Reminder: Take the Bluebook Challenge Today!

bluebook.pngLearn how to find a Fair Price on your next medical test or procedure, which may help you save big bucks.

If you haven’t already, take the Bluebook Challenge, and you’ll receive a $15 Amazon.com eGift Card.*

Click here to learn more about Healthcare Bluebook TM, an online tool providing Fair PriceTM transparency for medical tests and procedures, as well as transparent quality metrics.

*Healthcare Bluebook is included with Starmark® major medical plan designs; however, it is not available to Washington groups. Plan provisions apply. Healthcare Bluebook is not an affiliate of Starmark or Trustmark® Life Insurance Company. Before receiving care, always ask the provider for his or her price. Additionally if your health plan uses a PPO network, call the provider network at the toll-free number on your medical ID card to verify that the hospital and/or healthcare provider participates in the network.

March 24, 2018 at 8:05 pm Leave a comment

Get to Know the Starmark Website

websiteNavigating your Starmark® online access is simple with the following resources at your fingertips! Upon login, you will have access to:

  • Benefits and Claims, including your provider network, if applicable, and online Explanation of Benefits (EOBs)
  • Document Center
  • Health and Wellness education and tools
  • My StarmarkSM
  • Plus, much more

Learn more about your online access to the Starmark website here.

If you haven’t already, be sure to register on the Starmark website. It is quick and easy, click here to see how.

March 24, 2018 at 5:05 pm Leave a comment

Tips to Reduce Ear Infections in Children

GettyImages-833608132 child ear.jpgThe following tips may reduce the risk of developing ear infections:

  • Prevent common colds and other illnesses.
    • Teach your children to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly and to not share eating and drinking utensils.
    • Teach your children to cough or sneeze into their arm crook.
    • If possible, limit the time your child spends in group child care. A child care setting with fewer children may help.
    • Try to keep your child home from child care or school when ill.
  • Avoid secondhand smoke. Make sure that no one smokes in your home. Away from home, stay in smoke-free environments.
  • Breast-feed your baby. If possible, breast-feed your baby for at least six months. Breast milk contains antibodies that may offer protection from ear infections.
  • If you bottle-feed, hold your baby in an upright position. Avoid propping a bottle in your baby’s mouth while he or she is lying down. Don’t put bottles in the crib with your baby.
  • Talk to your doctor about vaccinations. Ask your doctor about what vaccinations are appropriate for your child. Seasonal flu shots, pneumococcal and other bacterial vaccines may help prevent ear infections.

Source:
Ear Infection (middle ear) Mayo Clinic. 3.21.18.

March 23, 2018 at 5:31 pm Leave a comment

What You Need to Know About Ear Infections

GettyImages-872428342 adult ear.jpgAn ear infection is most often a bacterial or viral infection that affects the middle ear and are painful because of inflammation and buildup of fluid.

Some ear infections clear up on their own, which means treatment can begin at home with managing pain and monitoring the problem. Ear infections in infants and severe cases, in general, often require antibiotic medications. Long-term problems such as persistent fluids in the middle ear, persistent infections or frequent infections can cause hearing problems and other serious complications.

When to call the doctor:

  • Children
    • Symptoms last more than a day.
    • Symptoms are present in a child less than six months of age.
    • Ear pain is severe.
    • Infant or toddler is sleepless or irritable after a cold or other upper respiratory infection.
    • You observe a discharge of fluid, pus or bloody discharge from the ear.
  • Adult
    • Ear pain or discharge is present, see a doctor as soon as possible.

When you need care, you have 24/7/365 access to a U.S. board-certified Teladoc® doctor.* Visit their website at teladoc.com or call 1.800.Teladoc (835.2362). Click here for more information about Teladoc.

