Getting Involved with Detroit Urban Farming is Easier than You May Think

Earthworks Urban Farm (Flickr, detroitspun)

Earthworks Urban Farm (Flickr, detroitspun)

Indisputably, one of the most exciting things happening in Detroit right now is the growth and community-building impact of urban farming, with nearly 1,500 gardens and farms across the City. This movement is helping to create a food system where all communities have access to fresh, healthy food.

Many people are really enthusiastic and encouraged by the work that is happening in the Detroit urban farming community and want to learn more but don’t know where to look. Whether you live in Detroit or not, here are 3 Awesome Ways to Get Involved:

  1. Participate in the 20th Annual Tour of Detroit Urban Gardens and Farms, hosted by Keep Growing Detroit. This year’s event takes place on August 2. Look at the variety of bus and bike tours that are offered to different areas of the City and sign up here.
  2. Volunteer at a farm that welcomes short-term helpers like Earthworks Urban Farm, Plum Street Market Garden, or Michigan Urban Farming Initiative. These gardens have scheduled volunteer hours each week when you can drop in and work.
  3. Sign up for Grown in Detroit CSA Shares. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) supports local farmers when you buy a share for as little as a month at a time, with pick-up once a week at the Plum Street Garden Market. Growers receive 100% of the profits from the produce sold.

Get your hands dirty with Detroit urban farming!

Medtronic 670G Is Now Shipping!

Medtronic's much-anticipated new hybrid closed loop system is shipping. This product has the potential to help patients spend more time in optimal blood sugar range while lowering the number of treatment decisions that a patient needs to make each day.

Shipping Updates

Are you interested in getting started with the new 670G hybrid system? This is what you need to know:

  1. The Healthy Living Medical Supply Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team (Crystal & George) can help you navigate the process, including verifying your insurance and copays, obtaining qualifying bloodwork, and learning about your personal options.
  2. There is a backlog of the new continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensors that are compatible with the 670G – the sensors will most likely not be available until November of 2017. For now, customers can get started using the 670G and then add CGM once it is available in late fall.
  3. For current Medtronic pump customers who are already using CGM with an older pump, you will need to hold off entirely on the new system until this fall. This is Medtronic’s policy so that you won’t have to go off CGM for the next 4-5 months. 
  4. If you already have a pump, it needs to be out of warranty to qualify for a 670G. Contact us at 866.779.8512 (Option 2) to determine if your pump is out of warranty and what your options are!

Look for an upcoming blog with more details about the functionality and benefits of the Medtronic 670G. 

CGM Basics: Clarifying the System & Benefits in 5 Questions

Checking CGM data on an iPhone, image from

Checking CGM data on an iPhone, image from

Over a big group dinner the other night, I found out that there is a considerable amount of confusion about both what CGM is and the differences between CGM and insulin pumps. Hopefully this blog will help shed some light on these questions!

1. What information will I get from Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)?

CGM measures glucose in the tissue fluid throughout the day and night, about every five minutes, and sends the collected data to a receiver, phone, or insulin pump. This information can tell you how your glucose levels are trending, so you can make better decisions about your insulin dosing.

2. How can CGM help me manage diabetes better?

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. A CGM system consists of 3 parts:

  • Small, under-the-skin sensor that measures glucose levels
  • Transmitter that attaches to the sensor and transmits data
  • Receiver that displays real-time glucose information

3. Are there additional benefits of CGM?

Continuous glucose monitoring can help you make the best possible decisions since you'll be able to see your trend data provided by the CGM instead of basing choices only on a number from a blood glucose meter reading. You can also set thresholds for high and low numbers, and the CGM will alert you when it senses your glucose levels have moved out of the safe range you set.

4. Is CGM covered by insurance?

Yes, CGM is covered by many insurance plans. Our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team can help you obtain a prescription from your doctor, navigate the insurance verification process, and place your CGM system order. They also help customers with CGM supply refills.

5. What is the difference between CGM & insulin pumps?

Continuous glucose monitoring collects information on your blood glucose levels. This information can be used for proper insulin dosing through your insulin pump. CGM and insulin pumps can be used separately (a person can use just one or the other) or together.


Review: Why Perfectly Healthy People Are Using Diabetes Monitors

Fresh abundance, image from Thinkstock.

Fresh abundance, image from Thinkstock.

