Monday, November 27, 2017

Promise's outreach staff can help people navigate Medicaid changes


SIOUX CENTER – Are you confused about the flurry of changes going on with Iowa’s privately managed Medicaid program?  
Are you concerned about how you will be affected because you no longer will be covered by AmeriHealth Caritas of Iowa and have been switched to UnitedHealthcare? Do you wonder if you will be affected as an Amerigroup Iowa member?
Fatima Arteaga and the rest of the outreach staff at
Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center
can help answer questions that people have
regarding changes going with their insurance
in Iowa's privately managed Medicaid program.
The outreach staff at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center can help you navigate this confusing and complex situation. They can answer questions and help you understand the changes – whether you have been covered by AmeriHealth, Amerigroup or UnitedHealthcare.

The advice and assistance that they provide is free.
“I would encourage people to come to Promise and talk to our outreach department about any concerns they are having with the Medicaid changes,” said Jessica Mora, office manager and outreach coordinator for Promise.
Since April 1, 2016, three private insurance companies have been managing the care of Iowa’s Medicaid patients instead of the state – with the new program called IA Health Link. Since then, all Medicaid patients either were assigned to or chose one of these companies – which are referred to as Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) – for their health insurance coverage.
This system recently unraveled, however, when AmeriHealth announced on Oct. 31 that it planned to withdraw on Dec. 1. That decision affected 213,000 Iowans, including many Promise patients. The Iowa Department of Human Services decided to automatically transfer these Medicaid patients to UnitedHealthcare, unless patients chose the option to switch to Amerigroup instead.

However, the privately managed Medicaid system was further shook up when the DHS announced last week that Amerigroup no longer would accept any new enrollees. This affected both the former AmeriHealth members who had already switched this month to Amerigroup or any new Medicaid enrollees in the future – leaving UnitedHealthcare as the only managed-care choice for those Medicaid members. Amerigroup will continue to serve the members it was covering prior to Nov. 1, so their Medicaid insurance will not be affected for now.

Promise has had agreements in place with all three managed-care companies, so all Medicaid patients will continue to have insurance coverage for services provided at the health center – whether they are members of UnitedHealthcare or Amerigroup. However, patients who are referred to specialists or other health-care facilities in the region may be affected if UnitedHealthcare does not have agreements with those providers.

“The concern for payment coverage when patients need care from specialists concerns us,” said Nancy Dykstra, executive director of Promise. “Our patients and our communities are located near South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska, and we have experienced scenarios where specialists in outlying areas do not have agreements with Iowa’s Medicaid managed-care companies. Changes like this to Iowa’s Medicaid system have a significant impact on many of our most vulnerable citizens.”
Promise’s outreach staff will help the patients who have been switched to Unitedhealthcare better understand their insurance coverage and where they can go for covered services. In other words, they can help patients find providers that are “in network” with Unitedhealthcare.
The state has indicated that it will begin to work on securing new managed-care companies so that choice can be offered again to Medicaid patients, but that is expected to take months.

Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center is the only Federally Qualified Health Center serving the far northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision and behavioral health services. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.

DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS?
Anyone who has questions about the Medicaid system changes can stop in to talk to Promise Community Health Center’s outreach staff.
Promise’s hours are:
 Monday: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
 Tuesday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
 Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Or, call Promise at 712-722-1700 and ask for Jessica Mora, Fatima Arteaga or Stephanie Aguilar.
Outreach assistance at Promise is provided at no charge.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Mayra Ortiz assumes role of receptionist at Promise CHC


SIOUX CENTER – Mayra Ortiz wants everyone to feel welcome as they walk into Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center.
Mayra Ortiz is a new receptionist at Promise
Community Health Center. She wants to
make people feel welcome when they
come in for an appointment.

She also wants to bring a passion for helping people in need.

Mayra, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, recently assumed the role of receptionist at Promise.

“I like the vision that Promise stands behind – that together we deliver the promise of a healthier tomorrow,” Mayra said. “Even more so, I like the fact that you will not be turned down for quality health care due to lack of insurance or financial situation.”

Mayra, who grew up in Sioux Center and graduated from Sioux Center High School in 2011, brings a variety of customer service experience to the the position. She worked as a cashier during high school at Las Palmas Mexican Grocery in Sioux Center. She served as a customer service teller at Northwest Bank in Sioux Center, 2015-16. After attending classes for a year at Northwest Iowa College in Sheldon, she started working as a customer service representative at Staples Promotional Products in Orange City in March.

She thought her background would make her a good fit for the receptionist position at Promise.

“Being the first person to help the patients when they walk in and making them feel welcome has always been important to me,” she said.

Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center is the only Federally Qualified Health Center serving the far northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision and behavioral health services. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.


MORE ABOUT MAYRA:
Mayra Ortiz lives in Sioux Center and has two children, Madison, 5, and Mateo, 1. In her spare time, she enjoys staying at home and watching movies with her kids and spending time with her family.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Promise CHC to offer third Flu Vaccine Clinic on Wednesday, Nov. 29


SIOUX CENTER – Promise Community Health Center’s first two Flu Vaccine Clinics were so popular this fall that it has decided to offer a third.
Dordt College nursing student Courtney Groen gives
Freddy Richmond a flu vaccine shot during Promise
Community Health Center's Flu Vaccine Clinic on
Sept. 27. Promise will host another Flu Vaccine
Clinic 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29. The flu shots
are free for children and $25 for adults. No
appointments necessary. Just walk in.



The flu vaccines will be offered 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29, at Promise, located at 338 1st Ave. NW, Sioux Center, across from the Sioux Center city hall. No appointments are necessary. People can walk in at any time during the flu clinic.

Promise provided 38 flu vaccine shots on Sept. 27 and 83 on Nov. 1 for a total of 121 – a rate of one shot every three minutes.

The influenza vaccine shots are free for youth 18 years old and under and $25 for anyone over 18 years old. Promise also accepts insurance to cover the cost of the flu vaccines.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death in rare cases. The annual flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May. Since 2010, the CDC has estimated that, nationwide, hospitalizations caused by influenza have ranged annually from 140,000 to 710,000 and flu-related deaths from 12,000 to 56,000.

The annual vaccine protects against the influenza virus strains that research has indicated will be the most common during the upcoming flu season, according to the CDC. People are protected against those infection strains after antibodies are developed in the body about two weeks following the vaccination. The flu vaccine cannot cause influenza.

To learn more about the flu vaccine, visit the CDC key facts page at www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm.

Promise Community Health Center, headquartered in Sioux Center, is the only Federally Qualified Health Center in the far northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision and behavioral health services. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org.