December 01, 2023

Caring for patients with sickle cell disease

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Michigan

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a serious and complex condition. To give your patients the best care, it’s important know the latest guidelines for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Michigan. Following the guidelines can help reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with this disease.

Educational opportunities

Optum Health Education training can help guide you in treating SCD. Options include:

  • Disparities in Social Determinants of Health: What can we do? (earn 1 CE credit)
  • Health Equity Foundations (earn 1 CE credit)


  • Have conversations with your patients about how SCD affects their mind, body and life
  • Provide tips for managing SCD, such as recommending programs that prevent complications, strategies to manage pain and using hydroxyurea for preventing SCD-related health problems
  • Use the following evidence-based guidelines in SCD treatment plans: 
    • Patients ages 2–15 should complete an annual transcranial doppler (TCD) screening
    • Patients younger than age 5 should receive antibiotic prophylaxis for prevention of pneumococcal infection
    • Offer patients ages 1–17 hydroxyurea treatment regardless of clinical severity to reduce SCD-related complications

Reducing missed appointments

Patients with SCD and their families miss important healthcare appointments for many reasons. Here are 2 guides to help you identify the barriers and be part of the health care solution:

Additional resources


If your office needs SCD health plan support, we can provide one-on-one access to nurses and care coordinators. Email Barb Dusenberry at or call 248-331-8012.


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