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Benefits of a Total Wellness Visit

Some patients might consider medical exams intimidating, including seniors who may have faced complex health issues in the past. Regular exams serve as important opportunities to engage with a provider about potential health problems, however, and can often allow providers to identify issues before they progress.

In an effort to promote more senior patient participation in these valuable exams, HealthCare Partners Medical Group offers the Total Wellness Visit for individuals 65 and older. During this comprehensive exam, a primary care provider works with a team of medical professionals to conduct a thorough health evaluation, while providing plenty of time for the patient to ask questions.

The Total Wellness Visit includes two hour-long appointments approximately two weeks apart. Patients only pay one regular office visit co-pay for the entire service.

Each of the two office visits analyzes a wide range of health factors.

The first visit includes:

1. Health history: Members of medical team will ask about your current health, any changes since your last visit and your prescriptions. They will also make sure all of your personal information is current.

2. Vaccinations: You will get your flu shot and any other vaccines you need.

3. Tests: The team will decide with you on conducting tests for cholesterol, blood sugar, bone density, breathing and more.

4. Screenings: The team will determine if you have any signs of common conditions and whether screenings are necessary.

5. Time for any questions a patient might have.

The second visit includes:

1. One-on-one time: Your doctor has scheduled this time just for you, to discuss every aspect of your health.

2. Partnership: With time to ask questions and receive careful answers, you will take active part in your health care decisions.

3. Comfort and confidence: The thorough exam allows you to meet your medical team and learn more about your overall health.

4. Early detection: Many health problems that affect your quality of life later may not have symptoms now. When caught early, treatment is often easier.

5. Choices just for you: Thanks to the large number of available screenings and the time we can take to discuss your personal health needs, you will receive a health evaluation customized for your needs.

6. Personal attention: Your medical team will offer in-depth discussions, with recommendations for maintaining your health between visits.

This comprehensive exam reflects the high-quality care HealthCare Partners Medical Group provides under its Total Care Model, provides patients with access to a coordinated team of primary care providers, specialists, case managers and other professionals who work together to manage all aspects of patients’ care and overall health.

HealthCare Partners Medical Group encourages seniors to schedule a Total Wellness Visit soon. For more information, visit www.hcpnv.com.

Hospital

When to Consider Urgent Care

By: Dr. Rakesh Kalra

Although emergency rooms can provide crucial medical care during severe health crises, many people might be unaware of when a trip to the ER is unnecessary. An estimated 27.1 percent of all visits to the ER in the U.S. can be treated at urgent care facilities and retail clinics, according to a Rand Corp. study, potentially saving $4.4 billion annually in health-care costs[i]. It can often be cost-effective for patients to learn about urgent care facilities in their area and the services they offer.

Urgent care clinics can offer many advantages when compared to ERs, typically providing immediate care at a more affordable cost. The average ER visit costs more than seven times as much as the average urgent care visit, according to data from Consumer Reports[ii]. Many urgent care locations are open on evenings and weekends, providing an alternative to the ER when primary care providers’ offices are typically closed. All four of HealthCare Partners Nevada’s urgent care locations offer weekend and evening services. The Wynn clinic is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Patients are often unaware that most urgent care facilities can treat a wide variety of illnesses and conditions, including flu, minor broken bones and fractures, ear infections, skin rashes and urinary tract infections. Some urgent care clinics also offer laboratory services. HealthCare Partners’ four urgent care clinics offer many services, including:

  • Basic gynecology (at the Wynn, Calvada and West Charleston clinics)
  • Electrocardiograms
  • Injections
  • Internal medicine
  • Laboratory services
  • Laceration care
  • Limited immunizations
  • Minor procedures
  • Wellness exams and physicals
  • Radiology

HealthCare Partners Nevada’s urgent care locations include:

  • West Lake Mead clinic – 595 W. Lake Mead Parkway, Las Vegas
  • Calvada clinic – 1501 E. Calvada Blvd., Pahrump
  • West Charleston clinic – 9499 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite 150, Las Vegas
  • Wynn clinic – 4880 S. Wynn Road, Las Vegas

It is important for patients to recognize when an illness or condition is severe enough to warrant a trip to the ER. Symptoms that likely require emergent care include seizures, extreme bleeding, head trauma with loss of consciousness and severe broken bones. Urgent care can treat conditions with less critical symptoms, including sore throat, earache, vomiting and rashes.

