Why Clinical Trials Matter To People With Diabetes

819412_43058630Clinical trials means better drugs and devices.

Better drugs and devices mean better treatments.

Better treatments mean longer, healthier lives.

Longer, healthier lives means more time with the people you love.

Clinical trials = love.

Clinicaltrials.gov is the first place to look to see if there is a clinical trial you can participate in that happens to be in your area.

Want a little nudge?

Click on this link for all open clinical trials in the United States with “diabetes” as the keyword.

Click on this link for all open clinical trials in the United States with “Type 1 diabetes” as the keyword. (There are currently 428 studies available.)

You can modify your search and pick your state (heck, if you are out of the U.S., there are still studies you can do). Some areas have more opportunities than others, but this is your chance to get involved and help all people with diabetes. I’ve done clinical trials and am always on the lookout to do more. Why?

Clinical trials = love.

Our very good friends have a child with cancer. This child was being treated with high-dose chemotherapy and developed a life-threatening liver issue. The only treatment that gave them an option was through a clinical trial. That clinical trial saved his life. In participating in the trial, his results will help pave the way for better treatment options for others. He didn’t have a choice (thankfully the clinical trial was available), but we have a choice right now to help others.

Clinicaltrials.gov is a crappy website. Yep. There. I said it. It’s not user-friendly, but it does provide you with all of the information you need. And you can look at it anytime because they’re constantly updating it. For ALL disease states, not just diabetes.

Want to Participate?

Once you’ve found a study that you might want to participate in, you’ll need to check the “inclusion criteria,” which will tell you whether you not you’re a candidate. Some are specifically by age range, some may exclude those who have had illnesses, and others must have individuals in a certain weight range or HbA1C range. If you meet the criteria, you can contact the study coordinator and get more information.

Some trials will provide not only the medication or device during the trial, but medical team appointments and travel/monetary compensation. You can be altruistic AND help yourself at the same time!

If you see your medical team at a research center, ask them if there are any clinical studies that you can participate in. (You never know!)

Also, if you happen to be in the Chicago area and meet the criteria, here’s something that you can do to help…

Research Study for Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes at University of Illinois Chicago

If you are 18 to 30 years old with Type 1 Diabetes, using an insulin pump, not working Evening, Night or Rotating Shifts and willing to participate in a research study then you may be able to help!

Research activities will include: 1 hour visit for health history and physical, wearing monitors to measure activity & glucose and an overnight sleep study.

Research Related activities will occur at: UIC College of Nursing (845 South Damen StreetChicago, IL 60612) and UIC Sleep Science Center (2242 West Harrison Street, Suite 104, Chicago, IL 60612)

Participants will be compensated for time and travel.

If interested please contact the Principal Investigator, Sarah Farabi (email: sschwa24@uic.edu or phone: 312-413-0317)

 

 

What My Father Said…

IMG_4171My father says a lot of things. Most of the things he says, despite his assertion of the contrary, I actually do hear. And right now, I’m living in the middle of one of his comments to me…

“If you want something to get done, give it to the person who has the most to do.”

It’s true, isn’t it?

We are less than 60 days out from The Diabetes UnConference. I’m checking off items left and right as the days whiz by. Las Vegas gets to meet the brave participants who will share their thoughts and feelings about diabetes face-to-face and I’m giddy with anticipation. And apparently, no sense of time.

I booked my flight to Las Vegas earlier this week. This morning, as I was going through my online calendar, I was puzzled at seeing a flight confirmation for February. To Las Vegas. What?

So eager was I for The Diabetes UnConference that I booked my flight a month earlier than intended. Thanks to Southwest’s no change fee policy, the only loss I incurred was one of pride.

(If you haven’t registered for The UnConference yet, please do so ASAP. Flight prices have dropped and the room block rate deadline in February 10th!)

Between the logistical planning, the writing, the management for some really interesting projects I have on the horizon, and being a mom and a wife… I still have diabetes. I’ve made some changes to my management plan and I’m enjoying, for the first time in… forever?… stable blood sugars.

