Friday May 24, 2013

Some years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which I keep under control using an inexpensive generic drug (Metformin) and diet. To keep track of my blood sugar level I test it with a device that uses little disposable "test strips.". My doctor has always prescribed testing three times a day.

Recently I refilled my prescription for the test strips, and shortly thereafter received correspondence from the pharmacy. This consisted of a demand that, once every six months, I mail in a record of my test results over a one month period. Supposedly this is to verify that I actually use three strips a day, but this could just as well be documented by a affidavit without data. If I don’t comply Medicare will only cover (with copay) one strip per day. Supposedly this will save money, but I don’t know why they care, as the strips are of no use except for blood testing, and if I were to test less often the prescription would be filled less frequently.

Then I read Page 2 of the correspondence. It says that I must also give my doctor a copy of the log. No problem with that. But it goes on to tell the doctor how he must do his job, and that they (?) may review the data (that’s why they want data) and second-guess his opinion regarding my medical care.

This particular issue is not a big deal, but it represents my first evidence of the government bureaucrat playing doctor. Next time it may be
critical.

And that is a big deal.

ED DARTFORD

Stockbridge