SMART LIVING

JAN / FEB 2023

Congratulations to November/December Contest Winner: Brian Lyke

Enter for your chance to win!

Virtual Physical Therapy

VIRTUAL PHYSICAL THERAPY


How Could 15 Minutes A Day Change Your Life?

Virtual Physical Therapy is a new way to reduce your pain, increase your mobility and stay active doing the things you love. Get treatment for everything from minor aches and pains to chronic conditions and post-surgery recovery.

Alternatively, with Virtual Physical Therapy, you can regain the strength and mobility you need to avoid surgery down the road. With your Virtual Physical Therapy experience, you’ll be paired with a licensed physical therapist who will design a program that’s tailored to your needs. You can access your customized program on a tablet that’s shipped directly to you along with body sensors that help track your progress.

GET HELP WITH YOUR

  • • Back
  • • Neck
  • • Ankles
  • • Shoulders
  • • Knees
  • • Wrists
  • • Hips
  • • Elbows

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Tell us your care needs. You’ll meet your physical therapist via video call. They’ll design a custom program for you.
  2. Get your kit. We’ll mail your kit with everything you need to get started.
  3. Get Better. Complete your custom exercises from the comfort of your home, all while staying connected to your physical therapist as your needs change.
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Count on Transcarent

Get started with Virtual Physical Therapy at experience.transcarent.com/peht/vpt or call (855) 265-2874 with any questions.

NEW YEAR NEW YOU!


2023 will be the year to get healthier! Let the GO365 wellness program help you stay on track with your wellness goals throughout the year!

STEP INTO THE NEW YEAR BY TRACKING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN GO365

Whether you visit a gym or prefer to do your workouts at home, Go365 awards for that!

Gym goers: Check to see if yours is part of the Go365 participating fitness facility network so you don’t miss out on some easy Points. Verify participating locations and steps to earn Points by doing the following:

  1. Sign into Go365.com > Click “Quick Links” button
  2. Click “Participating fitness facilities” button > search by ZIP code
  3. Click “Earn Points at this facility” for instructions

Don’t see your gym on the list or exercising at home? Submit a photo of your home or gym workout (for non-participating fitness facilities), such as a selfie during your workout or a screenshot of your workout video or app, and earn up to 10 Points.

Earn 10 Points for working out at a participating fitness facility, and if you use a Go365-compatible device at the same time, you have the potential to earn even more.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE: DONATE BLOOD AND BE REWARDED

Did you know that every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood? These individuals can range from a child battling cancer, an accident or burn victim being raced to the emergency room, a heart surgery or organ transplant patient, or a soon-to-be mother dealing with a complicated childbirth.

To save a life, all it takes is a pint of your blood and not much more than an hour of your time. For more information about blood donation — for first-timers or experienced donors — and to find a site near you, go to Red Cross/donateblood.

In addition to the health benefits, Go365 offers Points for donating blood to thank you for saving lives. You can earn up to 50 Points each time you donate. Set a reminder on your calendar to find a donation site and register to donate again.

On the Go365 App, find the “Donate blood” entry under Activities. Then submit proof of donation, which can be a photo of your donation card, a signed document from the blood donation agency or a signed work release. Once you click “submit,” your App will add in Points for donating blood once the submission is approved.

Get out there and donate blood today!

DO YOU PRACTICE MINDFULNESS?


Mindfulness has become more popular over recent years and there's a reason for it. Mindfulness has been proven to reduce stress, increase productivity and help you gain a better awareness of the world around you.

Your supportLink Member Assistance Program (MAP) offers the Mindfulness Toolkit to help you learn mindfulness techniques. Learn how to observe your thoughts, become more aware and live in the moment.

The benefits of mindfulness include:

  • Reduction in stress
  • Decreased worry
  • Improved concentration, mental clarity and memory.
  • Decreased emotional reactivity
  • Enhanced sense of self
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The toolkit also features Mindfulness audio lessons, tip sheets, helpful apps and more. Check out the Mindfulness Toolkit at mindfulness.tools today!

And please remember, for "in-the-moment" support and guidance to help manage work and home, you can reach SupportLinc at (888) 881-LINC(5462) or visit supportlinc.com. Login with username: peht.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR EXPLANATION OF BENEFITS


When you receive services from a provider, you or your provider must submit a claim for those services in order to receive reimbursement. Ebms handles the processing of those claims on behalf of your benefit plan. To make sure that the claim is paid correctly, ebms uses numerous resources, including your plan document, billing practice resources and claim payment practice guidelines. You and your provider will receive an explanation of benefits (eob) notification of the outcome for the processing of the claim.

Below is an example of the front page of a standard ebms explanation of benefits. The standard eob includes additional information regarding your rights to appeal any final decision on the submitted claim.

Always make sure to review your eob for potential errors. Key items to review are the date of service, type of service, provider and the deductible

PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES


Providence Reminder App

With the cold, flu and other illnesses circulating in our communities, it’s more important than ever to stay healthy. The flu shot is your best defense against getting sick from the flu and reducing the spread of illness to family, friends and students.?

Every flu season is a little different and the illness can affect people differently. Getting your flu shot can prevent severe complications and reduce the spread of illness. Find a convenient location near you to get your flu shot at a Providence Express Care or Urgent Care clinic, or your primary care doctor’s office. Download the providence.org/services/providence-app or visit providence.org/lp/flu-shots to find walk-in locations or set an appointment for your flu shot.

Looking for more information about the flu? Visit cdc.gov/flu for tips, including symptom management and treatment.

