Before Deductibles Are Reset, Start on an Insulin Pump or CGM System

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It's an excellent time time of year to go on an insulin pump, upgrade an out-of-warranty pump, or start using CGM...or at least investigate your options! For many people on commercial health insurance plans, deductibles are satisfied and reset on January 1st of the new year. Reach out to the Healthy Living Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team for a no-cost insurance verification to find out more about your coverage and costs. Reach us at 866.779.8512, Option 2 (phone), 248.577.9903 (text), or via chat at myhlms.com.

To find out more about the benefits of these technologies and the products that we offer, visit:

World Diabetes Day: 2018 Introduction

1 in 11 people live with diabetes.

World Diabetes Day takes place this week on Wednesday, November 14. But there’s plenty to talk about, so we’re starting early. This is a globally celebrated event and official United Nations awareness day. This year’s theme is “the family and diabetes,” with the tagline “diabetes concerns every family.” The goal is to raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and promote the role of the family in the management, care, prevention, and education of the condition. The logo for World Diabetes Day is a blue circle, the global symbol for diabetes.

 Find out more about the happenings of World Diabetes Day at www.worlddiabetesday.org.

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Medtronic Founder Earl Bakken Turned a Tiny Repair Shop Into a Giant of Medical Technology from WSJ

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I just learned about what a fascinating and inspiring man Earl Bakken was. He co-founded Medtronic in 1949 with the unassuming goal of repairing medical equipment. But in the mid-50s, a heart surgeon in Minneapolis asked Bakken to create a pacemaker that didn’t need to be plugged in, and a few weeks later, he had invented a wearable pacemaker powered by a battery. Mr. Bakken was an inventor from an early age, and his worked sustained him late into his life. Bakken died on October 21 at the age of 94, and back in 2010 he was using his second pacemaker and third or fourth insulin pump!

Please take a moment to read the lovely Wall Street Journal article that commemorates Bakken’s life. I found this part especially interesting:

He worried that children no longer take gadgets apart. Even engineers “never get the sense of the actual object they’re designing on a screen,” he wrote. “They make faulty assumptions because they have never taken the real thing apart and put it back together again. They’ve never jiggled it in their hand, never gotten a feel for its density and heft, never lifted it to their nose and smelled it. What a pity for them—and maybe for the rest of us as well.”

We are thankful today to Medtronic Diabetes for providing insulin pump and CGM technology to many of our patients. Just like their founder, they are in the business of changing lives.

Healthy Living Heroes - Meet Christina

Christina defines compassion as, “Putting yourself in someone’s shoes and connecting with them on a personal level to make sure they know that you’re there for them.” She has been working as a Customer Care Agent along with insulin pump & CGM processing for three years.

The Easiest Way to Stay on Top of Your Diabetes from BCBS

We came across a noteworthy blog on from Blue Cross Blue Shield about successfully managing diabetes – with regular monitoring and careful planning. It’s definitely worth a read! The article encourages two main action steps:

  1. Become a Master at Monitoring – including diet, exercise, blood sugar levels, and medicine

  2. Make Sure to Get Regular Check-Ups – including a wellness check-up every 3-6 months, making sure shots are current, and staying on top of appropriate testing

Healthy Living accepts Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan insurance (as well as many others) for insulin pumps, CGM, and diabetes testing supplies. We’re here to help when you need us at 866.779.8512 (phone), 248.577.9903 (text), and via chat at myhlms.com.


Let's Celebrate Diabetes Awareness Month!

Diabetes Awareness Month 2018 starts today, and World Diabetes Day is celebrated globally on November 14 to raise awareness about both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes! Here are some ideas about how to get involved from some of our favorite advocacy organizations!

Together, let’s celebrate Diabetes Awareness Month and the many strong individuals and families who live resiliently with diabetes every day!

In the Halloween Spirit: Family Pumpkin Sale Raises Funds for Michigan Boy to Obtain Diabetes Service Dog

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Happy Halloween! We love this story… A pumpkin sale recently helped Ian, a six-year-old who lives with Type 1 diabetes, and his family raise money for a service dog to help him manage his disease. In Sand Lake, Michigan, the Christensen family used their annual pumpkin sale as a fundraiser this year – and as a result, Ian will have a service dog trained specially to help him in less than a year. Ian’s diabetes service dog will be trained to detect the subtle smells in his breath and alert Ian before dangerous blood sugar lows kick in. We are so happy for Ian and his family!

