Koala with Diabetes Benefits from the New Dexcom G6 CGM System

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I absolutely love this news that we found about Quincy. He is a male koala living at the San Diego Zoo, who has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Thanks to CGM technology, his life has dramatically changed for the better.

This article explains that, “Diabetes has rarely been documented in koalas, and animal care experts do not know what may have triggered this condition in Quincy.” As part of his treatment plan, the vets at the San Diego Zoo have teamed up with Dexcom to better manage Quincy’s blood sugar levels through the application of a continuous glucose monitoring system. Quincy is using the new Dexcom G6 CGM system.

Koalas normally sleep during the day and are mainly solitary animals. This system markedly increases Quincy’s quality of life because he can avoid pricks to his ears to check his blood sugar and can be disturbed less often overall. Instead, the sensor and transmitter placed on Quincy send his blood glucose levels in real time to a smart device monitored by his caretakers. Check out a video of Quincy and his vets in action

We hope that Quincy's story helps promote a greater awareness of CGM therapy! If you are living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and have commercial or Medicare insurance, you may qualify to begin CGM therapy. Reach out to our team at 866.779.8512 to learn more and start the enrollment process now.

In the News - 670G Receives Pediatric Approval & Tandem's Auto-Suspend-on-Low Technology

We're tracking two big announcements from both Medtronic Diabetes and Tandem Diabetes from this past week. 

The first update comes from Medtronic and is an exciting one for families with children living with Type 1 Diabetes - the 670G closed loop system from Medtronic received clearance from the FDA for use with pediatric patients ages seven and up. This certainly is welcome news for pediatric patients, their care team members, and providers. 

And second, Tandem Diabetes received approval for their auto-suspend-on-low technology from the FDA. While we don't know the full details, it looks like the T:Slim X2 pump, when combined with the Dexcom G6 CGM system, will suspend insulin delivery in advance of a predicted low. 

Both of these exciting updates represent a significant advancement in diabetes technology and great news overall for patients and everyone involved in the diabetes community. 

If you are looking at one of these insulin pumps and/or CGM options, Healthy Living Medical Supply is a great place to start - simply give us a call at 866-779-8512, chat with us live, or leave a message if you're on our site after hours. You may also learn more on our Insulin Pump Therapy page

Go local with Healthy Living Medical Supply. Healthy Living Medical Supply is the only Michigan-owned and operated durable medical equipment (DME) supplier that specializes in diabetes. We're able to work with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Health Alliance Plan of Michigan, Medicare and all major Medicaid plans in the state for insulin pumps, insulin pump supplies, and continuous glucose monitoring systems. 

Now Shipping: Medtronic Guardian Connect CGM System

 Medtronic's Guardian Connect is composed of three key components: the sensor, a bluetooth transmitter that lasts a year, and a mobile app

Medtronic's Guardian Connect is composed of three key components: the sensor, a bluetooth transmitter that lasts a year, and a mobile app

We're excited to share that Healthy Living Medical Supply is now shipping the Medtronic Guardian Connect CGM system! This is a great technology option for any patient who is taking insulin via injections and who isn't quite ready for an insulin pump. Read more about the Guardian Connect CGM system at the Medtronic website

What is CGM? CGM stands for Continuous Glucose Monitoring and is a small, half dollar sized device that goes on your body and measures blood sugar levels every five minutes or roughly 288 times per day. 

What are the benefits of CGM? We've written about this here on our blog before, but in short CGM reduces the number of daily finger sticks while giving patients much greater insight into what is happening with their body's sugar levels. Medtronic Guardian Connect's stand alone CGM system takes readings every five minutes or 288 times throughout the day and night - this is significantly more information than is yielded through finger sticks alone.

What are the top benefits of Medtronic's Guardian Connect CGM System?

1. The data is automatically uploaded directly to the physician's office via Medtronic's CareLink platform. 

2. Predictive alerts for highs and lows are sent out 60 minutes in advance. Predictive alerts are sent out 40 minutes faster than the competition.

3. IBM Watson integration creates actionable trends from user CGM data.

4. Last but not least, Medtronic's Guardian Connect CGM system is significantly less expensive for the patient and health plan in comparison to the competition. Why? Because the transmitter lasts for one year, no receiver is needed, and a month's supply comes with five sensors for a total of 35 days of wear time. This means lower copays for patients, longer sensor wear time and a lower spend for the health plan. 

