UV Safety Awareness Month

Image Source: Ethan Roberson/Unsplash

Do you know the risks associated with too much sun exposure? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and worldwide. In honor of UV Safety Awareness Month, learn more about the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.

UV Rays

The sun produces ultraviolet (UV) radiation which can lead to sunburn, skin aging, and skin cancer. There are two types of rays that can damage the DNA in your skin cells and lead to cancer.

  1. UVB rays: These rays cause sunburn and play a key role in developing skin cancer. A sunscreen’s sun protection factor (SPF) number refers to the amount of UVB protection it provides.2 UVB rays have short wavelengths that reach the outer layer of your skin.1
  2. UVA rays: These rays cause skin damage that leads to skin aging and wrinkles. When choosing sunscreen, look for the words “broad spectrum” on the product label. This means that the product has ingredients that can protect you from UVA and UVB rays.2 UVA rays have longer wavelengths that can penetrate the middle layer of your skin.1

Minimize Your Risk

If you want to minimize the risk that comes with sun exposure, follow these tips:

  • Cover Up: Clothing like wide brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts and sunglasses for eye protection, can partly shield your skin from the harmful effects of UV ray exposure.1
  • Shade: Try and stay in the shade when the sun’s glare is most intense at midday. It is important to remember that even on cloudy days the sun can still damage your skin.1
  • Sunscreen: Make sure that you choose the right sunscreen.1 The American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing a sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Amount of Sunscreen: Apply at least one ounce (a palmful) of sunscreen every two hours. If you are swimming, you should apply more often even if the sunscreen is waterproof.
  • Avoid Tanning Beds: Lamps in tanning beds emit harmful UV rays that can cause skin cell damage.3

Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics

For general facts about skin cancer and tips for protecting your skin, check out this infographic on the Skin Cancer Foundation’s website.

  • At least one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.4
  • More than 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day in the United States.4
  • In the United States, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined.
  • Having five or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma.4 Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer.5

Sources:

  1. UV Safety Awareness Month – Quality of Care (va.gov)
  2. Ask the Expert: Does a High SPF Protect My Skin Better? – The Skin Cancer Foundation
  3. Summer Tips for UV Safety Awareness in July – Affiliated Dermatology (affderm.com)
  4. Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics – The Skin Cancer Foundation
  5. Melanoma – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

The Benefits of Using a Stress Ball

Image Source: Canva

Feeling stressed? A stress ball can help alleviate some of your tension and provide you with many emotional, physiological and psychological benefits.1

How to Use a Stress Ball2

Using a stress ball is easy! All you have to do is:

  • Squeeze the ball in your left hand for 30 seconds.
  • Pulse the stress ball for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat with the right hand.

Emotional Benefits

  • Stimulation of Nerves: Using a stress ball can stimulate the nerves that are in your hand. These nerves are connected to parts of your brain that are associated with your emotions. The stimulation works like acupressure where stimulation of one area affects other parts of your body.1
  • Diversion of Attention: When using a stress ball, you can focus solely on it. This allows you to stop thinking about the source of your stress.1
  • Mood Enhancement: You can boost your mood! The brain stimulation that is associated with stress ball use can also release endorphins which act as pain relievers and sedatives.1
  • Tension Release: Squeezing a stress ball tightens the muscles in your hand and wrist. When you release the ball, your muscles relax and you release tension and stress.1

Physical Benefits

  • Lower Risk of Stress Injuries: Regular use of a stress ball can strengthen finger and hand muscles. Some exercises that you can try:1
  • To improve wrist strength, you can squeeze for a count of three and release. Repeat 20 times.1
  • To improve finger strength, you can pinch the ball between your thumb and each finger one at a time.
  • As a hand strengthening exercise, you can twist the stress ball in both hands. Alternate the direction of twisting to get the full benefit.1
  • Treatment of Hand Conditions: A stress ball helps with conditions like arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis because it can exercise the fingers and hands. Also, they may prevent the development of these conditions.1
  • Improve Circulation: Moving your finger and hand muscles enhance the blood flow to the hand and wrist area. This helps remove toxins and other waste products and strengthens function.1

