‘It’s an important step for patients, caregivers and providers’
ABBOTT PARK, Ill. – After hearing from a number of patients and other stakeholders, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently reversed its position on reimbursement for smartphone-connected continuous glucose monitors.
The agency will modify Medicare’s published coverage policy for CGMs to support their use in conjunction with a smartphone, including for data sharing.
Industry leaders were quick to applaud the decision, including Glenn Johnson, general manager of market access, and Joel Goldsmith, senior director of digital platforms, at Abbott Diabetes Care, which makes the Freestyle Libre CGM system.
HHTN:How will the decision by CMS impact the continuous glucose monitoring industry?
JOHNSON:This is an important step forward in simplifying diabetes management and yielding the way for future advances in smartphone-enabled continuous glucose monitoring technology. It reinforces the importance of our efforts to make this technology available for U.S. users in the near future.
HHTN:How will it benefit providers and patients?
JOHNSON:The CMS decision is an important step not just for patients, but also for caregivers and providers. For some people with diabetes, caregivers are there to provide support when needed, while others depend on their caregivers for daily tasks, such as medication intake and meals. Smartphone-enabled CGM technology provides those caregivers with peace of mind by allowing them to remotely follow their loved ones’ glucose levels and monitor in real time. Physicians can closely follow their patient’s glucose trends and patterns to make treatment decisions and help improve outcomes.
HHTN:What are some challenges standing in the way of a wider adoption of home health technology like continuous glucose monitors?
JOHNSON:Cost and reimbursement decisions play a big role in whether new health technologies can be widely adopted. At Abbott, our main priority is to provide patients with access to an innovative and affordable product that eliminates painful routine fingersticks for people living with diabetes. We believe that to be truly innovative, you have to find a way to become available to the masses, not just to an elite few who can afford it.
HHTN:How is technology impacting the delivery of home health care today?
GOLDSMITH:Technology has transformed healthcare delivery in the past few years by enabling us to bring new solutions to market that address key health challenges and improve patient outcomes. The diabetes market specifically has been steadily evolving as patients and health care providers are embracing wearable technologies for glucose monitoring; they are now connected at a much higher level and work in tandem to optimize diabetes management.
HHTN:What will it look like in the future?
GOLDSMITH:We believe that health care technology will continue to evolve to provide patients with actionable insights to improve disease management and that we are at the helm of pioneering how data can translate into improved outcomes by enabling people with diabetes to make more informed decisions about their care. This is just the beginning.