HealthProtecting Yourself From the Cost of Type 2 Diabetes [ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/13/health/13patient.html ]By WALECIA KONRADPublished: November 12, 2010Diabetes patients spend $6,000 on average a year on care, one reason only 25 percent of diabetics get the treatment they need.
The best way to reduce the cost of supplies is to keep your blood sugar levels under control so that you have to test less often, advised Dr. Lipman. “If you can get your testing down to once a day or even three times a week, you can save money that way,” he said.
Dr. Lipman also suggested using lancets more than once to save costs. “If you keep a lancet sterile and put the cover back on, you can use it two or three times before it becomes too dull,” he said.
Who is this Dr. Lipman anyway and what does he know about managing diabetes? The article identifies him as Dr. Marvin Lipman, chief medical adviser for Consumer Reports Health and a practicing endocrinologist in Westchester County.
Really? Oh my! Test three times a week? Use the same lancet up to three times? Would he tell a patient that it's OK to not take a full course of antibiotics if he couldn't afford all of the pills? Ugh! What frightening advice. Somehow I don't see Dr. Lipman as many people's dream endo.
Limiting testing is NOT the answer. Reusing lancets is NOT the solution. The solution is to get medical insurance, Medicare and Medicade to cover the cost. Otherwise it's just perpetuating the penny-wise pound-foolish mentality.
Policy makers (insurance and governmental) need to make the means available to manage this disease or else we all will pay the price in the end.