Thursday, February 26, 2009

United Healthcare, Aetna, and Kaiser Permanente

What do these 3 health plans have in common? United Healthcare, Aetna, and Kaiser Permanente

They now offer expanded coverage of continuous glucose monitors (CGM) for patients with type 1 diabetes. It's great to see advances in technology that have tangible impact on disease management.

Last month, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) published its 2009 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. The new standards recommends the use of CGM in the following ways:

  • Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) in conjunction with intensive insulin regimens can be a useful tool to lower A1C in selected adults (age ≥25 years) with type 1 diabetes.
  • Although the evidence for A1C lowering is less strong in children, teens, and younger adults, CGM may be helpful in these groups. Success correlates with adherence to ongoing use of the device.
  • CGM may be a supplemental tool to SMBG in those with hypoglycemia unawareness and/or frequent hypoglycemic episodes.
One of the studies that provided robust data on the use of CGM was this New England Journal of Medicine article:

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Continuous Glucose Monitoring Study Group: Continuous glucose monitoring and intensive treatment of type 1 diabetes. N Engl J Med 359:1464–1476, 2008

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