Diabetes Strong Is a Powerhouse of Diabetes Health Resources

Today's Diabetes Strong homepage.

Today's Diabetes Strong homepage.

Are you looking for more positive resources related to exercise, nutrition, diabetes, and your healthy living journey? Check out Diabetes Strong! Originally called “TheFitBlog” (established in 2015), Diabetes Strong is led by Christel Oerum, who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1997. She is the main content creator on Diabetes Strong, an active diabetes advocate, public speaker, and diabetes coach. Christel also offers online diabetes coaching to support clients in reaching their health and diabetes goals. On Diabetes Strong, you will find a lot of great content on many subjects, including:

In words directly from the Diabetes Strong website: The goal of Diabetes Strong is to provide a platform where people living with (any type) of diabetes can find all the information they need to live healthy and active lives. The information on Diabetes Strong always takes a positive approach to diabetes and follows Christel’s motto that “There is nothing you can’t do with diabetes.”

Here are a few interesting articles to get you started!

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Using Key Performance Indicators to Improve the Customer Experience

To keep our customer service performance top notch, Healthy Living is always evaluating our KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). One of these is the Average Speed of Answer or ASA. This metric tells us how long customers and providers are waiting to speak with an agent when they call. Our goal in this area the “80/20 Rule” – we strive to answer 80% of our calls within a 20 second or less wait time.

Our ASA fluctuates daily and monthly, but we always watch this number and try to keep getting better. Here are our latest stats:

  • December, 2017 – average of 19 seconds
  • January, 2018 – average of 21 seconds
  • February, 2018 – average currently at 26 seconds

By monitoring Key Performance Indicators like Average Speed of Answer, we are more aware of what our customers are experiencing and hold ourselves more accountable, all so that we can continuously improve.

2018 ADA Standards of Care Bring New Recommendations for Cardiovascular Disease & Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association has released new 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. These comprehensive recommendations include the latest advances in evidence-based care, with a new focus on advanced management for people with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The Standards of Care outline the ADA’s latest recommendations “for the diagnosis and treatment of children and adults with type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes, strategies to improve the prevention or delay of type 2 diabetes, and therapeutic approaches that reduce complications and positively affect health outcomes.”

Important changes and updates in the 2018 edition include these topics and more:

  • Cardiovascular disease and diabetes
  • Screening youth for type 2 diabetes
  • Health technology and diabetes management
  • A1C test considerations
  • Diabetes management in specific groups

Read the ADA’s press release for more details!

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What We're Reading: Fitbit Going All In on Diabetes, Roping in Insurers

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Have you checked out Diabetes Mine? This blog helps me keep current on happenings in the diabetes world, especially around new technology for people living with diabetes. This particular article is worth checking out: Fitbit Going All In on Diabetes, Roping in Insurers. It walks us through the many investments that Fitbit is making, as well as the partnerships the company is forming, to build a stronger foundation of support for the diabetes community.

According to the Diabetes Mine blog, Fitbit has been:

The article includes more details on each of these bullets, explaining that another interesting step that Fitbit has taken is their investment in Sano Intelligence, a company that is developing "minimally invasive" CGM technology. All of this is great news for people with diabetes, and those who support and serve them. We are excited to see how all of this will unfold!

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We're Hiring - Come Join a Great Team!

We are looking for amazing individuals to hire for our Customer Care, Shipping, and Human Resources teams. We offer a comprehensive compensation package and an awesome team environment. Learn more about a career at Healthy Living and apply by submitting your resume and cover letter to careers@myhlms.com.

Curious About CGM? Let Our Team Run a No-Cost Insurance Benefits Check for You

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Interested in Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) to better manage diabetes? Did you know that most people with type 1 diabetes on commercial health insurance have CGM coverage?

We can run a no-cost insurance benefits check to find out if you’re covered. Just complete the form below or call our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team at 866.779.8512 (Option 2) to start the conversation. Our experienced team can help you navigate the enrollment process and answer your questions.

Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone

Shining a Spotlight of Appreciation on Healthy Living Shipping

“As a shipping and receiving team, it’s a team effort – we all realize that we’re customer service and getting shipments out in a timely manner and correctly is our ongoing goal.”
                                    – Steve, Healthy Living Shipping Manager

While they don’t interact directly over the phones with our customers, Shipping is an integral component of our approach to excellence in the area of customer service.

Steve is our shipping manager, and he has been working with Healthy Living for over ten years! He has worked in shipping for about eight years, and before that he drove our DME truck. Steve gave me some ‘vital stats’ of our shipping process.

7 Key Facts About Healthy Living Shipping

  1. We ship with UPS & USPS.
  2. Shipments for new patients take 1 to 2 days to arrive.
  3. Refills are scheduled through the Customer Care Team and arrive to customers in 3-4 days.
  4. Insulin is cold-packed and arrives the next day.
  5. Customers can have pharmacy and supply orders shipped together.
  6. To obtain tracking info, customers can call us or give us their email and we’ll send it to them. We also send out text messages with tracking information to our customers.
  7. Reminder: Be sure to give the Customer Care Team (phone: 866.779.8512 or text: 248.577.9903) your change of address to avoid causing delays to your shipments.

Meet Our Shipping Team

The Healthy Living Shipping Team is made up of five team members, and all of them have been working with Healthy Living for at least three and a half years. They are a great team!!

ANDREW

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TAMMI

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RYAN

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STEVE

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LEO

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Leo had some great insight into our work environment: “It’s important to be able to work in a stress-free environment. It’s not really about the job you have that determines happiness, but the people around you. We get along, and people help one another out and appreciate each other. That common denominator, along with empathy, make this a great place to work.”

OmniPod and Abbott FreeStyle Libre Approved for Coverage by Medicare

The Abbott Freestyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system.

The Abbott Freestyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system.

Great news was announced earlier this month to start the New Year off strong for the diabetes community! Medicare is allowing coverage of the Omnipod tubeless insulin pump and the new FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system. And as Diabetes Mine notes, "since CMS typically sets the stage for what private insurers will cover, this is a big win for PWDs (people with diabetes) of all ages!"

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Putting Our Heads Together for Healthy Living Customers

As part of our ongoing work to better serve our patients, Healthy Living has a Performance Improvement Team that meets monthly to discuss how Healthy Living can grow stronger, both departmentally and as a whole. The team is made up of one or two representatives each from the billing, customer care, shipping, and pharmacy departments. Some suggestions and action items have included:

  • Creating tighter communication between shipping and customer service, and different tools for keeping communications flowing
  • Enhancing our process for sending shipping notifications to customers
  • Determining corrective action for the issue of damaged packaging, including the acquisition of smaller boxes to ship smaller orders
  • Expanding the training experience for customer care representatives

The PI Team also reviews feedback for improvement submitted from customers and employees and forms an action plan for implementing this feedback. Our Performance Improvement Team, and the time we are putting into collaborative conversations, are directly related to our goal of continuous improvement in all we do. Hopefully our customers will see and feel the difference over time!

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2017 Diabetes Technology Round-Up

This year has brought many positive developments and advancements in diabetes technology. Some of these include:

We are looking forward to bringing these technologies and soon-to-be-released offerings to our customers...to help them thrive while living with diabetes in 2018!

Happy Holidays, Friends!

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To our customers, partners, patients, employees, and friends, we would like to wish you very Happy Holidays! We thank you for working with us, and we appreciate you. Stay warm and enjoy these special days!

Healthy Living Holiday Hours

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We hope your holiday preparations and festivities have been wonderful so far! We have a busy couple of weeks coming up with lots to celebrate! We want to let you know about Healthy Living’s hours for the rest of the year to make it as easy as possible to reach us, and so you can plan ahead (and make sure you have all the supplies you need on hand).

