Information for Members
Your Health Advisor is here to support you, provide you information, and provide you alternatives for changing external situations.
From our on-staff MD, Dr. Vipul Shah: COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus, a new virus that has spread extensively across the globe. There are now over 100,000 cases worldwide and more than 1000 cases in the United States, with more cases being confirmed every day. Since it is a new disease, there is still much that is unknown about it, but experts are starting to understand how it spreads and the spectrum of illness that can occur.
Dr. Shah: The virus spreads between people who are in close contact through respiratory droplets from a cough or a sneeze of someone who has COVID-19. We also know it’s possible that someone can get COVID-19 from a surface or object contaminated with coronavirus and then touching their face. The best way to protect yourself is to not get sick, which is why strict hand hygiene and trying not to touch your face is important.
Dr. Shah: For the most up-to-date information about the spread of COVID-19 here in the U.S. and around the world, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website. Public health officials believe that it will likely continue to spread across the U.S., and possibly to all 50 states. That means it’s especially important to protect yourself and your loved ones and to stay up to date on the latest guidance.
Dr. Shah: Potentially everybody, but according to the CDC, the population at a higher risk of getting really sick are:
- People over the age of 60
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
If you’re in one of these programs at Pack Health, connect with your Health Advisor. They can provide you additional infection control strategies, best practicews to stay safe, and action plans.
Dr. Shah: The most common symptoms are cough, fever, and fatigue. Other symptoms that have been described are a runny nose, myalgias (muscle aches), sore throat and diarrhea. If you have a fever and any of these symptoms, you should call your doctor, who may advise you to stay home and rest. Most people will show mild or no symptoms, but others can become very sick. If you develop any of the following “red flag” symptoms, or other severe symptoms, get medical attention immediately:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
- Bluish lips or fingers
Dr. Shah: First off, don’t panic! While this is a new and uncertain disease with new information coming out daily, you can take steps to protect yourself and your community. Most importantly, protect yourself by practicing good hand hygiene and avoiding close contact with people who may be sick. The CDC defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet of someone who’s experiencing symptoms. If you do have any symptoms, make sure you cover your cough, wear a mask if you have to go out in public and follow your local guidelines about staying home. Also, make sure you’re getting reliable information. The CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) are respected public health organizations that regularly update their websites with accurate and timely information, including what actions you should take to prepare.
If you are someone with a higher risk of getting very sick, be safe and make sure to follow the CDC-recommended measures to protect yourself. It is recommended that you have extra medications on hand in case you cannot leave your house for an extended period of time and to keep extra household essentials around if you cannot go to the grocery store. If you need any help, please reach out to your Health Advisor and we can help you understand what you need and to try to use our network of resources to assist you. For example, your Health Advisor can help you arrange delivery of groceries, household items, or medications. You are not alone!
If you do get sick or are told to stay home for other reasons, we know that this can be a confusing and scary time. Please reach out to your Health Advisor if you have questions or need some extra support. We’re here for you!
You can find further information here on how to prepare your household for COVID-19 and what you can do before an outbreak occurs in your community. Ask your Health Advisor for help or reach out if you just need someone to talk to.
Information for Businesses
We can provide completely remote support to your employees the same way we’re providing support to our existing members.
COVID-19 has brought in times of uncertainty, adjustment, and flexibility across the nation. Individuals, businesses, hospitals, and localities are working tirelessly to keep individuals healthy. The CDC has identified that those at the highest risk of complications from COVID-19 include older adults and those managing chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease. In addition to managing infection control, organizations are having to address loneliness, fear, misinformation, and safety, all while potentially moving to remote-only operations. Pack Health is working to be part of the solution to control the spread of COVID-19 while simultaneously keeping high risk populations healthy. We do this by:
Focusing on high risk populations, such as the elderly and those with chronic conditions that need the most help
Providing resources and support through Pack Health’s remote digital health coaching services to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Minimizing stress on limited hospital resources by preventing readmissions, preventing acute incidents that lead to readmissions, and aligning with CDC recommendations to offload burden on hospitals.
