New blood glucose regulation disturbs providers

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Providers reacted negatively Thursday to a new federal regulation regarding blood glucose monitoring.

The provision, which is contained in the 2007 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, will require that physicians order and certify the medical necessity of each "finger stick" blood glucose test for Medicare beneficiaries. The rule will take effect Jan. 1.

The provision "puts paperwork ahead of quality patient care," said Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association. Many residents require up to four blood tests a day to monitor their glucose levels, he added. Restricting the tests goes against best practices for diabetes management, he maintains.