Medicare vs BS testing supplies

Pat Roth
By Pat Roth Latest Reply 2009-07-12 20:32:39 -0500
Started 2009-07-11 15:47:22 -0500

Does anyone else have trouble getting Medicare to supply enough lancets and strips to test more than twice a day? Our drug store said that since I am NOT on INsulin, that I can not test more than what the Dr requested, twice a day, BUT I was in the process of determing what foods I could eat, how my exercise plan was working comparativley—etc. This little challenge gets my goat, frankly, as it seems to prohibit us from becoming better informed and involved in our own care plan! I had been checking about 4 times a day to try and SEE WHERE I AM and WHY! Now another hurdle, govt involved, of course! Don't get me started on that one, as if SOMEONE has their way, if I complain, being 77 yrs. THEY just might give me a pill and be rid of another elderly lady, and I AIN'T READY TO GO YET, thank you! Best Wishes to ALL! Pat Roth

23 replies

cyncyn 2009-07-12 20:13:39 -0500 Report

A Registered Dietician can help steer you in the right direction, also. Ask your dr. to refer you to one. If you have Medicare, they will pay for it. I think they pay for two visits. But in that time, you will have the insight, to move forward on your own. Tell your dr. that you need more supplies, and explain to him/her as to way. Best wishes and good luck.


Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-12 20:30:42 -0500 Report

All of the above, make sense! At least I feel like I have folks that care and respond to the best of their own thoughts, and experiences! I know, I MUST conquer my fear of Drs,—so many put downs, reminded me of my dad leaving mom and I when I was 8 yrs, for another woman, was in WW2, then came HOME when I was 14 and everything was supposed to hunky-dokey! NOT! Mom was —another story—but I am growing up (I know at 77 yrs., it is about time—BUT—-) and it is time to stand on my own 2 feet and take care of myself. I have finally learned that that is NOT being selfish! I am an only child, and you know "What they say—-ha—oh, well—-better finish getting it together and make some decisions for myself, but at least I have more personal knowledge with which to make those decisions. I can see that one has to do what they should, but it mainly helps to have folks who even CARE, then feel fortified, and with God in my heart to help me watch my tongue—-ahha—NOW that is a REAL LAUGH! I FEEL stronger to make those choices—moderation, I think is the key word. Thanks so much—-I still get almost too tired to think for myself, but MUST! PR

cyncyn 2009-07-11 22:09:40 -0500 Report

We order my mother-in-laws supplies through U.S. Medical Supply. They will send you some paper work to fill out, to see how much you would pay. Most medicare recipiants, pay little to nothing!!!!They will then notify your dr., for the prescription, and then they send it directly to you, via mail!!! We also had the same problem at the pharmacy, with the supplies! US Medical, also have other products, you may be interested in. When they call you, they will ask! We have been with them, now, for about 6 months, so far, they are great!! Their phone number is :—- 1-800-787-6331 … also, with those supplies, you get a new meter, also. Good Luck

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-12 00:01:10 -0500 Report

Thanks to all for this information!! I figured that there had to be a sensible solution, surely ALL are not that hard hearted! I wondered about using the lancets over. I may be sorry that if I ask this new Dr. as the way he informed me that I needed pills, was, I went to the drugstore, came home with a bottle of pills that said Metformin 500mg, and wondered what in the world they were for!! I e-mailed our PA son in Idaho, and he was the one that told me what they were for! Good Grief! Do I look that hard headed?? No, don't answer! ha

That has been over a year ago, my next AIC is due in Aug. so will try and discuss with him my questions, think I can handle myself now in a socially acceptable way! Try not to treat them the way that I have been treated, with God's help! would you believe that I tried to explain to one Dr ,how this weird stuff was acting and he told me to leave his office and to never come back!
I haven't!!!!!!!!!! I was so upset that I left my water jug there, so wrote the clinic a letter explaining what had happened, his exact words—if they believed me!!! And wanted to be reimbursed for my mug ($2) or to have mine mailed to me!
I got this nice letter back (I know their tactics in handling difficult patients—haha) and kindly reimbursed me my $2, stating that they usually didn't do such—and were sorry that I wasn't pleased with their services—-I don't think that I recommended that he jump off of the nearest bridge, but later, I heard of others complaining about his hatefullness! So again, I was not alone, even if I felt like it at the time~ It was all so understated as to how I really felt, that I did my usual thing of LAUGHING!! Old boy, you aren't going to get me down, at least not for long!
There, I feel better, once more! hugs to ALL, PR

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-12 00:06:11 -0500 Report

I was referring to Stinging Nettles, a weed that itches, burns like fire, acts like poison ivy or oak, only soaking 23 hours a day with Domeboro powder soaks offered any relief at all, if not pulled out, the acid went down into the bone and then it did hurt!! I talked an er into giving me a few shots for the pain, but with them not understanding the problem I was afraid that they would think that I was a proessional patient!! GRIEF—if they only knew how much I endured before I would even go to a Dr.! Oh well, the pain, red swelling and soreness if finally leaving——I still wear a white glove on my right hand at night, but it is so much better!! Hugs, PR

great dane
great dane 2009-07-12 11:21:10 -0500 Report

The key to getting Medicare to pay for more strips is to get your Dr. to prescribe more testing (3 - 4 times/day) Good luck!

