9506 Ageless SUMMER (WEB) 2020

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A primary care physician is

important for your overall health

You can exercise. You can eat

well. You can take supplements,

drink plenty of water, and take

all your prescribed medications

as directed. And that’s great.

But do you know what is equally

important for your health?

Having a primary care physician

(PCP) and making regular

appointments with them.


• Keeps tabs on your overall health

with wellness checkups

• Provides critical preventive care

(screenings and immunizations)

• Identifies and treats common

medical conditions

• Suggests healthy lifestyle


• Gives referrals to specialists

• Keeps track of any immunizations

you may need

• Sees symptoms of serious

conditions such as diabetes,

heart disease or stroke that may

run in your family

People who regularly visit their

PCP have fewer hospitalizations

and emergency visits than

those who do not visit primary

care doctors.

If you do have a chronic disease

like diabetes, your PCP can

keep close tabs on you to

monitor any changes in your

overall health and routine lab

work. Over time, your PCP can

build a comprehensive health

history that can be shared with

specialists, if you should

need one.

If you don’t have a PCP, we

can help you find one. Call

the number on the back of your

member ID card. If you do have

a PCP, make an appointment

today to see your doctor for

your annual wellness visit!

As always, we’re here to

help you on your healthcare

journey. In good health,


A reminder about

COVID-19 and the

information we share

As the world continues

to deal with the

coronavirus pandemic,

it’s more important than

ever to keep the lines

of communication open

with your PCP. Talk with

your doctor about any

information you read

in Ageless, and follow

your doctor’s guidelines.

Put your doctor’s office

number in your phone.

It’s a valuable resource in

your arsenal as we stand

against this virus together.

2 Ageless SUMMER 2020




It’s easier than you think

Have you recently gone to the doctor only

to receive another prescription for a new

medication? Is managing your medicine

feeling like a full-time job? Sometimes,

staying healthy can really be a balancing act.

125,000 deaths! Mismanaging

medications is also responsible for

10 percent of all hospitalizations and

costs the healthcare system between

$100–$289 billion.

You’re not alone. Four in 10 people say

the major reason they don’t take their

medicine is that they simply forget. One

recent study estimates that each year in

the United States, skipping medicine or

not taking it as prescribed causes nearly

Here are some steps to make medication management easier:

Always ask your doctor or pharmacist when you should

take your medicine, even if you have been taking it for a

while. It’s important to take your medicine when it is most

effective. For example, statins for cholesterol are more

effective if taken at bedtime.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you can take your

medicine at another time of day. It’s better to take it at a

different regularly scheduled time than not at all.

Speak with your pharmacist about “synchronizing” or

coordinating your medication refills for you. It’s a no-cost

service for our Medicare members and will help you stay on

track with your medications and reduce trips to the pharmacy.

Download on your smart phone or tablet one of several apps

that can help keep track of your medicine. Some of the free ones

include WebMD’s mymedicine and Medisafe Pill Reminder.

Much of this could be avoided if everyone

took their medications as prescribed, or

discussed problems such as affordability

or intolerable side effects with their doctor.

Sometimes, it just becomes confusing and

troublesome. But it doesn’t have to be.

Go the old-fashion way. Set an alarm on your phone or

clock as a reminder or buy a basic weekly or monthly

pillboxes to track medicine.

Put your medicine in a highly visible area as a reminder to

take it. Don’t forget to keep it in closed containers and safely

out of the reach of children and pets.

Remember to fill your prescription on time. Ask your

doctor to write a 90-day supply of any maintenance

medications you take.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how long you

should take specific medications. Many medications

require you to continue taking them long after you feel

better. Don’t stop taking any medicine without talking

to your doctor first.

Ageless SUMMER 2020 3

? ?


Need care?

You have choices

? ?


Before you sit for hours in an emergency room

or end up with medical costs not covered

by your health plan, learn more about your

medical care options. Know before you go!

Primary Care

Your doctor, also called a

primary care physician (PCP),

should be your first choice

for care. Your PCP is familiar

with your medical history, and

a scheduled office visit is the

most cost-effective method of

care. When necessary, your

PCP’s clinic can refer you to

specialists within your health

plan and ensure that you

receive the right care in the

right place, without higher

out-of-network costs.

What if my PCP is not available?

If you need medical care after

your PCP’s office has closed

but you aren’t sure if the

condition is an emergency,

call your PCP’s office to reach

the medical professional

on call. He or she can help

you determine if you should

wait for a priority visit at the

clinic the next day, visit an

urgent care center or go to

the emergency room.

Telehealth Care

Urgent Care

Walk-in clinics, also called

urgent care clinics, are for

medical conditions, signs

or symptoms that require

immediate medical attention

but are not severe or lifethreatening

and do not require

a hospital or emergency room

visit. Urgent care clinics are

open for extended hours and

are available on a first-come,

first-served basis.

What conditions may require

urgent care?

Telehealth offers access to medical doctors 24 hours a day,

seven days a week via smartphone, tablet or computer.

Telehealth doctors treat non-emergency health issues like

allergies, bronchitis, cold and flu symptoms, sinus, sore

throats and others.

Your health plan partners with MDLive ® , making it easier

for you to get effective and safe medical care anytime and

anywhere. MDLive ® providers are board-certified and

state-licensed doctors living in and practicing medicine

in the United States.

4 Ageless SUMMER 2020

The following conditions may

require urgent care: allergic

reactions; asthma; bites and

stings; cold, flu and other viral

illnesses; diarrhea; ear and

eye infections; injuries;

nausea and vomiting; skin

conditions, sprains and strains

and urinary tract infections.