  • Friday, 12/22: 8:30 am – 6 pm (Regular Hours)
  • Saturday, 12/23 – Monday, 12/25: Closed
  • Tuesday, 12/26 – Friday, 12/29: 8:30 am – 6 pm (Regular Hours)
  • Saturday, 12/30 – Monday, 1/1: Closed
  • Tuesday, 1/2/2018: Regular Hours Resume (8:30 am – 6 pm on weekdays & 9 am – 3 pm on Saturdays)

Stay warm and we’ll talk to you soon!

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Are You Ready for CGM?

A continuous glucose monitor is a small wearable device system that tracks your glucose throughout the day and night, notifying you of highs and lows so you can take action when needed. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) helps many people with diabetes obtain greater insight into what is happening with their blood sugar levels and trends.

Benefits of CGM  

  • The CGM system monitors blood glucose levels in the interstitial tissue every five minutes, offering much more information than four to eight finger sticks per day.
  • CGM is very useful when you are struggling with nighttime lows, providing alarms and alerts.
  • Continuous glucose monitoring is great for pediatrics because their parents and caregivers can remotely monitor the CGM data from their smartphones.
  • Both Medtronic and Dexcom sensors and transmitters are water-resistant, if not waterproof. They are both relatively small and discreet to wear.

CGM & Insurance Coverage

  • Most commercial insurances cover CGM, and the end of the year is a good time to consider CGM since at this time deductibles are often satisfied.
  • Most insurances require a prior authorization on file, so it is essential that patients meet with their endocrinologist to discuss CGM. This is a good first step for obtaining a CGM system. 
  • Currently, no Michigan Medicaid plans consistently approve CGM, and plans will require a pre-authorization if the CGM is covered.

Starting with CGM

  • It is easy to begin using CGM, and you don’t have to commit to an insulin pump. Many patients using multiple daily injections (MDI) report that they get tighter blood glucose through the combination of MDI and CGM.
  • From start to finish, a CGM enrollment will take commercial members roughly 1-14 days and Medicaid members 2-4 weeks.

Get in Touch

Healthy Living’s Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team can help guide you through the process of starting with CGM and will work with your insurance company. You can reach us at 866.779.8512 (Option 2). Learn more about CGM on our website.

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Shifting Customer Care from Good to Excellent and Beyond

Newest quote on our office walls.

Newest quote on our office walls.

The Healthy Living Customer Care Team recently read and responded as a group to an article, Moving Your Call Center’s Customer Service from Good to Excellent. Exercises like this are part of Healthy Living’s commitment to continuous growth, especially in the area of customer service. This also relates to three of our company’s Core Values:

  • Get better every day
  • Pursue ongoing learning
  • Build a positive team

We know that our business does not exist without our customers and members, so it is of utmost importance to keep them happy and satisfied with superior service and unexpectedly positive care. We want our customers to know that we appreciate their business and never take them for granted.

This article explains that there are eight essential customer service skills needed for delivering superior customer service:

  1. Greeting
  2. Active listening
  3. Communication skills
  4. Diffuse anger
  5. Empathy
  6. Team building
  7. Ability to apologize/recover (when necessary)
  8. Resolution

We agree with the author that “it is our actions, words, promises, and commitment” that create an exceptional and memorable customer experience, and that is our goal and intent with every customer interaction, every day.

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Exciting Diabetes Technology Is Emerging for 2018

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We are hearing really great news about new diabetes technology becoming available in 2018. This September, Dexcom submitted its G6 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensor for approval with the FDA, and a U.S. launch is expected sometime in 2018. This sensor will most likely allow for longer wear and will require only one fingerstick calibration per day. It also features a thinner transmitter and a redesigned one-button inserter. Dexcom is also suggesting that a no-calibration-needed version of the G6 could be available by the end of 2018. Learn more about the updated sensor at both of these links:

We’re excited about this and other near-future technological advancements in diabetes tech – including the flash glucose monitoring system from Abbot, the possible launch of a Medtronic standalone CGM, and much more. More options give providers and patients more choices for managing diabetes – and that is something we’re all excited about!