HealthCare Partners strives to provide immediate urgent care as part of its Total Care Model, a coordinated approach to health care in which a dedicated team of primary care providers, specialists and professional staff work together to manage all aspects of patients’ care and overall health. To learn more about HealthCare Partners’ urgent care services, visit www.hcpnv.com/urgentcare.



[i] Robin M. Weinick, Rachel M. Burns and Ateev Mehrotra for the Rand Corporation, September 2010, “Many Emergency Department Visits Could Be Managed at Urgent Care Centers and Retail Clinics”

[ii] ConsumerReports.org, April 2009, “Urgent Care: What You Need to Know”

5 Tips To Make Medicare Open Enrollment Easier

Medicare Open Enrollment_Why It's Important to You

Medicare Open Enrollment, which happens every year from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, marks an important time of year for people older than 65 to change their health plans and prescription drug coverage for the upcoming year. HealthCare Partners, the leading independent medical group in America with nearly 1,000 physicians across the country, provided these tips to help seniors who are reviewing their health plans.

1. Review changes to health plans

Seniors have many details to keep in mind during Medicare Open Enrollment. There are often changes to Medicare health plans from year to year, which is why seniors should carefully review their plans and understand changes that might affect their coverage. HealthCare Partners encourages seniors to consider the costs, benefits and choices of doctors and providers available. Seniors should also identify whether all of their necessary health care services and prescription medications are still covered under their current plans.

2. Know your enrollment period

It is important to distinguish Medicare Open Enrollment from other health-related enrollment periods. Some people might confuse Medicare Open Enrollment with the open enrollment period for the state and federal exchanges. These are different enrollment periods and are not associated with each other.

Click here to read entire article.

Medicare Open Enrollment Tips

Medicare Open Enrollment_Why It's Important to You

Medicare Open Enrollment can be daunting with the number of plans, the changes to existing plans and the changes to your health care needs to consider. So, where should you begin with all of this?

The first crucial step is establishing your needs. Have your health care needs changed? Have your prescription drug needs changed? These are important factors when beginning your research.

Next, establish the cost as to what type of plan may be appropriate for you. Dental, vision, hearing and preventative screenings can all be key to consider when looking at your Medicare options.

Total Care is another option to consider when examining and weighing health care plans. The Total Care Model is a health care model is built upon preventative care providing patients with access to a coordinated team. Medicare Advantage plans typically provide improved access to the Total Care Model.

Another key tip to consider is evaluating your prescription drug needs and making sure that the prescription drugs that you are currently taking can be covered under your health care plan. Medicare Part D, often referred to as prescription drug coverage, can generally be added to your Medicare plan. Medicare Advantage often allows you to receive prescription drug coverage similar to Part D. Remember that it is absolutely important to review your prescription drug needs when selecting which plan is right for you.

Above all, you should always consider your options. Some helpful tools for exploring plans can be found at medicare.gov. Visit HCPNV.com for more details on the Total Care Model and the advantages of Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Open Enrollment: Why It’s Important To You

Medicare Open Enrollment Tips

Medicare Open Enrollment is a crucial time for senior citizens held between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7. During this time, seniors with Medicare coverage have the opportunity to review and make adjustments to their plans. So why is this important to you?

Every year, health care plans can change – just like your individual health care needs may change. If you’re not completely satisfied with your current plan, now is the time to make adjustments in order to have your health care needs met. Following Open Enrollment, Feb. 15 through Oct. 14 is noted as the “Lock-In Period.” During this period, you may not be able to switch coverage with your Medicare plan. However, there is a period from Dec. 8 through Feb. 14 that provides the option to drop your new Medicare plan – if your new plan isn’t the best fit, you’ll have until Valentine’s Day to make a change!