Most major commercial insurances, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Health Alliance Plan of Michigan (HAP), will pay for CGM. Contact Healthy Living Medical Supply today at 866-779-8512 to learn more and to begin the easy enrollment process.

Michigan Residents: Keep your business local! Healthy Living Medical Supply is the only locally owned and operated diabetes speciality provider in the state of Michigan...and we provide world class customer service!

Swing to Cure Diabetes Celebrates 10 Years

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Recently, the Swing to Cure Diabetes golf outing celebrated its 10th anniversary at the Michigan Golf Course. As we have for several years, Healthy Living participated in this awesome event that benefits the JDRF and the Michigan Comprehensive Diabetes Center. Swing to Cure Diabetes was created by Rich and Chris Hewlett to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. They started the event after their son, Jeff, was diagnosed. These were Jeff’s thoughts on the event:

“I’m sure my parents started this event thinking, ‘Oh, this will help our son,’” said Jeff Hewlett, who was diagnosed when he was four. “For that I’m certainly grateful, but there are many people who are just like me and many other diabetics who are also grateful. It’s really impacting a lot of people, and you can see it in the research and the advances that have been made for Type 1 diabetes. Hopefully over the years as this thing keeps growing and as we continue with it, it will be something that can hopefully lead to a cure. That’s ultimately what we’re looking for.”

To find out more about upcoming JDRF events in our area, visit the JDRF Metro Detroit/South East Michigan webpage.

Now Shipping: Dexcom G6 System

 Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring System now shipping from Healthy Living Medical Supply

Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring System now shipping from Healthy Living Medical Supply

Great news, the Dexcom G6 system is now shipping from Healthy Living Medical Supply! The new system features a longer wear time on the sensor (10 days), Acetaminophen blocking, finger stick free approval from the FDA (imagine avoiding over 1000 finger pokes per year!), smart phone integration, an improved applicator, and FDA indication for pediatric patients two years and older. 

Do you live in the State of Michigan and have a commercial insurance such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or HAP? If you currently work direct with the manufacturer or another supplier for your CGM, call us now at 866-779-8512 to start the simple process of converting to to the only diabetes specialty DME (Durable Medical Equipment) company that is locally owned and operated in Michigan. 

New in Diabetes Technology: The OmniPod Dash

 Insulet's Omnipod Dash Tubeless Insulin Management System Receceives FDA Clearance

Insulet's Omnipod Dash Tubeless Insulin Management System Receceives FDA Clearance

It seems like nearly every day there is more great news in terms of the development of new technologies to empower people living with diabetes...the latest is from Insulet and their Omnipod Dash system, which recently received approval from the FDA.

To learn more about Omnipod Dash, visit the product FAQ page over at Insulet's website. A few key highlights that we're excited about include:

1. The same great features Omnipod users have been used to...the new Dash system is tubeless, discreet and waterproof which makes it great for pediatric patients and anyone with an active lifestyle

2. Bluetooth capabilities for sharing data to an iOS device and up to 12 people on their care team

3. Compatibility with one of the leading test strip brands on the market, Contour Next. 

The system will be slowly released to patients in 2018 prior to the widespread launch in 2019. Most major commercial insurances, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Health Alliance Plan of Michigan, pay for Omnipod as a durable medical equipment benefit (DME).

Healthy Living Medical Supply is a leading DME specializing in diabetes services and technologies and will be ready to provide this technology to patients when it becomes available soon!

Healthy Living Now Provides CGM to Medicare Patients

Healthy Living has long provided insulin pumps and insulin pump supplies to Medicare members as a durable medical equipment (DME) benefit, and today we're pleased to announce that we're  accepting referrals for Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) therapy for Medicare members as well! Currently, the Dexcom G5 continuous glucose monitoring system has been approved for Medicare members.

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. The Dexcom G5 CGM system is made up of three key components: a sensor that measures your glucose levels, a transmitter to wirelessly send your glucose data to your smart device or receiver, and a display device where you can see when your glucose is trending high, low, or just right. The display device can be either a compatible smart device with the Dexcom G5 Mobile app or the Dexcom G5 Mobile Receiver.

What are the benefits of CGM?

  • With CGM, you’ll reduce your daily fingersticks dramatically, continuing them only for calibration of the 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.
  • Dexcom sensors and transmitters are water-resistant. They are relatively small and discreet to wear.
  • With Dexcom G5 Mobile, dynamic glucose data can be accessed and shared safely and conveniently to your smart phone device.

