 30 federal agencies are engaged in the fight against one of the nation’s most critical healthcare problem… diabetes. However these agencies often do not work together. In fact, there is precious little communication between them, resulting in disengagement and fragmented efforts to stem the epidemic rise of this disease.
I had the honor to serve as the chair of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) Consensus Conference on Glucose Monitoring held on September 28-29 in Washington, DC. This gathering was unique in that it brought together public and private stakeholders from every segment of the diabetes care arena to examine in depth the issues surrounding glucose monitoring devices and map out possible solutions. As a result of the conference, AACE called upon Congress to take the following action:
- Urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide coverage for continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and Congress to pass the Medicare CGM Access Act (H.R.5644/S.2689).
- Advocate for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to safeguard the safety and effectiveness of diabetes testing supplies and prohibit the marketing and sale of devices that do not meet current quality standards.
- As this conference served as a model for productive private-public sector partnerships, Congress should pass the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act (H.R. 1074 / S. 539), a bill for which AACE has aggressively advocated.
I urge all those interested in improving care for patients with diabetes to click here to learn more about the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act and contact their federal senators and representatives to voice support for the bill