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Summer 11

A publication for the policyholders of the Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield family of companies

• Why our doctors are good for you, Page 6 • Program helps children with asthma, Page 16

BlueCares team reaches out to storm victims, Page 22


Sachiko Halter of Conway gracefully performs tai chi, one of several exercise classes she enjoys through the SilverSneakers program.

INSIDE 3 Out of the Blue 4 Personal Health Statements coming to Health Advantage members

5 Individual plan prescription drug benefits change 6 Why our doctors are good for you 9 NSAIDs shouldn’t be taken after heart attack Store dabigatran in original container

10 SilverSneakers blends cultures, creates friendships 12 Lifelong Health with Dr. David 14 Are teens fretting about Facebook? Lose weight The Healthy Weigh!

15 Baby on Board: Use rear-facing car safety seats at least until age 2

16 New education program helps children with asthma breathe easier

17 Individual/family policies can make changes in October $1,000 health-improvement grants go fast

18 From the Pharmacist — FDA decision removes

on Page 10 On the Cover:

BlueCares — Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield employees serve food to victims and workers after the storms that hit Vilonia, Ark., in recent weeks. See the story on Page 22.

Summer 11

is published four times a year by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield for the company’s members, health care professionals and other persons interested in health care and wellness.

unapproved drugs from market

19 20 22 24 26 27 28

Alternatives to treating colic The Doctor’s Corner Employees rally to serve after storms Blue News Financial Information Privacy Notice Customer Service telephone numbers Good for you

Editor: Kelly Whitehorn — bnyou-ed@arkbluecross.com Assistant Editor: Jennifer Gordon Designer: Gio Bruno Photographer: Chip Bayer Contributors: Chip Bayer, Matthew Creasman, Damona Fisher, Kristy Fleming, Trey Hankins, Heather Iacobacci-Miller, Ryan Kravitz, Kathy Luzietti and Mark Morehead Vice President, Communications and Product Development: Karen Raley


Out of the

Blue

A message from our CEO and President, Mark White for everyone. During this last natural disaster in our state, some of our own employees suffered damage or lost their homes. As our employees reached out to them, we reached out to our members as well. Arkansas Blue Cross helped those hurt by the storms by waiving prescription costs for our members who were storm victims and whose pharmacy benefit plan

Corporate social responsibility in difficult times The devastation from numerous tornadoes, ongoing

is managed by Arkansas Blue Cross. A number of our employees served lunch to volunteers helping Vilonia citizens recovering from the tornadoes. And, our employees reached deep into their own wallets and

storms and massive flooding throughout Arkansas this

donated to a relief fund for the Arkansas Chapter of the

spring was horrific, but the actions of so many in the

American Red Cross.

following days and weeks reaffirmed to me one of the

Being a good corporate citizen also means finding

great things about Arkansans … we support each other

ways to improve our communities on a daily basis,

and work together in times of need.

promoting health and wellness activities among our

At Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, compassion

citizens, and encouraging positive behaviors through

is part of our culture; our employees not only take care

programs that support our members in their healthy

of each other in difficult times, but they seek out op-

lifestyles. We are proud of projects like The Medical

portunities to help causes around the globe. And, when

Mile in Little Rock’s Riverfront Park and our ongoing

it is our own communities that are in need, our employ-

Blue & You Fitness Challenge, which engages thou-

ees embrace that mission with even more passion.

sands of participants each year.

Corporate social responsibility means that what

Just because we say we are a company that values

is good for a community is good for business. It’s a

social responsibility doesn’t make it so … we must con-

“shared value.” Businesses have a vested interest in

tinually monitor our engagement to be certain that our

doing what’s best for their communities, whether it be

actions reflect our values. We share our commitment to

through financial support, volunteer work or just being

our local communities through grants from the Blue &

there in times of need. And, when the needs of the

You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas, by investing in

community and business objectives align … it’s good

Responsibility, continued on Page 4

Blue & You Summer 2011

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Responsibility, continued from Page 3 our health care system through supporting the educa-

ing a hand in communities throughout Arkansas. If you

tion of future physicians at the University of Arkansas

have a need you think the BlueCares team can help

for Medical Sciences, and through our Enterprise

with, feel free to contact us.

Employees’ Committee (an internal group consisting of

Here’s hoping we are blessed the rest of this year

our own employees), which finds opportunities for our

with blue skies and gentle rain showers. However, if

employees to serve the community through fundrais-

the storms make their way back to our state, or there

ers, food drives and special events.

is some other emergency, I know the folks at Arkansas

In the next few months, you may hear about a group

Blue Cross will be ready and willing to do what we can

of employees from Arkansas Blue Cross called the

to help our neighbors and our communities. Because at

BlueCares team. These highly motivated individuals are

Arkansas Blue Cross, that’s what we do. And it’s good

dedicated to helping whenever and wherever they are

for all of us.

needed. They will be at fund-raising events and lend-

Personal Health Statements 4

coming to Health Advantage members Health Advantage members will see a different

communication on their health care benefits beginning this summer with the upgrade to the new Personal Health Statement (PHS). The PHS replaces the Explanation of Benefits (EOB), which was generated every time we received a claim from your doctor or hospital. The PHS is more comprehensive than the EOB and designed to make claims processing easier to understand. The PHS includes: • A better description of the discounts you receive on your health care services.

on the new PHS are personal health messages and reminders to get health screenings. The new PHS will be issued two times a month

• Information on how to get in touch with us.

instead of every time a claim is filed. If you only have

• A quick understanding of how much you owe

pharmacy claims during a month, the PHS will be

and to whom. • A section that shows you your personal health bene-

issued quarterly. Members still have the option to confidentially view

fits and tracks where you are in meeting deductibles

their PHS electronically. To sign up for a notification

and out-of-pocket maximums.

e-mail when a new PHS is generated, you can go online

Pharmacy information has been added, including

and sign up through the My Blueprint member self-

generic medications recommendations. Other features Blue & You Summer 2011

service center.


Prescription drug benefits change on individual health plan Customer feedback has led

• $35 copayment for preferred

tion drug benefits for some of our

• $70 copayment for non-pre-

effective date — to ensure they had

policyholders. Arkansas Blue Cross

ferred brand-name drugs.

not paid out more with the old drug

and Blue Shield modified the pre-

The prescription drug list remains

benefit than they would have with

scription drug benefit on its Com-

the same, as do monthly premiums.

the new drug benefit structure. For

prehensive Blue PPO III health plan,

Members will continue to use their

those who had paid out more, we

effective May 1, 2011.

current member ID card and have

issued a refund.”

to an exciting change in prescrip-

A popular feature for members, the $10 copayment for generic

brand-name prescription drugs.

their prescriptions filled the same way.

members’ prescription claims — back to January 1, or their original

Members who have questions about the prescription drug benefit

medications on the plan’s drug list

“We are pleased to offer this ben-

or “formulary,” remains the same.

efit enhancement for individuals and

However, members began pay-

families,” said Ron DeBerry, senior

ing a flat copayment amount for

vice president of Statewide Busi-

plans for individuals and families,

other prescription medications on

ness. “This health plan has been

visit arkansasbluecross.com or call

the drug list rather than paying the

available since Jan. 1, 2011. And,

1-800-392-2583.

previously required deductible and

because it is a new plan, Arkansas

coinsurance:

Blue Cross reviewed all of our

change, may call Customer Service at 1-800-863-5561. For more information about health

Blue & You Summer 2011

5


Why our doctors are

good for you

The Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medical

improves our members’ quality of life.

