Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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Burgess leads review of Brooks, Reed bill to ensure access to diabetes supplies

Jul 24, 2017
In The News

Legislation introduced by U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Tom Reed (R-NY) to strengthen Medicare beneficiaries’ access to diabetes supplies was the subject of a subcommittee hearing convened by U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) on Thursday.

Burgess, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, examined the Protecting Access to Diabetes Supplies Act, H.R. 3271, and 10 other bills that aim to protect and enhance Medicare during the hearing.

“Each of these policies exemplifies our shared commitment to strengthening the Medicare program for current beneficiaries, and improving it for future generations,” Burgess said.

H.R. 3271 would ensure that Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes are able to continue receiving the glucose meters and diabetes test strips that they prefer through the National Mail Order Competitive Bidding Program (CBP).

“Medicare beneficiaries who live with the daily challenges associated with diabetes need access to test strips that work best with their bodies to monitor their glucose levels,” Brooks said. “Prevention and proper testing is key when managing a chronic condition like diabetes. This bill will help seniors access supplies that allow them to best control their diabetes. Testing with mismatched or incorrect supplies can have detrimental, even deadly consequences.”

The measure, which Reed and Brooks introduced with U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), would enhance a requirement that diabetes product suppliers include at least 50 percent of the different types of test systems that were on the market before CBP was implemented. It would enhance a number of beneficiary protections.

“Seniors who are on Medicare need access to the proper health supplies in order to manage their diabetes,” Reed said. “I am happy to see that the Subcommittee on Health is reviewing the bill and that it is moving forward in the legislative process.”

Reed and DeGette are the co-chairs of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus and Brooks serves as its vice-chair.

The subcommittee also reviewed a bill introduced by Burgess, H.R. 3120, to strike a requirement that the Secretary of Health and Human Services continue to ramp up electronic health records meaningful use standards over time, which could create hardship for medical providers.