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-12 13:51:13 -0500 Report

Thanks so much for your tips—-am writing down phone nos. etc—I think I FEEL more sure of myself now, since visiting with you all, and feel like I know more in where I fit into this wheel of change. Thanks again! I now feel like I can hold my ground with a nice Dr. now—wo will give it a whirl! PR

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-12 13:52:15 -0500 Report

That tip really makes sense, since I have SETTLED down and really THOUGHT about it, what is the word, FOCUS??!! ha—PR

centrider 2009-07-12 15:57:06 -0500 Report

Well, it's not your germs on your fingers, Pat.

However, I might consider cleaning the lancet with the alcohol, and of course wash your hands well.

Generally I'm not in favor of reusing anything which penetrates the skin. There have been cases of infection from the reuse of one's own lancets.

A special case which I can site: I ride a bike. A lot. If I test during the ride, I'm not going to reuse that lancet. In fact, I do not reuse any of my lancets. Let your dr. know you're not getting enough to test, as suggested by others.

Sorry Pat, diabetes is not a do-it-yourself solution. You do have to work it out with them, stinging nettles or not.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-12 18:14:20 -0500 Report

Oh, I suppose! It is just that I got so TIRED of being ridiculed and not believed when I came up with something, then this Stinging Nettles thing was just the last straw to me, at least for quite awhile—I have been getting more rest, venting here—where it is safe and no one will "tell the neighbors". It does help to hear other's attitudes and thoughts about diabetis and LIFE, as I became so unsure of myself for a long time, I could barely remember my name!

Yes, the sensible thing is to discuss this with my Dr. and stand my ground if he thinks that I am asking too many questions! I now know, that I am NOT a HYPCHONDRIAC, and I have the right to be treated as a sane, sensible patient—-rather like getting back on a horse after being thrown MANY TIMES!! Thanks for the boost, I will TRY, and no, I will not re-use lancets, I do know better. Thanks to all for their support—I will start making my own decisions now, with more knowledge and support under my belt!! Thanks—PR

kdroberts 2009-07-12 20:00:55 -0500 Report

"Sorry Pat, diabetes is not a do-it-yourself solution. You do have to work it out with them, stinging nettles or not."

I would have to say the complete opposite. Diabetes is very much a do it yourself disease. You are the one living with it 24/7/365, you only see the doctor maybe 4 times a year for 15-60 minutes or so. You see a doctor to get expert advice about what to do day to day, help come up with a plan and gain access to the tools you need to carry out the plan. The day to do management is your responsibility. The food you eat, the medication you take, the exercise you do, the adjustments you make based on your blood sugar readings and all the rest of the things you have to do every day.

kdroberts 2009-07-11 21:45:31 -0500 Report

I wouldn't worry about the lancets, it's not uncommon to use the same one multiple times. I use an accu-chek multiclix and it has taken me close to 18 months to get through half a box of lancets, 102 per box. As to the test strips, to your doctor and see what they can do. They may just give you strips, they may prescribe you more or they may talk to medicare to get you what you need,

2009-07-11 22:01:41 -0500 Report

i change my lancet MAYBE once a week. that is if i even remember. this seems to be the m.o. for most dbs. lol.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-12 00:08:13 -0500 Report

I am glad that not changing the lancets seems to be OK, I worked for 30 years in a hospital so am trained to think GERMS—etc, but if it is on one own's self, and I do use alcohol swabs before in inject, and you all think that it is OK< I am for it! Thanks!! PR

kdroberts 2009-07-12 06:09:51 -0500 Report

Personally I would ditch the alcohol swabs as a standard and only use them when you really need to. They dry out your skin and can make it hard and painful to get blood.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-12 13:48:54 -0500 Report

Thanks, but I use coton balls , but they absorb so much alcohol that a bottle lasts no time, and I am trying to be thrifty, but safe! I trust others' judgements as I have no clue—just learning, have a few left over inhibitions concerning germs—just not sure. Thank again, I love your posts, kdrobe. What does that stand for, by the way? Smiles—PR

remiglo 2009-07-11 21:44:34 -0500 Report

Have you told your Physician you are working out how different foods and exercise affect your BS. Have you asked him to more testing per day?

remiglo 2009-07-11 21:40:32 -0500 Report

Have you told your Physician you are working out how different foods and exercise affect your BS. Have you asked him to more testing per day?

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-11 23:46:58 -0500 Report

No, I HATE to talk to Drs as I was put down so, you wouldn't believe it, over things that were uncommon! That was NOT my fault! has anyone ever gotten into Stinging Nettles? Well, that is another story of PAIN, burning and itching you wouldn't believe, for 4 1/2 years!!! and no Dr. did! I went to 6 plus 3 dermatologists and because they had not heard of it, they would not treat me. If I could have sued the whole Dr profesion, I would have, well, maybe not,but at that time I had no place to VENT! My feelings were so hurt, that I just try to suffer through stuff, not always a good solution! I have cnonsented to see a new Dr in another town, every 3 mos for my AIC, so may try once more to get through to them! When they gave me a hard time when I was caring for my aging mom (she died 2 yrs. ago at 98 yrs.) she had some emotional problems, they thought that it was all me, and part of it probably was, due to no support, still can't really talk about it, That is why this site has become so important to me. Thanks for all kind info and support and answering questions without putting a person down, or thinking that they are imagining things!! PR

lipsie 2009-07-11 21:30:44 -0500 Report

I have heard of this yes…actually though if you join a company like US Medical or some sort you end up getting more somehow it seems. But I am not quoting on that one. I agree, it's ridiculous to limit one on this cuz you are right, you want to test to different meals, exercise, etc. and see where you stand…you should be able to do so and NOT give up!! I agree!! *HugS* Sheila