costs & insurance

Think Twice Before Bringing Your Dexcom Data to Your Next Doctor's Appointment

Ann Bartlett Health Guide July 19, 2012
  • Your health care is always a work in progress. Wouldn’t you agree?  And every time I hear about someone going to see their doctor, for a regular scheduled appointment to have a physical or an annual, and they are completely confident they get the best care, from the best doctor, in the bes...

9 Comments
  • Gretchen Becker
    Health Guide
    Jul. 19, 2012

    If it were me, next time I'd copy out some of the numbers into a logbook, with terrible handwriting, and show that to the doc. Then I'd tell her that I could provide a DexCom printout for $68.

  • k.bozarth92
    Sep. 06, 2014

    I feel the same way, every time I to the endo it's a waste of money and time. Just give me a few rx blanks and  I'll write my own scripts and save my time and money! It makes me so so mad!!

  • MomofType1
    Aug. 08, 2012

    No, we've never been charged, mostly because they don't download the Dexcom's at my daughter's pediatric diabetes clinic in a very prestigious teaching hospital.  Go figure.  Actually, I don't think they've ever successfully downloaded her pump.

     

    When she was on the Navigator and Cozmo, we used to download all the data to the Co-pilot software...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    No, we've never been charged, mostly because they don't download the Dexcom's at my daughter's pediatric diabetes clinic in a very prestigious teaching hospital.  Go figure.  Actually, I don't think they've ever successfully downloaded her pump.

     

    When she was on the Navigator and Cozmo, we used to download all the data to the Co-pilot software and it would produce beautiful graphs and logbooks, so they didn't need to look at the CGM data itself, it was just like a regular logbook with a nice graph above.

     

    Now on the Dexcom and Animas, we upload both, and her meter, to Diasend, and produce somewhat similar reports, if not as colorful.

     

    They do leave the exam room with them, then come back and say "you're doing a great job." 

     

    We had an experience early after diagnosis that's determined what we expect from her "team."   Still on MDI, no CGM, her BG's were a roller coaster, and she had many, many high highs.  I would call her doctor constantly to try to figure out adjustments.  He finally told me one day that if I was so worried about her highs, "don't test her so much."  So we analyze and adjust, and take their suggestions with a grain of salt.  Oh, and we don't see him anymore.

     

    And although we haven't been charged extra for data analysis, the clinic at one point tried to charge for calls to the nurse. That didn't last long.

     

     

  • Anonymous
    RD/CDE
    Jul. 21, 2012

    I'm sorry for your experience. I don't know how to "fix" a system that is so broken. Rest assured, your physician probably isn't trying to "squeeze" every cent out of you. There is a code available for downloading electronic data from medical devices. I don't know many endocrinologists or CDEs that use it, but it's there. Endocrinologists do not perform "procedures"...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I'm sorry for your experience. I don't know how to "fix" a system that is so broken. Rest assured, your physician probably isn't trying to "squeeze" every cent out of you. There is a code available for downloading electronic data from medical devices. I don't know many endocrinologists or CDEs that use it, but it's there. Endocrinologists do not perform "procedures" - which means that their income exists on office visits. It's getting tough out there to make it - and pay several full time staff to do all of the paperwork that is required by insurance, Medicare and health care reform. I'm a CDE in private practice and here I sit once again, on a Saturday, doing charts, reviewing BGLs, etc. I'll spend all day tomorrow here at my office doing taxes, payroll, email and administrative duties. All for half of what I used to make actually working for a diabetes medical device company. My 4 year old is with a babysitter at home. So just stop, please, to think about and examine what is going on with health care and reimbursement on a broad scale. Medicare pay cuts loom in January. Who knows what will happen. As long as I have patients asking me "What's up with that?!" about a bill or EOB....communicating....having a dialog....being respectful and appreciative....I'm okay. If it continues turning ugly and I get criticized for things I have very little control over (health care reform, reimbursement, etc.) I'm poised to, like many providers I know, shut down my practice, walk away and remove myself from the vitreole. It's just not worth it. Too much more and it just won't be fiscally or physically possible to be in any kind of private practice anymore. Everyone is at their breaking point.

    • Ann Bartlett
      Health Guide
      Jul. 22, 2012

      I really appreciate your willingness to share your side of the story!  I am working on part 2, which looks at the other side of the fence.  I met with my endo and I saw her compassion come out in spades regarding my comments.  But in the end, I told her that I can afford the charge for the download, but it would be nice to know it's coming and...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I really appreciate your willingness to share your side of the story!  I am working on part 2, which looks at the other side of the fence.  I met with my endo and I saw her compassion come out in spades regarding my comments.  But in the end, I told her that I can afford the charge for the download, but it would be nice to know it's coming and it would be great if I can afford to pay out of pocket, that someone who really needs it can have a free download. As someone who has a customer service based business, I do blame the poor business model that is set up, more than I blame doctors. 

       

      Stay tuned. Part 2 should be out early next week and I would love to get everyone to post what they see as solutions to the care dilemma.  Insurance is a must have, but what should insurance cover?  What if doc offices offered al a carte services?  I'm not sitting in a clinic, I'm sitting a pretty snazzy office that has 3 endos, 1 CDE and about 10 support staff. Think about it for this next few days: if you could wipe the slate clean, what would you want for your patients and how can you build a business model that supports you to offer what you know they need? 

       

  • Anonymous
    Lorraine
    Jul. 21, 2012

    This is disgraceful! Firstly, that they downloaded and analyzed the info without telling you it would be billed separately is unacceptable. But of course, charging in the first place for something that IS precisely the point of the visit is egregious. And lastly, that the outcome, "keep up the good work", when you deemed adjustments necessary, warrants a FULL...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    This is disgraceful! Firstly, that they downloaded and analyzed the info without telling you it would be billed separately is unacceptable. But of course, charging in the first place for something that IS precisely the point of the visit is egregious. And lastly, that the outcome, "keep up the good work", when you deemed adjustments necessary, warrants a FULL REFUND!

     

    Lorraine (colcalli)

    • Tim Moeslein
      Jul. 31, 2012

      Sounds like the "Keep up the good work" was directed at the GREAT job you are doing at self-managing your diabetes.  maybe you should send them a bill every month for your time invested in managing your condition without their input.

  • SugabeticMe
    Jul. 20, 2012

    I've never heard of this extra "charge" before. For years, I've gone to endo's that downloaded my pump and meters and CGMs for me - and, actually, they'd rather do it themselves to, I guess, prevent patients from falsifying records. I say it's baloney. Just another way to squeeze more money out of people.