Call us today at 866.779.8512 (Option 2) or fill out our expedited enrollment form online to learn more about your Medicare insurance coverage, and start the process for receiving CGM supplies from Healthy Living. We’re here to help! 

Submit Co-Pays FAST with Online Bill Pay from HLMS

One of the feature requests we receive most often from our customers is the ability to submit co-payments for insulin pumps, insulin pump supplies, CGM supplies, and other diabetes supplies online. While not widely known amongst our customers, this is a service that we currently offer - and once paid, you'll have a copy of your receipts and payment history for future reference. 

Get started with secure and easy online bill pay from Healthy Living today! Simply request to pay your bill online the next time you are working with an agent to submit a co-payment for your order. 

Update on Medtronic's Guardian Connect CGM System

Healthy Living Medical Supply’s Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Team had the opportunity to participate in a live webinar yesterday from Medtronic – the focus of the session was their new stand-alone CGM product known as the Guardian Connect CGM System. Our team has been eagerly anticipating the launch of this product since the product received FDA approval back in March.

Here are a few highlights of what we learned about the product during the webinar:

1.     The Guardian Connect transmitter connects via Bluetooth technology to iPhones (and iPod Touch devices if you can purchase one on eBay)

2.     The sensor is the same as the one used for the 670G closed loop system, but the Guardian Connect transmitter DOES NOT communicate with the 670G pump. The transmitter is labeled “GC” which differentiates it from the transmitter used with the 670G pump.

3.     The system does not have a receiver—this will be a great benefit to those patients who don’t want to haul around another piece of hardware.

4.     Android support is coming-Medtronic is targeting the end of the calendar year for Android users.

5.     The sensor features a new barrier which helps mitigate against skin irritation – this is also the smallest sensor ever for a Medtronic CGM product.

6.     Sensor wear time is up to 7 days and the system includes a one-year warranty.

7.     The system features a range of alerts, including predictive alerts which can notify of highs and lows anywhere from 10-60 minutes in advance.

8.     Patients can invite up to five care partners to view data and receive alerts via SMS and data is easily shared with providers via the Care Link system.

9.     The Guaurdian Connect CGM System providers users access to the Sugar.IQ diabetes assistant, which is a separate application on the phone. The Sugar.IQ app takes real time data from the Guardian Connect app, sync with IBM’s Watson, and then presents various insulin, food and motivational insights to the user.

Medtronic’s Guardian Connect Smart CGM system is slated to be released in early summer. The system is not approved by Medicare, but should be reimbursed by most major commercial insurances including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Health Alliance Plan of Michigan, Priority Health, etc.

If you are a patient and wish to learn more about the Guradian Connect Smart CGM system, visit this link.

For providers interested in learning more, visit this link.

If you would like to be contacted by Healthy Living once this system becomes available, please fill out the brief form below:

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What We’re Reading: The Health Alliance Plan of Michigan’s Balanced Living Blog

 The Health Alliance Plan of Michigan's Balanced Living is filled with tips and suggestions on increasing your wellness and leading a more active and healthy lifestyle

The Health Alliance Plan of Michigan's Balanced Living is filled with tips and suggestions on increasing your wellness and leading a more active and healthy lifestyle

One of our regular features on the Healthy Living Medical Supply Blog is our “What We’re Reading” segment where we shine the spotlight on resources that we find particularly relevant to our employees and customers. One such resource is Health Alliance Plan of Michigan’s “Balanced Living Blog,” which is routinely updated with excellent ideas and suggestions for maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. Subscribe to blog updates by visiting the site and clicking the email subscribe link. 

Below you’ll find links to four articles that we found particularly interesting, all of which relate to diabetes, which is our specialty.

Walking it Back: Reversing Prediabetes

Facing Diabetes On Her Own Terms: How One Woman Took Control of Her Life

Diabetes Doesn’t Define Me: Overcoming Type 1 at 21

How Former U-M Football Star Marc Ramirez Tackled Diabetes

Healthy Living Medical Supply is in network with Health Alliance Plan of Michigan for diabetes testing supplies, insulin pumps, insulin pump supplies, continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGM) – if you are a Health Alliance Plan of Michigan member and are looking for diabetes related supplies delivered to your doorstep with great customer care, give us a call at 866.779.8512 or send us a text message at 248.577.9903 to start the easy enrollment process.