We found this article in Time magazine about how continuous glucose monitors are beginning to be used by people who are not living with diabetes. This may sound surprising, but it also makes some sense.

A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is a federally approved medical device that tracks blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. The CGM patch has a small needle that probes the inside of a person’s arm or other area of the body, and a sensor that tracks changes to blood sugar in real-time. The data is then sent to the wearer’s smartphone or another device.

Here is a summary of the article:

  • In the “quantified-self” movement, some people say it makes sense to track their blood sugar and learn a lot about nutrition and exercise, especially given all the recent attention to the risks (like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity) associated with over-consumption of sugar and processed carbohydrates.
  • Tabb Firchau, an entrepreneur from Seattle, had been wearing a CGM for about a month at the time of the article to track (and then adjust) what was happening in his body. He said, “I’ve been trying to learn why some days I feel fantastic, and other days I don’t. I had a cinnamon roll recently and my blood glucose doubled in 60 minutes. The monitor helps you understand the costs of the decisions you are making.”
  • To obtain a CGM, people without diabetes must either convince a doctor to prescribe one or purchase them online on sites like eBay. Even if a doctor prescribes one, it’s highly unlikely insurance would cover the system for someone without diabetes. It’s estimated that CGMs cost $5–10 per day, or around $3,000 a year for replacement parts.
  • Some people believe, “There’s a need for some analytics that could process the data appropriately and provide [actionable] information to people versus a datastream every five minutes.”
  • CGM users are making their own great observations. Exercise is known to be helpful for blood sugar regulation and Damiano, a doctor who uses CGM personally, says he notices “profound” drops in his blood sugar while on walks in the woods. “If you have a meal and blood sugar rises, take a walk, it’s like magic,” he says. “It can reinforce people to think about exercise after meals.”
  • The company Sano Intelligence is planning to release a continuous glucose monitor to the general public sometime soon.

Continuous glucose monitoring could be an incredible, motivating tool to help any person make better decisions about what they eat and drink. Check out the article!

Apple Watch’s Non-Invasive Glucose Tracker: Said to Become the “Holy Grail” in Diabetes

Apple Watch, image from

Apple Watch, image from

From Hints to a Peek at an Apple Watch CGM

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, told students at the University of Glasgow in February that he had been wearing a glucose tracker, and that it helped him understand the impact of different foods on his blood sugar levels. Fast-forward to April. News surfaced that Apple was developing a solution, integrated with its Apple Watch, to diagnose and manage diabetes, with a non-invasive sensor that continuously measures blood glucose levels. One month later – May. Tim Cook was spotted wearing a prototype glucose tracker that pairs with the Apple Watch around Apple’s campus.

For over five years, Apple has had a team of biomechanical engineers working on developing a continuous blood glucose sensor to pair with their Apple Watch that does not break the skin. Their Palo Alto-based research team has already begun feasibility tests with the tracker they have engineered to date. Apple calls their challenging intention of creating this technology the “holy grail” in diabetes.

"It's mentally anguishing to stick yourself many times a day to check your blood sugar," Tim Cook said, according to CNBC. "There is lots of hope out there that if someone has constant knowledge of what they're eating, they can instantly know what causes the response... and that they can adjust well before they become diabetic."

Speculation about the Tracker’s Functionality & Watch Integration

Based on the description from CNBC, it sounds like the tracker Cook is wearing is a separate, independent unit that communicates to the Apple Watch over Bluetooth, as opposed to a feature integrated inside the Watch itself. Some are hypothesizing that Apple will sell the glucose tracker as an additional accessory. This could be especially helpful since the blood monitoring feature requires approval and regulation of the FDA. If Apple sells the tracker as a separate accessory, they will be able to avoid adding regulatory procedures to the production of the entire Apple Watch.

One report indicated that Apple would manufacture smart bands that expand the Watch with additional functions, meaning the glucose monitor could become a part of one of those separate smart bands, which would communicate with the core Apple hardware.  

The Apple Watch & Health Monitoring

If Apple can successfully create this next-generation glucose monitor, it will transform the Apple Watch from a wearable accessory to a revolutionary health device, beyond heart rate and activity tracking. Tim Cook recently told a group: "This is an area where I'm very excited about Apple's contribution. Very excited."

Upcoming Dexcom Integration

Dexcom is an existing, trusted leader in continuous glucose monitoring technology. Apple announced at their recent WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) that they were releasing a Bluetooth API for their Apple Watch that would allow it to pair directly with health sensors such at Dexom CGM.

