~ PERSONAL & HOME SAFETY information inside ~
quently asked questions frequently asked questions frequently asked questions frequen
F.A.Q. ons frequently asked questions frequently asked questions frequently asked questions ... from our members Q: If my primary care physician (PCP) refers me to a specialist, should I verify with Health Advantage that the specialist is in the network? A: Yes. It is a good idea to contact Health Advantage Customer Service to verify that a specialist is participating with Health Advantage. As a member, it is your responsibility to ensure that any provider that you see is participating in our network. You also can check the “Provider Directory” section of the Health Advantage Web site at www.healthadvantage-hmo.com.
Q: I am a Health Advantage member. What should I do if I lose my ID card? A: Contact Health Advantage Customer Service at (501) 221-3733 or 1-800-843-1329 and request a new ID card. You should receive your new card within seven to 10 days.
Q: Are annual eye exams covered by Health Advantage? A: Yes, coverage is provided for eye examinations by in-network specialists. No referral is needed. Please refer to your Health Advantage Benefit Summary and Evidence of Coverage for specifics on frequency, co-payments, etc.
Q: Does Health Advantage require that I have a referral for each visit to the specialist? A: Yes, except for in-network gynecological and obstetrical visits for women and routine eye examinations. Your PCP will refer you to a participating specialist for a specified number of visits with a specified length of time. It is the member’s responsibility to obtain referral/authorization prior to receiving services from a specialty provider.
Q: What if I wish to change to another Health Advantage PCP? A: You may change your PCP by calling Health Advantage Customer Service at (501) 221-3733 or 1-800843-1329. The request should be made by the end of the month for the change to be effective by the first of the following month.
Q: Must I select one Health Advantage PCP for my entire family? A: No, you may choose one PCP for your entire family or a different PCP for each eligible member of your family.
Q: What should I do if my PCP is out of the office and I need immediate medical care? A: Your PCP’s contract requires him or her to have someone available to take calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There should never be a time that you cannot reach your PCP or a covering physician who can direct you to the proper level of care.
Q: What is a point-of-service (POS) plan? A: A point-of-service plan means that a member has the option of receiving non-emergency services from plan providers or non-plan providers, without first receiving authorization from the PCP or Health Advantage. However, Health Advantage does not cover such services to the same degree as services authorized by the member’s PCP. The member also must meet a deductible before coverage begins. For some services, there is no coverage provided for out-of-network services.
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.
www.arkansasbluecross.com, www.healthadvantage-hmo.com, www.BlueAnnEwe-ark.com
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.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Be a safe driver ........................................... 4 Motor vehicle accidents .............................. 5 Hidden dangers: poison ............................ 6-7 Don’t rock the boat ................................... 8-9 Swimming safety ...................................... 8-9 Watch your back ........................................ 10 Kids, sports and safety .............................. 11 Fire safety and burn treatment ............. 12-13 CPR-certified employees ........................... 14 Beware of dog ............................................ 15 Focus on Health – Personal Safety ............ 16 Watch your step – avoiding falls ............... 17 The pharmacist is in .................................. 18 Medi-Pak member information .................. 18 Precautions for severe weather ................. 19 2000 Financial Highlights .......................... 19 BlueAnn Ewe at the museum ...................... 20 BlueAnn Ewe TV, Club Update .................... 21 Health Advantage customer info ................ 22 Blue & Youth national awards .................... 22 Blue & Your Community ............................. 23 Blue Online ................................................ 24 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
Be a safe driver I
... nearly 70,000 motor vehicle accidents and 605 fatalities reported in Arkansas in 1999 ...
f someone asked you to name the last time you did something risky, what would you say? You might tell them about the last time you went mountain climbing or the time you went sky diving. But did you mention the last time you drove your car? According to the latest report from the Arkansas Highway Transportation Department, there were nearly 70,000 motor vehicle accidents and 605 fatalities reported in Arkansas in 1999 alone. Just how prepared are you when you get behind the wheel? Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you be a safer driver: Allow enough time. Leave in plenty of time to get to your destination. Always allow for traffic jams or other emergencies along the way. If you’re relaxed, you’ll be more patient and more likely to avoid aggressive driving behavior, such as tailgating, excessive speeding and lane-changing that can lead to road rage (or collisions). Plan ahead. Adjust rearview mirrors, read directions, study maps, find sunglasses, change tapes or compact disks, etc. before you begin driving to avoid distractions while driving. Don’t talk on the phone. If you need to use your cell phone while driving, pull over to a safe location to place the call. Fasten your seatbelt. You and all of your passengers need to buckle up before you start driving. If traveling with small children, make sure they are secured in the appropriate safety seat or restraint and that you follow
directions for use. Children aged 12 and under always should be buckled up in the back seat, because it is the safest place to ride. Don’t drink and drive. Drinking alcohol is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents resulting from human error. Even small amounts of alcohol can impair judgment and reflexes when driving. Know the signs of fatigue. Be aware of medications that might make you drowsy. Try to eat lightly when traveling since heavy meals can cause drowsiness. If you’re feeling tired, pull over as soon as possible to a safe area and let someone else drive, or, if you’re alone, take a short nap or get out of your car and walk around. Be considerate of other drivers. Give proper signals, keep a safe distance from the car ahead of you, don’t weave in and out of traffic and give the right-of-way to emergency vehicles. A safe driver is also a responsible driver. When you drive, you not only take responsibility for your own safety, but the safety of others. So, please … be prepared the next time you get behind the wheel of your car. Your life and the lives of others may depend on it. — Source: www.auto.indiamart.com
s the longest practicing A board-certified emergency
motor vehicle accidents, I tell them I don’t want to see them again. I see injuries from motor vehicle or motorcycle accidents every room physician in Arkansas, day. It’s frustrating because it’s preventable. Dr. Marvin Leibovich has seen The death of a young person who had their first-hand the devastation whole life ahead of them is very disturbing. caused to families as a result “People who say they forget to wear their of motor vehicle or motorcycle Marvin Leibovich, M.D. seatbelts, or they are not used to it or its uncomfortaccidents — especially when able haven’t been to the scene of an accident with those involved weren’t wearing MED-FLIGHT where a death their seatbelts or can directly be related to safety helmets. someone’s refusal to wear a Leibovich, the seatbelt. People get thrown from chief of Emergency the vehicle and then it rolls over Medicine and the on them. It’s upsetting because director of the it could have been avoided,” MED-FLIGHT said Leibovich. program at Additionally, Leibovich BAPTIST HEALTH points out that many motor Medical Center in vehicle accidents can be attributed to someone Little Rock, was instrumental in drinking alcohol and then getting behind the wheel of encouraging the state legislature to a car. “In my experience, a huge percentage of motor pass the law a few years ago that vehicle accidents are alcohol-related. When youth, requires drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts. His devotion to safety speed and alcohol are combined, the results are often fatal,” he commented. issues comes from a lifetime of His experience seems to be an accurate seeing injuries that could have depiction of actual alcohol-related motor vehicle been prevented. accidents in Arkansas. In 1999, 31.4 percent of When reviewing motor motor vehicle accidents were alcohol-related, vehicle accident statistics in and 190 people were killed in alcohol-related acciArkansas, it’s easy to see why dents, according to statistics released by the National Arkansans should be concerned Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). about driving safety. Nationally, approximately 38 percent of accidents • Motor vehicle accidents cause more deaths than all other reasons were alcohol-related and 15,786 people died in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents in 1999. combined for young people The reasons for motor vehicle accidents are between the ages of 15 and 24. abundant — but most drivers can do something to • People who don’t wear seatbelts make their driving experience as safe as possible for are 20 times more likely to be themselves and their peers on the road by simply killed when they are involved in a buckling up and avoiding alcohol when planning to motor vehicle accident. drive. As an emergency room physician, Leibovich is • Trauma from a motor vehicle the kind of doctor you would want to attend to you if accident is the leading cause of you needed emergency care, but he hopes his contact death for all Arkansans between with you might be under more pleasant circumthe ages of 1 and 40. stances. He hopes you buckle up and drive safely “Drivers should minimize their because he would much rather shake your hand than risk of injury by wearing seatbelts, put a cast on it. putting their children in proper safety seats or restraints, and wearing helmets when cycling,” said Leibovich. “When I talk to my patients in the ER who have been in
