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Bill comes off insulin with Ibis

Bill diabetes patch

Over the past year, Bill has worked hard to get control over type 2 diabetes. The 68-year-old retired Massachusetts law enforcement officer has watched what he eats, tried to eat less, and has lost roughly 50 pounds. He takes daily walks with his wife, a retired registered nurse, and works in the garden outside their home in New England.

Bill also tracks his blood sugars daily with the support of Ibis Health, a ground-breaking chronic care management program that combines personalized clinical team support with round-the-clock AI-powered virtual monitoring to help members feel their best in between doctor visits. And Bill relies on the use of a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device, the FreeStyle Libre 2 from Abbott, which allows him to measure his blood sugars without having to resort to painful finger sticks multiple times a day.
 

All that hard work paid off last December when his A1C, a simple blood test administered every three months to measure average blood sugar levels, fell into the 6s. Ideally, diabetics need to maintain an A1C lower than 7 percent to avoid complications of the disease, including organ and tissue damage. His doctor suggested he could start to reduce his daily insulin medication, and by spring, Bill was completely insulin free. He was thrilled.

Then the other shoe dropped.

When Bill went to refill his three-month supply of CGM patches in March, Medicare denied coverage. Because he had come off insulin, Medicare would no longer pay for the patches that helped him monitor his blood sugar levels. He would have to return to daily finger sticks, which he dreaded and had been a barrier to managing his blood sugars in the past.

“I was like really?? You do the right thing, you take care of your health, you get things under control and because of the Freestyle Libre, that was a major factor as to why I was able to get things under control,” said Bill, whose last name is being withheld for privacy. “I didn’t have to stop and get an alcohol swab and stick my finger. It was a simplified process.”

That’s when Bill’s Ibis Health member advocate, Lynn, came alongside to help.

After Bill shared his frustration with the situation during their monthly one-on-one support call, Lynn jumped into action, picking up the phone to make calls and researching ways to get Bill’s CGM patches covered by insurance. She discovered Medicare was in the process of changing its policy, and would soon be covering the patches even for beneficiaries who had come off insulin. She forwarded the information to Bill, who shared it with his doctor. Knowing coverage was coming, his doctor was able to supply Bill with enough samples to bridge the gap until Medicare officially changed its policy in May, allowing him to continue his progress toward better health uninterrupted.
 

“She’s been absolutely fantastic, I can’t say enough about her,” Bill said of his Ibis Health member advocate Lynn. “I probably would have found out about the [policy change] eventually, but not as quickly with Lynn doing some research and having somebody find and send it to us. That was great on her part and it was great belonging to Ibis and having her as my advocate to do something like that. … She’s just a wonderful, wonderful person.”

 Best of all, Bill says he feels better having control over his disease and being on fewer medications. He recommends Ibis Health to anyone who wants to become more serious about their health, and is grateful for the opportunity to learn about the program through his participation in MassRetirees, which partners with Ibis Health to offer the program to its members.
  

“The doctor will say ‘I want three blood pressures a day for a week,’ and I don’t have to write them down. Or I don’t have to go back and say ‘Geez, what were they?’ I can go into Ibis, look at my vitals, write them down for the doctor. Or I can take my phone, take a picture of it and send it as a pdf to her,” Bill said. “It’s a good tool to make life a little simpler health wise. How many times have people said, ‘Oh I don’t know what my blood pressure is?’ or ‘I don’t know what my weight is?’ Well, now you know. It lets you see a progression.”  

“And they’re very non-judgmental, and that’s very important to people,” Bill added. “They don’t judge, but they encourage you.”

 
 
 
This is a true member story, with thanks to Bill for sharing his success on the Ibis Health Program.

To learn more about Senscio Systems and its innovative Ibis Health Program visit www.sensciosystems.com and www.ibishealth.org.

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