Reducing economic impact through the utilization of claims billing and realistic pricing.
As the world continues to focus on the news of COVID-19, we’re seeing the serious impact of the disease, as well as the importance of infection control. Whether your organization decides to go remote or not, in-house health, wellness, and chronic disease management programs will likely need adjustments to handle the changing situations. There are several factors to be aware of and we’re taking measures to address them.
Loneliness: The American Psychological Association has reported that loneliness is at an all-time high, with more than half of Americans lacking social interaction. Social isolation is shown to drive feelings of anxiety and depression and can have the same health risks as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Coupling the existing loneliness epidemic with the fear of COVID-19 and the pressure to further isolate could be disastrous for individuals, especially those with chronic conditions.
What We’re Doing: We know how essential it is to keep people connected and engaged at all times, not just in times of crisis. For those who live alone or don’t have a great social network, we have to drive innovation to keep them connected. Pack Health is able to serve members regardless of location. If you’re remote or we’re remote, our Health Advisors can still connect with members via phone, email, or text. Plus, there’s a relationship built by talking to the same person each week. Getting advice someone you know and trust can make a world of difference, especially when uncertainty is high.
Lack of Options: We’re seeing unprecedented closings across the United States. In a best-case scenario, people would be able to still access all the utilities they need to keep driving good health behaviors, such as exercise equipment or healthy foods. However, according to the CDC, less than a quarter of Americans are getting their recommended weekly exercise during weeks when we don’t have a pandemic, so quarantine and closures are making barriers much more of an issue. This is a big issue for those with chronic conditions: maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential to keeping conditions in control and staying out of the hospital.
What We’re Doing: We’re actively provide alternatives to our members that address their specific situation. Having a resource that can provide specific options for each individual situation delivers next-level personalization. From our perspective, we’re seeing our Health Advisors continue to improve the health behaviors of members in all 50 states, even with the changing external situations. They’re able to connect members with resources, help them create action plans, and suggest at-home alternatives.
Access to Care: Before the pandemic, we knew that access to care was an issue in general. Now, hospitals are stretched to maximum capacity in a way that “this generation has never seen before.” We know that individuals with chronic conditions are more at risk for COVID-19. In fact, we know specifically which chronic conditions are at the top risk. Do they risk their health and go in for a check-up? Or do they deal with symptoms and try to navigate the situation alone?
What We’re Doing: We know that hospitals are seeing huge surges and hospital beds are hot commodities. Making sure individuals with chronic conditions stay healthy to minimize their risk and keep them out of the hospital is a start, but that doesn’t happen overnight. This is why at Pack Health, we serve as the “in-between care” to keep members healthy in-between visits. We see reductions in hospital readmissions, improvements in physical health, and increases in positive health behaviors across conditions. Plus, we have MDs, PharmDs, and RNs on staff communicating with our Health Advisors so they’re able to answer questions or concerns from members.
Pack Health covers the most at-risk conditions, including heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease. We cover nearly 30 chronic conditions and are able to coach across conditions to address polychronic individuals.
We cover the following conditions across five therapeutic areas:
- Diabetes Management
- Diabetes Prevention
- Atrial Fibrillation
- Weight Management
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Symptom Management
- Multiple Myeloma
- Chronic Lymphocytic
- Hip Pain Management
- Knee Pain Management
- Joint Pain Management
- Chronic Pain Management for Prescribed Opioid
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Crohn’s and Colitis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Readmissions Reduction
- Hepatitis C
- HIV Prevention
- Remote health coaching via phone, text, and email from a certified Health Advisor, who will provide support, education, and accountability. Health Advisors provide at least 5 touchpoints each week.
- Education on infectious disease prevention and a consistent, trusted partner to alleviate COVID-19 concerns. This will provide social isolation relief, as well as simple infection control strategies, like proper hand-washing.
- Coordination of medication delivery, grocery and household item delivery or pick-up, and local resource information education and coordination (COVID-19 Testing Sites).
- Best practices and strategies to decrease the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
- A supplemental outlet for chronic condition management to offload the strained medical infrastructure during an outbreak.