The Optima Health Asthma Program
Asthma is a disease of the airways in the lungs that can make it difficult to perform daily activities. The good news is that asthma can be controlled and we’re here to help you.
Our program helps our members keep asthma under control. All members with asthma are welcome to participate.
We reach out to members, but you don’t need to wait for us to contact you. If you want to participate, please call member services using the number on your member ID card and ask to be connected to a case manager.
The Asthma Management Team is made up of registered nurses, respiratory therapists, and patient service coordinators. The team promotes healthy behaviors, provides education, makes suggestions for optimal treatment, serves as a support system, and answers questions about asthma.
A home health nurse can even visit members at home if they’ve made repeat hospital visits for asthma. A nurse can help them identify possible triggers in their home and make suggestions to reduce them.
What happens after an Optima member is identified as having asthma?
Optima is notified when a plan member is treated for asthma through claims filed by the treating facility or physician. Once a member is identified as having asthma, the individual is contacted by a member of the Asthma Management Team to talk about their needs and concerns. If the member is unable to be reached, an introduction letter with educational material is mailed to the member requesting that the member contact a respiratory team member.
Who is part of the Asthma Management Team?
The Asthma Management Team is made up of registered nurses, respiratory therapists, and patient service coordinators. This team will work with you to promote healthy behaviors, provide education about asthma and suggestions for optimal treatment, serve as a support system, and help answer any questions you may have about asthma.
What type of support does the program provide?
The Asthma Management Team will mail members with asthma educational materials and booklets about asthma. When a member has additional needs identified by their doctor or through Emergency Room or inpatient hospital visits for asthma, they will be contacted by a member of the Asthma Management Team on the phone to provide additional education and answer any questions or concerns the member might have. Members who have been to the hospital several times for their asthma will be eligible to have a home health nurse come and visit them in their home to talk about the possible causes for their asthma and make suggestions for changing the home environment to reduce these triggers.
If myself or my child has asthma but hasn't been contacted by a member of the Asthma Management Team, what should I do?
Sometimes we may miss a member at home or have incorrect contact information. If you, or your child has asthma, and would like to participate in the Asthma Program, please call the member services telephone number on your Optima Health member card and you will be connected with a case manager who can help answer your questions about asthma.
What You Can Do to Take Control
An asthma attack can occur when you are exposed to certain things in the environment. Some of the most important asthma triggers and actions you can take to counteract them are listed below.
- Environmental Tobacco Smoke– minimize your exposure to secondhand smoke; smokers should never smoke around persons with asthma or places they inhabit
- Dust Mites and Dust – keep your home clean and clutter-free, use mattress and pillow case covers, and don’t use down-filled pillows, quilts or comforters
- Outdoor Air Pollution and Irritants – monitor air quality forecasts and plan activities accordingly; avoid irritants such as perfume, cosmetics, paints, cleaning products, etc
- Cockroach Allergen – keep roach populations under control in your house
- Pets – minimize your exposure to pets, bathe them regularly and keep floors clean
- Mold – keep your home humidity levels low with an air conditioner and/or dehumidifier and fix water leaks
- Emotions – minimize stress and anxiety by using relaxation techniques that work for you
- Exercise – consult your doctor, take your prescribed medications, start gradually and take an active role in controlling your asthma
- Cold and Flu – wash your hands, avoid sick people and get a flu shot, if recommended by your doctor.
- Foods and Additives – avoid foods that trigger attacks and consult your doctor about your diet
- Pollen – stay indoors when pollen counts are high, and avoid activities that increase your exposure to pollen (i.e. yard work)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2006). You Can Control Your Asthma. A Guide to Understanding Asthma and its Triggers. Retrieved 08/08 from http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/pdfs/asthma_brochure.pdf
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008). General Information: You Can Control Your Asthma. Retrieved 08/08 from http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/faqs.htm