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Select News: June 2016

Rehabilitative behavioral health services

Effective July 1, 2016, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) will include outpatient mental health services and rehabilitative behavioral health services (RBHS) as part of the managed care benefit.

Physician champion: How well doctors communicate and the impact on care outcomes

Jeffrey Travis, M.D.

The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) is an annual survey that asks our members to tell us about their health care experiences. Members are asked to rate their experiences with First Choice, their doctors, their specialists and health care. CAHPS results tell us what we are doing well and help us identify opportunities to improve.

We spotlight and thank providers like Jeffrey Travis, M.D., of Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery, who is dedicated to ensuring patients receive the best care and is making a difference in a member's life. A First Choice member recently reported the surgeon sat at his bedside and genuinely listened, taking time with him as if he were his only patient and helping him improve his medical condition.

Travis shares tips on how to improve communication with patients and why this is important:

  • Sit down, even if your visit is short. Touch the patient every time you walk in the room. Ask questions and listen.
  • Learn how a diagnosis affects your patients' lives and the lives of those around them. "Patients are scared and fearful," he says. "The more I communicate and provide information either pre- or post-operation, the less anxious patients and their families are."
  • Unconscious bias affects health outcomes. "The 'placebo' effect in medicine is real. Our minds control so much of our physical bodies. The more confidence we have in a person or process, the better the physical body can heal."
  • Health empowerment matters. "The ball is in the patient's court a lot. There is only so much medicine can do. The patient must participate."

For more about CAHPS, visit our Quality Program or view our quality data (PDF).

Special broadcast tribute to Emanuel AME airs on June 17 at 8 p.m.

As part of the ongoing healing process after the Emanuel AME tragedy that took nine lives last year in Charleston, Select Health is sponsoring a special tribute program. The one-hour, commercial-free broadcast airs at 8 p.m. on Live 5 News, WCSC-TV on Friday, June 17, 2016, the first anniversary of the tragic event. Viewers can also stream the program. Please tune in to this special dedication to Emanuel AME and learn how, one year later, the experience continues to transform Charleston, our state, and our nation.

Telephonic interpretation services at no cost

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According to the National Institutes of Health, patients who use interpreter services are more likely to engage in preventive health, schedule appointments, and have more prescriptions written and filled.

The use of untrained interpreters, such as friends and family members, results in increased rates of medication errors, wrong procedures, avoidable readmissions and other adverse events.

Select Health offers telephonic interpretation services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in up to 200 languages at no cost to First Choice members or providers. To access telephonic interpretation services, call Member Services at 1-888-276-2020.

South Carolina's Health Information Exchange waives fees for LTPAC providers

Coordinating care among physical and behavioral health care providers is critical to improving health outcomes and decreasing costs. People living with a serious mental illness (SMI) are at higher risk of experiencing a wide range of chronic physical conditions. Conversely, people with chronic physical health conditions experience depression and anxiety at twice the rate of the general population.

Studies show the average life expectancy for those with SMI is 13 to 30 years less than the rest of the population. People with SMI are at greater risk of developing a range of chronic physical conditions impacting nearly every biological system. They are more likely to suffer from sexual dysfunction and develop pregnancy complications. These disparities underline the critical need for primary care and behavioral health care providers to exchange information.

South Carolina's Health Information Exchange (SCHIEx) is an electronic network of connections that allows health care professionals to access and securely share a patient's vital medical information. Governed by a nonprofit organization, SCHIEx gives physicians real-time access to life-saving data. SCHIEx can assist providers with meeting several National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Meaningful Use requirements for Stage 2 and provides a gateway for transmitting immunization records to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

SCHIEx is expanding its services to long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) providers in South Carolina and waiving participation fees for new LTPAC behavioral health, nursing home, home health, and hospice providers that join in 2016. Contact Wyman Bowers at 1-803-335-4500.

Play ball with Marcus! No cost for the first 25 who register

Marcus Lattimore

Select Health is again sponsoring First Choice Fit® Football Camps with Marcus Lattimore for our members ages 5 to 17. Each camp is available at no cost to the first 25 First Choice plan members who register. There is a $40 fee for all others. Members can register by calling Tricia at 1-843-569-4643.

Camp dates and locations:

  • July 16 — Greenville, Kroc Center.
  • July 30 — Columbia, Dreher High School.
  • August 13 — Myrtle Beach, Carolina Forest High School.

Camps run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include community health fairs with health screenings and education at no cost.

Zika news on our website

Zika virus news and information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are now available on our website.

Drug updates

Visit our website for up-to-date pharmacy information, including changes approved by the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, as well as:

  • Preferred drug list (PDL) updates.
  • New prior authorization criteria and procedures for submitting a prior authorization.
  • Pharmacy benefit restrictions or limitations.

New and current subscribers: Win $50

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We hold random monthly drawings for a $50 Amazon.com e-certificate for online subscribers. Subscribe for a chance to win. Current subscribers are automatically included. Bridgette Tinsley of Baptist Easley Hospital was May's winner. We'll notify June's winner in July, so sign up now!