Are you or your loved ones at risk of harmful drug interactions?

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An average Tria Health patient takes 8 prescription medications. Most older Americans take multiple medications each day for a variety of conditions. Typically, when people have multiple chronic conditions, they see multiple prescribing physicians.

Do you think those prescribing physicians talk to one another?

In many cases, the answer is, unfortunately, no.

A new study, called “Improving Health and the Bottom Line: The Case for Health Literacy,” showed how greater health literacy can improve community health, reduce health costs, enhance the quality of care and improve patient and provider experiences.  The lead author of the report, Stan Hudson, said “the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes is very important. We found that low health literacy is a contributing factor for readmission for chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Hudson also made a point that “health literacy helps ensure the best quality of care for everyone.”

The CDC reports that about half of the adults in the United States have inadequate skills when it comes to understanding their health care options.

In another study, National Poll on Healthy Aging found that 1 in 3 who take at least one prescription drug had talked to a health care professional about possible drug interactions. Among those taking six or more medications, less than half had discussed possible drug interactions.

Drug interactions could, best case scenario, prevent medicine from absorbing properly. medications-cure-tablets-pharmacy-51004Worst case scenarios put people at risk of blood sugar issues, kidney damage or even death. Due to the variety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs available, even medical professionals are challenged with identifying potential drug interactions.

Additionally, 1 in 5 respondents said they had used more than one pharmacy in the past two years (including mail order pharmacies), and 3 in 5 see more than one doctor for their care. While 63% of the respondents said their doctor and pharmacists are responsible for identifying potential drug interactions, only 36% said their pharmacist definitely knew about all their medications when they fill a prescription.

Knowledge is Power

This is our focus and expertise at Tria Health. Our team works diligently to improve health literacy among our patients. We have found that identifying drug therapy Pills white background_croppedproblems, drug interactions and discovering non-adherence issues are only possible by physically speaking with patients. We empower our patients by educating them on all their chronic conditions, their medications and we make recommendations to prescribing physicians to avoid harmful drug interactions and drug therapy problems. This educational approach has proven to reduce hospital readmissions and improve clinical outcomes for chronic conditions. This helps our patients live healthier lives and helps their employers save on their healthcare costs.

Tria Health encourages you to be an advocate for your own healthcare and take the time to learn more about all your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. Knowledge is power.

 

 

FDA Warns Consumers About Kratom, Citing 36 Deaths

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The FDA has issued a public health advisory warning “consumers to stay away from the herbal supplement kratom, saying regulators are aware of 36 deaths linked to products containing the substance.” The use of the supplement has increased in recent years as a treatment for anxiety, depression, pain, and opioid withdrawal. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that kratom is not approved by the FDA for any use, and that there is no “reliable evidence” to support the claim that kratom is a safe treatment for opioid abuse or addiction. Gottlieb also said that the substance can have similar effects as opioids, “and carries similar risks of abuse, addiction and, in some cases, death.”

 At Tria Health, our pharmacists counsel patients on all their prescription medications AND over-the-counter vitamins and herbal supplements. It’s imperative to understand exactly what kratomeach item is supposed to accomplish for your health, AND whether there are any potential drug interactions.

 If you are taking kratom, please talk to your doctor or pharmacist about this potentially dangerous herbal supplement.

 For more information, visit the FDA website here.  

November 16th is The Great American Smokeout!

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Each year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout event. Encourage someone you know to use this day to create a plan to quit! Quitting smoking is an important step toward a healthier life and reducing cancer risk.

addict-addiction-ashtray-bad-46183According to the American Cancer Society, approximately “36.5 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits at any age. Quitting is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. Getting help through counseling or medications can double or triple the chances of quitting successfully.”

A Tria Health Solution S.T.O.P. 

Stop Tobacco by Optimizing Pharmacists

Tria Health provides personalized chronic condition management (CCM) to help employers and health plans mitigate risks and control health care costs. In addition to our Pharmacy Advocate program, Specialty GuardRx and Rx Plan Protection Suite, Tobacco users impose significant excess cost to private employers. tria stop logo

Tria Health’s S.T.O.P. program has an overall 42% success rate of getting members to 90 days tobacco free! Tria pharmacists develop a personalized quit plan which helps to improve success because every smoker has unique needs. They base the plan on many factors including: level of motivation, barriers to quitting, treatment options, and more. They provide on-going support to members to ensure success.