Management Division recently reorganized to intensify

What is quality health care? It is care that helps you

our focus on quality. Why? Because quality health care

protect your health by promoting a healthy lifestyle and provides you with treatments that are proven to be effective through the course of your lifetime. Quality care is efficient care that does more than sustain life — it makes life better for you and your loved

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ones.

Our Medical Management Division is led by 13 physicians. For a breakdown of their titles, locations and specialties, see the legend on the following page.

Blue & You Summer 2011

Focusing on Quality “The goal of every doctor and hospital is to provide quality health care, which can be defined as the right evaluation and treatment at the right time done the right way in the right setting,” said Robert Griffin, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer for Arkansas Blue Cross. “The goal for Arkansas Blue Cross is


to provide doctors and hospitals with the support they need to attain those goals, by analyzing the barriers that may keep patients from getting the care they need, and then proposing and assisting with strategies to overcome the barriers.” An example where health plans may be able to

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help, Dr. Griffin said, is cardiac rehabilitation programs,

Quality health

which provide education

care helps you

and support to improve fit-

protect your health by promoting a

ness, diet, cholesterol and stress management after a

healthy lifestyle and provides you with treatments that are proven to be effective over the course of your lifetime.

cardiac event. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), nationally fewer than 20 percent of patients who qualify for cardiac rehab actually do it. Women participate at an even lower rate.

“What we know is, if you do cardiac rehab, you are less likely to have another cardiac event within the next few years,” Dr. Griffin said. In fact, he added, a Kaiser Family Foundation report showed that in a 10-year, allcost survival study, people who did cardiac rehab had a much better chance of survival for more than 10 years than those who didn’t. By looking at possible barriers keeping people from participating in cardiac rehab, Dr. Griffin said, Arkansas Blue Cross may be able to find ways to improve participation, especially among women. “We would be improving quality of care and quality of life while reducing overall costs at the same time,” he said.

Examining the Data The Medical Management Division at Arkansas Blue Cross also helps you and your doctors by providing the latest health and medical data available. Arkansas Blue Cross accesses national data through the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s Technology Evaluation Center (TEC), Blue Health Intelligence (BHI), and shares

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Our medical team, including their titles, locations and specialties: 1. James Adamson, M.D., medical officer for National Accounts, Little Rock (pulmonary disease); 2. Robert Griffin, M.D., chief medical officer, Little Rock (general surgery); 3. Kimberly Davis, M.D., medical director, Pine Bluff (family medicine); 4. Sidney P. Hayes, M.D., Medicare medical director, North Little Rock (pulmonary disease); 5. Connie Meeks, M.D., corporate medical director for Internal Affairs, Little Rock (family medicine); 6. Mike Martin, M.D., medical director, Texarkana and Hot Springs (internal medicine); 7. Cygnet Schroeder, D.O., medical director, Fort Smith (physical medicine); 8. Al Thomas, M.D., medical director, Little Rock (ophthalmology); 9. Vic Snyder, M.D., corporate medical director for External Affairs, Little Rock (family medicine); 10. Clement Fox, M.D., medical director for Health Advantage and central Arkansas, Little Rock (pulmonary disease); 11. Bert Price, M.D., medical director, Jonesboro (psychiatry); 12. Raymond Bredfeldt, M.D., medical director, Fayetteville (family medicine); 13. Roberta Monson, M.D., medical director, Little Rock (internal medicine/infectious disease).

information on the Blue Distinction Centers for Specialty Care®. TEC is one of only 14 centers selected by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to assess the effectiveness and safety of medical procedures, devices or drugs based on evidence. TEC provides objective information based on clinical and scientific evidence. The assessments answer the important question of whether a technology’s benefits exceed its harms. Knowing which treatments work best helps ensure you receive the safest, most effective care available. BHI is the nation’s largest health care claims database, developed by participating Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. BHI provides insight into health care trends and best practices but removes all personal information from the data. Through BHI, an employer could learn that his employees are collectively at a Blue & You Summer 2011

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high risk for back injuries, and could use that informa-

ter understand your condition and what you can do to

tion to put better safety measures in place. In the

improve your health status. They can help you set short-

future, doctors could use the information to determine

term and long-term goals and to track your progress

best practices for specific health issues and individuals

toward those goals. They will work with your physician

could learn which health concerns are highest in their

and your caregiver to help support your individual care

geographical area.

plan and they will help you plan to get the most out of

Blue Distinction® is a designation awarded to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in deliver-

your physician before your visit. However, they cannot

ing quality health care. Its goal is to help members find

provide specific medical advice or treatment.

quality specialty care while encouraging health care

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your office visit by developing specific questions for

Case managers are located in each regional office

professionals to improve the overall quality and delivery

and at the main office in Little Rock. If you feel you

of care nationwide. The six specialty areas of care are:

need assistance through case management and we

• Bariatric surgery

have not contacted you, you can reach a case manager

• Cardiac care

through your regional office. Originally, case managers

• Complex and rare cancers

focused only on a geographical area, but under the new

• Knee and hip replacement

realignment of medical management, some specialized

• Spine surgery

case managers will be available to share their expertise

• Transplants

across regions for members with a specific medical

Playing to Strengths Part of Medical Management’s realignment involves playing to the strengths already available within the staff, Dr. Griffin said. “We have tremendous talent with our regional medical directors,” Dr. Griffin said, explaining that each one has a specialty, and while they have oversight of the medical activities within their geographic region and have established relationships with physicians and facilities locally, they periodically share their expertise with providers and facilities in counties outside their region. (The medical directors, and their specialties, are listed in the photo on the previous page.) Enhancing Case Management If you are healthy, you may not be aware of the case managers who work at Arkansas Blue Cross, but if you develop a severe illness or have a catastrophic health issue, you can be sure one of them will be there if you need assistance. Arkansas Blue Cross case managers are there to help you as you move from a hospital to a rehabilitation facility or back home. They help you to betBlue & You Summer 2011

condition. “We may have a case manager in one region who is superb in dealing with neurological disorders, and we want to share that talent across the state, rather than having one region stronger in that area,” Dr. Griffin said. “A lot of people don’t know who we are or what we do,” said Rochelle Nix, a case manager in the Pine Bluff office. Rochelle’s recent work with a member who has multiple

Rochelle Nix

myeloma, a cancer of the blood, is a good example of how our case managers can help. “Jason” was overwhelmed by his diagnosis and the amount of medical terminology thrown at him, but Rochelle was able to explain the medical information and provide additional information on his medical coverage. Because Jason needed a stem cell transplant, Rochelle worked closely with the corporate transplant coordinator, who provided her with the details of the transplant. Rochelle then was able to explain it to Jason. Later,


NSAIDs shouldn’t be taken after

after Jason told Rochelle he was confused by all the bills he was receiving, Rochelle asked him to drop them off at the regional office, and the office staff created

heart attack

a spread sheet for him that showed which bills were under the transplant global reimbursement and which were not. The biggest change in Jason came when he started calling Rochelle to let her know that he already had handled a situation. She said he still needed the encouragement, but was confident enough, and understood the medical terminology enough, to handle it on his own. When he called to say he was in remission, the entire office cheered. Jason stops by the Pine Bluff office on occasion to visit his friends, which is who Rochelle and the others have become.

