Sunrise Hospital Partners with GetCovered to Help Connect Uninsured Nevadans to Health Coverage

By | News

Unemployed and Uninsured Nevadas Seeking Health Insurance Have an Answer with Help from Sunrise Hospital, HCA Healthcare and GetCovered

Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center (including Sunrise Children’s Hospital), an affiliate of HCA Healthcare, one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers, announced today a collaborative effort aimed at helping Americans obtain the insurance coverage they need. The partnership with GetCovered, an initiative of HealthMarkets, is a private-sector led effort to help enroll individuals and families in the public or private health insurance of their choice in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Families in our communities and across the country are facing significant health and economic stress, including the loss of jobs and health insurance coverage, due to this unprecedented pandemic,” said Todd P. Sklamberg, chief executive officer of Sunrise Hospital and Sunrise Children’s Hospital. “We have an opportunity to be part of the solution by improving access to health insurance and helping ensure our friends and neighbors continue to get the quality healthcare they deserve.”

Unemployment concerns for Nevadans
Due to economic pressure resulting from the pandemic, unemployment rates have increased across the country, leaving many without health insurance. As of July 2020, the national unemployment rate was 10.2 percent, up from 3.5 percent in February 2020. For August 2020, Nevada’s unemployment rate was 13.2 percent, down slightly from 14.2 percent in July and compared to 3.8 percent at the same time in 2019, which is much higher than the long-term average of 6.8 percent according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even higher is Las Vegas — the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reports the unemployment rate for the city sat at 15.5 percent in August 2020.

To address the loss of insurance resulting from increased unemployment in Nevada, Sunrise Hospital and HCA Healthcare established a Patient Benefit Advisor (PBA) hotline that assists their patients in finding health coverage options. The free hotline has advisors on hand to connect people with the resources they need and guide them through the process to find an affordable care solution.

Helping previously and newly uninsured Nevadans and beyond
Similarly, in May 2020, HealthMarkets launched GetCovered, to provide help to the previously and newly uninsured across the country and right here in Nevada, allowing individuals to choose the coverage option that is right for them. The GetCovered platform helps simplify health coverage by providing information on coverage options, associated costs, considerations and availability. To further expand these initiatives to provide greater access to insurance, Sunrise Hospital and HCA Healthcare will provide staffing and operate a supplementary call center to assist individuals in exploring Medicaid eligibility in all 50 states who are not eligible for plans through the GetCovered platform. HCA Healthcare’s scale and infrastructure will also help connect community agencies such as the United Way, not-for-profit health centers and other need-based organizations with GetCovered to assist their clients with coverage options.

“During this time of continued uncertainty, Immunize Nevada has seen increased requests to connect families to primary care services, specifically access to no-cost immunizations,” said Heidi Parker, executive director of Immunize Nevada. “We know that losing healthcare coverage can be incredibly difficult; that is why we are glad to know the GetCovered Initiative is working swiftly to get critical information to our community and to those who need it most. This timely service is designed to offer information about public and private options to restore coverage and improve access to much needed preventive care. Keeping our community healthy and protected is a goal we all share.”

For more information on GetCovered, visit https://www.getcovered.com/.

About Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center
Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center and Sunrise Children’s Hospital offer high quality, patient-centered healthcare to the residents of Southern Nevada, its surrounding region, and the millions of visitors that come to Las Vegas.  Sunrise Hospital serves as Nevada’s largest acute care facility and Level II Trauma Center, which is located just minutes away from the Las Vegas Strip.  Occupying the same campus is Sunrise Children’s Hospital, Nevada’s largest, most comprehensive children’s hospital. Together, both facilities offer a full range of services for both children and adults. To learn more about Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center visit www.sunrisehospital.com.