My time in range has never been this good and it has made such a difference in my ability to get things done. I knew that having the roller coaster days weren’t the optimum way to live, but I really had no idea what being in range more often would feel like. For the first time ever, I’m actually excited to have my A1C tested. It makes my life easier, because right now, I’m the person with the most to do.

And the most to gain.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be blogging just a little less frequently. Founding The Diabetes Collective and launching The Diabetes UnConference is an amazing process, but it is time consuming!

 

 

 

We’re Not Gonna Take It

I am sorry for this image that I have put in your head, along with the song that accompanies it.

I am sorry for this image that I have put in your head, along with the song that accompanies it.

My tolerance for ineptitude is miniscule. I wouldn’t consider it a character flaw. (It’s inherited. Genetic. My father has the same tolerance level.) I’m all for giving people breaks if they are new to a position or might be having a bad day, but if the inability to fix a problem for a client is written (in invisible ink) into a company’s mission, there’s a serious issue.

Insurance companies have a lot of serious issues. I paint insurance companies with a broad brush because while there is always an exception to the rule, I have yet to turn to someone after getting off the phone and say:

“Wow. They’re the best insurance company ever. I’ll be a loyal customer until I die!”

Because they don’t want you to be a loyal customer. They want you to leave when you start to have complications or get serious illnesses. They all hope you’ll be another company’s problem by the time that happens.

You’re technically not even a customer; you’re a subscriber. (Unlike a newsletter or a magazine subscription, you’re not subscribing voluntarily.) You’ve “chosen”” ::cough cough:: a particular insurance company, but really it’s your employer in most cases that does it for you.

Side note: Most employers don’t care about the fantastic experience you’d get from the insurance call center or if you have to jump through rings of fire for durable medical equipment. They want to check a box for the government under ACA (although some companies are happily paying the fine) or add “we offer a medical plan” to potential job prospects. (I think all job descriptions should include a URL to the medical plan they offer, but that’s just me being efficient.)

Insurance companies are not altruistic. They are not charities. They are not there to help you. They are businesses. Businesses that have profit margins and bottom lines and investors. For years, they did everything possible to avoid having chronically ill individuals on their plans. These days, they can’t avoid us. We’re here.

But they are not making it easy for anyone these days to get answers. Or help. They think we’re just going to eventually give up.

My latest foray into the seventh circle of hell (which is reserved for insurance companies) had nothing to do with diabetes (except that it was fun to watch the Dexcom graph rise while I was on hold and seething…), but it did prove to me that sometimes, you have to say that you’re just not going to take it.

The Never Ending Story

I had COBRA for two months while John switched to a new position, waiting for his company’s healthcare plan to kick in. I had a Continuation of Coverage certificate, showing the dates of COBRA coverage. COBRA was through the same company as the healthcare insurance company, just a different department. And that’s there the problem started.

COBRA had put in the wrong date (off by one day) for the end of my coverage. Of course, I had two doctor appointments and lab work on that last day, so the bills came in from the providers. I called the insurance company.

Them: “You had no coverage on that date of service.”

Me: “I have a Continuation of Coverage certificate from your company showing that I did. I’m happy to fax it over to you.”

Them: “We can’t receive faxes. You need to contact COBRA and have them change the date. Then you can call us back and have the three claims reprocessed.”

I called the COBRA department. It was a “data error” and they would update my file to show the correct date.

Them: “It should take just a few business days for the correct data to be updated throughout the system.”

It took five months and over 11 hours on hold/discussing/explaining over and over/cajoling/pleading with both the COBRA department and the insurance company (They are the same company. I can’t stress this enough.) and the date finally got straightened out.

I was told it was fixed by COBRA and that it was the insurance company’s fault for not updating. That excuse was used twice, but then a third person admitted that they hadn’t submit the data change after three weeks and two phone calls. I was told that there was no single point of contact for either company to handle the escalated (by now) issue. I was told that they couldn’t make any outgoing calls and that I couldn’t get a phone number to call anyone. An email? ::insert evil laugh:: Silly woman.

