Insulin Pump Therapy in Alberta
Insulin pump therapy (IPT) is a diabetes management method that uses a pump to administer insulin rather than by multiple daily injections. An insulin pump is a small, battery-powered computer that is about the size of a pager. The pump is programmed to give small continuous amounts of insulin from the reservoir through the cannula under the skin. The pump is not an artificial pancreas, blood glucose levels still need to be monitored, and the user must program the pump to provide the appropriate amount of fast-acting insulin. This method most closely matches the body’s normal release of insulin. In Canada insulin pumps cost between $6000-$8000 not including the cost of associated supplies.
To learn more about insulin pump therapy and it’s benefits for your patients a local representative of the insulin pump companies can come to you. Their contact information can be found below.
Alberta Insulin Pump Therapy Program
As of May 2013, the Alberta Government provides funding to help with the cost of insulin pumps and supplies for Albertans with Type 1 Diabetes who meet their set of eligibility requirements. People with Type 2 Diabetes may also require IPT but the associated costs are not covered through this program, and must be met by the patient and their employer-sponsored or private insurance.
The program funds the full cost of the insulin pump as well as all supplies required minus any amounts covered through government-sponsored agencies and patients’ employer-sponsored or private insurance programs.
Eligibility criteria for the IPT program include
- The patient must be a resident of Alberta who is eligible for coverage under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan.
- The patient must have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and be under the care of a physician or nurse practitioner for the condition.
- The patient must meet the clinical criteria established by Alberta Health Services for the IPT Program.
- The patient must follow the steps outlined in the IPT Program for new or existing IPT users.
For more information on the Alberta IPT Program and how it can benefit your patients click here
Insulin Pump Therapy Follow-up Programs
There are numerous societal and personal benefits that IPT offers insulin dependent individuals with diabetes. In order for IPT users to be successful in achieving chronic near-normal blood glucose levels structured education as well as ongoing support must be provided to these patients. IPT follow-up programs employ Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) and Certified Insulin Pump Trainer’s (CPTs), which includes registered dietitians, registered nurses and pharmacists that specialize in the area of diabetes and insulin pump therapy. These professionals work alongside endocrinologists to provide a comprehensive, individualized care program for each patient.
With Alberta’s implementation of a provincial IPT program, diabetes centres within the province need to ensure they are providing a coordinated, structured IPT follow-up program. A program such as this serves to support your clinic’s patients currently utilizing IPT, and patients discharged from the Alberta IPT program, to provide them with ongoing care, follow-up, and resources.
IPT Follow-up Program Centres
C-endo Diabetes and Endocrinology Clinic
As part of C-endo’s diabetes management services, the clinic team provides a coordinated, structured IPT Follow-up Program. C-endo has developed an IPT Follow-up Program Manual to be utilized by diabetes centres throughout Alberta.
Insulin Pump Companies
For a comparison of insulin pumps available in Alberta, please see the Handouts section.