New WEB SITE information â€” P. 2
JAN 1, 2001
Arkansas Blue Cross To Launch Expanded Web Site Jan. 1 www.arkansasbluecross.com
rkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield will begin the A new year with a new look and expanded presence on the
World Wide Web. The Web site will feature a wealth of new information about our products and services. Its expandable architecture will allow the site to grow as the company develops more customer-service tools over the next year. The Health Advantage site (http://www.health advantage-hmo.com) also is undergoing redesign and expansion and should be launched about Feb. 1. Once you enter the arkansasbluecross.com site, you will be able to choose one of five gateways to additional information: “Guests,” “Members” (policyholders), “Employers,” “Providers” and “Agents.” The “Members” gateway will provide access to several new areas. Arkansas public school employees, Arkansas state employees and federal employees will find sections designed specifically for them. The school and state employees may access benefit and rate charts, which will be updated annually. Federal employees will have a link to an extensive national site. Provider Directories The “Provider Directories” will have a new look and more functionality. You will be able to search for a physician or other health practitioner, dentist, hospital or other health facility, or pharmacy. You may search by city, county, region or name of the provider or facility. Preferred Drug List Another section of the Web site should help members understand why some drugs cost them more than others. The “Preferred Drug List” section will explain how the three-tier formulary works and list the drugs that have the highest cost. A condensed version of the Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage Preferred Drug List will provide a guide for asking your physician to prescribe a generic or lower-cost medication. Health Plans and Services The “Health Plans and Services” section will describe our individual and group health plans. You will be able to obtain an on-line rate quote for individual and family coverage. You also will be able to fill out an application form on line, print it out and mail it to Arkansas Blue Cross. Services available to members, such as Special Delivery for expectant mothers, also will be described under “Health Plans and Services.” Customer Service Under the “Customer Service” section, you will find:
• “Wellness Discounts,” a directory of health clubs, weight-loss programs and sporting goods stores offering discounts to our members; • “Glossary,” a list of health insurance terms; • “Fraud & Abuse,” information about how to report insurance fraud, which drives up costs for everyone. FAQs The “FAQs” (frequently asked questions) will answer the most common questions our customer service representatives receive about our products and services. About Us “About Us” will contain information about Arkansas Blue Cross, including its history, vision, financial strength and leadership. The “Community Involvement” section will summarize community-service efforts. Legislative/Regulatory Update “Legislative/Regulatory Update” will keep members updated on national and state legislation and issues that could affect your health care coverage. A link to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s national health issues Web site will enable visitors to search for their state or federal lawmakers by typing in their ZIP code.
or a wild and woolly experience, visit BlueAnn Ewe at her own Web address beginning Jan. 1, 2001: http:// www.BlueAnnEwe.com. BlueAnn is a six-foot-tall blue sheep who serves as a health and wellness ambassador for Arkansas Blue Cross. Her Web site is designed for children and will help promote healthy lifestyles. BlueAnn’s home page will feature a weekly poll and a schedule of her appearances. Other sections of the site will include: • “About BlueAnn,” a profile and photos of the blue ewe; • “Healthy Goodies,” a place to find healthy, easy-toprepare recipes and fun activities; • “Games and Activities,” easy-to-do, fun, health-related games, puzzles, coloring pages and quizzes; • “BlueAnn’s Scrapbook,” snapshots of BlueAnn with the children and classrooms she visits; • “TV and Radio,” BlueAnn’s TV and radio health information spots; • “BlueAnn’s Clubhouse,” BlueAnn’s Class Club and Health Club information and enrollment forms; • “Fan Mail,” letters sent to BlueAnn; • “Comm’EWE’nicate,” telephone, e-mail and mailing instructions.