Using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

(NSAIDs) — even for brief periods — after a heart attack increases your risk for another heart attack and death, according to a study in the American Heart Association journal, Circulation. Researchers in Denmark identified more than 80,000 patients who’d been treated for a first heart attack and then studied the prescriptions they received afterward.

Existing Programs Keeping you healthy isn’t anything new for Arkansas Blue Cross. Our health education programs offer expecting mothers guidance on getting ready for their newborns, and help adults and kids with chronic illnesses like diabetes and asthma. If you’re one of many who have low back pain, we can help there, too. And, if you haven’t already, check out our Web sites for discounts to fitness centers and weight-loss programs throughout the state. Arkansas Blue Cross is good for you no matter if you are healthy and want to stay that way, or need some help getting back into more healthy habits.

More than 40 percent of patients received at least one

Keeping You Well So, is wellness really an important part of Arkansas Blue Cross’ business? “A major portion of our national health care needs would not exist if people had a better diet, exercised appropriately, didn’t smoke or use tobacco products of any kind and only consumed alcohol in reasonable quantities,” said Dr. Griffin. “And, wellness improves the health status of our members. So, along with outstanding customer service and operations, we promote wellness. And that is another way we continue to be good for you.”

If you take the medication dabigatran, also known

prescription for an NSAID after their heart attacks. Risks of another heart attack or death were significantly higher during treatment with all NSAIDs, but Diclofenac (sold under the brand name Voltaren) had the greatest risk. Naproxen had the lowest risk. The authors say their results indicate, “there is no apparent safe therapeutic window” for NSAIDs in patients with a prior heart attack.

Store dabigatran in original container by the brand name Pradaxa, you only should store it in its original container, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dabigatran is an anticoagulant, which means it prevents blood clots. Dabigatran comes in bottles and in blister packets that seal out moisture. After the pills have been exposed to air, they must be used within 60 days. If you move the medication to a pill organizer or pill box, or take the pills out of the blister packet, the humidity in the air may cause it to lose its potency. Blue & You Summer 2011

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SilverSneakers blends cultures, creates friendships As she gracefully moves

from one tai chi position to the next, Sachiko Halter glows with confidence and quiet strength. It’s hard to imagine that a few years ago she was shy around people outside her family, but that was before a letter arrived in the mail from Arkansas Blue

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Cross and Blue Shield. Sachiko is originally from Kitakyushu, Kokura, Japan, on the southern island of Kyushu. She came to the United States as a young woman and eventuSachiko Halter (foreground) and Alicia Kow (background) move through tai chi poses during a class at the Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center.

ally settled in Conway, Ark. She and her husband, Victor Halter, have six children between them and nine grandchildren. While Sachiko was very busy with family, she was lonely. “I have a wonderful husband,” she said, “but I missed ‘girl talk.’ Some days I think the only time I talked to someone besides my husband was when I went to the grocery store,” she said, “and that was to say if I wanted paper or plastic!” When Sachiko turned 65, Arkansas Blue Cross sent her a

Blue & You Summer 2011


letter inviting her to learn more about the Sil-

she said she realized that she didn’t need to

verSneakers Fitness Program. She said

go outside of the fitness center. Alicia,

®

she was a little nervous at the thought

who is originally from Malaysia, often

of exercising in a group, which she

travels back to her home country

had never done, but she wanted to

and to China to attend tai chi and

learn more.

qigong training sessions with

“When I heard that Arkansas

masters of these arts. Sachiko

Blue Cross offers SilverSneakers

can lead the class if Alicia is away,

for free, I just jumped right in!”

but said she enjoys learning from

she said. SilverSneakers is the

such a skilled teacher. A big part of that enjoyment

nation’s leading exercise program designed exclusively for older adults,

comes from her classmates. The

offering an innovative blend of physi-

class gathers in a circle as soft music fills the air and they breathe and

cal activity, healthy lifestyles and social-

move as one, shifting their weight slow-

ly oriented programming. SilverSneakers is available to Arkansas Blue Cross Medi-Pak

ly from one foot to the other, hands cupped

®

as if holding a ball of energy. The hushed

and Medi-Pak Advantage (PFFS) members at no additional cost at wellness centers, YMCAs and Curves

®

locations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington.

instructions from Alicia quickly give way to giggles and smiles from the class as they take a break. The women

Sachiko started taking SilverSneakers classes at the

have a special bond and once a week members of the

Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center four years

tai chi and Silver Splash classes go out to lunch, some-

ago. Now, at age 69, Sachiko says she attends classes

thing that Sachiko truly enjoys.

five days a week. With several SilverSneakers classes

Alicia said she has seen amazing changes in each

to choose from, including the Silver Splash class,

of the women since they joined the class. For some,

Sachiko stays busy. But her favorite class is tai chi.

it is subtle, as stiff muscles learn to relax; for others

Tai chi chuan, or simply tai chi, was developed more

it is drastic, like a 30-point drop in blood pressure. For

than 2,000 years ago in China. It is a graceful form of

Sachiko, it is personal, enjoying the company of women

exercise used for stress reduction and other health

so much like her, but who grew up in a culture so differ-

conditions, like joint pain. A study by the University of

ent than her own.

California Los Angeles showed significant benefits of tai chi in the management of late-life depression. The American Geriatrics Society also recently encouraged exercise, like tai chi, for balance, gait and strength training. Sachiko enjoys tai chi so much that for a while she took additional classes at the University of Central Arkansas and became a certified instructor herself. But when Alicia “Siaw-Khian” Kow, became the instructor at the Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center,

“SilverSneakers is one of the best things to happen to me,” she said. For more information on SilverSneakers, call 1-888423-4632 or visit silversneakers.com. SilverSneakers® is a registered mark of Healthways, Inc. The SilverSneakers Fitness Program is provided by Healthways, Inc., an independent company that operates separately from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Source: americantaichi.net

Blue & You Summer 2011

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Lifelong Health

with Dr. David

shakes containing these substances, the message is clear — the best way to get these healthy nutrients is David A. Lipschitz, M.D., Ph.D.

to eat the natural foods containing them. Consider this diet plan, which contains the most valuable super foods offering the chance of promoting health, preventing disease and reducing the risks of obesity. Ideally eat three meals daily and at least three appropriate snacks. This balanced approach will minimize overeating and prevent weight gain.

