Hack Dexcom issues by doing this - Updated 8/2019

Some of us are almost always lucky because to a large extent we make our own luck. People who are first and foremost interested in fault and blame tend to have a lot of issues with Dexcom as well as life in general and want others to take care of their problems. Those of us that are proactive and look for solutions to problems don’t have time for the blame game and tend to be lucky with Dexcom and life in general.

The following are proactive steps you can take with Dexcom and your luck with them should improve dramatically:

  1. Schedule your doctor appointments in days, not months. You will hear that Dexcom/Medicare requires doctor appointments every 3 months if you are on a pump and every 6 months if you are MDI (Multiple Daily Injections). This actually is not quite true. Dexcom will not re-supply your monthly Medicare subscription on time if your doctor notes have not arrived at their office within 90 days of your last visit if on the pump or 180 days if MDI. No point arguing with them that 91 days is within 3 months or 182 days is within 6 months. They will not budge on this and if you call them with this situation, they will enter your call in their notes and tell you they will send supplies out after receiving doctor notes, causing a few days of delay and possible additional issues.

  2. Some clinics are excellent at getting doctor notes out to Dexcom the day of your visit and others not so good. If your clinic is a little sloppy, deal with the frustration by confirming with both your doctor’s office and Dexcom that your notes were sent and received within the 90/180 day allowable timeframe to avoid delays in receiving supplies as well as creating possible additional issues. Or use another, better organized, clinic. Make sure you contact Dexcom first. It is important you contact Dexcom as soon or slightly before your appointment. Your doctor does not automatically send your chart notes to Dexcom. Dexcom makes a request (sometimes they forget or have a system screwup) to your doctor and then your notes are sent from your doctor to Dexcom in that order. So first make sure Dexcom has made the request a couple of weeks before your next set of notes are due or as soon as you have had your visit. If Dexcom screwed up and asked for your notes late, they will send you an emergency sensor to tie you over.

  3. Larger clinics such as Joslin in Boston have a Dexcom coordinator on staff at your clinic. If your clinic is large enough to have a Dexcom coordinator on staff, get their name and number. Contacting your doctor will only cause a further delay if your clinic has a coordinator. If you deal with your coordinator and your Dexcom area representative, order issues can be solved in a matter of hours instead of the quoted 3 business days.

  4. Dexcom has now established customer service area representatives in their Mexico call center. These representatives are there to help you with any order (Not technical) issues. Get the name and direct telephone number to your customer service representative. He/she will be responsible to coordinate any order issues between you and Dexcom.

  5. Dexcom is required to do an annual insurance verification of your Medicare Part B and any supplemental coverages. Contact Dexcom and ask them when your annual verification due date is. Contact Dexcom again about 2 weeks before your due date and remind them to do verification now so that you can get your next subscription package on time. Verification normally takes less than 48 hours, but exceptions happen so giving yourself 2 weeks will only help.

  6. Should Medicare change your Medicare number for any reason, contact any supplemental insurance carriers as well as Dexcom and give them the new number. This should not happen often, but many Dexcom monthly orders for supplies were delayed when Medicare changed from using Social Security numbers to a Medicare number and in today’s cybersecurity challenges, numbers could change again at any time.

  7. Should your address change, make sure that Medicare Part B and any supplemental insurance have your new address as well as Dexcom. All addresses must match or delays may occur. One exception is your ship to address at Dexcom. Dexcom allows you to have a different ship to address than your Medicare or Dexcom primary address. This can be advantageous because it is often more reliable for people who travel a lot, or don’t have home delivery to have their supplies shipped and signed for at their business.

  8. Should your Telephone number change, notify Dexcom. Dexcom primarily files your account by your telephone number. With callerID it makes it faster for Dexcom to identify you when you call from your primary number. Dexcom also files by your name and Date of Birth but the lookup takes longer.

  9. Apply sensors to clean, well-shaven area. Apply right after a shower or use alcohol wipes and then use an over-patch that can be requested from Dexcom tech support or make your own from Opsite Flexifit or similar material with cut out for the transmitter. A good clean sensor application will go a long way toward avoiding issues.