Motor vehicle accidents #1 cause of death for Arkansans ages 1-40
Hidden dangers in your home
ost this number near your telephone — 1-800-376-4766. It could save a life. A total of 27,000 Arkansans dialed this hotline last year. It is answered 24 hours a day every day of the year at the Arkansas Poison Control Center, a state-funded program operated by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy. A child is poisoned every 30 seconds in the United States. Most poisonings (90 percent) occur in the home, and more than half involve children under age 6. Poison control centers handle more than 2 million poisoning calls per year. In 75 percent of those cases, the centers handle the poison exposure, and no emergency room or physician’s office visit is needed. Every dollar spent on the services of poison control centers saves an estimated $7 in medical expenses. Last year, 299 visits to emergency rooms by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Health Advantage members resulted from poisoning. In 1999, 338 member ER visits were related to poisoning. Of those 27,000 calls received during 2000 by the Arkansas Poison Control Center, 17,000 involved human poison exposures. Almost 57 percent of those involved children under age 6. “We receive a wide range of calls, running the gamut from ER doctors with severe emergencies to parents or grandparents needing information about the toxicity of household products or houseplants,” said Pam Rossi, Pharm.D., certified poison specialist, who coordinates the educational program of the Arkansas Poison Control Center. “We get calls from vets and pet owners about animal poisonings, too.” Rossi encourages people to call if they need information on poison prevention or would like to have a sticker displaying the poison
hotline number to put on their telephone or educational materials for adults and children. “We also give educational presentations about poison prevention,” Rossi said. “Our funding and staff are limited, but we try to improve the educational aspect of our program each year. We accept tax-deductible, private donations to assist in this effort.” Rossi said that the substances most frequently involved in human poison exposures in Arkansas are: • Cleaning products • Analgesics (i.e., aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen) • Cosmetics and personal-care products • Plants A poison is any substance that can cause harm to the body. The most dangerous ones are: • Medicines, including iron pills • Cleaning products that can cause burns: drain opener, toilet bowl cleaner, oven cleaner, rust remover • Antifreeze • Windshield washer solution • Carbon monoxide • Pesticides • Wild mushrooms • Hydrocarbons: furniture polish, lighter fluid, lamp oil, kerosene, turpentine, paint thinner The most recent statistics available from the American Association of Poison Control Centers show that 58 percent of deaths in children under 6 in 1999 resulted from poisons other than prescription or over-thecounter drugs. Aspiration of an oil or hydrocarbon product caused three of the 24 deaths that year. Some things adults might not consider poisonous are highly toxic to children. Until recent years, accidental
Put poisons in their place overdoses of iron-containing supplements, which include prenatal and pediatric vitamins, were a major cause of poisoning deaths for children under 6 in the United States. Changes in packaging and educational efforts produced positive results, and in 1998 and 1999, poison control centers reported no deaths from pediatric iron poisoning. Alcohol is another substance adults often don’t consider a poison. Alcohol can cause seizures, coma and death in young children. Never leave open containers of alcoholic beverages where children can reach them. Keep other products containing alcohol, such as aftershave, mouthwash, cologne and cough syrup, away from children. Personal-care products are another common culprit. Keep hair color, permanentwave solutions and nail-polish remover away from children. In addition to keeping medications, cleaning supplies, automotive products, paint and thinners in locked cabinets, parents should warn visitors to keep purses and suitcases that might contain medications away from children. Even containers with child-resistant caps are not childproof. The legal definition of “childresistant” is that it takes greater than five minutes for 80 percent of 5-year-olds to open the container. The other 20 percent can open it sooner. Most poisonings occur while a toxic product is in use. Never leave a child alone while you answer the door or telephone. Many poisonous products resemble food products (i.e., pine cleaner resembles apple juice) or have colors and smells that might attract children. Don’t call medicine “candy.” In fact, avoid taking medicine or giving medicine to siblings in front of children, who often imitate what they see adults doing. Some poisonings have occurred when an older child gave a younger brother or sister medicine. Discard toxic products, such as drain openers and paint thinner, as soon as you finish using them. Don’t store partially filled containers, and don’t keep these products on hand if you need them only occasionally. Adults can be poison victims as well as children. Adult poisonings often involve errors in taking medication. The Poison Control Center also receives
calls concerning exposure to toxic substances in the workplace and carbon monoxide poisoning. Calls concerning snake bites, spider bites and insect stings to children and adults also are common. Some safety tips for adults are: • Don’t mix cleaning products because dangerous chemical reactions can occur. • Wear protective clothing when handling pesticides, which can be absorbed through the skin. • Never store toxic products in anything other than their original containers, especially food containers. • Don’t take medications in the dark. • Always read and follow instructions for taking medications or using toxic products.
If a poisoning occurs 1. Remain calm so you can help the victim. 2. Call the Poison Control Center. There is no charge for this service, and it is confidential. 3. Have the following information on hand: • Your name and phone number • Victim’s name, age, weight and condition • Product name and ingredients (Have the container on hand.) • Time poisoning occurred • How much was taken if poison was ingested • Allergies or medical history of the victim 4. Do not give the victim anything to eat or drink before calling the Poison Control Center or a physician. 5. Do not give the victim syrup of ipecac, which induces vomiting, unless the Poison Control Center instructs you to do so. You can find more tips on poison prevention by visiting the Web site of the American Association of Poison Control Centers at www.aapcc.org or calling the Arkansas Poison Control Center. — Sources: Arkansas Poison Control Center, American Association of Poison Control Centers, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A rkansas is called the Natural State for good
reason. The state’s numerous lakes and rivers provide a vast playground for water enthusiasts — from fishing to swimming to skiing and that means boating. Adherence to boating laws and regulations and to basic safety precautions should ensure a fun, accidentfree outing. More than half of boating fatalities involve fishermen falling out of a small boat, overloading or hitting a submerged object. Try to follow these tips: • Be sure your boat is properly registered and equipped with appropriate lighting for operation in the dark, in compliance with state and federal guidelines. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) can provide information on registering your boat and lights. For more information, visit the AGFC Web site at www.agfc.state.ar.us, or call 1-501-223-6377 or (toll-free) 1-877-493-6424. • Fire extinguishers are required on all inboard boats, open boats with built-in fuel tanks and any boats with bilges.
