Co-Chairs of Congressional Diabetes Caucus Reed & DeGette Applaud Expanded CGM Coverage
Tom Reed and Diana DeGette (D-CO), co-Chairs of the House Diabetes Caucus, are applauding a change in policy that will help diabetic senior citizens. After a multi-year effort led by Reed and DeGette, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will expand Medicare coverage for Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems. “We care about those struggling with diabetes because we know those challenges first hand,” Reed said. “That’s why we have worked since coming to Congress to get these changes across the finish line. By making this simple adjustment, we are ensuring access to these innovative medical tools, improving the quality of life for so many and ultimately curbing larger long term costs through prevention. It’s a win-win-win.”
The two legislators worked tirelessly on this issue, pushing members of Congress to support their efforts and working with CMS to ensure expanded access to this service. In addition, they sponsored legislation, the Medicare CGM Access Act of 2015 during the 114th Congress, which would require the adjustment outside of the regulatory process. The bipartisan legislation had 274 co-sponsors by the end of last session.
“Medicare’s decision to cover certain CGM devices will provide relief and savings for millions of seniors who suffer from diabetes,” DeGette said. “People with diabetes rely on their CGMs for care management. I have no doubt that this development will lead to better health outcomes for patients, and will save lives.”
“This is a great step forward after working for years to get this across the finish line,” added Reed. “We will continue to work with the Administration to ensure senior citizens living with diabetes continue to have access to this important newly-covered treatment option.”
CGM systems are wearable devices that monitor the blood glucose levels for diabetics over time. The devices eliminate the need for painful finger pricking and testing strips, while providing more information to the person about the fluctuating levels of glucose throughout the day and night. The added information allows diabetics to more acutely treat this condition and reduces the cost for testing supplies.
Last Congress, Reed and Degette were the Co-Chair of the House Diabetes Caucus, the largest caucus in Congress, boasting over 300 bipartisan members.