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Blue & You - Spring 2010

Gift to UAMS promotes primary care, pg. 4 Health Advantage has new Web site design, pg. 7 Dr. David on the impact of diabetes, pg. 10 Blue & You Foundation funds CPR training, pg. 18

Gift to UAMS promotes primary care, pg. 4
Health Advantage has new Web site design, pg. 7
Dr. David on the impact of diabetes, pg. 10
Blue & You Foundation funds CPR training, pg. 18

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<strong>Spring</strong> 10<br />

A publication for the policyholders of the<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield<br />

family of companies<br />

• Save money through preventive<br />

care, Page 14<br />

• Become a fan of fitness, Page 15<br />

• New online national doctor and<br />

hospital directories, Page 21<br />

Baptist Health Medical Center’s latest<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> Distinction ® Centers of Excellence<br />

featured on Page 8.


Charlie and Shirley Rule participate<br />

in the SilverSneakers yoga class at<br />

Fitness Unlimited in Benton.<br />

on Page 22<br />

5 Personal Health Statements<br />

are here<br />

18 Cleaning out your<br />

medicine cabinet<br />

INSIDE<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

6<br />

7<br />

8<br />

12<br />

13<br />

14<br />

15<br />

16<br />

18<br />

19<br />

20<br />

21<br />

22<br />

23<br />

24<br />

Out of the <strong>Blue</strong><br />

A noteworthy response to the Haitian disaster<br />

Personal Health Statements are here<br />

Certain drugs may increase bleeding in heart<br />

attack patients<br />

Bone-building drugs may lower risk of breast cancer<br />

Chemical in plastics risky?<br />

Three of a Kind: Baptist Health Medical Center<br />

recognized for three <strong>Blue</strong> Distinction ® Centers<br />

of Excellence<br />

Does eating at night cause weight gain?<br />

Lose weight The Healthy Weigh!<br />

Are “comfort foods” really comforting?<br />

What are comfort foods?<br />

Cost Matters: Save money through preventive care<br />

Become a fan of fitness!<br />

Why do resistance exercises?<br />

Lifelong Health with Dr. David<br />

From the Pharmacist —<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> cleaning: <strong>You</strong>r medicine cabinet is calling<br />

The Doctor’s Corner<br />

A Good Investment: The Bank of Lake Village<br />

New online national doctor and hospital directories<br />

Do you cringe at the memory of your teenage years?<br />

Healthy Habits through SilverSneakers ®<br />

Customer Service telephone numbers<br />

Good for you<br />

Cover photo: Baptist Health surgeon, Herbert Hahn, M.D.,<br />

reviews an X-ray before a joint replacement procedure.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> 10<br />

is published four times a year by<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield for<br />

the company’s members, health-care<br />

professionals and other persons<br />

interested in health care and wellness.<br />

Editor: Kelly Whitehorn — BN<strong>You</strong>-Ed@arkbluecross.com<br />

Assistant Editor: Jennifer Gordon<br />

Designer: Gio Bruno Photographer: Chip Bayer<br />

Contributors: Chip Bayer, Matthew Creasman, Damona Fisher, Kristy Fleming,<br />

Trey Hankins, Heather Iacobacci-Miller, Ryan Kravitz, Kathy Luzietti and Mark<br />

Morehead<br />

Vice President, Communications and Product Development: Karen Raley


Out of the<br />

<strong>Blue</strong><br />

A message from our<br />

CEO and President,<br />

Mark White<br />

What’s next for health care reform<br />

As I write this editorial in late February, President Barack<br />

Obama is asking both Democrats and Republicans<br />

to join together for a televised “health-care summit” to<br />

begin another conversation about the future of health<br />

care reform. The President’s agenda for this summit<br />

includes discussion on four topics: insurance reforms,<br />

cost containment, expanding coverage and the impact<br />

health reform legislation will have on deficit reduction.<br />

The President has asked for this new starting point<br />

because the election of a Republican to the Senate took<br />

away the Democrats’ supermajority and put health care<br />

reform almost back to square one. Together, everyone<br />

involved in the health-care industry must develop a balanced<br />

and meaningful approach — an improved healthcare<br />

system that builds on the positive aspects of our<br />

current system.<br />

Our stance on health care reform has not changed.<br />

We support meaningful reform that improves access,<br />

controls costs and improves quality. The rate of growth<br />

in health-care cost is not sustainable in the long term.<br />

We will support responsible changes even if it means<br />

that we, as a health insurance company, must significantly<br />

change the way we do business.<br />

We support the idea that all Americans should have<br />

access to high-quality, affordable health care. Any<br />

reforms should address the issue of the uninsured by<br />

offering financial assistance to those who cannot afford<br />

insurance on their own. For those who have coverage,<br />

we must find ways to effectively control the cost<br />

of medical care and enhance the quality of the care<br />

received.<br />

Without a doubt, increasing cost is the most significant<br />

issue facing health care. It is the primary issue,<br />

and it must be addressed. Cost is the reason why many<br />

Americans do not have health coverage. Cost is why<br />

our current system is unsustainable. True reform must<br />

first address cost. The cost of health-care services<br />

directly impacts your health insurance cost — not the<br />

other way around. In order to slow the growth in costs<br />

our industry must work with consumers, employers,<br />

physicians and hospitals to improve the system.<br />

We must change how we pay health-care providers.<br />

Currently, doctors and hospitals are paid for each<br />

service they provide. We need a system in which doctors<br />

and hospitals are paid to treat a patient’s “medical<br />

episode” rather than each medical service provided.<br />

Expanding health information technology (IT) in the<br />

health-care delivery system will create a more efficient<br />

system (and it is already included in many reform<br />

3<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


proposals). We need a system that links the health plan,<br />

the doctor, the hospital and the patient together so that<br />

everyone has access to the information they need to<br />

provide the best treatment for each patient and to get<br />

their claims paid as well.<br />

As the state’s leading health insurance provider, we<br />

will be doing our part to improve the system in Arkansas<br />

and make reform meaningful for everyone, regardless<br />

of what happens in Washington, D.C. We know<br />

that many Americans are satisfied with their insurance<br />

and with the health care they receive, so it makes<br />

sense to build on the system we have, not tear it down<br />

and start again.<br />

Like all of you, we don’t know what will happen with<br />

health care reform. We only know that we work for you<br />

and, on a daily basis, are thinking about what is best<br />

for you … our members. We know that when it comes<br />

to reform, everyone has a role to play … the public and<br />

the private sectors need to work together along with<br />

your input to find solutions that work for everyone.<br />

And most importantly, we know the best way for<br />

reform to be successful and meaningful is if we all take<br />

responsibility for our own health. We should all invest in<br />

our own wellness by committing to healthier lifestyles<br />

so we can all prosper no matter what happens in the<br />

future of health care reform.<br />

4<br />

A noteworthy response to the Haitian disaster<br />

More than $34,000 — that’s how<br />

much the employees of Arkansas<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield raised for<br />

