WellManaged – Respiratory Program

The WellManaged – Respiratory program helps clients control costs, ensure appropriate utilization, and improve the overall quality of care for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. While uncontrolled asthma can lead to increased emergency room visits, hospitalizations and fatalities, COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Due to the prevalence of these diseases in our society and their associated treatment costs, asthma and COPD medications are typically included in the top five cost drivers for our clients. Therefore, the newly launched WellManaged – Respiratory program includes an aggressively-managed formulary, adherence interventions, and patient education to ensure optimal clinical outcomes while containing costs.

Asthma is a respiratory condition marked by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. It is an inflammatory disease that may be linked to allergens or genetic components. Long-term goals for the management of asthma are symptom control and risk reduction. Every patient should have a reliever medication (short-acting beta agonist for fast relief of symptoms), and most adults and adolescents should have a controller medication to maintain symptom control and reduce the need for reliever medications. In addition to medications, asthma treatment involves identifying and treating modifiable risk factors that can exacerbate or worsen symptoms, like smoking, allergens, etc.

COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. It is caused by longterm exposure to irritants or particulate matter. Traditionally, it has been associated with cigarette smoking, but other environmental irritants are associated with COPD as well. The goals for effective COPD management include preventing disease progression, relieving symptoms, improving exercise tolerance and health status, preventing and treating complications and exacerbations, and reducing overall patient mortality. Almost
all patients with COPD should be prescribed long-acting bronchodilator therapy and patients with persistent symptoms should receive combination therapy. In addition to medications, COPD treatment involves identifying and treating modifiable risk factors that can exacerbate or worsen symptoms, like smoking and other environmental irritants.

2018 Quarter Two WellInformed Table of Contents