Nathan Adelson Hospice Hosting Sweet Notes Virtual Wine and Chocolate Tasting with Music

By | News

Event on Thursday, November 19 at 6 p.m Includes Mini Concert

Nathan Adelson Hospice, the oldest, largest and only non-profit hospice in Nevada, will be hosting the first Sweet Notes – a wine, chocolate and song virtual event — on Thursday, November 19th, 2020, at 6 p.m. Attendees will indulge in a delicious, one-of-a-kind interactive experience led by world-class sommelier, Harley Carbery, and chocolatier, Dayleen Coleman, as well as enjoy a mini-concert by America’s Got Talent contestant, Daniel Emmet. There will also be a special appearance from friend of Nathan Adelson Hospice, comedian Brad Garrett.

Tickets to the event start at $50 for the program and 5-piece box of truffles delivered or available for pickup. The $250 VIP package offers a private Q&A chat after the show with Carbery, Coleman and Emmet, as well as hand-delivered bottles of select wines (valued at $100 per bottle donated by Johnson Brothers of Nevada) and gourmet chocolate truffles to donor’s homes prior to the event.

“While we are disappointed that we can’t hold our live events this year, Sweet Notes will allow us to connect virtually with the community and beyond. Donors can savor artisanal chocolates and fine wines, while supporting two critical causes – our Pediatric Hospice Program and our Families in Need Program,” said Karen Rubel, President and CEO of Nathan Adelson Hospice.

End-of-life care is never easy for a family, and especially difficult when the patient is a child. The Pediatric Hospice Program responds to the individual needs of children with life-limiting conditions, as well as their families. The Program includes the services of trained hospice medical professionals, in-home care, medications, support to caregivers and bereavement counseling.

The Families in Need Program provides relief to patients and families who need help with everyday necessities such as household supplies, or assistance with utility bills, while a family member is facing a life-limiting illness. With the pandemic creating hardships for so many, the Families in Need program has provided over $58,000 in assistance by August alone.

VIP Sweet Notes Experience attendees must be 21 years of age or older. Tickets are $250 per person. Sweet Notes tickets without wine are $50 per person. Tickets can be purchased by calling Stephanie Forbes at Nathan Adelson Hospice at 702-787-3575 or online at https://one.bidpal.net/sweetnotes. 

About Nathan Adelson Hospice
Nathan Adelson Hospice, the trusted partner in hospice care and palliative medicine, is the oldest, largest and only non-profit hospice in Southern Nevada. Founded in 1978, Nathan Adelson Hospice provides comprehensive end-of-life care to more than 400 patients and families every day. Recognized as a national model for superior care, the vision of Nathan Adelson Hospice is simple; no one should end the journey of life alone, afraid or in pain. The Nathan Adelson Hospice Foundation is incorporated in Nevada for charitable purposes as an IRS-approved 501(c) (3) tax-exempt charity. All donations may be tax-deductible. For more information, visit www.nah.org .

Health District Hosts Flu Shot Clinics at Area High Schools

By | Featured, News

No-Cost Flu Vaccines Available for Everyone 6 Months of Age and Older

The Southern Nevada Health District is holding no-cost flu vaccine clinics at area high schools beginning Wednesday, October 14. Vaccine will be available for both adults and children 6 months of age and older. The clinics will offer 200 doses on a first-come, first-served basis, and no appointments are necessary.\

> Download Flu Shot Information

The clinics are scheduled for:

Wednesday, October 14
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Cimarron High School
2301 N. Tenaya Way
Las Vegas, NV 89128

Wednesday, October 21
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Valley High School
2839 Burnham Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89169

Wednesday, November 4
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Silverado High School
1650 Silver Hawk Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89123

This season it is more important than ever for people to protect themselves, their families, and their community from flu. The Health District is encouraging flu vaccinations to help ensure medical resources are conserved, and the health care system is not overtaxed as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. It is especially important for those at higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu. Many of the people at higher risk of complications from the flu are also at higher risk of complications from COVID-19.

