Press Release

Society Applauds BCBSMA for Covering Continuous and Intermittent Glucose Monitoring

September 04, 2014

Washington, DC—In response to advocacy efforts of the Endocrine Society and other organizations concerned with the care of patients with diabetes, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has decided to cover low threshold suspend insulin pump systems, the first devices to be classified as artificial pancreas technology, effective December 1, 2014.

The Endocrine Society sent a letter to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts urging them to provide coverage for low threshold suspend systems on August 14, 2014. View the letter online.

Artificial pancreas device systems (APDS) were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2013 and allow for the automatic suspension of insulin delivery when a preset sensor glucose threshold is reached. These systems represent a significant step forward in the ability to safely and effectively treat patients with Type 1 diabetes, directly translating into fewer emergency room visits, seizures, loss of consciousness and an improved sense of safety.

“We’re very encouraged that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has decided to cover this first version of an artificial pancreas device system,” said Robert A. Vigersky, MD, past-president of the Endocrine Society and director of the Diabetes Institute at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. “It’s an important step and we’re hopeful that other payers will review their policies in light of the latest available science and reach similar decisions.”

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a head-to-head trial comparing patients on an insulin pump to those using a low-threshold suspend pump demonstrated a 3.6 fold reduction in moderate and severe hypoglycemia in those using the low-threshold suspend pump (Ly TT et al. J Amer Med Assoc 310: 1240-1247, 2013).

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Bergenstal et al. N Eng J Med 369: 224-232, 2013) found patients using the threshold suspend pump had almost 1/3 the rate of nocturnal hypoglycemia, no worsening of HbA1c, and no episodes of ketoacidosis when compared to patients using a non-threshold suspend insulin pump.

About Endocrine Society

Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses, and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.

Media Contacts

Colleen Williams Senior Communications Manager, Public Relations Phone: (202)-971-3611 [email protected]

Jenni Glenn Gingery Director, Communications and Media Relations Phone: (202)-971-3655 [email protected]

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