People with Type 1 Spend More on Supplies Than on Insulin was reported by Sara Seitz for InsulinNation.com, 16 July 2020. While bills to lower diabetes spending focus on insulin price caps, most T1Ds spend more out-of-pocket on diabetes supplies
The research from Michigan Medicine, which was published in JAMA last month, looked at the diabetes-related out-of-pocket costs of over 65,000 American type 1 patients, ages 1 to 64, who were enrolled in private insurance. Spending was broken down into four categories: insulin, diabetes-related supplies, other types 1 diabetes-related services (including oral medication), and unrelated medical services.
Overall, results from the analysis showed that the average person living with type 1 spends around $2,500 per year out-of-pocket for health care, while 8% of T1Ds spend over $5,000 per year. Only about 18% of out-of-pocket spending went to buying insulin. Most patients, especially younger type 1s, spent more money on diabetes-related supplies such as CGM sensors, pump supplies, and test strips than they did on insulin.
The Affordable Insulin Act, the Insulin Price Reduction Act, and the Affordable Insulin for All Act were all introduced within the last two years. And, just recently, the President signed an executive order capping insulin prices for seniors on Medicare.
The problem? Every one of these bills has a single focus: Insulin. Not one of the bills effectively addresses the other costs of living with type 1. Since these expenditures represent over 80% of the out-of-pocket healthcare costs a T1D endures, they really should not be left out of the conversation.
Read more: T1Ds Spend More on Supplies Than on Insulin
How to Stay Safe with Type 1 Diabetes in the Hospital was published by Craig Idlebrook for DiabetesMine.com, 14 July 2020.
Around the country, positive policy changes are in the works, setting up basic standards for inpatient care and allowing more widespread use of CGMs in the hospital. But many patients and families still find themselves up against ill-informed providers who may not understand the realities of T1D blood sugar management.
This is partly because T1D blood sugar management is so individualized and complex that it must be self-managed largely without the help of healthcare providers on a day-to-day basis. This level of independence doesn’t always fit well in a hospital setting, according to Gary Scheiner, renowned diabetes care and education specialist (DCES) and director of Integrated Diabetes Services that provides virtual care out of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.
“T1D management requires constant adjustment and integration of countless factors. It truly is a disease of self-management,” he told DiabetesMine. “Hospital staff are not used to allowing patients to manage their own condition, so it often creates conflicts.”
This doesn’t mean that people with T1D should avoid hospital care. Instead, they should be well prepared to navigate these obstacles.
For more tips and checklists for being prepared, check out The Savvy Diabetic tab on Being a Prepared T1D … including information sheets that you can customize and lists of how to pack your T1D Go Bag.
Is it fair to hope that patients with Type 1 Diabetes (autoimmune) may be spared by the infection of Covid-19? This is a hypothesis … The CoV-19 infection appears to be unusual among patients with type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, although they are considered a fragile population. We think that this in part due to the peculiar immune condition that leads to the destruction of the Beta cells.
Needle-free CGM startup exits stealth with new funding was written by Dave Muoio for MobiHealthNews.com, 14 July 2020.
Continuous glucose monitor (CGM) startup Movano Inc. exited stealth with the news of $10 million bridge funding round headed by Tri-Valley Ventures. Taken alongside its prior investments, the company said it has now raised $27 million since its founding in 2018.
Movano is developing a connected CGM wearable that doesn’t require the user to break the skin with a needle or prick. Rather, the company uses an onboard radio frequency-powered sensor, which it combines with a cloud-based network app and proprietary machine learning algorithms. Through that app, the tool will display real-time data, such as trending lines and time-in-range counts, to the user, as well as to providers or caregivers with whom they choose to share the data.
“There’s a considerable disconnect between the demand for an inconspicuous and inexpensive glucose measurement solution and what’s on the market. Today, people with diabetes have two options to get a glucose reading – either prick their finger daily or wear an expensive, disposable patch,” Michael Leabman, founder and CEO of Movano, said in a statement. “We plan to bridge this gap, so that measuring your glucose becomes as simple as glancing at your wrist, whether you’re a person with diabetes, pre-diabetes or a part of the greater wellness community. We’re going to break down the current cost, usability and accessibility barriers with CGMs so that anyone can manage their glucose levels with confidence and in a way that best suits their lifestyle.”