Customer Service Numbers Little Rock Toll-free Number (501) Number
State/Public School Employees 378-2437 1-800-482-8416 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Medi-Pak (Medicare supplement)
Medicare (for beneficiaries only): Part A (hospital benefits) Part B (physician benefits)
378-3151 1-877-356-2368 378-2320 1-800-482-5525
UniqueCare, UniqueCare Blue, Blue Select®, BlueCare PPO & PPO Plus (individual products) 378-2010 1-800-238-8379 Group Services
Federal Employee Program (FEP)
Medi-Pak HMO (Health Advantage) 954-5200 1-800-354-9904 USAble Administrators
For information about obtaining coverage, call: Category
Little Rock Toll-free Number (501) Number
Medi-Pak (Medicare supplement)
UniqueCare Blue, Blue Select®, BlueCare PPO & PPO Plus (individual products) 378-2937 1-800-392-2583 Medi-Pak HMO (Health Advantage) 378-6987 1-800-588-5706
Regional Office locations: Central Northeast Northwest South Central Southeast Southwest West Central
Little Rock Jonesboro Fayetteville Hot Springs Pine Bluff Texarkana Fort Smith
Customers who live in these regions may contact the regional offices or call the appropriate toll-free telephone numbers above.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Web site information ................................... 2 Have a healthy New Year ............................. 4 Toy safety tips ............................................. 5 Fad diets ...................................................... 6 Healthy recipes ............................................ 7 Are you stressed? ..................................... 8-9 Healthy pregnancy ..................................... 10 Gestational diabetes .................................. 10 Special Delivery ......................................... 10 Skin care dos and don’ts ........................... 11 Depression & our seniors ........................... 12 Health Advantage news for members ......... 13 A common insurance fraud ........................ 13 Weight Watchers & you ............................. 13 Let us introduce ......................................... 14 Blue & Your Community ............................. 15 Health seminar for women ......................... 15 Clearly Blue (a terminology guide) .................... 16
is published four times a year by the Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Advertising and Communications Division for the company’s members, health care professionals and other persons interested in health care and wellness. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield or any of its publics.
Vice President of Advertising and Communications Patrick O’Sullivan Editor Kelly Whitehorn — BNYou-Ed@arkbluecross.com Designer Gio Bruno Contributors Mark Carter, Janice Drennan, Damona Fisher and Kathy Luzietti
Health & Wellness 2001 Helpful hints for a healthy new year
he new year is just beginning and we have some good news and bad news for you. The good news is that this is a perfect time to make a New Year’s resolution and keep your health and wellness program on track. The bad news is that studies show that the majority of those resolutions are forgotten in just a few months. Never fear. You can do it. All it takes is a little willpower and a realistic plan for the new year. Review the following 10 simple resolution suggestions and ways to keep from straying from your goal.
#1 Sign up for an exercise class: Arkansas Blue Cross, Health Advantage and USAble Administrators now offer a “wellness program” to all members. The wellness program provides discounts at numerous local health clubs statewide. See Page 3 for our Web addresses to look up participating health clubs and discounts offered.
#2 Exercise at least 20 minutes three times per week: Exercise can contribute significantly to a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
#3 Always wear your seatbelt while driving: Motor vehicle accidents remain the biggest cause of non-disease death and injury in the United States.
#4 Get to know your primary care physician: Health examinations are an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
It is important to develop trust by establishing a relationship with your physician and to be able to discuss health risk factors with him/her.
#5 Reduce the stress in your life: Ride a bike. Read to your children. Plant a garden. Take a long bath. Take a walk. Take time from your every day life to do the things you enjoy.
#6 Get plenty of sleep: Adults need at least eight hours of sleep per day; teen-agers need nine hours of sleep per day; schoolaged children need 10 hours of sleep per day; toddlers and preschoolers need approximately 12 hours of sleep per day and one afternoon nap; and newborn babies need anywhere from 12 to 20 hours per day.
#7 Eat healthy foods: The best nutrition plan for a person of any age is to follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Guide Pyramid for eating each day — six servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta; five servings of fruits and vegetables; two to three servings of milk, yogurt and cheese; two to three servings of meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts; and just a little fats, oils and sweets.
#8 Quit smoking: Smoking causes lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and affects your quality of life. Have a plan to quit smoking: set a target date to quit, talk to your physician about nicotine replacement therapy; avoid
those social situations or triggers that cause you to want a cigarette; and reward yourself for not smoking.
#9 Drink at least eight glasses of water a day because it is good for you: Next time you reach for a soda or one more cup of coffee, do your body a favor and have a refreshing glass of water instead.
#10 Learn to laugh: Research shows that while having a positive attitude and a sense of humor won’t necessarily cure disease, it can keep you from getting sick and make you feel better, both emotionally and physically. It has been reported that laughter has favorable effects on breathing and heart rates and offers relief from stress and anxiety. Sigmund Freud said that laughter enables individuals to defend against fear, anger and other disturbing emotions. Laughter, he said, provides comfort, alleviates the pain of misfortune and enables individuals to deal with situations in a mature, intelligent and constructive fashion.
Making resolutions is easy. Keeping them is the hard part. Have trouble keeping your resolutions? Here are a few tips to stay on track. • Don’t make a resolution unless you think the change will make you happier or improve your life. • Tackle one resolution at a time. • Word your resolutions positively. Instead of “stop eating potato chips,” tell yourself to “eat healthy.” • Do not punish yourself for setbacks. • Reward yourself for accomplishing your goals.
