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News & Updates

For it's 10th year in a row, Pioneer Medical Group received "Elite" status in the 2017 CAPG Standards of Excellence (SOE) Survey - the highest possible honor awarded by the CAPG professional organization. The survey measures medical groups' coordinated care infrastructure against multiple criteria such as patient experience, population health and affordability.

Physician organizations voluntarily participate in CAPG's Standards of Excellence survey. The survey ratings assess medical group performance in six rigorous categories - five of which are scored and publicly reported. A CAPG peer committee analyzes survey performance and sets a threshold in each domain for recognition as a "star", with stars in all 5 categories denoting "Elite" status among physician groups. This rating system sets the bar for healthcare consumers to evaluate a physician group's technical quality, responsiveness to patient experience, and affordability.

CAPG's Survey has become the industry standard for assessing what is needed to deliver accountable and exceptional quality care in the physician practice setting. Pioneer Medical Group's 5 star rating and consecutive achievement of "Elite" status over the years, not only signifies its continued demonstration of excellence in healthcare, but its ability to stay ahead of the curve in the coordination of patient care under health reform.

For additional information about the Standards of Excellence Survey, visit www.capg.org/soe



Give Your Immune System a Boost to Fend Off Shingles

By Dr. Paul Yoon

There are about a million new cases of shingles each year in the United States. While the disease may be common, I've observed that many of my older adult patients are unaware of just how serious shingles can be. The risk for shingles is higher after 50 years of age, and more than one-third of those who do get shingles will develop serious medical complications including long-term nerve pain, skin infections, and even potential vision loss. The good news is that there is a vaccine that can help to reduce these risks. The first step is understanding what shingles is.

Shingles: A Reactivation of the Chickenpox Infection

Shingles is a painful skin rash, often with blisters caused by the Varicella Zoster virus - the same virus that causes chickenpox. If you've had the chickenpox, you're at risk for shingles. When you get chickenpox and recover from it, the virus can remain inactive in the nerves of body for years. It can reappear to cause a case of shingles later in life.

Shingles can be triggered by various types of physical and emotional stress. It typically affects patients with weakened immune systems, due to age and or disease that decreases the body's ability to keep the virus in an inactive state. About half of people living to age 85 have had or will get shingles.

Certain medications such as steroids (like prednisone), chemotherapy, and radiation may also set off shingles regardless of age. Although shingles is not contagious, it can still infect a person who hasn't had chickenpox. When this happens, the virus manifests as chickenpox instead of shingles.

What to Expect from a Shingles Outbreak

The first sign of shingles is unilateral tingling, itching, or stabbing pain on your skin, on one side of your face or body. This is followed by a painful red, blistering skin rash on your skin. The infection runs its course within two to four weeks. Once shingles clears up, you may experience numbness, skin discoloration, and permanent scars.

However, in people with weakened immune systems, shingles may progress into severe and life-threatening problems. About 20 percent of shingles cases may result into a condition called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), where pain may last from 30 days to even years after the rash has healed.

Good News: You Can Prevent Shingles with a Vaccine

A vaccine, called Zostavax, is recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for adults age 60 or older to help protect against shingles, regardless of whether or not they recall having had chickenpox. The vaccine is meant to prevent shingles, not used to treat shingles once patient has it. For patients who develop shingles but have been vaccinated, Zostavax can help prevent the severe nerve pain associated with shingles.

This vaccine is not recommended for everyone, such as patients with a weakened immune system or undergoing cancer treatment. I highly encourage patients to discuss the risk of shingles with your doctor to determine if this vaccine is right for you.



Pioneer Medical Group is excited to introduce Phreesia!

Phreesia is an electronic patient registration system which allows patients to verify and update their information, as well as make secure payments via a wireless tablet called a PhreesiaPad. The PhreesiaPad is easy to use, and all the information you enter is private and secure!

Pioneer Medical Group and Phreesia are committed to maintaining and securing protected health information. Phreesia uses leading physical and technical security measures to store and protect all health-related data. All patient information is transmitted through encrypted connections and are secured with password protection. No patient information is ever stored on the PhreesiaPad. Patient information is firewall-protected and is under electronic surveillance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Please contact any one of our office locations and PMG staff will be happy to assist you in answering any questions and addressing any concerns you might have about our new check-in process. Pioneer Medical Group looks forward to bringing in new ways to serve our patients better. We hope that you will enjoy the check-in process with Phreesia at your future doctor's appointment.



Protecting Yourself from Mosquito Bites

The Best Method of Protection against West Nile, Zika, and Other Mosquito Borne Diseases

The heavy rains California saw this past winter season coupled with the slow rise in temperature has contributed to an increase in mosquito breeding sites. More mosquitos means a greater risk of mosquito bites which can spread a variety of different diseases including those caused by the West Nile virus and the Zika virus.

