DMS looks beyond strips

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Monday, October 28, 2019

NEW ORLEANS –With the national mail-order program for diabetes testing supplies drastically changing the marketplace, provider Cynthia Pazos made a deliberate shift toward insulin pumps and other advanced diabetes therapies in 2016—and hasn’t looked back.

“The way we conduct business—the high quality, high-touch service we give—was more conducive to being able to service patients who use insulin pumps than it was to service patients using test strips,” said Pazos, president of Diabetes Management & Supplies. “The mail-order program was designed to be a big-box model.”

Pazos was well-positioned for the switch: In 2014, she won competitive bidding contracts in seven of the nine CBAs for insulin pumps, which was included in the external infusion pump product category as part of the Round 1 re-compete.

Today, DMS, which Pazos founded in 1997, carries a wide variety of insulin pumps; continuous glucose monitoring systems, including the Freestyle Libre and the Eversense implantable CGM; pump and testing supplies; and therapeutic shoes.

The provider has a diverse payer network that includes Medicaid and Medicare, and serves patients in every state but Alabama and Tennessee, says Pazos.

“We’ve been able to come up with a diverse group of payers to be able to weather any storm,” she said.
Pazos says DMS’s focus on patient education is a fundamental part of its success—so much so, it’s accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators. DMS hosts community workshops like the “Your Time in Range Forum” in August, which included hands-on training on how to use CGMs.

“A patient with diabetes can have control over their diabetes to a certain point if they have the proper tools, education and knowledge,” she said. “And that skillset, we believe, will be an integral part of reducing some of these long-term costs in health care and improving the patient’s overall quality of life. That’s our mission.”

It’s an exciting time to be in diabetes, says Pazos, who, prior to starting DMS, sold syringes for Becton Dickinson. Even then, she saw how rapidly diabetes technology was changing.

“Diabetes health care went from a urine test to a finger stick to CGMs, and now measuring how much time a person is in range throughout the day,” she said. “The advancement in products has been phenomenal and I’m thrilled to bring those products to the patient.”