Breakfast • Eat plenty of fiber. The best breakfast is either a

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high-fiber cereal or oatmeal that contains soluble and insoluble fiber to promote intestinal function, reduce the risk of cancer and lower cholesterol. Soluble fiber found in oatmeal dramatically can lower cholesterol and promote heart health. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the diet, promotes normal bowel function, decreases constipation and lowers the risk of irritable bowel syndrome. • Add half a cup of blueberries to breakfast. Compared to any other fruit, blueberries contain the

A simple diet plan containing proven

super foods promotes a longer and better life

Want to live as long and as healthy as possible? In-

cluding super foods in your diet can make you healthier by adding fiber, vitamins, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids and unique compounds that have significant health benefits. Although it is possible to obtain pills, powders and

Blue & You Summer 2011

highest concentration of antioxidants that promote cellular health and prevent cancer and heart disease. Research conducted by the National Institute on Aging shows that blueberries prolong life expectancy, reduce cholesterol levels and produce anthocyanin, which improves vision. Pterostilbene found in blueberries promotes brain function. Add fat-free or lowfat milk to complete the meal. Consider 2 percent organic milk that contains the ideal omega 3 fatty acids rather than the unhealthy omega 6 fatty acids found in milk from corn-fed animals.


Editor’s Note: David A. Lipschitz, M.D., Ph.D., is nationally recognized as a leader in the field of geriatrics. Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is honored to have him as a contributor to Blue & You magazine.

Lunch and Dinner

and perhaps Alzheimer’s Disease.

• Have a salad for one meal. Consider a large salad

• Apples. Try and eat at least two apples daily. A study

consisting of mixed greens, as many colored veg-

conducted by researchers at Florida State University

etables as possible and a low-fat protein source

has shown that two, rather than one apple a day,

(chicken or fish). Use a delicious low-fat dressing in

significantly lowers cholesterol, reduces inflamma-

moderation. The more color in the salad, the greater

tion, decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke

the concentration of antioxidants. A salad like this

and, without dieting, promotes an average loss of

provides ideal concentrations of vitamins such as C,

three pounds annually. Apples are rich in pectin, a

folic acid, beta carotene and lycopene, which pre-

soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol. Always eat the

vents vision loss. Salads also provide fiber, the best

peel, which contains the highest concentrations of

fats and if eaten slowly, prevent hunger and promote

antioxidants. • Cocoa. Last, but not least, have a glass of warm co-

weight loss. • Make sure you include the right foods in your

coa about an hour before bedtime. Recent research

meal. A healthy lunch or dinner includes protein

has shown that cocoa reduces blood pressure,

(tofu, lean meat or fatty fish), two servings of a

lowers cholesterol and appears to lower the risk of

starch (no more than two-thirds the size of your fist)

diabetes by making the body more sensitive to insu-

and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

lin. Furthermore, a light snack before bed promotes

• The benefits of red wine. If you can, have one or two glasses of red wine with your evening meal. In addition to containing rich amounts of antioxidants, red wine contains resveratrol, a unique molecule that may promote life expectancy and reduce heart attacks.

Snacks • An ounce of walnuts. Consider walnuts as an afternoon snack, or add an ounce to a salad. Walnuts are the nuts with the highest con-

better sleep.

Splurging We all splurge, but do not do this every night. It is OK to have a rich dessert or high-calorie food on occasion, but do not do it every day. And, most importantly, watch portion size. A small

The message is clear — the best way to

get these healthy nutrients is to eat the natural foods

centration of antioxidants, providing

containing them.

more than an average person obtains from all the fruits and vegetables consumed

baked potato with a low-calorie dressing is much better that a large one with all the trimmings. So there you have it. Whatever you do, avoid the temptation of substituting a pill for the real thing. Until proven otherwise, assume that the pills may cause

more harm than good. Follow this approach to

daily. Nuts are rich in fiber and omega 3 fatty acids,

eating, splurge no more than twice a week and you

which reduce cholesterol, heart-disease risk, cancer

have set the course for a long, disease-free life. Blue & You Summer 2011

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Lose weight The Healthy Weigh! The Healthy Weigh! Education Program is free for members of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Health Advantage (except ARHealth members*), Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan (Federal

Are teens fretting about Facebook?

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Y

our teen probably isn’t the only person in your household that

stays connected to family and friends through the social networking site, Facebook. However, using Facebook is not without risks for teens, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Why are doctors worried? With the friends of teens constantly adding new friends, updating their “status” with recent fun outings or activities, and adding photo upon photo of good times, it’s a tough landscape for teens who are already dealing with self-esteem or depression issues. Parents are encouraged to talk to their teens about online use and be aware of the risks including depression, self-esteem issues or even “cyberbullying” (when teens may post judgmental comments or inappropriate remarks about others). Remember, Facebook also can help kids feel more socially connected. As with all things involving parenting, it’s just important to stay connected to your child — in person. Blue & You Summer 2011

Employee Program), Medi-Pak® Advantage (PFFS), Medi-Pak Advantage PPO and eligible members of BlueAdvantage Administrators of Arkansas. To enroll, complete the attached enrollment form and return it in the self-addressed, postage-paid envelope included in this magazine. The program starts when you enroll. After enrollment, you will begin to receive information through the mail, which you can read in the privacy of your own home and at your own pace. The program is completely voluntary, and you may leave the program at any time. If you have further questions about the program, call the Health Education Program’s toll-free number at 1-800-686-2609. * Arkansas state and public school employees and retirees can access the “Nourish” program through LifeSynch. Simply complete, sign and return the attached enrollment form in the selfaddressed, postage-paid envelope to join The Healthy Weigh!


Baby on Board: Use rear-facing car safety seats at least until age 2

How can you protect your

“precious cargo?” Put them in the back seat, turn them around

Age Group

Seat Type

Guidelines

Infants/toddlers

Infant seats and rear-facing convertible seats

All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer.

Toddlers/ preschoolers

All children 2 years or older, or those younger than 2 years who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or Convertible seats height limit for their car safety seat, and forward-facing should use a forward-facing car safety seats with harnesses seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer.

and buckle them down. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), recently recommended that all infants ride in the back seat of all vehicles, in rear-facing car safety seats, starting with their first ride home from the hospital and continuing until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by

School-aged children

Booster seats

the car safety seat’s manufacturer. Sadly, according to AAP, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children 4 years old and older.

Older children

Seat belts

facing car safety seats: infant-

When children are old enough and large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should always use lap and shoulder seat belts for optimal protection. All children younger than 13 years should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles for optimal protection.

