Controlling diabetes

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Humana's programs help Brian control his diabetes. Meet Brian — a Humana member who was able to get the best health outcomes possible at the best value possible.


Humana's programs help Brian control his diabetes

Meet Brian — a Humana member who was able to get the best health outcomes possible at the best value possible.

Brian's healthy living video

ANNCR: Even though he has diabetes, Brian is happy and healthy. But that wasn't the case a year ago. His blood-sugar was up and down like a yo-yo. It was taking a toll on his health and he was missing a lot of work.

Even when Brian was at work, he wasn't very productive because he didn't feel good. One day, he found a flyer from Humana in a stack of papers on his desk. He remembered the day his employer gave him the flier and told him to call the number on it with any health-related questions, anytime. Brian considered calling, but decided in the end that he had a doctor for his diabetes and, if things got worse, that's who he'd call.

Well, he didn't call his doctor, and it wasn't long before Brian had a full-blown diabetic episode. An ambulance took him to the emergency room and he was admitted into the hospital. After two days, Brian was sent home. It was determined that he hadn't been taking his medication properly and that had caused his disease to worsen. He was informed that from then on, he would have to take insulin shots. Brian missed a week of work. When he returned, his boss hosted an all-office meeting, asking employees go to their MyHumana website and take the Humana Health Assessment. Brian chose not to.

Three months later, Brian had a mild heart attack. He spent several days in the hospital and a couple of months off the job. Where did Brian go wrong?

He should have called the number on the Humana flyer and asked for help.

BRIAN: Actually, I did call. And why not? The help was free and I knew I needed it. I called the number — told them about the problems I was having. They matched me up with a nurse — a Disease Management nurse named Kurt. He called me at home. I told him what was going on with my diabetes.

He listened and he had a lot of really good advice.

KURT: Turns out Brian hadn't understood all the information his doctor gave him about how to handle his disease. He admitted he felt rushed at the doctor's office and didn't ask all the questions that he should have. He also confided that whenever he started feeling better, he tended to forget to take his medicine. But, interestingly enough he never forgot to give his son a vitamin in the morning. So, I suggested he take his medicine when his son took his vitamin. Simple, but effective.

BRIAN: Kurt had good tips for helping me organize my medication and remember when to take it. He also helped me find a doctor who was better suited for me. He told me to go MyHumana and use the Physician Finder Plus tool to review each doctor's information page. He said to keep an eye out for the NCQA accreditation symbol for diabetes care. It stands for National Committee for Quality Assurance. Kurt told me whenever I saw that symbol, I'd know those doctors had things in place to constantly improve the quality of care they give diabetics.

My new doctor prescribed me different medication. I filled my prescription at the drug store and then later I got a call from Humana Pharmacy. They told me about a generic alternative to the drug I just bought that I could get for a lot less. They said I could get a 90-day supply delivered to my home, and they suggested that I talk about it with my doctor. My doctor agreed and approved, and now I save over $1,000 a year for my diabetes drugs.

KURT: Brian's employer asked him to take the Humana Health Assessment. I told him I thought it would be a good idea.

BRIAN: Kurt explained that the Humana Health Assessment is a questionnaire that would help me understand the health challenges I may face; that with the family health history I provided, Humana could help me — let's see, what did he say "stop heredity from becoming destiny."

The Assessment also showed I was at risk for heart disease — especially with my sugar diabetes — that kinda worried me. Kurt told me to go back on to MyHumana — and go to the Heart Disease Condition Center. I got all kinds of good information there on how to live more "heart healthy." I've promised myself I'm not gonna wind up a statistic like my father — my family depends on me too much.

No way. No way did I ever think a health benefits company would go this far for me. I got my diabetes under control — and I'm not going to have to take insulin shots. That's gonna save me some serious money and some pain, too. I've also made some changes in my lifestyle that are going to protect me against developing heart disease. I've gotta say, a lot of the credit goes to Kurt and Humana. Thanks.

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