A new proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would expand coverage for continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) under Medicare to include devices that aren't approved for making treatment decisions.
If accepted, the proposed rule would classify all approved CGMs as durable medical equipment under Medicare Part B and establish payment amounts for all related supplies. The move primarily affects Medtronic's Guardian Connect System, which has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to replace the need for fingersticks in determining insulin or other glucose-lowering medication dosing.
Two other CGM systems, the Dexcom G6 and Abbott Libre, have "therapeutic" indications and are, therefore, already covered under Medicare, as is the combined insulin pump–CGM Tandem Diabetes Care Control-IQ Technology system.
According to a CMS statement, "CGMs that are not approved for use in making diabetes treatment decisions can be used to alert beneficiaries about potentially dangerous glucose levels while they sleep and that they should further test their glucose levels using a blood glucose monitor. ... This proposal would give Medicare beneficiaries and their physicians a wider range of technology and devices to choose from in managing diabetes."
Sean Salmon, executive vice president and president of the Diabetes Group at Medtronic said in an interview that the company is "very encouraged" by the proposal. "Importantly, the proposed rule would enable continuity of therapy for people on Medtronic insulin pumps aging into Medicare – including Medtronic hybrid closed loop systems, which automatically adjust insulin delivery based on readings from the integrated CGM."
The type 1 diabetes research and advocacy organization JDRF also applauded the proposed rule, noting in a statement, "CGM technology can be an integral component of artificial pancreas systems and important on its own to significantly improve diabetes management and enable users to avoid potential crises and risks for long-term complications. JDRF is heartened by this proposed change as it has long advocated for coverage, affordability and choice of all therapies to help ensure people with T1D have what they need to survive."
The proposal is part of a broader set of proposed changes to Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotic Devices and Supplies (DMEPOS) coverage and payment policies. Comments on the entire document can be submitted through Jan. 4, 2021 to the Federal Register.
This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.
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Cite this: Proposed Medicare Rule Would Expand CGM Coverage - Medscape - Nov 10, 2020.