the American Red Cross International<br />

Response Fund (Haiti). Although the<br />

amount may seem quite astonishing to<br />

some, I’m not surprised.<br />

In response to the devastating earthquake<br />

in Haiti, our employees organized<br />

a week-long fund-raising campaign.<br />

They donated food, material items and<br />

talent to raise money through activities<br />

that included bake sales, silent auctions,<br />

benefit luncheons, breakfasts and more.<br />

To boost participation, the employees requested and<br />

received donations including pizza, box lunches, breakfast<br />

bowls, gifts, cosmetics, jewelry, movie tickets,<br />

gift cards and other valuable items from many local<br />

businesses.<br />

I am continually amazed by our employees’ generosity.<br />

Anytime there is a need or an opportunity to do<br />

something of value for the community — whether it’s<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross employees have a bake sale to raise funds for Haiti survivors.<br />

just down the street or halfway around the world —<br />

they are ‘all in.’ And, their results are always inspiring.<br />

Raising this money took a whole lot of effort, a whole<br />

lot of energy and a whole lot of heart. It is a privilege to<br />

work with such an incredible team.<br />

To honor their work, Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross donated<br />

an additional $10,000 in matching funds, for a total of<br />

$44,433 going to the fund.<br />

— Mark White, CEO and president of<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


Personal Health Statements<br />

are here!<br />

The wait is over — Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield members began<br />

receiving the new Personal Health Statements<br />

(PHS) in March. The PHS replaces<br />

the traditional Explanation of Benefits<br />

(EOB) health-care benefit statement,<br />

which was generated every time your doctor<br />

or hospital filed a claim.<br />

The PHS is more comprehensive than<br />

the EOB and designed to make claims<br />

processing easier to understand. With the<br />

PHS, industry terms have been rewritten<br />

into everyday language, claims are more<br />

clearly explained, and members will know<br />

exactly where they are with their out-ofpocket<br />

costs (deductibles, copayments, coinsurance<br />

and more). The PHS also gives more information about<br />

health benefits.<br />

“Our members told us through focus groups that<br />

they want to know first and foremost ‘what do I owe?’”<br />

said Karen Raley, vice president of Communications<br />

and Product Development. “So we’ve put this information<br />

in red on the first page.”<br />

In addition, a ‘Benefits at a Glance’ section has been<br />

added so members are reminded of their health benefits.<br />

Charts and graphs should make the information<br />

displayed easier to understand as well.<br />

The PHS also features:<br />

• A better description of the discounts members<br />

receive on their health-care services.<br />

• Information on how to get in touch with us.<br />

• A quick understanding of how much members<br />

owe and to whom.<br />

• Help in understanding the benefits members have<br />

and how they work.<br />

The ‘Benefits at a Glance’ section also shows members<br />

their personal health benefits and tracks where<br />

they are in meeting deductibles and annual coinsurance<br />

maximums. Pharmacy information has been added, including<br />

generic medication recommendations. Another<br />

new feature on the PHS will be personal health messages<br />

and reminders to get health screenings.<br />

Members still have the option to confidentially view<br />

their PHS electronically by signing up for a notification<br />

e-mail through the My <strong>Blue</strong>print member self-service<br />

center. Then, when a new PHS is generated, members<br />

will receive an e-mail.<br />

The new PHS will be issued twice a month instead of<br />

every time a claim is filed. If a member only has pharmacy<br />

claims during a month, the PHS will be issued<br />

quarterly.<br />

The new PHS now is available to all Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Cross members and will be available later in the year for<br />

Health Advantage members. “We love to hear from our<br />

members,” said Raley. “Feedback always is welcome on<br />

how the PHS can be improved.”<br />

5<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


4 In t h e Ne w s 3<br />

6<br />

Certain drugs may increase<br />

bleeding in heart attack patients<br />

Heart attack patients are treated<br />

with a wide combination of antithrombotic<br />

(blood clot-preventing)<br />

drugs such as aspirin, clopidogrel<br />

and those that reduce the action of<br />

vitamin K. However, there has not<br />

been much research on the safety<br />

of these drug combinations. A new<br />

article suggests that there may be<br />

an increase in bleeding for patients<br />

taking these combinations of drugs.<br />

The medical journal, The Lancet,<br />

states that the study, conducted<br />

by Rikke Sorensen M.D., and colleagues,<br />

suggests that in patients<br />

with heart attacks, risk of hospital<br />

admission for bleeding increased<br />

with the number of these drugs<br />

used. Researchers suggest that<br />

treatment with the aforementioned<br />

drug combinations only be used<br />

after a complete individual risk assessment<br />

has been conducted.<br />

Sources: Medical News Today, The<br />

Lancet<br />

Bone-building drugs<br />

may lower risk of<br />

breast cancer<br />

Women taking bone-building<br />

drugs (bisphosphonates), such as<br />

Boniva or Actonel, may be getting<br />

an added bonus. Two recent studies<br />

suggest that bisphosphonates may<br />

reduce the risks of breast cancer by<br />

one-third.<br />

But don’t run out and ask for a<br />

prescription just yet. Experts say<br />

that these studies are not definitive<br />

and additional research will need<br />

to be done. Eric P. Winer M.D.,<br />

a breast cancer specialist at the<br />

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in<br />

Boston says, “I don’t think these<br />

studies should be used as a reason<br />

to take a bisphosphonate to prevent<br />

cancer.” He did say, however, “If in<br />

fact you have osteoporosis and you<br />

are taking these drugs, it’s possible<br />

there is an added benefit.”<br />

Sources: The New York Times and<br />

medicinenet.com<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


4 In t h e Ne w s 3<br />

Chemical in plastics<br />

risky?<br />

The chemical Bisphenol A (or BPA) is present in many hard plastic bottles<br />

and metal-based food and beverage cans. It has been present since the<br />

1960s, but you may have never even heard of it.<br />

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National<br />

Institutes of Health have “some concern” about the possible effects<br />

of BPA on unborn children, infants and young children. For<br />

example, scratched baby bottles and cups should be thrown<br />

away, as they can release BPA if it is present.<br />

Currently, the FDA is continuing in-depth studies to answer<br />

key questions and clarify the uncertainties around the<br />

risks of BPA. In the interim, the FDA is taking reasonable<br />

steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food<br />

supply.<br />

These steps include:<br />

• Supporting the industry’s steps to stop producing<br />

BPA-containing baby bottles and infant feeding cups<br />

for the U.S. market.<br />

• Facilitating the development of alternatives to BPA<br />

for the linings of infant formula cans.<br />

• Supporting efforts to replace or minimize BPA levels<br />

in other food can linings.<br />

The FDA does not recommend that families change<br />

the use of infant formula or foods, as the benefit of a<br />

stable source of good nutrition outweighs the potential<br />

risk from BPA exposure.<br />

7<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


When a hospital is recognized<br />

as a <strong>Blue</strong> Distinction ® Center<br />

of Excellence for a specific medical<br />

specialty, it is worth noting. When<br />

a hospital gains three such distinc-<br />

8<br />

Three of<br />

a Kind<br />

Baptist Health<br />

Medical Center<br />

recognized for<br />

three <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Distinction<br />

Centers of<br />

Excellence<br />

tions, like Baptist Health Medical<br />

Center in Little Rock, it is worth<br />

stopping and taking a closer look.<br />

Baptist Health has been a <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Distinction Center for Cardiac Care<br />

