The Diabetes Forum Support Community For Diabetics Online

The Diabetes Forum Support Community For Diabetics Online (https://www.diabetesforum.com/forum.php)
-   Diabetes (https://www.diabetesforum.com/diabetes/)
-   -   Test Strip Suppliers (https://www.diabetesforum.com/diabetes/93530-test-strip-suppliers.html)

BobP 09-28-2017 15:47

Test Strip Suppliers
 
I test 10 times a day and have been receiving supplies from a mail order vendor. I use the One Touch Ultra system and prefer it to others I've tried. The Ultra Mini tester is compact, reasonably consistent with A1Cs, reliable and the case laid out such that I can actually test on the run, while walking.

80% of cost, as I'm sure many of you are aware, is covered by Medicare Part B under the rubric, "durable medical supplies"; the remaining 20% by my supplemental insurer.

The service of the mail order vendor is uneven and has declined of late, and I've been casting about for another supplier but have been unable to find one. One Touch informs me that for some reason, Medicare has decided not support mail order suppliers any longer, and that I will have to get strips from any of the large, brick-and-mortar pharmacies (CVS, Walgreens, etc.) from now on.

I'm not hopeful about being able to obtain and - more importantly - get coverage via a local pharmacy. In addition to providing evidence of regular (every 3 months) visits to a diabetologist, a prescription for 10 strips a day, Medicare requires regular submission of logs signed by the doctor verifying frequency of testing; more paperwork than a pharmacy would want to take on, I think.

Anyone else have this experience? Happy to hear from anyone re: frequent testing in general; other manufacturers that people are happy with; and especially anyone using the One Touch system and how they get supplies.

Thanks in advance.

Bob

Bounty 09-28-2017 19:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobP (Post 1242050)
I'm not hopeful about being able to obtain and - more importantly - get coverage via a local pharmacy. In addition to providing evidence of regular (every 3 months) visits to a diabetologist, a prescription for 10 strips a day, Medicare requires regular submission of logs signed by the doctor verifying frequency of testing; more paperwork than a pharmacy would want to take on, I think.

I went through this with Medicare when they first started this we-wanna-make-sure-you're-not-selling-our-strips program. My pharmacy delivered, for awhile, then said I had to come pick up the strips and download my meter. I decided to skip the whole, doctor, Medicare, Pharmacy thing and buy off eBay and test less.

So, you might want to choose a pharmacy close to you, give them a call and see if the 'meter download' thing is available. Getting your insulin from them might sway them as well.

Let us know how it goes...

div2live 09-28-2017 19:31

Bob,
Sorry I cannot help.

I have never ran my strips through Medicare as it was such a hassle. I get my strips and meter from Amazon.com I usually get 400-600 strips and pay around 15 cents per strip. That's $60 - $90, at the rate you use them that is 40 - 60 day supply. For me that is 80-120 day supply and the time and pain of dealing with Medicare and my doctor is not worth the savings to me.....

BobP 09-28-2017 21:22

Bounty,

After another frustrating attempt to straighten out a request with the mail order supplier, I went to a nearby Duane Reade. The pharmacist seemed familiar with the paperwork and routine vis-a-vis Medicare, and was sanguine about being able to order strips regularly through them. I will at least try it.

I got the impression they would accept a printout of the log I keep on my iPad via an app I like (BGluMon Pro), as long as it was signed/endorsed by my doctor. Downloading my machine won't work with me because I may use up to two to three different machines during the course of a day.

I have to agree about the sort implied "criminality" all the rigorous verification conveys. I understand it's designed to keep costs reined in and prevent abuse, but how about some focus on the egregious prices the manufacturers are charging? If Amazon vendors are charging ca. $0.25 per strip and still making money, how can they charge $75 / 50 strips over the counter? In most cases R&D is long over.

Thanks for the note. Keep you posted.

BobP 09-28-2017 21:28

div2live,

Thanks for the note. In my weak moments, I too am tempted to throw up my hands and go to e-bay or Amazon, and eat the cost. I connect with weighing the cost of the emotional energy against the relatively small investment for the strips, and saving my psyche. I'll let you know if I have any luck.

Bounty 09-28-2017 21:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobP (Post 1242122)
I got the impression they would accept a printout of the log I keep on my iPad via an app I like (BGluMon Pro), as long as it was signed/endorsed by my doctor. Downloading my machine won't work with me because I may use up to two to three different machines during the course of a day.

