Prepared & Ready to Provide Testing Supplies to Medicare Members in 2019

The New Year is right around the corner, and we think this is the perfect time to let you know that when January 1, 2019 rolls around, we will be able to provide test strips and related diabetes supplies to Medicare members. You may already be getting your insulin pump supplies or CGM supplies from us, or maybe you are just meeting Healthy Living. Whatever your background, we hope that you will consider us for your diabetes testing supply needs!

Healthy Living currently provides insulin pumps, pump supplies, and continuous glucose monitors (CGM) and supplies to Medicare members throughout the United States. If customers are already enrolled with us for pump or CGM supplies, it is easy for us to add testing supplies to existing 90-day orders...and new patients can easily enroll using our enrollment form.

Healthy Living Medical Supply specializes in diabetes, with a compassionate, experienced, and understanding customer care team. We are here and ready to help at 866.779.8512 (phone) or 248.577.9903 (text).

Finding Experienced Mental Health Care for People with Diabetes

Diabetes management is very challenging, and it's completely normal for people to feel exhausted or stressed in the process. If you find that you are feeling worn out, frustrated, or anxious over an extended period of time, there are health care professionals who are trained and experienced to help people with diabetes distress. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has partnered with the American Psychological Association (APA) to make it simpler for people with diabetes to get high-quality, relevant, mental health care by creating a Mental Health Provider Referral Directory.

Providers in the directory:

  • Are currently licensed as mental health providers

  • Are professional members of the ADA

  • Have demonstrated competence treating the mental health needs of people with diabetes

The providers listed in the directory must have either completed the ADA-APA's continuing ed program in diabetes mental health or have two or more years of experience working with people who have diabetes. Many of the doctors also offer telemedicine services - a method of receiving care from remote locations using technology. Access the provider list here.

Plan Ahead with Our Upcoming Holiday Hours

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Through December, Healthy Living will be open during our normal business hours with the exceptions of Christmas Eve (Monday, December 24) and New Year's Eve (Monday, December 31) when we will be open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST. UPS shipping also doesn't run on either of those days, so shipments will take a bit longer than usual around those dates. We urge you to plan ahead with the holiday season upon us and the end of the year approaching to ensure that you have the supplies you need, when you need them.

We love to help! You can easily reach us at 866.779.8512 (phone) or 248.577.9903 (text).

Great Websites for People Looking for New Insulin Pumps

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Thinking about a new pump? These websites have discussion forums where people share their experience using different insulin pumps, CGM systems, and other diabetes supplies. They are excellent independent resources to use when making a decision on what products to use, and they are also a great way to connect with other parents and people with diabetes to share experiences, resources, and support.

What a Partnership! Basal-IQ Technology, Tandem's t:slim X2 Pump, and Dexcom G6 CGM

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This sounds stupidly easy. But it’s so effective. And looking at my pump, I can see how many times it kicks Basal IQ into action so I can continue to exercise, or snuggle my kid, or drive my car, or sleep. You know, basic stuff that humans do.Kerri, six until me

Tandem Basal-IQ Technology is wowing all around. Available as part of the t:slim X2 Insulin Pump and integrated with the new Dexcom G6 CGM, Basal-IQ Technology predicts and helps prevent lows, suspending insulin delivery before they happen. Expect less time low: there was a 31% relative reduction overall in sensor time below 70 mg/dL when clinical study participants used Basal-IQ Technology. Zero fingersticks are required for mealtime dosing or calibration when using Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring.

The X2 pump is discreet and easy to use. It features a large, color touchscreen interface for carb counting, bolusing, and viewing blood glucose trends – and it’s the smallest available pump. The Tandem t:slim X2 also offers upgradeable software, so when new features become available, the pump can be updated using a personal computer. You can also share blood glucose information with family members and other key members of the support team via Dexcom share app.

Check out the Tandem video or try out the system via the simulator app. Contact the Healthy Living Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team to find out more about getting started at 866.779.8512, Option 2 (phone) or 248.577.9903 (text).

Our Dogs Are Making Healthy Living a Sweeter Place

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Simba with George and Jen.

Starting on Monday, Healthy Living employees have been invited to bring their dogs to work with them. The only caveat - one dog per day! Simba was our first visitor at the office. He's a little shy but sweet as can be, and we all loved meeting him! Today Christina is bringing her dog to work, and on Monday, my dog Augie will join the crew.

Bringing our dogs to work is all about improving the employee experience and making Healthy Living a positive, upbeat place to work. We all know that happy, appreciated employees take the best care of customers.

How Will You Approach Our Favorite Food-Focused Holiday?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Full of family traditions, Thanksgiving often involves a large, thoughtfully prepared meal. Now is a good time to create some intention about how to approach this food-focused holiday. The ADA has a Holiday Meal Planning page that could be an excellent resource for preparations. The key points are:

  • Think About the Timing of Your Meal

  • Be Physically Active

  • Try Healthier Versions of Your Favorite Holiday Foods

  • Nibble

  • Be Selective

  • Eat Smaller Portions

  • Eat Your Vegetables

My action plan involves being physically active ("The best way to compensate for eating a little more than usual is to be active. Start a new tradition that involves moving around away from the food."*) and nibbling ("Have foods to nibble on while you are cooking or waiting to eat. Make sure the foods you choose won't sabotage blood glucose levels before the meal."*) Be thoughtful and prepared so you can enjoy a special day with as little stress as possible.

*Both quotes from the ADA page: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/holiday-meal-planning/planning-ahead.html

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

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

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

World Diabetes Day: 2018 Introduction

1 in 11 people live with diabetes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Healthy Living Heroes - Meet Christina

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

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

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

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

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

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


Let's Celebrate Diabetes Awareness Month!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Dexcom G6 CGM shines because of the following advantages:

  1. Zero fingersticks

  2. Acetaminophen blocking to maintain accuracy while taking Tylenol

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

  4. Super easy application device

  5. Very small and discreet sensor

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

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

Healthy Living Is Hiring!

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

Getting Started with CGM & Medicare Is Simple

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

The Requirements:

  • Testing blood sugar at least four times a day

  • Injecting insulin three or more times per day

  • An appointment with your doctor in the last six months

The Process:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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