This includes people 65 years of age and older, people with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, compromised immune systems, and Blacks and Hispanics who are already disproportionately impacted by chronic diseases. It is also important to protect people more likely to be exposed to both COVID-19 and flu, including health care workers and essential workers who interact frequently with the public. A complete list of people at higher risk is available on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/index.htm.

Flu vaccine for people of all ages, including the vaccine for people ages 65 and older, is available at Health District immunization clinics by appointment only. Call (702) 759-0850 for more information.

The most effective way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated every flu season. It is best to get vaccinated before flu viruses begin spreading in the community because it takes approximately two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies to develop and provide protection against the flu. However, people can be vaccinated anytime during flu season.

In addition to getting vaccinated, people should continue to take the following actions to stay healthy this flu season:

  • Wear a cloth face covering in public or in groups of ten or more people who don’t live in the same household.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Stay home from work, school, and away from public places.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands frequently. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, and cloth face covering.
  • Practice healthy habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched items. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, drink plenty of water, and eat healthy meals.

For more information and flu resources, go to the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/flu.

The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Spring Mountain Treatment Center hosting Trauma Model Therapy Training with Internationally Renowned Dr. Colin Ross

By | News

Dr. Colin Ross Presenting Trauma Model Therapy Training

Spring Mountain Treatment Center is hosting Dr. Colin Ross, an internationally renowned clinician, researcher, author and lecturer in the field of dissociation and trauma-related disorders. He is the founder and President of The Colin A. Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma. Dr. Ross will be presenting the Trauma Model Therapy Training on Thursday, October 8 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (PST) via a live webinar to over 225 Social Workers, Counselors and Therapists who are working in schools, private practices, hospitals, residential treatment centers, social services and government organizations throughout the Las Vegas Valley.

> DOWNLOAD EVENT FLYER

In this workshop, Dr. Ross will explain the principles and techniques of his Trauma Model Therapy (TMT). TMT was developed for treatment of people with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dissociative disorders, including their extensive comorbidity.

Trauma Model Therapy: A Treatment Approach for Trauma, Dissociation and Complex Comorbidity. In this presentation, Dr. Ross will provide cogent descriptions of dissociation, dissociative processes, and dissociative disorders and place them in the context of a trauma model. In addition to the practical discussion of the principles of treatment, specific techniques will be presented in detail. It is this description of techniques that practitioners will learn a great deal about how to approach and work with clients who suffer from PTSD or dissociate disorders that often include depression, borderline personality disorder, substance use disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders and somatoform disorder.

Dr. Ross obtained his M.D. from the University of Alberta and completed his training in psychiatry at the University of Manitoba. He has been operating a hospital-based Trauma Program in Dallas, Texas since 1991.

Pending 2 hour CEU credits for LCSW, MFT/CPC Nevada.

Individuals interested in signing up for the Trauma Model Training can Click Link to Register for FREE Webinar  or send an email to Janie.Root@uhsinc.com

About Spring Mountain
Spring Mountain has provided mental health services to the Las Vegas community since 2001, treating children, teens, adults and senior adults with behavioral health or addiction issues. We offer a supportive and healthy environment with 24-hour care that allows people of all ages to make positive changes in their lives. Our primary location, Spring Mountain Treatment Center, focuses on the stabilization of acute symptoms for patient’s age 5 to 65, along with select outpatient care programs for teens. Our secondary location, Spring Mountain Sahara, houses our Adult Outpatient and Senior Adult Inpatient programs. With two facilities to serve you, we can assist you in your journey to wellness and recovery.

WGU Encourages Nurses to Advance Careers with McClure Scholarship

By | Featured, News

WGU Empowering Nurses to Take Next Step in Academic Credentialing

With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s need for BSN- and MSN-prepared nurses is greater than ever. To help more nurses take this next step, WGU Nevada is proud to offer the Margaret McClure Scholarship.

