Why Try CGM?

Why Try CGM_.png

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) brings many people with diabetes better insight into what is happening with their blood sugar levels in the present and over time, with a lot less hassle. A CGM is a small, wearable device system that tracks glucose throughout the day and night. Some systems notify users of highs and lows so they can take action when needed. All systems substantially minimize the need for fingerpricking.

The top CGM systems on the market right now are the Dexcom G6, the FreeStyle Libre 14-Day System, and the Medtronic Guardian Connect CGM. Each system offers a unique set of benefits, but here are some of the best benefits of CGM overall:

  • Better insight into blood glucose trends

  • Less fingerpricks

  • Small and discreet sensors

  • Smartphone apps to track blood glucose levels

  • Alarms and alerts, especially helpful when struggling with nighttime lows

  • Remote monitoring of CGM data from a smartphone, ideal for pediatrics

Get started with CGM by calling the Healthy Living CGM Therapy Team at 866.779.8512 (Option 2) or texting us at 248.577.9903. We will give you a free benefits check to help you understand your coverage and walk you through the next steps, even contacting your doctor's office for you. From start to finish, a CGM enrollment will take commercial and Medicare members roughly 1-14 days, depending on the turnaround on paperwork from the doctor's office.

A Review of the FreeStyle Libre Sheds More Light on the New Technology

freestyle libre.png

Are you thinking about a CGM and looking for more info about different systems? Sysy Morales from Diabetes Daily reviewed the FreeStyle Libre in an article called "Why I'm Loving the FreeStyle Libre 14 Day System." Our blog will include some highlights of her review.

Comparison

"The FreeStyle Libre 14-Day doesn’t include alarms like the popular Dexcom CGM systems but it is less expensive and so possibly more accessible for many people...For my daughter, I want the system with alarms, of course, and the FreeStyle Libre 14-Day system is not approved for anyone under 18 right now, anyway."

Applying

"Being mechanically inept, I got nervous when following the instructions on how to insert the sensor but I managed it successfully…if you’re worried about it sticking I’d get two alcohol swabs and rub, rub, rub, letting the area fully dry before applying."

Testing

"What I didn’t realize for about one week is that the graph on the reader shows you what your blood glucose has been in the hours before your last finger stick so you can see what your blood sugar has been doing and if you’re trending up or down or hanging steady."

Nice for those Annoyed by Alarms

"The alarms with the Dexcom G6 were so incredibly helpful for keeping tight glucose management but also a bit jarring during times of stress...[with the Libre] I could check as often as I wanted and look at my graph and feel very much in the know without having something dictating when I would do that."

No Bleeding in Public!

"I’m still sensitive to how I come off to others despite how hard I’ve worked at this over the years. Doing a finger stick check in front of people in a public setting, while I’ve done it thousands of times, still makes me uncomfortable...I also hate checking in places that gross me out, too."

Accuracy

"I got the ‘check blood glucose’ symbol about 5 times over the two-week period so I checked my blood sugar those times. My blood sugar was within 30-40 points of what I was getting from the FreeStyle Libre 14-Day system. I also checked a few other times with a finger stick just to assess accuracy. Those times my blood sugar reading was always within 10 points of the FreeStyle Libre 14-Day system. So I felt comfortable dosing off of it but did pay attention and look out for the symbol indicating a finger stick was needed."

Easy to Wear

"While I didn’t have problems with the size and weight of the Dexcom G6 sensor, I found the FreeStyle Libre 14-Day sensor even easier to wear. It’s pretty flat and while heavy, the smooth, circular shape, in my opinion, helps keep it on and feeling balanced. I forgot I had it on."

For Morales's entire review, click here.

To find out more about getting started with a FreeStyle Libre or other CGM system, including a free benefits check, contact our CGM Therapy Team at 866.779.8512 (Option 2) or 248.577.9903 (text).

Give These Insulin Pump Simulator Apps a Shot

Researching your pump options_.png

Researching your pump options? Here are some helpful tools from Tandem and Medtronic to help you understand the benefits of different insulin pumps on the market.

t:simulator App from Tandem
With the App, you can experience the touchscreen interface of the Tandem t:slim X2 Insulin Pump with Basal-IQ Technology using a smartphone or tablet. You can also enable "Tool Tips" for a tour of the pump's key features. The App provides info about the pump's technical specifications and access to a glossary of common terms for better understanding.

Download the t:simulator App at the bottom of this page.

