Eldorado, Texas (March 7, 2018) – Scam artists aware of federal plans to re-issue Medicare cards are calling seniors across the country to trick them into disclosing confidential financial information. This can lead to identify theft or unauthorized withdrawals from personal accounts.
“We want to let everyone in the community know that the number of calls may increase with widespread publicity by Medicare that new cards are being issued,” said Paul Burke, administrator of Schleicher County Medical Center.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Social Security Administration WILL NOT call Medicare beneficiaries to update information before they issue the new cards.
“So if someone calls claiming to represent Medicare or Social Security and asks you to confirm your social security number or other personal information, or requests any financial information, hang up,” encouraged Burke.
Ironically, CMS is issuing new cards to protect seniors from fraudulent use of Social Security numbers which can lead to identity theft and illegal use of Medicare benefits.
If you receive a fraudulent call, you may wish to notify CMS at www.cms.gov and provide any information you may have regarding the call. You can also call the San Antonio Office of the FBI at (210) 225-6741.
The new Medicare cards will replace Social Security numbers with a new, unique, randomly assigned Medicare Beneficiary Identifier. CMS will begin mailing new cards in April 2018, and plans to replace all Medicare Cards by April 2019.
Medicare is instructing beneficiaries to safely and securely destroy their old cards once they receive the new card. The new cards will not change the benefits an individual covered by Medicare will receive.
Eldorado, Texas (February 14, 2018) – Parents with children and adolescents enrolled in Medicaid and CHIPS can help to keep their family healthy through active participation in the Texas Health Steps program. Texas Health Steps or “T-Steps” offers routine checkups for children from birth to age 20, and pays for all costs.
“Health and wellness exams focus on prevention and early diagnosis,” said Monica Kessler, PA-C. “Regular checkups help to keep our kids healthy,” she continued, “and can also help find health problems before they get worse and harder to treat.”
The frequency and components of recommended T-Steps checkups vary by age, with more frequent visits encouraged in the first year of life. Beginning at age three, children and adolescents should be scheduled for an annual checkup.
Although exams vary based on a child’s specific age, they include all medical screenings, vaccinations and laboratory tests recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“We typically assess vision, hearing, height and weight, nutrition, immunizations and overall development,” explained Monica. “These factors are not only reflective of your child’s health status, but can also impact your child’s performance in school, and during casual and organized play and sports.”
Schleicher County Family Clinic is your local Texas Health Steps provider beginning with children age 2 months or older, and will be happy to answer any questions you may have or to schedule your child’s next Texas Health Steps or CHIPS checkup.
Eldorado, Texas (February 7, 2018) – Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the U.S., with the risk of heart disease increasing with age. However, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), the road to a healthier heart is just steps away.
“Eight steps, that is, beginning with a visit to your physician to get a full picture of your health including the seven risk factors for heart disease – blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar, diet, weight, physical activity and tobacco use,” said Schleicher County Family Clinic physician, Selina Burt, D.O.
“Baseline and annual exams allow us to measure and monitor the seven key health factors and behaviors that have the biggest impact on your health,” noted Dr. Burt, “and develop an individualized plan to address any areas of concern.”
Actually taking more steps can be a simple way to positively impact your heart. Except for tobacco use, the number of premature deaths due to lack of physical activity is higher than almost all other chronic disease risk factors. In addition, increasing your physical activity can help you lower or maintain a healthy weight, and reduce your risk of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
The AHA suggests that getting active 30 minutes a day – once a day or in smaller increments over the course of the day – will help to keep your heart healthy, lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, and improve your quality of life. Anything that gets you moving and increases your heart rate, a brisk walk or some other physical activity that you enjoy, can be enough to make a difference in your health.
“Anyone can organize a bike or walking club,” encouraged Dr. Burt, “and planning fitness activities with family or friends will increase your ability to stay with the program.”
Also look for ways to “sneak” exercise into your daily routine. Parking further away when doing errands, and taking the stairs whenever you can will help you meet activity goals.
Dr. Burt cautions that exercise goals depend on your current physical fitness and will change as you age, and recommends checking with your provider before beginning any exercise program.
February is National Heart Month and a great time to start thinking about your heart health. For more information about your heart disease risk factors and what you can do to feel better and stay healthier, schedule an appointment with one of the providers at Schleichere County Family Clinic: 325/853-3137.