As medical technology advances, insulin-dependent diabetics have more choices available to them to meet their needs. An insulin delivery system like the T-Slim Insulin Pump can release the necessary amount of insulin over the course of a day without the need for manual injections.
Comparing an Insulin Pump with Insulin Injections
Whether a diabetic person chooses to use a pump or an injection often boils down to personal preference. Both methods can be used to provide an accurate dose of insulin in a timely manner if the diabetic person is properly maintaining their needs.
What distinguishes most insulin pumps from manually injected insulin, however, is the type of insulin used. Many pumps only use rapid-acting, or bolus, insulin. With manual injections, a diabetic person can use rapid or long-acting (basal) insulin depending on their body’s needs and the circumstances they encounter.
Critics of insulin pump systems point out that the use of rapid-acting insulin can put people at risk of diabetic ketoacidosis if the pump fails without their noticing the loss of function. However, people who prefer the pump praise the ease of use and the flexibility they have in adjusting rapid-acting doses to respond to their activity levels and food consumption.
Ultimately, the most important deciding factor for anyone who is considering an insulin pump is whether they feel they will be able to use the pump appropriately according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Any insulin-dependent person who may doubt that they will understand how to navigate a pump’s settings so that they can adjust their insulin doses as-needed may feel more comfortable with manual injections.
Understanding how the T-Slim Insulin Pump Works
As one of the smallest insulin pumps currently on the market, the T-Slim Insulin Pump is easy to wear discreetly and comfortably. T-Slim functions as most other pumps do by providing doses of insulin through a cannula, or thin plastic tube, attached with medical-grade adhesive to the injection site.
It has a touchscreen and rechargeable battery, as well as software that allows it to integrate with the Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor (CGM). When paired with the Dexcom CGM, the device can predict low blood sugar levels and automatically adjust the amount of insulin it releases in response to those fluctuations.
Daily reports can be downloaded to the computer and the pump’s controls can be used via a smartphone app. Users can share data with up to 10 contacts, which can help them screen for any issues with the pump or their glucose levels.
Medicare Coverage for the T-Slim Insulin Pump
Medicare recipients who have been diagnosed as diabetic and require insulin to help them manage their blood sugar levels may qualify for coverage of an insulin pump under Medicare Part B. In order for a pump to be considered eligible durable medical equipment (DME), a person with diabetes may need to provide proof that they require insulin injections more than three times a day.
Medicare benefits may only cover certain brands of insulin pumps, but the T-Slim pump is currently eligible for Part B coverage if the Medicare recipient’s needs qualify the pump as DME. Unlike insulin used in manual injections, the insulin used by a pump is also covered under DME rules. Coverage options can change throughout the year, so Medicare recipients who are interested in the T-Slim insulin pump should verify its eligibility for DME use before acquiring the device.