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Medicare Bidding Program Puts Diabetic Patients in Danger
Date:7/11/2013

e heard stories of consumers who call providers only to have their current brand of testing supplies immediately switched to alternate products. Some consumers have reported difficulty getting through on Medicare help lines."

Already, a complaint hotline sponsored by People for Quality Care and AAHomecare has received more than 200 calls in the 10 days since the bidding program was expanded to 91 new areas.

One of those calls came from Judy Stephens, 67, of Grisham, Ore.  Stephens is distraught because under the expansion of the bidding program, she is forced to receive mail-order diabetic strips. She also had to use a monitor from the mail-order company because their strips don't work with her old, reliable monitor. Stephens has tested with both monitors, but the generic monitor from the mail-order company repeatedly gives readings 100 to 150 points higher than her original one.

"I can't do this," she pleaded, noting that she adjusts her insulin levels in response to the readings and her health could be endangered by the inaccurate readings. "I don't know what I'm going to do. The readings aren't accurate. My doctor said she has two other patients with the same problem."  

Stephens has a couple of months' supply of strips to use with her original monitor, but doesn't know what will happen when those run out.  She offered a desperate plea to the government, "Please cut back some other way."

The American Association for Homecare represents providers of home medical or durable medical equipment and services who serve the needs of millions of Americans who require prescribed oxygen therapy, wheelchairs, enteral feeding, and other medical equipment, services, and supplies at home. Visit www.aahomecare.org.

 


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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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