Don’t “toy” A
dults eager to find the perfect toy or game as a gift for a favorite youngster should keep some specific safety tips in mind. Many toys look harmless but can cause injury in certain situations and even death. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that in 1998 more than 120,000 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries. Of those, 14 died. Most toys are completely safe. But for more than 120,000 American kids in 1998, at least one toy wasn’t. By following a few toy-safety tips, you can eliminate that minute chance that your child could become a CPSC statistic. • Toy recalls. Educate yourself about toy recalls. The CPSC has an automated e-mail list that will keep you updated on all recalls. Send the message “Join CPSCINFO-L” to firstname.lastname@example.org, and you’ll be added to the list. To report problems or defects with a toy, e-mail email@example.com or call 1-800-638-2772. • Make sure toys are ageappropriate. Most toy-related deaths and injuries involve children under the age of 4. Choking is the number-one cause of death in toyrelated accidents. Kids under 4 should not play with toys or games intended for older children. Read the labels. • Stay away from balloons. Latex balloons are the top non-food choking hazard for children. Children as old as
with your child’s safety 8 have choked on the latex of a deflated balloon. Other top choking hazards are nuts, hard candy and popcorn. • Avoid thrift-shop and garagesale toys. Buyers have no way of knowing whether toys bought at such venues as thrift shops or garage sales have been recalled. The toy industry does a good job of getting recalled products off the shelves but can’t account for those used items not sold in traditional toy stores. Buyers should be particularly sensitive to buying used high chairs, playpens and cribs. Make sure you know their source. • Be careful with electronic toys. Some electronic toys, which are becoming more and more popular, have heating elements that have been known to cause burns. Also, batteries are a choking hazard. For more information on toy safety and recalls, visit www.cpsc.gov. — Sources: The Consumer Product Safety Commission and WebMD.
Choking is the number-one cause of death in toyrelated accidents.
There’s a reason why they’re called
n their rush to satisfy an urge for instant gratification or to take off that little bit of added holiday weight, many Americans are not taking healthy approaches to weight loss. Diets that bill themselves as quick and painless, as cure-alls, that recommend or require supplements, that specify what should be eaten at certain times with no exceptions, limit or avoid certain foods and are shortterm should be avoided, according to the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Americans spend an estimated $33 billion annually on weight-loss programs, products and pills — all that money in search of a quick, easy solution. But nothing worthwhile comes easy. The same is true for dieting and weight loss. Long-term weight loss comes at the expense of slow, gradual change in one’s eating habits and a strict adherence to the food pyramid. And regular aerobic exercise doesn’t hurt either. It will help take the weight off and keep it off. The ADA says that all weight-loss or weight-management programs should include a gradual change to a healthy eating style. Diets rich in variety are easier to stick with. In fact, experts say that most fad diets, especially those based on eating from one particular food group (foods rich in protein, for example), aren’t nutritionally balanced and may actually cause the body harm over time. The ADA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institute for Health all agree on the best way to approach weight loss or weight management. It is the simplest approach and yet often the hardest: eat less, exercise more.
“fad” diets Some ways to get started on a sensible, healthy weight loss plan: • Visit your doctor, who can help you design a healthy plan. • Drink lots of water. • Get in at least 20 minutes of exercise at least three times a week. • Set a goal for losing just a pound or two a week. Faster weight loss not only is more likely to be temporary, but those who rely on fad diets and stricter programs tend to give up sooner and put the lost weight back on.
• Count calories. Calorie-counting books are available at most any bookstore. Educate yourself on how many calories are in the food you eat. The best way to cut calories is by eating fewer high-fat and highsugar foods. • Don’t skip meals. Starving oneself is not healthy. Hunger makes people more likely to indulge and overeat later. • Talk to your doctor about maintaining your desired weight once you’ve reached it. Once you reach your desired weight, your goal should be to stay there. — Sources: The American Dietetic Association and WebMD.
