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News & Updates


Flu Facts That You Need To Know


Are flu shots really necessary?

Absolutely. The flu shot fights the flu. This protects you, your family and your community.


Does the flu shot give you the flu?

No. Some people may feel a touch sick after, but it’s rare.


Do only certain people need the flu shot, like babies and older people?

No. Flu shots are for everyone. The fact is everyone ages 6 months and older should get a yearly flu shot.


But what exactly is the flu?

It’s a virus that can cause respiratory infection. It spreads quickly. And it can lead to pneumonia and other complications especially in older adults.


How do I fight the flu?

- Get your flu shot. A high-dose shot is available, too. Your doctor can let you know which one is right for you.

- Practice good hygiene, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze, and avoid contact with those who are sick.

- Boost your immune system with regular exercise, and a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.


When do I get the flu shot?

Every year. The flu virus changes each year. So the vaccine you get is updated to protect you from new strains. Each year Pioneer Medical Group hosts Flu Clinics are each of our clinic sites where patients are welcome to receive the flu shot. Contact your primary provider’s office or visit our homepage for more information on flu clinic dates and times.


Is the flu shot still effective if I receive it in December or January?

Getting the flu shot as late as December or January still offers protection since flu season can last as late as May. However, we suggest getting the flu shot in the fall months as early protection is recommended before the flu season reaches its peak.




Open Enrollment Period: Making Sure You’re Covered

It’s Open Enrollment Season! The only time of year you can make any necessary changes to your current health coverage before it takes effect on January 1st, 2018. Three major open enrollment periods that occur this fall include:

- Annual Election Period for Medicare Plans

- Open Enrollment for Covered California Marketplace Plans

- Open Enrollment through an Employer

Remember that even if your insurance changes, it doesn’t mean you have to change your doctor or medical group. PMG accepts most major plans, HMOs, PPOs, Medicare and seven different senior Medicare Advantage Plans. So before you sign up for a health plan, make sure that PMG is one of the contracted providers. If you have any questions about PMG contracted plans, contact us at 888-752-1174. We will be happy to help you.


ANNUAL ELECTION PERIOD (AEP) FOR MEDICARE RECIPIENTS

This year’s Annual Election Period for Medicare, begins on October 15th, 2017 – December 7th, 2017.

Annual Election Period is the only time of year when Medicare recipients can select a new plan or make changes to their existing one. The Medicare health plan options available may include different services, co-pays, and prices for prescription drugs. Open enrollment period is the best time to examine coverage options and find the plan that is best for you. If you have any questions regarding your Medicare plan and coverage options, please contact our Senior Care Coordinator, Mary Ann Ramirez at 562-229-9452, Ext. 1643 or by calling the Senior Care Line at (888) 752-1174.


OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR COVERED CALIFORNIA MARKETPLACE PLANS

Open Enrollment for Covered California Plans begins November 1st, 2017 – January 31st, 2018.

PMG accepts a variety of Covered California plans so you can choose the one that best fits your needs and budget. Coverage begins on January 1st, 2018. If you do not enroll in a 2018 plan by the January 31st deadline, you cannot enroll in a health insurance plan for 2018. There is a Special Enrollment Period available only for those who experience a life-changing event (such as losing your job, getting married, having a child or moving), and need to enroll outside of the regular open enrollment period. Medi-Cal enrollment for those with qualifying incomes is available year-round. Consumers can enroll for health coverage online, by phone or in person. If you don’t have coverage in 2018, you may have to pay a fee. For more information, please visit www.coveredca.com.


OPEN ENROLLEMENT THROUGH AN EMPLOYER

Most employers hold Open Enrollment in the fall from September – December, and may select a new health plan for their employees for the following year.

During this open enrollment period, employees receive plan materials, have a chance to ask questions about plan choices and enroll in a plan, or make changes to their current plans. Coverage begins at a specified date after open enrollment and usually runs for a full year. Note that the period to make any changes may vary among employers. Make sure to follow-up with your employer about any deadlines dates they might have for employees interested in making changes to their insurance coverage.




