Wellness Edition, Number 3
Love Your Heart
Did you know high blood pressure and high cholesterol are two of the
major risk factors for heart disease?
And because high blood
pressure and high cholesterol often occur together, having both increases
the risk for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for men
and women in the U.S.
But how does this relate specifically to the
NCMS Plan? Consider the following:
- From March 2008 to February 2009, the NCMS Plan paid close to $2.5
million in treatment of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
- In the same period, more than 2,000 employees and dependents covered
by the NCMS Plan sought treatment for high cholesterol.
- More than 3,200 sought treatment for high blood pressure.
The good news isÖ both high blood pressure and high cholesterol can be
controlled. First, a person should know his or her healthy blood pressure
and cholesterol levels and have them checked regularly. Lifestyle changes;
such as eating a low-salt, low-saturated-fat diet, exercising 30-60
minutes three or more days a week, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy
weight and avoiding excessive alcohol intake can all contribute to
lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And if lifestyle changes
alone donít improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, medication(s)
may be prescribed, which should be taken as directed by a physician.
Finally, itís important for patients who are monitoring high blood
pressure and high cholesterol to keep all of their physician appointments.
At the NCMS Plan, we value the health of all our members and want
them to learn how to control high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Here are four ways they can get started:
- Enroll in the Member Health Partnerships program and learn
how to manage high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Read the next
article in this issue for more information about Member Health
- Sign up for Online Healthy Living Programs and learn how to
reduce the risk for heart disease by eating healthy and exercising. Log
into the Member Services section of www.bcbsnc.com and visit Health
- Call Health Line Blue toll free at 1-877-477-2424 or log into
the Member Services section of www.bcbsnc.com and visit Health
- Earn prizes with Blue Points for participating in physical
and wellness activities, including learning about healthy blood pressure
and cholesterol levels. Log into the Member Serivces section of www.bcbsnc.com and visit Rewards and
Manage Specific Health Conditions with MHP
Running a successful medical practice in these tough economic times is
a challenge for even the most well prepared Administrator. Retaining a
strong, healthy workforce is essential to that success. The health
benefits you provide your employees through the NCMS Plan allows them to
receive care when they are ill, get screenings for preventable or
treatable conditions, and avoid serious financial burden should they or a
family member suffer a catastrophic illness. The NCMS Plan also offers
your employees a program to help them manage their specific health
conditions. You can support their quest for a healthier lifestyle while
perhaps controlling costs and improving your bottom line.
to Member Health Partnerships (MHP), the confidential health management
program for adults and children offering educational materials and support
services. Programs include, but are not limited to, asthma, diabetes,
fibromyalgia, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight
management, stress management, migraine, and tobacco cessation. This
program is included in the NCMS Plan and administered by BCBSNC. The best
part is, itís free, easy to access and just a few mouse clicks away!
Encourage your employees to enroll in MHP today. Members can log
onto www.bcbsnc.com and register for
Member Services if they have not already done so. Once on the Member
Services webpage, select Health Programs and then Learn about
our program for diabetes, asthma, heart disease and more. They can
then click on the green bar to request enrollment information. By
completing and returning a short health survey which can be downloaded on
the site, they will be enrolled. Or call 1-800-218-5295 and enroll by
phone. Membership is confidential. Participants receive support materials
and resources in the mail based on their customized program. Specially
trained nurses are available to answer health questions and offer
Let your employees and their covered family
members know about MHP. Some of the programs are specifically geared
toward children and offer wonderful books with supportive themes and
educational information. Encourage your employees to take advantage of
this valuable resource. At your next staff meeting, why not introduce your
employees to the MHP program? By doing so, you will be taking steps to
positively influence the health of your staff and investing in your
practice's continued success.
To request MHP brochures to share
with your employees, contact Crystal Taylor at [email protected]
and provide quantity requested, contact name, practice name, and address
for shipping. Please allow 10-15 business days for delivery.
About the North Carolina Medical Society
As the largest physician organization in the state, the North Carolina
Medical Society (NCMS) is devoted to representing the interests of
physicians and protecting the quality of patient care. The NCMS Plan,
sponsored by the NCMS, is the only statewide employee benefits plan
designed specifically for North Carolina physicians.
information about many other benefits of NCMS membership, visit www.ncmedsoc.org.