T2D

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.

Exciting Diabetes Technology Is Emerging for 2018

dexcom G6.png

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

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

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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!

 

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 myhlms.com.

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.

 

The Healthy Living Promise: Delivering World-Class Customer Service

It is that time of year again when Healthy Living participates in the Net Promoter Score survey to collect feedback from our customers. This feedback helps ensure we are delivering on our promise of providing world-class customer service. What does this promise mean for our customers? It means that each and every time you call, text, or email, you will find that:

1.     Our agents are friendly. Was the agent polite and welcoming?

2.     Our agents are knowledgeable. We pride ourselves on a deep level of product expertise and understanding of diabetes. Was the agent insightful about the products you inquired about? Did the agent show empathy in their interaction with you?

3.     Our agents are helpful. Did the agent actually help you solve your problem or answer your questions?

If the answer to any of these questions is ever a “No,” we want to know about it immediately. You can always call us at (866)779-8512 and ask to speak with our Director of Customer Care, George A., or you may write an email to managers@myhlms.com with a description of your concern. You can be assured that we will do everything possible to make the situation right for you.

We know that living with a chronic disease such as diabetes can be a challenge. And while insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring technology provide a tremendous benefit to our customers, we also know that having the correct supplies delivered in a timely manner is critical to patient success. It is our goal to make sure that working with us is easy and that we’re delivering world-class customer service.

Please take a moment to visit our website, myhlms.com, and complete the 30-second survey that pops up from the bottom of the page – and please leave a comment if you have specific praise or feedback for improvement. Thank you for helping us to continuously improve and serve our customers better and better, every day.

-Matt Montagne, Vice President of Strategy and Innovation

Telling the Truth about 8 Insulin Pump Therapy Myths

The Healthy Living Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team receives all kinds of questions every day. I sat down with them to learn more about what ‘myths’ or misconceptions people have about insulin pumps. Then, we figured out the best way to explain the truth of the situation!

#1

Myth: An insulin pump is implanted in the body and requires surgery to get started.

Fact: Insulin pumps are worn outside of the body as devices and are attached to a removable site that the patient changes every three days.

#2

Myth: Insulin pumps are big and bulky.

Fact: An insulin pump is about the same size as a small flip phone or a pager (and about half the size of a regular cell phone).

#3

Myth: Pumps are permanent.

Fact: Insulin pumps are removable and can be taken off for showering or swimming, but back-up insulin (shots) must be used.

#4

Myth: With an insulin pump, there is no longer a need to test blood sugar.

Fact: When using an insulin pump, patients still need to test their blood and count carbs. It is recommended to test blood sugars at least four times daily.

#5

Myth: Someone needs to be ‘tech savvy’ to figure out how to use an insulin pump.

Fact: If you can operate a cell phone or remote control, you should be able to work with an insulin pump. Thankfully, pump manufacturers offer great customer support and training.

#6

Myth: Using an insulin pump is more painful than multiple daily injections.

Fact: Inserting an insulin pump site hurts about the same as one shot, but the site only must be changed every three days. The frequency works out to well over 1,000 shots a year with multiple daily injections (MDI), with a little over 100 insertions a year with an insulin pump.

#7

Myth: Pumps are only used for people with Type 1 Diabetes.

Fact: Many insurances cover insulin pumps for people with Type 2 Diabetes, and insulin pump therapy can be a great contribution to the work of managing T2D.

#8

Myth: Insurance won’t cover insulin pumps.

Fact: Our Insulin Pump & CGM Therapy Team can work with customers, their doctors, and their insurance companies to help people with diabetes obtain insurance-covered pumps. Call Crystal and George at (866)779-8512 (Option 2) to check out your options.

WE LOVE TO HELP.

  • Call us @ (866)779-8512 or text us @ (248)577-9903.
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  • Visit myhlms.com/providers to electronically complete and sign prescriptions for patients.