Many times in life we sacrifice quality for convenience. Convenience can take many forms: clothes made at a cheaper price, dating that other person instead of working things out with the right one, waiting for the rain to clean your car instead of going to the car wash, and a host of other things. While these things and more may seem to make your life a bit simpler at the moment I can promise the outcome of these decisions won't produce the quality you desire. Your clothes will get holes in them, your new boo will turn into a crazy stalker, and the paint will end up chipping off your car; all because things seemed convenient for you at the time.
The cases above produced subpar quality which can be taken care of and restored back with a couple quick fixes, but what happens when that's not that case? What happens when convenience has caused for poor quality with something as serious as your health? What happens if it isn't even a decision of convenience that you made for yourself, what do you do now? This is something I began to think about after reading "Competitive Bidding Puts Diabetes Patients at Risk" by Dr. Richard Kahn ( link posted below). The article discusses the competitive bidding program that has ensued in the health care market. Although the idea of competitive bidding seems to be of great convenience in terms of pricing, there was great discussion around the idea that reduced health care cost would allow for less than quality care.
This theory proved to be factual when data complied from the 9 markets in which this pilot program was run showed there was an issue surrounding the quality of diabetic glucose monitoring systems. Many of the devices produced incorrect numbers when testing the glucose levels from the samples of blood used. The FDA supported this finding stating that they are working towards producing guidelines for manufacturers and strengthening current standards when it comes to these essential devices.
Most of these devices are produced overseas at low rates, which is very attractive in a bidding environment. And with no current monitoring system set in place to ensure FDA guidelines are being adhered to, as of July 1 many of these malfunctioning devices were given to Medicare/ Medicaid diabetics all throughout the United States. The convenience of a cheaper model poses the risk of many diabetics not truly knowing where they stand health wise. An incorrect number given by your monitor might cause you to think you can eat that extra piece of cake or if you're on a sliding scale cause you to inject a higher dosage of insulin. Both cases can cause a series of unfortunate events.
The quality of something as essential as a glucose monitoring system should not be determined by a method of convenience. It is commendable that the health care system is trying to find ways to lower the cost for individuals with this chronic illness but if this situation isn't cleared fast there will be an increase in doctors visits as well as hospitalization. All which could lead to an increase in one of my favorite economic principles of adverse selection. This is a serious issue that hopefully the FDA as well as sate government needs to addresses as soon as possible.
I encourage everyone to read the article and take what you can from it. If you've been issued a new meter, take it to your doctor first to get checked out!
Lets work together to stay informed and Beat the Betes!!!