I thought it was fixed. I was told it was fixed.  After five months, it was over. Hot damn and hallelujah.

Nope.

I received a dunning letter from a provider, threatening collection and damage to my credit. Originally, the claim was paid. The insurance company’s “claims recovery” department has asked for the payment back and was not releasing the request, despite the correction of the date. Could I talk with anyone there in the claims recovery department? No. Could I send documentation showing the coverage date? No.

Could I pay the bill to the provider? Yes.

I thought about it. Thought about how I was exhausted, fighting against a company I paid a lot of money to receive benefits that weren’t being given. I was tired of the tinny on-hold music that became the soundtrack of my days. And then I decided I wasn’t going to take it. At this point, I had clocked over 13 hours on this mistake that was not my fault.

Filing A Formal Complaint With The State

I filed a formal complaint against the insurance company with my state. Uploaded my documentation and did it online. I used the word “ineptitude”.

On December 23, almost eight months after the date of service, I got a phone call from a “member advocate” of the insurance company. He was “calling to help me resolve the issue”. He admitted that he was calling because I had filed the complaint with the state. Can you imagine what would have happened if I hadn’t formally complained to the state?

Those of us with diabetes understand that we have to work with constricted formularies, certain types of pumps and meters, get letters of medical necessity and write appeals.

We can choose to wait on hold while Mozart Muzak drones off-key or we can say that we’re not going to take it anymore.

Document. Document. Document.

Document. Document. Document.

If You’re Having a Problem With Your Health Insurance Company

If you’re having an issue with your insurance company not paying claims for services, not providing documentation for denials or appeals, here are my recommendations:

  • Document everything. Hint: Get a notebook just for insurance calls.
  • When the representative comes on the line, ask for their name and identifying ID. Write it down along with the time and date of the call (and even the length of time the call took, if it tickles your fancy).
  • Be respectful towards the representative, who isn’t the individual deciding on your claim status or your appeal or denial.
  • Have your claims documentation at the ready, because they’ll always ask for information.
  • If you’ve got an issue that’s been going on for a while,  allow the representative to take a moment or two to re-read the notes. This will save your breath. 
  • Ask for an escalation if you’re not getting anywhere. There are “escalated claims specialists” that will magically appear on the line who can give you (at the end of the call) a different number to reference as part of the escalation. 
  • Give them time to work the issue, but hold them to the timetable. Some issues are complex, but others should be resolved quickly. 
  • Know that each state has an Insurance Commissioner (and department) who is tasked with protecting consumers. Use them if you’re not getting a resolution after 30 days or if you are not satisfied with the appeal decision. Here’s a list of all the state Insurance Commissioners for reference. 
  • If you have an issue with a provider being paid properly, work with the provider. (They all have resources and recourse against the insurance company, so two heads are better than one.)

As of today, my issue still isn’t resolved. Why? (For those of you playing at home: these people all work for the same company. Just different departments.) The member advocate gave me this excuse:

“I can’t get in touch with anyone in the claims recovery department. I’ve called a few times. I’m trying to make sure they have all the documentation they need so they can stop the request for the refund.”

It’s his turn to sit on hold for a while. I’m not going to take it anymore.

 

 

 

 

Diabetes & Taxes

90376_1582Death, taxes… diabetes. We’re all certain that until there is a cure, we’ve definitely got diabetes and have to pay our taxes (at least in the United States). Don’t we already bleed enough?

When you have a very expensive chronic illness (hint: diabetes is a very expensive chronic illness), it pays to be prepared when it comes to doing your taxes and squeezing every dime out of your medical deduction. You need to begin the hunt for your expenses - and the receipts for those expenses.

Topic 502 of the IRS is all about Medical and Dental Expenses. We all need to know about this topic. Here’s the deal if you itemize your expenses on your 1040:

For years beginning after December 31, 2012, you may deduct only the amount of your total medical expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income or 7.5% if you or your spouse is 65 or older. The 7.5% limitation is a temporary exemption starting January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2020 for individuals age 65 and older and their spouses.