See You at the 11th Annual JDRF TypeOneNation Summit!

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Join Healthy Living at the 11th Annual JDRF TypeOneNation Summit! The Metro Detroit & Southeast Michigan Summit will take place on Saturday, May 12, in Belleville from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm. This free, educational event will bring together people of all ages and stages of type 1 diabetes, their loved ones, and the medical community. This year’s theme is “Living with Diabetes: A Family Day of Inspiration, Hope, and Education.” Register here

The TypeOneNation Summit was developed by a group of leading endocrinologists and diabetes educators. This one-day event will be full of education, information, and inspiration. Keynote Presenters include Dr. Alvin C. Powers and Dr. Korey K. Hood. In addition, there will be many break-out workshops and presentations on topics relevant to individuals and families living with T1D.

The JDRF Summit Youth Program will welcome pro-snowboarder Sean Busby. He is the founder of Riding On Insulin and will talk, inspire, and share his experiences with kids and teens.

We’ll have a table in the sponsor area, so please come and say hello!! We're in network with most major insurances for insulin pumps, insulin pumps supplies, continuous glucose monitoring systems ("CGM"), and testing supplies. This includes Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Health Alliance Plan of Michigan, Priority Health, Michigan Medicaid, and Medicare. 

This is a great event – we learned so much last year when we attended the workshops. Hope to see you soon!

Yale Researchers Work Toward New Treatment for Type 2

  Topological map of a toxic pore formed by hundreds of copies of the hormone IAPP.

Topological map of a toxic pore formed by hundreds of copies of the hormone IAPP.

Andrew Miranker and his team have focused their recent studies on a simple hormone in all of us – islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP). Certain forms of this hormone actually poke toxic holes in cells, and this Yale team is leveraging this information to create new therapies to treat type 2 diabetes.

The progression of type 2 diabetes is tied to the health of insulin-producing cells in the islets, which are groups of cells in the pancreas. These cells are responsible for coordinating the release of insulin in response to changes in blood glucose. The failure of the islets over time plays an important role in the cause of type 2 diabetes as the body loses the ability to regulate blood glucose. Currently, there are no approved drugs available to treat the actual causes of type 2 diabetes.

Miranker’s lab is working with islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), a protein partner to insulin. This hormone is made by the same cells as insulin. When IAPP takes on the wrong shape, it pokes holes in the membranes of islets…holes that are large enough to kill these insulin-secreting cells. The Yale team is working hard to design a compound to target the particular, destructive IAPP structure in order to prevent toxicity.

IAPP works alone in its healthy state, but the toxic version is made up of tens to hundreds of copies of the protein.  This creates a widely sprawling structure, and controlling it requires a different approach from those of traditional drugs. A great visual, Miranker’s team is designing a drug that acts like a fork for the spaghetti-like structure of IAPP to wrap around. The Miranker lab has developed a drug lead, ADM-116, that binds to IAPP by crossing the outer cell membrane, finding IAPP, and winding it up. By doing this, ADM-116 prevents IAPP from punching a hole in a sensitive internal cell membrane. This process essentially rescues cells that make insulin.

Using these discoveries, Miranker and his team, and the new Connecticut-based biotechnology company, ADM Therapeutics, will translate these discoveries into drugs that improve the long-term health of these cells. Although this research is currently focused on type 2 diabetes, these approaches will also apply to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Learn more from the YaleNews article, “Taming an unruly target in diabetes.” 

Check Out the Blue Cross Blue Shield Blog

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Blog is a great resource for members and non-members alike! It covers categories including community health, chronic disease, healthy living, care delivery, and BCBS news.

Check out their article “Know where to go: How to choose between the doctor’s office, urgent care and the ER.” This blog offers guiding advice to help you decide where to go when a need arises, based on the urgency of your health situation and your budget. Blue Cross Blue Shield suggests that you call your primary care doctor first in non-emergency situations. Urgent care centers are a good option if you can’t reach your doctor or need health care outside of regular business hours. Most of the time, the out-of-pocket cost of a visit to the urgent care is less than than you will pay for a visit to the emergency room. ERs are best for treating urgent, acute, and life-threatening conditions.