Members can schedule

appointments by accessing MDLive

through the following links:

• MyBluePrint.com

• MyVirtualHealth.com

• MDLive.com/bluemedicare

Emergency Care

An emergency room visit,

also called emergency care,

is needed when you have an

accident, condition, illness,

sign or symptom that could

place your health in jeopardy

if not treated immediately.

Examples include badly

broken bones, chest pain, loss

of consciousness, poisoning,

serious burns, etc.

Should I call 911 or go to the ER?

Call 911 or go to the ER

immediately if the answer is

“yes” to any of these questions:

• Are the symptoms severe and/or


• Did the symptoms occur suddenly

and unexpectedly?

• Is there uncontrolled bleeding,

broken bones or extreme pain?

• Is there dehydration or a

dangerously high fever?

• Arkansasbluecross.com/members /medicare-advantage

Or you can call MDLive at 877-540-2082 / TTY 800-770-5531,

24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How can

I help you?

The 24-hour

nurse hotline

is here!

Day or night,

we’ve got you covered

The nurse advice line is live!

You can now call a nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a

week (even on holidays) with no copay for advice

on your health. The 24-hour nurse hotline is a tollfree

telephone number you can call for coaching and

nurse advice from trained clinicians.

A nurse can answer questions that don’t require a

doctor’s visit or even a call to your doctor’s nurse.

A nurse on the hotline can answer questions about:

• Your symptoms

• Medications and side effects

• Reliable self-care home treatments

• Self-help and support groups

• When to go to your doctor

• When to go to urgent care or the emergency room

• Local physician and hospital resources

In the middle of the night, you may

have symptoms that concern you.

You can call a nurse to see if you

should go to the emergency

room or make an appointment

with your doctor.

We’ve got you covered.

Members can access the

nurse advice line by calling:

1-800-318-2384 (TTY 711).

In a life-threatening

situation, you should

always call 911

or go to the nearest

emergency room.

Ageless SUMMER 2020



to care for YOU!

Sometimes we get so busy in our lives that we

forget to care for ourselves. That’s especially

true if you’re busy doing for others like caring

for a sick spouse, babysitting grandchildren, or

leading a volunteer organization. It’s important,

though, to care for your mental, physical and

emotional health in order to best help others.

That sometimes means putting yourself first and giving yourself self-compassion.

Show yourself the

same empathy and

concern that you

show for others.

Spend time with

people who make

you feel understood

and supported.

Embrace each situation

in the moment, and

don’t dwell on the

“what ifs.”

Self-compassion doesn’t depend on you

reaching ideal and possibly unrealistic goals.

Instead, it comes from caring for yourself as you

are with your own balance of weak and strong

points. People with self-compassion experience

less anxiety and are more comfortable in their

own skin. That means you can give your best to

other others if you take care of yourself first.

6 Ageless SUMMER 2020

If you can’t seem to shake depressive feelings

or don’t feel like yourself, talk to your doctor.

If you need help finding a doctor or are unsure

which way to turn, please call to talk to one of

our case managers at 800-817-7784.

Our Medi-Pak Advantage Nurse Case

Management team is here for you!

Our goal? To promote quality healthcare

and the best health outcomes for you.

Medi-Pak Advantage case managers can help with a variety of

situations, questions and concerns. Most frequently we assist with:


of care


of care

Education about


or health




Finding a primary

care provider and

making appointments



We encourage, assist, support and promote participation

in wellness activities like annual wellness visit and health

screenings (mammograms, colonoscopies and diabetic eye

exams, for example).

Our case managers encourage, assist, support and promote our

members in their efforts to take their medications as prescribed

and make and keep their healthcare appointments. We also work

closely with members to promote chronic disease management.

We seek to help our members to have the best member

experience possible.

If you would like to reach a case manager, please contact

us at 800-817-7784.

Ageless SUMMER 2020


Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield

P.O. Box 2181

Little Rock, AR 72203-2181

Please note: This newsletter is for health education purposes only. We do not offer medical advice or

services. Always consult your treating physician(s) for any medical advice or services you may need.


A publication for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Medicare Advantage members.


Chicken, Spinach

and Barley Soup

Courtesy of

Green Leaf Grill

A healthy, easy soup for any day of the week


• 3 ½ cups chicken stock

• 9 ½ ounces of boneless, skinless

chicken breasts

• 1 tablespoon canola oil

• 3 tablespoons diced yellow onion

• ¼ teaspoon minced garlic cloves

• 3 tablespoons dry barley


1. Heat oil in a stock pot.

2. Dice chicken into ¼” pieces.

3. Brown chicken over medium-heat

for 6-7 minutes.

Nutritional information (per 1 cup)

Calories: 176

Protein: 17 grams (g)

Total fat: 0.08 g • Sat Fat: 0.01 g


4 cups

• ¼ teaspoon fresh chopped thyme

• ¼ teaspoon fresh chopped oregano

• 3 tablespoons freshly diced tomatoes

• 1 small diced red potato

• 3 tablespoons fresh spinach

• 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

• 1 ¼ teaspoon black pepper

4. Stir in onion, garlic, barley, thyme,

oregano, tomatoes, potatoes and

chicken stock.

5. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Carbohydrate: 10 g

Dietary Fiber: 2 g

Sodium: 615 milligrams

Follow us!

6. Reduce heat to simmer, stirring

occasionally for 20-25 minutes.

7. Stir in spinach and cook until

spinach starts to wilt.

8. Add salt and pepper.

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