• The law states that children under 12 years of age may not operate a boat powered by a motor over 10 horsepower (hp) unless supervised by a person over the age of 17. • Exercise caution when operating a boat within 100 feet of a recreation area, dock, pier, raft, float, anchored boat, dam intake or other obstruction. Traveling in excess of 5 miles per hour in these areas is illegal. • Watch for diver’s flags. Many of Arkansas’ lakes are popular with scuba divers. A diver’s flag indicates that divers are in the water nearby. Slow down and try not to operate a boat within 100 yards of a diver’s flag. • Don’t overload your boat. Each boat has a stated safe carrying capacity, and exceeding that limit is against the law. • Don’t drive drunk. This applies to the water as well. A blood alcohol level of .10 percent is considered legally drunk. If caught operating a vessel and your blood alcohol level is more than .10 percent, you will be
NO RUNNING BY P
lanning to spend some time at your neighborhood pool or Arkansas lake this summer? Don’t forget the sunscreen. And, more importantly, don’t forget to take along some basic safety precautions as well. Abiding by them could make the difference between life and death. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death among kids 14 and under. • If you don’t know how to swim, learn. • Swim near a lifeguard, if possible, and never swim alone. • Closely supervise children, even when lifeguards are around. Children shouldn’t play around pools. Teach your kids to float and tread water. Also, teach them to never jump in to help someone. Rather, when a person is in trouble,
they should throw him or her something that floats or something to hold on to, then call for help. • Make sure pools are secure and surrounded by a fence with a self-locking gate. Make sure a flotation device designed for lifesaving is near the pool. • Unless you’re at an indoor pool, the sun is a concern even on cloudy days. Use UV protective sunscreen and swimwear, and try to avoid exposure during the sun’s most intense times — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Many of the same precautions apply regardless of the body of water in which you swim. But several safety rules apply specifically to the beach: • If caught in a rip current (sometimes mistakenly called
THE BOAT arrested. Anyone operating a boat on state waters consents to a blood alcohol test if deemed necessary by law enforcement officials. Remember your personal flotation devices (PFDs) — life jackets. All boats under 16 feet long, canoes and kayaks must have one wearable PFD (types I, II or III — see explanation of types below) in workable condition and of proper size for each person on board. Boats 16 feet or longer must have one wearable PFD (types I, II or III) in workable condition and of proper size for each person on board, as well as one type IV (throwable) PFD in each boat. PFDs come in five types: • Type I — offshore life jackets. These are the most buoyant and are effective for all waters, especially open or rough sea where rescue may be delayed. • Type II — near-shore buoyant vest. Type II’s are made for calm, inland water or situations in which a chance for quick rescue is good. • Type III — flotation aid. Type III’s are intended for calm, inland waters where chance for quick rescue is good. • Type IV — throwable device. These are designed for calm, inland water with heavy boat traffic where help
THE POOL! “rip tides” or “undertows”), swim sideways until free. Don’t swim against the pull. • Stay at least 100 feet away from jetties and piers. Rip currents often can be found alongside fixed objects in the water. • Don’t dive into waters of unknown depth — “feet first, first time.” This way you can avoid serious head, neck or spine injuries. • If in trouble, call or wave for help. Follow any regulations or lifeguard instructions. • Swim parallel to shore if swimming long distances. Scuba dive only if you are trained and certified, and know your limitations. • Never swim intoxicated. Not only does alcohol impair judgment, but it brings on fatigue at a faster rate than normal. Remember these guidelines when taking an infant into the water:
is always present. It should be thrown to a person in the water, who should simply hold on until rescued. • Type V — special use devices. These are intended for special activities and may be used in place of another PFD only in adherence to special conditions, as printed on the label. Remember — 85 percent of all fatal boating accident victims were not wearing a PFD. Operators of personal watercraft (jet skis, etc.) are required to wear PFDs. Water skiers must wear a type I, II, III or V PFD. Water skiing is not permitted from one half-hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. Boats pulling a skier must have, in addition to the driver, at least one observer of at least 12 years of age or a wideangle convex marine mirror to observe the skier. Children under the age of 13 must wear a well-fitting PFD at all times while aboard a boat, unless they are within an enclosed area on a houseboat, cruiser, or within the railings of a party barge that is not underway.
— Source: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
• Always stay with the child. Be confident in your own swimming abilities. Encourage your child to test the water, but don’t force him or her. • Water floats sold in toy stores are not designed to be life-saving devices. • Try to keep your infant from swallowing too much water; doing so can upset their stomachs. • Teach small children to avoid playing around creeks, canals and other such open waters found in most communities. • Always leave toilet lids closed when small children are around. Do not leave a small child alone in a bathtub or in a room with a filled tub. — Sources: Stormfax.com, cnn.com, SwimEezy and the Sugar Land, Texas, Fire Department.
10 Watch your back At St. Joseph’s Business Health Clinic in Hot
Springs, the staff understands what it takes to help patients get back to a normal, active life after they have received a back injury on the job. There’s no rhyme or reason for who might get a back injury or what jobs might be hazardous to the back, according to Michael Garrett, M.D., who is medical director of St. Joseph’s Occupational Health Services. The St. Joseph’s clinic sees both men and women patients, ranging in age from 20 to 60, who work in various occupations including construction, heavy industry, car sales, hospitals and more. They occasionally see patients with more traumatic injuries such as ruptured disks, while the most common types of injuries found in patients at St. Joseph’s, said Garrett, are strains, sprains and pulled muscles. “Our initial treatment involves aggressive ice therapy, over-thecounter or prescriptive pain medication and a stretching program,” said Garrett. After a person receives an injury and is referred to St. Joseph’s, Garrett will make an assessment as to the cause of the injury and review the medical history of the patient. He looks for “red flags” such as weight loss or fevers that may indicate something other than a back injury. He asks the patient how the injury occurred, and more often than not, the injury is a result of cumulative trauma rather than one specific incident. Garrett also reviews the age, weight and general physical condition of the patient. After formulating a plan of action to help patients get back to their job, Garrett usually sees them on a weekly basis. His goal is to make sure his patients can get back to work and normal activities of daily life. “People do better when they get back into the workplace quickly and safely,” he said. Besides medical care, Garrett offers the following strategies to help his patients recover from their back injury:
1. Demonstration of techniques for safe lifting and bending. 2. Methods for stretching. 3. Encouragement to exercise and work on increasing flexibility. Garrett believes better lifting and bending techniques and stretching exercises are the keys to back injury prevention and notes that although many companies encourage their workers to wear back braces, there is no evidence to support that they prevent back injuries. “If a back brace is worn correctly and it fits properly, it prevents the wearer from bending at the waist and forces them to bend at the knees, which is how people should lift,” said Garrett. “However, it often gives him or her a false sense of security and has the wearer thinking they can lift anything.” Garrett encourages those who receive a back injury on the job to report it immediately, then ice it down. “When the ice melts, ice it down again,” he added. “If there is pain radiating down a leg or you lose stool, you should see a doctor immediately.” According to Garrett, studies show that up to 85 percent of those who rupture a disk do not need surgery, and up to 95 percent of those who receive a back injury do not need surgery. “Back injuries are very common. Appropriate lifting is critical. People should stay within their capabilities when it comes to lifting and use appropriate devices such as dollies or wagons or help from others when they have to lift something heavy or awkward,” he added. Garrett pointed out that people should be aware of their general level of fitness and flexibility and said that those who are fit are less likely to sustain an injury, or when they are injured, need less time for recovery. “One of the most important things to remember with back injuries is simply that patients need time to heal and tender loving care for their back,” said Garrett. (For info on safe lifting, see next page.)