It Pays To Itemize

It pays to itemize. Seriously. Plain and simple: we spend a lot of our diabetes care, but we don’t think about all of the items. (And a lot of the time, we don’t keep the receipts…)

I’m telling you this: start now. Even if you didn’t keep the receipts from last year, start collecting. If you’re high tech, scan them in somewhere. Take a picture of your receipts and put them in a file on your computer. Heck, get a folder and put it next to your keys and put any receipts that can be included as medical/dental expenses into it. Find a system that works for you. But start now.

Ground Rules

I AM NOT A TAX PROFESSIONAL. Oh, please. I have a BA degree and a MSc. degree, neither of which is in accounting. You know (hopefully) by now how much I do not like math. I use a bolus calculator for a reason. I have wonderful friends who are CPAs. Do not look to me for tax advice. Do not look to me as the shining pillar of how to do taxes. I am many things, but I am not a tax professional nor am I perfect. (I am The Perfect D, but…)

I’m not giving you the entire list of what are considered acceptable deductible medical expenses. If you want the whole list, you can get it from the IRS website.

Here are the ground rules for what you can deduct:

  • You can only include the medical expenses you paid during the year and you can only use the expenses once on the return.
  • If you got reimbursed for any medical expenses, you must reduce the expense by the amount you were reimbursed.

For instance: You paid a doctor $120 for an appointment in May of 2014, sent the receipt into your insurance, and they sent you a check for $100 in December of 2014. You can then only claim $20 for this 2014 expense on your taxes, because you paid only $20 to see the doctor. 

What You Can Deduct If You Have Diabetes

Deductible diabetes medical expenses may include (but are not limited) to:

Your payments to your healthcare team: physicians, CDEs, nutritionists, dietitians, psychiatrists, psychologists, endocrinologists, nephrologists, podiatrists, cardiologists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and “non-traditional medical practitioners”, including acupuncture for smoking cessation, and massage therapists when used for a medical condition.

Your prescriptions/insulin. Anything that you have a prescription for, you can list as a medical expense. And… even if you don’t have a prescription for insulin, it’s still a medical expense that is covered. That includes your pump and all supplies. Your insulin pens and syringes and cartridges. If it helps you get the drug into your body, it’s a medical expense that can be deducted.

Your meter and blood glucose testing supplies. (These are diagnostic devices and therefore, covered. Same goes for your CGM and sensors. Ketone test strips (urine or blood).

291573_5192Your medical supplies. Yeah, you’re thinking, of course. But medical supplies include: alcohol swabs, IV Prep 3000, Band-Aids, etc.

Your eyeglasses or contact lenses. If you have contact lenses, you can deduct the cost of the enzyme cleaners and daily cleaning solutions. Don’t forget to include your eye exam, even if it was a refraction/non-dilated exam. That’s included.

Dental treatments at the dentist’s office, including cleanings and fillings. (You cannot expense floss, toothbrushes, or toothpaste.)

Your guide dog expenses, including grooming and food and vet fees. 

Your lab fees. Your ambulance fees or ER fees or hospital stay. All of it is covered. They’ll send you receipts. You’ll weep at seeing how much they charge.

Your lodging for medical care (up to $50 per person per night) (meals not included), if:

  1. The lodging is primarily for and essential to medical care.
  2. The medical care is provided by a doctor in a licensed hospital or in a medical care facility related to, or the equivalent of, a licensed hospital.
  3. The lodging is not lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.
  4. There is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel away from home.

Your cost of special dietary considerations (i.e. celiac disease - and you must click on that link and read this post from one of my favorite bloggers) or costs for participation in a weight-loss program after an obesity diagnosis) when prescribed by a doctor. Don’t try to deduct health club dues. Nope.

Your admission/registration costs AND travel expenses for a chronically ill person or spouse or a parent of a chronically ill kid to attend a medical conference to learn about new medical treatments. (You can’t deduct meals or lodging while attending the conference.) Hello? Friends for Life? AADE or ADA? Ahem. Deductible medical expenses. Holla. 

