Here’s a simple truth: The best results for treating chronic diseases don’t happen inside a clinic or a hospital. They happen after you leave the doctor’s office.
It’s true that only a clinician, supported by sufficient medical infrastructure, can properly diagnose a Chronic Condition, prescribe medication, and recommend necessary lifestyle changes.
But right now, far too many people walk out of their doctor’s office with a piece of paper upon which is written just two things: a diagnosis and a prescription.
And from there on out, they’re pretty much on their own.
What’s involved in Managing a Chronic Condition?
The fact is that it falls to the patient to sustain the often complex care required to effectively manage a chronic disease. At a minimum, the patient:
- Must take their medication properly, managing refills and following a precise schedule
- Must monitor and track their condition on a regular, often daily, basis
- Must often organize additional care - like physical therapy and nutrition support
- Must make often challenging changes to diet and routine necessary for better health
That’s a lot to accomplish. It’s hard work involving unfamiliar medical terms and issues that are not always easy to understand. And there’s often a lot of personal stuff that gets in the way - life, work, relationships, transport, and so on...
And once a patient gets off track, it takes even more energy and effort just to get back on the right path.
It’s no wonder then that Chronic Diseases take such a toll on so many people...
What if there was a better way?
What if there was a qualified Health Professional on your side - someone who knows you, listens to you, and understands how your life works?
What if there was a Nurse who you could call whenever you have a question or an issue?
What if there was someone who only job was to make sure that you had all the support you need to be as healthy as possible?
That person is called a Health Navigator. And every Antara member has one.
What’s A Chronic Condition?
A Chronic Condition is a health issue or disease that lasts for a long time, sometimes for the rest of your life. And the effects of a chronic condition on your health emerge over time. Typical Chronic Conditions include High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, and Asthma.
Left untreated, these conditions can seriously harm your health and even shorten your life.
How Are Chronic Conditions Treated?
Lifestyle Modification: The right way to treat a chronic condition is to fix the underlying cause of that condition. For many conditions that means changing diet and exercise habits. For others it involves physical therapy or changes to one's daily routine or environment. "Lifestyle Modification" is basically just a fancy term for learning to live healthier in specific ways to manage and improve a chronic condition. Here are some examples:
- Exercise: cardiovascular and strength training
- Dietary: reducing or removing certain elements, like salt or processed foods, as well as improving nutrition
- Weight loss: many chronic diseases are made worse by obesity
- Environmental: Some chronic conditions are affected by the environment in which we live (like dust or other triggers for Asthma)
It's important to remember that Lifestyle Modification generally can't be temporary in order to work. These changes need to be sustained for the long term in order to be effective.
The Role Of Medication: Medications can help treat chronic conditions. But medications themselves do not fix the underlying causes of those conditions. If you have high blood pressure, just popping pills isn't a good long term solution. That's why Antara focuses on lifestyle modification as the most important path towards effectively caring for a chronic condition. Medication can be an essential support on that path (and is covered by your Antara plan), but is not a solution in of itself.
Also, medication comes with more than a few complications. Here are a few:
- Chronic Condition Medication needs to be taken consistently and on schedule to work properly.
- Chronic Condition Medication often includes unpleasant side effects.
- Dosage and the type of medication needs to be carefully monitored over time to maintain effectiveness.
Why does Health Navigation work better for Chronic Diseases?
Because Chronic Conditions need effective long term solutions that fix their underlying causes.
ONLY Health Navigation provides our Members the tools, information, and support necessary to tackle the underlying causes of their chronic condition.
Every Antara member is assigned a Health Navigator, someone knowledgeable, experienced, and well-trained to walk with them on their health journey.
Your Health Navigator will:
- Guide you through the process of managing a chronic disease
- Encourage you for every step of the way
- Empower you with Patient Education so you can take ownership of your health journey
- Coordinate a team of health professionals who will each provide specific support
- Craft a Care Plan with your doctors that will clearly lay out measurable, achievable goals towards better health
- Monitor your progress in order to make sure the care you’re receiving is working as planned or whether adjustments are needed
Here’s are some of the specific ways that Health Navigation delivers better chronic care:
- Care Plans: Antara works with your doctors to craft a personalized care plan that takes into account your specific health needs and sets targeted goals with clear milestones. You can consider this your personal roadmap to better health and your Health Navigator as your guide and support to help get you there. For more on Care Plans click here.
- Medication Support: Your Health Navigator will follow to make sure you’re taking your medication and that it’s working the way it should
- Medication Refill: Antara makes refilling your medication easy to save you time and make sure you stay on track
- Nutrition Support: Your Health Navigator will provide you with nutrition services including dietary analysis and access to nutritionists in order to help you find tasty, healthy ways to improve your diet in a manner specifically designed to improve your chronic condition.
- Fitness Support: Your Health Navigator will help you find ways to get more of the right kind of exercise into your life, taking into account your specific circumstances. That means understanding your work situation and schedule, providing information on local exercise resources, and creating an activity and fitness plan that works for you.
- Environmental Analysis: Your Health Navigator will help you analyze the spaces in which you live and work in order to identify and help you reduce or eliminate anything that might worsen a chronic condition (like smoke or other triggers for Asthma).
- Patient Education: Informed patients are healthier patients. That’s why your Health Navigator will make sure understand the nature of your chronic condition and exactly how your care works, including all aspects of your treatment.