Monday, December 21, 2009

I Need to Know My A1C! Stat!

Can someone please explain to me the benefit of this for the patient?

Is this considered more of a diagnostic test? I really do not see the need for the patient to be able to test for this at home. It provides them with no pertinent information. If anything I would think it would make them believe there is less of a need to visit their doctor because of it.

When I first saw it I thought it was simply a capitalistic endeavor by Bayer, but I'll defer to those who are more knowledgeable on whether or not this serves a legitimate purpose.


Anonymous said...

I don't think its too bad of an idea, as a type 1 diabetic myself. It gives those who can't afford a specialist appointment every 3 months another option. And I know at my store, its only $18 for 2 tests, much cheaper than a office visit copay. If someone is under pretty good control, why not just be able to buy this over the counter and update the doctor as needed. Most 3 month specialist appointments are just to test A1c, anyway. My two cents, I do agree that it could deter patients who DO need to see the doctor from actually going. Though I'm not sure those patients would care enough to buy an A1c test, anyway.

Anonymous said...

So, Anonymous @ 7:14- you'd use this to skip a dr's appt? What do you do with the results? Phone them in to your MD in lieu of that appt?

Phathead said...

That's precisely my point. No doc, I would hope, in their right mind trust the patient to monitor this. Remember, these are the same people who can't figure out that 30 tablets x 1 tablet per day = 30 days.

I dunno, maybe I'm just not grasping the idea fully.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Yeah, I'm concerned it would lead to diabetics skipping proper care.

I could see it working for those with crappy insurance, doing this instead of labs AND FAXING RESULTS TO THE DOCTOR, so they can make treatment decisions.

But patient who just do this, and then adjusting their own meds (or skipping doc appts) are looking for trouble.

~Michelle said...

My mother has type 2 diabetes, but unfortunately does not have health insurance. It is significantly more expensive for her to go have blood drawn at a laboratory than to buy a home test kit. She's smart enough and proactive enough to bring her A1c report and the computer summary of her glucometer readings with her to her MD appointments. She still bites the bullet for her annual labs, but for the 3-6 month A1c's in between, she saves about $100 each time. I agree that this test alone should not substitute for a doctor's care however.