 

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If you or someone you know are still smoking cigarettes, all of us at Tria Health encourage you to use The Great American Smokeout on November 16th to create a plan to quit!

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November 14th is World Diabetes Day

world diabetes logoWorld Diabetes Day (WDD) was initiated by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), in 1991 along with the World Health Organization (WHO) due to growing concerns about the increasing health threat posed by diabetes. With the passing of the United Nation Resolution, World Diabetes Day became an official UN day in 2006.

World Diabetes Day is November 14th, and this day was chosen to honor Sir Frederick Banting, the gentleman who co-discovered insulin. In 1922, Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin and revolutionized the treatment of diabetes.

World Diabetes Day aims to:

  • Be the platform to promote IDF advocacy efforts throughout the year.
  • Be the global driver to promote the importance of taking coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as a critical global health issue.

Each year the IDF chooses a new focus area to celebrate World Diabetes Day. The 2017 World Diabetes Day chosen theme is “Women and diabetes—our right to a healthy future.

Why a focus on women in 2017?

  • 1 in 7 births is affected by gestational diabetes.
  • 1 in 10 women are living with diabetes. Many do not have access to proper screenings, education, treatment or care.
  • There are 199 Million women in the world with diabetes. That is expected to increase to 313 Million women by the year 2040.
  • Diabetes is a leading cause of death in women, and the IDF is working to help all women with diabetes get affordable access to care and education to better manage this chronic condition.

Tria Health is Making a Difference in Diabetes Care

Tria Health has an innovative telehealth solution that improves overall care for patients  by educating patients about their disease state(s) and medication regimen to improve clinical outcomes. Each patient has unique needs. Accu-Chek_Aviva_2At Tria Health, we counsel the whole patient, not just one condition. Our wireless meter and strip program allows the patient to share real time glucose readings with our pharmacists and other providers, as well as calculating the precise insulin needs for users. Our program improves care for patients and reduces costs and waste for employers.

At Tria Health our pharmacists are CDE’s, Certified Diabetes Educators. The National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators defines a CDE is a health professional who possess comprehensive knowledge of and experience in prediabetes, diabetes prevention and management. A CDE educates and supports people affected by diabetes to understand and manage the condition. We strive to do more than our part to manage the risks of diabetes to our patients and employer clients.

 

“Act Today to Change Tomorrow”

For more information, go to: www.worlddiabetesday.org

November 9th is National Diabetes Heart Connection Day

heartAccording to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes affects 30 million Americans, including 8.1 million people who are undiagnosed.  Another 86 million more—one in three adults—have prediabetes and 15-30 percent will develop diabetes within five years without change.

The Scary Statistics

  •  People with type 2 diabetes have more than two times the risk for developing heart disease
  • People with diabetes live 7-8 years less
  • Two out of three deaths in people with type 2 diabetes are attributed to cardiovascular disease
  • Less than half of people with diabetes are aware of their risk of cardiovascular disease. This lack of awareness prevents people with diabetes and their health care providers from addressing risks and improving health.

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease states that “the increased co-occurrence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease demands greater awareness to save lives and health care dollars.”

At Tria Health, that’s precisely what we do—we manage the whole patient, and discuss all their conditions, prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and their lifestyle. Our pharmacists educate their patients about their medications and make recommendations to the patients and their prescribing physicians to improve clinical outcomes.

A Tria Health Patient Success Story

 During an initial pharmacist consultation, it was documented that the patient’s HgbA1c was too high – indicating poorly controlled Diabetes. In addition, the patient had significant financial difficulties affording certain medications increasing medication non-adherence. The patient was initially prescribed Metformin, but stopped taking the medication due to stomach problems without replacing it with any other diabetes medication. The pharmacist recommended a prescription of Glimepiride since it is inexpensive, very effective, and generally well tolerated. The patient’s physician agreed with the recommendation and the patient has achieved a HgbA1c of 8% in one year

In addition, the Tria pharmacist recommended switching from brand-named Benicar-HCT, a blood pressure medication, to a similarly available generic blood pressure medication called Losartan-HCTZ. The generic version saved the member $40 every 30 days and the patient’s blood pressure remains well controlled on Losartan-HCTZ.

The patient initially had success and then set-backs with smoking cessation. The Tria pharmacist worked with them to achieve sustained smoking cessation and improved health by identifying appropriate therapies and by providing ongoing education and coaching.

This success story illustrates that by managing the whole patient, and all their conditions, can and will improve clinical and financial outcomes.