Sunday, August 31, 2014

Supply... meet demand.


So HB and I recently had to change our insurance when he switched to a new job and under this new insurance policy I am not able get the my insulin pump supplies from the same manufacturers/suppliers as I was before.  Fortunately this change didn't mandate an entirely new brand of pump, so the hoop jumping I've been doing is relatively minor in the grand scheme, but I can't even begin to comprehend why this whole process is so. darn. complicated. 

First things first, I contact my Dexcom CGM's intermediary supplier to give them my new insurance information.  I've had a horrible time of it trying to work with this company to begin with so it wasn't too much of a shock when they announced that my insurance isn't accepted in their pharmaceutical branch but maybe - only maybe - their durable medical department could assist…  they, of course, didn't return phone calls or process my prescription for two weeks until I'd practically run out of sensors (3 days were left on the one I was wearing) when finally the company's management and I made sense of what should otherwise have been a very straight forward process.   Headache number one conquered (and "case management" officer identified for my file - time will tell on how she does). 

The second phone call I made to update my insurance information was to Medtronic, the makers of my MiniMed insulin pump.  For the most part, their customer service is ON IT and I love to work with them.  This time, however, my heart nearly broke when they flat out said they don't accept my insurance directly and that I'll need to start working with an intermediary supply company to get my infusion change supplies instead of working directly with Medtronic.  Given the terrible support I've had with these types of companies before, this was a bad-news-bears kind of moment.  Having been assigned to a new company, I called them to set up my account and start my next supply order which, much to my relief, seemed to go smoothly. 

Unfortunately my sense of relief came too soon.  When my supply order arrived, I found that the supply company decided to change the reservoirs I use in my pump from the 1.8 mL size to the 3.0 mL size given my recent increase in insulin use.  This is all well and good, minus the fact that the pump I use only fits a 2.0 mL size reservoir at the largest… meaning I'm up a creek with a bunch of supplies I cannot use for the pump design I've been wearing since 2011.   AWESOME. 

I call Medtronic to see what my options are - either I return the un-returnable medical supplies that I cannot use OR I see if a larger pump is covered under my current pump warranty (expires spring 2015 - eep!) and their legal definition of "medical necessity."  Fortunately, since their customer service rocks as I said, they were quick to discover that YES! I am entitled to a new pump… but it's on back order for at least 5 to 6 weeks due to increased demand for the 3.0 mL size snazzy, updated MiniMed pump.  Knowing I can't use the supplies I have on hand and can't  go without insulin for the next month and a half, Medtronic generously covered a box of the 1.8 mL size reservoirs for me so as to get me through the wait time.  Thanks, Medtronic! Grumble, supply company, thanks for screwing with my supplies and demand!

Note the size difference... 

Long story short, my new pump finally arrived and I'm in the process of updating my settings in pump #3.  I don't so much mind the larger size of the pump, it still fits in my pocket after all, but the ordeal of programming is a pain!  I have 10 different basal settings to transfer over (total daily basal currently 24.975 units), 4 different carb-ratios (ranging from 11g  to 15g carbs per every 1 unit of insulin) and don't even get me started on the random alarm/system settings I use to keep on top of my glucose treatment.  I know it will all be for the best once this whole two-month insurance-change deal is over, but for the time being my head is still ringing from the knock-on effects this hypothetically simple process caused.  

Maybe when it comes to my next three-month supply order this fall, it'll be straight forward.  At least one can hope.