CGM Alone

Help! I want a CGM alone, NOT with a pump. What's good? How do I do this? I go to websites and they all want to push CGM/pump sets on me.

Admittedly I haven't done too much looking into how to go about getting a CGM through my insurance. I haven't talked to my primary doctor about it because I keep waiting to actually start seeing an Endo...but there have been many hurdles there.

I am just so lost about how the process of getting a CGM works. Should I go through my doctor first, or find what I want and then go to my doctor? I don't even know how to begin.

CGMs require a prescription.

Well, a CGM is pretty much a component of an insulin pump but you sure can use one without the insulin delivery part. I would talk to the doc first, insurance second, and then call the CGM makers third. The third option if you call them first may give you some referrals to docs in your area who recommend their products. Good luck.

I’m pretty sure you can still get a stand alone dexcom (for now) which is what I use and I love it. As far as any others…I have no idea. I’d talk to your doctor…they usually get these ball rolling.

I have a Dexcom CGM, no pump. I got the process started by first talking to my endo, who told me to contact Dexcom directly. That's what I did by using their website:

CGM is way more important than a pump! It is a great idea to use CGM. You don't have to use it with the pump. We have two CGM available : Medtronic and Dexcom. Dexcom is superior on so many levels that Dexcom is the only way to go. Enjoy!

I'd start by calling the CGM manufacturer first. They have staff that knows how to orchestrate the whole doctor and insurance company dance. This makes the process much less difficult for you. They have a vested interest in getting everything approved and processed to get you set up. It may take a little bit of time but it's their nuisance and not yours! Let the pros handle it.

In my opinion, the Dexcom G4 is the best product out there. It has the best accuracy and the longest lasting sensor. I prefer the stand-alone product to the ones currently integrated with pumps. It can dependably wake me up to let me know my BG needs attention. It's not buried under and muffled by layers of blankets. The stand alone unit will also get firmware updates and the pump integrated ones may not.

I've used Dexcom CGMs for five years now and wouldn't choose to live without one. It's enhanced my quality of life. Good luck.

Thanks guys. I just sent an e-mail to a Medtronic rep asking him to help me out with info and details on what steps I need to take. I'll be seeing my doctor soon and talk to him about it as well.

Please reconsider Medtronic, Dexcom is sooo much better. The accuracy is superior, the range of the receiver is much more and the sensor can stay in for 2+ weeks.
I assume you are T1 diabetic. Most of the insurance cover it for T1 diabetics with A1C above 7 despite insulin dose adjustments and 4+ blood sugar checks a day + HYPOGLYCEMIA UNAWARENESS ( lack of warning symptoms with low bs).
You need to see your doc, and you will need 30 days blood sugar logs 4+ /day.

A CGM is absolutely not part of an insulin pump. Recently, CGMs have started to be integrated into pumps, but a CGM is a separate product, in particular the most highly regarded one currently available, which is the Dexcom G4. And although CGMs are great for fine-tuning pump settings, there's no inherent reason they can't be tremendously useful for an MDI regimen.

In order to get one, you need a prescription from your doctor, then Dexcom will engage with your insurance to see what they'll cover. So a starting point is to make the pitch to your doctor.

Both the doctor, and perhaps the insurance, will want to see a case for this, ideally a pattern of dangerous lows, perhaps associated with hypo-unawareness. Highs, and high average sugars/A1c, can help make the case, too, but the most compelling case involves lows. If the lows risk happening while you're driving, that makes the case really compelling, and neither the doctor nor the insurance company is going to want to deny you coverage if you mention this risk factor, because if they did and something happened, they might be liable. Of course, you don't want to make the case so strong that your doctor won't support your driving at all.

especially if you want a CGM solo i would also recommend dexcom, as you can get the receiver without a pump. i know many who only have a CGM and love it.