This time of year, the Open Enrollment period, has also become increasingly important. According to the Pew Research Center, as many as 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 with each passing day in the U.S, and the number of Americans aging into Medicare continue to rise.

With the rise in Medicare coverage, it is important for seniors to closely examine their health care plans and look at any modifications to costs, and benefits during Open Enrollment. Every year, there are also new Medicare reforms, so it makes sense to review your current plans to spot potential improved health care opportunities.

Seniors should also consider access to the Total Care Model when considering their options during Open Enrollment. The Total Care Model is essentially a one-stop shop for your health care needs, with an entire network of health care providers working collaboratively to manage a patient’s overall health, including: primary care providers, nurses, specialists and care managers. This model of care includes a strong focus on prevention and helping patients maximize their health insurance benefits.

Medicare Open Enrollment can certainly be daunting, with a wide range of coverage options. However, the potential changes in your current plan, your personal health, as well as the potential savings make Open Enrollment a crucial time to examine what Medicare plans offer the most advantages for you.

Visit medicare.gov for more information on Medicare Open Enrollment. Visit HCPNV.com/OpenEnrollment for more information on the advantages of Medicare Advantage and the Total Care Model.

General Wellness

General Wellness

As we get older, our health care needs change and often increase. However, there are many things that we can all do in order to maintain our overall health. Many small changes can make a big difference in preserving and maintaining our personal wellness.

To begin, let’s start with the basics such as keeping active. Whether a walk through the neighborhood or an afternoon swim, it’s important to do something that helps promote cardiovascular health. Not only will the physical activity help in maintaining a healthier weight, it can also reduce your risk of many illnesses, sharpen the mind and increase your chances of living longer.  This, paired with a healthy diet, can prove to be a dynamic duo in maintaining your general wellness.

It’s also important to keep up-to-date with immunizations and standard health screenings. There are many preventative screenings available that can help in identifying or preventing numerous health concerns such as breast or prostate cancer. Immunizations are critical as well, and it is helpful to schedule checkups for your flu and pneumonia shots annually.

It’s also important to regularly schedule check-ups for dental, vision and hearing. We all have only one set of eyes, teeth and ears, and if we take care of them, they can last us a lifetime!

Besides our physical health, another added component to consider is also our mental health. Let’s be frank – aging can be stressful. However, that doesn’t mean that our golden years should be any less enjoyable! Physical activity can help one maintain a positive outlook, and maintaining your sense of purpose and staying connected to friends and family can improve your mental health.

Though there are many factors that can assist in maintaining our personal health, preventative care is highly important. This is a primary focus of the Total Care Model, a patient-centered health care model that provides a team of health care professionals working collaboratively to manage patients’ overall health.

Medicare Open Enrollment is an opportunity for you to explore the advantages of coordinated care and preventative health care with a Medicare Advantage plan. For more information on the advantages of preventative care, visit HCPNV.com/OpenEnrollment. Visit medicare.gov for more information on Medicare.

The Total Care Model

Coordinated Care

Great health care makes for an even greater life. No matter the stage of life you may be in, it’s important to use a health care program that meets your individual needs. One way of achieving this is through patient-centered health care. At HealthCare Partners, we call it Total Care. With the Total Care Model, we aim to achieve the highest level of health care possible while minimizing costs. Keeping patients at the center of their own personal health care, we focus on preventative care with long-term health as our goal.

So, what is Total Care? Think of the Total Care Model as your one-stop shop for all of your health care needs, with an entire network of health care providers working collaboratively to manage your overall health, including: primary care providers, nurse practitioners, specialists and care managers. This model of care includes a strong focus on prevention and helping patients maximize their health insurance benefits.

Among your network of resources, the Total Care Model also includes screenings and immunizations, including flu and pneumonia shots. This approach to care serves as a comprehensive model designed for you to carefully manage your own health, allowing our highly skilled team of doctors, nurses, specialists and care coordinators to work together in unison on meeting your health care needs.

Total Care also includes preventative medicine – you shouldn’t ever wait until after you’re sick to see a doctor. For most of our patients, this means that you will most likely visit your primary care doctor more often, even when you are not in poor health. The Total Care Model promotes- decreased hospitalizations, improved patient outcomes and an overall greater quality of life.