Your Electronic Health Records cost to keep all your data in one place. Also known as a “medical information plan” or a “personal electronic health record.”

1442111_98999959Your transportation costs to and from medical appointments/hospitals/medical centers. Don’t forget tolls, parking, gas, oil… Straight from the IRS:

Payments for transportation primarily for and essential to medical care that qualify as medical expenses, such as payments of the actual fare for a taxi, bus, train, ambulance, or for medical transportation by personal car, the amount of your actual out-of-pocket expenses such as for gas and oil, or the amount of the standard mileage rate for medical expenses, plus the cost of tolls and parking fees.

Some of your health insurance premiums. I’m not going to get into this one, as it’s a minefield of what you can and cannot deduct. You need to look at the IRS website on this particular subset.

What You Can’t Deduct

One of the things that I wish could be covered is hypoglycemia recovery supplies (i.e. glucose tabs, juice, etc.). I’m doing everything that I can to keep that cost to a minimum, but really… we all probably spend far too much on that, and it’s not reimbursable. (Not unless you have a prescription written by your doctor for “juice”…)

You can’t deduct the cost of the cell phone plans and minutes calling your insurance company to argue over what is covered and what isn’t.

You can’t medically deduct the cost of your Internet service plan for the time you spend getting peer to peer support online from the DOC.

You can’t deduct the over-the-counter salves and moisturizers to keep our pretty diabetic feet from cracking or drying out.

Hopefully I’ve triggered something in your brain that says: “I can deduct that?! Booya!” Start preparing now for the 2014 tax season. (I’m quite aware that U.S. taxes are not due until April 15th, but don’t wait until the 15th to think about all the items that you can add together for your medical expense deductions… you’ll get overwhelmed and you’ll inevitably miss something.)

Happy deduction hunting! 

 

 

 

Your 2015 Diabetes Conference Calendar!

543862_59738162

After not being able to find a single source for diabetes events and conferences that might be of interest for those who have diabetes and/or advocate for diabetes, I decided to create one in 2014 - and we’re continuing with a 2015 calendar for all diabetes conferences and events that you might be interested in attending.

Ta-da.

Please note that this is U.S.-centric, as I currently live in the United States. (Most of me. My pancreas is currently on the lam somewhere where it cannot be extradited.) However, I have added some international conferences. Most of these can be attended by the hoi polloi, but some do require a medical designation/degree (although a press pass may provide entry). These are regional or national shindigs, not local groups or walks. 

If there is one that I have missed, please notify me at theperfectd [at] gmail [dot] com so I can add it. I will be updating this calendar throughout the year so I suggest you bookmark this page now. (Go ahead. I’ll wait.) 

Click on the title of the conference/event for the website link/additional information.

January

Winter Slipstream 2015 (Connected in Motion) January 16 - 18, 2015 -  Camp Kandalore, Algonquin Highlands,  Ontario, Canada 

If you’re sporty and love The Great White North (to which the latter I can wholeheartedly attest), then go hang out with other Type 1s and do some cold weather athletic stuff. Connected In Motion is an amazing organization that will hopefully continue to do a lot of amazing work now that the U.S. based diabetes athletes organization, InsulinDependence, has closed its doors.

51st Annual Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology Conference (National Jewish Health) January 23 - 27, 2015 - Snowmass, CO

February

ADA Research Summit Maryland 2015 February 7, 2021 - Towson, MD

The American Diabetes Association, Maryland Chapter is pleased to present a day of learning and interacting with world renowned scientists and clinicians focused on finding cures and better treatments for diabetes. This is free and open to the public, but only the first 220 registered can attend.

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) February 7, 2015 - Augusta, GA

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate!

American Diabetes Association (ADA) Expo February 7, 2021 - Denver, CO

The American Diabetes Association Expo is a one-day exposition where one can peruse through exhibits and talk with professionals and those who are looking to promote items that may help people with diabetes manage the disease. There are health screens and demonstrations and is open and free for everyone. (If you know of anyone who may be at risk, bring them to one of these.)