Article References

Living with COPD: 7 Strategies for Better Management

You may be familiar with COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a chronic lung disease that gets worse over time. This disease damages the airways in the lungs and leads to shortness of breath, impacting work, exercise, sleep, and other everyday activities.

Even if you are living with COPD, you can still maintain a high quality of life. Try making some changes or careful choices based on these recommendations so you can stay active and continue enjoying your life while managing COPD.

7 Strategies for Better COPD Management

Use each link to delve into details about the subjects below. Information and links come from the American Lung Association.

1.      Protect Your Lungs: Since your lungs are weaker when you have COPD, learn how to reduce exposure to anything that could make your COPD worse (like smoking) or could cause an exacerbation or flare-up.

2.      Be Thoughtful about Nutrition: Many people are surprised to learn that the food they eat can affect their breathing. The right mix of nutrients in your diet can help you breathe easier.

3.      Be Intentional with Physical Activity: When you have COPD, the right amount and type of exercise can have many benefits and is important for staying healthy.

4.      Learn to Cope with Emotions: Find ways to get emotional support and learn to recognize and handle feelings of fear, anxiety, depression, or stress.

5.      Make a Plan: Use the American Lung Association’s COPD management tools and resources.

6.      Manage Lifestyle Changes: Follow the steps at this link to manage the lifestyle changes that COPD brings.

7.      Plan for Your Future with COPD: Discuss some important points about your future care with your doctors and caregivers.

How Is COPD Treated?

Physicians work closely with their patients to select the best treatment options for managing COPD. Treatments may include medications, rehabilitation, or surgery. Since each person’s COPD is different, a variety of medications can be used to create the best plan to address an individual’s symptoms and needs. Benefits of taking the right medication at the right time include:

  • Breathing better
  • Being able to do more of the things you enjoy
  • Having fewer flare-ups or exacerbations

Learn more about COPD treatment.

Inhalation Medications from Healthy Living Pharmacy

If you are taking medications to manage your COPD, try working with Healthy Living Pharmacy to obtain your prescriptions with concierge-level customer service and free shipping to your home. Call 866.779.8512 (Option 4) to speak with a pharmacist! 

Shop HLMS Online

If you haven’t heard about it yet, we would like to introduce Healthy Living’s online store. The store offers a variety of over-the-counter medications, testing supplies, insulin pump supplies, accessories, vitamins, and much more. It is a very simple way to receive what you need with a few straightforward steps, and your order can ship for free with your insurance-based order from Healthy Living Medical Supply!

Our store is focused on assisting people who are living with diabetes. We hope to meet all of your needs, not just through the phone lines, but on the web as well.

New & Updated Products

We are adding new products to the Healthy Living Online Store all the time, mostly based on suggestions from Healthy Living employees and customers. Some of our recent additions have included:

  • Acu-Life Pill Splitter
  • Apex Deluxe Pill Splitter
  • Insta-Glucose Gel
  • BD Magni-Guide Magnifier & Needle Guide
  • BD Safe-Clip Needle Clipping & Storage Device
  • Medicool Pen Plus Diabetes Supply Case
  • Energizer Max AA & AAA Batteries
  • OneTouch Ping Battery Cap

Is there something that you would like to see us carry? Tell your customer care agent and we’ll try our best to make it happen.

Navigating the HLMS Online Store

It’s easy to access the online store. On the homepage, you can view different products by category. Or you can browse the entire store by clicking on the Catalog tab and scrolling through the products. In the Catalog, you can also sift through the product options by using the “Shop By" menu on the left side of the page or using the “Sort by” sub-tab. If you have a specific product you would like to look for, the search bar at the top of the site allows you to type in the item name you want to find. This is a quick way to learn if what you are looking for is available!

Placing an Order from the HLMS Online Store Through a Customer Care Agent

We understand that browsing the web is not for everyone, but don’t let this hold you back from ordering online products from Healthy Living. Healthy Living Customer Care Agents are here to guide you through the site and they can even place an order for you through text or phone call. Just call us at 866.779.8512 or text us at 248.577.9903 with any questions you may have about the online store. We're here to help!

Your Summer Travel Shouldn’t be a Battle...Follow These 5 Tips!

