The following is a guest post regarding Oregon’s Health Evidence Review Commission making a recommendation to restrict access to blood glucose test strips for people with type 2 diabetes on the Medicaid-funded Oregon Health Plan (OHP) This post is from Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and Registered Nurse, Tavia Vital.
I (Tavia Vital) am a Certified Diabetes Educator and a Registered Nurse. I have survived with Type 1 Diabetes for 33 years with no major long term complications largely due to access to test strips and appropriate insulin therapy.
There simply is no substitution for having access to appropriate therapy including adequate test strips in order to decrease glucose variability, A1C, the risks for acute (hypo or hyperglycemia, especially severe episodes which require Emergency Medical Assistance and/or hospitalization) and long term complications (micro and macrovascular diseases and neuropathy leading to blindness, amputation, kidney failure requiring dialysis, stroke, and/or heart attack, for example) of diabetes.
I recommend you review the DCCT, UKPDS (including the 10 year review of both studies), STeP-2 studies/trials. Then review annual costs of medical costs on the healthcare system of diabetes. Then review annual costs per case of poorly controlled versus well controlled diabetes. You can Google search to find all of this info easily. To help you get started:
There is no way for healthcare professionals to make meaningful, appropriate, and safe medication adjustments without adequate blood sugar testing. There is no better way for people with Type 2 Diabetes to evaluate and modify the lifestyle changes they are making (which is the foundation of diabetes management (or the effectiveness of medication changes) than frequent blood sugar testing.
I implore you to think about what coverage you would want for yourself, your parents, or your children (of whom 1 in 3 is predicted to have Type 2 diabetes if they were born after about the year 2000). Thank you for considering the value of the lives, and quality of life, for your clients with Type 2 Diabetes.
I’d like to thank Tavia Vital for sharing her article on www.richthediabetic.com.