Chronic illnesses can plague older Americans and navigating their healthcare coverage simultaneously can become burdensome. Senior Medical Director at WellMed, Dr. Preeti K. Patheja, joined Inside South Florida to share tips on how to coordinate your healthcare and enhance your medical coverage.
“Research has found that care coordination and extended care management, especially for those older Americans that have chronic conditions, can actually help reduce ER visits and reduce hospital admissions,” says Patheja. “The key is for doctors and medical staff to work together to coordinate the care in a team-based approach.”
Fortunately, patients have the ability to advocate on their own behalf.
“Ask your primary care physician what they do to coordinate your care with other specialists and other physicians within the practice,” says Patheja. “Another helpful thing that patients can do before their visit with their physician is to make sure to write down any questions they may have. Another big thing that you can do is to make sure that your doctor actually gives you the time to ask the questions that you may have.”
Additionally, there are medical insurance plans made specifically to help the elderly suffering from chronic illnesses.
“There are chronic Special Needs Medicare Advantage plans specifically designed for those people with chronic conditions. Patients can switch to those at any time of year,” says Patheja. “If you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, you have the option to switch to a dual Special Needs Advantage plan, especially in a five-star market.”
For more information, visit WellMed365.com
This Inside South Florida segment is paid for by WellMed Part of Optum.