Oregon’s Diabetes Death Squad: HERC

This is the scariest thing I’ve read all day. Testing strips are the most important thing in my war on my Diabetes. If some folks don’t want to test, they don’t have to fill the scripts, as for the people who do rely on their strips to control their blood sugar, 50 a month is not nearly enough. To treat without testing is akin to just blind picking any medication to treat any condition. Test strips are that important.


773209_26624240Your health care professional walks into the room, plunks a file on the table, and grimaces at you.

“Your A1C is 7.5. Your fasting blood glucose level is 143.

You have Type 2 diabetes.

Here’s a prescription for a blood glucose meter and test strips. You don’t need insulin or medications right now. Let’s see how that goes. Check your blood glucose level with the meter and I’ll see you for a follow-up. 

Oh, wait. You have Oregon Health Plan. Hmm… Yeah, go ahead and use the meter and the 50 strips that you are permitted to have, but after you’ve used up those 50 strips, you’re on your own. You want to continue to check your blood glucose level? Buy your own strips.” 

This is not fiction. This is what Oregon thinks is completely appropriate for those who must use the state health care plan, which is funded by…

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4 thoughts on “Oregon’s Diabetes Death Squad: HERC

  1. Hi! Good morning! I disagree with this obviously, and getting people strips, at least in Kentucky, was a BEAR when I was there working outpatient. It is not right. A diabetic doesn’t stand a chance without strips. As an insider who worked hard with my patients, I would like to say, even when they had strips, most of my patients didn’t test. They didn’t keep logs like I asked them to. I spent time trying to teach them how. If they checked and their sugars were high, they didn’t change their eating like I asked them to. (Granted I knew a lot less about diet and only asked them in addition to ADA to give up starchy white/beige food but that covers a lot…) This was not all patients but it was most. That’s where they get off saying testing doesn’t make a difference: “…but finds the lack of effect of SBMG on patient outcomes more compelling.” If I had to do it over again (but I am happy homeschooling my kids!), I would take a hard-line stance. I’d strike the fear of God into patients regarding diet, sugar testing, and diabetic outcomes. Hard-line.

    • I was a bad patient. Your reply makes me think back to a conversation I had with a Doctor when we were talking about my turn around. I knew T1 was serious, but grossly underestimated the seriousness of my own T2. What could have been done during my diagnosis that would have made me see then how serious it was, and I said “I wish they would have shocked the blank out of me, shown me how serious T2 really is.”

      I’m thinking “I would take a hard-line stance. I’d strike the fear of God into patients regarding diet, sugar testing, and diabetic outcomes. Hard-line.” is exactly what each and every doc now-a-days should be doing, as a patient, I didn’t take it seriously enough.

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