  10. Build a backup supply of a few sensors and test strips. Even when everything goes right with Dexcom, packages can get lost or delayed in the shipping process. Your vacation schedule may not perfectly line up with your next delivery and no, Dexcom will not ship your order even 1 day early to meet your travel schedule. Having a few extras will give you great peace of mind when something does not happen perfectly as planned.

  11. Dexcom is in the process of increased use of 3rd party providers for Medicare in certain markets. My experiences have all been with Dexcom direct Medicare shipments so although some of this would apply through a 3rd party, their policies may or may not be in conflict with some of these points.

  12. Once even the smallest problem happens with a Dexcom order, a chain reaction of other problems subsequently often follow.

  13. Yes, I know that Dexcom should be more proactive and take care of most of these issues but again, we are not looking for blame here, we are looking to get good quality products from Dexcom delivered on time at the most reasonable cost. If others bring in suggestions, I will edit this post. In the meantime, hopefully this will be of some help to patients with Dexcom supply issues.

11 Likes

Very true, on all 11 items. Good post!

1 Like

Thank you

1 Like

Well done. I usually try to restrain my complaint, or even picking up the phone, until I have honestly examined whether I’ve done everything within my power to fix the situation.

If I do call to complain I try to verbally convey that I recognize that the person handling my call is not the one responsible for my trouble and that their job is hard and thankless. I do struggle with getting this right but customer service people respond better to positive comments than they do to negative ones.

3 Likes

Luck favors the prepared. Pure and simple.
And you sir, are prepared!
Very well written and to the point.

1 Like

Thank you so much for your kind words. If this eases the pain of even one person’s dealings with Dexcom, I will have considered my time on this post well spent.

2 Likes

I updated my post on 08/04/2019 to reflect recent changes at Dexcom that affect both Medicare and Non-Medicare patients dealing with Dexcom

placing an order is not hard or difficult, these Dexcom Reps, majority of them, should not be at their ‘job’ if they think it’s ‘too hard’. For many Type 1’s their CGM is A LIFE SAVING MEDICAL DEVICE, for many parents of young children, even babies, this is their only resource, and can provide a sense of some solace comfort knowing their child has a CGM on…Dexcom can at least hire people whom care and can place a stupid order, there is nothing hard about it.

DEXCOM is to blame. they’ve outsourced to Mexico, Philippines, making shabby products now that don’t last or only last a shorter duration BUT we pay more. They’ve received a HUGE Medicare CONTRACT. So happy to know all this save money outsourcing to a horribly staffed call center with no management or accountability, goes in the pockets of executives, saving money on the backs of type 1 diabetics, struggling with a horrible disease! We’re not purchasing new shoes or a shirt here! There is no excuse for their unacceptable hideous customer service, read their reviews, BBB filings. I REFUSE TO DO THEIR JOB and writing this post, enabling Dexcom is what you’re doing. THEY’RE A HUGE ORGANIZATION NOW (I WISH AMAZON WOULD BUY THEM), make them accountable and don’t do what they’re paid to do, we have enough to worry about with all the other crap it takes to keep us alive everyday. In fact, this post is kind of offensive, just saying. ugh!

1 Like

I don’t have to deal with Dexcom or Medicare (free CGM for under 21s with “NDSS” in Australia, I just place my son’s order at the pharmacy and sensors show up the next day), but CJ114s post and Terry & Hammer’s comments ring true about how “life in general” works.

The only way to make a company ‘accountable’ as you desire is to take your business elsewhere. If you’re not going to do that, they have no incentive to improve your customer experience (and even if you did, what company which can barely meet demand is going to worry about a lost customer or two?). You may think I’m being an ‘enabler’ for rubbish customer service, but getting angry and finding blame isn’t going to help anyone, least of all yourself.