The Beach at Campus Martius, Detroit

The Beach at Campus Martius, Detroit

With summer quickly approaching and warm weather upon us, we might all be getting the itch to take some time off and explore someplace new and exciting. Perhaps a long weekend trip to northern Michigan, or a visit to a bustling and bright city is on the horizon for you. For those individuals living with diabetes, however, it may feel difficult and restricting to take a long and relaxing break from their everyday routine. I am here to supply you with all of the necessary tools and tricks to manage your diabetes with as little stress as possible when visiting all those exciting summer vacation destinations. Following these few tips can help you worry less and manage better while away from home, exploring our beautiful world.

The Top 5 Tips for Traveling with Diabetes This Summer

(All tips and recommendations from the American Diabetes Association.)

Tip #1:

See your doctor before you head out and possibly have a medical exam to ensure your diabetes is in good control. This will give you some peace of mind while away from home.

Tip #2:

Wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace that shows that you live with diabetes. This will be helpful in case of an emergency and allows others to be aware of your medical needs. A medical ID can provide crucial information about your health condition and also list allergies in case of an emergency.

Tip #3:

The ADA recommends that you pack twice as much medication and supplies as you think you will need for the trip. Keeping your supplies in your carry-on bag is important because checked luggage can potentially be lost (if you are flying), and this ensures your medication and supplies are with you at all times. Allow for extra time at the airport because security might take additional time with your insulin pump.

Worried about your insulin pump malfunctioning while away? Worry no more! Medtronic offers a travel loaner program that allows you to take a back-up insulin pump with you on your travels. Here is the link to Medtronic’s webpage to apply for a loaner insulin pump. Keep in mind that it will take about two weeks to receive the pump, so plan accordingly.

Tip #4:

When traveling with insulin, especially if you are traveling by bike or car, you may have to take a few extra steps to keep it at the right temperature. Insulin does not need to be refrigerated, however if you store insulin in places that are too hot or too cold, its effects may be disrupted. Storing insulin in the glove box or somewhere in your car may not be the best option because of potential extreme temperatures. If you are traveling by car, bike, or you are out exploring in hot conditions, try using travel packs to keep your insulin cool. The insulin protector from the HLMS online store may be helpful when carrying insulin for your summer adventures!

Tip #5:

Go check out Beyond Type One’s travel webpage, which will provide you with various stories and tips from people living with diabetes who have traveled the world.

Bonus tip!

Do not let diabetes hold you back from enjoying yourself, great adventure, and good company while you’re on vacation. After all it is called “vacation” for a reason, and it’s made for relaxation!


Dexcom G5 CGM Now Compatible with Android Devices

We know that many of our customers have been waiting for this news! The Dexcom G5 Mobile CGM System has become the first and only CGM platform available for Android in the United States, complementing the 2015 iOS launch. Beginning this month, Android users will have access to the free app for the Dexcom G5 Mobile Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) System, allowing people with diabetes to view and monitor their glucose levels on their mobile devices to manage their diabetes in real time.

The Dexcom G5 Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) System provides real-time glucose readings for patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes every five minutes. With Dexcom G5 Mobile, dynamic glucose data can be accessed and shared safely, conveniently, and discreetly anywhere, anytime to your smart device.The Dexcom G5 Mobile is the only CGM system approved for adults and pediatric patients two years of age and older. Many individuals living with diabetes appreciate the Dexcom CGM for better insights and more effective diabetes management than traditional blood glucose testing can offer. Check out Dexcom's press release for more details!

Our Healthy Living Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team will be available to answer any questions and help you start the process of obtaining a Dexcom CGM system, beginning with verifying your insurance and navigating other qualifications. We are so excited about this awesome new option for our customers and we can't wait to help you learn more. You can reach us at 866.779.8512 (Option 2).

Can Turmeric Help Manage Diabetes? What the Evidence Says…

Curcumin, which is found in the spice turmeric, has been found to help control blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity, reduce diabetes-related complications, and even prevent diabetes. Check out this article to learn about turmeric, a potential positive addition to your existing diabetes management plan.

Advanced Insulin Pump Workshop Offers Great New Insights

A few weeks ago, when Healthy Living attended the JDRF TypeOneNation Summit in Belleville, our team members chose different breakout sessions to attend. We all learned a lot, and I want to take some time to pool our knowledge and share it with you!