When my pharmacy first said I'd have to bring in my meter to download, I asked them; if I download a file from my meter software program and send it to you via email...will that be compliant? The girl talked it over with the pharmacist and said, "yes", that would do. That lasted for 3 refills and they said they could no longer do that...Medicare required a direct meter download. It was always something with Medicare.

Medicare keeps sending me a notice saying that they authorize a free 'look-up-my-butt' thing. I always feel like emailing them back and telling them to look up their own butts! :typing:

div2live 09-28-2017 21:39

Bob thanks....hope it goes well for you!

Any time I have to work with Medicare people I think the stress they bring to my life, is unhealthy for me and probably shortens my life....SMILE!

I just got my annual 2018 booklet that is supposed to help me evaluate what prescription drug companies I can consider for next year....

I literally fall a sleep after 3-4 pages of trying to read through it....I think the guys the write these things should be required to read them once a day for a year.....I bet then they would actually make them readable and understandable...both of which they are not!

div2live 09-28-2017 21:42

Bounty....

Quote:

Medicare keeps sending me a notice saying that they authorize a free 'look-up-my-butt' thing. I always feel like emailing them back and telling them to look up their own butts! :typing:
You just 'cracked' me up on this one...thanks I needed that!:devil:

itissteve 09-29-2017 16:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobP (Post 1242122)
If Amazon vendors are charging ca. $0.25 per strip and still making money, how can they charge $75 / 50 strips over the counter?

Not to defend the price of strips (a buck apiece??) but the Amazon vendor is not footing the bill for a (reasonably) clean, temperate, and well-stocked Duane Reade building. The Amazon vendor almost certainly is not a registered pharmacist. The Amazon vendor also is not filling out reams of insurer paperwork. All that costs money. So Duane Reade (and Walgreen and CVS and Rite-Aid and...) will charge what they can get paid for.

I'm not on Medicare yet. I'm still testing 6-7 times a day. My solution was to buy my own meter and strips, recognizing that the $$$ is in keeping the meter in strips.

I have the Target meter (a rebranded Agamatrix). I like the technology they use and a recent test of meters shows it's pretty darn accurate. The meter is no longer available because Target sold their pharmacy business to CVS, but that meter model and supplies are still available from Agamatrix and others. CVS sells their own rebranded Agamatrix reader, but the strips are not interchangeable.

I buy my strips from a "Diabetes Warehouse" (not sure I can name them here; PM me if you want the real name and link) a month at a time and the strips run me about 25 cents apiece. As accurate as home BG readings can be (there are plenty of things that affect their accuracy), this one works for me and I don't have to deal with someone okaying my use of my meter for my diabetes.

I understand having a preference for a meter even if the strips are spendy. My main point is that some things are worth the hassle and some are not. I realize my T2 costs me money in lots of other ways; if spending money I can afford out of pocket helps me avoid this snafu, well, it's just one more cost. If I like the meter that much I'll shell out for the strips. Or if I hate dealing with insurers that much maybe I'll move to a different meter. Maybe just get the strips Medicare will let you have and then supplant it out of a "Warehouse" or ebay/Amazon.

Chaidragonfire 11-12-2017 23:34

I'm not retired, I still have to work. Everytime I get close to retirement age, the up it again, so I will probably end up like my granny and have to work till I just can't use my hands anymore.

Anyway, the current company I work for has disgustingly horrible insurance. I can't afford any on my own, so I have to get what they have. They refuse to cover my test strips on my current monitor, one of those Bayer EZ things. Strips were affordable without insurance a couple years ago, then all of a sudden the tripled in price.

My Dr told me to contact the insurance company to see what monitor they will cover test strips on, and OMFG........I had to go through a damned three ring circus from hell just to find someone to tell me what they would cover!!!!!

Apparently I have to go through another three ring circus from hell for THREE MONTHS in order to get signed up on some stupid list so they can "review" my status to see if they will cover said test strips for the monitor they give out for free!

Screw that!!!! I went researching online and found someone on ebay who has the test strips I use on my current monitor. They are cheap and affordable, and I dont need insurance.

For me, I only have to test a few times a week, so a package of 50 strips will last me a while.

I don't know where I'd be without ebay...........that site has saved my butt more times than I can remember.


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 20:30.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.