Two Diabetes Bills Before Congress


Published: Oct 27, 2014

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) continued its push for diabetes-related legislation in a recent letter to members of Congress.

The letter, signed by AACE president Mack Harrell, MD, and president-elect George Grunberger, MD, called for the passage of two bills: the Medicare CGM Access Act and the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act.

It also asks Congress to conduct follow-up hearings to examine FDA’s pre- and post-marketing surveillance and enforcement activities for medical devices, along with a call for a review of Medicare’s competitive bidding practices.

“Unfortunately our current healthcare system is failing patients with diabetes in part due to issues of access, reimbursement, and quality of glucose monitoring supplies,” they wrote in the letter.

The Medicare CGM Access Act promotes Medicare coverage of continuous glucose monitors. Currently, Medicare does not reimburse for CGM, which means that well-controlled patients with type 1 diabetes lose an important means of monitoring once they hit the eligibility age of 65, Grunburger told MedPage Today in an earlier interview.

He said it is unclear why Medicare does not cover the devices, despite the evidence of benefit and cost savings. The device has been associated with a reduction in hospitalizations for hypoglycemia, he said.

The National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act seeks to create a public-private commission with clinical diabetes experts, patient advocates, and representatives of federal agencies to better coordinate the activities that now fall under the purview of 35 federal departments, agencies, and offices.

Harrell and Grunberger said AACE’s recent Glucose Monitoring Consensus Conference, which brought together medical experts, industry, insurers, regulators, and patient advocates, served as a model for the type of collaboration that the commission seeks to achieve.

Kristina Fiore joined MedPage Today after earning a degree in science, health, and environmental reporting from NYU. She’s had bylines in newspapers and trade and consumer magazines including Newsday, ABC News, New Jersey Monthly, and Earth Magazine. At MedPage Today, she reports with a focus on diabetes, nutrition, and addiction medicine.

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