During Medicare Open Enrollment, the Total Care Model may be an advantageous health care program for you to examine for your individual health care needs. If you are interested in the Total Care Model and how it may help you save on health care costs through optimizing your health, visit HCPNV.com/OpenEnrollment for more information.

 

 

Medicare 101

Medicare 101

Medicare offers multiple plans that might seem overwhelming to choose between. Where to begin? Here’s a go-to guide to help you understand what you need to know when examining which plan offers the most advantages for you.

First, there are several plans available to you through Medicare: Part A, Part B, Part C, Part D and Supplemental Policies. Each offers unique advantages, dependent upon what might be best for your individual health care needs. We’ll begin with a look at Medicare Part A.

Medicare Part A provides hospital coverage, something you obtain when you first enroll in Medicare. In general, it includes your standard hospital fees such as hospital rooms, hospital tests and hospital doctors. An advantage to this is that you’re eligible as soon as you turn 65, and even more, there are typically no premiums! However, Medicare Part A may not cover all of your health care needs.

The next option is Medicare Part B. Part B is often referred to as Medicare Insurance and offers medically necessary services and preventative services. Part B comes with a monthly premium, which can be deducted from your Social Security check. When both Part A and Part B are used, this is what we referred to as Original Medicare. However, keep in mind that though Original Medicare does cover initial basic hospital fees, it will not cover all costs and you may have to pay deductibles, co-pays or coinsurance for services that aren’t covered.

Following Medicare Part B is Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage. Much like the name implies, Medicare Advantage offers many benefits. Medicare Advantage combines Part A and Part B, and can also cover additional health care needs such as vision, dental and hearing. Many Medicare Advantage plans come with an annual deductible, designed to help keep your monthly premium down. Among these fees, you may also need to pay for co-pays and coinsurance for services you use, while paying nothing for services you do not use. Most Medicare Advantage plans also cover Total Care, a “one-stop” approach for health care offering an entire network of health care providers working collaboratively to manage a patient’s overall health, including: primary care providers, nurses, specialists and care managers. You can take advantage of Medicare Advantage either when you first turn 65, during the annual Open Enrollment period between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7 and also during special event periods such as moving or job changes.

Next on our list is Medicare Part D, known as prescription drug coverage. If you are interested in prescription drug coverage, it is important to note that each Medicare prescription drug plan has its own list of covered drugs. For those who are eligible, Part D is a supplemental addition that should be closely monitored to ensure you are taking full advantage of your prescription coverage. These drug plans can annually make changes to their coverage list (also known as formulary) and the annual open enrollment periods offer you the chance to switch plans that include your prescriptions.

Lastly, there are Supplemental Policies. Supplemental Policies, also known as Medigap, are designed to bridge the gap not fully covered in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Medigap policies may cover some or all of the costs for deductibles, copays and coinsurance. However, these policies typically do not cover vision, dental or long term care. To use a Medigap policy, you have to be enrolled in both Part A and Part B. However, you will need to continue to pay Part B premiums on top of any added expenses associated with Medigap.

There are many things to consider when selecting and evaluating a Medicare plan that is right for you.

Deciding between options involves careful evaluation that includes preparation, independent research, and selecting a plan that offers the most advantages for you.

Visit HCPNV.com/OpenEnrollment and medicare.gov for more information on which Medicare plan may be best for you and the benefits of Medicare Advantage.

The Advantage Of Medicare Advantage

The Advantage of Medicare Advantage

The Medicare Open Enrollment period is a crucial time where many senior citizens can take advantage of the multiple Medicare options available to them. But how can it benefit you? This special time provides the opportunity to adjust your health care plan for your evolving or new health care needs – and it may even save you money! But where should you begin when comparing the multiple options? One Medicare option to explore taking advantage of is Medicare Part C, better known as Medicare Advantage.