The light side of holiday cooking F
eeling guilty about your holiday eating? Well, ease your mind the next time you need some tasty goodies for a holiday season. The recipes below are light and tasty and sure to be a hit with family and friends. Eggnog DeLight 2 tbsp. sugar ^ cup fat-free egg substitute 4 cups hot 2% milk 1 ^ tsp. sugar 1 cup fat-free whipping cream garnish — cocoa powder Beat 2 tbsp. sugar into the egg substitute. Slowly stir in milk. In a double boiler, cook the mixture over hot, but not boiling, water. Stir continuously until mixture coats a spoon, about five minutes. Cool; chill for four hours and pour into a punch bowl. Fold 1 tsp. sugar into the whipped topping, pour eggnog into separate glasses, put a dollop of whipped topping on each Eggnog DeLight and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Brownies Light 1 cup all purpose flour ƒ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ^ tsp. baking soda £ tsp. salt 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped 2 tbsp. canola oil 3 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce 1 cup packed light brown sugar 1 ^ tbsp. light corn syrup 3 egg whites 2 tsp. vanilla Coat 13 X 9-inch pan with non-stick spray; set aside. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. In a large saucepan, combine the chocolate and oil. Stir over heat until chocolate is melted and smooth (do not scorch). Remove from heat and stir in the applesauce, brown sugar and corn syrup. Vigorously stir in the egg whites and vanilla.
Continue to stir until all the sugar dissolves. Gently stir in flour mixture and blend well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes or until the center is almost firm when lightly tapped. Let cool. Cut into squares. Makes 24 brownies. Delicious Seven-Layer Dip 1 16 oz. can fat-free refried beans ^ cup salsa 1 cup fat-free sour cream 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese or reduced-fat cheddar cheese 2 medium tomatoes, chopped 1 avocado, seeded, peeled and diced ƒ cup sliced green onions 2 tbsp. chopped ripe olives In a medium bowl, stir together the refried beans and salsa. Spread the bean mixture on a 9-inch platter or a pie plate. Spread the sour cream on top of the bean layer. Layer the shredded cheese, tomatoes, avocados, green onions and olives on top. If desired, cover and refrigerate for up to four hours. Serve with low-fat tortilla chips.
To Be__________ or Not To Be …
n today’s world of computers, cellular phones, voice mail and fax machines, life can move at a very fast pace. At times you feel as though you need to get off the merry-go-round, but it won’t stop — it won’t even slow down. It’s inevitable, in spite of all efforts to avoid it, that everyone, including you, will experience some form of stress at some point in his/her life. An important thing to keep in mind when dealing with stress is that stress, in itself, cannot directly affect you — it’s how you choose to respond to it. One thing is certain — if not properly managed, stress can have a harmful effect on your physical as well as mental health. Many things determine why individuals respond differently to stress. Sometimes biological or genetic reasons cause them to be more vulnerable to stress. Age, personality, isolation and ethnic differences also can play a role in how an individual reacts to stress. Whatever the reason, people usually have their own way of dealing with it. Some turn to unhealthy habits, such as eating junk food, smoking, alcohol abuse or a sedentary lifestyle while others seem to be able to “roll with the punches.”
PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF STRESS For a number of years, it’s been known that stress can lead to numerous physical as well as psychological problems, such as: • Heart disease • High blood pressure • Stroke • Susceptibility to disease or illness • Digestive problems • Weight problems • Diabetes • Intensified arthritic/muscular aches and pains • Sleep disturbances • Sexual and reproductive dysfunction • Loss of concentration and memory • Skin conditions. Any physical or psychological conditions that are out of the ordi-
nary, such as cardiac symptoms, significant pain, severe anxiety or depression, should be discussed with a physician or psychologist. Some stress can actually be good for you. Stress, when appropriate and controllable, can stimulate interest and excitement and motivate individuals to greater achievements. On the other hand, a lack of stress can cause boredom and depression. IDENTIFY THE SOURCE To reduce stress, first you need to identify the source(s). One way to do that is to take an inventory of your activities over a two-week period. Note the activities and events that were particularly stressful or had a negative effect on you. Also note the ones that you felt were positive experiences — those that gave you a sense of exhilaration or accomplishment. Carefully review the lists and determine your priorities and goals. Ask yourself if these stressful activities met your own goals or someone else’s. Could the tasks be reasonably accomplished? Which tasks were you in control of, and which tasks did someone else control? SET PRIORITIES After carefully studying your lists, try to schedule more of the less-stressful activities and less of the morestressful activities. Decide which of the more-stressful activities have the most negative effect on you. If it’s not possible to eliminate those activities or situations, you might be able to lessen the effect that they have on you. Plan some recreation — take some vacation time or an occasional long weekend. If the source of your stress is work-related and changing jobs or
STRESSED — It’s up to you working fewer hours is unlikely, try to transfer within the company or take a walk or do some other physical activity during lunch. Whatever the situation, take an occasional break from the routine.
• Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation or meditation. • Learn to delegate to subordinates when necessary. Part of their job is to help you do yours.
WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS • Learn to say “no” when appropriate. You will gain more control of your life. • Develop a positive attitude. Your outlook on life will improve. • Try leaving 15 minutes earlier for appointments or work to avoid the rush. • Wear a smile on your face. Studies have shown that even if it’s “pasted on,” it’s a start to being happier. • Discuss your feelings with someone you trust. • Don’t get ”too many irons in the fire.” Know your limits. • Lay off the caffeine and other stimulants, and don’t drink alcohol. • Exercise regularly. It’s proven to help reduce stress and prevent depression. • Make a “realistic” schedule. Schedule enough time for work, play and relaxation. • Keep your sense of humor during a stressful event. Laughter reduces tension. • Keep things in perspective. Determine the worst thing that can happen. Decide how important the activity or situation is to you. There are many things you can do to help reduce the stress in your life. No one thing will work for everyone and it usually takes a combination of techniques before you see results. Just remember that stress in your life is here to stay. The best thing that you can do is to eliminate as much of it as you can and learn to deal with the rest. By doing so, you’ll reap the benefits of a much healthier, more enjoyable life.
• Eat a healthy diet. Avoid junk food. Healthy foods enhance stress resistance.
— Sources: Nidas Information Services, Inc. Well-Connected Report: Stress; www.malehealth.com, His Health by Ken Goldberg, M.D.
Have a healthy pregnancy F
or the majority of women, the surest way to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby is to live a healthy lifestyle. The March of Dimes suggests the following guidelines: • Get early prenatal care, even before you are pregnant and in the planning stages. • Eat a well-balanced diet, including a vitamin supplement that contains folic acid. • Continue your exercise program with your physician’s permission. • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and illegal drugs. Limit your caffeine intake. • Avoid X-rays, hot tubs and saunas. • Avoid infections.
Special Delivery I
f you would like more information about the Special Delivery prenatal care program offered as an additional benefit to Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Health Advantage and USAble Administrators members, please call toll-free 1-800-742-6457 or (501) 954-5469.
Questions & Answers Women who are at risk for the most common form of diabetes are also at risk for developing diabetes during pregnancy, according to The Journal of the American Medical Association. Research shows that the risk for developing gestational diabetes increases with advancing age, history of diabetes in a first-degree relative (such as a mother or father), non-white ethnicity, high body mass index before pregnancy, weight gain in early adulthood and cigarette smoking.
Q: What is gestational diabetes? A: It is a type of diabetes that begins
during pregnancy. If you have diabetes, your body is unable to use the sugar in your blood as well as it should, so the level of sugar in your blood becomes higher than normal.
Q: How can gestational diabetes affect you and your baby? A: If the diabetes isn’t treated,
your baby may be more likely to have problems at birth, such as a low blood sugar level and jaundice, or your baby may weigh
much more than is normal. Gestational diabetes may cause you to have a more difficult delivery.
What should you do if you have gestational diabetes? You will need to follow a diet suggested by your doctor, exercise regularly and have blood tests to check your blood sugar level. You may also need to take medication to control your blood sugar level.
Q: What changes should you make in your diet? A: Consult with your physician. You
shouldn’t eat foods that contain a lot of simple sugar, such as cakes, cookies, candy, fruit drinks or ice cream. Instead, eat small frequent meals (every three hours). Avoid convenience foods such as frozen meals or canned soups. It’s also important to eat well-balanced meals. For more information on gestational diabetes, please consult your physician. — Sources: The Journal of the American Medication Association, the March of Dimes and www.familydoctor.org.
he image of the tanned and toned body is usually T portrayed as the picture of good health. Although exercising and toning is good for you, tanning is not. Study after study shows that burning and excessive tanning of the skin is unhealthy. It can cause skin cancer as well as premature aging of the skin. So what can you do to take care of your skin? Follow these simple rules. 1. Use sun protection. The best way to avoid premature aging of the skin and skin cancer is to limit sun exposure and apply sunscreen regularly. Make sure your sunscreen or moisturizer contains a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Use the highest SPF factor available for small children when you have them at the beach or pool. Good habits begin early. 2. Eat healthy. Eating a balanced diet containing whole grains, fruits and vegetables can help reduce the effects of prior sun damage. 3. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day. It refreshes your whole body as well as your skin. 4. Wash your face gently. Gently wash your face, throat and neck with a gentle liquid cleanser or beauty bar. Avoid harsh cleansers and abrasive facial scrubs; they cause more problems than they solve. Additionally, be sure to rinse your face thoroughly. Soap residue can irritate the skin, causing breakouts. Use warm, not hot, water to rinse off. Forget the cold-water splash — pores do not open and close as commonly thought. 5. What is the one thing you are always told to do, no matter what your health concern? You guessed it. Quit
smoking, or don’t start smoking. Nothing ages your appearance and damages your overall health more than smoking. On average, smokers look five to 10 years older than their actual ages. Smoking damages the elastic tissue that keeps the skin tight and probably aggravates the effects of sun damage. 6. Try to de-stress. Stress interferes with sleep, which has both short- and long-term effects on skin. Stress is a contributing cause to adult-onset acne cases, according to dermatologists. Stress also robs your skin of that “healthy glow.” To relieve stress, try yoga, relaxation techniques, exercise and doing things you enjoy. 7. Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize. Using moisturizer not only helps keep your skin soft; it also protects your skin from the pollutants in the environment. Choose a product that is gentle to your skin and not overly perfumed. Moisturizing your entire body when still slightly damp from the shower is the best time. Additionally — for your face — try using a mild lotion containing alpha hydroxy. These lotions contain natural acids from wine, milk, apples, lemons or sugar cane. The acids gradually peel off the top layers of dead skin without irritation. Lotions containing alpha hydroxy are available in your local drugstore in lotions, cleansers and other skin care products. No matter what your age, it is never too late — or too early — to take good care of your skin. Remember that it has to last a lifetime.