Types of rear-facing car safety seats There are three types of rear-

All children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for their car safety seat should use a beltpositioning booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 feet 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years of age.

three-in-one seats. When children reach the highest weight or length allowed by the manufacturer of their infant-only seat, they should continue to face the

only seats, convertible seats and back of the vehicle in a convertible seat or three-in-one seat. Source: American Academy of Pediatrics Blue & You Summer 2011

15


New education program helps children with asthma breathe easier

For skateboarders and skiers, “catching air” is a

radical move; for children with asthma, it can be the dif-

16

ference between life and death. The new CatchAir Youth Asthma Program teaches

pared in an emergency, and can live a more peaceful, healthy day-to-day life by managing the condition.” Margaret Fizer, R.N., B.S.N., a health improvement nurse specialist for Arkansas Blue Cross, developed the

parents and children about asthma through fun informa-

CatchAir program. “We want our youngest members to

tion that also is easy to understand. The program is free

feel the freedom and power over asthma that a snow-

and voluntary for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield,

boarder might feel when they ‘catch air,’” Fizer said.

Health Advantage and eligible BlueAdvantage Adminis-

As many as 71,000 children in Arkansas have asthma;

trators of Arkansas members.

nationally one in 10 students

CatchAir targets four age-

have asthma. “Asthma is a life-

specific groups — 0-3, 4-6,

long disease that children don’t

7-11 and 12-17.

outgrow,” she said. “Symptoms may decrease as a child gets

After enrollment, program participants receive monthly age-appropriate information through the mail. Parents read, use and share the

older, but the asthma is still present.” Educational materials range from the basics of

information with the younger children. Older program

asthma to tracking asthma symptoms and medications,

participants can read and learn more on their own,

emergency planning, healthy eating and fitness tips,

although there always is a parent component.

and everyday health. Telephone and Web resources are

“Learning that your child has asthma may be alarm-

provided as well as follow-ups with a registered nurse

ing,” said Robert Griffin, M.D., senior vice president and

case manager for those members who need case man-

chief medical officer for Arkansas Blue Cross. “Most

agement services.

people want information and support. Our goal is to

For more information on the CatchAir Youth Asthma

make a positive difference in the lives of parents and

Program, contact Arkansas Blue Cross’ Health

their children who have asthma, by helping them learn

Education Division at 1-800-686-2609.

more about asthma care. That way, they are better preBlue & You Summer 2011


Individual/family policies can make changes in October Service at 1-800-238-8379 to receive one. Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for individual

Changes to existing policies will be effec-

and family health plans will be held Oct. 1-31,

tive Jan. 1 or 15, 2012, depending on the

2011. During this OEP, members may:

policy billing cycle. All

1. Request policy changes, such as

new child-only individual policies will be

• Adding or deleting dependents. • Increasing or decreasing their deductible. • Adding or deleting maternity. • Requesting removal of surcharges or exclusions. 2. Apply for child-only policies for individuals age 18 or younger. During the rest of the year, individuals age 18 or younger only can be considered for coverage as a dependent. Change forms for existing policies and applications for new policies must be received (not just postmarked) no later than Oct. 31, 2011. Forms are printable from arkansasbluecross.com or you can call Customer

effective Jan. 1, 2012.

Qualifying Life Events Existing policyholders may make changes throughout the year only if there is a “qualifying life event” — such as a marriage, divorce, death, birth of a child or loss of other health insurance coverage. Child-only policy applications may be submitted throughout the year only as a result of involuntary loss of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, and must be submitted within 30 days of the loss of coverage. Watch for more information online and in the next issue of Blue & You.

$1,000 health-improvement grants go fast A new grant program from the Blue & You Founda-

and awarded all 50 grants,” O’Sullivan said. “As this was

tion for a Healthier Arkansas recently provided $1,000

considered a pilot, we are now evaluating the effective-

minigrants to 50 Arkansas organizations to implement

ness of the program and will likely offer a new round of

health-improvement projects in their communities. The

minigrants in early 2012.”

grant program was administered through the Arkansas Community Foundation (ARCF). “In addition to its annual, large-grants program, the

Any 501(c)(3) public charity, public school, government agency or nonprofit hospital in Arkansas is eligible to apply, but grants are not made to individuals. Fund-

Blue & You Foundation wanted to offer

ing can be used to support an existing

a new minigrants program that would

health-improvement program or to sup-

help more Arkansas communities

port a new start-up project.

through a simpler application process

The Blue & You Foundation is also

and a quicker funding decision,” said

accepting applications through July 15

Patrick O’Sullivan, executive director of the Blue & You

for its regular grants program (grants from $5,000

Foundation.

to $150,000). More information about these grant

The new minigrants program proved to be extremely popular. “In the first 28 days, we had 74 applications

opportunities can be found at blueandyoufoundationarkansas.org. Blue & You Summer 2011

17


FDA decision removes unapproved drugs from market I n March 2011, the U.S. Food

out the past century, the laws

ers affected by this action in March

and Drug Administration (FDA) an-

outlining the requirements for drug

2011 must stop making the product

nounced that it will remove certain

approval have changed. First, drug

within 90 days and stop shipping

unapproved prescription medicines

regulation focused on adultera-

them within 180 days. The FDA says

intended to relieve cough, cold and

tion and misbranding but did not

taking them off the market should

allergy symptoms from the U.S.

require that new drug products be

not create problems for consum-

market.

approved prior to being marketed.

ers because there are many other

These products have not been evaluated by FDA to assure that they are safe, effective and of good quality. These

18

products may therefore pose unnecessary risks to consumers, especially when there are other products available for the treatment of cough, cold and allergy symptoms, including

Throughout the past century, the laws outlining the requirements for drug approval have changed.

Then, laws on drug

products — both prescription and

regulation changed to

over-the-counter — available for

include drug safety

the treatment of cough, cold and

as a requirement for

allergy symptoms that meet FDA

approval. Currently, the

standards.

law requires that new

If you are taking a prescription

drugs be shown to be

medicine for cough, cold or allergy

safe, effective, of good

symptoms and you want to know

manufacturing quality

if it is an approved drug, there are

and not misbranded

a few resources available on the

prior to being approved

FDA’s Web site, fda.gov. If you find

by the FDA. As a result

that you are taking one of the unap-

of these changes in

proved prescription medications

FDA-approved prescription drugs or

law, many of the products that

that are affected by the FDA action,

over-the-counter drugs that follow

are the focus of this action have

please discuss alternatives with

appropriate FDA standards.

been marketed without being

your doctor or pharmacist.

Some of the prescription medicines being removed have been marketed for many years. Through-

approved under the current legal requirements.

Source: fda.gov, fda.gov/consumer

The FDA says most manufactur-

From the

Pharmacist

by Trey Gardner, Pharm D., Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Blue & You Summer 2011


Alternatives to treating

colic

A ll babies cry for a reason,

mostly when they are hungry, tired or need a fresh diaper. But, if you’ve

knees may be drawn up. • Sleep may be irregular and interrupted with episodes of crying.

ever been around a baby with colic,

• Feeding also may be interrupted

you know it is altogether a different

and irregular with episodes of

situation.

intense crying. However, the

Colic is an attack of crying due to

amount the baby eats will not be

ing with a colicky baby, you can resort to a few “tried and true” methods until he or she outgrows it. These methods include: • Swaddling a baby during a crying episode. • Sit the baby upright when feed-

what appears to be abdominal pain

less.

ing to reduce the amount of air

in early infancy. It is common — oc-

There are few treatment options

swallowed.

curring in approximately 20 percent

for colic, but in a recent study,

of all babies during their first few

several nutritional supplements and

months of life — and it is extremely

other complementary and alterna-

frustrating.

tive treatments were examined.

