Chronic Conditions and COVID-19: Going Beyond Handwashing

Webinar Information

Managing chronic conditions has always been critical in regards to improving employee health and reducing healthcare costs. With the emergence of the COVID-19 health crisis, it’s more important than ever as patients with chronic conditions have a higher risk of complications with COVID-19. With a multitude of telehealth resources available, discover how pharmacists can make a significant impact on patients with chronic conditions.

Speakers:
Jessica Lea, CEO, Pharm.D., EMBA, BCPP
Jason Grace, Director of Clinical Services, Pharm.D.
Austin Morgan, Pharm.D.
Date: April 23, 2020
Time: 11:00AM – 12:00PM CDT

Positivity During a Pandemic

It seems like every day we are inundated with COVID-19 information.  While important, it can be overwhelming and depressing.  For people with chronic conditions, it can be downright scary!  Managing chronic conditions is more important than ever. Tria Health’s pharmacists have been hard at work, providing care to patients with chronic conditions, helping them through these trying times. Here are some recent patient success stories.

Allergies or COVID-19? 

It can be difficult individuals to understand the differences between allergies, asthma or COVID-19 symptoms. Knowing how to distinguish the condition will help in expediting treatment. For help understanding the differences between symptoms, see this Respiratory Illness Chart.

Tria Triumph

A patient had allergies, high blood pressure, and was struggling with her asthma. She couldn’t afford her inhaler and was terrified to leave her house due to COVID-19. Tria Health assisted the patient with getting the medication cost reduced and coordinated with the patient’s doctor and pharmacy. Tria was able to get the medication sent directly to the patient, reducing her risk of exposure. Tria was there to answer all her questions and concerns and educate her on the difference between respiratory illnesses.

Social Distancing Reducing Visits

For some, going into the doctor’s office was the only way of receiving affordable medications through samples or trial packets. Due to COVID-19, some people haven’t been able to safely leave their homes or afford their medications.

Tria Triumph

A patient with heart failure could not afford one of their critical medications. He was going to the cardiologist office every 2-3 weeks to get samples. His Tria Health pharmacist was able to sign him up for a manufacturer coupon at an affordable copay. Tria Health also had the prescription sent to a pharmacy with a drive through pick up to allow for appropriate social distancing for this high-risk individual.

Getting Diagnosed with COVID-19

If you have a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, it is important to take proper precautions to protect yourself and those around you. To learn the steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick, click here.

Tria Triumph

A patient called the Tria Health Help Desk with questions and wanting information regarding their recent diagnosis of COVID-19. Tria helped educate the patient with quarantine recommendations, along with encouragement to keep a temperature log. If the patient started having breathing issues, they were instructed to go to the emergency room and to call ahead before going. Simply talking to a Tria Health pharmacist and having them provide a detailed overview of next steps helped put the patient at ease.

New Habits

While it’s important to continue your current treatment regimen to effectively control your conditions, now might be a great opportunity to instill some healthy habits.

Tria Triumph

During a smoking consult, a patient was struggling with anxiety and feeling completely out of control with the pandemic. She was not seeing any progress with quitting and was starting to feel down on herself. Tria’s pharmacist worked with the patient to refocus her efforts and make a list of things holding her back. During a follow up consult, the patient had cleaned out her smoking area, found new healthy habits, and started organizing her day. In addition, the patient is wearing a mask more often, which was also keeping her from smoking. Due to the support from the Tria Health pharmacist, the patient now has a happy place to enjoy the sunshine and her daughter.

Image Source: CDC

Sources:

  1. https://community.aafa.org/blog/coronavirus-2019-ncov-flu-what-people-with-asthma-need-to-know
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

National Nutrition Month

Bowls of fruit and oatmeal
Image Source: Melissa Belanger/Unsplash

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

How can you get involved?1

  • Choose foods and drinks that are good for your health.
  • Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
  • Select healthier options when eating away from home.
  • Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you.
  • Keep it simple. Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated.
  • Make food safety part of your everyday routine.
  • Help to reduce food waste by considering the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
  • Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.

Looking for healthy recipes?

In honor of National Nutrition Month, Tria Health has assembled some of our favorite nutritional recipes:

Chronic Conditions and Nutrition

If you have a chronic condition, a carefully planned diet can make a difference. With certain diseases, what you eat may reduce symptoms. In other cases, diet can improve health. Although your diet might differ depending on your condition and lifestyle, there are three keys to a healthy eating plan that will work for diabetes, heart health, cancer prevention and weight management:

  • Eat meals and snacks regularly (at planned times).
  • Eat about the same amount of food at each meal or snack.
  • Choose healthful foods to support a healthy weight and heart.

Have any questions? Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742.

Source:

  1. https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month/national-nutrition-month-celebration-toolkit

Migraines can be a Costly Chronic Condition

Girl facing away holding hands to head
Image Source: Element5_Digital/Unsplash

Migraine is a debilitating condition that affects over 37 million Americans and their families.1 Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone who suffers from migraines. While most sufferers experience attacks one or twice a month, more than 4 million people have chronic daily migraine, with at least 15 migraine days per month.2 Healthcare and lost productivity costs associated with migraines are estimated to be as high as $36 billion annually in the U.S. Unfortunately, people who experience migraines typically remain quiet about their disease which leads to the misconception that only a few people suffer from the condition.

What are Migraine Symptoms?3

Per the Mayo Clinic, migraines may progress through four stages: prodrome, aura, headache and post-drome, all of which result in different symptoms. Click here to find a list of symptoms for each migraine stage. Migraines are often undiagnosed and untreated. If you regularly experience signs and symptoms of migraine attacks, keep a record of your attacks and how you treated them. Then make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your headaches.

Migraine Misconceptions

Migraines remain a misunderstood disease that is often undiagnosed and undertreated. Many people who have migraines suffer from the stigma surrounding the disease which can often lead them to further isolation. Most people don’t realize how debilitating the disease can be, more than 90% of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine.

Tria Health and Migraines

Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program offers one-on-one, private consultations with a Tria Health Pharmacist. Your pharmacist will work with you and your doctor(s) to ensure you’re getting the intended outcomes from your medications. Over the years, Tria Health has continued to expand our services to include a multitude of chronic conditions. We’re happy to announce we are now providing services to members who suffer from migraines.

Have any questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/understanding-migraine/migraine-self-advocacy/
  2. http://migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine/migraine-facts/
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/syc-20360201

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>.