TAMPA, Fla., April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC), an alliance dedicated to promoting and supporting public policy initiatives that improve safety, quality and access for people with diabetes, today announced the launch of a campaign to immediately suspend Medicare's bidding program for diabetes testing supplies. DPAC is urging the more than 29 million U.S. families impacted by diabetes and all Americans to contact their senators and representatives via the campaign's online headquarters (www.DiabetesPAC.org/SuspendBidding) to seek immediate action to save lives.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Competitive Bidding Program was established under the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. The intent of the program was to reduce the cost of diabetes testing supplies for the government and for beneficiaries, while preserving the quality of and access to blood glucose meters and strips, testing equipment that is critical to the successful management and care of diabetes. However, an article appearing in the American Diabetes Association's peer-reviewed journal, Diabetes Care, confirms what the community has known all along: the program is a failure.
"We have long suspected that Medicare's bidding program was not working," said Christel Marchand Aprigliano, co-founder of DPAC and Type 1 diabetes patient. "This new study shows that the bidding program is causing confusion, diminishing access to high-quality supplies and that, in turn, is leading to needless suffering and, unfortunately, to unnecessary deaths."
DPAC has created the Suspend Bidding Action Center (www.DiabetesPAC.org/SuspendBidding) where visitors to the site can learn more about the issue, email their senators and representatives and tweet at their member of Congress urging immediate suspension using the hashtag #SuspendBidding.
DPAC joins a number of organizations urging a suspension of the program, including the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and the National Diabetes Volunteer Leadership Council (NDVLC).
"It is outrageous that CMS continues to ignore the data and the pleas of Medicare beneficiaries across the nation," said Bennet Dunlap, co-founder of DPAC, Type 2 diabetic and father of two children with Type 1 diabetes. "It is past time for members of Congress to exercise their oversight responsibilities and suspend this program immediately."
In 2012, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that CMS does not have sufficient data to ensure the program is working. Despite that report, CMS expanded the program from its initial nine test markets to the entire nation. CMS continues to insist that the program is working.
"It is absolutely inexplicable that this program continues," said Dunlap. "The only data we have shows that lives are being lost, access interrupted and people with diabetes are suffering. The Medicare bidding program must be suspended now."
About Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition
The Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC) is an alliance of people with diabetes, caregivers, patient advocates, health professionals, disease organizations and companies working collaboratively to promote and support public policy initiatives to improve the health of people with diabetes. Created to unify more than 29 million Americans with diabetes through simple and effective federal and state advocacy opportunities, DPAC works to highlight the areas of safety, quality, and access to care. For more information about DPAC, please visit: http://www.diabetespac.org.
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SOURCE Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition