Getting a G5 next week. Have a couple of questions

I’ve read quite a few complaints about the G5 connectivity (due to BT) that seems not to be an issue with the G4. Does ANYONE here have good connectivity with a G5 (using the included receiver)? I can’t get a G4 because Medicare is only covering the G5 (as I’m sure you all know. LOL!).

Are there any tips that you can think of that aren’t covered by the various videos and documentation? I sweat a lot (quite active) and have had issues with losing sensors from another company even when using IV3000. I’ve tried Skin Prep, Mastisol, and still had issues when I sweat freely.

Has anyone else here received their G5 through Medicare coverage? I’ve waited many months for the coverage to kick in (following the announcement, and then a false start (re: Liberty Medical). I was excited to hear from Dexcom today that my unit ships out today. :slight_smile: My excitement is somewhat tempered by the number of online posts complaining about the G5’s connectivity; hence my question.

Medicare makes quite a big deal about warning users not to use any other device as a receiver or they will lose Medicare coverage. That’s fine if they have restrictions, BUT does it mean that they are privy to the data coming out of the Dexcom? My doctor downloads my meters and pump every visit, so I asked him if he will be downloading the Dexcom as well. His response was “no”. If that holds true, just how would Medicare (or anyone else) get access to the data from my Dexcom?

I can’t answer all your questions but I have used G5 for about 18 months. I use the receiver at times. I’d guess 30% of my use is with the Dex receiver, the rest of the time on iphone. I find the connectivity with the Dex receiver to be fine. Occasional dropped signals but nothing inconvenient.

The receiver screen seems a little fragile…don’t drop it on concrete! I got a leather case from Dexcom that provides some protection and allows it to be worn on a belt.

Thanks for the quick response, John! Sounds like not everyone has poor luck with connectivity after all. I’m looking into some sort of case that I can attach to a belt. Once I get the unit, I’ll know if it would be feasible (size-wise) to wear the receiver with an arm band (I believe that a pouch that attaches to a belt would also work with an armband).

Can you sleep with the receiver on a night-stand and have reliable connectivity much of the time? Will lying on the xmitter attenuate the signal so much it may not work, even if the receiver is within 5 feet (as when on a night stand)?

It’s pretty tiny. I wear it in a small waist pouch under ice hockey pads.

I sleep with the receiver on the nightstand and have had no connectivity problems no matter how much I move around in my sleep. I never really lie on my transmitter so I can’t speak to that.

1 Like

We have a Dex receiver which is approximately 8 feet away from the G5 transmitter with a wall between them - at night.

Very solid connection.

The Dex receiver on the first floor will connect to the G5 transmitter on the second floor if they are in rooms directly above/below each other.

I have zero complaints about range between the Dex receiver and the G5 transmitter.

Dexcom has no access to the data from the Receiver UNLESS you specifically choose to upload the data to their cloud application, Clarity. I would have trouble believing that even if you do upload your CGM data into the Dexcom Clarity cloud application that Medicare would have access to it - that just doesn’t make sense.

I would highly suggest that you DO upload your Dexcom receiver into Clarity as it gives great management of your data. It lets you see trends that you just would never be able to see on the receiver. There are absolutely no restrictions from Medicare on THIS - the restrictions are on Smart Devices - nothing to do with uploading this data into the Dexcom Clarity cloud application. Also if you upload your data into Clarity, your doctor has the ability to look at your data IF YOU WISH. I forget exactly the procedures but if your doc uses Clarity (as a health professional) then they would walk you through the process. It involves generating a code and something - bottom line being no Doc can see your Dexcom cgm data without you SPECIFICALLY and ACTIVELY authorizing it.

1 Like

Tim, Dexcom can see what devices are connected to the transmitter via clarity. From what I understand, it’s a use a smart device at your own risk. Dexcom is adhering to Medicare’s stupid rules because they’re afraid of audits. They will report any Medicare recipient using a smart device directly to Medicare. If it were me, I wouldn’t risk having my CGM supplies coverage being revoked. I do wonder if there is some Medicare yahoo sitting in some undisclosed location, looking at all the Dexcom Medicare patients clarity reports. (Shivers as he writes this)

1 Like

@Jason99 - Dexcom could block the use of a Dexcom mobile app as mobile Smart Device support needs a Dexcom account to be able to use the mobile app. That would be pretty easy to do if they wanted - no hardware changes.

That being said, the use of the receiver and uploading the cgm data from the receiver into Clarity has no impact with regard to Medicare. There is absolutely no prohibition against this.