Depression & our seniors T
he loss of a spouse, chronic medical conditions, medications — they all could be culprits for depression in the elderly. Studies suggest that approximately 15 percent of all older adults experience depression at one time or another. “Depression affects our mental, physical and spiritual well-being,” said Steven Thomason, M.D., a family practice physician with the Baptist Health Family Clinic in Little Rock. “Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance, not unlike diabetes, where insulin is the chemical.” Depression is not a normal part of aging. In older adults, depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated because of several unusual characteristics: 1) Sometimes the elderly develop illnesses (such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease) whose symptoms overlap with the symptoms of depression. 2) The side effects of many drugs mimic or aggravate the symptoms of depression. 3) Depression often causes mental cloudiness or confusion. That makes depression harder to diagnose because everyone loses some mental sharpness as a normal part of aging. 4) Older adults may complain of persistent fatigue, experience unexplained weight loss or appetite loss, have problems sleeping or have difficulty concentrating when they are depressed. Many people see these complaints as a normal part of aging, but it could be depression. 5) The losses that many older adults face (loss of job, loss of spouse, loss of physical or mental vitality) may contribute to depression.
Everyone feels sad or melancholy occasionally. When a person is depressed, the feelings of sadness or hopelessness continue for a prolonged period of time. People with depression usually exhibit at least some of the following symptoms: • Depressed most of the day, nearly every day. • Loss of pleasure in daily activities. • Significant weight loss or gain. • Change in mobility either by slowing down or exhibiting nervous gestures. • Feelings of worthlessness, self-reproach or excessive guilt. • Diminished ability to concentrate. • Suicidal thoughts. Untreated depression leaves the elderly at a serious risk for suicide. Compared with other age groups, the elderly commit suicide twice as frequently. If you think you or someone you love may be experiencing depression, please talk to your physician for a diagnosis and treatment. — Sources: Depression.Com and Self Help and Psychology Magazine.
PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN CHANGES As a member of Health Advantage, you are required to select a primary care physician (PCP) from the list of participating providers. When members want to change their PCP, they may do so by calling Health Advantage Customer Service. Requests received by the 15th of the month will be effective the first of the following month. Requests received after the 15th of the month will be effective the first of the second month. Exceptions to this policy may be made, depending on the circumstances. Should you change your PCP, please be aware that referrals from the previous PCP will not be valid. The new PCP should issue referrals for specialty care. HEALTH ADVANTAGE MEMBERS RECEIVE BLUECARD EMERGENCY BENEFITS On Oct. 1, 2000, the Public School Employee (PSE) group
ge Health Advanta members —
became the first group to have their claims filed electronically by the outof-area Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan when receiving emergency care outside of Arkansas. This means greater savings to the member and to Health Advantage because the allowed charges from the servicing provider will be held to the other plan’s contracted rate in their traditional BlueCard network. The most noticeable change for the member and all providers serving Arkansas is the addition of the XCH prefix to the member’s ID card.
A Common Fraud The mission of the investigators of the Special Investigations Unit of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is to “aggressively investigate and pursue prosecution of health care fraud, abuse and overutilization” whether it be providers, agents, company employees, provider employees or others. Their territory is private business (USAble Administrators, Federal Employee Program, Medi-Pak HMO, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Health Advantage).
One of the most common types of member fraud is when a group contract holder fails to remove a divorced spouse from their contract. If Arkansas Blue Cross pays claims on the divorced spouse, that is considered fraud, and the contract holder is held liable for the total amount of this overpayment. If you suspect someone of committing health insurance fraud, please call our fraud hotline at 1-800-FRAUD 21. All information is kept strictly confidential.
