Any VA patients with pumps out there?


Hammer is correct, you need to go to another VA Endo clinic because it is futile to try for the Veterans Choice with some VA s . I think they perceive that the choice program as an attempt to privatize the VA and put them out of a job.

I had the same experience last year trying to get a Tandem to replace my expired Animus and after a lot of research decided the 670G was not going to work for me, The Tandem is new technology and I think Medtronics is firmly entrenched with the VA Clinics
in some areas as the only pump provider. I transferred my PCP from Ca to Oregon and got an immediate referral to the Endo clinic there. They also did not want prescribe a Tandem as they really didn’t know much about it. I presented the argument that after
33 years of pumping and 50 plus years as T1D, I should be given a choice as to what serves my needs best. They agreed and within a few weeks I had my X2 and all the supplies needed, They were already fans of the G6 CGM and familiar with it.

My Endo there requires me to upload my pump data monthly so she can review it…and keep the supplies coming in. As long I am doing well, My Endo just wants to see me every 6 months. ( They now have prescribed the X2 to several other Vets, especially the younger
ones such as yourself as it is easier for you to use new technology such as touchscreen, Bluetooth, etc.

You already have the Tandem, the VA nationwide has more Tandem users to supply almost daily, so there is no reason for the VA to make you change except for the fact the local clinic isn’t familiar with it. You can choose and go to any VA you want, you may not
get travel pay for it but it is worth it to get the results you want. you can still keep your local PCP but go to another VA endo clinic.

Kudos to Hammer, he gave me good info several months ago to get me started on this path.

Best of luck, Bowman



Hey Hammer!
sorry, I just saw this msg from you as I have been travelling a bit but now back in the Ca Wine country! Yes, I reorder sensors myself online from the VA, Because transmitters are so costly, the VA requires my endo to order them… She just asks me to inform her when I insert my last transmitter and she will reorder for me. It may take a moth or two to get them. I got 4 months out of my first transmitter, though i got periodic messages that the battery was low.
is it possible to change the battery?
I am looking forward to the new Control IQ when it gets released.
I am getting good results with 4 months on the Tandem, I lost 10 lbs with the low carb/hi protein Mediterranean diet my VA Dietician put me on, My average glucose is 120 which keeps my A1C around 6. ( my doc thinks that is over control) at age 77, A1c of 7 or so is OK? My TDD went from 50 units to 30…and I can sleep all night without getting lows!
life is good!
Keep in touch


I haven’t tried replacing the battery in the G6 yet.
My first transmitter has now expired, so maybe it’s time to start grinding away!
But, with Basal-IQ, it will not communicate with the X2 with a replaced battery. It will still work fine with Xdrip on my phone though.

And I agree on the night time security that the Basal-IQ offers!
The Basal-IQ allowed me to drop my A1c from 5.8 to 5.2 (my lowest A1c yet!!! )


Hmmm… Sounds like you have (likely) identified exactly what is going on.

Good luck. Based on the response you have gotten here in the forum so far, I think you have come to the right place.

Stick with it and don’t give up.

You deserve to have the choice for what you have decided works best for you.


I don’t think you should have to transfer to another VA just to keep your Tandem supplies supplied . Your are being treated by a physician who prescribed the Tandem for you, and someone at the VA has no right to override that. Only another Doctor can do that …and most would not. who at the VA told you it is difficult to obtain supplies? a nurse, an administrator?
I know for a fact there are VA Endo clinics all over the US that manage to do so… The VA Prosthetic managers will obtain whatever your doctor prescribes.

I would talk to the Patient Advocate at that VA… and if not resolved demand to see the Staff Doctor or the supervising Endocrinologist.
You should not be forced to go out of your area to another VA to obtain the care you earned. Bureaucracy is rampant at some VA’s!
Best of Luck


Yes I will stick with it, I actually just wont get on a pump if it is not the X2 and G6. It just does not seem worth it unless it is those 2. I called a lot of numbers yesterday and they basically told me to call a different number to talk to someone else until I finally got to a guy that was about to send off to a number I already called. I was like wait this has come full circle and its apparent no one knows what the answer is and doesn’t want to deal with it. He then told me no thats not the case I just didnt know what you were told by someone else blah blah, not really sure what he even tried explaining to be honest, but then told me I have to talk to my actual doctor there. My PCM and ask her to put a consult in for me to see my private endo outside of the VA for this all to work. By the way VA Choice is no longer and its called TriWest? Apparently this is the new change and they are even more strict with using it. They kept telling me that the services I need are already at the VA so its unlikely to be referred to a private endo when I already have one at the VA. Anyway, I then left a message on my PCMs voicemail to get back to me about the consult so we shall see how that goes. If this doesn’t work out I completely forget that i have TriCare Select Retired that could possibly work. Im going to call out to Tandum / Dexcom today to see if they take TriCare or know a company that provides these supplies that does.

Also side note: They told me that all of the VA’s in New York are one big happy family and that if one VA in New York would not prescribe me the supplies no other VA will.


The post to Tim35 that I just posted was also to you, thanks guys for the help


First and fore most thanks for your service and I am so very sorry the VA puts our service people through this nightmare!
I have no insight to this problem personally but I live in San Diego and have meet many who at veterans. I actually talked with a young man who was at a VA hospital in Orange County and couldn’t get anywhere with pump selection he wanted. But than tried the hospital in San Diego and literally got everything he needed. Same state, counties that are right next to each other and completely different outcome. I am so sorry there are five million hoops you have to jump through but it might be worth trying a different hospital further out. I really don’t know and am so very sorry this is happening.


Call your local Tandem rep. Let them assist you.
This is part of their jobs, and most of them do it darn well.
They might at least be able to point out which place to go to!


Excellent advice! The Tandem rep went to the VA the day after I got a doubtful reply when I told the Endo it was the only pump acceptable to me. Otherwise I would just use CGM and MDI. After 33 years pumping, I know what works best for my lifestyle. The rep
demonstrated the X2 to the staff and 2 days later they ordered a pump for me.
Great support from Tandem!



One has to be tenacious to get what they need from the VA !

I have been fortunate to find some dedicated healthcare professionals over the years at various VA facilities. San Francisco VA wouldn’t give me a replacement pump for my out of warranty Animus.(it kept losing the time/date which really caused me problems
with the IOB calculations)

…so I went to the Endo Clinic in Portland and it has to be the best in the VA system! It is 600 miles away but well worth it and is a good long term solution.

I have to pay travel out of pocket but I don’t need to go that often as long as I upload my Tandem data every month and show good results.

Thank you for your support. this forum helps a lot of people!