Last modified: August 12, 2021
When you work closely with patients who have sickle cell disease (SCD), you want to know that support is available for the patients, as well as for you and the other members of their care team. We’ll highlight the resources we have for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan members and for health care professionals like you.
Support for health care professionals
We encourage you to have conversations with your patients about treatment options and strategies to manage pain. Our care managers will work with you and the member’s care team:
- Helping to ensure the member is engaging with their primary care provider (PCP) and hematologist
- Working with members and their parents, PCPs and specialists to coordinate treatment
- Helping to ensure treatment meets evidence-based guidelines, including:
- Transcranial doppler (TCD) ultrasound screening annually for patients ages 2 to 15
- Using antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent pneumococcal infection for patients younger than 5
- Offer hydroxyurea to patients, ages 1 to 17, regardless of clinical severity, to reduce SCD-related complications
Education for health care professionals
Optum, an affiliate of UnitedHealthcare, offers culturally sensitive education courses at optumhealtheducation.com. These courses include the chance to earn continuing education credits.
Care management and community resources for members
Our care managers will work directly with the patients and their family to:
- Complete comprehensive and SCD assessments
- Help ensure medications are filled on time
- Educate patients on medication delivery options, or help with arranging transportation to pick up prescribed medications
- Work on an action plan for pain or infection
- Remind patients about their recommended vaccinations
- Talk about the importance of exams and screenings
- Start screening for proteinuria by age 10
- Screen for hepatitis C as appropriate
- Use a dilated eye exam to evaluate for retinopathy and refer to an ophthalmologist starting at age 10
The care managers also look for opportunities to match patients with community resources by referring them to:
Please contact the member’s care manager or call us at 800-903-5253.
 Evidence-Based Management of Sickle Cell Disease: Expert Panel Report, 2014 Pediatrics, December 2014, 134 (6) e1775; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2014-2986 as well as validated by QMETRIC program and National Quality Forum.