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Sherece Is Our Final 2017 Healthy Living Player of the Week!

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Congratulations on receiving Player of the Week recognition for the second year, Sherece! Rickelle nominated Sherece and shared these thoughts:

“She works really hard with the Customer Service Team and also helps us in the Pharmacy! Sherece is a very awesome person and a hardworking individual with such a bright personality! She is greatly appreciated for her hard work and dedication, and this is my Thank You to her for all of her help!”

We all love working with Sherece, and it’s a joy to be on a team with her here at Healthy Living!!

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Six Questions to Consider When Choosing Your Diabetes Supply Provider

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When you’re getting ready to choose a diabetes supply provider and doing your research, think about some of these questions to help you make an educated decision.

6 Questions to Consider When Choosing Your Diabetes Supply Provider:

1. Will you spend time on hold when calling in?

It is rare to be on hold longer than 15 seconds waiting to speak with a Healthy Living customer care agent.

2. Will you speak with an agent who is competent about the available products?

We frequently engage our team in all forms of learning experiences about the products we provide to our members. Our team has a deep level of knowledge regarding the products and services that we provide and support.

3. Does the company understand that you are busy?

Healthy Living gets it that most people are really on the go so we offer many ways to reach us and make it easy to approve your refills (phone, text, or email). We also offer web chat.

4. How do they take customer feedback?

We routinely measure how we're doing in the area of customer service by using the Net Promoter Score benchmark and survey. In fact, if you go to our website right now (myhlms.com), there is a survey in process and it will pop up on the home page. Customers may also leave feedback at any time via our Contact page. 

5. What do others say?

Healthy Living Medical Supply and many other suppliers are on social media. Search Twitter for the names of the companies you are considering for your supply needs -- what kind of feedback have they received, and can you find complaints or praise about the company? Search Google and read the company’s reviews. Check their Facebook page as well for customer feedback.

6. Do they have banker’s hours?

Many companies in the diabetes supply business offer hours that are not especially convenient for the busy lives that we all lead. Healthy Living is open until 6 pm each weekday and offers weekend service from 9 am – 3 pm on Saturdays as well. Our goal is to be responsive to the needs of our customers so that they never run out of their critical diabetes supplies.

Get in touch with Healthy Living at 866.779.8512 (phone), 248.577.9903 (text), or via webchat at myhlms.com. We are ready to help!

Grateful for Gratitude: 7 Surprising Health Benefits of Feeling Thankful

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“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
             -- Melody Beattie

At Thanksgiving, many of us pause and take a little extra time to consider what we’re thankful for. Beyond November, gratitude that is revisited throughout the year can have awesome benefits for the person with the grateful heart as well as the friends and family who interact with him or her. Check out this article to learn about the positive health impacts of practicing gratitude. Here is a preview from the article…

7 Surprising Health Benefits of Gratitude

  1. Gratitude can make you more patient
  2. Gratitude might improve your relationships
  3. Gratitude improves self-care
  4. Gratitude can help you sleep
  5. Gratitude may stop you from overeating
  6. Gratitude can help ease depression
  7. Gratitude gives you happiness that lasts

Today I want to thank you for supporting the Healthy Living blog and our community. Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Check Out Our Holiday Hours & Plan Early

We are all looking forward to getting together with our loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving and join together in gratitude this week. We wanted to give you a heads up about our upcoming holiday hours to help you plan ahead so you will have everything you need for the holidays.

Healthy Living Holiday Hours:

  • Closed Thanksgiving Day
  • Open Black Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. EST
  • Closed Saturday, 11/25

Please contact us now if you need supplies or have any questions! Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the holiday weekend.