MARGARET MCCLURE SCHOLARSHIP

Valued at up to $5,000

Click Here and Apply by June 30, 2021

Named for Dr. Margaret McClure, a lifelong nursing leader and catalyst for today’s magnet hospital program, this scholarship will be awarded to one recipient each quarter who has demonstrated activism or innovation in nursing that improves patient outcomes.

Why encourage your staff to earn a degree from WGU Nevada?

  • Unparalleled flexibility. Complete most coursework any time or place that works best—no set log in times.
  • Accredited programs. All of WGU Nevada’s nursing programs are CCNE-accredited.*
  • Accelerated progress. Most courses can be completed as quickly as students master required skills and material.
  • Affordable tuition. Low, flat-rate tuition is $7,090–$8,270 per year, fees and materials included.
  • Personal attention. Students work one-to-one with a dedicated mentor from enrollment to graduation.

Nurse leaders change lives and WGU encourages nurses to change their lives through education. Apply now!

 

$3.8 Million Awarded to Cleveland Clinic Researcher to Predict Dementia in Parkinson’s Disease Patients

By | Featured, News

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Awards $3.8 Million to Cleveland Clinic Researcher to Predict Dementia in Parkinson’s Disease Patients

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a grant expected to total $3.8 million to Virendra Mishra, Ph.D., associate staff at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, to identify biomarkers – or disease indicators – to predict dementia in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

“Although dementia affects approximately 50-80% of those living with Parkinson’s disease within 12 years of diagnosis, currently there are no means for predicting dementia in specific individuals,” said Mishra. “The possibility of identifying who will develop dementia with Parkinson’s disease progression has several clinical benefits, including providing individuals with greater clarity on their future and helping clinicians better manage disease progression.

The five-year grant supports the project, “Towards Generating a Multimodal and Multivarate Classification Model from Imaging and Non-Imaging Measures for Accurate Diagnosis and Monitoring of Dementia in Parkinson’s Disease,” which will use biomarkers spanning imaging, blood, cerebrospinal fluid and genetics to develop a predictive mathematical model to identify specific individuals with Parkinson’s disease who may develop dementia as their disease progresses.

Utilizing sophisticated and pathologically relevant neuroimaging measures — such as diffusion-weighted MRI and resting state functional MRI — with non-imaging measures, including clinical data, demographics, genetics and cerebrospinal fluid, Mishra aims to:

  • Understand how functional brain connectivity (interaction between different brain regions to complete the task at hand) and structural brain connectivity (information flow between brain regions responsible for completing the task at hand) differ in dementia in Parkinson’s disease
  • Identify the best biomarkers that predict dementia in Parkinson’s disease through multivariate statistical modelling

Through this research, Mishra plans to develop a method that can be applied in clinical care with a greater-than-chance success rate to improve patient outcomes. In addition to clinical implications, identifying pathophysiology-based biomarkers for dementia in Parkinson’s disease is critical for selecting appropriate individuals for participation in clinical trials of potential new disease-modifying therapies, and better understanding of the underlining pathophysiological processes.

Additionally, the novel imaging techniques developed for this research also can be applied in other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease to help advance the understanding of disease-specific neuroanatomical changes indicative of dementia.

This project is supported by NIH grant award R01NS117547.

For more information about ongoing research at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, visit ClevelandClinic.org/Nevada or call 702-701-7944.

About Cleveland Clinic:
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 67,554 employees worldwide are more than 4,520 salaried physicians and researchers, and 17,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,026-bed health system that includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 18 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2019, there were 9.8 million total outpatient visits, 309,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 255,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CCforMedia and twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

About the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health:
Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which opened in 2009, provides expert diagnosis and treatment for individuals and families living with Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body, frontotemporal and other dementias; Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, multiple system atrophy and other movement disorders; and multiple sclerosis. With locations in Cleveland, OH; Weston, Florida and headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada, the center offers a continuum of care with no-cost opportunities for the community to participate in education and research, including disease prevention studies and clinical trials of promising new medications. An integrated entity, Keep Memory Alive, raises funds exclusively in support of the Nevada location. clevelandclinic.org/Nevada

Health District Shares Tips for a Safer and Healthier Halloween

By | Featured, News

Smart and Simple Resources for Young People, Homeowners and Parents to Be Safe This Halloween Season

As the community starts to prepare for Halloween, the Southern Nevada Health District is issuing tips to help plan for a safer and healthier holiday season. Celebrations with members of the same household or holding virtual parties pose the lowest risk for spreading viruses.