Colic normally appears just a few

• Use more frequent, but smaller, feedings. • If breastfeeding, avoid tea, coffee, spicy foods and alcohol.

The use of fennel extract, herbal tea

• Use a pacifier.

weeks after birth and can last for

(especially those with chamomile,

• Go for a walk with a stroller.

three or four months. Babies with

licorice, fennel and balm mint) and

• Give the baby a warm bath or

colic usually exhibit some or all of

sugar solutions were somewhat

gentle massage.

the following symptoms:

effective in relieving the symptoms

Perhaps the best tip is this one:

• Crying intensely and furiously,

of colicky babies but the results,

Have someone else help you with

even when normal needs are

overall, were inconclusive. It was

the baby so you can have some pri-

met.

determined that additional research

vate time away. This may help calm

is necessary.

your anxieties and provide for a

• Fists may be clenched, abdominal muscles may be tensed and

In the meantime, if you are deal-

more peaceful atmosphere overall. Blue & You Summer 2011

19


The

Customer Service. You also can

Doctor’s

Corner

Have a “hawk eye” in the hospital

learn more about your doctor and hospital by searching online. • Arrange for someone to be at the hospital with you. Make sure they understand why you are going to the hospital and are aware of any other health concerns you may have. This person or persons will be your “hawk” eyes and ears if you are sedated or recovering. • Make a list of all your medications, or bring them with you. Include any over-the-counter medications, like aspirin; these medications can be as important

20

to your doctor as your prescription medications.

If you travel anywhere in Ar-

kansas, you can’t help but see the hawks sitting silently above the fields, watching calmly and listening intently. And if you’ve ever gotten too close to a hawk’s nest, you know how fast they can move and how loud they can be in order to protect their young. The next time you or a loved one has to enter the hospital, think back on those hawks; that same quiet attention to detail and fast action can make you a powerful patient advocate and a strong member of the care team. Blue & You Summer 2011

Before Going to the Hospital Some hospitalizations occur suddenly while others are planned well in advance. If the situation allows you to plan ahead, consider the following: • If you smoke, try to quit at least two weeks before the hospitalization. If you can’t quit, let the hospital staff know. They may be able to provide you with support to help with withdrawal symptoms. • Do some research. Make sure your doctor is in our network by going to our Web site or calling

At the Hospital As a patient, or as the advocate for your loved one, you are part of the care team. If you see something that doesn’t look right, or you hear information that may not be correct, ask questions. If you still are not satisfied, don’t hesitate to alert the doctor, a nurse or a hospital administrator. By being polite and quiet when things are going well, you will be taken seriously when you do speak out regarding an issue. As a Patient: • Be sure your doctor is aware of any allergies to medications, food, latex or tape adhesive. • Be honest if you have an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Your doc-


tor may be able to help you with

and names of all people involved.

withdrawal, and not letting the

What medicine was given? Was

doctor or hospital know could

there a change? Which doctor

create a serious health situation

rounded? What tests or proce-

for you.

dures were done? Did the results

• Ask if the hospital has adopted a surgical checklist. If not, ask

get back to the doctor? • Ask what medications are being

what your surgeon and anesthe-

given. If something is new, ask

siologist will do to be sure the

what it does and find out if there

requirements are met.

could be side effects.

• Ask if you need antibiotics prior to the operation. Also, if you typically require antibiotics before dental work, tell your doctor. • Ask for the surgical site to be marked before you are sedated so you know it is the correct location. Make sure your advocate knows the location as well. • Do not shave the surgical site

It is important for the patient and advocate to listen, ask questions and take notes. • If the stay in the hospital is lengthy, be sure the staff keeps

yourself. The hospital staff should

your loved one from developing

use clippers, not razor blades, to

bedsores by frequently turning

prepare the site.

him or her.

As a Patient Advocate: • Be sure you wash your hands frequently and be sure others (family, nurses, doctors) wash theirs every time they come in the room. If someone doesn’t, say something. Be sure the doctors and nurses wear gloves when doing wound care, dressing changes, IV site changes etc. • Politely tell any sick visitors that they should wait to visit when they — and the patient — are better. • Keep a record of all activities and conversations and include times

• Ask whether a medicine is needed to prevent blood clots. • Report any broken or malfunctioning equipment, including call lights, wheelchairs, bedside tables, hand-sanitizer dispensers or bathroom handrails. If it is not

by Vic Snyder, M.D., Corporate Medical Director for External Affairs

nurse’s professional experience. What changes have occurred in your loved one that may increase the risk of falling? ° Is the room cluttered or too dark? ° Are wheels locked on wheelchairs and other equipment? ° Are the toilet seat and the bed at the appropriate height? ° Would a regular bathroom schedule be safer than waiting for an urgent call of nature? ° Is the call-light working and reachable? ° As your loved one improves, is the activity level expand-

working, it may cause problems.

ed so that muscle strength

• Talk to each nurse at shift change

and conditioning improves?

about fall prevention. Falls are

• If there is a central venous line,

frequent in hospitals because

watch for signs of infection. Pay

of sickness, age, incontinence,

strict attention to hand washing

medication effects and being in

and gloves. Talk to the doctor

a strange environment. Combine

daily regarding how long the

your common sense and knowl-

central line needs to stay in.

edge of your loved one with the

Hospital, continued on Page 27

Blue & You Summer 2011

21


BlueCares team rallies to se In the aftermath of a tornado

that devastated their community on April 25, 2011, the members of Vilonia United Methodist Church looked for ways to help their neighbors. The members of their community were so consumed with digging out of the rubble left in the wake of the storm, they had little time to even consider from where their next meal was coming. That’s when the members of the church took action. According to their pastor, Belinda Price, Vilonia

22

United Methodist Church coordinated with various restaurants to provide meals. As a result, they served approximately 400 people in a single day. But so much more needed to be done. “We were having a meeting at our church discussing how to do this again because the need was so great,” said Price. They began calling other restaurants for help, one of which was Whole Hog Café in Little Rock. “We asked if they could help out and they said they were already fixing enough barbecue to feed 1,000 people in Vilonia the following Saturday,” said Price. Arkansas Blue Cross employees serve lunch to storm victims and volunteers in Vilonia.

Which raised some questions… Where would they distribute the food? Did they need a place?

