Dear Senator Gillibrand,
Medicare CGM Access Act of 2014' (H.R. 5644), as introduced by Representatives Reed, DeGette and Whitfield, that would ensure Medicare coverage of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). The Senate companion bill, S. 2689, was previously introduced by Senators Collins and Shaheen.
The CGM is an FDA-approved, physician-prescribed device that detects and displays blood glucose levels continuously, and reveals trends in glucose levels that often go unnoticed by using traditional finger-stick measurements alone. The device enables a person with diabetes to react to rising or falling blood glucose levels before they become dangerous. There is extensive clinical evidence that shows the use of a CGM improves diabetes management. Based on this evidence, national diabetes clinical guidelines recommend the use of CGMs and the devices are covered by nearly all private health plans.
Unfortunately, people with diabetes who become Medicare beneficiaries no longer have coverage for their CGM, even if they have been successfully managing their diabetes with the device. With insulin-dependent seniors being at greater risk for hypoglycemia and having higher emergency room use and hospitalization rates, it makes sense for Medicare to cover this technology.
The 'Medicare CGM Access Act of 2014' would resolve this issue and help pave the way for coverage of the next generation of CGM-related technologies, such as artificial pancreas systems.