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:
- Take your medication at the same time every day.
- Try taking your medications in conjunction with a daily routine like brushing your teeth or getting ready for bed.
- Keep a “medicine calendar” with your pill bottles and note each time you take a dose.
- Use a pill container. Some types have sections for multiple doses at different times, such as morning, lunch, evening and night.
- When using a pill container, refill it at the same time each week. For example, every Sunday morning after breakfast.
- 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. Cynthia Miller is the Corporate Medical Director for WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
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”
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”
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?”
By Dr. Mark Leenay
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness.
That’s why May is a month to bring awareness to mental health issues.
At WellCare, we place a significant emphasis on mental health—not only in May—but throughout the year. We use a coordinated, holistic approach to care for our members based on their unique physical, behavioral, pharmaceutical and social needs because we believe this integrated approach helps our members live better, healthier lives. Continue reading “May is Mental Health Awareness Month”
WellCare is a mission-driven organization where our associates believe in giving back to the communities where we live and serve.
However, it’s the dedication of our more than 9,000 associates that make WellCare’s community efforts unique. Approximately 75 percent of our associates participate in WellCare Associate Volunteer Efforts (WAVE) each year—more than double the national average. But equally as significant, many of our associates serve multiple times throughout the year. Volunteerism is embedded in our culture and serves as a beacon for how our associates choose to live our mission and our values. Continue reading “WellCare Associates Give Back During National Volunteer Month”
By Dr. Traci Ferguson
Every May, we celebrate Mother’s Day – a time to honor you for your tireless commitment to giving us the love, care and guidance we need to be healthy and happy.
With your hectic schedule that includes everything from work, carpooling, making meals, helping with homework, and weekend and after-school activities, you always find time for others, which rarely leaves time for yourself. Yet, for long-term health, there is one thing all women over 40 years of age should make time for…a mammogram. Continue reading “Five Reasons to Schedule a Mammogram This May”
By Ken Burdick
This past month, I had the opportunity to speak at the 2018 Health Evolution Summit, a gathering of some of the nation’s top healthcare leaders. The discussion focused on innovation in the healthcare industry.
WellCare set forth three key priorities: improving the healthcare experience for members and providers; meeting our members where they are in their healthcare journey; and remaining focused on government programs. WellCare is in a unique position to provide integrated, holistic managed care because we work to address all aspects of our members’ needs including physical, behavioral, pharmacy and social health. Continue reading “The Intersection of Growth and Innovation”
Each year, WellCare releases its Annual Review, a compilation of company updates and activities from the previous year. Our 2017 theme is “This is WellCare,” which embodies who we are and why we do what we do for our members, providers, government partners, communities and associates.
WellCare’s journey began in 1985. While our company has grown, our mission remains the same: to help our members live better, healthier lives. Much of this growth is due to the tireless dedication of our nearly 9,000 associates who put our values – Partnership, Integrity, Accountability and One Team – into action every day. We’ve built a culture that cares about results and how those results are achieved. Continue reading “Introducing WellCare’s 2017 Annual Review”
By Ken Burdick
Partnership is one of our longstanding values and a vital part of WellCare’s business. And when we think about the future of healthcare, partnerships span a broad spectrum, from joining forces with government partners to collaborating with members to help them get healthy and stay healthy.
As an industry, we know that one of our most important partnerships is with primary care physicians. We forge these relationships through value-based agreements that reward for quality care rather than the number of procedures completed. Continue reading “Partnerships at Work”
A growing body of evidence finds that long before we need medical care, health begins in our homes, our schools and our neighborhoods.
In fact, it’s estimated that medical care accounts for only 10 to 20 percent of health outcomes. The rest can be attributed to social factors, or “social determinants of health,” like where you live, what you eat, how secure you feel and how connected you are to those around you. Continue reading “New Research Shows Value in Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Peer Support”
By Ken Burdick
Last week, I was honored to attend America’s Health Insurance Plan’s (AHIP) National Health Policy Conference to join my colleagues for a discussion on “Navigating What’s Next for Healthcare.”
While the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, I predict we’ll see several key challenges and opportunities, not only for the health insurance industry, but in how we deliver care and service to our members. Continue reading “Navigating What’s Next for Healthcare”