for more than a year, but it also is<br />

now a <strong>Blue</strong> Distinction Center for<br />

spine surgery and for hip and knee<br />

replacement. Just what is going on<br />

at Baptist Health Medical Center to<br />

promote such excellent care?<br />

“I think our success here at<br />

Baptist Health is due to a combination<br />

of things,” said Doug Weeks,<br />

senior vice-president and administrator<br />

of Baptist Health Medical<br />

Center in Little Rock. “Our excellent<br />

doctors and our compassionate<br />

caregivers combined with the<br />

latest technology and surgical approaches<br />

have helped us remain as<br />

Arkansas’ most preferred healthcare<br />

provider.”<br />

What is a <strong>Blue</strong> Distinction<br />

Center?<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> Distinction Centers of<br />

Excellence must meet high quality<br />

standards established by an expert<br />

Jason Tullis, M.D., a<br />

spine neurosurgeon<br />

with Baptist Health<br />

Medical Center.<br />

panel of physicians, surgeons and<br />

other health-care professionals.<br />

When a hospital has been desig-<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


nated a <strong>Blue</strong> Distinction Center, you know they have he was walking, with the help of a walker, down the<br />

expertise in that specialty, that they focus on quality hall! How was that possible?<br />

and that they have a history of patients with positive Dr. Hahn explained that the team of Baptist Health<br />

outcomes. Hospitals provide care differently, and the and OrthoArkansas has worked for years together in<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> Cross system has created a process where hospitals<br />

can demonstrate their expertise.<br />

entire program from admissions to discharge, allow-<br />

refining joint replacement protocols and integrating the<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield recognized ing the staff to provide efficient, optimum care. “What<br />

Baptist Health’s cardiac care program in its spring 2009 makes this work is the people,” Dr. Hahn said. “Baptist<br />

issue of <strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong>. Let’s take a look at the newly has attracted quality people across the spectrum<br />

recognized areas of hip and knee replacement and of care.”<br />

spine surgery.<br />

There are potential serious complications with joint<br />

replacements, particularly blood clots in the deep veins<br />

Hip/Knee Replacement<br />

of the legs or pelvis (thrombosis) and blocked artery in<br />

Rocky Hodges knows a thing or two about surgery.<br />

the lungs caused by a blood clot (pulmonary emboli). To<br />

Not only is he a registered nurse, he’s been the director<br />

of peri-operative services at Baptist Health Medical<br />

avoid complications, Dr. Hahn said the hip/knee team is<br />

aggressive at getting a patient up and moving as soon<br />

Center in Little Rock for 11 years, overseeing everything<br />

as possible after surgery. The movement keeps blood<br />

from pre-op to recovery. So when it was his turn to be a<br />

clots from forming, and it gives the patient a “sense of<br />

patient, he wanted everything to go perfectly. He could<br />

self, so they don’t think of themselves as crippled.” In<br />

have chosen any hospital, but knowing the quality of<br />

order to keep the pain to a minimum, the surgery site<br />

care he saw day to day, “I wouldn’t have had this done<br />

is bathed in a long-acting anesthetic. Dr. Hahn said that<br />

anywhere else.”<br />

allows the patient to wake up and become active and<br />

In February 2009, Rocky, 56, started to have<br />

trouble with his right hip, a real problem for<br />

someone in such a fast-paced work environment.<br />

By June, he was in constant pain and it<br />

was obvious he needed medical intervention.<br />

Through OrthoArkansas, Rocky was diagnosed<br />

with a cartilage tear and arthritis in the hip joint.<br />

More conservative types of treatment were<br />

tried and exhausted, but by December Rocky<br />

was still limping and an X-ray proved what he<br />

already suspected — he needed a total joint<br />

replacement.<br />

Rocky chose Herbert Hahn, M.D., to do the<br />

surgery on Jan. 6, <strong>2010</strong>. The surgery began at 7:30 a.m.<br />

and by 10 a.m. he was in his hospital room. By 3 p.m.<br />

Herbert Hahn, M.D., and Jason Tullis, M.D.<br />

allows the medical team to stay “ahead of the pain.”<br />

“It didn’t hold any fear for me,” Rocky said thinking<br />

back on it, adding that “Dr. Hahn is excellent and my<br />

9<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


10<br />

Rocky Hodges works<br />

with his therapist,<br />

Melissa Harklay.<br />

staff is the best.” He has been working with a therapist<br />

at home, working to remove the limp that has affected<br />

his gait for more than a year. When it came to being<br />

a patient, Rocky said he knew he wouldn’t get preferential<br />

treatment at<br />

“Dr. Hahn is excellent and<br />

Baptist, though the<br />

my staff is the best,” said<br />

conversations were<br />

Rocky Hodges.<br />

a bit different. However,<br />

being an employee does have its perks — he got<br />

a copy of his X-ray on his smart phone!<br />

Spine Surgery<br />

Cindy Mahan loves technology. As a mathematics<br />

and physical science teacher at Riverview High School<br />

in Searcy, she is always looking for new tools in order<br />

to present information to her students. So when her<br />

back pain became intolerable, she was delighted to<br />

receive the latest technology through Baptist Health<br />

Medical Center.<br />

For at least 30 years, Cindy suffered with back pain<br />

without knowing why. She went to several doctors<br />

without diagnosis. By February 2008, at 57 years old,<br />

she was still teaching, but her legs were going numb<br />

and she had to sit as she taught her classes. She was<br />

slowly losing the ability to do the work she loved.<br />

Cindy’s primary care physician suggested she visit<br />

with Jason Tullis, M.D., a spine neurosurgeon with<br />

Baptist Health Medical Center who had begun doing<br />

consultations in Searcy. “The first tests he did … he<br />

didn’t find a lot,” Cindy said of Dr. Tullis, “but that’s what<br />

makes him different. He was extremely compassionate<br />

and realized there was more to this problem.”<br />

Finally, an MRI and CT scan picked up what years of<br />

X-rays had not. Cindy had a vertebra that was repeatedly<br />

fracturing and healing. Cindy and Dr. Tullis discussed<br />

the situation and determined that she needed surgery<br />

to finally give her lower back the support it needed.<br />

Cindy was concerned that the surgery would be<br />

intrusive and take a long time to heal, taking her away<br />

from the classroom, but Dr. Tullis put her mind at ease.<br />

Using the latest technology and years of experience,<br />

he was able to adapt techniques to create a surgical<br />

plan just for Cindy. “Every surgery is modified to each<br />

patient. Everyone is different,” he said.<br />

Dr. Tullis said the Neurosurgical Spine Center at<br />

Baptist Health recognizes that not only is the spine the<br />

basis of support for the entire body, it also is a conduit<br />

that sends information throughout the body. He said<br />

that while some surgeons may sub-specialize, he has a<br />

holistic view of how the spine functions and works on<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