EASD Diabetes Technology Meeting 2015 February 11-12, 2015 - Düsseldorf, Germany

This meeting, held not in the United States, will present “top level research” in all areas of diabetes technology. They claim that they will also present a joint statement from the ADA and EASD on insulin pumps.

8th Annual American Diabetes Association Montana Family Retreat February 20 - 22, 2015 Fairmont, MT 

Family Retreat is an event designed for all people living with type 1 diabetes. Education and activities are built specifically for families with children or teenagers with type 1 diabetes. There will be separate breakout sessions for parents, teenagers, and children.

Registration fees include all meals, activities, and hotel room for Friday evening through Sunday morning.  Families or groups of 6 or more will be charged additional fees for a second room. ($180 Adults, 18 and over, $60 Children, 4-17 years old, Children 3 years and younger are free - financial assistance is available.)

62nd Annual Advanced Postgraduate Course (ADA) February 27 - March 1, 2020 -  New York City, NY

A medical conference much like other scientific sessions, leading diabetes experts will give presentations on the latest in diabetes research and care, with small networking sessions thrown in for good measure. Targeted primarily for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, dietitians, pharmacists, psychologists, certified diabetes educators, and other health care professionals who care for patients with diabetes and who manage the complications related to this disease.

March

15TH Annual Rachmiel Levine Diabetes & Obesity Symposium March 1 - 4, 2015 - San Diego, CA

Made possible by the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, held in association with the Endocrine Society annual meeting and T1D Exchange. This is the meeting that I wish I could attend, because it covers some amazing topics: new biomarkers and drug targets, epigenetics (A debate on virus or “not a virus”) talks about the DCCT, inflammation, live debates, beta-cell function, islet cell reprogramming, and much more. (If anyone is going, please get in contact with me at theperfectd [at] gmail.com because I want to pick your brain!)

2015 Type One Nation Research Summit March 7, 2020 - Bethesda, MD

“We are thrilled to provide this unique opportunity for education and dialogue with leading experts and researchers in the type 1 diabetes (T1D) field on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at no cost to the attendees. In addition to the main program, we offer an exhibit hall full of all the latest and greatest in T1D education, resources and technology, as well as a Youth Program and Teen Track with age-appropriate guest speakers and activities. In 2014, the TypeOneNation Research Summit attracted over 800 individuals from the Mid-Atlantic region and we are looking forward to another great year!New this year — “Taking T1D to School” session.Admission is FREE with suggested donation. Buffet lunch is provided. Registration is REQUIRED and opens here on January 7th.”

ENDO 2015 (Endocrine Society) March 5 - 8, 2015 - San Diego, CA

Remember that endocrinology is not just about diabetes; it’s about the entire endocrine system. While the annual conference does have diabetes sessions, it’s not the primary focus.

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) March 7, 2020 - Santa Clara, CA 

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate!

The Diabetes UnConference March 13 - 15, 2015 - Las Vegas, NV

The first peer-to-peer idea exchange and support conference for all adults with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Unlike other conferences geared to patients, this conference has no keynotes or research/expert presentations; just discussions facilitated by those with diabetes about topics that may be difficult to have with people who don’t have diabetes!

American Diabetes Association (ADA) Expo March 14, 2015 - New York, NY 

The American Diabetes Association Expo is a one-day exposition where one can peruse through exhibits and talk with professionals and those who are looking to promote items that may help people with diabetes manage the disease. There are health screens and demonstrations and is open and free for everyone. (If you know of anyone who may be at risk, bring them to one of these.)

Bay Area Diabetes Summit March 14th, 2015 - Palo Alto, CA

The Bay Area Diabetes Summit is a collaborative effort of medical providers, community organizations, and medical institutions throughout the Bay Area. Dr. Bruce Buckingham of Stanford University and Dr. Ed Damiano of Boston University, developer of the Bionic Pancreas, will be the keynote speakers at the Summit.

The Summit is open to all adults with T1D and their spouses, friends, and significant others, parents, caregivers, and family members of children with T1D. Children with T1D and their siblings can register for a Kids Camp offered by DYF counselors and staff.

