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Am J Manag Care. 2002 Jun;8(6):557-65.

Reduction in self-monitoring of blood glucose in persons with type 2 diabetes results in cost savings and no change in glycemic control.

Author information

1
Pharmacy Services, VA Northern California Health Care System, Martinez 94553, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Recent Veterans Affairs (VA) guidelines recommend that persons with stable type 2 diabetes controlled on oral agents or diet therapy perform self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) twice weekly. We assessed the impact of a modification of these guidelines on hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and monitoring cost.

STUDY DESIGN:

Retrospective, noncrossover clinical trial.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

We instructed persons with type 2 diabetes to perform SMBG testing according to modified adapted VA guidelines. We compared patients' baseline average testing frequency and HbA1c with those obtained during a 6-month interval beginning 2 months after implementation of the modified guidelines. The impact on the cost of monitoring was calculated.

RESULTS:

At baseline, 913 of 1,213 SMBG users with diabetes on oral hypoglycemic agents had HbA1c tested (HbA1c = 7.83% +/- 1.34%); their frequency of SMBG was 1.36 +/- 0.95 strips per patient per day. Postimplementation, 974 of 1,278 persons with diabetes had HbA1c tested (HbA1c = 7.86% +/- 1.54%; P= .63 vs baseline); frequency of SMBG decreased by 46% to 0.74 +/- 0.50 strips per patient per day (P < .0001). At baseline, 154 of 254 SMBG users with diabetes on diet therapy had HbA1c tested (HbA1c = 6.85% +/- 0.97%); their frequency of SMBG was 1.07 +/- 0.90 strips per patient per day. Postimplementation, 177 of 282 diet-treated persons with diabetes had HbA1c tested (HbA1c = 6.78% +/- 1.20%; P = .56 vs baseline); frequency of SMBG decreased by 35% to 0.70 +/- 0.51 strips per patient per day (P < .0001). Similar findings were observed in a cohort of 421 drug-treated patients with paired HbA1c data before and after implementation, and a cohort of 50 diet-treated patients with paired HbA1c data. Linear regression analysis showed no significant impact on individuals' HbA1c with reduction in strip use. Average monthly cost savings were $8,800, or $6.37 per patient per month.

CONCLUSIONS:

This program decreased the frequency of SMBG in persons with type 2 diabetes, resulting in substantial cost savings without affecting glucose control.

PMID:
12068962
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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