Stress balls are inexpensive and have many benefits. If you are using a stress ball to help with a specific condition, discuss with your physician. Your physician may have information about your treatment regimen or whether you should be using a stress ball.1

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. https://stress.lovetoknow.com/stress-ball-benefits
  2. 7 Awesome Things You can Do with Stress Balls | National Pen (pens.com)

Introducing Tria Health’s NEW Mobile App

Are you looking for a better way to manage your medications? With Tria Health’s new mobile app, members can receive a personalized care plan, medication list, and medication schedule. Never miss a pill again!

About Tria Health:

Tria Health reduces health care costs for employers by improving health outcomes for employees with chronic conditions. Our company is driven by an understanding that pharmacists make a difference in helping patients manage their chronic conditions. Rising health care costs are a concern for employers and health plans. Chronic conditions have a big impact on these costs because they represent 86% of total health care spend. Medication management is key to effectively managing these conditions, yet 50% of people do not take medications as prescribed increasing health risks and costs. Sixteen percent of U.S. health care spend is due to non-optimized medication use.

Since the beginning, Tria Health has provided personalized pharmacy care to members of self-insured employers and health plans. This innovative, patient-focused approach reduces costs and improves the health of their members and their bottom line.

Tria Health’s new mobile app enhances patient’s ability to interact with Tria Health and empowers them when it comes to managing their health. To access the app, members will need to enroll and complete an initial consultation with their Tria Health pharmacist. This is a requirement only because the app does not truly become beneficial until we connect it with their personalized care plan. Some features of our mobile app include a personalized care plan, medication schedule, and medication list.

Personalized Care Plan

Doctor’s appointments can leave many people feeling hurried and confused. At a doctor’s visit it is a struggle to recall everything that needs to be discussed. People must remember their medication list, the dosages of their medications, and the brand if possible. With Tria Health’s new mobile app, members can make the most of their visits by accessing their own personalized care plan. The personalized care plan contains an easily accessible medication list and pharmacist recommendations. To receive the best care possible at a doctor’s appointment, it is crucial to have an updated medication list. This feature streamlines member’s checkups, making their doctor’s visits easier than ever.

Medication Schedule

Medications play a key role in treatment, which is why medication adherence and compliance is so important. When a patient is medication adherent and compliant, they save money, healthcare resources, and have better health outcomes. However, it is difficult for patients to follow a provider’s recommended treatment plan when trying to manage multiple chronic conditions. When managing multiple conditions, forgetting to take medication is common. Tria Health’s mobile app has a medication schedule feature. This feature includes a pre-populated list of member’s current medications, allowing them to create their own personal schedule. This feature provides a place for medication-specific information creating a more efficient process so members will never forget to take their medication.

Mobile App FAQ’s

  • Question: Is my information secure?

Answer: Yes. Tria upholds all HIPAA standards and does not share your personal information. In addition, Tria does not store any of your personal information directly on your phone to protect your privacy. As a result, every time you log in we are requesting the information from our system, which takes a little longer, but we do this to protect your privacy.

  • Question: Why can’t I log in?

Answer: You cannot log in until after your first appointment with a Tria Health pharmacist. If you have already had your appointment and are still experiencing errors, check to see if you have completed all of the following steps:

  • Step 1: Have you registered on the patient portal?
    • Step 2: Have you entered the correct user ID and password on the login screen? 
    • Step 3: If you don’t remember your password, click “forgot password”.
  • Question: I see a Chat feature on the app – can I chat with my pharmacist that way?

Answer: Your pharmacist may not have availability at the time you want to chat, but you can chat with a Member Advocate who can schedule some time with your pharmacist and/or put you in touch with someone who can answer your question.

  • Question: Does the app cost money?

Answer: No. Tria Health’s mobile app is free for all active members.

Where to Download

Tria Health’s new mobile app is now available for download on Google Play and the Apple Store. We will be continuing to expand and add new features on our app to help our patients. Members will have the opportunity to leave feedback and help us continually improve the way we support them and other patients.

