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.

Partnerships at Work

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”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and WellCare Partner to Bring “Bigs in Blue” to Seven U.S. Cities

By Pam Iorio

Over the past couple of years, tensions between police and the communities they serve have been in the news on an almost weekly basis. Many community leaders are calling for all of us to be more empathetic, see the world through our neighbors’ eyes, or unite to heal after tragedy.

Continue reading “Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and WellCare Partner to Bring “Bigs in Blue” to Seven U.S. Cities”

A Physician’s Office Staff Plays an Integral Role in Patient Health and Satisfaction

Early in my nursing career, I worked in a variety of medical practices and saw firsthand the impact that office staffs have in establishing effective, collaborative relationships with patients and their families. These front-line employees are the liaisons between physicians and patients. Research shows that the personal relationship of a patient with his or her doctor and the clinic staff are the strongest predictors of patient satisfaction.

Continue reading “A Physician’s Office Staff Plays an Integral Role in Patient Health and Satisfaction”

Collaborating for Better Health

At WellCare, our goal every day is to get our members the care they need. This can be much harder than it sounds.

Take, for example, a member who was recently hospitalized for a serious bout of pneumonia. This was not her first encounter with a breathing problem; she had suffered from severe asthma since childhood. Our goal was to provide her with a personalized, field-based care manager who could help her get and stay healthy. Continue reading “Collaborating for Better Health”