Blue & You Summer 2011


rve community after storms Who was organizing this effort in the first place?

could have been any one of us, and we should be will-

“We called back and asked,” said Price.

ing to do whatever we can to assist those in need. The

That’s when they found out the effort was being

need is still so great and this clean up will take a

coordinated by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The plan was to provide free barbecue lunches to storm clean up crews and displaced families in Vilonia. “So we called Arkansas Blue Cross and asked them if they needed a place to serve the food and they said, ‘yes.’” So, 20 volunteers from Arkansas Blue Cross set up shop at Vilonia United Methodist Church and started

long time.” Serving meals was not the only assistance offered by Arkansas Blue Cross. The company also waived pharmacy costs for its members who were victims of the storm. “Our hearts go out to our fellow Arkansans who lost so much in these storms,” said Mark White, president and chief executive officer of Arkansas Blue Cross. “We

feeding people. It was a mission that hit

know there is a lot to go through follow-

very close to home for many of them.

ing a natural disaster, and we want our

“I have become accustomed to seeing

members to stay healthy as they rebuild.

this type of thing on the news, but to witness it first

We want to ease their financial burden by replacing

hand was humbling,” said Betsy Petty, a supervisor for

their needed medications.”

BlueCard Host Adjustments and one of the Arkansas

Helping out in times of need is nothing new for

Blue Cross volunteers. “I live within 10 miles of Vilonia.

Arkansas Blue Cross. In fact, the company has a rich

That night the storm could have easily turned and gone

history of community involvement. A little more than a

through my neighborhood — so a lot of emotions went

week before storms ravaged Arkansas, employees of

through me. I’m thankful that I was spared, but I’m also

Arkansas Blue Cross turned out en masse to participate

hurt by the suffering that Vilonia was going through.”

in the 2011 Start! Heart Walk and raised more than

The volunteers fed an estimated 800 to 900 people. “It was astounding,” said Price. “So many people

$10,000 for the American Heart Association. Mike Brown, executive vice president and chief

were served, both at the church and in the

operating officer for Arkansas Blue Cross, served as the

neighborhoods.”

2011 corporate walk chair for the Little Rock chapter of

The damage had blocked so many roads that many of the clean-up crews could not get to the church. But,

the American Heart Association. This kind of dedication would come as no surprise

according to Price, crews would send one person to

to Donna Lewis, a member of Vilonia United Methodist

get through the debris to the church. That person would

Church, after seeing employees in action at her church.

then take back a lot of takeout orders. Elaine Hickman, a lead system analyst/programmer

“Arkansas Blue Cross employees took care of everything,” she said. “And when it was over, they even

for Pinnacle Business Solutions, Inc., also was one of

helped us take everything down and then helped us set

the volunteers.

up for our Sunday services. I said, ‘You don’t have to do

“I cried all the way to the church,” she said. “After

that,’ and they said, ‘no, no, we’re here to help you.’”

seeing the disaster, it really brings into focus that this Blue & You Summer 2011

23


BLUE News

Grant funds training for hospital board members A hospital’s quality, safety and fiscal responsibility

cisions and to govern more effectively on behalf of the

is determined not only by its doctors but by its board

patients and communities they serve. Arkansas Blue

members. For this reason, Arkansas Blue Cross and

Cross has provided $50,000 to this mission.

Blue Shield is providing funding to the Arkansas Hospi-

Hospitals are not only vital in providing easy access

tal Association (AHA) and the Arkansas Association of

to health care and emergency care in communities;

Hospital Trustees (AAHT) to support their goal of certify-

they have an important economic impact. According to

ing at least 80 percent of all hospital board members in

the AHA, hospitals are the second largest private sec-

Arkansas in the Best on Board educational program.

tor source of jobs in the nation. Every dollar spent by

Best on Board specializes in helping hospital trustees and other health care leaders gain the confidence and

a hospital supports more than two dollars of additional business activity in a community.

competence needed to make better, more educated de-

24

Gray Dillard named chief financial officer Gray Dillard, CPA, has been named chief financial officer (CFO) and treasurer

to 2008. He was promoted to vice president of Financial Services in 2009. Dillard received his bachelor’s degree from Hard-

for Arkansas Blue Cross

ing University in Searcy. Dillard works closely with the

and Blue Shield.

Maumelle Sports Association and coaches youth base-

As CFO, Dillard will be

ball, basketball and softball. He is an active member of

responsible for financial

Levy Church of Christ. Dillard was a recent member of

activities for Arkansas Blue

the Hot Springs Fifty for the Future and completed the

Cross, HMO Partners, Inc.

Leadership Hot Springs Program where he served as

and USAble Corporation, which includes accounting, financial operations, administrative cost management, enterprise reporting and capital management. He will serve as treasurer of Arkansas Blue Cross and HMO Partners, and as secretary/treasurer of USAble Corporation. Dillard also will continue his responsibilities as vice president of Financial Services. Dillard joined Arkansas Blue Cross in March 1994 as senior accountant for Health Advantage and was promoted to accounting manager of Financial Services and controller of HMO Partners in 2000. He served as regional executive in the Hot Springs office from 2005

Blue & You Summer 2011

treasurer.

AskBlue about reform AskBlue is a new feature available on our Web sites that helps both individuals and businesses understand more about health insurance reform — it’s a personal guide to understanding the basics and includes changes happening now and in the future. AskBlue, created by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is available on the Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Health Advantage and BlueAdvantage Administrators of Arkansas Web sites.


Vic Snyder, M.D., joins medical staff Vic Snyder, M.D., former

bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Willamette Univer-

U.S. representative for Ar-

sity in Salem, Ore., and his doctorate in medicine from

kansas’ 2nd Congressional

the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center (now

District, has been named

Oregon Health and Science University) in Portland, Ore.

the corporate medical

Dr. Snyder completed his residency at the University of

director for external affairs

Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He served as a family

for Arkansas Blue Cross

practice physician in Little Rock for 15 years. He at-

and Blue Shield. In his new

tended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School

position, Snyder will par-

of Law to obtain his law degree while still maintaining

ticipate in the development of medical policy, member

his medical practice. He served in the Arkansas State

benefits and physician and hospital networks.

Legislature from 1991 until 1996. Snyder served as a

Snyder served in Vietnam as part of the U.S. 1st

congressman from 1997 to 2011.

Marine Division during the Vietnam War. He earned his

25

Arkansas Blue Cross wins awards Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Enterprise In-

James Gaston, manager of Enterprise Information Development, is presented with the BHI Best of Blue award for plan-to-plan collaboration.

formation Development Division recently won two Blue Health Intelligence (BHI) Best of Blue Awards at the Blue National Summit held in Chicago. The first award was for plan-to-plan collaboration and the second was for return on investment. BHI combines the health care information of more than 54 million Blue Cross and Blue Shield members nationwide in a database that is fully protected under

To earn the award for return on investment, the

the safeguards established by the Health Insurance

Enterprise Information Development Division improved

Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

the timeliness in which data is delivered to Arkansas

For the first award, Arkansas Blue Cross worked with

Blue Cross by implementing service level agreements

a health care data analytics expert, to collect informa-

that focus on quality, timeliness, change control and

tion from the BHI data warehouse and identify trends

issue resolution. As a result, Arkansas Blue Cross’ data

that increase cost and health care usage for one of the

warehouse has seen a dramatic improvement in its

company’s largest nationwide accounts. As a result,

ability to secure the data needed for various business

Arkansas Blue Cross can provide statistical information

purposes.

to support the national account’s business decisions.