Hi Tamra,

I think the animas vibe will have this and the mini med does but for the most part they don't have one as far as I'm aware. Most people prefer the dexcom which is a stand alone cgm which can be used by anyone with D. I recommend dexcom g4 for sure. It isn't perfect for me by any means it has trouble when my bg moves too quickly sometimes and at other times, but it helps me a great deal and I feel safer overall with it especially while driving and such. Ask Dexcom, they will probably contact your doctor or just ask your doctor. My endo took care of everything for me both times. I used the last version two years ago but I had irritations and problems and couldn't use it. The sensor is smaller now and less likely to cause problems if you're sensitive to that sort of thing. You don't need a1c of 7 to get one, if you have a lot of fluctuations and rapid lows that will qualify you also. For my pump, my doctor told me to call the company first. I talked with them, filled out paper work and then they contacted the insurance and the doctor to work things out.

Echoing what others have said . . . the Dexcom G4 is, by broad consensus, the best CGM available, and it is standalone. And the suggestion to let the manufacturer run interference with the insurance and bureaucratic jungle is spot on. They do it for a living, they have a vested interest in the outcome, and they're good at it.

As a non-pumper, I can't overstress the value of a CGM no matter how you get your insulin. It will help you make better decisions regardless. I would kill for one, but the only way it'll happen is if I pay for it out of picket.

I think the Dexcom is still a la carte, even if they have an alliance with one of the pumps. Do you not want to get a pump for financial reasons, or are you involved in contact sports? They are so incredibly helpful, so I'm always curious when someone says they just want the CGM.

With my insurance, one of the criteria for getting CGM coverage is that you use an insulin pump. I think the reasoning for that is many doctors and people think that you can get better control on a pump. (Many people using MDI successfully would disagree....)Then if you're still having problems with overnight lows, etc., then they will cover a CGM.

Many people would give up their pumps before their CGM's. I don't know which I would choose, but I would probably choose my pump. I use the Dexcom G4 and like the other responders, think the Dex G4 is the best CGM on the market in the USA.

Hi Tamra,

I'm so glad you are looking into getting a CGM. I use the Animas insulin pump and the Dexcom. (Prior to that I used the Medtronic pump and CGM...hated it. Not accurate. I couldn't hear the low blood sugar alarm, insertion was painful. You can use the Dexcom in without using a pump with it. I thought I would share my story of how I got my Dexcom.

First, I called my insurance company to see if a Dexcom would be covered under my Durable Medical Equipment. Thankfully, it was covered 100%. I then asked my insurance
provider who would be in-network to send this device to me....this is where things got tricky. At first, they tried to send me the names of every durable medical equipment provider in the state of Indiana. The did not understand that the Dexcom is a unique device that not everyone carries. Your insurance may be different, but Edgepark and Liberty Medical are in network for me. It took 2 weeks of calling insurance and finally filing a grievance with insurance to finally get the names of my in-network suppliers.

Next, I got my awesome doctor on board. If you don't have an awesome doctor or endo....I highly encourage you to find one. You need someone who is willing and capable of promptly filling out any paperwork, such as a letter of medical necessity, for the insurance. Make sure you have had an A1C in the last 3 months...all insurance is different but my insurance required it to move forward.

Finally, I chose a company (Edgepark and Liberty) to take care of the rest. From start to finish, mainly because of being unable to get the name of an in-network provider, it took about 2 months for me to go LIVE with Dexcom! It was seriously the best day of my life....second to the day I got my insulin pump that is! My A1C has went from 8.5 ish to 5.9!!!

Here is the link to my "How to Insert a Dexcom Sensor" tutorial on youtube.

Please keep us posted!!!

I always wonder that too! I can't imagine life without a pump. It has completely changed my life for sure!

I worked with a Dexcom Rep in the beginning...she ran all my insurance and said that the Dexcom wasn't covered. I knew she was wrong. It pays to know your insurance inside and out. My insurance covers 100% of my durable medical equipment. I called insurance and got the run around on an in-network provider, so I filed a grievance. I had the name, address, and phone number of a third party supplier THE very next day. Just a word of caution....know your insurance!!

I'm with Biedronk and swisschocolate! I have used both devices. Medtronic CGM and Dexcom. Dexcom is leaps and bounds above medtronic. You want an accurate device and there are plenty of folks here that will agree...Dexcom rocks!

Considering your case, it appears just tossing it to Dexcom reps is not always the best path. I guess I've been lucky or my insurance didn't make it difficult to get my kit. When I told the Dexcom rep the name of my insurance, right away she knew we wouldn't have any problem getting it through. Good for you for pushing back!