People who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or who live with someone who is at increased risk, should avoid in-person gatherings and consider participating in lower risk events with people who live in the same household.

> Download a PDF with Halloween Safety Tips

In addition to its Halloween guidelines, the Health District continues to recommend testing for everyone, including both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Testing is highly recommended for people with symptoms of COVID-19; anyone who has had contact with a confirmed case or possible case of COVID-19; has attended a public or private gathering of more than 10 people who were not wearing face coverings or maintaining social distancing; or anyone planning to visit someone at high risk for COVID-19 illness.

Safer Alternatives to Celebrate Halloween

  • Organize drive up trick-or-treating where neighbors set up candy at curbside.
  • Plan a neighborhood costume parade with a predetermined route marked to maintain safe distances between participants.
  • Trick or treat in reverse by having neighbors walk or drive-by and deliver candy to the front yard.
  • Throw a Zoom costume party.
  • Have a Netflix scary movie party where everyone starts the scary movie at the same time.
  • Create a Halloween piñata with just your family in the back yard.
  • Have a costume Halloween dinner with your family.

Trick or treating can put you at higher risk for spreading viruses. If you do plan to participate in traditional trick-or-treating activities this year, the following guidelines may help to reduce the risk for you, your family, and the community.

Trick or Treaters

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Trick or treat with people who live in the same house as you do.
  • Remain 6 feet apart from people who do not live with you.
  • Wear a face mask covering BOTH your nose and mouth. A Halloween mask is not a substitute for a cloth face mask, and a costume mask should not be used over a cloth face mask because it can make it harder to breathe. Consider wearing a Halloween-themed face-covering with your costume.
  • Use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol frequently while out, especially during key times like before eating or after coughing or sneezing.

Homeowners

  • Do not hand out candy if you are sick.
  • Wear a face mask covering BOTH your mouth and nose.
  • Use duct tape to mark 6-foot lines in front of your home and leading from your driveway/front door.
  • Position a distribution table between yourself and trick or treaters.
  • Distribute candy on a disinfected table to eliminate direct contact.
  • Wash your hands often.

Parents

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Talk with your children about safety, social distancing guidelines, and expectations
  • Guide children to always stay on the right side of the road to help ensure social distancing is maintained.
  • Carry a flashlight at night and ensure your children have reflective clothing.
  • Wear a face mask covering BOTH your mouth and nose.
  • Wash your hands as soon as you return home.
  • Inspect your child’s candy.

Additional Halloween and holiday guidance is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween. More information about COVID-19, including a calendar of community testing sites, is available on the Health District website at www.snhd.info.covid.

The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

HEALS Hotlist – Connecting You to Southern Nevada Healthcare

By | Uncategorized

Las Vegas HEALS is excited to announce the launch of the HEALS Hotlist – Connecting You to Southern Nevada Healthcare.

The HEALS Hotlist is a comprehensive Directory showcasing Las Vegas HEALS members in one easy-to-use location. Anyone can access the Hotlist by clicking on the Directory Tab on the menu bar of our website or following this direct link. There, you will be able to search the HEALS Hotlist by a specific category and sub-category.

