Glucose monitoring technology, including continuous glucose monitoring systems, plays a vital role in protecting the health of individuals who suffer from issues related to blood sugar and insulin production. In the past, individuals who needed to check their blood glucose levels would typically need to obtain a blood sample, often through a prick on the finger, and the sample would then need to be manually inserted into a testing device for analysis. Unfortunately, this method can be time-consuming, and it relies on the user remembering to take measurements at various times throughout the day. This could also mean missing regular testing during the night due to sleep.
Today, however, advanced glucose monitoring using technology like the Dexcom G6 can provide real-time data 24 hours a day for people who need continuous monitoring. Modern monitoring provides important information regarding overall health as it relates to glucose levels, allowing for faster treatment in the event of an emergency. This is vital for patients who are diabetic or for patients who may be at risk for developing health conditions related to fluctuating or uneven blood glucose.
How Does the Dexcom G6 Work?
Unlike traditional glucose testing, the Dexcom G6 and similar systems involve the insertion of a sensor into an area around the body’s midsection. The sensor regularly tests blood glucose levels and sends the results back to a receiver that the user keeps on-hand. The receiver compiles the data and can also alert the patient if a reading is displaying signs of danger. These results can also be uploaded into software that is used by the user’s physician to decide on a treatment plan or make adjustments to a patient’s lifestyle.
Medicare Coverage for Dexcom G6 Equipment
In most cases, Medicare benefits will cover Dexcom G6 equipment under a fee-for-service agreement. This is the case for Original Medicare recipients, and the equipment will generally be covered under Part B as the device will be considered durable medical equipment. It also may be possible that Medicare Part A will provide coverage if a Dexcom G6 system is administered during a stay in a skilled nursing facility or as an inpatient in a hospital as long as the equipment is considered a medical necessity.
According to Dexcom, the manufacturer of the Dexcom G6, the company does not currently accept Medicare Advantage plans. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan and you are in need of glucose monitoring equipment or traditional testing supplies, speak with your plan manager to discuss your individual healthcare options. Even if you aren’t able to receive coverage for the Dexcom G6, you may qualify for Medicare benefits that cover similar systems that provide continuous glucose monitoring technology. Dexcom also states that Medicare recipients who are prescribed a Dexcom G6 system will need to schedule follow-up appointments every six months for testing and monitoring in order to continue receiving coverage for the Dexcom G6.
Lifestyle Changes and Your Overall Health
Although this is not true in all cases, some patients facing conditions like diabetes may be able to improve their glucose levels and blood health by making lifestyle changes. These changes may include altering a diet by eliminating certain foods, adding exercise into a daily routine, improving sleep and managing stress levels. As a result, you should speak with your physician to see if there are non-medical changes that can be made in your life to reduce the need for medications and glucose testing.
With this stated, an imbalance in glucose levels can lead to severe health consequences, so you should never make big changes to your diet or exercise routine without discussing your situation with a qualified health professional first. Attempting to make changes, especially when you are already taking medications to control glucose levels, can lead to the potential for organ damage and even death. Also, if you do utilize a continuous glucose monitoring system or any other type of diabetes treatment, you should follow all directions exactly to reduce the potential for complications, inaccurate readings and damage to the equipment or your body.