issues varying from structural issues, to damage to the school year when her activity loosened a screw that<br />

spinal tissue to tumors, from the base of the spine all had to be removed. “My husband said his hardest job<br />

the way up into the head.<br />

was stopping me from doing too much.”<br />

Dr. Tullis said spine neurosurgeons<br />

have to be dedicated to solving problems<br />

and must have honest conversations<br />

with their patients, balancing the<br />

treatment options and risks with the<br />

intensity of the disease. While some<br />

people may heal over time from back<br />

injuries, others may lose their careers<br />

or risk nerve damage by letting a<br />

condition continue. The Neurosurgical<br />

Spine Center at Baptist Health<br />

Cindy Mahan instructs<br />

one of her mathematics<br />

students, Tevin Larry, at<br />

combines the latest technology with a<br />

Riverview High School<br />

team of dedicated surgeons and support<br />

staff, making it a <strong>Blue</strong> Distinction<br />

in Searcy.<br />

Cindy’s surgery was scheduled a few days after Center of Excellence.<br />

school let out for the summer. She said Dr. Tullis made<br />

Find your <strong>Blue</strong> Distinction Center of<br />

two, two-inch incisions to support her spine with rods<br />

Excellence<br />

and screws. By moving “[Dr. Tullis]<br />

For Rocky and Cindy, Baptist Health has renewed<br />

the muscle instead of was extremely<br />

their lives and livelihoods. If you are looking for a hospital<br />

with a <strong>Blue</strong> Distinction designation, go to our Web<br />

cutting, he reduced her<br />

compassionate and<br />

pain and healing. While<br />

realized there was more sites and visit our “Members” section. We do the work<br />

in surgery, Dr. Tullis discovered<br />

another cause<br />

to this problem,” said for you, so you can be assured you are receiving the<br />

Cindy Mahan. best care possible.<br />

of Cindy’s back issues<br />

— a vertebra had not formed properly at birth, creating<br />

weakness. “Three days later I was comfortably walking<br />

down the hall at the hospital and they let me go home,”<br />

she said.<br />

Cindy said she was determined to be<br />

ready to teach when school started again. Go to <strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> Online on our Arkansas<br />

She had to go to a teaching in-service six <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and Health Advantage Web sites<br />

weeks after the surgery and was fine.<br />

for more on our <strong>Blue</strong> Distinction Centers.<br />

She did suffer a small setback during the<br />

11<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


12<br />

Does eating at night cause<br />

weight gain?<br />

Is it really true that a midnight snack will pile up around your middle<br />

more quickly than if you had eaten it hours earlier?<br />

The reasoning behind this belief is this: All those calories enter your<br />

system right before you go to bed. While sleeping, those calories build<br />

into fat instead of burning off because you are not being active. And,<br />

while that seems to make sense, the truth is that this belief is largely<br />

a myth.<br />

The fact is your body burns fat even while you sleep. The secret to<br />

avoiding weight gain is a simple matter of mathematics. Burn the calories<br />

you consume. If you take in more calories than you burn off you<br />

will gain weight, regardless of when you take in those calories.<br />

Or, to put it simply, eat less, exercise more and do it for the rest of<br />

your life.<br />

Lose<br />

weight<br />

The Healthy<br />

Weigh!<br />

The Healthy Weigh! Education<br />

Program is free for members of<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield,<br />

Health Advantage (except state and<br />

public school employees*), <strong>Blue</strong> Cross<br />

and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield Service Benefit Plan<br />

(Federal Employee Program), Medi-Pak<br />

Advantage (PFFS) and eligible members<br />

of <strong>Blue</strong>Advantage Administrators<br />

of Arkansas.<br />

To enroll, complete the attached<br />

enrollment form and return it in the<br />

self-addressed, postage-paid envelope<br />

included in this magazine. The program<br />

starts when you enroll.<br />

After enrollment, you will begin to<br />

receive information through the mail,<br />

which you can read in the privacy of<br />

your own home and at your own pace.<br />

The program is completely voluntary,<br />

and you may leave the program at any<br />

time. If you have further questions<br />

about the program, call the Health<br />

Education Program’s toll-free number<br />

at 1-800-686-2609.<br />

* Our state and public school members can<br />

access the “Nourish” program through<br />

Life Synch.<br />

Simply complete, sign and return the<br />

attached enrollment form in the selfaddressed,<br />

postage-paid envelope.<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


Are “comfort foods” really<br />

comforting?<br />

When you are<br />

a little stressed,<br />

do you long for<br />

your mom’s<br />

homemade<br />

pancakes dripping<br />

with maple syrup?<br />

Or, maybe just two,<br />

three or a dozen of your grandma’s homemade chocolate<br />

chip cookies? If you believe what you have read for<br />

years, you probably think you are prone to reach for the<br />

familiar — however, that is not as likely as you might<br />

believe.<br />

A new study from the University of South Carolina recently<br />

tested the “comfort food” theory and you might<br />

be surprised at what they found. During the course<br />

of the study, the research showed that as stress and<br />

change increased — individuals tended to pick often<br />

unfamiliar, even healthier foods and lifestyle options.<br />

More research is needed to explain why the comfort<br />

food theory may be a fallacy. However, the research<br />

upends the notion that people turn to the familiar when<br />

their lives are undergoing transformation such as the<br />

loss of a job, getting a new job, a relocation or the birth<br />

of a child. Maybe, these are the times in people’s lives<br />

when they are more open to change.<br />

Source: Journal of Consumer Research,<br />

September 2009<br />

13<br />

What are<br />

comfort foods?<br />

Comfort foods are simple foods that remind us of our<br />

childhood. Surveys list the following as many of our<br />

favorite comfort foods: peanut butter and jelly, grilled<br />

cheese sandwiches, meatloaf and mashed potatoes,<br />

macaroni and cheese, beef stew and apple pie just to<br />

name a few!<br />

Remember, if you think you need comforting<br />

from some comfort foods — try something a<br />

little different. Look for low-fat substitutes or healthier<br />

options. There are lots of healthy recipe options on the Internet<br />

— just visit the American Heart Association’s recipe Web<br />

site, deliciousdecisions.org.<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


