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”
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”
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”
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”
When it comes to having “the talk” about the risks and dangers of drugs and alcohol, parents understandably tend to focus on having that conversation with their kids.
Increasingly, however, it seems parents need to be having this conversation with their aging parents as well.
According to a new WellCare survey, “The Tough Talk: Aging Parents and Substance Abuse,” 90 percent of adults say they have discussed the risks and consequences of overusing/misusing/abusing drugs and alcohol with their children, while only 68 percent of adults have had that same conversation with a parent, stepparent or parent-in-law. Continue reading “WellCare’s New Survey Reveals Struggles of Managing Aging Parents’ Substance Misuse & Abuse”
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”
When it comes to your cell phone bill, do you ever find yourself on the lookout for plans that are a better deal? And, when your monthly cable bill rolls in, have you ever examined the bill in search of where you can save?
Today, searching for better deals on expenses is commonplace, but for seniors, there seems to be one major exception to deal-seeking: their Medicare plan. Continue reading “WellCare Launches “Cost of Complacency” Campaign”
By Mackie Hicks
Americans are living longer than ever before. According to recent statistics, 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day. While many seniors live active and healthy lifestyles, there’s no getting around one thing: as we age, our bodies and minds change. Many seniors also face social barriers that can impact their health, whether it’s loneliness and isolation or lack of resources, such as transportation and access to health care.
That’s why at WellCare, we believe innovative community-based programs are critical to support our members as they age. We work to help remove social barriers to health and to ensure our members and communities have the services they need. Continue reading “Supporting Seniors and Innovative Community-Based Programs During Healthy Aging Month”