I started recently on the Tandem closed loop system with a Dexcom, and am loving it! Still haven’t figured out my basals perfectly, but me and my Educator are slowly sorting it out. All has been good until now (except for some infusion learning curves)…until it came time for the mail order company, Diabetes Supply of the Midlands, to ship out my refills on the Dexcom G6 Sensors. They texted me earlier in the month asking me to confirm I wanted to start the order on 07/21, I said yes & they thanked me. Nothing further. I texted Thursday to ask what was up & that I was concerned as my last sensor expires on Sunday 07/25. They got back to me yesterday saying it’s being processed and the supplies “will be delivered shortly”–but no details at all as to when. Very concerned, I texted back asking for a tracking number, and also called them multiple times today, to encounter 2-hour, 5-hour, and 7-hour hold times. (They are open on Saturdays). There has been no response at all, and I am getting fairly annoyed as I don’t want to interrupt my Control IQ session and ruin my tighter control because something like this/also I don’t think it’s good for me to suddenly go back to the non-Control IQ with my basals not figured out yet. But, I don’t think I’m going to hear anything back in time.
I’m also dreading that this is going to be a monthly issue with them, given this is my first refill experience and I have nothing else to go off of. Feels so irresponsible of them to do with an almost $500 subscription-style order.
Okay, rant over, thanks for anyone who read (and I understand if no one did, haha). I am just very annoyed right now and I needed to blow off some steam to someone other than my poor partner.
They switched to Byram, I was irritated because I’ve heard so many horror stories about third party suppliers.
But they texted me about it being time, I went online and ordered and 3 days later, and I had them delivered.
So my first experience was real good.
I get mine from ADS. They text me before it’s time to send them and they send them out promptly on the date. They have been great. But sometimes you don’t have a choice of who you get them from.
Running short because of something happening is a good reason to restart your sensors so you can build a back up supply in case something goes wrong. Something will go wrong with a sensor at some point and you will need a replacement. If it’s at the end of your supply you could also run out. Dexcom is sort of slow in sending replacements and sometimes they like to tag it onto your next shipment from your supplier. I included a link that tells you how. A guitar pick works really good to snap out the transmitter.
For the last five years or so the number of suppliers has been shrinking and service is declining. The reason is likely related to medicare reductions in payments to supplies. This has generally driven service levels down and frustration up.
While the cost to medicare has declined the question is what is optimal. Is it better to reduce service and cost, or allow cost to rise and maintain service levels. For each of us I am sure the answer might be different.
What then does medicare finding have to do with those not on medicare? Medicare is the base payment for all insurance programs in the US. While no private insurers can lower costs to the level of medicare / medicaid each attempt to get as close as possible. When the largest purchaser in the country reduces supply costs it impacts almost all other parts of the market.
Again I am not saying any of this is right or wrong. It is more a matter of the way it is overall.
You may want to check your insurance to see if dexcom is also covered as a pharmacy item. The cost is often lower, and no hassles/cost of shipping. Most insurance plans have a formulary that lists if covered.
For pump supplies, I use the infusion sets a bit longer than 3 days, to get a buffer in case of supply issues. I fill cartridge to max and use longer than 3 days, so have extra backups too.
In a pinch, Tandem support may send “samples”.
This is the reality of our healthcare system in the US. It seems absurd and actually quite insane but again, it is our reality. I had a number of instances in the very beginning where the insurance co would refuse to refill an insulin prescription because it was a few days “too” soon! As if T1D’s take one pill a day for 30 days. The same thing goes for pump/cgm supplies. If you are going to be in the business of supplying these kinds of things should there be some sort of accountability in doing so? Of course the system is so convoluted with insurance companies, medical groups (private - hmo or ppo, medicare, medicare advantage, etc.) that this complication is used as an excuse not to be held accountable.
Anywho, it is a problem and as posters here have suggested a little creative thinking and resourcefulness is required. It’s a shame in the richest country in the world but it is reality. Even in a pay as you go system like ours you would think we could make our system more advanced, humane and not having to require work-arounds by the patients!
Is it possible for you to get refills every 3 months instead of monthly?
I find DME suppliers and PBMs to be endlessly frustrating. If you can at least switch to refilling every 90 days, that can really reduce the interference of diabetes in your everyday life.
I get my Dexcom supplies through my pharmacy benefit now, but not all insurance companies allow that. Overall, the experience has been more positive with the PBM (eg ExpressScripts or CVS Caremark) than the DME supplier.