Are You Taking Your Medication Correctly?

 By Cynthia Miller

Sticking to your medication routine – known as medication adherence – means taking your medications as prescribed. The right dose, at the right time, in the right way and frequency.

Why is this important? Simply put, not taking your medicine as prescribed by a doctor or instructed by a pharmacist could lead to your health getting worse, hospitalization and possibly death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that non-adherence causes 30 to 50 percent of chronic disease treatment failures and more than 125,000 deaths per year in the United States.

Taking your medicine as prescribed is important for controlling chronic conditions, treating temporary illnesses and your overall long-term health and well-being.

However, even knowing this:

  • Twenty to 30 percent of new prescriptions are never filled at the pharmacy.
  • For patients prescribed medications for chronic diseases, after six months, the majority take less medication than prescribed or quit using their medication altogether.

As you can see, this is truly a problem. Here are eight tips that could help you stay medication adherent and improve your health and wellness: 

  1. Take your medication at the same time every day.
  2. Try taking your medications in conjunction with a daily routine like brushing your teeth or getting ready for bed.
  3. Keep a “medicine calendar” with your pill bottles and note each time you take a dose.
  4. Use a pill container. Some types have sections for multiple doses at different times, such as morning, lunch, evening and night.
  5. When using a pill container, refill it at the same time each week. For example, every Sunday morning after breakfast.
  6. When travelling, be certain to bring enough of your medication, plus a few days extra, in case your return is delayed.

If you have questions about your medication, don’t be shy — ask your health-care provider or pharmacist…it could truly save your life!

Dr.Miller2_cropDr. Cynthia Miller is the  Corporate Medical Director for WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

Early Childhood Education Supports Healthy Development and Academic Success

By Scott Cummings

February is Early Childhood Education Awareness Month, an ideal time to reflect on what’s best for our children and how to kick-start healthy development from a young age. The early child period − between birth to five years old − is the most important developmental phase, as it impacts long-term social, cognitive, emotional and physical development in children.

Continue reading “Early Childhood Education Supports Healthy Development and Academic Success”

Tips to Manage Arthritis Pain in the Winter

By Dr. Traci Thompson Ferguson

Arthritis can affect people throughout the year, however the winter months can often bring a special challenge to sufferers, as the cold and damp weather may increase stiffness to joints and cause greater pain than normal.

Fortunately, there are several things that you can do when the weather turns cold to decrease the joint stiffness caused during these frigid months. Continue reading “Tips to Manage Arthritis Pain in the Winter”

Assisting Families with Food Allergies Access Healthy Foods in Kansas City

Now more than ever, grocery stores and food companies provide us with an abundance of information about potential allergens in our food. Most of us have choices if we are allergic to nuts, wheat or to any of the other more than 170 foods that have been reported to cause reactions. Continue reading “Assisting Families with Food Allergies Access Healthy Foods in Kansas City”

Helping Foster Youth Achieve Education, Healthy Adulthoods in Arizona

It’s the time of year high school seniors and their parents are often warned about.

Fresh off winter break, many students begin to lag – missing class, not doing homework, or getting lower grades on assignments – all signs of the ever-present “senioritis.”

Continue reading “Helping Foster Youth Achieve Education, Healthy Adulthoods in Arizona”

2018 Is Quickly Coming to an End…Did You Remember to Schedule Your Yearly Mammogram?

By Dr. Traci Thompson Ferguson

Due to the hectic schedules most women over 40 years of age live with every day, it’s easy for them to find themselves at the end of December realizing they haven’t accomplished one of their most important responsibilities for the year…scheduling their mammogram. Continue reading “2018 Is Quickly Coming to an End…Did You Remember to Schedule Your Yearly Mammogram?”

Conversations on Understanding: Driving Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace

By Ken Burdick

Today, on this national Day of Understanding, WellCare continued its journey toward creating an environment where all ideas are welcome and our associates feel confident and empowered to bring their “full selves” to work each day. In partnership with CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, I’m proud to join 150 other companies across the country in hosting the nation’s largest conversation to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Continue reading “Conversations on Understanding: Driving Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace”

Do You Know Your Risk for Prediabetes?

By Dr. Mark Leenay

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 84 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition that if not treated, can lead to Type 2 diabetes within five years.

Mark Leenay

Prediabetes means your blood sugar level is higher than normal. Although prediabetes is a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, the long-term damage — especially to your heart, blood vessels and kidneys — may already be starting. Continue reading “Do You Know Your Risk for Prediabetes?”

Recognizing Veterans Day: Making Work “Bearable” for a WellCare Associate Called to Active Military Duty

By Desiree Demonbreun

At WellCare, our success is grounded in a “One Team” culture that supports our associates in bringing their full selves to work. It enables our mission to help people live better, healthier lives.

In honor of Veterans Day (Nov. 11), I’d like to share a story about how our public policy team helped ensure Dane Bennett, a WellCare public policy analyst and first lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, remains a valued and appreciated member of the WellCare team, while he protects and serves our country. Continue reading “Recognizing Veterans Day: Making Work “Bearable” for a WellCare Associate Called to Active Military Duty”

The Loneliness Epidemic

By Ken Burdick

Did you know loneliness poses the same health risk as smoking 15 cigarettes a day? In fact, new research indicates weak social connections and feelings of extreme isolation could shorten a person’s life by 15 years. With more than one-third of U.S. adults age 45 or older indicating they are lonely, we’ve reached a critical number of individuals who are at risk for serious health outcomes. Continue reading “The Loneliness Epidemic”

What It’s Like to Be Homeless for a Night in Honolulu

By Scott J. Sivik

Last Friday, I spent the night outside on a cardboard box for the second time. It remains one of the most humbling experiences for me each year. The weather was unpredictable, the streets were loud, and needless to say, I only got a few hours of real sleep.HI_CEO Sleepout_SleepingBag

It’s hard to complain about one night spent outside when there are more than 7,000 homeless individuals in Hawaii who struggle with this reality every day.

It was a privilege to participate in the annual #CEOSleepout organized by The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands. Together, ‘Ohana Health Plan and other local businesses and organizations, slept outside of the state capitol rotunda in Honolulu to better understand the struggles of Hawaii’s homeless residents, while raising awareness and needed funds for food, shelter, clothing and more. Continue reading “What It’s Like to Be Homeless for a Night in Honolulu”

How Does WellCare Help Patients Adhere to Their Medications?

How RxEffect helps doctors increase WellCare member medication adherence

By Dr. Laura Hungiville

“I now feel fine, so I’m going to stop taking this medication the doctor prescribed for me.”

How often have we heard our friends or relatives say this – or maybe we’ve said it ourselves?

Unfortunately, many patients with serious existing medical conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol or hypertension stop taking their medications every day because they either aren’t acknowledging their symptoms or don’t understand their prescriptions. Continue reading “How Does WellCare Help Patients Adhere to Their Medications?”