“Score” with Safety
Common sense tips for kids and sports ports — whether spontaneS ous or organized — are a good way for kids to get valuable exercise and learn important life lessons around teamwork. But, it’s important to remember “safety first” when playing on the ball field or in the sun. Gear wear Wearing protective gear is an important part of safe sports. • Eye protection, such as face masks or guards, is important for football and baseball. Protective goggles or eyewear may be worn for sports such as hockey or racquet sports. • Mouth guards protect the teeth and tongue, especially when playing football or any sport where contact could involve the head. • Pads, pads and more pads are important when playing contact sports, such as football, soccer, hockey or when in-line skating. Pads protect bones and joints from breaks and bruises. There are
Safe lifting techniques St. Joseph’s Business Health clinic offers the following hints for avoiding back injury while lifting and bending at home or at work: 1. Stay in good physical shape. 2. Size up the load; ask for help. 3. Get a good grip. 4. Set a good foundation; position your feet for lifting. 5. Use your powerful leg muscles. 6. Maintain your balance. 7. Avoid twisting your upper body. For more information on safe lifting techniques, call the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission Health & Safety Division Safety Education & Training at (501) 682-2063.
shin, elbow, wrist, chest, shoulder, hip and thigh pads for all kinds of sports. • Helmets are a must when riding bikes, rollerblading on in-line skates or skateboarding. Fine fit Helmets, pads, mouth and eye guards are made to keep kids safe, but they must be the right size and used properly. Make sure protective gear is snug and that it does not slide around and cause a child to trip or injure himself/herself. Warm up Warming up and practicing a sport help kids to be safe from injury. Stretching helps protect muscles by increasing blood flow and muscle temperature so they are ready for an activity. It is suggested that kids warm up for 15 minutes or more before playing sports.
Rules rule Know the rules of a game or sport. Rules are made to keep people safe. Kids should pay attention when they play. If everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing, they can be more safe. Always use the buddy system when playing outdoors. Sun fun Summer is a prime time for outdoor sporting activities. While the summer sun beckons us to come play outdoors, we must be safe in the heat. A sunscreen protection factor (SPF) rating of 15 or higher is recommended. Don’t forget to put sunscreen on ears, back of the neck, face and tops of the feet. Water wonderful Drink lots of water when playing, participating in sports or just when it’s hot outside. When kids are playing and sweating, drinking water is even more important. Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
E ver since
occurrences. According to Terry Harcrow, who collects the information for the Academy, there are approximately 1,000 fire departments in Arkansas but only 45 of those have paid staffs. Most fire departments in Arkansas are staffed entirely by volunteers. In 1998, Arkansas fire departments reported the following: • Eighty-nine fire service personnel were injured in fires, and 129 civilians were injured. Additionally, there were 33 civilians killed by fire.
Mrs. O’Leary’s cow reportedly kicked over a lantern and set in motion the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, fire departments around the nation have observed the week of Oct. 9 (the day the Great Chicago Fire began) as National Fire Prevention Week. The Little Rock Fire Department (LRFD) is no exception. During that week, they visit schools and focus their efforts on fire prevention. But practicing fire safety is essential every The s In l l i day of the year. Fires can occur anytime, r D w to Exit now ho r o anywhere. And Arkansas f ey nds uld k h sta one sho which th statistics on fire incidences c i h in tech very ym w bear this out. cron where. E ery room e EDITH ir house a ( ev th ny the ITH The LRFD is dedicated to r ED occur a w) from practice tside of f the e b ou can the uld educating the young people of ndo ll o mem . Re e). Fire or or wi ilies sho ing place unds, a d go to 1 central Arkansas about fire Hom e (by do ng. Fam a meet tector so ation an y, then i c l e e p safety. According to Fire Chief esca be sleep etermin smoke d e their lo met safe help. are t v ed s on Phil Johnston of the City of Little migh s and pr hen the ately lea yone ha d summ ure they r i s W e an n Rock, firefighters use a robot fire niqu rtment. d immed nce eve tment a e. Make units c r O r a l e a . m p truck and a robot fire hydrant to or a nts shou location fire dep your ho er. New as e w e ho h n resid termined d call th talled in ce of po uits. educate and entertain local school w e s n c r l r e io n o pred ne shou tectors i ve a sou ctrical ci y some fe posit children. Both have radio controls a b e e sa eo som smoke d ed and h ehold el en used is in a ays be and audio transmitters, so the t o h s n e h u w alw w r to av ou ho firefighters can communicate with 2. H perly m ired to useful … ime and t should tinguishe x en ft pro ectly w rs are the children. ad o departm e a fire e e r e i h h d s i n a be out i Sadly, the people of Arkansas are no tingu ructions , the fire pts to us x k e c i t e . t r s s ir m e on’t you cook ater strangers to fire. We read about the loss of 3. F d the in Howev one atte d y the m. ny rea en ur w homes and lives in the newspaper and we e the before a in so eves wh ever po s s u e l o t d N le st see the ruin and havoc on television — all . d fir ded. t han ing s calle ess a fire turn po lose-fitt unatten c as a result of fire. In 1998 alone, with only , r g rop supp cooking e. Wear cookin op, d t e v S n r about one-third of fire departments reporting o e a t ! s h u run 4. W nt of the what yo her it. on’t information, there were 13,067 fires reported d . s , t t e e e o r fro v l fi r lea l out e; sm hes in Arkansas. Neve rease fir electrica ing catc g th The Arkansas Fire Academy located at on a overload your clo t Southern Arkansas University-Tech at Camden on’ y, if 5. D d, finall compiles statistics on incidences of fire and related n 6. A d roll. an
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13 • In order, the reasons fires begin and electrical accidentally are: open fire, short appliances,” said circuit, matches and heat from gasJohnston. Little Rock fueled equipment. elementary schools • Most fires are reported on Saturday, interested in hosting with Sunday coming in second. a fire prevention • Fires are most likely to begin in program at their Arkansas between 3 and 3:59 p.m. schools during the • Fires are reported more often in July upcoming school than any other month of the year. year should call • Fires caused by cooking are the (501) 918-3710. For number-one cause of injury. more information on fires in the United States, check out • Stoves and charcoal grills are the “equipment” most the National Fire Data Center’s Web site at often reported as being involved in www.usfa.fema.gov. a fire. • The number-one form of materials ignited in Arkansas is grass and leaves. Additionally, girls aged 15-19 are twice as likely to be injured in a fire when compared to boys of the same age. Harcrow attributes it to Acco statisti rding to Ark the girls sharpening their cooking cs an hospit , approxima sas Blue Cr skills and possibly using hair tely 31 al eme oss an dB 7 rg in 199 spray near candles. 9 and ency rooms of our memb lue Shield 2000. t er hrough If you In 2000, the LRFD out Ar s were treat r e ed i c k e a e i nsas fo v v en from e a mi responded to 18,949 incidents r burn n nor bu t o o s y much our m with about one-third of those sun th rn from touc inor b i u h s burn, being fire-related. The other or hol rn by runnin summer), y ing a hot ob d o ject ( g u a s c u should o c bsides two-thirds were for medical . Do n lean, cold co ol, not cold, care fo or u o mpres se ice. water r t use b responses (heart attacks, s o R burned emove jewe utter or othe on it until th ver the motor vehicle accidents, r lry or e pain areas tight c types of gre Get im and apply l a o home accidents, etc.) s thing f a cle med rom ar e. Do not follow ound t ing are iate medica an, dry dres During the past year, the l at sin he as you ha ve any — eyes, mo tention for b g. number of fire-related ut u of the attenti follow h, hands an rns to the on responses in Little Rock ing sym d geni • Feve : ta ptoms r. has decreased due to , seek l areas. If • Pus medic -like o increased use of al r foul• Exc s m e s e sive sw l smoke detectors. l i n g draina • Red elling. ge. ne “Within the Little • A b ss of skin. lis Rock city limits, the • A b ter filled wit u h rn tha number-one cause of t does greenish or n br ’t heal fire is the misuse of within ownish fluid 10 day . electrical wiring, electrical cords s to tw o week s.