At the end of April, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) just announced the first confirmed illness in California due to the West Nile virus (WNV). WNV is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that most commonly flares up in the summer when mosquitos are most active. According to the CDC, while most people infected will not have any symptoms at all, still about 20% of infected people will come down with mild symptoms including fever, headache, fatigue, body pain, skin rashes and swollen lymph glands that can last from a couple of days to a few weeks. Only 1 in 150 people will develop the most severe form of West Nile, which can include West Nile encephalitis or meningitis. Severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms can last up to several weeks.

The Zika virus, which has drawn more recent attention in the last year, is linked to serious birth defect that occurs during pregnancy called microcephaly that is a sign of incomplete brain development. Many areas in the United States have the type of mosquitoes that can spread Zika virus. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. The Zika virus can also be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners. If you are pregnant and have a partner who lives in or has traveled to an area with risk of Zika, do not have sex, or use condoms the right way, every time, during your pregnancy. With the continued efforts of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to prevent the spread of Zika virus especially for those travelling to Florida and other areas identified with high Zika-risk, it has become increasingly more important to learn about the precautions you can take to best protect yourself and your family.

Currently, there are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV and Zika infection. Avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to stay disease free. Below are tips on how to best protect yourself and your family against mosquito bites and reduce your risk for disease:

1. Use Insect Repellant

Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent with active ingredients such as DEET and picaridin.

2. Wear Long-Sleeve Shirts and Long Pants

Limit amount of exposed skin as much as possible when outdoors. For additional protection, spray your clothes with repellents that contain Permethrin.

3. Mosquito-Proof Your Home

Try to stay inside at dawn, dusk and early evening, which are peak mosquito times. Install or repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out. Empty any stagnant water from flower pots, pet food, water dishes, and any other hidden containers or areas where water might pool around as mosquitos are drawn to these types of environments.

West Nile virus and Zika virus are not the only diseases that mosquitos can spread. Mosquito-borne diseases also include: malaria, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. Visit the CDC website for more information about mosquito borne illnesses, what you need to know before traveling to places where mosquitos borne disease are most prevalent, and tips for taking additional steps to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.



Important Travel Health Tips

Planning a summer getaway?

It's important to be aware of ways to protect yourself and your travel companions from potential travel-related illness. While most of these travel-related illnesses are minor, very serious infectious diseases are common in some parts of the world. So before you even pack your bags, take some time to go over these important travel health preparation tips to help prepare you for healthy and safe travels.

1. Book a visit to your doctor before your trip.

Plan on making a pre-travel visit your doctor at least a few weeks before your travel date to discuss your current health condition, and what vaccines may be necessary for your particular destination, length of stay and type of travel.

2. Make sure you have all the necessary shots.

In general, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that older adults receive regular vaccines that can prevent diseases especially the flu and pneumonia. However, depending on your particular travel destination, you may also need to get other recommended vaccines for additional protection. In fact, some countries legally require travelers to have certain vaccinations, such as yellow fever. As you will need to have some vaccinations weeks or months before travel, it is best to see your doctor six to eight weeks before you go. However, if you have to travel at short notice, you can still have some vaccines.

3. Manage your medications and pack a travel health kit.

Pack the prescription medications you usually take in your carry-on luggage. Make sure to take enough for each day of your trip. You can also pack a travel health kit that includes any special prescription for the trip (ex. medicines to prevent malaria) as suggested by your doctor, in addition to any over-the-counter medicines such as antidiarrheal medication, antihistamine, anti-motion sickness medication, pain or fever reducer, etc. that you may need.

Other important items to include in your health kit are:

- Insect repellent containing DEET (30%-50%) or picaridin (up to 15%)

- Sunscreen (preferably SPF 30 or greater) that has both UVA and UVB protection

- Antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer

- Lubricating eye drops

- First-aid supplies and water purification tablets

4. Other Safe and Healthy Travel Tips to Consider

- Organize travel insurance, including coverage if you need to be evacuated to a suitable hospital.

- Have a dental and vision check-up; pack a spare pair of glasses.

- Travelers with a disability should make sure to make arrangements in advance

5. Also that the most common travel-related illnesses are gastrointestinal diseases usually picked up from poorly prepared foods or untreated water. To avoid diarrhea, stomach pains, nausea and vomiting associated with these illnesses:

- Use boiled or bottled water, or water purifiers or tablets; avoid ice in drinks.

- Avoid unpasteurized milk, dairy products, and shellfish.

- Avoid fruit and vegetables that have been washed in the local water.

- Make sure food is cooked thoroughly and eat it while it's hot.

- Don't buy food from street stalls - hotels and busy restaurants are safest.

- Take care with personal hygiene.



Receive Appointment Reminders on Your Cell Phone!

Pioneer Medical Group now offers appointment reminders via text message as a faster and more convenient way of receiving communications directly from your provider's office. 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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