Members are represented from all areas relating to Healthcare in Southern Nevada:

  • Acute and Post-Acute Care Facilities
  • Specialty and Primary Care Providers
  • Wellness and Alternative Medicine
  • Education
  • Medical Equipment, Laboratories and Pharmacies
  • Transportation, Travel and Accommodations
  • Insurance and Health Plans
  • Real Estate and Development
  • Professional Services
  • …and many more

Once you have chosen a category, you will see a list of Las Vegas HEALS members with their contact information, social media links, location, a description of their services, and a direct link to their company web page. Many also have photos or short videos for you to learn more about their organization.

Beginning today, Las Vegas HEALS Hotlist will be highlighting six members each month on our various platforms:

  • LasVegasHEALS.org Website
  • HEALS Headlines Newsletter, which has an audience of about 14,000 subscribers
  • Social Media pages to include Facebook pages for Las Vegas HEALS and Vegas Healthcare representing over 10,000 followers.

This week’s highlighted companies include:

To show our appreciation to our long-time Las Vegas HEALS members, each current member receives a Fully Enhanced Directory Listing showcasing premium extras such as their logo, main contact, business descriptions, photos and videos. For all new members of Las Vegas HEALS, these directory benefits will be tiered according to the level of membership with the option of upgrading to a fully-enhanced listing for an annual subscription of $500.

Again, Las Vegas HEALS is excited to bring the HEALS Hotlist to everyone in need of a resource to connect with the very best in healthcare organizations and supporters in Southern Nevada. We look forward to seeing your organization on the HEALS Hotlist in the future!

 

 

 

SilverSummit Healthplan Encourages Flu Vaccination, Education During COVID-19

By | Featured, News

Fluvention® program equips people with information to help prevent the flu

Experts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have begun urging Americans to get a flu vaccination. They, like many other public health experts, worry about health systems that are already stressed by large numbers of COVID-19 patients being overwhelmed by patients sick with the flu.

According to a survey conducted last flu season, prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S., 60 percent of adults think the flu vaccine is the best preventative measure against flu-related hospitalizations and deaths, but only 52 percent said they planned to get vaccinated. Furthermore, 18 percent said they were unsure about getting vaccinated. There’s reason to believe that increasing vaccination rates this year will be a challenge. The CDC has already noted a decline in child vaccinations, as parents have decided to forgo preventive care during the novel coronavirus outbreak. While it’s typically encouraged to receive a flu vaccine by the end of October, there’s still a benefit to getting the flu vaccine later in the season, since flu season can extend into March or April.

To help reduce flu-related illness and hospitalizations in Nevada, SilverSummit Healthplan will be regularly communicating with members – via texts, phone calls, emails and social media – to make a plan to get their flu vaccines. Additionally, SilverSummit’s providers will receive messaging toolkits to help them strengthen how they communicate with their patients about getting their annual flu vaccination. That’s important, because SilverSummit’s research shows that one of the main reasons people get a flu vaccination is because their doctors recommend it. SilverSummit Healthplan will also be sharing flu prevention tips and promoting healthy behaviors, including good hygiene, as part of its Fluvention® program. SilverSummit’s members can receive a free flu vaccination through their doctor or at a pharmacy close to them.

“To help protect against the flu, we encourage members to schedule their vaccination appointments as soon as possible,” said Dr. Jeffrey Murawsky, SilverSummit’s Chief Medical Director. “Since it can take two weeks after getting the vaccine for the antibodies that protect against the flu to fully develop, it’s best to get a flu vaccine as early in the season if possible.”

Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, so it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. There are also unique considerations for avoiding the spread of COVID-19 versus the flu. Below are a few key differences:

  • Some signs and symptoms of the virus that causes COVID-19, different from flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell.
  • Flu symptoms typically develop 1-4 days after infection, while COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2 – 14 days after exposure to the virus
  • Most people with the flu are contagious for 1 day before they show symptoms. With COVID-19, it’s possible for someone to spread the virus for about 2 days before symptoms, and they remain contagious for at least 10 days after symptoms first appeared. COVID-19 may also be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
  • There are multiple vaccines to protect against the flu virus, but as of October, 2020 there is no vaccine for the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or the flu.