14<br />

Living with a chronic illness can be devastating to<br />

your livelihood, your family and your pocketbook. While<br />

some illnesses give you little warning, many are the<br />

result of years of poor lifestyle choices.<br />

Preventive care is one way you can avoid costly illnesses.<br />

By getting tested regularly for conditions like<br />

high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar<br />

and getting regular immunizations for illnesses like the<br />

flu, you can stay ahead of many illnesses before they<br />

lead to costly medications and procedures.<br />

The most important things you can<br />

do to stay healthy are:<br />

• Get recommended<br />

screening tests.<br />

• Be tobacco free.<br />

• Be physically active.<br />

• Eat a healthy diet.<br />

• Stay at a healthy weight.<br />

• Take preventive medicines if<br />

you need them.<br />

The following are some preventive screening tests<br />

recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services<br />

Task Force.<br />

Men and Women<br />

Obesity: Have your body mass index (BMI) calculated<br />

regularly if you are overweight.<br />

Cholesterol: Men should have their cholesterol<br />

checked regularly starting at age 35; women by age 45.<br />

Have it checked at a younger age if:<br />

• <strong>You</strong> have diabetes.<br />

• <strong>You</strong> have high blood pressure.<br />

• Heart disease runs in your family.<br />

• <strong>You</strong> smoke.<br />

Cost Matters:<br />

Save money through<br />

preventive care<br />

Blood pressure: Have your blood pressure checked at<br />

least every two years. High blood pressure is 140/90 or<br />

higher.<br />

Colorectal cancer: Have a test for colorectal cancer<br />

starting at age 50. <strong>You</strong>r doctor can help you decide<br />

which test is right for you. If you have a family history<br />

of colorectal cancer, you may need to be tested earlier.<br />

Diabetes: Have a test for diabetes if you have high<br />

blood pressure or high cholesterol.<br />

Depression: If you have felt sad, or hopeless over the<br />

last two weeks or have little interest in doing things,<br />

you may be depressed. Talk to your doctor about being<br />

screened for depression.<br />

Sexually transmitted diseases: Talk to your doctor<br />

to see whether you should be tested for sexually<br />

transmitted diseases.<br />

Men Only<br />

Abdominal aortic aneurysm: If you are between<br />

the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever smoked (100 or<br />

more cigarettes during your lifetime), you need to be<br />

screened once for abdominal aortic aneurysm, which<br />

is an abnormally large or swollen blood vessel in your<br />

abdomen.<br />

Women Only<br />

Breast cancer: Have a mammogram every one to two<br />

years starting at age 40.<br />

Cervical cancer: Have a Pap smear every one to three<br />

years from the ages of 21 and 65.<br />

Osteoporosis (thinning of the bones): Have a<br />

bone density test beginning at age 65 to screen for<br />

osteoporosis.<br />

Source: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


TM<br />

Become a fan of fitness!<br />

The <strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> Fitness Challenge is hyped to announce<br />

that it’s now on Facebook ® and Twitter! Fan us<br />

on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest Fitness<br />

Challenge updates, reminders, events, photos, etc.<br />

(Find us by searching for <strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> Fitness Challenge.)<br />

We are excited to join the world of social media and<br />

look forward to building relationships with our participants<br />

and potential fans. Our page on Facebook allows<br />

us to share daily exercise tips and reminders with our<br />

fans. This page also provides a forum for you to share<br />

questions, comments and experiences regarding health<br />

and fitness. Through this page, we hope to keep our<br />

Challenge participants (and anyone else who is interested)<br />

motivated to start and continue a fitness routine<br />

and/or enhance an existing routine. When you follow us<br />

on Twitter (@BYFitChallenge), you also will receive daily<br />

Resistance (weight)<br />

training isn’t just for men.<br />

Research has shown that<br />

there are benefits associated<br />

with resistance<br />

training for everyone<br />

including the elderly.<br />

A new review, which<br />

compiles data from more<br />

than 100 clinical trials,<br />

concludes that progressive<br />

resistance training<br />

can help older people in daily activities, such as climbing<br />

stairs and fixing dinner.<br />

Resistance or weight training is any exercise where<br />

muscles contract against an external resistance to<br />

increase strength, tone, mass and/or muscular endurance.<br />

Here are just some of the added benefits:<br />

exercise tips and BYFitChallenge<br />

reminders.<br />

The <strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong><br />

Fitness Challenge<br />

is a physical activity<br />

contest during which<br />

participants engage in eligible<br />

cardiovascular exercises for a<br />

three-month time period. The contest<br />

is a way to launch exercise activity<br />

and encourage wellness activities<br />

throughout the year in the workplace<br />

and community. For more<br />

information about the Challenge<br />

visit blueandyoufitnesschallengeark.com.<br />

Why do resistance exercises?<br />

• Resistance exercise can slow down or even reverse<br />

the decline or loss of muscle fibers that occur as we<br />

age by building muscle mass and strength.<br />

• Resistance training builds bone, which is important<br />

for women who are prone to, or have, osteoporosis.<br />

• Research also shows that resistance exercise can<br />

build bone even in the elderly, and more strength<br />

can lead to fewer falls.<br />

• Some evidence suggests that resistance training<br />

may help lower moderately high blood pressure.<br />

• It can raise metabolic rate, which helps you maintain<br />

a proper body weight.<br />

The good news is that it’s never too late to start<br />

resistance training and reap the benefits. But, please<br />

consult your physician before beginning any new exercise<br />

regimen.<br />

Sources: webmd.com and medicinenet.com<br />

®<br />

Facebook is a registered<br />

trademark of Facebook, Inc.<br />

15<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


Lifelong Health<br />

with Dr. David<br />

David A. Lipschitz, M.D., Ph.D.<br />

1. Medications are beneficial in relieving<br />

symptoms and curing disease, but all<br />

medications come with side effects.<br />

While side effects vary from very common to very<br />

rare, they always happen. In each case, the benefit of<br />

the drug must outweigh the risks for the medication<br />

to be taken. Consult with your doctor and your pharmacist<br />

to make sure the benefits and risks are fully<br />

understood.<br />

16<br />

2. Do not refuse to take a medication because<br />

you are concerned about side effects.<br />

A patient may say, “I hate to take medications,” or “I<br />

am very sensitive to medications,” or “I always experience<br />

side effects.” It is a mistake to refuse to take a<br />

medication that may be beneficial because you are<br />

concerned about side effects.<br />

10 simple steps for<br />

using your medications<br />

appropriately<br />

The number may surprise you, but an estimated 26<br />

percent of all hospital admissions are due to complications<br />

from prescription drug therapy. Because this<br />

problem is so widespread, we must all take time to<br />

understand how to take the medication for a particular<br />

condition, its intended benefits and possible side effects.<br />

Here are 10 steps that may help:<br />

3. Try to begin one new medication at<br />

a time.<br />

If two or three drugs are started simultaneously and<br />

an adverse reaction occurs, it is often impossible to<br />

identify which of the new drugs is causing the problem.<br />

The only course of action is to discontinue the medications,<br />

leading to insufficient care and more confusion.<br />

Sometimes the nature of the illness is such that a doctor<br />

is forced to prescribe a number of new drugs at a<br />

time. On other occasions, it may not be necessary, so<br />

talk to your physician if he or she prescribes multiple<br />

medications.<br />

4. Consider generic medications first.<br />

Often, patients and physicians use the newest and<br />

most expensive medication. And yet, for almost every<br />

disease, there is a generic drug available that has<br />

proven benefits.<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


Editor’s Note: David A. Lipschitz, M.D, Ph.D., is nationally<br />

recognized as a leader in the field of geriatrics.<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield is honored to have<br />

him as a contributor to <strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> magazine.<br />

