Jennifer Ortega

About Jennifer Ortega

Reporter and Fill-in Anchor on the weekends. Jennifer Ortega joins our team all the way from South Florida. She's worked for CBS 12 and Hola Tv in West Palm Beach. Although she's a long way from home, she's excited to be a part of the WCBI News Team.

Video: New Medicare Guidelines

NEW HOPE, Miss. (WCBI) -Diabetics on Medicare are having a more difficult time getting the supplies they need, and small businesses could be caught in the middle.

“There’s no doubt it will effect us negatively a little bit,” said Pharmacist Gene Coleman.

Up until now, Medicare has provided coverage for a much larger range of businesses, including some small local providers. Under the new guidelines, New Hope Pharmacist like Gene Coleman could be pushed aside.

“Diabetics, a lot of times, the physicians will put them on testing, blood sugar testing daily and sometimes multiple times a day. These strips actually read what the blood sugar is. For the most part were talking about seniors, senior adults. They may not be comfortable using the mail,” added Coleman.

What used to be a quick trip to the pharmacy and a quick grab off the counter for diabetic testing strips has now become a difficult process.

“Prior to July 1st we could bill them through Medicare Part B, as of July 1st the government changed where I believe there’s 18 suppliers across the United States. Local people have to buy them through a mail order out fit, I believe our supplier is out of Florida,” said Coleman.

Patients will now need to use the National Mail- Order Program and set it up through their doctor so they can bill Medicare Part B. Then the items can be shipped. Though it’s not too convenient, it’s the system we have, at least for now.

The change is meant to cut costs to the federal program by forcing businesses to sell supplies at a lower cost. But those who don’t want to order their supplies can still purchase blood glucose testing strips at Walmart and Fred’s Pharmacies.