Medicaid: Cover life saving CGM's for ALL type 1 diabetics

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Urge Medicaid to require that EVERY Medicaid funded program in EVERY state provide coverage for CGM's (continual glucose monitors) for ALL patients with type 1 diabetes. In addition to providing guidance for better blood glucose control, CGM's can save lives by alerting diabetics and/or their caregivers to dangerously low or high blood sugars before it's too late. Often, Medicaid will require that patients requesting CGM's jump through hoops to prove "medical necessity." CGM's ARE necessary for ALL type 1 diabetics, as it can take only one dangerously high or low blood sugar to suddenly end a life. Even with excellent blood glucose control, type 1 diabetes is extremely unpredictable, especially during times of illness.

CGM's are especially essential during overnight hours, when diabetics and their caregivers are not typically awake to monitor blood sugars with a manual glucometer. Unfortunately, night time hours are also the most likely time for dangerously low blood sugars to occur. Type 1 diabetics can, and do die from "dead in bed" syndrome." "Dead in bed" syndrome is exactly what it sounds like: the diabetic goes to bed seemingly fine, but never wakes up again because their blood sugar crashed overnight without anyone becoming aware of this. Recent statistics indicate that 6% of all deaths in type 1 diabetics under age 40 occur due to dead in bed syndrome. Even one death from dead in bed syndrome is one death too many when life saving CGM's are available to prevent these tragedies.

In addition to being extremely dangerous, not having access to a CGM is very burdensome on the families of type 1 diabetics. Without access to CGM's, families of type 1 diabetics are often compelled to get up several times per night to check their loved one's blood sugar with a manual glucometer. This quickly becomes very burdensome on the family, as getting up can greatly interfere with sleep quality and duration, leading to sleep deprivation and exacerbating stress and other health problems.  Parents may have difficulty functioning effectively in a job setting when their sleep is continually disturbed over a long period of time. Additionally, without a CGM, low blood sugars can be missed, even with frequent checks overnight with a glucometer.

How do I know all this? I'm the mother of a recently diagnosed type 1 diabetic. My daughter has additional special needs, and relies on Medicaid for her extensive health care needs. In spite of numerous, scary incidents of low blood sugars during overnight hours, Medicaid has continued to indicate that they will not cover the cost of a CGM for my daughter. Because my husband drives for a living, he is is not able to do the majority of the overnight checks, leaving me to get up mostly on my own several times per night. While we're very lucky that I'm able to stay home, many type 1 diabetes families are not this fortunate, and struggle to maintain their jobs, and income, while also struggling with the chronic fatigue that comes with caring for a child with diabetes 24 hours per day. 

Tell Medicaid that ALL type 1 diabetics and their families deserve access to this life-saving, life improving technology. No parent should have to go to bed at night wondering if their child will wake up in the morning. And no parent should have to continually sacrifice their own health out of fear that their child may die if they don't.

 



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