As your health plan, we are especially concerned about those living with a chronic condition or have been newly diagnosed. When you learn more about your particular condition and are actively involved in managing your care, you are more likely to be successful in preventing complications. This is particularly true when you, your doctors and your health plan work together towards the same goal - to help you stay well.

Through our partnership with Optum®, a disease management organization accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), WHA offers programs to members living with the following chronic conditions at no additional cost:

  • Asthma: For members 5 to 64 years old
  • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): For members 18+ years old
  • Diabetes: For members 18+ years old

The programs are voluntary and participants can choose to disenroll or "opt out" at any time by contacting Optum or WHA’s Member Services.

How to Become a Participant in a Disease Management Program

Members can be become a participant in a program in several ways:

  • Self-referral: Members have several options - contact Optum directly, contact WHA's Member Services or complete and submit a disease management referral form.
  • Physician Referral: Your doctor can refer directly to WHA or Optum or complete and submit the disease management referral form.
  • Medical Group or IPA Case Manager Referral: Case Managers or Utilization Management staff can refer directly to WHA or Optum.
What the Programs Offer

The programs offer services based on how well the disease has been managed up until the time of enrollment. An initial evaluation helps the DM nurse decide whether the participant is at high-risk or low-risk for developing complications from the disease. The types of service provided are based on the risk levels:

  • High Risk: Participants receive health education program materials related to their condition, telephone calls, coaching and support by health care professionals as well as health education program materials.
  • Low Risk: Participants do not receive calls but do receive health education program materials.
How to Use the Program

Once you qualify for a program, you will receive health education materials specific to your condition.  You will also have access to a DM care manager who will answer questions you may have about the disease or about how best to manage your care.

If you are at a high risk for complications, you qualify to receive regular calls from your assigned care manager during an agreed upon day and time. During these calls, you can ask questions about nutrition, exercise, medications and more. The care manger acts as your coach in reinforcing your treatment plan created by you and your doctor. The care manager is well trained in helping those who participate in the program to understand the importance of adopting healthy habits that prevent or limit complications.

Most importantly, the care manager will foster the patient-doctor relationship by encouraging you to communicate with your doctor about any changes you may be experiencing in your current health status.

How the Program Works with You and Your Doctor

The programs are designed to work with the treatment plan developed by your doctor. The DM Programs are staffed by well-trained experts in health improvement who consist of nurses, specialists, and coaches to help you manage your chronic illness by:

  • Educating you about the disease so you have a better understanding about your condition.
  • Reinforcing the importance of taking your medicine as recommended by your doctor.
  • Encouraging you to complete those all-important lab tests and preventive services.
  • Reminding you about the importance of follow-up visits with your doctor.
  • Discussing healthy nutrition options and physical activity.
  • Advising you about community resources.
  • Sending alerts and progress reports to your doctor that may include recommended treatments or services based on national standards.

For more information about our Disease Management programs, contact WHA Member Services. You may also contact Optum directly at 877.793.3655, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST; closed holidays.


Last review date: February 8, 2019

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