How to tr eat mino r bu rns
CPR-certified employees benefit
co-workers and communities
rkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield employee Jerry Davis had a heart attack on June 10, 1998. It changed his life, and ultimately, the lives of his co-workers. Thankfully, when Davis had his heart attack there was someone nearby who administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a shock from an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to bring Davis back to life and, unknowingly, send him on a personal mission. His near-death experience, in addition to other emergencies he has seen during his 22 years at Arkansas Blue Cross, gave Davis the idea to approach the Arkansas Blue Cross management team and ask if he could begin a CPR training program for employees. As soon as he received the goahead, the company began offering training to employees. To keep costs down, Arkansas Blue Cross eventually provided training to six of its own employees to be certified trainers so they could give first aid/CPR training to their co-workers. Today, there are approximately 70 Arkansas Blue Cross employees trained to administer first aid/CPR. There are two on each floor of the Arkansas Blue Cross buildings in Little Rock and two in each regional office in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Pine Bluff and Texarkana. As of January 2001, those 70 employees also were trained in the use of the AED. Employees voluntarily participate in CPR training, and agree to be the “first responder” should an emergency arise in an Arkansas Blue Cross office building — whether the emergency situation involves an employee or a customer. “We provide the first response until professional help arrives. The first thing we have trained employees
to do, and everyone should know this, is call 9-1-1,” said Davis. “Customers should feel safe if they come into one of our buildings. There is someone there that could help them if they needed first aid or CPR,” said Davis. Enterprise employees now use their training to volunteer at American Red Cross first-aid stations at special events throughout Arkansas. They have volunteered to work at concerts, county fairs, football and basketball games, Riverfest in Little Rock, Toad Suck Daze in Conway and many more activities. One Arkansas Blue Cross employee, Sue Fowlkes, used her skills to stabilize three victims of a car accident she came upon near Greers Ferry Lake in July 2000. A man, woman, their grandchild and the child’s greatgrandmother were in an accident and needed medical attention. Fowlkes and her husband were able to remain calm and stabilize each victim until help arrived. “You never know when you will be called upon for service. I’m thankful for the extra training I received through Arkansas Blue Cross,” said Fowlkes, who relied upon her experience as an EMT and firefighter for the East End community’s fire department, in addition to the training she received through Arkansas Blue Cross, to take care of the victims. “Any person can be the victim of an accident or a heart attack. It’s nice to know there are people out there that care and are trained to help out in an emergency,” said Davis. For more information on receiving first aid/CPR training for employees in your place of business, call your local American Red Cross or American Heart Association.
n January 2001, lacrosse coach Diane Whipple of San Francisco was viciously mauled and killed by two dogs belonging to her neighbors. She was just a few feet from the door of her apartment. Her death received national attention, but hers is not an isolated incident. During the past two years in Arkansas alone, the frequency of dog bites that brought injury, or death, is alarming. In Gravel Ridge, two pit bulls attacked two elementary school girls and their younger brother as they sold candy door-to-door. In Clarendon, a dog bit an 11-year-old boy. In Fayetteville, a Great Dane bit a police officer. In Botkinburg, an 8-year-old boy was attacked and killed near his home by a neighbor’s pit bulls. In Camden, a woman was bitten and three dogs were killed by pit bulls. This list could go on and on. Dog bites are the number-one health concern of children, outnumbering measles and mumps combined. These dog attacks hit close to home in more ways than one. We see it on the news, and we fear our neighbor’s pet. Should we? Maybe not, but we should always take precautions when dealing with our own pets as well as unfamiliar dogs and cats. • Never leave a young child alone with a pet. • Do not try to separate fighting animals.
• Avoid strange or sick animals. • Leave animals alone while they are eating. • Keep pets on a leash when in public. • Carefully select the family pet. • Make sure your dog is spayed or neutered (dogs who are not are three times more likely to bite). • Train and socialize your dog. • Keep your dog properly confined. • • • •
If you are bitten by a dog: Wash the wound gently with soap and water. Apply pressure with a clean towel to the injured part to stop the bleeding. Apply a sterile bandage to the wound. Keep the injury elevated above the level of the heart to slow swelling and prevent infection. Report the incident to the proper authority in your community (for example, police or animal control). Apply antibiotic ointment to the area two times every day until it heals. If the bite is a deep puncture wound, visit a doctor or emergency room.
— Sources: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Center for Injury Prevention.
Did you know ... ? • Approximately one million people each year require medical treatment for dog bites. Dog attacks send more than 334,000 people to the emergency room each year. • One million people report dog attacks each year; millions more go unreported. • About 12 people die each year from dog attacks. • Dog attacks cost society about $1 billion annually. • Reported dog attacks have increased at a rate of two percent annually, according to the Insurance Information Institute, and 37 percent from 1986 to 1994.
strangers. Look directly at others, but keep your distance and keep moving. 7. Run against traffic.
Facts about Crime • Americans face a 99 percent chance of falling victim to burglary or theft. • Four out of five Americans will be victims of violence. • The typical crime victim is a single, unemployed, young male. • Young people ages 16 to 24 are 10 times more likely than their grandparents to be victims of violence. Rules for runners and walkers 1. Tell a family member or friend where you are going and when you expect to be back. 2. Stay alert at all times. 3. Run or walk with a partner or dog. 4. Don’t wear headsets. If you wear them, you won’t hear an approaching car or attacker. 5. Exercise in familiar areas (like your neighborhood) and vary your route. Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets or trails. Avoid parked cars and large bushes. 6. Ignore verbal harassment. Use discretion in acknowledging
Safety tips for seniors • Install good locks on doors and windows. Don’t hide keys in mailboxes or under doormats. Leave an extra set of keys with a relative or friend. • Ask for photo identification from service or delivery people before letting them into your home. If you are worried at all, call the company for verification. • Be sure your street-address number is large, clear of obstruction and well-lighted so police and other emergency personnel can find your home quickly. • Consider a home alarm system that provides monitoring for burglary, fire and medical emergencies. • Go out with friends or family, not alone. • Carry your purse close to your body. Do not carry large amounts of cash. • Use direct deposit for your Social Security checks and other regular checks. • Sit close to the driver or near the exit while riding the bus. What can parents do to stop school violence? School violence occurs around the country, including Arkansas. Here are just a few tips on how you can help in your own community. 1. Parents must recognize that keeping firearms in your home may put you at a legal risk and expose your family to physical risk. Keep
firearms securely locked away and the ammunition locked and stored separately. 2. Take an active role in your children’s schools. 3. Act as a role model. Listen to and talk with your children regularly. Help your children learn how to examine and find solutions to problems. 4. Set clear limits on behaviors in advance. Discourage name-calling and teasing. 5. Communicate clearly on the violence issue. Explain that you don’t accept and won’t tolerate violent behavior. 6. Insist on knowing your children’s friends, whereabouts and activities. 7. Support school rules and policies. Join your local parent group. Gun safety tips: Better safe than sorry Adherence to basic, fundamental rules of gun safety is the only way to avoid tragic accidents involving guns. Some fundamental rules for safe gun handling are: • Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. • Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. Always keep the gun unloaded until you’re ready to shoot. • Know your target and what lies beyond it. • Use the appropriate ammunition for your gun. • Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate. • Never use alcohol or prescription drugs before operating a gun.