New Medicare Cards are Coming Soon

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will soon be issuing every Medicare beneficiary a new Medicare Card, without Social Security Numbers, to prevent fraud, fight identity theft, and keep taxpayer dollars safe.

It’s unfortunate that criminals are increasingly targeting people age 65 or older for medical identity theft, including when someone illegally uses another person’s Medicare number. An identity thief may bill Medicare for expensive services that were never provided or overbill for provided services. This can lead to inaccuracies in medical records, which can mean delayed care or denied services for patients and impacts taxpayer funding.

To help guard against medical identity theft and fraud, all Medicare beneficiaries will be receiving a new card with a unique, randomly-assigned Medicare number. It will consist of eleven characters, a combination of numbers and uppercase letters. Because it is randomly generated, there is no connection to any other personal identifying information. This new number will replace the Social Security-based number currently used on all Medicare cards, and it’s designed to protect the personal information of Medicare beneficiaries.

CMS will begin mailing the newly designed Medicare cards in April 2018. Current and new Medicare beneficiaries do not need to do anything to receive the updated card, and can start using the new Medicare card as soon as it is received.

Once the new card is received, you should safely and securely destroy your current Medicare card. Make sure you bring the new card to your doctors’ appointments, and always keep your new number confidential. This will help protect your personal identity and prevent medical identity fraud because identity thieves can’t bill Medicare without a valid Medicare number. Additionally, you and your health care providers will be able to use secure online tools that CMS is developing to support quick access to your Medicare number when needed.

As your trusted healthcare provider, are helping our doctors and other providers and clinic staff get ready for the change as well to ensure an easy transition to the new card.





As your medical group, we want to provide you with ways to better manage your health that are easy, convenient, and secure. PMG is proud to introduce the following tools to help our patients better manage their health with ease.


New, Faster, Electronic Check-In System

All PMG locations are now equipped with a faster, more accurate, and more secure way to check-in at your upcoming doctor's appointment. Phreesia is our new electronic patient registration system, which allows patients to verify and update their information, as well as make secure payments via a wireless tablet.

How to check in at your next doctor's appointment:

1. Simply pick up a PhreesiaPad from the front desk.

2. Edit and update your health records and information securely.

3. Electronically sign all forms and policies.

4. Even pay copays and balances all from the privacy of your own seat.


In-Clinic and Online Bill Pay Options with Phreesia

During the check-in process at your doctor's office using the PhreesiaPad, you will be presented with the option to set up an automated payment plan for any outstanding balances. Patients also have the option to save a credit card on file securely to conveniently pay out-of-pocket costs.

PMG has also partnered with Phreesia to offer a new Online Bill Pay system, where patients can make payments without having to call or visit one of our clinics. Simply visit our Pay Online Securely page, which can be navigated to from the homepage, and click the "Make a Payment" button to begin making your secure online payment. Through the Phreesia system PMG can also send payment reminders directly to your email inbox or via text, so your payments are always on time and just click away.


New Option to Receive Text Message Appointment Reminders

Never miss an appointment with Pioneer Medical Group text message reminders! Sign up for text messages with your clinic today to begin receiving text reminders for your upcoming appointments. Upon receipt of your appointment reminder text, you will have the ability to confirm or cancel your appointments as well.

It's easy to sign up for these helpful text messages.

1. Simply call your provider/s office and provide us with your cell phone number.

2. Text "Pioneer MD" to 622622 and you're all set!

Message and data rates may apply. Text HELP to 622622 to receive help, STOP to 622622 to opt-out. You can also visit txt.tvox.com for more information.

If you do not wish to opt-in to receive text message reminders, PMG will continue to notify you of your upcoming appointments through your original preferred method of contact. For more information about receiving PMG text messages, please call your local PMG clinic.


Corporate Address: 17777 Center Court Drive, Suite 400, Cerritos, CA 90703.  Phone: 562-229-9452  Fax: -562-229-0952.
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