“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” ― M.K. Clinton

Dexcom G6 CGM Receives CMS Approval & Will Be Available to Medicare Beneficiaries in Early 2019

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More great news has been announced about CGM! The Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor (CGM) will be covered for Medicare beneficiaries, starting in early 2019. CGMs are DME items that provide critical information on blood glucose levels to help patients with diabetes better manage their disease. Coverage for therapeutic CGM includes certain beneficiaries who have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and intensively manage their insulin.

The Dexcom G6 CGM shines because of the following advantages:

  1. Zero fingersticks

  2. Acetaminophen blocking to maintain accuracy while taking Tylenol

  3. Smartphone app that allows data to be shared with family members, providers, and other members of a patient's care team

  4. Super easy application device

  5. Very small and discreet sensor

  6. Integration with the tSlim:X2 insulin pump from Tandem Diabetes, which is also covered by Medicare

Healthy Living will be able to provide the G6 to Medicare members – stay tuned for updates on this exciting news! Read the press release directly from Dexcom.

Healthy Living Is Hiring!

Are you interested in working for a growing company in a great location in Downtown Detroit and helping make life easier for people living with diabetes? Healthy Living Medical Supply is always looking for excellent people who are 100% committed to providing exceptional customer care! Customer Care Agents ensure that every member receives superior customer service and support to ease the responsibility of managing their diabetes needs. Find out more about opportunities to join our team at myhlms.com/careers.

Getting Started with CGM & Medicare Is Simple

We recently highlighted the awesome news that Medicare now covers CGM for eligible beneficiaries. But how to qualify, and how to get started? Here, we will outline the requirements and the process for obtaining a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) as a Medicare member. Really, the simplest strategy is to start by calling us and speaking with Adam or George on our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team. They will walk you through all of the information that follows!

The Requirements:

  • Testing blood sugar at least four times a day

  • Injecting insulin three or more times per day

  • An appointment with your doctor in the last six months

The Process:

  1. An interested Medicare member (you) calls us about CGM.

  2. We handle the communication with the doctor’s office to obtain the necessary documentation, including blood sugar logs, labs, and chart notes.

  3. We ask you to contact your doctor’s office to follow up, which often speeds up their response time.

  4. Healthy Living emails or mails you an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) form to sign and return (the format is your preference).

  5. After approval, your Dexcom G5 CGM and supplies will be shipped as a bundle, including transmitter, sensor, receiver, test strips, lancets, meter (if needed), and control solution.

  6. We will set you up for refills every 90 days, which you can approve via text, phone, or email.

To learn more, please call us at 866.779.8512 (Option 2) and speak with George or Adam. Our team is knowledgeable and well-prepared to help you obtain a CGM to better manage diabetes!

New Research Broadens the View for Predicting Obesity-Related Disease Risk

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Researchers have developed a more precise and nuanced method for predicting risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease than traditional body mass index (BMI) measurements. Scientists at Scripps Research have found a way to use molecular “signatures” from people with obesity to predict these risks. The authors of the study wrote, “While BMI correlates well and to a large extent with individual health outcomes, it does not have the sensitivity to identify outliers, some of which carry unique health consequences.”

The research is led by Amalio Telenti, MD, PhD, and shows that predictors of future diabetes and cardiovascular complications for an individual can be found among the body’s metabolites. Metabolites are molecules that all of us produce as we live, breathe, and eat. Scientists study the “metabolome,” which is a person’s collection of hundreds of metabolites. The metabolome creates specific signatures or combinations of variants that can indicate risk. "By looking at metabolome changes, we could identify individuals with a several-fold increase in their risk of developing of diabetes and cardiovascular disease over the ensuing years," says Telenti. Metabolome changes were not always associated with obesity – some people studied were lean but still at risk of disease.

This research looks like it will become a powerful tool for predicting and preventing diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the future. The study suggests that new technologies can broaden the way that scientists think about disease. You can learn a lot more about research related to molecular signatures by reading these two articles:

Healthy Living Sponsors the Forever Home Run to Support Foster Children & Adoption

  Kids and families participate in the 1K Dress-Up Dash at the 2018 Forever Home Run!

