After ten years of using the Freestyle meter, BC/BS just informed us that at the end of the year they are using ACCU CHECK and BAYERS Contour or Breeze as their "preferred" systems. This gives me about a week to make an informed decision. If anyone has any strong feelings one way or the other either, please share.
The only thing I can speak for is the accu-chek lancing device. The Multi clix is the best lancet device I've used! It's pain free and has a drum which I lovee! other than that I don't have anything to Say!
I use a Accu-Chek Aviva and have no problems. Only had a meter act funny because of battery. Customer service sent a new meter out, got it the next day. Here's one side note the strip container is glucose tab size, they fit perfect. LOL
I would call them just to make sure you understand exactly what the switch means. We got a similar letter over the summer but because we use the Animas ping, we have to use One-touch test strips. I wasn't going to give up using one of the main features of my son's pump (the remote control) just because! Turned out, if we ordered thru a durable medical goods supplier in 90day qtys that we could still use Onetouch test strips, just couldn't get them filled at Target in monthly qtys anymore. I think it is weird, but at least we did not have to switch.
However, if you are on MDI, then maybe the type of meter would not matter so much. I think a lot of it is personal preference and just what you have become accustomed to.
Any chance you have PacifiCare insurance? I got a similar letter recently that said to try their preferred brands and then have my doctor write a prescription for either the Bayer or Accucheck. Give me a break... I use the meter I use because it works best for me. I've used Accucheck in the past and thought it was hard to get test strip into the machine (plus it's kind of a dinosaur compared to my One Touch Ultra Mini). The Bayer meters have one of the worst accuracy records and I wouldn't trust it when you're fine tuning insulin like you have to using a pump.
The PacifiCare letter didn't say what to do if I wanted to continue using One Touch. After multiple calls to their customer helpline and prescription provider, found out I don't need to do anything other than pay more for each prescription going forward.
I love PacifiCare because of their policy that anything diabetes related is only a $25 co-pay (even my insulin pump and supplies!). I'm grateful to have insurance, yet it can be challenge sometimes to jump through all their hoops.
Thanks everyone... did talk to BC/BS customer service and did find out it is definitely a business deal. Big Pharma lobbies insurance companies to become preferred. What it means is that I can switch to a preferred BG system or pay 3 times my co-pay.
I did ask BC/BS to let us try the Contour and the Accu-Check over the next month so my son could make a decision. He is on MDI- but is pretty self sufficient with his checking. Bc/BS said no, and we just needed to chose a meter. Tomorrow I plan to call Accu-Check and Bayer and see if they will send samples.... being that over the next infinity we will drop thousands of dollars in test strips- the least they could do is to send a meter.
What is really frustrating is that FreeStyle has been so good to us, Replacing kits, components, etc. We have also over the last ten years stockpiled quite the Freestyle arsenal. We have kits everywhere and a ton of spare parts.
BAYERS Contour seems pretty reliable. For us it is about accuracy...that is all we worry about..Dont care how it looks. We started using it with our son two months ago, and switching kinda was a hassle but this one is way more accurate then his old one (true test). We had to switch for insurance reasons as well..but glad we did now.... The contour only takes 5 sec. to read a test of blood sugar and it lets you set alarms if you want..it has a big screen to read numbers which is nice especially at night but it is a bit wider - but i dont care..it seems like a good tester...look up reviews on amazon.com it is helpful to get more ideas from others if you need it... You can also find the test strips online if you need some extra...around what insurance provides...and they seem a bit cheaper then other brands when you have to buy them yourself
okay- so over the holiday I opened and played with the two meters they sent....
Keep hearing great things about the lancing device on the accu-check- BUT I have to say the coding of the ACCU CHECK meter which involved inserting the strip code and then coding the meter based on level 1 or 2 seemed too much for an on the go kid like my son.... I can foresee him dropping/losing the key code in that mad rush when you need to switch strips out all the while in the midst of a low.... any comments accu check users?
the no coding bayer contour seems to have a lot of promise.....
can you use a lancing device from one company and the meter of another?
Yes, you can use any kind of lancig device you want. It doesn't have to be the same brand as you meter. Just might not fit in the meter case so nice. Except for the pre-loaded lancing devices - most of the lancets fit any device, but you'd probably want to check that.
It's tough to find info on meter accuracy because most companies just test how often their meters meet the FDA guidelines of being +/- 20%. Shockingly enough, many glucose monitors can't even meet this guideline consistently. I've read Bayer Contour is the worst, but can't remember where I got that from.
One Touch have always provided the highest level of accuracy for me. I contacted their customer service dept. last month when my insurance company said they wouldn't cover One Touch strips anymore. See the response below. The Freckman study may help you find what is statistically the better meter of the ones you're trying.
Thank you for taking the time to write to us. We are sorry to learn of your recent experience. We shared your inquiry with one of our managers for Global Product Support, who provided the following information:
"LifeScan’s meters meet FDA standards and, to our knowledge, no manufacturer of glucose meters claims accuracy greater than the FDA standard for its meters in the United States. FDA’s standard for glucose meters is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) requirement of 95% of results within ± 20% for glucose values >75 mg/dL and ± 15 mg/dL for glucose values <75 mg/dL.
In an independent clinical study, the OneTouch UltraEasy meter (the trade name for UltraMini™ in Europe) was shown to exceed the ISO 15197 requirements with 99% of the data within ±20% of the reference (Reference: Freckmann). In this study, more than 40% of the blood glucose monitoring systems tested did not meet the minimum accuracy requirements of ISO 15197.
References: • One Touch Ultra System Accuracy (2001-2009) 11/09 LifeScan publication AW 3037331A • Freckmann G et al. System Accuracy Evaluation of 27 Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems According to DIN EN ISO 15197. Diabetes Tech & Thera 2010;12(3):221-231."
I got the same letter from BCBS. I called my medical supply company (CCS Medical) and they said that according to my insurance, it still only covers my OneTouch meter. I LOVE my OneTouch Ultra mini meter and I really don't want to switch to AccuCheck or Bayers. But I'm going to call BCBS just to make sure because I don't want my copays to go up any higher! I'm sure they'll tell me that I do have to switch. It's just such a hassle to deal with issues like this on top of everything else! :(
We have BCBS, but my daughter was just diagnosed. AccuCheck is what came in out bag from JDRF at the hospital, and I like it. I really like the multi click lanceit, so we've not tried anything different.
I just called BCBS to check on this issue again. The representative said that there would be no difference in costs of my test strips if I kept my current meter (One Touch Ultra) or switched to either Accu-Check or Bayer. She said that the letter was more of a recommendation for what they "preferred" diabetics to use.
I'm still a little confused because the letter made it seem like I absolutely had to switch meters or it would cost more....