So – what is Medicare Advantage? Medicare Advantage helps with hospital costs, doctor visits, as well as other medical care. On top of that, Medicare Advantage can also offer prescription drug coverage, vision, hearing and even fitness plans – all bundled into one neat package. The premiums also tend to be less expensive than obtaining separate Medicare Part D (prescription drug) and Medigap (Medicare supplemental) coverage.

Medicare Advantage features access to the Total Care Model and can provide protection against high out-of-pocket expenses. The Total Care Model is a “one-stop” approach for health care, with an entire network of health care providers working collaboratively to manage overall health, including: primary care providers, nurse practitioners, specialists and care managers. This model of care includes a strong focus on prevention and helping patients maximize their health insurance benefits.

If you live with a chronic health condition, another advantage is that some Medicare Advantage plans offer personalized telephone care management, education, health coaching and support from registered nurses and other health professionals. Some Medicare Advantage plans also even cover pneumonia and flu shots!

So what factors should you look at when it’s time to consider what Medicare plan is most advantageous to you? As with most things in life, it’s important to closely examine your costs, as each option may vary, including the health care benefits for each plan. Next, consider your access to high-quality and reputable medical care. Is there access to the Total Care Model? Also, is the network large enough to meet your individual health needs? You should also consider ease of access to primary care physicians as well as specialists.

There are numerous Medicare plans to examine as well as many factors to consider when comparing which option is most advantageous for your individual health care needs.

Visit HCPNV.com/OpenEnrollment and medicare.gov for more information on Medicare Advantage while you examine your options.

What You Need to Know about Hospice Care By Dr. Christine Estrada

Hospice

When an individual with a life-limiting illness has exhausted all aggressive treatment options, or these options are determined to be more harmful than beneficial, these individuals and their families can choose to optimize comfort with hospice services. How do we know that hospice is the right choice? The factors to consider are: the patient’s prognosis with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness, burdensome symptoms caused by the illness, the risk-to-benefit ratio of the current and alternative treatment plans, goals of care, caregiver needs and the desire for specialized care focused on comfort and happiness. The purpose of hospice care is to relieve suffering, restore dignity and enhance quality of life. Hospices often care for the patient-family unit. Families of terminally ill patients often undergo emotional journeys, and they are in great need of education, understanding and support.

One major fear about hospice care is the myth that it will shorten life expectancy because of the notion that everyone has “given up” on the patient. The truth is that hospice does not directly lengthen or shorten the patient’s life; it helps to make the patient’s final days more comfortable. Hospice services support the patient and family as the natural progression of a fatal condition continues. Las Vegas Solari Hospice Care’s (LVSHC) interdisciplinary team approach helps address many patient needs including physical, emotional, social needs. The patient and family are counseled and supported by social services. Whatever moments the patient may have – whether it be many moments or less moments than hoped for – hospice care helps make these moments the best moments possible.

When given a poor prognosis with a limited life expectancy, patients may feel as though they have lost control of their health and possible outcomes. With quality of life care, the patient regains control of how to shape their journey before them. LVSHC makes every effort to help bring out happiness in a person’s life, whether this involves providing a listening ear or offering their favorite comfort food. We like to help bring the patient back to his/her mental state prior to becoming ill.

LVSHC is proud to be a part of the hospice community of the greater Las Vegas area. We are able to manage the most complex and persistent symptoms, from uncontrolled pain to severe terminal restlessness. As well as standard pharmacologic interventions, we offer non-pharmacological approaches and complementary and alternative remedies, including homeopathy, aromatherapy and acupressure. We also provide specialized services, such as palliative sedation, palliative vent release and therapeutic paracentesis in any setting. Quality and educational initiatives drive our mission at LVSHC, as we train to the level of board certification in hospice and palliative medicine. Our clinical team has complex symptom management algorithms that facilitate critical thinking and troubleshooting approaches to address uncontrolled symptoms. Most importantly, we at LVSHC care for our patients in the same way we would want our own loved ones cared for. Our care is personalized, tailored to the needs and desires of the patient and family, and highly motivated by compassion and understanding. Together, our team can show patients and families a better way.

For more information about Las Vegas Solari Hospice Care, call 702-870-0000 or visit our website at http://www.lvsolarihospice.com.