The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recently expressed its concern that the heavy Medicare requirements for diabetic supplies prescriptions may affect unbranded diabetic testing supplies and patients’ health.
Diabetes is a costly, common and deadly illness. Patients who have diabetes need to have accurate diabetic testing supplies to maintain their precarious health.
Sylvia Burwell, secretary of the HHS, stated that the academy is concerned because the most effective testing supplies may not be covered with Medicare because of its strict rules for diabetic prescriptions.
To resolve this issue, the AAFP mailed a letter to Medicare, asking that rules for diabetic supplies prescriptions be modified into a single streamlined process. This would make prescribing the supplies simpler for patients and their physicians alike.
"Family physicians simply want to be able to prescribe efficiently and effectively what their diabetic patients need to help manage their condition in a way that maintains their health," representatives said in the letter. "Unfortunately, the current Medicare rules surrounding prescription of diabetic supplies impede this goal and add no discernible value to the care of such patients."
One of the main points of concern is the strict, burdensome documentation rules from Medicare.
"In practice, the documentation requirements are onerous to our members and consume valuable physician time that is not germane to the actual care of the patient," they said. "Clearly, the documentation requirements add administrative cost to both Medicare and the family physician and diminish the opportunity for better diabetic care. Family physicians' time is better spent helping patients manage their diabetes, not providing additional paperwork to justify what the patient needs."