Blue & You Summer 2011


Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Financial Information Privacy Notice

At Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue

Shield and its affiliates (including HMO Partners, Inc. d/b/a Health

information. Improper access and

products.

use of confidential information by an

• Information related to the fact

employee can result in disciplinary

Advantage), we understand how

that you have been or currently

action up to and including termination

important it is to keep your private

are a member.

of employment.

information just that — private. Because of the nature of our business, we must collect some

Sharing of Information Arkansas Blue Cross and its

Disclosure of Privacy Notice Arkansas Blue Cross and its

affiliates do not disclose, and do not

affiliates recognize and respect the

wish to reserve the right to disclose,

privacy concerns of potential, current

non-public personal information about

and former customers. Arkansas Blue

you to one another or to other parties

Cross and its affiliates are committed

except as permitted or required by

to safeguarding this information. As

law. Examples of instances in which

required by state regulation, we must

Arkansas Blue Cross and its affiliates

notify our members about how we

affiliates only compile information

will provide information to one

handle non-public financial information

necessary for us to provide the

another or other third parties are:

of our members. If you would like

personal information from our members, but we also are committed to maintaining, securing and protecting that information.

26

purchase and use of our

Customer Information Arkansas Blue Cross and its

services that you, our member, request from us and to administer your business. We collect non-public

• To service or process products that you have requested. • To provide information as per-

to review the Financial Information Privacy Notices for all Arkansas Blue Cross members, you can visit our Web

personal financial information (defined

mitted and required by law to

site at arkansasbluecross.com or call

as any information that can be tied

accrediting agencies.

the appropriate Arkansas Blue Cross

back to a specific person and is

• To provide information to com-

affiliate company to receive the Privacy

gathered by any source that is

ply with federal, state or local

Notice. Our customer service areas

not publicly available) about our

laws in an administrative or

are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,

members from:

judicial process.

Central time, Monday through Friday.

How We Protect Your Information

To receive a copy of the Privacy

• Applications for insurance coverage. The application includes information such as name, ad-

Arkansas Blue Cross and its

Notice, members should call: Arkansas Blue Cross —

dress, personal identifiers such

affiliates use various security

1-800-238-8379.

as Social Security number, and

mechanisms to protect your personal

Health Advantage — 1-800-843-1329.

medical information that you

data including electronic and physical

Self-funded group members should

authorize us to collect.

measures as well as company

call Customer Service using the toll-

policies that limit employee access

free telephone number on their

to non-public personal financial

ID card.

• Payment history and related financial transactions from the

Blue & You Summer 2011


We love to hear from you!

Hospital, continued from Page 21 • Watch any wound dressings; if they

May we help? For customer service, please call:

come off or need

Little Rock Number (501)

to be changed, tell

Medi-Pak® members

378-3062 1-800-338-2312

someone.

Medi-Pak Advantage members

1-877-233-7022

Medi-Pak Rx members

1-866-390-3369

• Be sure urine catheter bags are

Arkansas Blue Cross members Pharmacy questions

below your loved one’s center of gravity. Discuss with the doctor and nurses what can be done to prevent infections from the urinary catheter and make sure it happens. • If your loved one is on a ventilator, ask about bed elevation and how often his or her mouth should be cleaned. • Watch your loved one’s intake at meals. If food consistently is uneaten, tell the doctor.

Before Leaving the Hospital Once again, it is important for the patient and advocate to listen, ask questions and take notes. Too often, patients do not follow their doctors’ discharge instructions and end up being re-admitted to the hospital. You may be able to avoid re-admittance by asking the following: • Is special care needed for any catheters, surgical incision sites or IV sites? • What medications will be taken? Will any previous medications be discontinued? • When is the follow-up appointment? • Will dressings need to be changed at home? • Are home health services needed? Being part of the care team when someone needs medical attention is a huge responsibility, but by being like a hawk — quietly watching and listening intently and speaking up when you have a concern — you can be sure you or your loved one gets the best care possible. To see more information on patient advocacy, go to our Web sites listed to the right.

Toll-free Number

378-2010 1-800-238-8379

1-800-863-5561

Specialty Rx Pharmacy questions

1-866-295-2779

Health Advantage members Pharmacy questions BlueAdvantage members Pharmacy questions

378-2363 1-800-843-1329

1-800-863-5567

378-3600 1-888-872-2531

1-888-293-3748

State and Public School members 378-2364 1-800-482-8416 Federal Employee members

378-2531 1-800-482-6655

Looking for health or dental insurance? We can help! For individuals, families and those age 65 or older

378-2937 1-800-392-2583

For employer groups 378-3070 1-800-421-1112 (Arkansas Blue Cross Group Services, which includes Health Advantage and BlueAdvantage Administrators of Arkansas) Prefer to speak with someone close to home? Call or visit one of our regional office locations: Pine Bluff/Southeast Region 1800 West 73rd St. Jonesboro/Northeast Region 707 East Matthews Ave.

1-800-236-0369

Hot Springs/South Central Region 100 Greenwood Ave., Suite C Texarkana/Southwest Region 1710 Arkansas Boulevard Fayetteville/Northwest Region 516 East Milsap Rd., Suite 103 Fort Smith/West Central Region 3501 Old Greenwood Rd., Suite 5 Little Rock/Central Region 320 West Capitol Ave., Suite 900

1-800-588-5733

1-800-299-4124

1-800-470-9621 1-800-817-7726 1-866-254-9117 1-800-421-1112

Visit our Web sites for more information:

arkansasbluecross.com healthadvantage-hmo.com blueadvantagearkansas.com blueandyoufoundationarkansas.org

Blue & You Summer 2011

27


At Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, we are always looking for new ways to be "Good for You." Here are some of our latest accomplishments.

28

Curves discounts The Curves Greater Arkansas Area Cooperative

Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter!

has lowered its joining fee from $59 to $39 for

Our annual Blue & You Fitness

new members. The discount only applies to Curves

Challenge contest is finished …

at the locations below. In addition to the regular

but our Facebook page and Twit-

Curves Circuit, all locations offer Zumba® Fitness

ter messages go on. If you want quick health tips, a

and the SilverSneakers Fitness Program.

way to connect with others who share your devo-

®

The discounts are available in: Benton, Benton-

tion to exercise, or are wondering what “walk” or

ville, Bryant, Conway, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Jack-

fun, sweat-inducing event may be occurring in your

sonville, the Chenonceau Boulevard, Otter Creek

hometown … check us out on Facebook

and Shackleford locations in Little Rock, Maumelle,

and Twitter.

Sherwood and Springdale.

Use this QR code to go directly to your new favorite exercise tips site. Don’t have a QR code reader on your smartphone? Just download a free QR code reader from your favorite app store. It’s easy!

MPI_#798

Blue & You Summer 2011

Profile for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield

2011 - Summer  

BlueCares team reaches out to storm victims; Why our doctors are good for you; Program helps children; SilverSneakers blends cultures, creat...

2011 - Summer  

BlueCares team reaches out to storm victims; Why our doctors are good for you; Program helps children; SilverSneakers blends cultures, creat...

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