Type One Nation Summit (Southwest Ohio) March 15, 2020 - Cincinnati, OH

Featuring several breakout sessions and two nationally-known keynote speakers, this event is expected to attract 500-700 attendees.

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) March 28, 2020 - Austin, TX

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate! (They’re missing the entire southeastern portion of the United States.)

April

American Diabetes Association (ADA) Expo April 18, 2015 - Chicago, IL

The American Diabetes Association Expo is a one-day exposition where one can peruse through exhibits and talk with professionals and those who are looking to promote items that may help people with diabetes manage the disease. There are health screens and demonstrations and is open and free for everyone. (If you know of anyone who may be at risk, bring them to one of these.)

Diabetes Sisters Annual Conference  April 24 - 26, 2015 Raleigh, NC

If you are looking for a conference that focuses on being a woman with diabetes, then look no further. Both Type 1 and Type 2s are welcomed with open arms and significant others are offered opportunities to talk (privately and separately) while you attend the conference. This is an opportunity to learn from other women and bask in the camaraderie of friends made (who just happen to also have diabetes).

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) April 25, 2015 - Honolulu, HI

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate! (They’re missing the entire southeastern portion of the United States.)

GTC Diabetes Summit 2015 April 27-29, 2015 - Boston, MA

Got $2095? Then this conference is for you.

According to the website, that $2095 will get you research, partnership opportunities and network with academia, venture capital, government, small/medium size biotech, big pharma and healthcare organizations. The summit includes the Diabetes Drug Discovery and Development Conference, dealing with the clinical side of things. The Diabetes Partnering & Deal-Making Conference dives into opportunities for partnerships, funding, licensing, and the financial bits of it all.

(Now, that all being said… If you look at the speakers, I wish I had the $2095 to attend. Some of them are the top researchers in the diabetes community.)

May

Carb DM’s 3nd Annual Mother-Daughter Weekend May 1-3, 2015 - Dublin, CA

This amazing event is for preteen/teen girls with T1D and their moms. This weekend focuses on T1D from a female perspective and addresses the female cycle from puberty to pregnancy and how it affects and is affected by T1D. Mother daughter communication, healthy body image, talking with peers and significant others about T1D, and more will be discussed.

AACE 24th Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists) May 13 -17, 2015 Nashville, TN

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) May 16, 2015-  Kansas City, KS

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate! (They’re missing the entire southeastern portion of the United States.)

30th Annual Clinical Conference on Diabetes (ADA) May 21 - 24, 2015,  Orlando, FL

While not patient-centric, attendees will hear “cutting-edge research translated into clinical practice”. The 30th Annual Clinical Conference is designed specifically for primary care and diabetes specialty physicians, doctor of osteopathy, podiatrists, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, psychologists and dietitians, certified diabetes educators and other health care professionals who care for patients with diabetes, at risk for diabetes, and who manage diabetes related complications.

Students With Diabetes National Conference May 22 - 24, 2015 - Tampa, FL

A conference for young adults aged 18 - 30 from all over the country who want to learn about the latest in technology, research, and more from many amazing speakers.

June

 75th Scientific Sessions (ADA) June 5-9, 2015 - Boston, MA

The “big” medical conference. While not specifically designed for the layperson with diabetes, many advocates do attend and sit in on sessions. Many study results are presented. Last year’s presentations weren’t mind-blowing, but we have a feeling that some big study results are on the horizon.

July

MasterLab (Diabetes Advocates) July 7 -8, 2015 - Orlando, FL

For anyone who is interested in learning how easy it is to raise awareness (and your voice) for diabetes advocacy, attend this program. While held in the same space as Friends for Life’s conference, it’s a separate conference. Last year’s program was amazing, and this year’s is promised to be even better!

Friends for Life July 6 - 12, 2015 Orlando, FL 

This is the de facto gold standard for any family with diabetes. It’s being held this year at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

Room rates are $149 + tax. This rate is available from July 3, 2020 to July 13, 2015. You may reserve a room, buy park tickets, make Disney Dining reservations, and arrange for free Disney Transportation from the Orlando Airport to the hotel online at www.disneyurl.com/ChildrenWithDiabetes2015Conference.