Healthy Living Medical Supply is in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for insulin pumps, CGM, Omnipods, and testing supplies. Find out more about how we can serve BCBS patients and visit our Easy Enrollment page! We're also in network with most out-of-state Blue Cross Blue Shield plans when the member is a resident in the state of Michigan. 

We're here to help!

FDA Approves Dexcom G6 CGM

 Dexcom's new G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring System

Dexcom's new G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring System

Yet another great piece of news in the area of Continous Glucose Monitoring technology advancement: Dexcom received FDA approval for their next generation, G6 CGM product.

For a more detailed analysis of the Dexcom G6 CGM, visit the recent blog posts from Diatribe, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Beyond Type 1

The G6 solution is an exciting development for the diabetes community as it promises a ten day wear on the sensor, acetaminophen blocking, no finger stick calibrations,  potential integrations with the Tandem insulin pump, OminPod's tubeless pump and more.

A launch date has yet to be determined but Healthy Living Medical Supply will be ready to provide this new platform to our patients once it does become available.

Interested in learning more about CGM and the possible therapeutic benefits? Read this article from the Healthy Living blog on the benefits of CGM. 

We're here to help!

Medtronic’s Guardian Connect CGM Receives FDA Approval

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We have big news to share from Medtronic – their long-awaited standalone CGM has received FDA approval. Medtronic’s Guardian Connect is comprised of three parts: a thin sensor, a small plastic transmitter attached to the sensor, and the Guardian Connect app on a compatible iOS device. It transmits directly to the iPhone without using another receiver.

The Guardian Connect system is designed to help people, ages 14 to 75, who are using multiple daily injections (MDIs). Although it does not work directly with insulin pumps, Medtronic’s standalone CGM will be the only one on the market to give alerts for potential high or low glucose events up to 60 minutes in advance. The Guardian Connect system is expected to become available by July 2018, and as early as May 2018.

Benefits of the Guardian Connect system include:

  • Customized 1 hour predictive alerts – from 10 minutes up to 1 hour ahead gives you time to respond
  • Free 24-hour SMS alerts (and for up to 5 care people)
  • Easy-to-share blood glucose readings 
  • Reduced risks of hypoglycemia and more time “in-range”
  • Sleek design – marketed for an active lifestyle, half the weight of other real-time CGM systems on the market
  • Waterproof – can be submerged for up to 2.4 meters (7.5 feet) for 10-minute periods
  • Access to the Sugar.IQ system – smart diabetes assistant that looks at what affects BGLs
  • Rechargeable, re-useable, long-life technology

This news is exciting, because it means expanded options for people with diabetes when it comes to CGM.

We're here to help!

Considering an Insulin Pump? Let Us Run a No-Cost Insurance Benefits Check for You

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Are you ready for an insulin pump? There are many benefits to using this technology, and a few of the big ones are:

  • Fewer insulin injections
  • More predictable and precise insulin delivery
  • Fewer high and low spikes in blood sugar

Many insurances cover insulin pump therapy for their members, and our team knows how to get customers up and running quickly. We can run a no-cost insurance benefits check to find out if you’re covered and help you understand your options.

Just complete the form below or call our Insulin Pump & CGM 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.

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Healthy Living Is Here for You - on Saturdays Too!

We are always looking for ways to make life easier for our Healthy Living customers! We know that when you’re working full time (or just really busy), it’s often hard to make calls during the normal 9 am – 5 pm business hours. That’s why we have consciously chosen to offer extended weekday hours, from 8:30 am – 6 pm, and we’re also open on Saturdays from 9 am – 3 pm. Our Saturday service means that we are open 45 more days a year than many other suppliers you may come across. Give us a call – we’re here for you!

What We’re Reading: SmartSitters

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When leaving the house for a bit, it can be hard to trust the wellbeing of your child with a sitter whom you may not know well. Feeling confident to leave your daughter or son in someone else’s care can be even more difficult when your child has specific care considerations.

We found an awesome guide that can help you and prepare your sitter to give your child with T1D the best possible, most knowledgeable care while you are away. SmartSitters covers essential information about T1D to help families and sitters manage T1D together, wherever they are.

The SmartSitters guide includes a wealth of information, comprehensively covering details on defining diabetes, understanding insulin basics, monitoring glucose, and using an emergency glucagon kit. The guide is easy-to-read and has great pictures - definitely worth checking out!

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!

We're here to help!

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.