Depression’s Impact on Patients with Chronic Disease

zhu liang_unsplash
Image Source: Zhu Liang/Unsplash

According to a RAND corporation study, people who are depressed are less likely to adhere to medications for their chronic health problems than people who are not depressed. Researchers found that patients with depression had 76% greater odds of being non-adherent with their medications compared to those without depression.1 This is a concern since not only do people with chronic illnesses routinely face higher death rates when they have poor medication adherence, the rate of depression itself has been increasing significantly over the years. In the U.S., depression increased from 6.6 percent to 7.3 percent from 2005 to 2015.2

What can Doctors and Providers do?

Dr. Walid F. Gellad, the study’s senior author and a natural scientist a RAND, recommended that “doctors and other providers should periodically ask patients with depression about medication adherence. Also, when treating a patient who is not taking their medication correctly, they should consider the possibility that depression is contributing to the problem.”

How can you help a Friend or Family Member with Depression?

It’s important to learn the symptoms of depression and that they can vary from person to person. You can find a list of symptoms and support recommendations provided by the mayo clinic here. Once you recognize it, the next steps are to:

  • Talk to the person
  • Explain that depression is a medical condition
  • Suggest seeking help from a professional
  • Offer to help prepare a list of questions to discuss in an initial appointment
  • Express your willingness to help

If you or someone you know is struggling, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time for help.

 

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. The Rand Corporation. (2011, May 10). Depression Associated with Lower Medication Adherence Among Patients with Chronic Disease [Press release]. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/news/press/2011/05/10.html
  2. Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Depression is on the rise in the US, especially among young teens.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171030134631.htm>.

May is National Employee Health & Fitness Month

Man Running
Image Source: Tikkho Maciel/Unsplash

Employee Health & Fitness Month is a month-long initiative to generate sustainability for a healthy lifestyle and initiate healthy activities on an ongoing basis. Wellness programs have been shown to benefit employees by lowering stress levels, increasing well-being, self-image, and self-esteem, improving physical fitness, increasing stamina, increasing job satisfaction, and potentially reducing weight.

How Can Your Company Participate?

There are a lot of different options, here are a few ideas to get you started:

–          Start a walking club around your office

–          Create an after-hours recreational team

–          Host a step contest and award top employees with prizes

Don’t forget to also encourage employees to explore all their wellness options available through their health care plan. A lot of organizations provide additional incentives that help encourage employees to improve their health year-round.

Tria Health and Wellness

Tria Health is consistently working to improve patient health through one-on-one confidential counseling with a pharmacist. Consultations with a pharmacist help to ensure your medications are working the way they are supposed to work to improve your overall well-being. Tria Health will help you:

  • Save Money
  • Feel better by getting the intended results from your meds.
  • Spend less time at the doctor’s office!

 

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Roseanne and the Reality of Medication Costs

Roseanne & Dan Trade Their Medicine
Video Source: Celeb Interview | Roseanne Episode 10×01 Roseanne & Dan Trade Their Medicine || Roseanne Scenes

In the revival premiere, Roseanne and Dan struggle to afford their medications and opt to split to get by. This issue is likely occurring in many households today due to the ever-increasing prices of prescription medications. According to the CDC, nearly 1 in 10 adults skip medications due to costs.1 This isn’t surprising when you learn that deductible spending has risen 250% while copayments have declined 36%.2

What Can You Do to Save Money on Medications?

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services suggests the following ways patients can save money on drugs:

  • Take generic or other lower-cost medications,
  • Choose an insurance plan that has additional drug coverage,
  • Consider drug assistance plans offered by pharmacies and states,
  • Apply to Medicare and Social Security for help reducing costs,
  • Apply to community-based charities for help with medication costs.

How does Tria Help with Medication Savings?

If you take multiple medications and have a chronic condition, Tria Health provides private telephonic consultations with a pharmacist. Your Tria Health pharmacist will help identify clinically effective and lower cost medications. Members have on average saved up to $210 per year by switching medications.

Questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

SOURCES:

  1. Robin Cohen, Ph.D.; health statistician; Maria Villarroel, Ph.D., chief, special projects branch, both National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director, Yale University Prevention Research Center, New Haven, Conn.; Jan. 29, 2015, report, Strategies Used by Adults to Reduce Their Prescription Drug Costs: United States, 2013
  2. Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of Truven Health Analytics MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database, 2005-2015

Celebrate October with Tria Health!

October is an important month in healthcare! October is American Pharmacists Month AND October 21st is National Check Your Meds Day!

What is National Check Your Meds Day?

Consumer Reports found that 53% of patients get their drugs from more than one healthcare provider. Perhaps more worryingly, only 50% of patents have ever asked their doctor to review their list of medications and 35% had never had ANY healthcare professional examine their lists.” For this reason, Consumer Reports is sponsoring National Check Your Meds Day.

Lisa Gill, Deputy Director for Consumer Reports, says “Pharmacists are a terrific resource” for helping to identify problem medications. She also said, “My hope is that people take their meds to a pharmacist they trust.”

Tria Health’s specially trained pharmacists provide necessary education and coordination of care to improve condition management. Pharmacists are the best healthcare providers to identify potential drug interactions, medication side effects, and dosing issues. Tria Health’s pharmacists can communicate this knowledge to patients, physicians, and other healthcare providers.

Tria Health offers this service regularly, as part of our Pharmacy Advocate and Specialty GuardRx programs.

Comprehensive Medication Review (a/k/a Brown Bag Review)

A brown bag review is your opportunity to speak with a clinical pharmacist to review all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements.

During this review, pharmacists will help you better understand your medications, and ensure that you are taking the right combination of medications for your individual health needs.

Ready for your Employees to Schedule a Brown Bag Review?

Skip the lines at your pharmacy and call Tria Health today at 913-322-8456!

Stay Healthy This Flu Season!

Doctor with Sign Reading Flu Shot
Image Source: iStock.com/CatLane

The 2017-2018 flu season is upon us.  It is important to begin getting your vaccination now.  The flu shot takes about 2 weeks to work.  Your immunity will last through the spring.

Here are five of the biggest flu season questions answered.

I’m healthy, Do I really need the flu vaccine?

Yes.  Influenza is a contagious disease which affects the lungs and can lead to a more serious illness.  The flu vaccine is recommended for anyone 6 months of age or older.  Some individuals are at more risk of complications of the flu vaccine and should consider vaccination including pregnant women, older people, and individuals with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

When is the right time to get the vaccine, can I get it too early? 

Now is the right time to get the flu vaccine.  Flu activity can begin as early as October and last well into March.  If the influenza virus is circulating, you should still get the flu vaccine.  Flu season can often last into the spring, and sooner you get vaccinated, the more effective it will be.

But can I get the flu from the vaccine?

No, you can’t. Flu vaccines  are developed using dead or weakened viruses that allow your body to develop the antibodies needed to fight the infection, but that won’t actually cause the disease. Flu-like symptoms can be related to other viral illnesses and you can potentially contract the flu virus while you are waiting for your immunity to build up from the vaccine.  You cannot catch the flu from the vaccine.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

The flu is a respiratory illness, and it’s usually spread through the air by people coughing and sneezing. The most common symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches and fatigue.  The flu is generally much more severe than the common cold, but the symptoms can be similar. The flu tends to develop very quickly and can cause much more severe complications like pneumonia or bacterial infections. A test can be done in the first few days of infection that can determine if you have the flu or a cold.

How do I prevent spread of the flu?

The most effective thing you can do to protect yourself from the flu is to get a vaccine if you haven’t already. Other important ways to help prevent the flu include: wash your hands regularly and cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.  If you do develop symptoms, stay home from work or school to avoid spreading the flu to those around you.