— Sources: National Crime Prevention Council and National Rifle Association
Watch out for that M
ost Arkansans have probably seen the commercial in which an elderly woman is lying on the floor desperately shouting “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Although the commercial is a simulation and the woman is an actress, the scenario may be all too real. Falls are the leading cause of death from injury for those age 65 and older. The cost of medically attended fall-related injuries is estimated at more than $3 billion per year. Twenty-five percent of people age 65 to 74 and one-third of those over 75 report a fall each year. Additionally, two-thirds of those who fall will have a repeat fall within six months of the first fall. More than 50 percent of those who fall and sustain an injury in their home will be discharged from the hospital to a nursing home, rather than returning home. The harsh reality is that falls may cause the loss of independent functioning. Falls and related injuries can occur at any age, but cause greater problems with seniors. According to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the five leading causes of falls among the elderly are: conflicting, and misuse of, prescription and over-thecounter medications; poor vision; fluctuating blood pressure; walking and balance difficulties; and environmental hazards. In an effort to help seniors avoid injuries from falls, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, in alliance with the Safe Jonesboro Coalition, the City of Jonesboro’s Community Oriented Policing Leadership Council and the St. Bernards Medical Center 55PLUS program, sponsored the third annual “Healthy Aging Fair” at St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro on March 29. The fair included more than 60 booths, and Safe Jonesboro provided numerous activities including health screenings and other services designed to prevent falls and related injuries (medication checks, diabetic foot checks, risk assessments for falling, and seminars on safety and prevention). Because the most common reason for falls is the misuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications, the fair coordinators encouraged Jonesboro seniors to
bring in all of their medications for review by a pharmacist for adverse interactions that could set someone up for a fall. Safe Jonesboro also provided seniors with vision and blood pressure screenings, gait monitoring, and distribution of a home safety checklist to help prevent future falls. Safe Jonesboro is an example of a community taking responsibility for its health by addressing local problems with local solutions. It is a community-based volunteer effort that is dependent on the support of local residents, businesses and community leaders. Mike Smith, director of the Safe Jonesboro Coalition, said, “The majority of safety prevention efforts are placed on young children and families. Many times our senior citizens are overlooked. This event, we hope, helped prevent some of the dangers involved in taking conflicting medications, provided information, and eased some fears and concerns for a sometimes vulnerable part of our population.” Tim McCall of Arkansas Blue Cross’ Northeast Regional Office in Jonesboro and a Safe Jonesboro Coalition volunteer, said, “We have all known someone, whether a parent, grandparent or older friend, who has fallen and never recovered. Far too often, a fall starts the downward spiral to death, whether it takes six hours, six weeks or six months. The Arkansas Blue Cross Northeast office and the Safe Jonesboro Coalition are both very concerned with keeping our older friends and family members safe. This event is one small way that we have found to ‘plug-in’ and make a difference in their lives. “I am amazed at what started as a small project between Safe Jonesboro and Arkansas Blue Cross to help a few people has turned into an event that continues to get bigger and better every year,” said McCall. “It’s not unusual for people to ask The five leading me several months out causes of falls: 1) conflicting and misuse of when we’re going to have medications the Med Check or the 2) poor vision 3) fluctuating blood Healthy Aging Fair. People pressure expect it now, and I 4) walking/balance difficulties am thrilled.” 5) environmental hazards
here’s no doubt about it. Medication costs continue to increase. For health reasons, some people can’t afford to stop taking their prescription medications, and for financial reasons, can’t afford to buy them either. Others worry about the rising costs of health insurance premiums. The Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Pharmacy Division is attempting to manage pharmacy expenditures so all members covered by Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage receive high-quality medications at affordable prices. People are becoming more comfortable with pharmacy management programs as they gain more knowledge about why and how decisions are made and who is making them. On a regular basis in Blue & You, the Arkansas Blue Cross pharmacy director will answer questions in this column submitted by customers and employers. Following are two of the most frequently asked questions and the answers: Q: What is a formulary? A: A formulary is simply a list of drugs that are covered by the plan. Ninety-nine percent of all medications are listed on the formulary and are covered at the pharmacy by your plan. The Arkansas Blue Cross Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and our nine medical directors make the decision regarding which drugs are put on or taken off the formulary. The few medications not listed on the formulary do not offer any appreciable advantage over other available medications as determined by these medical decision-makers.
The Phar macist is in Do you have any questions? Q: Why were Nexium and Prozac 90mg not added to the formulary? A: The members of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, which is composed of six physicians and two pharmacists highly respected in their special areas of practice, determined that neither of these medications appeared to offer any additional value when compared to the current medications they are attempting to replace. These physicians and pharmacists are in private practice seeing patients every day. One may even be your physician or pharmacist. As the 15-year patent protection for a specific medication expires, it allows other pharmaceutical companies to market that same medication at a lower, more competitive price. As a result, there are attempts by the makers of the patented drug to steer the billions of dollars this drug produces annually to another new drug with a new exclusive patent. If the new drug is demonstrated to be better or safer, it is added to the formulary. If not, it may be left off the formulary but will be monitored closely for later reevaluation. Arkansas Blue Cross is dedicated to working closely with our members to help them understand more about what is transpiring in the area of pharmacy and why particular things are happening with medications. If you have a question about medications or drug coverage policies, please submit your question via e-mail to BNYou-Ed@arkbluecross.com. Questions submitted by customers will be answered in this column in future issues of Blue & You as space permits.
Medi-Pak member information ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Effective April 1, 2001, Health Data Management (HDM) began to electronically submit Medi-Pak claims from Medicare intermediaries and carriers throughout the United States directly to Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Arkansas Blue Cross Medi-Pak recently entered into an agreement with HDM to electronically transmit all of Medicare’s Part A and B claims submitted from providers nationwide. This means providers that you receive services from outside the state of Arkansas will no longer have to submit paper claims to our office. The
claims will be electronically submitted to our office. Remind your providers to complete the other insurance information on the claim form, which includes your Medi-Pak identification number. Arkansas Blue Cross remains committed to continually finding more efficient ways to serve our customers, like our new electronic claims process. If you have any questions, please call our Customer Service Division at 501-378-2010 or 1-800-238-8379.
Take precautions against severe weather A rkansas is a state of extreme weather — temperatures soaring in July and ice storms blanketing the state in December. Severe weather can cause injuries whether it is from heat exhaustion or a fall on a patch of ice. The best way to avoid weather-related injuries is to know what to do when severe weather strikes. According to the Severe Weather Guide from KTHVChannel 11 in Little Rock, there are ways to keep safe from weather highs and lows. During the summer months while watching the evening news, you may hear Meteorologist Ed Buckner of KTHV refer to the Heat Index Chart. It is a way of measuring how heat combining with humidity affects people. When the air is very warm and moist, the human body loses its ability to cool off. The result can mean heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. The combination of heat and humidity is usually expressed by an equivalent temperature. Any reading of more than 105 degrees is considered dangerous. When temperatures soar to 100 degrees or more, you should remember to: • Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcoholic beverages. • Wear light colored, loose-fitting clothing. Take frequent breaks from the heat. • Check on your elderly friends and relatives. In Arkansas, we are used to severe thunderstorms and occasional tornadoes during the hotter months. KTHV recommends the following for those caught in a thunderstorm. • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Seek shelter.
