Limit Mix-Ups Between Freestyle Libre 3 and Other Libre Products

FreeStyle Libre 3 will be a new continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system for patients with diabetes.

Think of Libre 3 as similar to Libre 2.

Both are for ages 4 and up...and use a sensor worn on the upper arm that’s changed up to every 14 days.

But Libre 3’s sensor is a bit smaller. Plus it automatically sends results to a smartphone app. Older versions require scanning the sensor with a separate reader or smartphone to display results.

Watch for mix-ups with sensors for Libre, Libre 2, or Libre 3. All are available for now and have similar yellow packaging...but they aren’t interchangeable.

Expect CGM to be covered by most payers. But a prior auth may be needed...or it may be covered as durable medical equipment (DME). 

And for now, Libre 3 isn’t covered by Medicare as DME...since there isn’t a durable component (reader, etc). Stay tuned for changes.

If patients want to pay for CGM out of pocket, point out that Libre 3 costs about $120/month for 2 sensors...the same as Libre 2, but generally less than other CGMs (Dexcom G6, etc).

Also point out that CGMs may be FSA/HSA eligible.

Ensure that patients getting a FreeStyle Libre product receive pharmacist counseling...to learn about proper use.

For example, patients should clean the sensor site with soap, dry it, then clean it thoroughly with an alcohol swab and let dry.

Listen for patients who complain about sensors not sticking to the skin...certain adhesive products (Skin Tac, Tegaderm, etc) can help. Be ready to special order these, if needed.

If patients use CGM, don’t be surprised to still process Rxs for blood glucose testing supplies. Patients need to check a finger stick if prompted...or CGM results don’t match how they feel.

Use our resource, Continuous Glucose Monitoring, for help with billing...and to see how other products compare.

Key References

  • Diabetes Care. 2022 Jan 1;45(Suppl 1):S97-S112
  • Curr Diab Rep. 2021 Dec 9;21(11):49
  • Medication pricing by Elsevier, accessed Sep 2022
Pharmacy Technician's Letter. October 2022, No. 381003



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