5. The more drugs you take, the greater the<br />

risk of side effects.<br />

Side effects increase dramatically if six different pills<br />

are taken per day. If 11 or more pills are taken daily, you<br />

have a 100 percent chance of experiencing adverse side<br />

effects. All pills count when it comes to the risk of side<br />

effects including prescription, over-the-counter, herbal<br />

remedies or dietary supplements.<br />

6. Identify one physician who knows all the<br />

medications you are taking.<br />

Patients with multiple chronic diseases often go<br />

to multiple specialists who focus exclusively on one<br />

particular problem. One physician starts a medication,<br />

and other physicians are reluctant to stop or change<br />

treatment initiated by another physician. Work with<br />

a primary care physician that you respect,<br />

8. Take a complete list of medications to<br />

every doctor’s appointment.<br />

If medications are changed or discontinued by one<br />

doctor, make sure all your other physicians are aware of<br />

the changes.<br />

9. If a medication does not work, tell your<br />

physician and ask if it can be discontinued.<br />

If you are taking a medication that does not appear to<br />

be helping, the only way to find out is for your physician<br />

to stop the drug. If symptoms worsen, the drug always<br />

can be restarted.<br />

10. Compulsively take medications as<br />

prescribed.<br />

One of the single most critical reasons for medication<br />

problems is non-compliance. Always take your<br />

medications as prescribed, and talk to your<br />

and ask that he or she become responsible<br />

for prescribing and monitoring all<br />

medications taken.<br />

7. Use the same pharmacist<br />

whenever possible.<br />

There are so many different medications<br />

on the market today that it is<br />

Always take your<br />

medications as<br />

prescribed, and talk<br />

to your physician<br />

immediately if you are<br />

experiencing a<br />

problem.<br />

physician immediately if you are experiencing<br />

a problem.<br />

Taking multiple drugs leads to<br />

confusion, which can adversely affect<br />

your care. Take this advice and use<br />

it to make sure you get the optimum<br />

benefit from the drugs you have been<br />

impossible for a physician to be fully aware<br />

prescribed.<br />

of all the potential adverse effects, whether the<br />

prescribed drug is ideal, and if one medication is exerting<br />

either a positive or a negative effect on another<br />

medication taken. Fortunately, a pharmacist has access<br />

to a computer-based program that provides a clear list<br />

of all the potential problems of each drug, the possibilities<br />

of interactions with other drugs, and can identify<br />

obvious mistakes (such as prescribing the same drug<br />

twice or prescribing an incorrect medication).<br />

17<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


18<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> cleaning:<br />

<strong>You</strong>r medicine cabinet is calling<br />

Did you know that medications<br />

have expiration dates on them?<br />

Medications used beyond their<br />

expiration dates can be less effective<br />

or even harmful. This date is<br />

based on experiments to determine<br />

the safety and efficacy of your<br />

medicine. That is why you should<br />

include your medicine cabinet in<br />

your springtime cleaning ritual. <strong>You</strong><br />

might be surprised how many of<br />

your medications (prescription and<br />

over-the-counter) have expired.<br />

Checking the expiration date on<br />

medication is easy. Prescriptions<br />

will have expiration dates on the<br />

container; over-the-counter products<br />

have expiration dates on the package,<br />

bottle or container. If the date<br />

has passed, or you can’t read the<br />

date, throw it out. Make a note of<br />

any medications that are close to<br />

their expiration date.<br />

According to the Office of National<br />

Drug Control Policy, you<br />

should not flush prescription drugs<br />

down the toilet unless told to do so<br />

Actiq<br />

Methadose<br />

Avinza<br />

Morphine Sulfate<br />

Daytrana<br />

MS Contin<br />

Demerol<br />

Onsolis<br />

Diastat<br />

Opana<br />

Dilaudid<br />

Opana ER<br />

Dolophine<br />

Oramorph SR<br />

Duragesic<br />

Oxycontin<br />

Embeda<br />

Percocet<br />

Fentora<br />

Percodan<br />

Kadian<br />

Xyrem<br />

Methadone Hydrochloride<br />

Some communities have drug<br />

take-back programs through their<br />

household trash and recycling<br />

service. Ask your pharmacist if she/<br />

he knows of any, or call your trash<br />

and recycling service. If there are<br />

no drug take-back programs in your<br />

area, you still can discard your<br />

by your doctor or in the prescription medications safely in your<br />

information. Most medications can household trash.<br />

be thrown away. There are, however,<br />

some medications that could be cations in your household trash by<br />

<strong>You</strong> can safely dispose of medi-<br />

harmful or fatal if used by anyone using the following approach:<br />

other than the intended patient. The 1. Remove all medications from<br />

U.S. Food and Drug Administration their containers.<br />

(FDA), recommends flushing the following<br />

medications:<br />

desirable substances (cat<br />

2. Mix the medications with un-<br />

litter,<br />

used coffee grounds).<br />

3. Put the mixture in a container.<br />

4. Seal the container and put it in<br />

the trash.<br />

5. Remove your name and prescription<br />

numbers from the old<br />

prescription containers before<br />

throwing them out.<br />

Remember to add your medicine<br />

cabinet to your spring cleaning<br />

list. It’s one more step to keeping<br />

yourself and your loved ones (pets<br />

included) safe.<br />

From the<br />

Pharmacist<br />

by Brandon Griffin, Pharm D.,<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


The<br />

Doctor’s<br />

Corner<br />

to develop multiple sclerosis (MS)<br />

than nonsmokers. People who quit<br />

smoking improve their chances of<br />

by Ray Bredfeldt, M.D.,<br />

Regional Medical Director<br />

Northwest Region, Fayetteville<br />

not developing MS, but they remain<br />

at a higher risk than those who have<br />

never smoked.<br />

was from an increase in heart attacks<br />

and many types of cancer.<br />

Should ovaries be routinely<br />

Can aspirin help those with<br />

colon cancer?<br />

According to a recent study,<br />

people who have colon cancer and<br />

regularly take aspirin are less likely<br />

to die from their cancer than people<br />

who do not. During this 12-year<br />

study, those whose cancer had not<br />

initially spread to other areas of<br />

the body were almost 30 percent<br />

less likely to die if they took aspirin<br />

on a regular basis. The study also<br />

showed that people who took one<br />

regular aspirin per day did somewhat<br />

better than those who took<br />

less that one per day. However,<br />

aspirin does have risks, so patients<br />

also should consult their doctor before<br />

taking it on a regular basis.<br />

Another reason to quit<br />

smoking!<br />

Researchers have found that<br />

smokers are 60 percent more likely<br />

removed during a<br />

hysterectomy? More<br />

evidence says maybe not …<br />

Surgeons often routinely remove<br />

the ovaries during a hysterectomy<br />

because the surgery eliminates<br />

the future risk of ovarian cancer.<br />

Evidence is mounting, however,<br />

that shows this practice does more<br />

harm than good.<br />

A new study reviewed<br />

the outcomes<br />

of 30,000 women<br />

who had a hysterectomy<br />

— half of whom<br />

had their ovaries removed.<br />

The women<br />

who had their ovaries<br />

removed were 12<br />

percent more likely to<br />

die during the next 24<br />

years than those whose<br />

ovaries were left in place.<br />

The increased death rate<br />

Combination of drugs<br />

proves helpful for<br />

Bell’s palsy<br />

Bell’s palsy is a form of temporary<br />

facial paralysis resulting from<br />

damage or trauma to one of the two<br />

facial nerves. According to a recent<br />

study with 2,786 patients with Bell’s<br />

palsy, they are significantly more<br />

likely to have better outcomes if<br />

they are treated with corticosteroids<br />

(such as prednisone and prednisolone).<br />

And, when an antiviral agent<br />

(such as acyclovir) was added, outcomes<br />

were even better.<br />

19<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


20<br />

A Good Investment<br />

The Bank of Lake Village has remained with Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross since 1958<br />