• Get out of boats and keep away from water. Move to a sturdy building or car. Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees or in a convertible car. • If there is no shelter available and you feel an electrical charge making your hair stand on end or your skin tingle, immediately crouch down low to the ground with your weight resting on the balls of your feet. Do not lie flat. • Avoid using telephones with cords. Stay away from windows, doors, fireplaces, radiators and metal pipes. During a tornado warning, remember to stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Under the basement stairs is the safest spot in any structure. If you don’t have a basement, take cover on the lowest floor in a windowless room, such as a bathroom or closet. Manufactured or mobile homes should be anchored in accordance with state regulations. If you are in an office building when the tornado hits, go to an interior hallway on the lowest floor. Avoid elevators. In schools, stay out of gymnasiums, auditoriums and other structures with wide roofs. Go to an interior hallway on the lowest floor of the building. If you are in the open, lie flat in a ditch or ravine. If you are in your car and you can see a tornado in the distance, drive away from it at right angles. If it is close, leave your car and look for a building or lie flat in a ditch or ravine. These are just a few tips to help you remain safe and secure when severe weather comes to your community. For more information or to get a copy of the Severe Weather Guide from KTHV, visit their Web site at www.todaysthv.com.
2000 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Health Advantage 2000 Financial Highlights now are available on-line. For Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield 2000 Financial Highlights, log on at www.arkansasbluecross.com. For Health Advantage 2000 Financial Highlights, log on at www.healthadvantage-hmo.com or call Health Advantage Customer Service at 221-3733 or (toll free) 1-800-843-1329. Arkansas State and Public School Employees, call 378-2437 or (toll free) 1-800-482-8416.
Discover BlueAnn at the Museum
isitors to the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock now can find a bright, new presence — and a little rock ’n’ roll — in the Health Hall. A kiosk, positioned at the entrance to the Health Hall, just received a total redesign to feature BlueAnn Ewe, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s blue sheep health ambassador. Arkansas Blue Cross was a founding sponsor of the Health Hall area in the museum — which showcases a variety of exhibits that teach visitors about health and safety — when the museum opened in February 1998 and continues to be an annual corporate sponsor. With the kiosk redesign, BlueAnn Ewe and her cast of character friends from the “BlueAnn Rocks” animated, musical television commercials are larger than life on the walls of the kiosk. In addition to the change in physical appearance, visitors to the kiosk will be able to sit, watch and listen to all of BlueAnn’s TV spots and play an interactive computer game called “Who Wants To Feel Like a Million Bucks?” BlueAnn’s character dons a Regis-like monochromatic suit and asks kids for their “final” answers to a health quiz. The questions in the game relate to the messages shared in the television spots. As new animated commercials are developed each
year, they will be added to the kiosk computer CD ... as will new questions to the game which relate to the new commercials. Visitors can take away a small tent card to place next to their home computer which invites (and reminds) them to visit BlueAnn Ewe’s Wild & Woolly Web site at www.BlueAnnEwe-ark.com. “BlueAnn is everywhere,” said Patrick O’Sullivan, vice president of Advertising and Communications. “She’s in more than 400 classrooms throughout the state and in more than 1,600 homes through her health clubs. She has made more than 2 million impressions on kids through her television commercials and, each month, makes approximately 45,000 impressions through her radio commercials. She has her own award-winning Web site, and now she’s in a museum. “We are excited about providing still another opportunity for young Arkansans to access health and safety messages in fun, exciting environments,” O’Sullivan said. “More than 115,000 people visit the museum each year including more than 56,330 students on school field trips.” So, stop by the Museum of Discovery, take a look at the new kiosk and play “Who Wants To Feel Like a Million Bucks?
Blue sheep and boo-boos More than 500 kids attended the annual Emergency Expo at the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock in March. For the second year, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield participated in the event. BlueAnn Ewe spent her time emphasizing the importance of practicing safety as a way to avoid emergencies. In addition to learning from the lamb in BlueAnn’s “Color Me Safe” coloring contest, kids got a chance to
tour an ambulance, climb aboard a fire truck, practice CPR on a mannequin, stitch up cuts, learn how to bandage a wound, look at X-rays of broken bones and accidentally swallowed objects, touch real brains and learn how they work, learn about organ transplants, and witness the results of a car crash with the help of a few dozen eggs.
Summer activities for the kids ... from the sheep Looking for a fun, educational resource to occupy your kids this summer? Why not sign them up for the BlueAnn Health Club! The BlueAnn Health Club is a free, wellness club recommended for kids ages 5-10. Membership is for two years during which time your kids will be mailed a member packet and seven subsequent health-and-safety packets containing the EweNews activity newsletter, special gifts and healthy habits activity projects for them to do for a chance to win prizes. The central figure of the club is BlueAnn Ewe — Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s ambassador of health — a blue sheep. The club gives parents a set of fun tools to help teach children about healthy habits and
encourage them to participate in positive behaviors that could last a lifetime. Plus, they may have a chance to win some really cool prizes when they practice doing healthy things. More than 10,000 kids already are enjoying the benefits of club memberships, and their parents have tapped into a resource which is encouraging kids to eat their veggies, brush their teeth, exercise, be safe ... and have fun in the process. So, if you need a little assistance motivating your little ones to practice healthy habits, join with lots of other parents and let a big, blue sheep help out. Sign up today! BlueAnn wants ewe! Just call 1-800-515-BLUE, toll-free, and ask for the BlueAnn Club.
BLUEANN AND THE GIRLS W hether you prefer an up-tempo brass beat with a
little Latin flare or the guitar strums of a country and western crooner playing a tune, BlueAnn Ewe and “the girls” will serenade you this summer with the newest renditions of “BlueAnn Rocks.” Two new animated, musical television commercials will premiere during family programming in July 2001 and run throughout the fall. The TV spots are designed to teach children about health and safety through fun, memorable music and images. The new spots focus on the importance of hygiene (“Squeaky Clean”) and recognizing and positively expressing your emotions (“E-E-Emotions”) for overall wellness. BlueAnn, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s ambassador of health and wellness who is the central figure of its Blue & Youth Health Program, has been featured in four other TV spots along with other melodic characters and kids. In 1999, the first two animated television spots focused on nutrition (the “Food Pyra-
mid”) and peer pressure (“Backbone”). In 2000, two more commercials premiered on the topics of exercise (“Exercise Beat”) and safety (“Safety Song”). To date, “the guys” have taken the lead in singing, but the 2001 commercials will have the girls out in front. Affectionately referred to as “BlueAnn Rocks,” the musical health messages support topics taught in the Blue & Youth Health Program and offer a fun way for kids to learn about health and wellness. The plan is to develop two new spots each year focused on a different health topic in an effort to create a library of “music videos.” The Blue & Youth Health Program, an effort to improve the health status of young people in our state, consists of seven components: BlueAnn Ewe’s Healthy ClassAct, the High School Heroes anti-smoking program, the BlueAnn Health and Class Clubs, “BlueAnn Rocks” animated musical television spots, “Wild & Woolly Words” radio features and a Web site.
ge Health Advanta members —
COLLEGE STUDENTS COVERED STATEWIDE
Did you know that Health Advantage has participating providers throughout Arkansas? Your child attending college outside of his or her hometown may select a Primary Care Physician (PCP) in the school’s area. If he or she needs medical care while away at college, the PCP should be contacted. The student may change to a PCP in his or her hometown during the summer months. These arrangements may be made by
contacting Health Advantage Customer Service at 1-800-843-1329 or (501) 221-3733.
ATTN: ARKANSAS STATE EMPLOYEES Effective Jan. 1, 2001 the Arkansas State Employees Group changed from self-insured to fully insured. That means your selected health care insurance provider now bears the financial responsibility of guaranteeing claims payments and paying for all incurred covered
benefits and administrative costs. It also means that all claims incurred in calendar year 2000 must be submitted to Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield or Health Advantage by June 30, 2001. If you have any outstanding claims for services provided before Jan. 1, 2001, you should contact your service provider to make sure your claims were filed appropriately. Claims for calendar year 2000 that are not submitted by June 30, 2001, will not be paid by Arkansas Blue Cross or Health Advantage.