Kids and families participate in the 1K Dress-Up Dash at the 2018 Forever Home Run!

The Forever Home Run helps Michigan foster children find their forever homes and forever families. For the fourth year, Healthy Living Medical Supply was a gold sponsor of this 5K Run/Walk and 1K Dress-Up Dash event! The Forever Home Run raises awareness about adoption and raises funds that are used to support foster children and adoptive families through Lutheran Adoption Service.

Healthy Living ownership was at the event in Bloomfield Township on Saturday to give out awards to the top runners, and our team members also participated in the race! It turned into a beautiful morning and was bunches of fun for all!

Research Underway to Create a Cannula with Lower Risk of Infection & Inflammation

A professor at the University of Central Florida, Elizabeth Brisbois, is working to develop a cannula that can be left in place for as long as 30 days while effectively delivering insulin into the body. Cannulas are small tubes that are inserted beneath the skin to deliver insulin into the body as part of an insulin pump system. The cannula can either be part of the infusion set or attached to the actual insulin pump. Normally, over time, the body’s immune system attacks the cannula, with cells creating a film around the cannula that begins to inhibit proper insulin delivery. That is why infusion sets normally need to be changed every two to three days to reduce the risk of infection. 

Brisbois’ goal is to create cannulas that have a lower risk of infection and inflammation, with reduced pain and inconvenience for patients. She and her team are developing cannulas that release nitric oxide, a molecule that can kill bacteria. Nitric oxide is also produced in the body to fight off germs and has an important role in wound healing.

This advance could significantly increase quality of life for people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Brisbois and her team are funded by a recent grant from the JDRF and are collaborating with researchers at the University of Georgia. Learn more about the cannula research here.

Medicare Now Covers CGM: Available through Healthy Living

 Medicare now offers reimbursement for the  Dexcom G5 Mobile System  for members who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and intensively manage their blood sugar levels with insulin.

Medicare now offers reimbursement for the Dexcom G5 Mobile System for members who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and intensively manage their blood sugar levels with insulin.

Medicare members now have access to a life-changing therapy for managing diabetes -- CGM. At Healthy Living, we are so excited that we can now offer Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) to people living with diabetes on Medicare. CGM provides many benefits to users, including fewer daily fingerpricks and better insights into blood sugar trends. Dexcom CGM systems also work in tandem with insulin pumps and are an excellent addition to any diabetes treatment plan for closer monitoring, improved metrics, and more precise dosing.

Healthy Living can provide CGM systems, associated diabetes supplies, insulin pumps, and pump supplies to Medicare members. It is worthwhile to find out more about these advanced technologies. By calling us and talking with our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team, you can learn more about how CGM and insulin pumps work and how they can benefit your diabetes management. We will also run a no-cost insurance verification check for you to learn more about your coverage.

Find out more about continuous glucose monitoring systems here. Get started by connecting with Healthy Living via phone at 866.779.8512 (Option 2) or text at 248.577.9903. Also chat with us on our website, myhlms.com.

Customer Service Appreciation Week: Excellence Happens Here

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Healthy Living Medical Supply is once again participating in Customer Service Appreciation Week - this year’s version takes place from October 1-5, with the theme being “Excellence Happens Here.” Customer Service Appreciation Week is an internationally recognized event devoted to recognizing the importance of customer service and honoring the people who serve and support customers. It is celebrated in all 50 states and over 60 different countries.

Our goal as a company is to take pause and thank the everyday heroes who are working hard to provide a great customer experience to our customers living with diabetes, health plan reps, providers, and partners. We have a saying around here: “You have to take great care of the people who take great care of our customers.” With that in mind we have a week of activities planned that include lunches, a team dinner, chair massages, and fun games for everyone in the company.

And it isn’t just about the work that our forward-facing customer care agents perform; all employees at Healthy Living are charged with providing outstanding customer service. This includes our shipping team which strives to provide accurate packing of orders, our pharmacy team, our billing team, and even members of our administrative team. We’ve worked hard through the years to build a culture of customer service throughout our company. While we don’t always get it right, we hope that your overall experience with Healthy Living has been a positive and want you know that we are always working to improve.