Weight Watchers All members of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Health Advantage and USAble Administrators are now eligible for a discount at all Weight Watchers locations in Arkansas as part of the “wellness program” offered to all members. The Weight Watchers discount applies to the regular joining fee (a 15 percent discount); four weeks of prepaid classes; and to all products sold during class time. Members simply have to show their individual or family health ID card at the time of
All members will receive new ID cards as their benefits renew during the next nine months. The new ID cards will show the new prefix with their old ID number. Arkansas providers will not have to change any claims-filing procedures as a result of this benefit. Members also will receive additional information regarding their BlueCard benefits when they receive their new ID card.
purchase to receive the discounts. Weight Watchers centers and meetings can be located by calling 1-800651-6000 or through their international Web Site, www.weightwatchers.com. For the complete list of all local health clubs, sporting goods stores and fitness equipment vendors, etc. who are offering discounts to members, visit our Web sites at www.arkansasbluecross.com or www.healthadvantagehmo.com.
Let us introduce… Mike Beebe and Shane Broadway set to play key roles in the future of Arkansas
State Senator Mike Beebe
State Representative Shane Broadway
Mike Beebe, 53, began serving in the Senate in 1983. When the General Assembly convenes for the 2001 regular business, he will be first in seniority. Additionally, he will be the President Pro Tem of the Senate meaning he will often preside over the Senate and make some committee appointments.
Shane Broadway, a Bryant businessman, is serving his second term representing part of Saline County in the Arkansas General Assembly. He has been elected Speakerdesignate of the House and will be voted in as Speaker of the House when the General Assembly convenes in 2001. Broadway’s new responsibilities will include appointing legislators to the Joint Budget Committee and House Select Committees. At 28, he will become the youngest Speaker of the House in Arkansas history.
Hometown: Searcy Education: Bachelor of Arts degree from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law 1999-2000 Committees: Joint Budget, Legislative Council, Joint Legislative Facilities, Efficiency Committee (chairperson), Judiciary, Insurance and Commerce, and Joint Committee on Children & Youth. Community Activities: Member, Board of Trustees, Arkansas State University, 1974-1979 Chairman, Board of Trustees, Arkansas State University, 1977-79 Central Arkansas General Hospital Board of Directors (chairperson) Searcy Chamber of Commerce White County Bar Association (president), 1976-77 Trinity Episcopal Church (vestry member and senior warden) Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association American Trial Lawyers Association Honors and Achievements: Editor in Chief, Arkansas Law Review, 1971-72 Outstanding Trial Lawyer of Arkansas, 1982 — award presented by the State Trial Lawyers Association Award for Distinguished Service, Arkansas Municipal League, 1985 Arkansas Municipal League Honor for Distinguished Service, 1986 Award of Appreciation from the Arkansas County Judges, 1991 Personal: Married to Ginger, two sons and one daughter. Democrat District 21 Home telephone number: (501) 268-9452 Office telephone number: (501) 268-4111
Hometown: Bryant Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro 1999-2000 Committees: House Rules Committee (chairperson), House Education Committee, House Aging, Children & Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs Committee, Joint Budget Committee and the Arkansas Legislative Council. Community Activities: Bryant Chamber of Commerce Leukemia Society of America The Saline County Farm Bureau The Bryant Booster Club The Multiple Sclerosis Society of America The Saline County Industrial Development Committee First Baptist Church in Bryant Honors and Achievements: Named Outstanding Young American by the Arkansas Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1998 Recipient of the first Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Political Science at Arkansas State University Listed in Arkansas Business magazine’s 2000 listing of “Forty Under Forty,” which recognizes community and business leaders under the age of 40 Personal: Married to Debbie, an investigator with the Consumer Protection Division of the attorney general’s office. Democrat District 46 Home telephone number: (501) 847-7796 Office telephone number: (501) 847-9534
15 rkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield strives to be a A good corporate citizen. Our employees raise money and spend many hours helping those causes near and dear to the hearts of Arkansans. Wild About Wellness The “Wild About Wellness” Kid’s Health Fair must have been on the check list of parents in the ArkLaTex area because they turned out in full force to get their students ready to go back to school. The Four States Fairgrounds hosted more than 1,850 preschoolers and young students who were helped at the third annual event. Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield was again a title sponsor of the event and helped caregivers by weighing and measuring the height of the children, as well as providing fun and educational materials. BlueAnn Ewe was on hand to greet the kids. Students also could get their immunizations, have their eyesight and hearing checked and play healthy games for a chance to learn — and win prizes. The Nickelodeon Game Lab came on the second day of the event. The event more than tripled the number of participants from 1999. Giving Breast Cancer the Boot! The Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield/Health Advantage/USAble Administrators team boasted a total of 423 cowboys and cowgirls for the seventh annual Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s Arkansas Race For The Cure on Oct. 14. The Race and Three Miles of Men teams turned out with almost 27,000 other folks to help “give breast cancer the boot” in the Race or greet them down at the “Blue Cross Corral” Barn Dance and