Our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy team attended a workshop that went in depth on insulin pump therapy, presented by Dr. Lowell Schmeltz. Here are some of the things that Crystal and George learned from the course.

Advanced Features Improve Results

Insulin pumps include many advanced features and functions that patients searching for tighter control of their diabetes can utilize. These optional features can make pumping more complicated, but if used correctly can greatly improve the results of pump therapy.  One example is that some pumps offer is a dual-wave bolus, which contains a normal bolus as well as a second wave of insulin that is delivered over time. This is especially beneficial when eating foods that are high in fat and carbs, like pizza.

Insulin Pump Therapy Requires Focus

Pump users and caregivers need to remember a lot of information and continually go through a number of steps to maintain control with their insulin pumps. Dr. Schmeltz explained that the biggest issue that comes up for individuals using the pump goes back to the basics – entering their carbs for meals. He believes that people should read packages and measure their food for accurate carb counting (instead of estimates and guesses).

Simplifying for Encouragement

Dr. Schmeltz really engaged with attendees and had a great way of simplifying complicated concepts to make pump users feel comfortable with the idea of trying new things. One more of his recommendations was for patients to download their pump data between physician visits so their doctor can review their status at appointment time and make any necessary changes to their regimen.

We also were excited to learn about some of the new pump technology that is being tested, including the artificial pancreas. This new technology is much closer to being available to patients than many of us realized!


Omnipod Insulin Pumps Wow with Many Unique Benefits

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Many people have come to know the benefits of the Omnipod. This community of “Podders” appreciate many really awesome features that make the Omnipod tubeless insulin pump different.

Waterproof + No Disconnect

The Omnipod is waterproof (and sweat-proof), for showering, bathing, swimming, surfing, or dancing in the rain. Because of this, there is never a need to disconnect from the pump. Omnipod’s waterproof qualities also mean that it’s a great pump for active people – adults and kids alike! This pump truly offers continuous insulin delivery with three days of nonstop insulin with no need to disconnect.

Tubeless Convenience

The small, lightweight (weights just 25 grams with an empty reservoir) Omnipod insulin pumps are tubeless, and they can attach to your body at any place where you could inject insulin. This means you can be as discreet as you want to be with your pump insertion site. Plus, there are no tubes to tangle!

Easy to Use

With the Omnipod, you will not be tied to an injection schedule or tethered to an insulin pump. The system is made up of two parts: the tubeless Pod and the Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM), kept nearby to wirelessly program insulin delivery. The PDM has a built-in FreeStyle blood glucose monitor, and the Omnipod can be used with any CGM system.

It has an uncomplicated needle insertion process – the cannula inserts hands-free, and you never have to see the needle. The Omnipod is cleared for people of all ages who have diabetes and use insulin…including children and teens.

Healthy Living Knows the Omnipod System

Matt Montagne, our VP of Strategy & Innovation at Healthy Living shared, “The Omnipod solution is a great option for those people with an active lifestyle who want an easy-to-use and reliable system. Healthy Living has been providing this solution to members for many years – we know it well and appreciate its many benefits!”

Reach out to our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team for more information, or to start the process of obtaining an Omnipod pump. They will verify your insurance to find out if it’s covered for you. Call 866.779.8512 (Option 2), text us at 248.577.9903, or chat with us at

Get to Know Us Beyond the Phone Lines and Text Messages: Meet Amanda

Amanda Riddle.jpg

Meet the delightful Amanda! She is part of Healthy Living’s Customer Care Team and has been with HLMS for about six months. Most of her work involves assisting clients by managing the incoming and outgoing patient texts and phone calls. Her job is an especially important one because Amanda helps ensure that our customers always have the necessary supplies on hand to effectively manage their diabetes, and patients can get their questions answered promptly and kindly.

Amanda describes her top strengths as being outgoing and personable. She is able to get along very easily with people and she is comfortable to talk to, both characteristics that help her work so well with other HLMS team members and customers. These are important strengths at Healthy Living because teamwork is a huge element of our culture and is vital in creating happy customers who keep coming back.

 Some of Amanda’s favorite parts about working at Healthy Living include, in her words: “How supportive and willing to help the staff is. My co-workers are always answering my questions and teaching me new things. It feels like a team effort here. I also enjoy the fact that we have a lot of autonomy here. I know what I'm supposed to do when I come in each day, and I am trusted to do it.”

