Friday, December 2, 2011

Limiting test strips

Many PWDs complain about their insurance, or Medicare limiting test strips, and thus, they can't test as often as they need to.

Well, test strips are only as good as how you use the information you get from them. Insurance companies tend to limit strips because of an English study that showed that Type 2's who tested didn't get any better A1cs than those that did not test. But the important question that they didn't bother to ask was, WHY? Well, it's probably because Type 2's who are not on insulin have no way to DO anything about high numbers, other than to log them and show their docs their logbooks. And then the docs tend not to do anything, either, until it becomes an emergency.

At this point, there are NO Type 2 drugs that will allow a person to get a high BG down. They can try exercise, if they are able, but even that is not always effective. Some medical professionals are advocating early use of insulin, and it makes sense to me if it gives them a way to have immediate feedback and the ability to lower their BGs. Also, because diabetes in some is primarily a secretory defect, with insulin resistance only a contributor, insulin makes sense for them, too. (I just got this out of reading a genetic study).

So, because insurance companies are run by business people for profit, and are NOT in the business of optimizing people's health, they practice a one-size-fits-all policy on test strips, and if you need more, then it's YOUR problem! :-(


  1. Even sadder is the notion that if they thought ahead, even a little bit, they'd realize all the MONEY they could save by helping people optimize their health... but somehow, this so drastically escapes the logic of the insurance industry... I mean, even if they can't see the human equation, it boggles the mind that they can't see the long term monetary ramifications of their short term monetary goals. Thanks for sharing this truth.

  2. I am way behind on my blog reading. I agree that T2s are in a bind and can't fix the problems. I talked to someone online that when she finally got her A1c under 6 (and it was in the high 5s), her doctor told her that was dangerous & cut back her meds. At least with insulin, I can decide what I want my BS and try to shoot for that without anyone's permission.