Here's an article which says "Frequent blood sugar testing was strongly associated with better diabetes control in a large new study that concludes public and private insurers should not be limiting test strip supplies."
I know this is not news to many of us on TuD, but it's nice to see this getting coverage in the popular press. Hope the bean counters are listening.
That's great news. I wish there was a bit more of a call to action in the article. Reducing the cost of strips seems like a no-brainer. Coverage needs to be addressed by the large organizations.
This was a study of some 20,000 people with T1 who had registered with the T1DExchange. This was the first study result I have seen from this effort. It is interesting to note that the authors report an association with high statistical confidence between frequent testing and better control (HbA1c), but in the abstract they don't report how much better control. This usually indicates it was not a particularly striking difference.
The study also reported a strong association between frequent testing and non-Hispanic white race, insurance coverage, higher household income, and use of an insulin pump. Thankfully they didn't pull the typical bonehead move of concluding that frequent testing can make you non-Hispanic, provide you with insurance coverage and a high paying job as well as making an insulin pump appear out of nowhere and attach to your body.
As I tell my students....studies and stats can be used to "prove" whatever you want!
Seriously though, this is very good info to get out there. What is a no-brainer to us might help move the ponderous powers that be. Hello, more testing = better results = less medical care needed = better bottom line. (Speaking to the pptb's in the language they understand)
The article states:
In all age groups in the study, testing more frequently was linked to safer blood sugar levels, according to the results published in Diabetes Care.
Those who checked three or four times a day, for example, had 8.6 percent A1C, compared to 7.6 percent for people who checked 10 times a day. Testing more than 10 times a day didn't seem to bring any added benefit.
So at least the article indicates there was a 1 point drop in the A1C at that level of testing.
Regarding cost, it would seem that if Walmart can figure out how to make and sell test strips for about 9 cents per strip, other companies have a LOT of room to play with regarding dropping the price and still making a profit.
I'm an accountant and I'm offended :-). The insurance companies and especially Medicare have to realize that it is in their best interest to allow as many of us as possible to escape serious complications.
The difference between a bean counter and an accountant:)