MiniMed 670G System Simulator from Medtronic
This application provides step-by-step instructions on the different features of the 670G and 630G insulin pumps. There are training resources for both systems and the capability to explore the insulin pump through different functionality scenarios. You will find device feature videos that give more info about the Auto Mode and Suspend Before Low features.

Download the MiniMed System Simulator through Google Play or on the Apple App Store.

Happy Birthday Dexcom & Updates to the Dexcom G6 iOS App

This year, Dexcom (founded in 1999) celebrates its 20th birthday! Over 20 years, Dexcom has brought us groundbreaking technology, and there are many changes, including growth and expansion, on the horizon. Read more at the Diabetes Mine blog "Dexcom Hits 20-Year Birthday with Exciting New Tech, Corporate Restructuring." According to the Diabetes Mine article, these are the...

Six New Changes to the Dexcom G6 App for Apple

  1. Siri Assist – You can now ask Siri to read Dexcom G6 glucose readings aloud and display graphs directly on the lock screen.

  2. More Followers – With an expanded Dexcom SHARE function, you can now share glucose readings with up to 10 people (in the past the max was five).

  3. 24-hour Sensor Expiration Reminder – The app now offers an automatic 24-hour reminder before it’s time to replace a sensor, in addition to the existing 2-hour and 6-hour reminders.

  4. CLARITY App at Your Fingertips – You can now launch the Dexcom CLARITY app directly from the Dexcom G6 app for more retrospective glucose reports, rather than having to exit the G6 app and go into the separate CLARITY app.

  5. Extra Integration – They've also added a feature allowing Google Fit to display Dexcom G6 data on a three-hour delay (this lag is a regulatory hurdle being discussed with FDA).

  6. Apple Watch Feature – Users can also add an icon to check their glucose level when customizing the face of their Apple Watch Series 4. Unfortunately, Dexcom doesn't yet allow for direct-to-watch functionality; you still need the smartphone as the middleman between the CGM and Apple Watch.

Learn more about Dexcom CGM here.

Getting to Know Libre CGM

IMG_5279.jpg

When we learn more and dig a little deeper, we often come out with better understanding and more compassion. Jennifer, a business development team member with Healthy Living, is trying out the Freestyle Libre CGM for 14 days to help all of us better understand the technology and the patient experience using the sensor and reader. This is similar to the Healthy Living Wear-a-Pump Challenge from a couple of years ago when several team members lived life using an insulin pump for a week! We are excited to hear what Jen will learn from her firsthand experience with the Freestyle Libre CGM system. Learn more about the Freestyle Libre and how to get started.

Why the Tandem t:slim X2 Insulin Pump with Dexcom CGM Is an Excellent Choice for Medicare Members

Many more choices for insulin pumps and CGM are becoming available to Medicare members as diabetes technologies continue to progress. And even more exciting, many companies are starting to work together more closely to integrate their separate insulin pump and CGM systems to create even greater advancements. In today's post, we want to point out the benefits of combining the Tandem t:slim X2 insulin pump with Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) for better diabetes management.

The t:slim X2 pump can be upgraded when new technologies and features become available.

For example, Medicare members who qualify can currently access the Dexcom G5 CGM system, and we anticipate the more advanced Dexcom G6 system will be available to Medicare members on April 1st. If a patient is currently using the t:slim pump with a G5 system and upgrades to using the G6 system, all the patient will need to do is update his or her t:slim X2 pump with the latest software OR if they already have the t:slim pump with Basal IQ, they can integrate their Dexcom G6 after viewing a brief online training video. This ability to upgrade the insulin pump's software is unique to Tandem systems.

Medicare members are eligible for a new pump every five years, and in that time span there can be many advancements in diabetes technologies that can potentially leave a user behind on newer, beneficial improvements.

As we mentioned, with the Tandem t:slim pump, a Medicare member can easily update the pump to keep it current with the latest technology. This will soon prove a great benefit as we anticipate Tandem to release their "Control iQ" feature within the year. This will allow the pump, when paired with the Dexcom G6 system, to autonomously deliver more insulin when blood glucose levels are high.

The Tandem t:slim is an easy-to-read, color touchscreen pump - and it is super easy to use.

Want to try it out for yourself? Tandem offers a free simulator app for Medicare members to install on iPhone or Android devices right now. This simulator app provides users with the opportunity to test the experience of using the pump along with the Dexcom G6 system before deciding to make the purchase.

Learn more about the Dexcom G6 CGM system here.

