Minimed Pathway Program, NO THANKS!

Today, I wanted to see where I was at in my pump warranty, and looks like I am going through to July of 2015. I thought it was earlier. Oh well.

So while I had the rep on the line I asked about the process of getting a 530G with Enlite. I had to go online to register while she was on the phone. (I could have easily just figured that out on my own, without any help, but I was trying to humor her) So I get through the pretty easy process and my account details pop up and I click on upgrade to 530g with enlite and a page pops up which says I can get the 530g for $399. I read it out loud on the phone while the rep was still on the line. Shes like actually it would cost you $898 up front and then you would get the $400 back.

What the what?
#1 that make no sense.

2 I am not paying them almost $900 out of pocket. or even $400

So I proceed to think out loud and say, can’t I just wait for my warranty to be up and then insurance will cover it? She says yes. But some people want it right now. Which is probably very true. I thanked her for her all of the help, while scratching my head as to why people would pay $900 out of pocket or even $400.

Attention Everyone: Wait for your pump to GO OUT OF WARRANTY!!!

That is my personal rant for today LOL

According to my area Medtronics sales rep the early upgrade is even worse than the outright cost. My rep said that if you do go for the new pump early, besides having to pay a premium in dollars, you also end up with NO ADDITIONAL WARRANTY FOR THE NEW PUMP. I think that pushes the expensive extra cost way into the danger zone! Look at the NOTE below.

:frowning:

http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/customer-support/device-upgrades
Medtronic puts this disclaimer on their Pathway upgrade program. *Due to significant demand in our Path2System program you will be contacted in about 90 days. Subject to change. **Cost is $799 and customers will receive a $400 credit for Paradigm insulin pump trade in. ***Current customers of Medtronic CGM therapy may not require an additional MiniLink transmitter, charger and test plug if they have previously purchased these items with Medtronic CGM starter kit with Sof-Sensor.


    Note: Only the remaining warranty of your current Paradigm Insulin Pump will apply to the MiniMed 530G insulin pump

.

PS: To the “other” John: That’s good to know, and I have an appointment with my endo later this month, so I will ask him if he can do that with the script for the EnLite with the older sensor. If memory serves, my CGM malfunctioned months after I got it and they told me the warranty was only six months? I was still in-warranty so they replaced, but I remember being stunned because it was such a shorter warranty than the pumps. Little did I know that in the “through the looking glass” world of insurance companies, going out of warranty is actually a good thing!

Yeah, the “new features” with the 530G don’t sound all that useful to me. I can’t believe Medtronic or any other medical provider would actually recommend suspension of basal insulin as a treatment for hypoglycemia…as opposed to glucose tabs/glucagon! Does the 523 recognize that the EnLites have a longer lifespan, or does it still think the sensor has died after three days? I know you can recalibrate the existing sensor as “new” and keep it in beyond the specified three days, but if the calibration requirements were less onerous/arbitrary with the 530, that might be worth considering…

@John1714, I attempted to post much of this several times in response to reply to my post about the 530G upgrade, but for some reason my first post disappeared into thin air and then I kept getting an error message saying it looked like I’d already posted this content! It seems relevant here, so maybe this time will take.

Anyway, everything above sounded really annoying to me as well, but it might actually be even worse. When I spoke to a Medtronic rep, that was my takeaway as well - that all but the $399 that they claim this costs net would be reimbursed. But afterward, I noticed the fine print on the website only seems to say that they issue a “credit” when you return the older pump. Is that like a store credit? If so, I don’t know what that would even do for me, because I have no co-pay with any of my pump/CGM supplies (and haven’t with any insurance I’ve ever had), let alone being out $400 for however long it takes me to spend that amount.

And even if it is a straight refund, when do they process payment, given Medtronic estimates the process will take about 90 days because of the wait list? Do they wait until they actually process the order to bill, or do they charge the full ~ $800 upfront and you don’t get a refund or whatever else until they actually ship the new equipment and you can return the old?

Has anyone actually gone through this process? What does it actually translate to in dollars and cents…and when?

@John81,

I would think that they wouldn’t bill you till you receive the 530G. I doubt they would take the money and make you wait 90 days before you get it. I am also assuming that they give you some leeway time to send your pump back after you get the 530g upgrade, if that is the route someone would choose.

Hi John81,

I have some info for u on what happens on a 523 after the 3rd day. That just occurred last night. My 523 displayed “Sensor END” and it was right after the 3rd day ended, and stopped the graph and display of blood sugar values from the sensor. This morning I talked to my area Medtronics Clinical specialist and she told me to click on the “Sensor” then “Link to Sensor” then “New Sensor”. It then takes 2 hours and a couple of blood sugar entries than the old sensor is granted a 2nd 3-day cycle of life. Obviously you could make the sensor last a little longer if u wanted to push it longer. On my previous Dexcom G4, I used a similar method to make the 7 day recommended life cycle last toward 14 days. But as soon as I felt any irritation at the site or suspected any readings to be off, I started a fresh sensor.

So then you can make an Enlite sensor last 6 days in this manner but with the inconvenience of having to wait 2 hours and take a couple of extra blood sugar readings.

To me, that is not a biggie.

I can’t imagine needing a new gizmo that badly. my experience with a new pump went more smoothly: When my old MM was nearly out of warranty, the sales person contacted me directly and pretty much 2 weeks before the old one went off warranty. they asked if I wanted a new one and I said “okay, but not a penny out of pocket.”

they shipped me the new one, filed and took payment as whatever my insurance company sent over, and “paid” me $200 for my old one which exactly covered my out of pocket, which was on account - I did not have to shell out before receiving my new pump. pretty good deal.

sorry about your bad experience Gina, what a crappy sales pitch.

It’s the equivalent of how every time you go to your cell phone store, they’re always trying to offer you a new upgrade. I love Minimed, but they don’t get that the new features are pretty small in day-to-day living with the pump.

I actually went through the pathway and upgraded. Paid the $799 and they put the credit of $400 back on our credit card. Honestly, now, it doesn’t even seem worth the $399 just to upgrade for one or two features that they could easily just reprogram the pump you have to do. Yes, just wait out the warranty and upgrade. At least you’ll get a full 4 year warranty then, and not just whatever you have left. (mine had 1.5 yrs left) I regret spending that much for not much of an “upgrade”.

I got the 530G with Enlite back in November (mine was an out of warranty regular upgrade, not a Pathway paid upgrade). To answer some of the questions above, the Enlite sensor does last 6 days before it needs to be “restarted”, unlike the Sof Sensors that lasted 6 days with a restart after Day 3. With Enlite I typically only get one additional day out of a restarted sensor. Some people say they get more but I haven’t yet.

The Low Glucose Suspend feature is not recommended as a first line of defense for treating lows–it is used as an emergency measure. For example, if you are low at night and do not wake up to the alarms from the sensor, it will suspend your basal rate for 2 hours to help bring you up. This is not ideal and you should absolutely eat something instead if possible. This feature mainly helps at night or if you have passed out already (though hopefully you would have responded to multiple alarms already before that happens).

Before the 530G I was on the Paradigm pump with Sof Sensors (I skipped over the Revel pump upgrade). This is definitely a nice upgrade but I wouldn’t tell anyone to pay an extra $400 just to get it. You should definitely wait for your insurance to pay for it if possible.