Amanda is a big fan of Detroit and she especially loves the area of the City where she lives, West Village. She enjoys exploring the unique coffee shops and restaurants in this part of town and appreciates its peaceful and quiet atmosphere. She also likes to spend her time biking in the City and along Detroit’s Riverwalk. Her hobbies include dancing, painting, and spending time with good friends. With summertime right around the corner, Amanda is thrilled to be able to spend time outdoors doing the things that make her happy!

We are so thankful to have Amanda here as a part of our Healthy Living team. She is a joy to work with and continues to ensure that all of her customers are satisfied and left with big smiles on their faces when they finish a phone call or text message conversation with us.

To meet our friendly team and get help with your diabetes supplies, call Healthy Living at 866.779.8512 or text us at 248.577.9903. Talk to you soon!

V-Go Anywhere with Your Insulin Delivery

Healthy Living meeting with the V-Go rep.

Healthy Living meeting with the V-Go rep.

“It is easy, discreet, always there.”

This past week, Healthy Living employees had the opportunity to hear from a few company representatives about the V-Go product. V-Go has been around since 2012, however not many providers and patients are aware of its capabilities for improving patient adherence and outcomes. The company representatives gave us a better understanding of the V-Go system so we can more effectively support customers considering V-Go as a treatment and therapy option.

Informative Past Post about V-Go

A few weeks back, Emily wrote about the V-Go on our blog and since then we have been growing our knowledge on this new technology daily. According to Emily’s post, the V-Go provides a steady rate of insulin 24 hours a day (basal). It allows patients to give themselves a dose of insulin with snacks and during mealtimes (bolus). 

Facts about V-Go

The V-Go is for adult patients and despite the confusion, the V-Go is not an insulin pump. For individuals who are constantly on the go and do not want the bother of multiple daily injections, the V-Go may be an excellent option. The V-Go allows the user to load insulin into the device for a rapid-onset dose of insulin. The device is wearable, discreet, and disposable, however it does need to be changed every 24 hours with a new, insulin-filled, V-Go device. The V-Go is extremely versatile as it can be worn when showering and sleeping.

How Can I Start V-Go?!

Even though the V-Go is not known to many people, it can be a positive substitute for other therapies and injections. Here at Healthy Living, we can verify your insurance and collect all of the necessary documentation needed to receive the V-Go as a medical or pharmacy benefit. There is a process to apply for the V-Go, and the coverage is dependent on your insurance company. With most commercial plans that Healthy Living Medical Supply works with, just a prescription is required from your doctor. However, some plans do require authorization. For plans that need authorization, criteria may include a patient’s qualifying blood work and lab work, tracked by the patient and the doctor. The authorization process takes about two weeks, however the length of time depends on the type of insurance.

What Our Fabulous Reps Say about the V-Go

George K., one of Healthy Living’s customer care representatives, sat down with me to chat about his experience with setting customers up with the V-Go. He said that he has seen an increased interest in the product, and customers who do choose the V-Go usually tend to stay with it.

Healthy Living’s Meeting with V-Go Company Representatives

Some studies have shown that multiple daily injections create challenges for patient adherence. Kris Euler, the V-Go company representative who spoke with Healthy Living employees said, “75% of people do not inject insulin away from home - V-Go increases the chance for people to perform their shots while they are outside of their home." With V-Go, the patient can receive their insulin hassle-free with a simple click of a button. It is known for its overall ease of use.

Further Questions and Information

If you have any other questions about the V-Go and all its benefits, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Care team at Healthy Living at (866)779-8512. We strive to provide you with the highest standard of service and want to increase your knowledge about different therapy options to help you manage your diabetes the best way possible.


Replay: Meet the Glucagon App - A Place to Learn & Prepare

A view of the Lilly Glucagon app in the App Store.

A view of the Lilly Glucagon app in the App Store.

Lilly Glucagon is designed to treat patients with diabetes and severe hypoglycemia. Do you have a Glucagon kit at home, and do you and your loved ones know how to use it?

You can get a white teaching kit from Lilly by calling (800)LILLY-RX. And to learn more, you could try the mightily helpful Glucagon phone app, simply called “Glucagon.” You can use this app to go through a practice simulation of using Glucagon in an emergency, including how to mix (swirl) the powder and liquid and where to inject (thigh, arm, or buttocks).

Most importantly, there is a special section with instructions for an actual emergency, with animated pictures and audio directions.

