From Canton, Ohio, USA:
On average, about how long does the insulin pump process take?
I am not quite sure what it you're asking. There are several steps involved in starting an insulin pump:
- See Is pumping for you? to help you decide if a pump is what you really want.
- Visit the MiniMed, Disetronic, and Animas websites to see currently available pumps.
- Set up a meeting with your diabetes team to discuss pump therapy. Your team will help you decide if this is a viable option for you, and may recommend a particular brand.
- You will need a prescription for the pump and supplies along with a letter of medical necessity that must be submitted to your insurance company.
- Your insurance company will review the pump request, and might deny it, in which case you will need additional documentation (such as three months worth of blood glucose values and several hemoglobin A1c readings). Even after that, you might have to file an appeal to the Medical Director. Your insurer may also stipulate which brand of pump is to be used. (Note: All the pump manufacturers have insurance specialists to help you through this process which can take several months.)
- Once you get the pump, you need to review the video instruction tape and practice setting it up, etc.
- Your diabetes team and/or pump trainer will set up one or more education sessions which should include not only pump instruction itself, but a review of carbohydrate counting, hypoglycemia, sick day management, troubleshooting, emergency procedures, and more. Some centers like you to familiarize yourself with the pump by practicing with a saline infusion for a few days before actually starting insulin.
- Once you start on the insulin infusion, you will need to check blood sugars six to eight times a day at least in order to adjust basal rates and boluses. This process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
As you can see, this is not a question that can be answered simply. The pump is a great tool for controlling blood sugars and giving you a lot of flexibility, but it requires a strong commitment on your part with guidance from a diabetes team experienced in insulin pump therapy.
Original posting 29 Mar 2001
Posted to Insulin Pumps
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:20
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