People hated masks during the 1918 pandemic, too. 675,000 Americans died was written by J. Alexander Navarro for FastCompany.com, 14 July 2020.
There’s a clear consensus that Americans should wear masks in public and continue to practice proper social distancing. While a majority of Americans support wearing masks, widespread and consistent compliance has proven difficult to maintain in communities across the country. America’s divisiveness over masks is alarmingly familiar: Everyone from streetcar conductors to physicians railed against masks during the 1918 pandemic. Said one public official: “Under no circumstances will I be muzzled like a hydrophobic dog.”
I’ve researched the history of the 1918 pandemic extensively. At that time, with no effective vaccine or drug therapies, communities across the country instituted a host of public health measures to slow the spread of a deadly influenza epidemic: They closed schools and businesses, banned public gatherings, and isolated and quarantined those who were infected. Many communities recommended or required that citizens wear face masks in public–and this, not the onerous lockdowns, drew the most ire.
In mid-October of 1918, amidst a raging epidemic in the Northeast and rapidly growing outbreaks nationwide, the United States Public Health Service circulated leaflets recommending that all citizens wear a mask. The Red Cross took out newspaper ads encouraging their use and offered instructions on how to construct masks at home using gauze and cotton string. Some state health departments launched their own initiatives, most notably California, Utah, and Washington.
Nationwide, posters presented mask-wearing as a civic duty–social responsibility had been embedded into the social fabric by a massive wartime federal propaganda campaign launched in early 1917 when the U.S. entered the Great War. San Francisco Mayor James Rolph announced that “conscience, patriotism and self-protection demand immediate and rigid compliance” with mask wearing. In nearby Oakland, Mayor John Davie stated that “it is sensible and patriotic, no matter what our personal beliefs may be, to safeguard our fellow citizens by joining in this practice” of wearing a mask.
Health officials understood that radically changing public behavior was a difficult undertaking, especially since many found masks uncomfortable to wear. Appeals to patriotism could go only so far. As one Sacramento official noted, people “must be forced to do the things that are for their best interests.” The Red Cross bluntly stated that “the man or woman or child who will not wear a mask now is a dangerous slacker.” Numerous communities, particularly across the West, imposed mandatory ordinances. Some sentenced scofflaws to short jail terms, and fines ranged from $5 to $200.
Passing these ordinances was frequently a contentious affair. A draft resolution in Portland, Oregon, led to heated city council debate, with one official declaring the measure “autocratic and unconstitutional,” adding that “under no circumstances will I be muzzled like a hydrophobic dog.” It was voted down.
As the epidemic resurged, Oakland tabled its debate over a second mask order after the mayor angrily recounted his arrest in Sacramento for not wearing a mask. A prominent physician in attendance commented that “if a cave man should appear…he would think the masked citizens all lunatics.”
In places where mask orders were successfully implemented, noncompliance and outright defiance quickly became a problem. Many businesses, unwilling to turn away shoppers, wouldn’t bar unmasked customers from their stores. Workers complained that masks were too uncomfortable to wear all day. One Denver salesperson refused because she said her “nose went to sleep” every time she put one on. Another said she believed that “an authority higher than the Denver Department of Health was looking after her well-being.” As one local newspaper put it, the order to wear masks “was almost totally ignored by the people; in fact, the order was cause of mirth.” The rule was amended to apply only to streetcar conductors–who then threatened to strike. A walkout was averted when the city watered down the order yet again. Denver endured the remainder of the epidemic without any measures protecting public health.
It is difficult to ascertain the effectiveness of the masks used in 1918. Today, we have a growing body of evidence that well-constructed cloth face coverings are an effective tool in slowing the spread of COVID-19. It remains to be seen, however, whether Americans will maintain the widespread use of face masks as our current pandemic continues to unfold. Deeply entrenched ideals of individual freedom, the lack of cohesive messaging and leadership on mask wearing, and pervasive misinformation have proven to be major hindrances thus far, precisely when the crisis demands consensus and widespread compliance. This was certainly the case in many communities during the fall of 1918. That pandemic ultimately killed about 675,000 people in the U.S. Hopefully, history is not in the process of repeating itself today.