Vaccination and good hygiene, like washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes, are key to preventing the flu and staying healthy this flu season. While everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine, the CDC notes it’s especially important for the following groups who are at higher risk for complications:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than age 5, but especially children younger than age 2
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions

SilverSummit Healthplan has been supporting Nevada residents since 2017 across its Allwell and Ambetter plans. For more information about SilverSummit’s Fluvention® program and other healthcare support, visit https://www.silversummithealthplan.com/members/medicaid/
benefits-services/flu-shots.html
.

About SilverSummit Healthplan

SilverSummit Healthplan is a managed care plan that delivers quality health insurance to the people of Nevada. Established in 2017, SilverSummit is committed to improving the health of its members through focused, compassionate, and coordinated care. SilverSummit’s active community evolvement reaches beyond physical and mental health. We are dedicated to improve the quality of life, one person at a time. SilverSummit Healthplan is a diversified healthcare organization that offers healthcare services through Nevada Medicaid, Medicare, and the Health Insurance Marketplace. For more information on SilverSummit, you may visit www.silversummithealthplan.com.

Business Challenges That Make it Hard to be a Healthcare Employer

By | Featured, News

Insights and Resources for Running Successful Healthcare Businesses from Insperity

Healthcare employers have always faced a lot of business challenges. But if it seems like it’s harder to run an organization now than in the past, your perceptions are correct.

Factors that contribute to the complexity employers face:

  • Increasing business regulations at all levels of government
  • A patchwork of rules for operating in different states and regions
  • New expectations from employees and customers

Here’s an overview of those key issues – compliance, risk mitigation, retention, workplace culture and customer relationships – plus a few tips on how employers can successfully navigate them.

Compliance and risk management
Among the top business challenges for employers are those related to managing compliance and employment risk. The requirements are complex, and there can be strict penalties for failing to comply.

All too often, while employers are focused on growing their businesses, the laws and regulations that apply to their companies get set aside, remaining overlooked until a problem arises.

More people, more rules
Compliance requirements change as a company grows.

For example, once a company hits 50 full-time (or full-time equivalent) employees, it becomes subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

That adds another layer of information to monitor and actions to take, including tracking hours worked by part-time employees to determine benefits eligibility.

Faced with many layers of rules, employers can get mired down trying to keep track of it all, especially if they don’t have internal or outside HR expertise.

That’s why growth typically means a business will need to scale HR functions internally.

Must-haves for managing risk
Risk mitigation also often gets overlooked while leaders are focused on growing their businesses. Alas, this common oversight can put a company in a vulnerable position, perhaps one that can result in a costly lawsuit or legal fees.

Meanwhile, many employers raise their risk further by not having a company handbook or written best practices and procedures. That can work against the employer when (not if) an employee someday files a grievance or claim.

The basic steps to mitigating employee risk are simple:

  1. Create an employee handbook. It should include best practices, processes, procedures and company policies.
  2. Create a system to deliver anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training to all your employees as part of your company’s code of conduct.

Yet, even with a hardworking HR staff member or two, creating a handbook, delivering training and keeping risk-mitigation documents up to date can be challenging, especially as the number of employees grows.

Location-specific regulations
Employment regulations have increased in recent years, and compliance now involves more than federal rules.

Every state has its own employment laws that businesses need to follow. In fact, California has its own separate certifications for HR professionals because of the complexity of operating in the state.

Cities, such as San Francisco and New York, are passing their own regulations with which employers must comply.

Thus, as businesses expand into other cities and states, they often discover they need HR expertise for every region in which they operate — and someone to continuously monitor the existing rules for updates and make process changes accordingly.

Hiring and retention
Employers continuously encounter challenges to finding and keeping talent that’s a good fit for their company culture.

Long gone are the days when someone made a whole career with one employer. In fact, younger employees now tend to join new organizations eager to build skills quickly and then seek out new opportunities.

