Chronic case management

If you have recently been diagnosed with a chronic condition, rest assured you are not alone. Like many developed countries around the world, the UAE has witnessed a dramatic increase in chronic conditions over the last few years – from obesity to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

As reported by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), heart disease is the top cause of premature death in the country. Among other leading health concerns are cancer, diabetes, stroke, respiratory illnesses and high blood pressure. A sedentary lifestyle and stressful work environment as well as frequent travel, an unhealthy diet, smoking and extreme summer temperatures are keeping people indoors more than ever before – significantly contributing to the rise in chronic conditions and compounding related health challenges.

Needless to say, the success in tackling such conditions depends largely on making the right lifestyle choices. In other words, taking responsibility for your own health is key to keeping your condition in check. Another critical element is having the right health coverage that allows you to benefit from regular health examinations and take preventive measures as advised by your doctor. Check whether the coverage you already have include management of chronic diseases. If your existing company cover does not offer the full range, it’s time to choose an international private medical insurance. Basic wellness tests and screenings are especially important, considering the prevalence of chronic illnesses and the growing concern of cancer which are part of such international private plans. Your health insurance provider should serve as a reliable and trustworthy partner that offers a tailored program to manage your chronic condition, and supports you in adopting lasting and effective lifestyle changes. Importantly, a good plan should aim to decrease overall medical costs through improved quality care, clinical outcomes and lifestyle changes.

Personalized healthcare management programs fall under four categories depending on the state of an individual’s health. Those who are healthy need encouragement and access to resources to maintain good health, those at risk need lifestyle coaching that includes education, motivation to change risky behaviors, and monitoring. Meanwhile, acute patients need acute medical care, referrals to specialists, and condition-specific coaching that includes education, monitoring and follow-up, and chronic patients need long-term medical care, referrals to specialists, appointment support, and, once again, condition-specific coaching.

When it comes to chronic condition management, it is important to have your health insurance partner introduce you to its offering without any commitment. This will make you aware of the legal precautions and your privacy rights, in addition to answering all your questions.

The next step is an assessment interview with your nurse case manager, who reviews your medical history to identify any gaps in care, and works with you to set your health objectives and identify opportunities for education. This is followed by coaching and education  – your nurse case manager can assist you in evaluating set objectives and sharing medical and educational information to help you manage your chronic condition. The last step comprises providing and receiving feedback – a critical element in assessing the success of the coaching and education aspect of the program.

The right health insurance partner offers a truly personalized experience, is always there for you when you need it most, and gives you confidence that you are not alone in handling your condition.

To ensure that it adds value for its customers as a trusted insurance partner, Cigna has implemented several SMART goals in its chronic condition management program:

  • S = specific and straightforward vision of the desired result
  • M = measurable progress
  • A = attainable strengths
  • R = relevant to your condition and likely to provide a positive outcome
  • T = time-bound – establishing clear and realistic timelines

Management of a chronic condition is a continuous process. While it is up to you to make a conscious decision to lead a healthy lifestyle, it is comforting to know you have a supportive health insurance partner who really cares about you and your health, and helps you take measures that keep you active, happy and in control of your condition.