Improving Glucose Meter Quality and Providing Continuous Glucose Monitoring Through Medicare

On June 27, 2014, we published a post questioning the accuracy of some blood glucose meters, and mentioned a Consensus Conference on Glucose Monitoring to be held in September 2014. The conference explored the quality and safety of glucose monitors and the most efficient and effective uses of blood glucose monitoring (BGM) and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) to optimize health outcomes. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American College of Endocrinology (ACE) sponsored the conference.

Diatribe Post in Diabetes Daily

Diatribe posted a conference update on diabetesdaily.com, noting a widespread concern among meeting participants that about 50 percent of currently marketed meters—“usually meters made by obscure manufacturers”—fail to meet current accuracy standards, partly because of lack of ongoing post-approval quality assurance mechanisms.

Diatribe also commented on a promising update on the Diabetes Technology Society’s Surveillance Program for Cleared Blood Glucose Meters, designed to identify meters of low or high quality and make the data publicly available.

Another encouraging development: according to Diatribe, momentum is increasing in support of bills currently in the House and Senate to establish Medicare coverage of CGM. http://www.diabetesdaily.com/voices/2014/12/consensus-conference-on-glucose-monitoring/?utm_source=Diabetes+Daily&utm_campaign=f74bd8b41a-2014_01_14_Needle_Reuse1_14_2014.

AACE/ACE Summary PDF

A conference summary published in Endocrine Practice covers topics discussed during the conference. In a closing statement, the summary stresses the need for Medicare to establish a benefit category for CGM. also calls forcing patients to stop CGM when they go on Medicare “one of the most egregious distortions,” leaving patients “more vulnerable to hypoglycemia at exactly the stage of life when it is most dangerous.” https://www.aace.com/files/may_ep.pdm.pdf.