The Glucagon app also has a section about “My Kit Information” to help you track where you are keeping your kit(s) in the house and when they expire. There is a function to set reminders to make sure you update your Glucagon kit before passing the expiration date.

In the app's content, you can learn more about this critical emergency treatment tool, including:

  • When it's appropriate to use Glucagon
  • Contraindications and precautions
  • Details about severe low blood sugar
  • Glucagon tips
  • Other helpful diabetes links

Glucagon, Scripts, and Your Insurance

Glucagon is covered by most insurance companies, but it's different for each. It also requires a doctor's prescription. If you are interested in obtaining a Glucagon kit, call Healthy Living Pharmacy at (866)779-8512 (Option 4). Our pharmacy team can help you get set up, including calling the doctor to request a prescription on your behalf.  You can also send us your written prescription, or we can transfer your script from another pharmacy if that would be helpful to you.

JDRF TypeOneNation Summit: Healthy Living Team Highlights

The Healthy Living team at the JDRF TypeOneNation Summit, 2017.

The Healthy Living team at the JDRF TypeOneNation Summit, 2017.

This last Saturday, seven members from the Healthy Living team participated in the 2017 TypeOneNation Summit in Belleville, Michigan, hosted by JDRF. As usual, it provided us with a great opportunity to learn and continue building relationships with customers, potential customers, vendors, and members of the provider community (we were positioned right across from U of M's Mott Pediatric Diabetes Team). There was so much good energy and activity, and a lot of great programming for kids and adults.

HLMS Team Member Highlights

Here are some reflections from our team about the summit:

I also attended Dr. Schmeltz's Advanced Insulin Pumping session. It was truly an eye-opener to see and hear how diabetes can complicate simple tasks I take for granted. Even when using an insulin pump, patients and caregivers must plan carefully and tweak pump settings to do simple things like eat a piece of pizza or go on vacation. Pump technology definitely makes things easier but still demands serious dedication and self-control. I particularly enjoyed the end of Dr. Schmeltz's presentation where he discussed the latest in pump/CGM technology and products coming soon. It seems like the long-awaited artificial pancreas will be ready in the not-so-distant future. –- George K.

The day ended with an inspirational talk by Will Cross, who lives with Type 1 Diabetes and made it to the summit of Mt. Everest ten years ago - it was the kind of message that reminded me that we're here as a company to add value to our customers by making their lives better through exceptional customer care. –- Matt

I attended the "Taking T1D to School" workshop and learned a lot about state-funded schools and how they have to take classes on helping the students with T1D. They need to be able to help the student out if they cannot help themselves, and the student also has the right to test and inject in class without causing an interruption. A lot of parents, especially parents that have kids that are newly diagnosed, do not know much about how much assistance they can get and think it's all up to them, which makes it so much harder for them as well for the child. –- Rickelle

Along with interacting with everyone, I enjoyed attending the Advanced Insulin Pumping session with Dr. Lowell Schmeltz. I learned a lot more about insulin pumping and ways it can be used better for a patient to gain better control of their diabetes.  It was also neat to be able to go to each table and interact with educators, pump/CGM company reps and other organizations/companies that were there. -- Crystal

Personally, I was very excited to meet a couple of gentle therapy dogs at the table next to us. The husband/wife team actually trains each dog specifically for an individual and his or her needs. Related to diabetes, the dogs can learn to smell low blood sugar to alert their owners about the situation. -- Emily

Healthy Living’s Scoop on Insulin Pumps & Medicare

Qualifying for an Insulin Pump with Medicare

If you’re thinking about an insulin pump, start by talking to your doctor to see if you’re a candidate. Healthy Living can walk you through the next steps, including what you’ll need to qualify per Medicare guidelines. People with Type 1 & Type 2 diabetes both can get pumps if they qualify using this criteria:

  • Obtaining qualifying lab results – C-Peptide & fasting glucose, tested on the same day at the same time
  • Currently testing blood glucose 4 times/day
  • Using Multiple Daily Injections
  • Having gone through a comprehensive diabetes education program

Note: If your labs don’t qualify initially, we suggest that you discuss your options with your doctor.

How Medicare Bills for Pumps  

Insulin pumps bill as a rental through Medicare for 13 months. The pump is considered your property after 13 months have passed. Medicare will cover 80% of the insulin pump for qualifying members. If you have secondary insurance, we will verify that insurance to find out if they will cover the remaining 20% of the cost.