This creates a problem for employers, because it costs a lot of money and time to find talented people.

To hire and retain the talent you want, your company must build a great employee value proposition. To craft a persuasive one, begin by clearly identifying the things in your business that will encourage top talent to sign on and stay, including:

  • Good health benefits
  • Competitive compensation
  • Competitive leave options, including paid time off (PTO)
  • Workplace perks (flexible schedules, free lunches, snacks, etc.)

Once you’ve identified what makes your company a great place to work, write and share your employee value proposition with potential hires by integrating it into job listings and other recruiting materials.

Company culture
The overarching theme of your employee value proposition should be that your company has a good culture. A healthy culture – one that makes talent want to join and stay – takes planning and work.

Organizations that let their culture develop on its own run the risk of losing control of it. Your employees may establish a great culture, or they may not.

The more effective approach is for leadership to manage the culture from the top down. That means clearly, consistently communicating your organization’s mission, vision and values to your people.

This may sound straightforward, but it can be difficult sometimes, especially when:

In these situations, you want all your employees to experience the same culture. To accomplish that, consider:

  • How do you communicate your culture to workers in distant locations?
  • Are you ensuring that new hires are a good fit for your culture?
  • In a merger, how will your mission, vision and values evolve to reflect the two identities of the individual companies?

Navigating these business challenges requires work and a long-term commitment. The effort is worth it, because it creates a culture that keeps employees engaged.

Good engagement leads to good morale, which is a hallmark of a great culture. That can make your people more likely to stay. Yet engagement isn’t the only cultural element that can increase retention.

Sometimes those elements are unique to a specific business. But how do you assess cultural strengths and weaknesses?

A good starting place is to have meaningful conversations with key employees. Many companies do exit interviews but not enough conduct stay interviews. In these discussions, employers sit down with their most engaged employees to find out:

  • Why do they stay with the company?
  • What is your company doing right from the employee’s perspective?
  • Are there gaps you can close to make the employee experience better?

A strong culture helps companies master another important business challenge: customer relationships.

Customer relationships
Customer relationship management has evolved from “the customer is always right” to “the customer is always right and online.”

Any touchpoint can become the subject of a social media post, for better or worse. And customers are more willing than ever to take their business elsewhere after a single negative experience with an organization.

Good customer relationships stem from the company culture, because engaged employees represent the company well. When employees are passionate about their work and feel that it makes a difference, every touchpoint they have with customers reflects the company’s values.

In the long run, a positive, upbeat culture not only makes employees happy but also customers.

And happier customers positively impact the bottom line.

The ultimate business challenge: finding time to handle it all
Compliance, risk mitigation, retention, workplace culture and customer relationships are critical to business success. The complexities and ongoing work involved can pull a leader’s focus away from other business activities.

If you want your business to succeed in the long run, however, ignoring these business challenges is not an option. That’s why many organizations turn to a professional employer organization (PEO) to handle some or all these burdensome tasks.

With professional HR help, organizations can focus on their business goals and handle the many challenges that face today’s employers.

Want to learn more about how PEOs can help businesses? Download Insperity’s free e-book: HR outsourcing: A step-by-step guide to professional employer organizations (PEOs).

About Insperity
Insperity, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses since 1986, provides an array of human resource services and technology designed to help you minimize risk and maximize profitability in your business. Along with insight from our Business Performance Advisors, you’ll receive the most comprehensive suite of HR products and services available in the marketplace. Through our premier Workforce Optimization® solution, we deliver administrative relief, better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity. Insperity operates in more than 70 offices throughout the United States. Our business performance solutions support more than 100,000 businesses with over 2 million employees.

For more information, visit insperity.com or call the Las Vegas office at 702-337-2023.

Fred Lovingier, Insperity, District Manager, Las Vegas
Fred.Lovingier@insperity.com

Fred Simonds, Insperity, Business Performance Advisor, Las Vegas
Fred.Simonds@insperity.com