New Medicare Card 2018

In an attempt to decrease Medicare beneficiary vulnerability, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 requires that all social security numbers be removed from Medicare cards by April 2019. Each Medicare recipient will now be assigned a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will replace their social security number on their card.

New Medicare cards will be distributed starting on April 1, 2018 to Medicare beneficiaries based on the state they live in. The anticipated delivery for Missouri patients is June, but you may receive your new card before or after this date.

 

  1. How will your MBI be different than listing your SSN?
    1. The MBI will be 11 characters in length, as opposed to the 9 digits for the SSN.
    2. The MBI will be made up of a combination of numbers and capital letters.
    3. Each MBI is randomly generated. They don’t have any hidden or special meaning. They are simply a group of randomized characters to be utilized your insurance identifier.

 

  1. What do the new Medicare cards mean for you?
    1. There are no changes to the benefits that you will receive. You may start using your new card as soon as you get it. The effective date of the new card, like the old card, is the date you were eligible for Medicare.
    2. Once you get your new Medicare card with the MBI, you can use them to enroll in Medicare Advantage or drug plans. If you do opt to enroll in advantage or drug plans, you will also receive an insurance card for that plan. You should always use the card from those plans when you get health care and/or prescriptions.

 

  1. What does this mean for you as an OCH patient?
    1. Please make sure you are bringing your updated insurance card to all of your provider visits. This will help us ensure that we are processing your claims correctly with Medicare and billing correctly for your visits. If you have any questions, please talk to the receptionist at your appointment.

 

  1. Will your card automatically work?
    1. Yes, once you receive your card, you will be automatically eligible to use it.

 

For more information visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website or click here. To view a timeline of this nationwide project, click here.

 

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Circulation Exercises to Keep you Warm

Exercises to keep you warm through the winter.

Winter is in full swing in The Ozarks! These frigid temperatures may cause significant circulation issues for many individuals. As we age, our body systems have to work increasingly hard to supply our body with all the nutrients and oxygen that it requires to perform the vital functions that we all need.

“Impaired circulation may cause significant issues with elderly individuals when you combine poor circulation with things like heart disease, diabetes or a lack of exercise. With the use of the above exercises you can help give your body the boost it needs to make it through this winter season.”

  • Dr. Brittany Wright, Physical Therapy

Here are three simple circulation exercises that have been shown to increase blood supply to assist with improved day-to-day health.

#1 – Supine Ankle Pumps – Begin lying on your back with your legs straight. Slowly pump your ankles by bending and straightening them. Try to keep the rest your legs relaxed while you move your ankles.

Supine Ankle Pump

# 2 – Supine Quad Set – Begin lying on your back with one knee bent and your other leg straight with your knee resting on a towel roll. Gently squeeze your thigh muscles, pushing the back of your knee down into the towel. Make sure to keep your back flat against the floor during the exercise.

Quad Set

#3 – Supine Glute Set – “Penny Pinchers” – Begin lying on your back with your hands resting comfortably. Tighten your buttock muscles, then release and repeat. Make sure not to arch your low back during the exercise or hold your breath as you tighten your muscles.

Glute Set

The above exercises have been recommended by the OCH physical therapy department as an easy and convenient way for adults to help pump blood through their body. This is not medical advice.

 

No Excuse Rainy Day Workout

Rainy weather makes us all want to forgo the gym and pop in a movie complete with pop corn, soda and leftover candy from the holidays (you couldn’t throw it out, could you?). But that’s no excuse! 

We all know that fitness is good for us physically; it reduces stress and keeps us at a healthy weight. But sometimes it can be hard to know where to start and how to progress your fitness level. Fitness includes many areas: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speech, agility, balance, coordination and accuracy. We have the ability to increase any of those areas!

But, who has time? Here are a few short workouts at home that require little to no equipment. Everything can be modified so that all fitness levels can increase in just minutes a day.

Note: Before starting any of these listed below, check with your doctor to make sure that your heart is healthy enough for exercise. If you have knee pain, check with your physician before completing this exercise.

Exercise #1 Box Squats

Background: I love box squats because the nature of the exercise makes your body perform the squat correctly. I believe the most important exercise to do regularly is the squat. This variation of the squat can be performed at home and all you need is a stable chair. This is also an exercise that beginners and athletes can perform to strengthen knee stabilizing muscles and control at the bottom of the squat.

To perform: Start with feet close to chair or surface you are sitting on to. The chair should rest about the height of your knees.

  • Pull your arms parallel to the floor.
  • Lower your hips and sit them as far back as possible.
  • Keep your back straight and weight on the heels.
  • Look straight in front of you and keep your arms up and parallel to the floor.
  • Once fully seated, stand up while keeping the knees pointed outward with arms fully extended in front of you.
  • Do not use your arms to push off you knees – make your legs do the work!

Option # 1: Complete as many box squats in 5 minutes as possible. This one is easy to do during commercials or while watching the news.

Option # 2: Complete 30 box squats, take a 2 minute break, then complete 20 box squats. After taking a final 2 minute break, complete 20 box squats. Done!

Option # 3: If you want to progress the exercise, stop just before touching the seat and hover for a few seconds. Or, complete the exercise with dumbbells resting on the shoulders or a barbell on the back. Another way to increase the difficulty is to try 10 minutes of reps or 2 rounds of 5 minute reps with a short break in between.

Four Reasons Squats Rock:

  1. Squats work not only the legs; but the hips, back, abdominal muscles, and calves. It’s a while body workout with one easy movement.
  2. Keeping your arms raised maintains correct positioning of your back while also working the shoulder and arm muscles.
  3. Building muscle will burn more calories throughout the day, even when you are not being active.
  4. Toning the muscles that support the joins will help decrease pain in the knees, hips, back and help prevent injuries down the road.

 

 

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Nuclear Medicine

In honor of National Nuclear Medicine Week (October 2-8), we’ve put together a list of facts you may not know about the study of Nuclear Medicine. But before we begin, here’s a little refresher about the topic: nuclear medicine is a branch of medicine that uses radioactive substances to image your body. In other words, it provides doctors another way to look inside your body in a non-invasive manner to search for tumors, aneurysms, inadequate blood flow, blood cell disorders, and more. Here are a few additional interesting points you may not know about nuclear medicine.

  1. An estimated 16 million nuclear medicine imaging and therapeutic procedures are performed each year in the United States. Of these, 40 – 50% are cardiac exams and 35 – 40% are cancer related.
  2. Nuclear medicine has been around for at least 58 years.
  3. There are nearly 100 different nuclear medicine imaging procedures available today.
  4. Unlike other tests, procedures, etc., nuclear medicine provides information about the function of virtually every major organ system within the body.
  5. Nuclear medicine procedures are among the safest diagnostic imaging tests available.
  6. The amount of radiation in a nuclear medicine procedure is comparable to that received during diagnostic x-ray.
  7. Children commonly undergo nuclear medicine procedures to evaluate bone pain, injuries, or kidney and bladder function.
  8. Nuclear medicine procedures are painless and do not require anesthesia.
  9. Common nuclear medicine applications include diagnosis and treatment of hyperthyroidism (Graves’ disease), cardiac stress tests to analyze heart function, bone scans for orthopedic injuries, lung scans for blood clots, and liver and gallbladder procedures to diagnose abnormal function or blockages.
  10. There are approximately 4,000 board certified nuclear medicine physicians and 15,700 certified nuclear medicine technologists worldwide.

Ozarks Community Hospital has an extensive list of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine services available in Springfield, Mo. For more information about the tests and services offered, visit http://ochonline.com/patients-and-visitors/services/diagnostic-imaging-services/ or call (417) 837-4000.