Tandem's t:slim X2 the First Interoperable Insulin Pump

tslim x2.jpg

The Tandem t:slim X2 has been approved by the U.S. FDA as an "interoperable" insulin pump. An interoperable pump can be used with different components that make up diabetes therapy systems, allowing patients to tailor their diabetes management to their individual device preferences, which opens up huge future possibilities for closed-loop systems and other management technologies. In 2018, the Dexcom G6 was designated the first interoperable continuous glucose monitor by the FDA.

Read the full press release from the FDA here.

The Future of Tandem

In November, Diatribe wrote a fantastic article about what's on the horizon for Tandem, including the Control-IQ hybrid closed loop, the "interoperable" pump designation, the t:connect mobile app, and the t:sport patch pump with hybrid wear.

Dexcom G6 Will Soon Be Available to Ship to Medicare Members

dexcom g6 with watch.jpg

We wrote about Dexcom G6 becoming available to Medicare members here on the Healthy Living Blog last fall. Over the past several months we've had many Medicare members reaching out to us, asking about availability of the G6 system. This is a quick update that Healthy Living Medical Supply expects to start shipping Dexcom G6 systems to Medicare members on or around on April 1st of 2019.

This is an exciting development because it brings an advanced CGM system that is fingerstick-free to Medicare members. The Dexcom G6 system automatically takes a glucose reading every five minutes and sends the reading to a receiver or smartphone device such as an iPhone or Android (click here for a complete listing of compatible Apple and android devices). The system also has predictive alarms to let patients know if and when they are trending toward a low blood sugar state.

The Dexcom G6 system will be available to qualifying Medicare members who are on an insulin pump or taking insulin three times or more per day via injection AND who are testing four times or more per day.

Interested in being updated when Healthy Living begins shipping the Dexcom G6 system to Medicare members? Fill out the brief form below and we'll be in touch!

Name *
Name

Healthy Living Now Providing the Abbott Freestyle Libre to Medicare Members

February 18, 2019 -- Today, Healthy Living Medical Supply, a mail-order diabetes supply company headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, announced that they now provide the Abbott Freestyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system to eligible Medicare members across the United States. This fingerstick-free CGM has a small glucose sensor worn under the skin, connected to a circular patch that is slightly larger than a quarter. With a 14-day wear time, it is worn on the upper arm and allows people with diabetes to view their blood glucose levels with the swipe of a hand-held reader for more effective disease management and better treatment decisions.

To receive coverage for therapeutic CGM, with options including the Abbott Freestyle Libre or the Dexcom G5, a Medicare beneficiary must have type 1 diabetes or be receiving intensive insulin therapy for type 2 diabetes, and those eligible must document that their condition requires frequent insulin dosing adjustments, based on checking blood glucose levels at least four times a day. To learn more about eligibility requirements, visit myhlms.com/medicarecgm.


Healthy Living has been providing diabetes supplies to Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance members for over a decade with a focus on world-class customer care and a working model of continuous improvement and innovation. The company is the only locally owned diabetes supplier in Michigan.

February Is American Heart Month!

Untitled design.png

This month is a great time to zero in on some of the ways we can keep our hearts healthy. This month, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has launched #OurHearts, an initiative to encourage everyone to adopt heart healthy behaviors, together. Studies show that if you join forces at home, at work, in your community, or online, you have a better chance of staying motivated.

Start with small steps:

  1. Move more.

    Remember - Some physical activity is better than none.

  2. Aim for a healthy weight.

    Choose - Heart healthy foods and regular exercise help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

  3. Eat healthy foods.

    Try - Find an eating plan that is successful for you and supports your diabetes management.

  4. Quit smoking.

    Ask - Your family and friends can support you in your efforts to become a non-smoker.

There is a lot you can do to prevent heart disease. Work with your family, friends, or neighbors to meet your heart health goals! Learn more at:
https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/diabetes/why-diabetes-matters/cardiovascular-disease--diabetes
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/education-and-awareness/heart-month
https://www.heart.org/

Our Pets Help with Diabetes Management and Stress Relief

These days, we are loving the opportunity to bring our dogs into the Healthy Living office during the workday. It has been amazing being able to have our best buddies along to work for both productivity and peace of mind.

Beyond Type 1 just posted a really cool article about how pets can help with T1D management - beyond the role of diabetic alert dogs. These are some of the key benefits the article cited:

  • Our pets can help reduce our stress. - "When stress hormone levels spike, blood glucose levels have been known to rise significantly. The decreased stress and anxiety that interaction with animals can provide can positively affect blood glucose levels as a result!"

  • Our pets can help prevent loneliness. - " One major cause of stress, anxiety and depression is the feeling of loneliness. Having a beloved animal that provides consistent, unconditional love is a great way to battle these feelings and avoid those blood sugar-spiking hormones that come along with it."

