April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, and April 11th is World Parkinson’s Day. In honor of this, we wanted to spread awareness of the diseases’ prevalence and information relative to best management practices.
Since our clients are facing risks and high costs associated with liver injury and chronic kidney disease, we wanted to compile some information pertaining to the impact of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and herbal and dietary supplements (HDS) in these areas. We believe this information will help drive a more proactive approach that better educates and protects employees, members and patients from these often devastating and potentially costly conditions. Particularly when these OTC medications or supplements are mixed with prescriptive drugs, contraindicated in certain health conditions, known to adversely injure certain organs when taken in quantity over time, or combined with foods or drinks that potentiate their effect.
So many health and wellness-related programs today are pinpointing one area of disease, such as diabetes, and providing advice and support for just that one area without taking into effect a holistic picture of the person receiving support. Programs are not as effective this way, and often the members are just ‘checking the box’ in taking their health plan’s calls and texts in order to get the promised rewards.
For proactive education and support, it has been proven effective to reach out to individuals newly diagnosed with chronic conditions in a timely manner. It’s important to ensure they understand their diagnosis, and what their responsibilities are in light of the "new news". It’s important to not assume that the members’ primary care doctors covered their new diagnoses and treatment plan as thoroughly as was needed. Even if they did, people often don’t remember everything they hear while sitting in their doctor’s exam room.
Barbara Rutkowski, EdD, MSN, CCM - Vice President, Clinical Operations, Advanced Plan for Health.
This is an important topic our clients are seeking information on, so we wanted to share more details here. Health systems can save money and human misery when they better understand end-of life care options.
Palliative care and hospice are different. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) – National Institute on Aging (NIA) shares some valuable clarification and information. While both include a multidisciplinary approach to relieving symptoms and providing comfort, palliative care may also include curative treatment, whereas hospice does not. Palliative care can be a good segue to hospice. To qualify for hospice care, providers must believe that, assuming a normal course of illness, an individual has six months or less to live. However, estimating remaining life is difficult, and improvements in care through hospice may extend life, while definitely enhancing access to necessary healthcare and comfort measures.
Millennials, and Generation Z behind them, are changing the way they access healthcare. In fact, 45% of 18- to 29-year-olds say they don’t have a primary care physician.1 Instead, they’re opting for on-demand healthcare.
Traditionally, individuals and families see primary care physicians several times a year and build relationships with their doctors over time. Visiting the same primary care physician when an illness strikes, or for an annual health & wellness checkup, can help the doctor notice changes in a patient’s health and catch issues before they become more serious (and costly).
But for Millennials, having a primary care physician isn’t necessarily a priority.
Our clinical leadership wanted to update our readership on some large-scale and important updates to cholesterol guidelines to help support awareness. The 2013 ACC / AHA clinical guideline for cholesterol treatment and coronary disease prevention was recently updated to better integrate patient information data and improve atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk assessment.
Colorectal Cancer is a combination of rectal and colon cancer considered to be unpreventable and expected to account for 50,630 deaths in 2018. According to Cancer.net, Colorectal Cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosis among both women and men. The good news is that while Colorectal Cancer may be unpreventable, most of its associated risk factors are controllable and successful treatment is not uncommon – particularly in cases where proactive screenings lead to early intervention.
With this season’s flu season starting, we’re asked more and more by clients why there is so much resistance to getting the flu shot, and how they can counter the objections.
Coming out of the record-breaking flu season of 2017, we know this is important and very serious to address. The CDC said 2017's Influenza Death Toll Was the Highest in 40 Years! “The flu, as well as flu-related complications, was responsible for 80,000 U.S. deaths last winter. That’s the highest flu-related death toll in the U.S. four decades.” Of the estimated 80,000 who died of flu and its complications, 180 were children – and “approximately 80 percent of those deaths occurred in children who had not received a flu vaccination.”