Medicare’s Competitive Bidding Program

Putting Beneficiaries' Lives at Risk

A Medicare program designed to save money and make things easier for their beneficiaries with diabetes actually appears to have increased costs, increased hospitalizations, and even increased deaths.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services claims the program for diabetes testing supplies poses no health threat. However, a peer-reviewed journal article recently published in Diabetes Care (fee for full article access) shows otherwise (press release (3/2016)), (press release (12/2015, includes a free link to the white paper the published article is based on)).

Medicare CBP What

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Diabetes Empowerment Foundation unveiled at SWD 2015

Last weekend the 5th annual Students With Diabetes™ conference took place in Tampa, FL.

Group shot from the 2015 Students with Diabetes Conference

It has become a must-attend event for young adults (age 18-30) with type 1 diabetes. Coming together from more than 103 cities across the nation, these powerful young adults learn, connect and empower one another to pursue success and achievement in life, despite the extra work diabetes puts on their plates. (more…)

Real Life Diabetes Podcast by Diabetes Daily Grind

Logo of the podcast, Real Life Diabetes - by DiabetesDailyGrind.com

I enjoyed a new diabetes podcast today and wanted to spread the word about it. It’s the Real Life Diabetes Podcast by Diabetes Daily Grind.

Amber & Ryan at DDG are fun and laid back. They promise occasional explicit language and content that may not always be suitable for children.

But it doesn’t take long (less than a minute) to see that they’re also serious when it comes to self-improvement and living better with diabetes, and helping others do so, too.

More reasons to like it?

The opening theme song is pretty awesome…

Tell me sugar-mama what’s your A1C, are you into endocrinology…

And I think the closing has a kazoo.

But what really sold me was when Amber burped into the microphone. 🙂

Let ‘er rip, sis! Seriously though – great job, you guys! I’m already looking forward to the next episode!

Prep Pad from The Orange Chef

Image of the Prep Pad with Oranges on it and an iPad & iPhone behind it

I recently had a chance to play around with a Prep Pad from The Orange Chef.

To call the Prep Pad a food scale seems wrong. I mean, it is a food scale, but there is something beautiful and elegant about it. It feels different than anything I’ve used before.

The Prep Pad connects to an iPad or iPhone via Bluetooth with the touch of a single button (visible in the image above – little black dot on the right side). The app, called “Countertop,” is required to use the scale.

Much like the Prep Pad itself, I found the Countertop App elegant and beautiful. You can watch a quick promo video on the homepage of theorangechef.com, or check out a slightly longer and more detailed video here.

Prep Pad retails for $99.95 (regularly $149.95), and the folks at The Orange Chef have generously included a coupon code just for readers of Scott’s Diabetes, valid until January 15th, 2015, that will drop the price another 10%, which brings your total down to $89.95 with free standard shipping included.

10% Coupon Code

I’d love to hear about your experiences with the Prep Pad if you decide this is something for you (or a loved one). While I still have many emotional triggers around measuring my food, using beautifully designed tools and applications help a lot.

I’d also like to send a big thanks to The Orange Chef for supporting their local ADA Tour de Cure (Silicon Valley).

Don’t forget, the coupon code is only valid through January 15, 2015! Be sure to place your order before then to take advantage of the discount.


Disclosures: I received a Prep Pad to review at no charge. The coupon code and links above are not affiliate links and I do not receive any monetary compensation if you choose to buy a Prep Pad. By clicking through for the coupon code you agree to receive periodic email updates (newsletters) from me, however your information is never sold or given away and you are welcome to unsubscribe at any time.

Revolutionizing Diabetes Education with mySugr Academy

Education is a huge part of living with diabetes. Unfortunately, many people with type 2 diabetes are diagnosed then leave the office with little or no education.

If they are lucky, they’ll get back to their doctor’s office for a session with an educator a couple of weeks or a month later.

But what happens in-between? Imagine the questions!

What can I eat? How do I use this blood sugar meter? What do these numbers even mean? It’s paralyzing.

So my clever friends at mySugr have come up with a solution.

Introducing mySugr Academy.

The first course (10 levels with animated videos, articles, tips, challenges, and more) is geared towards type 2 diabetes. We have type 1 stuff on the roadmap, too.

We hope this online diabetes education tool helps fill the gap between diagnosis and initial education, and maybe even proves to be a powerful supplement to traditional diabetes education.

I’d love to know what you think! I’d also love to know more about your diagnosis/education experience. Please leave a comment, or send me a private message if you prefer.

Thank you!

Happy World Diabetes Day!

mySugr World Diabetes Day image

Do You Know DiabeticDanica?

I spent a day at Asante HQ* last week with a group of amazing diabetes brains, and among them was one I hadn’t met yet.

Danica has rocked diabetes on YouTube for a long time, so I was really excited to see that she would be there, too. But the poor thing was feeling under the weather most of the time we were in town. She was still able to take part in the meetings and offer really great advice. I was totally impressed.

