Diabetes provider: 'Do it yourself'

Saturday, January 31, 2009

When it comes to diabetes management, American Diabetes Wholesale believes knowledge is power. In November, the company launched DIY Diabetes, an online education and networking portal.

“We want to be able to help any person that has diabetes in some way, whether it’s with supplies, education or just connecting them with other people,” said Chris Maguire, vice president and founder of the Pompano Beach, Fla.-based mail order company. “Our customers wanted credible information so they could learn.” DIY, located at www.destinationdiabetes.com, offers tips on exercise, healthy eating and daily living.

Users of the Web site can learn to calculate carb-to-insulin ratios, download food and exercise logs or obtain meal plans from certified diabetes educator Marci Sloane, a registered dietician who draws on 12 years of experience to develop interesting content.

“Diet is the biggie,” she said. “I make sure it’s not over their heads or overwhelming. I don’t want them to be turned off. This is a stepping stone for them to get more fine-tuning to manage their disease.”

The six-year-old American Diabetes has always sought to help its customers. The company began by offering lower-cost supplies for the uninsured. Most customers still pay out-of-pocket but American Diabetes has also begun accepting most primary insurances.

The company carries everything from lancets to insulin pumps, and it recently began offering some wound care and ostomy supplies. Maintaining an efficient business model and operating on lower margins allows the provider to keep costs down, says Maguire.

“We are not looking to make the most money,” he said. “We are looking to help. In return, we get happy, satisfied and, hopefully, loyal customers.”