In 1958, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president of<br />

the United States, a first class postage stamp cost<br />

4 cents, and The Bank of Lake Village, Ark., hired Arkansas<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield to provide health<br />

insurance coverage for its employees. A lot of things<br />

have changed since 1958, but one thing hasn’t: The<br />

Bank of Lake Village is still with Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross.<br />

“Providing health insurance is one of the largest, if<br />

not the largest, benefit we give our employees,” said<br />

Terry Alpe, president of The Bank of Lake Village. “So<br />

it’s a major factor in contributing to the overall cost of<br />

our employee base. It’s reviewed once a year or any<br />

time there are changes regarding increases or decreases<br />

in costs and coverage,” said Alpe.<br />

The bank provides health insurance for about 40<br />

employees from four entities: The Bank of Lake Village,<br />

Jefferson Bank in Mississippi, the Southeast<br />

Arkansas Holding Company and the board of directors.<br />

And, according to Alpe, during the past 50-plus<br />

years Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross has consistently provided<br />

the best combination of savings and service. Having<br />

a regional office just up the highway in Pine Bluff has<br />

helped, too.<br />

Said Alpe, “I think the representation that has<br />

been provided out of the Pine Bluff office has been<br />

very good.”<br />

“With Judy, especially,” added Rita Chandler, the<br />

bank’s senior vice president, referring to Judy Stephens<br />

who works at the Southeast Regional Office<br />

in Pine Bluff. “She’s been really helpful. She stays in<br />

touch with us.”<br />

The long-term relationship is something that is appreciated<br />

by the employees of the regional office, too.<br />

“We value all of our relationships with our customers,”<br />

said Dwayne Pierce, regional executive for the<br />

Southeast Regional Office, “but when you’ve had a<br />

relationship with a customer for more than 50 years,<br />

it’s more like taking care of family. I take great comfort<br />

in knowing Judy is working with The Bank of Lake<br />

Village and taking care of our family.”<br />

“My experience has been when our people go to<br />

doctors, hospitals, clinics and pharmacies, there has<br />

been a comfort level knowing that they’ve got a good<br />

insurance provider. That they take with them a coverage<br />

that’s readily accepted and well-known is comforting,”<br />

said Alpe. “There are credentials that come<br />

with having Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield.”<br />

Bank of Lake Village employees<br />

are (front row, left to right) Rita<br />

Chandler, Amanda Murdaugh<br />

and Kim Buckner. (Back row,<br />

left to right) Terry Alpe and<br />

Leslie Shipman.<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


New online<br />

national doctor and hospital directories<br />

Finding a doctor or hospital in another state is as<br />

easy as going to the new online directories on the <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield Association Web site, bcbs.com.<br />

The new National Doctor and Hospital Finder and the<br />

Federal Employee Program online directory provide Arkansas<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield members with easy<br />

access to the medical care they need, whether they are<br />

searching their own state or across the nation.<br />

Here are just a few features that make searching for<br />

doctors and hospitals easier:<br />

• Simplified searches with fast results by selecting<br />

“Find a Doctor or Hospital” at bcbs.com.<br />

• New “type-ahead” technology that helps spell city<br />

and specialty names.<br />

• Upfront filtering that eliminates searching for provider<br />

data such as affiliations, recognitions and board<br />

certifications.<br />

• Ability to search for individuals and groups/facilities<br />

simultaneously.<br />

• Mobile access through handheld devices.<br />

“The new doctor and hospital finder will make it<br />

much more convenient for members to locate the appropriate<br />

medical attention they need — and not just in<br />

Arkansas, but nationwide,” said Jim Bailey, senior vice<br />

president of National Business and Inter-Plan Relations.<br />

“It’s just one more way the <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield<br />

Association is working to improve health care for all<br />

its members.”<br />

Do you cringe at<br />

the memory of<br />

your teenage<br />

years?<br />

21<br />

New research suggests that the social standings of<br />

teenagers has long-term health consequences.<br />

In a study, known as the Stockholm Birth Cohort<br />

Study, researchers noted that the students who reported<br />

lower levels of social acceptance as young teens<br />

tended to have a higher risk of serious health issues as<br />

adults; the same was true for males and females.<br />

Specifically, the study found that children who were<br />

the least popular and powerful at school had more<br />

health problems as adults.<br />

• They were more than four times as likely to require<br />

hospital treatment for hormonal, nutritional and<br />

metabolic diseases as their most popular and powerful<br />

classmates.<br />

• They were more than twice as likely to develop mental<br />

health and behavioral problems, including suicide<br />

attempts and self-harm.<br />

• They also were significantly more likely to develop<br />

drug and alcohol dependency problems, and nine<br />

times more likely to develop heart disease.<br />

Researchers theorize that lower peer status and less<br />

social support results in more negative self-image and<br />

less self-confidence, which in turn could influence the<br />

child’s future ambitions, expectations and choices.<br />

Source: Journal of Epidemiology and Community<br />

Health, September 2009<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


22<br />

Healthy Habits<br />

through<br />

SilverSneakers<br />

When you’ve been married for 59 years, you develop<br />

a lot of the same habits.<br />

For Charlie and Shirley Rule, those habits include<br />

fitness, fun and friendship through the SilverSneakers ®<br />

program at Fitness Unlimited in Benton, Ark.<br />

The Rules started participating in the SilverSneakers<br />

program about three years ago when Shirley found a<br />

notice about it in the mail. “I figured Charlie wouldn’t<br />

want to go, but he said he wanted to try it.” The two<br />

have been<br />

Enrollment in<br />

fixtures in the<br />

SilverSneakers<br />

SilverSneakers is a<br />

program ever benefit of Medi-Pak and<br />

since. Membership<br />

in Silver-<br />

Medi-Pak Advantage<br />

(PFFS) coverage.<br />

Sneakers is a<br />

benefit of Medi-Pak and Medi-Pak Advantage (PFFS)<br />

coverage.<br />

The Rules try to go to SilverSneakers classes as<br />

often as four times a week. Charlie provides entertainment<br />

by printing out jokes and funny stories for Barbara<br />

Kane, their instructor, to read out loud at the beginning<br />

of class.<br />

Shirley said she<br />

and Charlie have<br />

both had their<br />

share of surgeries<br />

and medical<br />

problems, and<br />

Charlie (left) sometimes aren’t<br />

and Shirley<br />

Rule (below) confident in their<br />

participate in<br />

stability, but the<br />

the Silver-<br />

Sneakers SilverSneakers<br />

yoga class<br />

at Fitness classes allow<br />

Unlimited in<br />

participants to<br />

Benton.<br />

use a chair to stay<br />

balanced. If they<br />

feel comfortable,<br />

the participants<br />

can stand, but when they are unsure, they can sit. Yoga<br />

movements have been modified to stretch muscles<br />

from a seated position and Shirley said the cardio program<br />

is quite a workout even using a chair.<br />

Barbara said she has seen the improvements her<br />

participants have made by adding exercise to their lives.<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