If you happen to call, text, email, or chat during customer service appreciation week, feel free to show your appreciation to the agent that you are working with - positive customer feedback is a great way to celebrate the everyday heroes here at Healthy Living Medical Supply who work hard to provide outstanding customer service!

Diabetes and Emergency Planning in Michigan and Beyond

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Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the individuals and families in North Carolina and South Carolina whom have been touched by Hurricane Florence and the flooding that has followed. Although Michigan is not affected by natural disasters like hurricanes, we have plenty of other reasons to take pause and invest some time in emergency planning. Probably our greatest weather threats in this area are snowstorms, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and associated power outages.

For people living with different health challenges and conditions, there are unique precautions to be taken and plans to be made. For those living with diabetes, it is especially important to maintain a reasonable stock of supplies to last through an emergency. Additional supplies can be purchased through our retail online supply store or by calling us at 866.779.8512 (you can always discuss this with an agent when calling for an order or refill through Healthy Living).

Take a look at the CDC Preparedness page for people with diabetes. Four main topics that you may find helpful include:

  1. Information regarding insulin storage and switching between products in an emergency

  2. Diabetes disaster preparedness

  3. Be prepared: staying safe and healthy in winter weather

  4. Prepare for diabetes care in heat and emergencies

Beyond Type 1 recently published resources for those affected by Hurricane Florence – including contacts for disaster assistance, reminders for how to best stay safe and healthy, and also how to help. Some of their guidelines are applicable to us in Michigan:

Type 1 diabetes reminders for natural disasters

  • Identify yourself as someone who has diabetes

  • Stay hydrated

  • Keep emergency supplies with you to treat hypoglycemia

  • Secure insulin – If you can get to a pharmacy, it’s the best way to access your medicines or get emergency supplies.

Hopefully the winter weather ahead treats us kindly, but it’s worthwhile to be prepared for whatever might come!

In the News: Apple Patent Hints at Non-Invasive Glucose Monitoring Tech for Apple Watch

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News has been circulating that Apple has been developing a non-invasive sensor to continuously measure blood glucose levels since last year. In fact, this tracker has been said to become the “holy grail” in diabetes.

In August, a patent was published that potentially offers clues into Apple’s rumored non-invasive monitoring solution. Apple submitted a patent application in 2015 for “Reference switch architectures for noncontact sensing of substances,” a method by which an electronic device can be calibrated to measure the concentration of a particular substance in a given sample. This is an optical system that enables determination of the concentration of a target substance by applying light with known properties to a sample. Although the patent documentation does not specifically explain what substances this proposed system might be used for, it resonates with rumors that Apple is working on a non-invasive glucose monitoring solution for use in their Apple Watch. Learn more about the science behind Apple’s patent application at appleinsider.

Healthy Living provides leading continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems that monitor blood glucose levels in real time for Blue Cross Blue Shield, Health Alliance Plan of Michigan (HAP), Priority Health and Priority Health Advantage, and Medicare members. CGM helps people living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes make more informed treatment decisions that lead to better glycemic control. To learn more, call 866.779.8512 (option 2) to speak with a member of our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team!

Michigan Medicaid & CGM Coverage -- Let Your Voice Be Heard

  Comment on the new Michigan Medicaid proposal via email, phone, fax, or letter.

Comment on the new Michigan Medicaid proposal via email, phone, fax, or letter.

Share your experience and thoughts, and let your voice be heard! Michigan Medicaid has proposed a new policy that will allow coverage of continuous glucose monitors (CGM) for eligible members. Now is the time to review the proposed changes in Medicaid policies and procedures. Your comments are due soon — September 26, 2018.

How to Submit Your Comments

Email Address: trumbelll@michigan.gov 

Mailing Address:

Lisa Trumbell, DMEPOS Policy Specialist 

Bureau of Medicaid Policy and Health System Innovation 

Medical Services Administration 

P.O. Box 30479 

Lansing, Michigan 48909-7979 

Telephone Number: 517-284-1226

Fax Number: 517-241-8969 

The proposed effective date is December 1, 2018. Our Healthy Living team has already submitted a letter to Michigan Medicaid to express our support of continuous glucose monitoring therapy as a highly effective way to help people with diabetes manage their disease.