At-Home Infusion Gives Gift of Health to Patients

Hemophilia, a blood disorder in which the blood fails to clot properly, is a rare condition, but for those who have it, staying healthy can be challenging.The treatment for hemophilia is multifaceted, but it can include preventive care at home. Patients can give themselves infusions of clotting factors that are normally present in the blood to help prevent excessive bleeding episodes, which can be life-threatening and cause permanent damage.Repeated self-infusion as a preventive measure is associated with a lower incidence of the joint problems that can arise from excessive bleeding.In a recent study, 60 adult blood-disorder patients who self-infused experienced fewer joint problems by preventing the levels of clotting factors in the blood from falling below 1 percent of what is considered normal. Joint problems can become debilitating if left untreated, and patients may be unable to perform routine daily activities, attend school or work, or walk without a cane, walker, or other assistance.In addition, blood-disorder patients who self-infuse have reported feeling more confident and in- dependent, and appreciate the convenience of infusing at home, according to data from NCHS, a specialty pharmacy service for blood-disorder patients.Most importantly, the opportunity to infuse at home also may serve to motivate patients to take their medications as directed.”Working to improve non-adherence among patients who intentionally stop their medications or intentionally disregard their prescribers’ instructions can be more of a challenge than simply helping patients remember to take their meds,” according to a report from NCHS. “But if you understand why patients are making these choices, you may have better results.”Common reasons why patients with a chronic disease such as a blood disorder fail to take their medications as directed include:* Concerns about the high cost of the medication.* Concerns about the medication’s side effects and whether it’s necessary.* Complexity of the treatment.* Communication issues with doctors about the value and benefits of the medication.Service providers like NCHS can help patients achieve more independence by offering discreet home delivery of medications, education and support. Services include detailed explanations about the use, dosing, storage, and side effects of medications so patients feel confident in their at-home care, as well as reimbursement expertise and caregiver education and counseling.

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Reduce Risk of Gum Disease With This Easy Rinse

It happens during any given dental appointment; that embarassing moment when your hygenist asks how often you floss, and your reply (most likely) is, “Not often enough,” at the same time he or she clucks disapprovingly and shakes his or her head.Turns out they know what they’re talking about.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nearly half of American adults aged 30 years and older (47.2 percent) suffer from some form of gum disease.Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the main threats to dental health, but maintaining a healthy mouth goes beyond the benefits of a bright smile.Gum disease is a chronic, inflammatory condition, and recent studies suggest that gum disease and tooth decay may be associated with an increased risk of other inflammatory conditions, including heart attacks and strokes if left untreated.The CDC describes common warning signs of gum disease, including bad breath, gums that are red, swollen, bleeding, or tender; pain when chewing; loose or sensitive teeth; receding gums; change in bite; and change in the fit of partial dentures. Additional factors that increase the risk of gum disease include smoking, diabetes, stress, and poor oral hygiene.That said, most people can improve their dental hygiene and reduce their risk for developing gum disease by following a few simple steps:- Brush. Brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste. Pick a toothbrush style that fits your mouth and feels comfortable, and you will be more likely to use it. If your teeth are sensitive or you want them to be whiter, look around; there’s a toothpaste for that.- Floss. Floss your teeth once a day. Dental floss is available in a variety of widths and thicknesses, although some people prefer disposable flossers, which are often easier for children to use.- Rinse. Oral rinses play an important role in a dental health routine. Gum disease is caused by bacteria, but an oral rinse formulated with bacteria-targeting ingredients can help keep gum disease at bay.Healthy Gums Oral Rinse from TheraBreath contains cetylpyridinium chloride, an ingredient approved by the FDA and clinically proven to kill the germs linked to gum disease.”Gum disease is more serious than people think. It starts out with just bleeding and sensitive gums, but in its advanced stages, it can cause tooth loss,” says Dr. Harold Katz, founder and chief researcher for TheraBreath.

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Medicare Plans Offer More Health And Wellness Benefits for 2019

Beginning next year, Medicare Advantage plans will be allowed to cover a broader array of health-related services that may help people with Medicare improve their health.Starting in January 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has expanded the health-related benefits that insurers are allowed to include in their Medicare Advantage plans.Rides to the gym and in-home safety measures such as bathroom grab bars are among the new benefits added to certain Medicare Advantage plans for 2019.Original Medicare combines Medicare Part A, which helps cover hospital and other types of inpatient care, and Medicare Part B, which helps cover doctor visits, outpatient and preventive care. Original Medicare does not include coverage for most prescriptions.Medicare Advantage plans cover everything that Original Medicare covers and may include extra benefits, services and often prescription drug coverage through a private insurer such as Humana.Most Medicare Advantage plans offer extra coverage and services, such as vision, hearing and dental benefits, health and wellness programs, and a 24-hour nurse advice line. And most include Medicare prescription drug coverage.Health and wellness benefits often include fitness programs and gym memberships, and transportation to medical appointments. For 2019, Medicare Advantage plans provide members access to an expanded choice of over-the-counter personal care items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, pill boxes, cough and cold medicines, eye drops, vitamins, heating pads, compression stockings and other supplies for diabetics, plastic bandages and other first aid items.The new Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits approved by CMS for 2019 also include virtual medical visits and virtual psychiatry, in-home support services and caregiver support.People with Medicare can see which new health and wellness benefits are being offered for 2019 on Medicare Advantage plans in their neighborhood by going online to the Medicare Plan Finder, or for Humana Medicare Advantage plans at www.humana.com/Medicare.You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) (or TTY: 1-877-486-2048) 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or call Humana at 1-877-877-0714 (TTY use 711) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., local time, seven days a week.The Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Election Period takes place from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2018 for coverage that takes effect Jan. 1, 2019. Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS organization, and stand-alone prescription drug plan, with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any Humana plan depends on plan renewal.This information is not a complete description of benefits. Call 1-877-877-0714 (TTY use 711) for more information. Telepsychiatry services are currently available to Humana Medicare Advantage members at selected locations. Limitations on health care and prescription services delivered via virtual visits and communications options vary by state. Virtual visit services are not a substitute for emergency care and are not intended to replace your primary care provider or other providers in your network. 

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