2015 Practical Ways to Achieve Targets in Diabetes Care July 16, 2020 - 19, 2015 - Keystone, Colorado

While not a patient conference, worth taking a look at to see what’s being discussed. “This course is designed to help healthcare providers caring for patients with diabetes, including but not limited to, endocrinologists/diabetes specialists, internists, pediatricians, family physicians, physician assistants, medical residents, fellows, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians and certified diabetes educators.”

August

AADE 15 (American Association  August 5-8, 2015 - New Orleans, LA

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Registration will be open in March, 2015.

September

CWD Focus on Technology at the Disneyland Hotel September 18 - 20, 2015 - Anaheim, California 

51st EASD Annual Meeting September 14-18, 2015 (European Association for the Study of Diabetes) - Stockholm, Sweden

This is the European “big” medical conference, much like ADA’s Scientific Sessions.

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) September 26, 2015 San Diego, CA

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate! (They’re missing the entire southeastern portion of the United States.)

October

American Diabetes Association (ADA) Expo October 10, 2015 - Minneapolis, MN

The American Diabetes Association Expo is a one-day exposition where one can peruse through exhibits and talk with professionals and those who are looking to promote items that may help people with diabetes manage the disease. There are health screens and demonstrations and is open and free for everyone. (If you know of anyone who may be at risk, bring them to one of these.)

American Diabetes Association (ADA) Expo October 17, 2015 - Houston, TX

The American Diabetes Association Expo is a one-day exposition where one can peruse through exhibits and talk with professionals and those who are looking to promote items that may help people with diabetes manage the disease. There are health screens and demonstrations and is open and free for everyone. (If you know of anyone who may be at risk, bring them to one of these.)

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) October 17, 2015 - Omaha, NE

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate! (They’re missing the entire southeastern portion of the United States.)

Friends for Life Canada at the Marriott Gateway on the Falls October 23 - 25, 2015 - Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada 

Registration is priced on a per person basis for everyone ages 5 and older. Early registration rates will be $50/person. “Please note that we expect the conference to sell out and do not plan on having on-site registration.” You must register separately for the conference and hotel. Registering for the hotel does not register your family for the conference itself.

Friends for Life UK 2015 October 30 - November 1, 2020 Old Windsor, Berkshire, UK

Note: You must register separately for the conference and hotel. Registering for the hotel does not register your family for the conference itself. Conference Registration will open in February 2015.

November

TYOCD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) November 21, 2015 -  Glendale/Phoenix, AZ

TCOYD is a one-day program with tracks for both Type 1 and Type 2 individuals (and their friends and family, of course). Those who attend will have opportunities to learn about the latest tools, tips, techniques, and technology to help live healthier lives with diabetes. What I love about this program is that it was founded and is run by physicians who have intimate knowledge of diabetes; they have the disease! Many of the speakers also have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, so it’s not as if it’s a “do as I say and not as I do, because I don’t have a clue” program. If you have one coming to your area, you’re fortunate! (They’re missing the entire southeastern portion of the United States.)

World Diabetes Congress November 30 - December 4, 2020  -  Vancouver, Canada

Experts in diabetes care from around the world will exchange diabetes research and best practices. Physicians, scientists, nurses, educators and other healthcare professionals, as well as government officials, policy makers and representatives from 230 IDF Member Associations will gather to learn, discover and connect.

The WDC 2015 will coincide with the expiration of the current Millennium Development Goals and the adoption of the new Post-2015 Development Framework, a major push for expanded access to diabetes prevention, treatment and a cure.

PLEASE NOTE:

We are still waiting on dates for the Diabetes Technology Society meetings.   It is also unclear is there will be another National Conference on Mental Health Issues of Diabetes.

I did not include “invite only” conferences.

As always, there are bound to be more opportunities to meet other people with diabetes, learn about the disease, and advocate. These are just a few. As I hear of more, I’ll post them here.