Medicare Changes to Impact Diabetes Supplies

A cost-effective change in Medicare may limit the number of vendors diabetes patients can obtain glucose-testing supplies from. Part of the new plan restricts beneficiaries to choosing from 1 of 18 contract suppliers chosen by Medicare. Medscape reports:.

A major change in US Medicare reimbursement rules beginning July 1 will save money but will drastically limit the number of vendors from which beneficiaries with diabetes can obtain glucose-testing supplies.

There are fears in some quarters that this disruption may lead to people not accessing the supplies they need, resulting in a decline in self-monitoring of glucose and subsequent adverse outcomes. However, others stress that diabetics receiving Medicare will gain financially, as their copays for their supplies will drop.

Independent retail pharmacies are also concerned: they believe the price cuts will mean many of them will drop out of providing these services, with the resulting loss of face-to-face interactions between pharmacists and patients, which can be of immeasurable benefit, they say. And patients may be forced to switch to lower-quality products, they charge.

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