“Everyone says it improves their flexibility and gives<br />

them more energy to do things they want to do in life,”<br />

she said. She said the exercises to loosen the neck<br />

muscles are extremely important for the participants<br />

who still are driving because it keeps them safe on the<br />

road. “Many of them tell me, ‘I almost fell but was able<br />

to catch myself.’”<br />

For Charlie, who retired from the railroad and serviced<br />

both aluminum plants in the area, going to Silver-<br />

Sneakers is a chance to catch up with many friends and<br />

neighbors, “and find out what is going on in the community.”<br />

Shirley said she has tried exercising at home,<br />

but can’t stay motivated. “I like to walk and visit with<br />

people,” she said.<br />

Barbara said the group extends beyond the classroom<br />

and has gotten together for meals and movies<br />

on occasion. For those who have lost their husband or<br />

wife, it may be the only time they get hugs during the<br />

week. “This is a great group,” Barbara said.<br />

For Charlie and Shirley, SilverSneakers is a habit they<br />

will stick with for the fun, fitness and friendship. As<br />

Charlie said, “We hate to miss a class!”<br />

To enroll in SilverSneakers, Medi-Pak and Medi-Pak<br />

Advantage members can go to a participating fitness<br />

center near them and show their ID card. Fitness center<br />

staff will assist with enrollment and provide tours of<br />

the locations. Because new fitness centers are being<br />

added to the program regularly, members can go online<br />

to silversneakers.com to find all participating locations<br />

in Arkansas. <strong>You</strong> also can call customer service to find a<br />

participating location near you.<br />

Go to <strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> Online on our Arkansas<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> Cross and Health Advantage Web sites for<br />

more on SilverSneakers.<br />

SilverSneakers ® is a registered mark of Healthways, Inc. The<br />

SilverSneakers Fitness Program is provided by Healthways, Inc.,<br />

which is an independent company that operates separately from<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield.<br />

We love to hear from you!<br />

May we help? For customer service, please call:<br />

Little Rock Toll-free<br />

Number (501) Number<br />

Medi-Pak members 378-3062 1-800-338-2312<br />

Medi-Pak Advantage members 1-877-233-7022<br />

Medi-Pak Rx members 1-866-390-3369<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross members 378-<strong>2010</strong> 1-800-238-8379<br />

Pharmacy questions 1-800-863-5561<br />

Specialty Rx Pharmacy questions 1-866-295-2779<br />

Health Advantage members 378-2363 1-800-843-1329<br />

Pharmacy questions 1-800-863-5567<br />

<strong>Blue</strong>Advantage members 378-3600 1-888-872-2531<br />

Pharmacy questions 1-888-293-3748<br />

State and Public School members 378-2364 1-800-482-8416<br />

Federal Employee members 378-2531 1-800-482-6655<br />

Looking for health or dental insurance? We can help!<br />

For individuals, families<br />

and those age 65 or older 378-2937 1-800-392-2583<br />

For employer groups 378-3070 1-800-421-1112<br />

(Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross Group Services, which includes<br />

Health Advantage and <strong>Blue</strong>Advantage Administrators<br />

of Arkansas)<br />

Prefer to speak with someone close to home? Call or visit one<br />

of our regional offices:<br />

Pine Bluff/Southeast Region 1-800-236-0369<br />

1800 West 73rd St.<br />

Jonesboro/Northeast Region 1-800-299-4124<br />

707 East Matthews Ave.<br />

Hot <strong>Spring</strong>s/South Central Region 1-800-588-5733<br />

100 Greenwood Ave., Suite C<br />

Texarkana/Southwest Region 1-800-470-9621<br />

1710 Arkansas Boulevard<br />

Fayetteville/Northwest Region 1-800-817-7726<br />

516 East Milsap Rd., Suite 103<br />

Fort Smith/West Central Region 1-866-254-9117<br />

3501 Old Greenwood Rd., Suite 5<br />

Little Rock/Central Region 1-800-421-1112<br />

320 West Capitol Ave., Suite 900<br />

<strong>You</strong> can contact customer service through our Web sites:<br />

arkansasbluecross.com<br />

healthadvantage-hmo.com<br />

blueadvantagearkansas.com<br />

Related Web sites:<br />

blueandyoufoundationarkansas.org<br />

blueannewe-ark.com<br />

23<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>


24<br />

At Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross<br />

and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield, we are<br />

always looking for new<br />

ways to be "Good for <strong>You</strong>."<br />

Here are some of our<br />

latest accomplishments.<br />

See <strong>Blue</strong>Advantage’s new Web site<br />

<strong>Blue</strong>Advantage Administrators of Arkansas has a<br />

new Web site! The new design makes it easy to<br />

navigate and puts the tools you need right at your<br />

fingertips. The “Plans & Products” section is designed<br />

with employer groups in mind to help find<br />

the right health-care coverage for your company.<br />

Links under each tab for Members, Employers and<br />

Providers make finding what you need a snap!<br />

Get claims information online<br />

<strong>You</strong> can receive e-mails to notify you when your<br />

Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) or Personal Health<br />

Statements (PHSs) are available online behind<br />

My <strong>Blue</strong>print, our member self-service center. It’s<br />

convenient, fast and easy! To sign up, you must be<br />

registered for My <strong>Blue</strong>print. If you haven’t already,<br />

go online and follow the easy registration instructions<br />

from the home page of our Web sites.<br />

Do you have a Personal Health Record?<br />

A Personal Health Record (PHR) is a secure, Webbased,<br />

electronic medical record that combines<br />

information provided by you, your doctor and your<br />

insurance company. To set up your PHR, log in to<br />

My <strong>Blue</strong>print, our member self-service center, and<br />

select “Personal Health Record.” <strong>You</strong>r PHR already<br />

includes your medical history, current medications,<br />

medical tests, a summary of your visits to your<br />

doctor and more. <strong>You</strong> can add to the information by<br />

including your personal medical history, family medical<br />

history and social history.<br />

A PHR can be extremely helpful in emergency<br />

situations when you may need a doctor to have<br />

access to your medical history and current medications<br />

in a hurry. Or, by using the Health Trackers,<br />

you can provide your doctors a day-to-day glimpse<br />

at your blood sugar levels, blood pressure and other<br />

vital health statistics.<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2010</strong>

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