Health promotion programs bring awards home to Arkansas B
lueAnn Ewe, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s blue sheep health-and-wellness mascot, is on a roll. Her Blue & Youth Health Program — which teaches children about good health through school programs, health “clubs” for kids, TV and radio tips, and a fun Web site — recently brought recognition to Arkansas through statewide and international awards. In February, the Blue & Youth program received the 2001 PRISM Award as the best Community Relations program in Arkansas for the year 2000 (in the not-forprofit category) by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Arkansas Chapter. This is the third year that Blue & Youth has won this award, which is chosen by out-of-state judges. In March, Arkansas Blue Cross received several awards in the Arkansas Advertising Federation’s 2000 ADDY Awards program, which was judged this year by advertising professionals from throughout the U.S. • BlueAnn Ewe’s Wild & Woolly Web site received the First Place ADDY Award for Interactive Media. (Visit www.BlueAnnEwe-ark.com.) • The BlueAnn Animated TV Campaign won the Silver Citation of Excellence Award for Public Service Campaign. (These are our animated, musical television spots on the Food Pyramid, Safety Song, Backbone and Exercise Beat.)
• Our “Check Yes” advertising campaign won the Bronze Citation of Merit Award for multi-media advertising campaigns. This was our business/ consumer health promotion campaign with TV spot, newspaper ads and billboards about heart disease, arthritis/osteoporosis, and drug/alcohol/ tobacco prevention. And in April, Arkansas Blue Cross was notified that Blue & Youth had received a Gold Quill Award from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). The Gold Quill is the highest award given to business communication programs. Arkansas Blue Cross received a Merit Award (second place) in the Community/Government Relations category. Other winners came from the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, South Africa, Croatia, Mexico, Belgium, Slovenia and New Zealand. There were only 51 winners from the United States, and Arkansas Blue Cross was the only winner from Arkansas. Other winners included Hallmark, Hewlett-Packard, Federal Express, Qantas Airways, VISA International, Dow Corning, The Vanguard Group, The Clorox Company, the Boy Scouts of America, Kool-Aid and the John Deere Co. Who would have thought a big blue sheep would be helping Arkansas stand tall among some of the corporate giants of the world?
rkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield strives to be a good corporate citizen. Our employees raise money and spend many hours helping those causes near and dear to the hearts of Arkansans. Making the grade BlueAnn has been making the grade in schools throughout Arkansas this spring. During the first few months of 2001, BlueAnn’s Healthy ClassAct has been presented to almost 1,000 students in elementary schools from Batesville to Benton, Sherwood to Sulphur Rock. Students have been learning the importance of practicing healthy habits that last a lifetime. BlueAnn and crew have been taking her health and safety message to kindergartners, as well as first-, second- and thirdgraders, in an effort to help encourage the younger generation to begin healthy habits now that will help them be healthier as they age. Lambing it up The American Heart Association’s Faulkner County Heart Walk in Conway got people on their feet and out and about in April, all in an effort to bring awareness to and raise money for fighting heart disease in Arkansas. Health Advantage was a Red Heart corporate sponsor of the event, and BlueAnn Ewe showed up to encourage all the walkers to “hoof it for health.” About 500 walkers were in attendance, raising a little more than $60,000. A shining star for the event was Ted Fisher, Faulkner County AHA board member, who received a heart transplant in January, came home one week before the walk and showed up at BlueAnn Ewe dances with the football the Heart Walk players from the University of Central as an example Arkansas at the Conway Heart Walk. of how far heart care has come, thanks to the generous community and corporate support.
Worthy Walking For the third year, BlueAnn Ewe joined students at Perritt Primary School in Arkadelphia for their annual Walk Against Drugs. This was the 14th-annual event held on April 20. Following the song, “No Smoke,” presented by the Perritt Primary Nickelodeon Choir and cheers led by the Arkadelphia Junior and Senior High cheerleaders, the walk began. The line-up of celebrities joining BlueAnn to encourage the students to remain drug-free featured several Arkadelphia natives, including Jeff Root, public relations director for Ouachita Baptist BlueAnn Ewe hits her stride with University, elementary students from Perritt who served as Primary School during the Walk Against Drugs in Arkadelphia. emcee for the spirit rally; Terry Nelson, former professional football player; Gerald Browning, a parent who sang the national anthem for the kids; and Arkadelphia Mayor Chuck Hollingshead. Jennifer Crawley, Miss West Central Arkansas; Michelle Moore, Prevention Resource Center coordinator for Region 8; and Sergeant Eric Drost of the Arkansas National Guard Counter-drug Operations. The Arkadelphia High School pep band and Barney Badger, Arkadelphia High School mascot, rounded out rally guests. A group of Gifted and Talented students from AHS also presented an anti-smoking skit, “NoSmokemon” at the rally. On the return route, walkers got to take a break at Perritt Principal Wanda O’Quinn’s home for juice and a snack. Almost 700 students, teachers and administrative staff members, mentors, parents and community supporters turned out to walk and show their support.
www.arkansasbluecross.com & www.healthadvantage-hmo.com
rkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Health Advantage members (policyholders and members of employee groups) will find useful information about their health coverage by entering the “Members” gateway on the home pages of arkansasbluecross.com and healthadvantage-hmo.com. The “Members” section begins with an “Introduction” listing links of special interest to members. You also will find timely notices to members and specific member information on this page. In the future, you will be able to transact some of your insurance business, such as requesting a new ID card or changing your primary-care physician, through this “Members” portal. On both sites, you will find the following links on the members’ “Introduction” page: • “Blue & You” will take you to an archive of this publication. • “Legislative/Regulatory Updates” links you to information about state and national legislative and regulatory issues related to health care. During state legislative sessions, you can track bills from their introduction to votes on the floor. • “Glossary” goes to a list of commonly used health insurance terms. • “Fraud and Abuse” explains how you can help report suspected insurance fraud. • “Preferred Drug List” takes you to the section that explains the three-tier formulary used to determine your copayment when you purchase prescriptions. • “Provider Directory” allows you to search for physicians and other medical practitioners, hospitals and other medical facilities, dentists, and pharmacies by health plan. • “Wellness Discounts” lists health clubs, weight-loss programs, fitness equipment vendors and other health related vendors who offer discounts to members. • “Contact Us” takes you to a directory of useful telephone numbers organized by topic. • “FAQ” links to a “mini” Web site that answers questions customers frequently ask about their health plan benefits and services. You may submit your own questions if you don’t find the answers you are seeking.
On the Health Advantage site, you may access additional health information: 1. “Depression: Down But Not Out” should help you recognize the symptoms of depression and encourage open communication between you and your physician and among family members. 2. “Preventive Health Information” links to an extensive section on recommended preventive care for each stage of life, in addition to a section for pregnant women. To visit the other areas of our Web sites — “Guests,” “Employers,” “Providers” and “Agents” — click on the links on the home page or the footer at the bottom of each page. You also will find links to major sections on the colored navigation bar to the left of each page.
BlueAnn beats out Elvis! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Web sites win awards The Arkansas Blue Cross and the BlueAnn Ewe Web site for kids both have won awards for interactive media in the annual “ADDY” awards competition sponsored by the Arkansas Advertising Federation. The BlueAnn site for kids even beat out the national Elvis Presley Web site in the competition. Check it out at www.BlueAnnEwe-ark.com.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield P.O. Box 2181 Little Rock, AR 72203-2181
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