TriWest Healthcare Alliance, News Release
PHOENIX — TriWest Healthcare Alliance has a new Disease Management Program for major depression for eligible West Region Tricare beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries suffering from major depression or clinical depression can receive extra help through TriWest Healthcare Alliance, which manages Tricare military health care on behalf of the Department of Defense for 21 western states.
Major depression is the most common depressive disorder. More than 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with depression, according to the National Institutes of Health, about the equivalent of New York state’s population.
Clinical depression is a disabling disease characterized by persistent and enduring sadness, unhappiness and negativity that interferes with one’s daily life. Generally, a person who is depressed also exhibits at least three other symptoms, such as sleep disturbance; significant drop in energy levels; weight gain or loss; and frequent irritability.
The depression program, launched in November, is a no-cost entitlement for those who are eligible. Eligibility is determined by Tricare and is based on claim’s history.
Once a beneficiary is identified as eligible to participate in the program, DoD refers the beneficiary to TriWest. A disease management health coach then contacts the beneficiary and invites him or her to participate in the program.
The Disease Management Program has a number of services to help beneficiaries suffering from major depression, including a health coach who works with the beneficiary and the primary care manager who tailors an action plan. The health coach will then work with the beneficiary until the plan’s goals are met. As needed, the beneficiary can also access smoking cessation, exercise, medication and nutrition help from his or her TriWest health coach.
The Disease Management department also offers support to beneficiaries with diabetes, asthma, lung diseases and heart failure.
TriWest works alongside the Military Health System to offer additional behavioral health resources to support those in need, including the Tricare Assistance Program. Eligible beneficiaries, including services members and their families, can access private, confidential counseling sessions, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a licensed therapist via Skype, chat or over the telephone. These sessions are non-clinical and intended for general life issues, such as stress management or relationship problems.