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Summer Safety Checklist


Getting ready to enjoy summer time fun? Whatever adventures await you – whether it’s hiking, camping, or even lazily lounging in your new fancy floaty at the pool – use these easy tips to avoid bug bites, sunburn, and other summer bummers.


1. Make Yourself Unattractive to Insects

         • Avoid using scented soaps, perfumes, and hair sprays which can attract mosquitoes and other biting bugs.

         • Avoid areas where insects nest or gather.

         (Ex. pools of still water, uncovered foods, and gardens where flowers are in bloom.)

         • Use bug spray with DEET.

         The chemical wards off ticks (which can carry Lyme disease) and mosquitoes (which can spread West Nile virus).

         • Ask your pediatrician if bug spray is safe for your child.


2. Stay Hydrated with the 20-Minute Rule

         • Drink water at least every 20 minutes to prevent heat stress and heat stroke.

         • If you’re going to be outside for more than an hour, you should add a sports drink to replenish electrolytes.


3. Play Safe

         • At the playground, take a good look at the equipment and make sure it’s in good shape before use.

         Rotted or worn out woods and plastic can have sharp edges and points that could scrape or cause eye injuries.

         • Make sure the slides and other surfaces are cool enough to be comfortable.

         Even today’s newer materials can cause burns when they’ve been in the sun for too long.


4. Bike Safe

         • Before you head out on a family bike ride, you might want to check on your local laws.

         • Make sure everyone straps on a helmet.


5. Scan for Bad Plants

         • Learn to recognize poison ivy and poison oak, and other poisonous plants, and steer clear.

         • When hiking or camping, carry a book with photos of these plants to refer to in cases of doubt.

          (Yes, you could look them up on your phone. But if you’re out of range, you’ll want a paper copy to be sure.)


6. Going on a Big Adventure? Brag About It

         • Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.

         Someone needs to know where you plan to be, just in case.

         • If you’re going hiking or camping, take a first aid kit with you.

         (It should have antibiotic ointment, adhesive bandages, anti-itch gels, and an elastic bandage.

         Pack emergency hydration and electrolyte replacement drinks or packs.)


7. Practice Basic Water Safety Tips:

         • ALWAYS designate a pool monitor.

         • Set limits based on each person’s ability.

           (For example, young children should stay in the shallow end of the pool.)

         • Stick to pools, lakes, and beaches where there are lifeguards.

         • Don’t let anyone play around drains and suction fittings.

         • Don’t allow your kids to have breath-holding contests underwater.


8. Always Practice Sun Protection – Even On Not-So-Sunny Days

         • Use a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen. That means it will screen out both UVB and UVA rays.

         • You should also layer in other protection. Wear a hat with at least a 3-inch brim all around.

         • Limit your sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are the strongest.



Medicare Fraud Alert

It has been brought to our attention that Medicare beneficiaries have been receiving calls from scammers regarding the distribution of new Medicare ID cards.

Although Medicare has only received reports on this scam in the Sacramento County thus far, as a trusted health provider, we want to inform our patients about this case of Medicare fraud, and encourage beneficiaries to take the necessary precautions before it spreads to other areas of California and beyond.

These callers have been informing beneficiaries that their new Medicare ID card will arrive between April and June 2018 - which is accurate and true.

However, these callers are then telling beneficiaries that they will have to purchase a temporary ID card for $5 to $50 and provide personal information before they can receive their new Medicare ID card - THIS IS NOT ACCURATE.

In light of this new Medicare scam, all Medicare beneficiaries should note that:

- No one from CMS (Centers of Medcaire Services) will contact them directly in regards to the new ID cards & new Medicare ID numbers.

- The new Medicare ID cards DO NOT cost anything.

- All new Medicare ID cards will be mailed directly to the beneficiary, to the most current address Social Security has on file. (To ensure reciept of the new card, Medicare beneficiaries should verify their contact information with Social Security, and make sure it is up to date and accurate.)

For help and more information, please contact Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE or 1-800-633-4227.


Additional Tips to Safeguard Your Personal Information and Avoid Medicare Scams

1. Watch out for anyone asking for personal information.

It is important to remember that a legitimate Medicare employee will never call, email, or visit you and ask for your personal information – they already have it on file and do not need to collect it from you. If anyone trying to “help you” with Medicare asks for your personal or financial information, assume it is a scam. Hang up the phone, delete the email, or close the door immediately.

2. Be wary of salespeople trying to sell you something they claim will be paid for by Medicare.

You can protect yourself from Medicare fraud by reviewing your Medicare statements to be sure you have in fact received the services billed.

If you suspect that Medicare is being charged for a service you didn’t ask for, you can call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE to report it or get more information.

3. If you are new to Medicare, be sure to compare plans with a trustworthy adviser.

For the convenience of our senior patients, Pioneer Medical Group’s Senior Care Coordinator, Mary Ann Ramirez can be reached at (562) 229-9452 ext. 1643 for questions about Medicare, health plans PMG accepts and upcoming informational Medicare Basis classes.

4. Never sign a Medicare form without thorough examination.

Some disreputable insurance agents may try sending out release forms that allow them to make decisions on your behalf. Never sign anything Medicare related without reading through it first – and always get a friend, family member, or lawyer to review it as well.

5. When in doubt, call Medicare.

If anything ever seems suspicious or uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to contact Medicare with any questions and concerns you might have.




MONTHLY HEALTH TIP

Immunizations: Powerful Protectors Against Disease

Vaccines, or immunizations, work to protect us, our children, and those around us. Give your child the power of protection against 14 serious diseases as they age, by making sure they receive all their recommended immunizations.

Know which vaccines your children need and when.

Before the age of 2, you can have your child vaccinated for 14 serious childhood diseases, including Diphtheria, Hepatitis A & B, Hemophilus Influenza Type B, Influenza, Measles, Mumps, Pertussis, Pneumococcal disease, Polio, Rotavirus, Rubella, Tetanus, and Varicella or Chickenpox.

Keep an Immunization Schedule handy to keep track of all vaccines your child has received, which ones they still need, and when they should receive them by.

Download the CDC’s 2018 Recommended Immunization Schedule for children from birth to 18 years old, below:

Recommended Immunization Schedule from Birth to 6 Years of Age (English)

Recommended Immunization Schedule from Birth to 6 Years of Age (Spanish)

Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children 7-18 Years Old (English)

Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children 7-18 Years Old (Spanish)

Let family & friends know vaccines are safe and proven to protect.

Vaccines work to develop immunity by imitating an infection, but this "imitation" infection does not cause illness. Vaccines are also safe. They undergo rigorous testing before they are approved for use, and continue to be regularly reassessed even once it is on the market. Sometimes, after getting a vaccine, the imitation infection can cause minor symptoms, such as a sore arm or mild fever. Such minor symptoms are normal and should be expected as the body builds immunity.

As children get older, they require additional doses of some vaccines for best protection. Older kids also need to be protected against additional diseases they may encounter. For additional information about vaccines, please visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines

Vaccines are not just for children.

You can also download the CDC’s 2018 Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults, below:

Recommended Immunizations for Adults: By Age and Health Condition




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.




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