Our top stories this week include Medicare further expanding CGM coverage, Beta Bionics has an iLet update, ADA announces new Standards of Care, a new study looks at using Fitbits to predict the risk of type 2, and more!
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Episode transcription below:
Hello and welcome to Diabetes Connections In the News! I’m Stacey Simms and these are the top diabetes stories and headlines of the past seven days. As always, I’m going to link up my sources in the Facebook comments – where we are live – we are also Live on YouTube and in the show notes at d-c dot com when this airs as a podcast..
In the News is brought to you by The World’s Worst Diabetes Mom, Real life stories of raising a child with diabetes. Winner of the American Book Fest Prize for best new non-fiction. Available in paperback, on Kindle or as an audio book – all at Amazon.com.
Our top story.. another adjustment for CGM coverage under Medicare. All types of continuous glucose monitors will now be included. The difference here is that it includes CGMs that aren’t approved for making decisions about insulin dosing – at this point, that’s really just the Medtronic brand. This follows another decision in July that covered CGM use with any insulin – including inhaled insulin - and got rid of the four times per day fingerstick testing requirements. The new rule goes into effect in two months.
The American Diabetes Association is out with its annual Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. Notable updates include: Screening for prediabetes and diabetes beginning at age 35 for all people;
Changes to gestational diabetes recommendations regarding when to test and who to test. Updated recommendations on technology selection based on individual and caregiver considerations, ongoing education on use of devices, continued access to devices across insurance companies, support of students using devices in school, use of telehealth visits, and early initiation of technology.
Little bit of news from Beta Bionics, makers of the iLet Bionic Pancreas System. They’ve completed a randomized controlled trial for their insulin only pump.. this included 440 adults and kids over the age of 6 with type 1. The iLet is different in that you only put your weight in and the system learns you. No carb ratios or basal rates. You do still announce meals, but no carb counting.. just meal size. Public presentation of the clinical data is expected in the first half of 2022. They’re now enrolling into the screening protocol for the next step, the pivotal trial for their Bihormonal pump that would use insulin and glucagon.
You probably know there is a terrible shortage of endocrinologists in this country.. an estimated 80% patients with diabetes use their primary physician’s office for their diabetes care. There’s a new push for more endo fellowships.. These 1-year programs, with funding and accreditation, train interested family and internal medicine clinicians in intensive diabetes management. There are several in existence but there’s a new white paper on this getting a lot of buzz. However, critics say it would be a drop in the bucket and couldn’t graduate enough endos to make a difference. Everyone agrees that the problem needs to be addressed.
Interesting study on the use of health wearables and changes in blood sugar. Wearables here refers to Fitbits, so they’re tracking activity not blood glucose. These researchers say their models can accurately identify changes in glycemic control among prediabetic adults, and this could be used to better allocate resources and target interventions to prevent progression to diabetes. Interestingly, the wrist wearable seemed to work better for people than the waist kind. Not a big surprise when you think about which is more popular for use outside of studies. Anybody use a waist wearable anymore? Let me know.
And finally.. a Tennessee man who’d never heard of JDRF just won a 2021 Ford Bronco in that organization’s long-running fundraising contest. Every year JDRF and Ford give away the truck – Henry Ford’s great grandson has T1D – and they’ve raised about half a million dollars with the contest. Derek Bonzagni entered the day before it closed this year.. he learned about it through an online forum for people who love Ford Broncos – not the diabetes community.. AND.. he and wife just bought a Bronco for her – before he won. So now they match.
Before I let you go, a reminder that the podcast this week is with Peloton star instruction Robin Arzon – she’s got great motivation to get us moving whatever your fitness level. Listen wherever you get your podcasts or if you’re listening to this as on a podcast app, just go back an episode.
Next week we’re talking about diabetes in media with the authors of a new book. Hoo boy..
That’s In the News for this week.. if you like it, please share it! Thanks for joining me! See you back here soon.