  • Our pets encourage us to exercise. - "People who own pets (and dogs in particular) on average get more day-to-day exercise than people who do not have an animal to walk and care for. Exercise is a natural way to speed up insulin absorption and lower BG levels."

  • Our pets help motivate self-care. - "The added responsibility that comes with pet ownership can make you more aware of the importance of your own health. Your furry friend depends on you! Out of that love, you may love yourself more."

The quotes above are directly from the Beyond Type 1 article "Can Pets Help in T1D Management?" Settle in and take some time with a fluffy friend to help prevent and relieve stress and burnout from diabetes (or any other cause!).

Awesome Beyond Type 2 Website Launches

beyond type 2 web shot.JPG

Check out the new Beyond Type 2 website , the sister site to Beyond Type 1 , a well-established favorite of ours. It is a beautiful site with excellent resources on a disease that will benefit from a fresh voice for information and support. I love the Recently Diagnosed? Learn the Lingo page to get started.

In the words of the Beyond Type 2 founders:

"Launched in 2019, Beyond Type 2 is a program of the nonprofit organization Beyond Type 1. Beyond Type 2 is a place for everyone impacted by Type 2 diabetes to share their stories, get connected to the community, and find resources on topics from daily management to mental health...Beyond Type 2 hopes to radically change what it means to live with Type 2 diabetes. We aim to unite the global community and empower everyone living with Type 2 to live beyond it. With the right resources, programs, and power of our combined voices, we can redefine what it means to be a person living with diabetes – of any type."

You won't regret taking some time with this website. Explore Beyond Type 2 at beyondtype2.org.

Two New Glucagon Formulations Await FDA Approval in 2019

glucagon.jpg

If not treated quickly, mild or moderate low blood sugar can become severe. Glucagon is a treatment for very low blood sugar (severe hypoglycemia) which may affect people with diabetes. Two new versions are hoping to hit the market soon (these would be the first new types of glucagon in more than six decades).

  • After years of research, Eli Lilly has created a glucagon version that you "puff up your nose" to quickly boost blood sugar. Last summer, Lilly filed its nasal, dry powder glucagon for regulatory review in both the U.S. and Europe.

  • Xeris Pharmaceuticals has created a glucagon emergency pen that requires no mixing or prep, with an FDA meeting set for June of this year. The Xeris glucagon rescue pen would be the first ready-to-use, room-temperature stable liquid glucagon in an auto-injector to treat severe hypoglycemia.

Hopefully both will launch by the end of this year!

MYHLMS.com Has Been Refreshed!

runner.jpg

Our Healthy Living website, myhlms.com, has been updated. You will notice a cleaner design, a rotating slider, easier navigation, and a new patient testimonials page. Like always, you will also find our blog and online supply store. Check it out and let us know what you think!

New Slimmer, Low-Cost CGM Coming from Dexcom & Verily

The sensor on the left is the Dexcom G6 CGM, and the sensor on the right is their new CGM, expected in about two years. This new device was previously described as "the thinnest CGM ever."

The sensor on the left is the Dexcom G6 CGM, and the sensor on the right is their new CGM, expected in about two years. This new device was previously described as "the thinnest CGM ever."

Dexcom plans to bring a new, lower cost, slimmer, disposable continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to market in 2020/2021 in partnership with Verily. Notable features of the new CGM will include:

  • Significantly lower cost - for greater accessibility

  • Fully disposable with no separate transmitter - after sensor wear is complete, the entire piece is thrown out and replaced

  • No fingersticks - like the Dexcom G6

  • Extended wear - approximately 14 days

  • Sends data straight to Smartphone - via Bluetooth

This information came from the diaTribe blog. According to diaTribe, "This sensor will be made widely available to people with diabetes who are on intensive insulin therapy (pumps or multiple daily injections) and those with type 2 diabetes on pills or no medication."

This is an exciting technology to look forward to for better diabetes management for more people. We'll keep you in the loop as more news emerges from Dexcom. To learn more about CGM options available today, call us at 866.779.8512, Option 2.

TED's Non-Cheesy Guide to Gratefulness

As we transition into the New Year, this can be a really great moment to find a little gratitude for the good (and not so good) things in our lives. But if we, our family, or our friends are in an especially hard spot, or we are just plain worn out, getting in the mindset of gratefulness can be near impossible. Take a look at this blog post from the TED blog: A non-cheesy guide to gratefulness: What to read and watch. Here you will find some truly fresh takes on how to approach gratitude and say "thank you" in a new way.