I DEFINITELY wouldn’t risk losing my Medicare coverage. No way I can afford to buy the sensors and xmitters. Thanks for clarification re: Clarity.

Tim- You’re right about the receiver and clarity. Seems that Medicare is hell bent on forcing their patients into using the receiver and nothing else. I would not be surprised if another asinine rule comes down very shortly restricting the X2 and Dexcom integration, at which point any software updates to the X2 would be useless to a Medicare patient. Really, their paying for their patients to have the technology advancements to combat a horrible disease and then demanding that said patients cannot use most of the features of the products features. I don’t understand the reasoning behind these decisions. But, I do know that drastic changes need to take place in the Medicare coverage guidelines. They’re using a system that is so outdated and can’t keep up with the technology advancements. At what point do these changes take place? How many people need to riot in the streets? This is a perfect example of a completely broken down out of whack health care system. Here, we’re going to give you this pump and CGM system, you can’t use most of the features, just because we say so. If Kaiser did that to me, I’d cease to be a Kaiser member.

1 Like

I too, don’t understand Medicare’s reasoning for such restrictive rules regarding which hardware we use with the Dexcom transmitter. Then again, I’m still perplexed by the VA’s decision to not give disability payments to T1’s that served in Viet Nam. They only give those benefits to T2’s. I waited more than a year to be denied by the VA. As I feared, they denied my claim because I’m not a T2. What fun (not) it was to make a few 80+ mile round trips out of town to visit the VA Hospital for evaluations). They weren’t concerned at all that worked on a flightline that had massive amounts of Agent Orange leaking onto the tarmac where I worked. SIGH.

In my opinion, the issues surrounding the Smart Devices and Medicaid and the Dexcom are likely people at Medicaid being concerned about setting any kind of ruling or precedent which would open the door to a flood of people finding a way to use this particular decision/ruling to impact a multitude of other aspects of Medicaid as relates to Smart Devices.

I expect Medicaid is constantly barraged with people wanting to claim their Smart Phone as a Medical Device.

Just my opinion backed up by nothing. I could be totally off base here.

Some additional comments from Dexcom:

Kevin Sayer, CEO of Dexcom
May 02, 2017 4:30 pm ET

“What is lost on many of us is we’re about a year ahead of where we thought we’d be with respect to this Medicare stuff. And in order to get DME approval, we had to have a durable component of the system that would last a specific period of time that we would cover. And working with Medicare, again, they worked very hard and they determined that durable component is the receiver.”

“And while we may sit here today with that position on the receiver being the durable part and being kind of like the centerpiece and the most important component of the system, we have a number of options here. We can certainly work with CMS over time to see we can move it to another category. We can also go back to what we did in the past with share and have the receiver talk to the phone. And we could – but certainly, we don’t have that product in our portfolio right now. But since we were the first to make it way back when we know how to do that, so we have a number of options here. We just need to let this play out. We need to get this technology on patients. We need them to explain how it has changed their lives and how beneficial it is. And we need to be pleased with where we are and not get too crazy. I don’t think that’s over time going to be a factor.”

I’ve heard that nonsense too, about people asking for cell phone coverage through Medicare. Sounds quite bogus–Medicare knows how to say,“NO”. Besides which, cell phones aren’t FDA approved devices. The logic of Medicare denying users the option to use any device they choose is pointless and punitive. If one’s doctor is fine with having their patients use a cell phone (or smartwatch, or whatever), and so is the patient, it’s no skin off of the “teeth” of Medicare. Just another example in a long-standing list of stupid government bureaucratic decisions.

Very well could be. Without being the proverbial “fly on the wall” where these sorts of decisions are discussed and made, it really ends up being speculation as to the underlying motivation.

Absolutely. One thing we DO know is that their restrictions don’t help patients who need to avail themselves of every bit of “tech” out there. I know that there must be people who would otherwise get a G5 if it weren’t for the necessity of carrying yet another “gizmo”. That’s why I stuck with the awful Enlite system for so long. Despite it’s issues, I didn’t have to carry additional hardware. But now that I’m on Medicare, I’ve only one fiscally-practical option for a CGM.

cant post more today (first day on site) so here is your answer: Yes, Medtronic pump. Been pumping since the mid 90’s. Paradigm 551 currently. Enlite sensors sometimes worked great, but that was just a fraction of the time. I had so many sensors replaced under warranty, I lost count, but it was more than 22.

@Dave44 - Are you currently on a pump or MDI for insulin? You mentioned Enlite so I would make the assumption you have a Medtronic pump?