Winter 2018 Medicare Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the newest issue of “Health Matters.” As you can see, we are beginning the New Year with a fresh new look! But you can rest assured we remain just as focused as ever on bringing
you and your family the most relevant health information and highest-quality health care.

In this issue, you’ll find information on a diabetes prevention program, tips to help you avoid the flu this season, and, as always, simple recipes designed to make your day a little easier and your life a lot healthier.

Nothing means more to us than knowing we’ve helped make our members’ lives better. That’s why we’re so thankful for the privilege of spending a healthy and prosperous 2018 together!

In good health,

Nancy Horstmann
Chief Executive Officer
CHRISTUS Health Plan

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Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP)

Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP)

Beginning April 1, 2018, Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) services will be covered for eligible Medicare beneficiaries under all Medicare health plans.

Diabetes affects more than 25 percent of Americans aged 65 or older, and its prevalence is projected to increase approximately twofold for all U.S. adults (aged 18-79) by 2050 if current trends continue.

Fortunately, type 2 diabetes can usually be delayed or prevented with health behavior changes. The MDPP expanded model is a structured behavior change intervention that aims to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes among Medicare beneficiaries with an indication of prediabetes.

The clinical intervention consists of a minimum of 16 intensive “core” sessions of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved (CDC) curriculum over six months in a group-based, classroom-style setting that provides practical training in longterm dietary change, increased physical activity, and behavior change strategies for weight control. After completing the core sessions, less intensive, monthly follow-up meetings help ensure that the participants maintain healthy behaviors. MDPP allows participants to overcome challenges to sustaining weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle.

The Express Scripts Pharmacy

Vaccination Program

Vaccinations for the flu and other illnesses are now easier than ever to get. You can prevent many diseases and illnesses by getting vaccinated. To receive more convenient care, you can now receive vaccines administered at your local retail pharmacy through CHRISTUS Health Plan’s Individual and Family prescription drug benefits. Vaccines administered at your retail pharmacy typically do not require an appointment and are the same effective medications you get at your physician’s office.

To take advantage of the Express Scripts Pharmacy Vaccination Program:

  1. Locate a participating pharmacy by either:
    • Signing in at and clicking on “Locate a Pharmacy”
    • Calling the number on your Express Scripts member ID card
  2. Contact your network pharmacy in advance to inquire about vaccine availability, age restrictions, and current vaccination schedules.
  3. Always remember to bring your member ID card with you.

Preventing the Flu

Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs

Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year. You can also practice good health habits all year round to stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses.

Avoid Close Contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

Stay Home When You Are Sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.

Cover Your Mouth And Nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. This may prevent those around you from getting sick.

Clean Your Hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose, Or Mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

Practice Other Good Health Habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



Nutrition Facts


You can make large batches of this low-sodium herb blend and use it to season chicken, pork tenderloin, fish, potatoes, or other foods.

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