10 December 2010

Seniors Encouraged to be Screened for Diabetes

When I first read the headlines on this, I thought where is this headed when this needs to be done at all ages. Then in the first sentence, I could see that Medicare is putting up the money so naturally it would be about seniors. And for $50,000 what do they expect? For this amount of money to twenty community-based organizations (at $2500 to each) they should not expect to get much bang for the buck.

There is a growing problem in this country and through out the world of people being undiagnosed with diabetes, but for this limited effort what can we expect. Even the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Diabetes Educators are not putting out much effort to date in getting doctors to diagnose people sooner. And the screening efforts for undiagnosed people with diabetes is all but non-existent from these associations.

Until the American Medical Association and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists decide to cooperate and work on screening programs, the sad state of diabetes is going to continue, especially in this country.

While I had a glimmer of hope when I wrote this, in talking to a few doctors, and endocrinologists, no action has yet been advocated at least in materials they have read.

But I have gotten away from the article that started this. Apparently beginning in 2005. the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began offering coverage under Medicare for screening for diabetes and pre-diabetes. I am having to wonder if there have been successes for them to start this program as a replacement to get screening accomplished.

Either way, I do not see much that is in line for success. I do think that their intentions are in the wrong place with the cuts in payments they are making. This is not going to encourage screening of seniors when many doctors are refusing to take on new Medicare patients and some are actually turning them away.

Read the article here. If I sound a lot cynical, I am. When a government agency wastes money by allowing so much fraud, and then cuts payments to doctors and hospitals, I have to wonder what miracles they are looking for with an expense of $50,000.

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