The Process for Starting on an Insulin Pump with Medicare & Healthy Living

The Healthy Living Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team will work closely with you to guide you through completing your qualifying criteria as well as verifying your insurance to give you estimated out-of-pocket costs for the pump.

Once these pieces are in place and you are ready to order an insulin pump, we will ask you to fill out two Medicare forms: The Assignment of Benefits form and the Rental Agreement. These forms give us permission to bill Medicare on your behalf.

Contact our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team to find out which pumps are available. Once you are on an insulin pump, if your insurance changes or you discontinue using the pump for any reason, please notify us.

For Medicare Insulin Pump Owners

The 13-month rental period is now over and you now own your insulin pump. Your pump has a 4-year warranty offered by the manufacturer. Under Medicare guidelines, patients are eligible for a new pump every 5 years, but exceptions can be made if the 4-year warranty has expired and your pump is malfunctioning.

Contact the Healthy Living Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team to find out when you are eligible for a new pump, for help getting started with an insulin pump, or to learn more about pumps or CGM. You can reach them at (866)779-8512 (Option 2).

Replay: Text me! The Benefits of Refill Reminders for Ease & Adherence

We know that our members can’t remain adherent without having their prescribed supplies and medications in hand. A refill reminder system can make a difference for many people, helping them stay on top of their health and compliant with doctors’ orders. At Healthy Living, once a customer enrolls and signs up for reminders, a text or phone call recording is sent every 30 to 90 days, about three days before the necessary reorder date to keep the patient on track with necessary supplies and medications.

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Response Rates Are Higher with Reminder Texts

The text reminder option has boosted adherence for Healthy Living customers. We have found that people reorder more readily and frequently via text. For every 100 outbound reminder texts, the Healthy Living customer service team hears back and ships orders for about 70 patients. In comparison, for customers receiving reminder phone calls, only about 30% of patients either confirm their reorder at the moment of the call or by calling back later. Text message reminders really help Healthy Living patients stay on top of their ongoing diabetes maintenance and health.

Adherence Isn’t Easy

In their Global Research Report, Vision & Reality (9th Edition) , Capgemini Consulting researched and found that patient adherence levels drop over the course of care, from 69% of patients filling their first prescription to 43% of patients continuing their treatment as prescribed after six months.

Capgemini defines ‘patient adherence’ as the extent to which a patient follows a prescribed treatment regimen, including taking a drug as prescribed and following physician advice. They identified these patient-related factors as setbacks to compliance:

·       Forgetfulness and attitude

·       Inadequate knowledge of disease and treatment

·       Perceptions of diagnosis and health risks associated with disease and treatment

·       Misunderstanding of instructions and follow-up routing

Can't Help but Love the Text Reminders

Healthy Living is using this study and similar information to help design processes to improve the entire patient experience. Here are some of the comments we have recently received from customers:

  • "Absolutely love that you text me when it’s time to order.  I'm a terrible procrastinator and have often run out of supplies in the past.  The text system is so easy I now always have my supplies. Thank you!"
  • “I love that Healthy Living texts me before I know that I need diabetic supplies for my daughter."
  • “Super friendly service. I've been better about taking care of myself since you've been sending me my supplies. Thank you.”
  • “I really like ordering via text message. I have nothing but positive things to say about Healthy Living. I am so glad to have found you.”

We are excited that we have found a new way to help Healthy Living Medical Supply customers stay healthier!

Lily Is Our Amazing Intern!

Lily in front of Comerica Park.

Lily in front of Comerica Park.

Today, we want to give a very warm welcome to Lily. She will be interning with us at Healthy Living Medical Supply this spring & summer!

Lily is from the Detroit area and plays on the Women’s Golf Team at Ohio University. She will be a senior this fall, studying Communications with a minor in Marketing.

Healthy Living is Lily’s internship of choice this year because of her interest in health care communication. Lily will be working with our health plan members while she’s here, as well as working on the Healthy Living Blog and social media pages.

Lily’s goals in working here are to learn about the best ways to find customers and keep them happy and coming back, better understand how to leverage social media platforms, and how to reach larger audiences. After graduation, Lily is considering a career in Pharmaceutical Sales.

The summer season is ideal for Lily since she loves being active and outside, and especially golfing. We are so happy you’re here, Lily!