1 Like

For the record, Dexcom never intended to get a huge Medicare contract. They contracted a medical supply distributor and gave them exclusive rights to the Dexcom products to handle all the Medicare patients. Unfortunately, they chose the worst of the worst of the distributors that they possibly could have When things quickly went South with Liberty, Dexcom had a choice, work with Medicare on their own or dump the Medicare patients. They chose to painstakingly work out a contract with Medicare, not because they wanted to, but because they didn’t want to leave all the Medicare patients without a CGM. This was a huge undertaking, that took a lot of time and negotiation. I give them a lot of credit for stepping up and making sure the Medicare patients weren’t left with nothing.

I’ve had huge problems with Dexcom in the past as well. Your ranting and raving about shoddy products and CS reps who don’t speak English is pure vitriol.

2 Likes

I am so sorry to have offended you and caused you such distress. That was certainly not my intention. I am only here to help, where able out of a responsibility to other posters on this forum that have been of far greater help in bringing my diabetes within range of a non-diabetic person than any doctor, nutritionist or other diabetic health care professional that has cared for my disease over the past 30 years.

In my global manufacturing business, I have over 6.2 million customers to tend to worldwide and can assure you that my time can be much more profitably spent taking great care of my customers, employees and business associates than spending precious time on this forum, but as with most businesses I feel an individual as well as corporate social responsibility to help make this a better world when able and just hope that my time invested in this forum can bring some help, joy and better diabetic management to some.

For me to not cause you further offense, may I suggest:

  1. That you use the ignore function in this forum, ignore me, and that way you will not see and be bothered by any of my future posts.

  2. That you complain to the Moderators and if they also feel my posts are offensive, they are certainly welcome to ban me from the forum. I can assure you, if that happens, I will take no offense and harbor no ill will toward the Moderators.

In the meantime, I wish you a long and healthy stress-free life. Hope you find your best solution to keep your BG’s, TIR and GMI or A1C at a level you are happy with. Once again, apologize for offending you.

2 Likes

Although I am not on Medicare, I appreciate several of your suggestions as more general, CJ114! As a brand new Dexcom user, thank you!

In particular my local endo office is a large outfit (I think almost ten doctors?) and they have an in-office technology specialist whose only job is dealing with the CGM and pump companies and insurance requirements. And I see the advantage of this, and now understand why my previous one-off doctor was not so enthusiastic about new technology.

You suggest building up a small stockpile of extra sensors and I’m all for that, but so far I’m on a very strict 3-sensors-every-30-days regimen and don’t see how I’d do it. I do get to put in an order 9 days before the 30 days are up and that order usually arrives next day.

1 Like

The only way you can do that is by extending your sensor. It sounds like you are on a G6 and A G6 user can better walk you through the process. Medicare patients, such as myself, are all still on G5

You can, of course, always purchase sensors at retail through Amazon.eBay etc. and that is not exactly cheap, but perhaps worth the one time few hundred $ expense for the peace of mind.

It’s getting harder to do with the G6. The new transmitter (3rd generation G6) is supposedly locking users out of restarting the sensor. I received a two pack of them recently, but haven’t used the newest iteration yet.

In that case I would call Dexcom and find out what their latest cash price is. Last I heard it was $349 for either a 1 month supply of G5 or G6 sensors. Not exactly cheap, but to cover for sensors that fail early, vacation schedules, delayed delivery, it is not a huge cost in the overall diabetes management cost scheme.

1 Like

Thanks guys! Yes I am a G6 user. I see what you’re saying, maybe a second transmitter can be tricked into using a sensor that was originally on a first transmitter. But I’ve never tricked any Dexcom stuff not even the old generations so I’m not an expert!

You don’t use two transmitters at the same time. There’s a whole process to restart the G6 now. I think @DrBB posted it, he’ll definitely know where the link is to restart it.

This site does a great job of keeping track of the G6 restart issue.

As time goes by and the site’s info changes, do a site search on “The Loophole” August 4, 2019 post.

4 Likes

Lot of information there. The business about trying to prevent sensor extension by “trauma” detection, where they abort a sensor for behaving too smoothly for an initial insert, could be a real problem for people using the pre-soak method. The whole point of that is specifically—and legitimately!—to smooth out those first-day readings.

2 Likes