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.

 

 

Tips for a Healthier YOU this Thanksgiving (and year-round, if we’re being honest)

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to sabotage your diet OR your weight! Let’s be honest … we all love mom’s cooking at our holiday celebrations. And, during holiday season we tend to have a lax attitude toward diet and exercise. With more social gatherings, so we’re tempted to eat and drink excess calories. But—if we’re being honest—aren’t these temptations always here?

We all have birthdays, weddings and various celebrations throughout the year. So, the truth is, we must be cognizant of these things year-round if we expect to see results from a healthy diet and exercise program.

The best advice to be a healthier version of YOU is to follow these tips throughout the year, not just during this holiday season. It is proven that the best way to lose weight, and keep it off, is to adopt real life changes and stick with them.

Our clinical team here at Tria Health invite you to enjoy these tips to enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday (and every day) WITHOUT feeling guilty!

Be Active

running-runner-long-distance-fitness-40751Create a calorie deficit by exercising BEFORE you indulge this holiday season!

However, this should be a year-round event. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150-minutes of moderate activity each week. An easy way to remember this is 30 minutes at least 5 days a week, but three 10-minute periods of activity are as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session.

Eat breakfast

This Thanksgiving, don’t save up your calories for the main event! Try a light and nutritious breakfast with protein and fiber—this will fill you up and have lasting effects so it’s easier to make better choices about what goes on your plate.

This doesn’t just apply to Thanksgiving either. The Mayo Clinic reports that eating breakfast allows you to eat more vitamins and minerals, control your weight and blood sugar, eat less fat and cholesterol and perform better at work.

Try Lighter Recipes

Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a dish or two to share, try making your recipes a little lighter by using fat-free broth, sugar substitutes, reducing pexels-photo-414553butter and oil, or adding plain yogurt in your creamy casseroles.

Our advice for year-round is that healthy food doesn’t have to taste like you’re eating diet food. Yes, focus on the veggies and watch your portions, but for a lifestyle adoption, eat a well-balanced diet.

Be Selective

pieTry spending your calories on items that are only available during the holiday season. Or better yet, stick to the lighter options like white turkey meat, plain veggies, roasted sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. However, if you keep your portions small, eat what you like!

Throughout the year, practice prior planning to balance your calories. Know you’re going out with the girls or catching the game with the guys? Eat lighter that day so you don’t have to feel guilty later.

 

Skip the Seconds

Try to resist a second helping, and know that you’ll have an extra day of leftovers. Besides, who doesn’t love leftover Thanksgiving dinner? If you practice this all year, what effect might that have on your physique?

Savor the Flavor

Eating slowly and putting your fork down between bites will help you feel satisfied stopping after your first plate. This works every day, folks—not just on Thanksgiving Day!

Go Easy On Alcohol

Don’t forget that these calories count too! Try drinking a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated and feel full—again, all year long!

We hope you enjoyed our tips to a healthier you this Thanksgiving. All of us at Tria Health are wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving! Be safe, be well and cheers to a healthier YOU!Happy-Thanksgiving

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.

 

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

The Facts:november_national_diabetes_awareness_month_binders-r236fb094ad584a669ead6762b0e0a692_xz8md_8byvr_512

According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017, prepared by the CDC, here are some  important facts about diabetes.

  • 30.3 million people have diabetes – that’s 1 in 11 Americans
  • 84 million are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes – 90% don’t know they have it
  • Medical costs for people with diabetes are 2.3 times greater than people without diabetes
  • Risk of death for adults with diabetes is 50% higher than for adults without diabetes

Types of Diabetes:

There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction that stops your body from making insulin. About 5% of the people with diabetes have type 1. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. It’s usually diagnosed in children, teens and young adults. Those with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day to survive. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.

With type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. Most people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults. You may not notice any symptoms, so it’s important to get your blood sugar tested if you’re at risk. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes.

Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, your baby could be at higher risk for health complications. Gestational diabetes is typically cured after your baby is born, but this increases your risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. Your baby is more likely to become obese as a child or teen, and more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

People that have diabetes are at a higher risk of serious health complications including stroke, blindness, kidney disease, heart disease and loss of toes, feet or legs.

Diabetes is a disease that can be managed and prevented if you know what to do. At Tria 69b87c363115788005ce5840b8f40e6fHealth our pharmacists who are certified diabetes educators (CDEs). They educate patients on medication management, diet and exercise so patients with diabetes can live happy and active lives and reduce the risk of serious health complications. Find out more.

Stay tuned to our blog this month to learn tips for preventing type 2 diabetes, determine your personal risks and MORE!