Waterin’ Hole. Employees held a special fund-raiser for the event which raised about $500 above and beyond pledges provided and pink postcards purchased for the event. Our hats are off to all breast cancer survivors and all of those thousands of people who showed up to make this the largest Race For The Cure ever in Arkansas and one of the top five races in the nation. Every step counted Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield employees, their friends and family members turned out in force on Sept. 23 in downtown Little Rock to make sure that “Every Step Counts.” Approximately 500 Arkansas Blue Cross “Every Step Counts” team walkers participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation’s 2000 Walk to Cure Diabetes, of which Arkansas Blue Cross was the presenting sponsor. Arkansas Blue Cross Vice President Mike Brown hands out water Arkansas Blue bottles to JDF walkers. Cross employees made up roughly one-seventh of the 3,500 or so walkers for the third annual event, and raised more than $18,000 themselves. Arkansas Blue Cross was far and away the most represented corporate group at the event and raised more than three times the amount of any other company or group.
Health Seminar for Women Baptist Health is presenting a health-and-wellness seminar titled “How to Extend Your Life” as the first in a series of health forums for women. The forum is scheduled for 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2001, at the Gilbreath Conference Center at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock. Participants are invited to take the Women and Heart Disease Risk Assessment test; view displays from Baptist Health and area merchants; receive information on vitamins, yoga and massage therapy; participate in blood
pressure checks and osteoporosis and body-fat-compositions screenings; listen to a panel discussion with local physicians on healthy aging; and much more. The keynote speaker for the event is Margery Silver, Ed.D., a neuropsychologist with the New England Centenarian Study at Harvard Medical School Division on Aging and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. To register or for more information, please call Baptist Health toll-free at 1-888-227-8478 or in Little Rock at 227-8478.
— a guide to health insurance terminology
f health care terminology (including abbreviations and acronyms) leaves your head spinning … Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield would like to help you make sense out of all the jargon. We want you to be an informed customer, so we hope to explain the meaning behind those health insurance words, acronyms and abbreviations that you may encounter when reading health care-related materials. Adjustment — The change in the payment after a claim has been paid incorrectly based on erroneous information submitted on the original claim. Ambulatory care facility — A medical care center that provides a wide range of health care services, including preventive care, acute care, surgery and outpatient care, in a centralized facility. Also known as a medical clinic or medical center. Carrier — The insurance company which writes and/or administers the health insurance policy. Claims Review — The most stringent utilization review system that takes place within preferred provider organizations (PPOs). Clean Claim — A claim containing all data required for payer adjudication and that does not require further investigation. Employer Mandate — A legislative requirement that employers pay a portion of their employees’ health care coverage. The mandate has been a point of heated debate in Congress’ formation of a national health care plan. Generic Drug — Prescription medication that does not have a trade name or brand name, usually produced by more than one manufacturer; refers to a medication that is chemically equivalent to is brand-name counterpart. Generic Substitution — The act of dispensing a different brand or an unbranded drug product for the drug product prescribed (i.e., chemically the exact same drug in the same dosage form.) Medical Foundation — A not-for-profit entity, usually created by a hospital or health system, that purchases and manages physician practices.
Performance measures — Quantitative measures of quality of care provided by a health plan or provider that consumers, payors, regulators and others can use to compare the plan or provider to other plans and providers. Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Insurance Rating Analysis — An independent rating company that evaluates a company’s performance based on management and corporate strategy, overall business review, operating performance, investments and capital. Arkansas Blue Cross has consistently received a high rating from this service. In the past few years, Arkansas Blue Cross has received an A- (Excellent) rating.
What an honor! Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield recently received an Award of Excellence for our customer publication Blue & You and an Award of Excellence for the design of Blue & You during the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Bronze Quill Award ceremony. Blue & You was judged by out-ofstate IABC members. The Award of Excellence is the highest award given during the Bronze Quill Awards ceremony. Kelly Whitehorn serves as editor of Blue & You and Gio Bruno is the designer. Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield P.O. Box 2181 Little Rock, AR 72203-2181