Have any questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Men’s Health Month

Image Source: Canva

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14.9% of men aged 18 and over are in fair or poor health.1 June is National Men’s Health Month! The purpose of this month is to raise awareness of preventable health issues and encourage regular checkups and screenings to help maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. In honor of Men’s Health Month, here are a few important guidelines for staying on top of your health.

Screenings & Checkups

  1. Blood Pressure Screening: Beginning at age 20, have your blood pressure checked every year. If you have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, consider getting screened for diabetes. That screening may include a blood test and a urine test.
  2. Cholesterol Test: Most men should have their cholesterol checked every year starting at age 35. But you may need to have your cholesterol checked earlier if you use tobacco, are overweight or obese, have diabetes or high blood pressure, have a history of heart disease, or if a man in your family had a heart attack before the age of 50.
  3. Cancer Screenings: Men should have their first colonoscopy at age 50. If there is a family history of colon cancer, talk to your doctor about having a colonoscopy at an earlier age. If you are 45 years or older, consider talking to your doctor about screenings for prostate cancer.
  4. Physical Exams:
  • If you are 20-39, get a physical exam every three years.
  • If you are 40-49, get a physical exam every two years.
  • Beginning at age 50, get a physical exam every year.
  • Men should get annual eye exams and visit the dentist twice a year.

How to Observe National Men’s Health Month

  1. Diet: Cut back on alcohol and up your intake of healthy fermented foods.2
  2. Set Goals: Set small attainable goals to get your health where you want it to be. Examples include eating more vegetables, losing weight or gaining muscle.2
  3. Education: Read more about common health issues that are specific to men. For starters, check out the statistics listed below.2

Men’s Health by the Numbers

  • Men are more likely to die from heart disease at earlier ages.3
  • Men have an increased risk of dying from diabetes.3
  • Only 30% of a man’s health is determined by his genetics. 70% is controllable through lifestyle.3
  • Inactive men are 60% more likely to suffer from depression than those who are active.3

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/mens-health/index.html
  2. NATIONAL MEN’S HEALTH MONTH – June 2021 | National Today
  3. Men’s Health Week – Male Health Infographics (menshealthweek.org.au)

Tips for Traveling with Medications

Image Source: Pexels by Pixabay

Vacation season is here! As travel restrictions are being lifted for fully vaccinated people, it is time for some fun in the sun! Packing for any vacation can be stressful, especially if you have a chronic condition. If you take multiple medications, here are a few tips and tricks for traveling with your prescriptions to ensure they are kept safe and organized.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Plan ahead: Check your medication supply in advance. You will want to ensure you are bringing enough dosages to last your trip plus a few extra in case you are delayed. Give yourself enough time to refill your medications if you are running low. Your doctor should be able to work with your insurance company and pharmacy to get you the extra medications you need.1
  2. Prepare a dosage schedule: time zone changes can impact when you take your medications. Before you travel, talk to your doctor about creating a dosage schedule.1
  3. Documentation: To prove that your medications belong to you, it is recommended that you bring your prescriptions in their original containers.1

Medication Screening Process2

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires that medications in pill or other solid form must undergo security screening. You can also bring any medically necessary liquids or creams, but they must be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

  • You can bring your medication in pill or solid form in unlimited amounts if it is screened.
  • While TSA does not require passengers to have medications in prescription bottles, some states have individual laws regarding the labeling of prescription medication.
  • It is recommended you place your medication in your carry-on in the event you need immediate access. You can travel with your medication in both carry-on and checked baggage.
  • Medication in liquid form will be subject to additional screening that could include being asked to open the container.

Tria Health is Here to Help

Have any questions regarding your medications and traveling? If Tria Health is offered through your benefits plan, you have the option of receiving a one-on-one private consultation with one of Tria Health’s pharmacists over the phone. During your consultation, your pharmacist can answer any of your medication-related questions.

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. Tips for Traveling With Prescription Drugs (tripsavvy.com)
  2. Can you pack your meds in a pill case and more questions answered | Transportation Security Administration (tsa.gov)