VIRTUAL
PHYSICAL THERAPY


FLU SHOTS

Every year millions of people get the flu. Most people who get the flu have a mild illness. But for some, it can lead to serious health problems. The flu is caused by influenza viruses that affect the lungs, throat and nose. It can be contagious. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting the yearly flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu.1 The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older.

ROUTINE VACCINES

Vaccines help protect you from serious infectious diseases throughout your life — from infancy to early adulthood and into old age. The list of routine vaccines at right are recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). This is a federal committee comprised of immunization experts that is convened by the CDC. Routine vaccines are covered on most plans and can help you and your family stay healthy.

RETAIL PHARMACIES

You can schedule a flu shot or a routine vaccine at a network pharmacy. This list shows the larger retail chain pharmacies in our network, but is not the full list. For a more complete list, you can log in to OptumRx.com or call the number on your health plan or prescription ID card. Pharmacists give the vaccines at these locations:

  • Carrs
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • The Kroger Co. Fred Meyer
  • Rite Aid
  • Walgreens Pharmacy
  • Walmart

WHAT VACCINES DO YOU NEED?

Talk to your doctor about the specific needs of you and your family. To the right is a list of flu shots and CDC- recommended routine vaccines. Age restrictions or limitations may apply. Check with your network pharmacy for requirements.

routine vaccines

GENERIC MEDICATIONS


Pay for the medication, not the name

Generic drugs are safe and effective, plus they cost less than their brand-name counterparts. When you need a prescription, ask your doctor or pharmacist if a generic is available for you.

SEVEN THINGS TO KNOW

  1. What is a generic medication?
    A generic medication contains the same active ingredient(s) as a brand-name medication. An active ingredient is what makes the medication work. For example, Liptor® and its generic both contain atorvastatin, which reduces the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood. Brand-name medications are often protected by a patent. When the patent ends, drug companies can apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin making generic versions of the medication.
  1. Will a generic medication work the same as the brand?
    Yes. Generics are copies of brand-name medications that have been tested and approved by the FDA. Drug manufacturers must prove their generic medications are the same as the brand name medication, including:
    • What it treats
    • The way it is taken
    • How well it works
  1. Are generic medications safe?
    Yes. The FDA has strict guidelines around generics. They must be the same chemically and have the same medical effect. The FDA periodically inspects manufacturing plants and monitors drug quality, even after generics have been approved.
  2. Could a generic medication look different than the brand?
    Yes. Generic medications may have a different shape or color than the brand. They may contain other ingredients, such as dyes and fillers, which give a medication its color and size. The shape or color does not affect how the medication works.
  3. Can I save money by using a generic?
    Most of the time, a generic medication costs less than the brand because makers of generic drugs don’t have the high up-front costs of new drug development. You may also save through a lower copay. However, there may be times when the cost for a generic is higher than the brand name. The easiest way to compare brand and generic medication prices is to use the Drug pricing tool at optumrx.com.
  4. Does every brand-name drug have a generic counterpart?
    No. Only about half of the brand-name medications on the market have a generic alternative. Some drugs are protected by patents and are supplied by a single company.
  5. How much can you and your plan save?
    The savings based on the cost of the drug can be substantial. Your out-of-pocket cost will generally be less when you choose a generic medication. Consult your plan for copay details.

Talk with your doctor, pharmacist or other health care provider to learn more about generics.

PRACTICING SELF-CARE FOR MENTAL HEALTH IN 2023


As simple as it sounds, many of us pay little attention to self-care but we should (!) as it can support mental health and help us find internal and external life balance. This is especially important for those who work in fields that often require a heavy emotional investment, like educators!

SO WHAT IS SELF-CARE?

This can look different from person to person, but on a fundamental level, practicing self-care means taking care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. And when it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU GET STARTED!

  • Exercise.
    Just 30 minutes of walking every day can help boost your mood… even small amounts of exercise add up, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t do 30 minutes at one time!
  • Focus on nutrition.
    Eating regular healthy meals and getting plenty of water can improve your energy and focus throughout the day.
  • Remember that relaxing IS a valuable activity.
    Explore relaxation or wellness programs or apps, which may incorporate meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises. Also, try to remember that it’s not healthy to consistently function at a fast pace all day; everyone needs periodic breaks to unwind and rest. Take the time to pause when necessary. Taking a break from social media can also help by reducing distractions and allowing you to focus on other things that require attention.
  • Set goals, prioritize and stick to your plan.
    Decide what must get done now and what can wait. Learn to say “no” to new tasks if you start to feel like you’re taking on too much.
  • Stay connected in 2023!
    Reach out to your friends or family members who can provide emotional support and practical help.

Other suggestions include setting aside time to read, reflect, journal or otherwise engage with your thoughts. Even playing with a pet can be very beneficial for your mental well-being.

WHEN TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP

Seek professional help if you are experiencing severe or distressing symptoms that have lasted two weeks or more,such as:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Appetite changes that result in unwanted weight changes
  • Struggling to get out of bed in the morning because of mood
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of interest in things you usually find enjoyable
  • Inability to perform usual daily functions and responsibilities

Don’t wait until your symptoms are overwhelming. Talk about your concerns with your primary care provider, who can refer you to a mental health specialist if needed.

THIS IS YOUR YEAR!

In 2023, make sure self-care moves up your on your list of priorities — you’ll feel better about yourself and be more confident when handling life’s inevitable challenges. And remember, you should never feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You deserve it!

Woman sitting in living room practicing meditation