Diabetes care continues to evolve to help improve the quality of life for those living with the condition. This is largely due to technological advances, like continuous glucose monitors, insulin pumps and other smart devices that are designed to help manage blood sugar levels and insulin doses in a more simplified, safe way.
UnitedHealthcare’s focus has long been to help advance diabetes care for the members we serve. By prioritizing member safety, clinical outcomes and the total cost of care for people living with diabetes, it’s clear that advanced therapies using new devices along with patient support may help improve appropriate individuals' outcomes.
Based on these data, and available clinical studies, UnitedHealthcare is expanding its access to include the use of Tandem’s t:slim X2™ insulin pump, as an additional innovative option in the treatment of diabetes. The Tandem pump is available in addition to Omnipod and the Medtronic MiniMed™ device, which are currently being used by 88 percent of members*.
The decision to expand the options for insulin pumps is based off clinical evidence showing a direct correlation to improved patient care. Over the course of UnitedHealthcare’s value-based relationship with Medtronic, the data has consistently shown that members with insulin pumps had lower hospital admission rates for complications of diabetes. A three-year analysis from 2016 to 2019 monitored nearly 5,500 UnitedHealthcare members with diabetes, comparing the health outcomes of those using an integrated MiniMed™ 670G insulin pump system versus those on multiple daily injections (MDI).
The data showed the following:
- The first year, Medtronic insulin pump users had a 27 percent lower rate of preventable hospital admissions compared to MDI therapy users.
- In the second year, insulin pump users saw a 33 percent lower rate in preventable hospitalizations and in the third year, it was 38 percent lower.
By offering the Tandem insulin pump, when used with Dexcom continuous glucose monitor, members may also benefit from additional features such as an automated insulin delay function that has been shown to reduce the chance of both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
Tandem’s t:slim X2™ insulin pumps have been available to members on an in-network basis, with prior authorization and eligibility requirements since July 1. With this new offering and the continuation of the Medtronic relationship, UnitedHealthcare will maintain its commitment to continue analyzing new data to ensure members have access to the best tools and technology to help manage their diabetes.
If you have questions about your insulin pump coverage and/or continuous glucose monitors, work with your health care professional to discuss which option meets your needs.
*as of July 1, 2020