Two Minute Diabetes Advocacy: 21st Century Cure Act + CGM

708615_95129272One hundred years ago, those of us with Type 1 diabetes would be pushing up daisies. Pining for the fjords. Deader than doornails. Not living.

Today, thanks to amazing researchers and the advancement of technology, we are living longer, healthier lives. We are living in the 21st Century. No flying cars or Jetson butlers, but yet… we are making headway, at least on the healthcare front. But we need your help.

Here’s your two minute diabetes advocacy challenge for today.

(Less time than it takes to pop some microwave popcorn!)

The 21st Century Cures Act is a bipartisan (meaning both Democrats and Republicans are interested, which you know is rare!) attempt at vaulting U.S. healthcare into this century by changing the ways drugs, devices, and treatments are approved and marketed. It’s a whopper of a draft bill, currently, with five sections:

  • Title I—Putting Patients First By Incorporating Their Perspectives Into The Regulatory Process And Addressing Unmet Needs
  • Title II—Building The Foundation For 21st Century Medicine, Including Helping Young Scientists
  • Title III—Modernizing Clinical Trials
  • Title IV—Accelerating The Discovery, Development, And Delivery Cycle And Continuing 21st Century Innovation At NIH, FDA, CDC, And CMS
  • Title V—Modernizing Medical Product Regulation

If you want to read all 393 pages of the bill, have at it here.

There is a section for “Breakthrough Devices.” As The Regulatory Explainer (an amazing site!) explains:

As with breakthrough drugs, breakthrough devices are those which represent “breakthrough technologies,” are intended to treat conditions “for which no approved alternative exist,” offer “significant advantages over existing approved or cleared alternative,” are “otherwise in the best interest of patients”  and/or have the potential to “reduce or eliminate the need for hospitalization, improve patient quality of life.”

Continuous glucose monitors (CGM) fall soundly into that category and are currently covered under many private insurance plans (and some state plans), but once you age onto Medicare, if you have Type 1 diabetes and use a CGM, say good-bye to your coverage of that device. Out-of-pocket is your only option, and it’s cost-prohibitive. As people with Type 1 diabetes live longer, we are seeing that the tools that will help us most are not being offered by CMS/Medicare. This has to change.

We need to ask the Energy & Commerce subcommittee to include continuous glucose monitor (CGM) coverage for Medicare participants in the 21st Century Care Act.

Here’s where you can help in less than two minutes. (Throw that popcorn into the microwave right now.)

Got Twitter? Yes? Go!  

(No? Sign up for Twitter and help raise your voice to your representatives in Congress. They do listen! But it will take a little longer than microwave popcorn.)

Hit the start button on your microwave.

1. Click here. ( and read the quick info on that page.

2. Find out if your state representative is in the Energy & Commerce Subcommittee list on the page. (If you don’t know who your rep is, click here and enter your zip code. Voilà!)

3. Find your state and your rep and click on the “CGM in 21st Century Cures” and TWEET!

4. Share that page with everyone you know. (Look for the SHARE THIS link at the bottom of that page.)

5. You’re done. Carefully open that bag of microwave popcorn; contents may be hot!

Thank you for letting your representative in Congress know that including CGM coverage for Medicare participants is the right thing to do. No one should be denied coverage of this breakthrough diabetes device because of age!

  1. Unfortunately, there are no reps from Nevada on the committee. On the other hand, Harry Reid is on the Commerce, Science and Transportation committee in the Senate, and I already sent him a letter, and he did respond. Best I can do at the moment. When the bill reaches the floor of both houses, I will be sure to advocate for them — Nevada is going to be represented!

  2. What a noble course crystal sadly in the UK the NHS do not fund CGMs so T1 have to fund there own purchase and the investment and costs around a month is around £230 per month $347 but i feel we should all be able to gain access both sides of the atlantic,I think 10% of diabetics in the US have a CGM i cant give the figure in the UK,You only need one visit to hospital with a acute hypo and three days in hospital to pay towards the investment for it to make sense that this could cut down on the amount of ER/A&E i think the cost is about £500 per day so CGMs make sense especially for people like me who is hypo unaware.Think adding it to the US bill makes perfect sense

  3. I am the same as Gareth from the UK …. I’m across the pond from in Canada 😉 … and sadly – Canada’s health care provincial system doesn’t cover CGMS’s either and I have yet to hear of any Canadian getting coverage from work insurance – we’re even lucky if we get coverage for insulin pumps (it’s not Canadian wide – or covered by Federal government – or again work insurance …. booo hissss booo). I actually am using a Canadian islet cell recepients DEXCOM that she no longer needed since being “CURED” – and luckily donation of 2 boxes of expired sensors from #Duncon Rhonda Beese are keeping me going for awhile 🙂

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