The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced that Medicare will now support the simultaneous use of smartphone applications with continuous glucose monitors.

Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the co-chairwomen of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, had sent a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma in March urging the agency to make this change.

CMS’ new policy will allow beneficiaries to link potentially lifesaving CGM devices with their smartphones to better manage their diabetes and to share data with family members, physicians and caregivers.

The goal is to move CGMs to become more accessible for those who are blind or have low-vision. People with diabetes use CGMS to provide them with real-time measurements of their glucose levels, which can prevent costly and sometimes deadly complications from the disease. Currently, one out of every three Medicare dollars is spent on patients with diabetes.

Although CGMs have been covered by Medicare since January 2017, people using smartphone applications in conjunction with these devices had risked losing coverage.

“While this coverage change will benefit all Medicare patients with diabetes, it is a significant improvement to help meet the challenges that blind Americans or those struggling with other visual impairments experience every day,” said Shaheen.



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