She seems to have a good head on her shoulders and works hard to share her story. She’s also in nursing school, which I think is great.

Danica has a LOT of great videos on her YouTube channel, and I just want to help make you aware of another great resource for people living with diabetes.

*Disclosure: I am going to work with Asante on a regular basis above and beyond the purpose of this specific meeting. Asante Solutions paid for my travel expenses and lodging for this visit to their headquarters.

Free Diabetes Driving Clinic for Teens – Chicago, IL – 9/27/14

A sign that says "Check Before You Drive!"

Check Before You Drive!

I’m happy to announce that Juvenile Diabetes No Limits is heading back down to the Chicago area for another free driving clinic for teens with diabetes.

This 1-day program is open to teens with diabetes ages 15-19 with a valid permit or drivers license. If space permits, 14 and 15 year olds can take part and learn (they can ride along, usually, but can’t do the behind the wheel exercises).

The instructors have backgrounds in the auto industry, motor sports, advanced racing/driving schools, and high-threat driver training for the military and law enforcement, and more. Sounds like an amazing opportunity to me!

Space is filling up fast for the September 27th class! There are only about 8 spots left – so register today if you’re interested!

You can learn more about the program and free registration at Juvenile Diabetes No Limits.

Diabetes and Wellbeing by Dr. Jen Nash

Diabetes and Wellbeing by Dr. Jen NashI recently finished reading “Diabetes and Wellbeing” by Dr. Jen Nash, and I really enjoyed it.

Subtitled “Managing the psychological and emotional challenges of diabetes types 1 and 2” Dr. Nash set out to help us find some good ways to deal with the challenges we face dealing with the daily demands of diabetes.

Dr. Nash is a Clinical Psychologist near London, is the founder and director of PositiveDiabetes.com and has lived with type 1 diabetes since she was six years old. She says she went into psychology to figure herself out, but I think it’s something she’s just naturally good and we all got lucky that she found her calling right away. 🙂

Diabetes and Wellbeing covers a really wide range of focus areas. Take a look at some of the areas Dr. Nash covers:

  • Dealing with diagnosis
  • Depression, low mood and burnout
  • Fear, anxiety and worry
  • Food, weight and emotions
  • Relationships
  • Implementing change
  • Managing setbacks

There were many areas that really hit home for me, and many sections of the book where it seemed Dr. Nash could see exactly what was inside my head and already knew many of the things I struggle with. I found myself dog earing page after page, often even scribbling notes in the page margins.

So many pages dog eared!

So many pages dog eared!

One of the biggest takeaways from Diabetes and Wellbeing was a sense of normalcy to struggle with so many of these things. And to have a permission, of sorts, to explore these areas of diabetes that are not talked about enough.

It gave me some tools and resources to explore these areas in my own head, which is something I’m often simply afraid to do, and it also helped equip me to have difficult conversations with my healthcare providers if necessary.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Diabetes

This book takes an explicit Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach to making changes, and that was an approach that was agreed upon between Dr. Nash & her publishers before starting the book. Dr. Nash said that it’s just one of many different approaches that she uses to help people, but you should know before starting that you’ll find only the CBT approach here.

The NHS website does a good job of explaining what CBT is if you are curious to learn more. I know that both Dr. Nash and the resource I offer here for CBT information are both from London, but that’s just a neat coincidence. This type of therapy is used widely around the world.

That’s actually a great transition into something else I’d like to mention. Dr. Nash is from London, so there will be a few “UK’isms” that may catch you off guard. That typically means an extra “u” somewhere (colour vs. color, or behaviour vs behavior, for example), but you might notice other things that don’t quite fit. Wasn’t a big deal for me, but I’d be interested to know if you find other things that just don’t seem right to you as a reader from a different local. I’m sure Dr. Nash would love to know as well.

Resources

Dr. Nash closes Diabetes and Wellbeing with a list of resources, where I was pleasantly surprised to be listed, along with many other greats, as a motivational and support resource. Thank you, Dr. Nash! Very cool! 🙂

Discount Code! Dr. Nash has graciously offered a 20% discount code that you can use to order Diabetes and Wellbeing if you’re interested. Visit www.wiley.com/go/nashdiabeteswellbeing and use code NASH1 when checking out.

Diabetes Hope Conference

I’m also thrilled to share that Dr. Nash is joining us as a panelist for the 2014 Diabetes Hope Conference! Shortly after reading her book and connecting with her via Skype to chat, I asked her to get involved. She will bring an awesome perspective to our panel about the patient/doctor relationship, and I’m very excited to watch it! I hope you can tune in, too.

To learn more and register for your free (virtual) seat, please go to DiabetesHopeConference.com.


Disclosure: Dr. Nash sent me a free copy of Diabetes and Wellbeing, but did not ask me to write about it. I really enjoyed it, found it helpful, and wanted to share it with all of you.