Any VA patients with pumps out there?


#1

I have been fighting with the VA for 50 years trying to obtain supplies,syringes, insulin, test strips …and pumps. I paid out of pocket for my first pump in 1987 because the VA said it was not approved technology. 5 years later I did get a pump from them and no problems since, except they are stingy with supplies!.
I have an Animus Ping that is now out of warranty and the San Francisco VA said that I need to keep using it until Sept 2019 …and then they will only replace it with a 670G. After researching pumps on this forum, I am determined to get a Tandem T:Slim.
I am willing to transfer to ANY other VA location ( West Coast or Texas) for a new pump. Or perhaps this is VA national policy to only replace the Animus with Medtronic?
Please share any success you have had getting a Tandem & from which location…
Thanks so much
K


#2

I would suggest to reach back out and ask the question again. To a different person. Without referring back to your previous conversation. As a new question.

Reason is, the response you received sounds like the exact response one would get when asking about an Animas Ping with a warranty which extends BEYOND Sept of 2019.

It would not be a shocker for a different person to provide you with different information. If that does happen, just pretend like the first conversation never took place and chalk it up to confusion on the part of the other (first) person from the VA.

I would have trouble understanding why the VA would not provide full coverage for you RIGHT NOW for a pump of your choice. That is the answer you should be getting.


#3

I sort of went around them and used VA Choice. That way I saw a private endo that wrote the prescription for my X2 pump and dexcom G5.
One thing that is goofy with the VA. For the pump and the Dexcom TRANSMITTERS, these go through prosthetics.
All your supplies like infusion sets, cartridges, G5 sensors, etc. go through the pharmacy, and are easy to get.
It did take me longer than anticipated to get my pump and transmitter because of going through VA Choice and prosthetics, but it was worth it.
Now I am going through the hassle of getting more Dexcom transmitters. I have had to use my G5 with replaced batteries since my last sensor died about 5 months ago.


#4

I had bad experiences with the VA so I gave up on them and relied on group insurance for many years, and currently, Medicare + supplement. No wonder the VA has such a bad rep. I wasted many hours of my life dealing with them and got zilch for it.


#5

Good info ! Thanks. Veterans Choice will work if I can find an Endocrinologist. They seem to be scarce !


#6

Hammer, did you have to get a VA doc to rewrite the prescription? Or just took it directly to Prosthetics?


#7

Good advice Dave!
I will try one more time with a different VA. If no success then sign up for Part B & D the next enrollment period. Do I need supplemental plan for pumps?

K


#8

My doc at the VA refuses to write or rewrite any script for my diabetic issues because I am seeing an endo.
My endo will write the script and fax it to the VA pharmacy.
Once I have a scipt in the system for supplies, I can refill them through the VA’s website. But this doesn’t work for the Dexcom transmitters.


#9

Hammer, I want to thank you for your advice on obtaining an X2 from the Portland VA. I had to transfer there for my PCP in order to get into the Diabetes clinic and then insisted I wanted the Tandem rather than a 670. They said they had no Tandem patients but would look into it.Three days later they approved it!
I just receiver it this this week with the G6 Basal IQ and got trained on it by the Medford Tandem trainer in a few hours and had the pump programmed and running with the G6 CGM. what a difference from the Animus!
The only downside is I have to go the Portland Clinic periodically but I found everyone there very helpful and professional so don’t mind.
Best Regards
Ken B


#10

Glad to hear that it worked out for you @smaken !
I finally got my G6 setup! Been on it a week so far, and all is good with the Basal-IQ.
Be prepared to wait on getting new transmitters! This is something that still goes through prosthetics. So it is outside the normal ‘prescription refill’ part of things.
Granted, my setup is worse because I see a private Endo that goes through VA Choice. But even after they send the script to the VA, it takes a considerable amount of time to get the transmitters!


#11

Thanks for the update! Yes, they are stingy with the transmitters. I received 2 transmitters and 3 sensors (30 days) ? but 90 days supplies of the T-90 and cartridges.

I will ask for more info when I

go back to the Portland VA Endo clinic in 30 days. Hope it is not a monthly thing!. At least I can fly out of Medford and return the same day.

I have a Vets Choice card but never used it. Perhaps I can get approval to see a local Endocrinologist?? It is more than 40 miles!!

I am just happy to have the Tandem so no complaints!!

Take care

K


#12

Do you have a prescription for the sensors themselves?
I do all my refills, etc. through their online site. Very little hassle. Just click a button to refill. EASY!


#13

Thanks, I sent a secure message to the Endo clinic and they setup 12 refills on the sensors for me so I can do it myself on the Pharmacy site.

You are a good resource!

Gracious

K


#14

I have always said that the VA is great for prescriptions. It is just hard to get them started.
Once you are in the system and setup, they are very easy to work with.
And the copay is extremely cheap for prescriptions!
The VA is a pain to deal with though. That is why I now try and use VA Choice and use a private Dr any time I can.


#15

Good advice…

Thanks


#16

Hi there, so I am a Type 1 Diabetic and currently on a TSlim x2 and dexcom G6. My dad’s insurance will be covering those until my 26th birthday in a few months. The VA told me when that is I will have to switch over to their pump the 670g. I was hoping there is some kind of info you could provide me for a way around this. A way I could still get the pump supplies but through the VA. Im in New York by the way. Can you explain to me what the VA Choice is and how I go about doing this, because I looked it up and it said I would have to be further than 40 miles from the VA but im like 20.


#17

If you are already on the X2 pump, it is nothing more than having them write the prescription for the supplies.
As for the VA Choice program, you can also get it because all appointments are too far out. I think 30 days is their time limit, that if you cannot see the Dr in that time, you are also eligible.


#18

But if I wanted to see my endo I probably could in less than 30 days no? How do I go about setting up VA choice? Also, they told me they can not provide the X2 supplies and that some VAs might do it the wrong way but the right way is to not provide the supplies? I don’t really understand this but that is what they told me. But if I could use the VA choice program im pretty sure that would elevate all this and I would be fine.


#19

Is there another VA close by as well?
I assure you that the VA itself is who supplies my prescriptions for the X2 supplies. I had the private Dr (approved by the VA Choice program,) write the prescriptions, and they fax them into my local VA pharmacy.
I see no reason they would not be able to supply the prescriptions. They are in the system for VA to send out.
You are not alone with your local VA not being cooperative, but there are ways around it if need be.

It would be worthwhile calling the VA Choice and telling them your situation.
https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/programs/veterans/VCP/index.asp
Choice Program Support Line: 866-606-8198


#20

Okay yeah so I called that number and they told me I have to talk with the VA Choice rep of my actual VA. So I called my VA and then left a message on the VA Choice reps voicemail, shall wait for the call back to see and I will explain this to them and hope I can get on VA Choice. Honestly my VA told me at first that someone else was getting X2 supplies but it was a hassle. Now they are telling me that thats not okay and that I cant do it. I feel they are just making it difficult for me so I cave and just get on the 670g. But the x2 + g6 is just amazing and I will legit not even get on a pump if its the 670g, heard nothing but nightmares with that and the gaurdian sensor. Surely there is a way I can get X2 through the VA. Do you think it would be worth getting a lawyer that specializes in this stuff involved? If all else fails? Because I truly believe they can but they just dont want the hassle so they say no. Thank you for replying by the way, your info is really helpful