*Teladoc is not an affiliate of Starmark® or Trustmark® Life Insurance Company. The consult fee is the lesser of $45 or the office visit copay, if selected. The consult fee is subject to change during the plan year. When requesting a consultation, members should use their Starmark medical ID number (found on their medical ID card) and reference Starmark (Trustmark) when prompted by Teledoc for their insurance provider.

Source:
Ear Infection (middle ear) Mayo Clinic. 3.21.18.

March 23, 2018 at 2:22 pm Leave a comment

Coping with Arthritis Pain

GettyImages-655113608 arthritis.jpgArthritis is a leading cause of pain and disability worldwide. Below are some things to keep in mind.

  • Get ahead of the pain by learning about your condition, including what type of arthritis you have and whether any of your joints are already damaged.
  • Tell your doctor if your pain changes.
  • Pay attention to your joints when standing, sitting or engaging in activity.
    • Keep moving. Do gentle stretches daily that move your joints through their full range of motion.
    • Use good posture. A physical therapist can show you how.
    • Know your limits. Balance activity and rest, be sure to not overdo anything.
  • Manage your weight. Complications of arthritis can be increased if you are overweight.
  • Quit smoking. Arthritis pain can be increased by the stress smoking causes to connective tissues.
  • Choose activities that build the muscles around your joints but don’t damage the joints themselves. A physical or occupational therapist can help develop an exercise program that’s right for you. This could include low-impact aerobic exercise, such as:
    • Walking
    • Cycling
    • Water exercises
  • Avoid high impact and repetitive motion. These include running, jumping, tennis and high-impact aerobics.
  • Talk to your doctor to formulate a medication plan for your specific pain symptoms.
  • Pain relief. Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium can help relieve occasional pain triggered by activity your muscles and joints aren’t used to. Cream containing capsaicin may be applied to skin over a painful joint to relieve pain.
    • Consult a doctor if over-the-counter medications don’t relieve your pain.
  • Avoid overtreatment if you are using over-the-counter medications regularly.
  • Avoid undertreatment. Don’t ignore severe or prolonged arthritis pain. You may have joint inflammation or damage requiring daily medication.

Getting a Second Opinion

If you are considering a second medical opinion, click here to learn about Grand Rounds®, or click here to learn the 10 reasons for a second opinion.

Members of major medical employer-sponsored, self-funded health benefit plans administered by Starmark® have access to Grand Rounds, which provides medical second opinions from expert physicians specializing in the area of need. It is available for no additional cost to members and doesn’t require travel. For more information, visit grandrounds.com/starmark.

Grand Rounds is not an affiliate of Starmark or Trustmark® Life Insurance Company.

Source: Arthritis pain: Dos and donts. Mayo Clinic. 3/21/18.

March 23, 2018 at 2:20 pm Leave a comment

Patient Education and Preparation Is Key for Screening of Leading Cause of Cancer

Female medicine doctor hand give prescription to patientResearch published in the American Journal of Medicine reveals educational programs can improve pre-procedural preparation quality and may reduce repeat procedures for patients undergoing colonoscopies.

The third most common cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women in the United States is colorectal cancer. Colonoscopies are the primary tool for colorectal cancer screening. Nearly 25 percent of colonoscopies performed are inadequately prepared for, which leads to an increased likelihood for a repeat screening. Ensuring patients have the right information at the right time can lead to improved outcomes.

Are you considering an upcoming medical test or procedure? Members of major medical health benefit plans administered by Starmark® with an effective date of Dec. 1, 2016, or later, have access to Healthcare Bluebook™, an online cost and quality transparency tool. Members can access Healthcare Bluebook by registering and logging into www.starmarkinc.com > Health and Wellness > Healthcare Bluebook.

Healthcare Bluebook is not an affiliate of Starmark or Trustmark® Life Insurance Company.

Sources:

Patient Education Improved Colonoscopy Preparation and May Reduce Need for Repeat Screenings. Business Wire. 3.7.17.

Online Educational Video Improves Bowel Preparation and Reduces the Need for Repeat Colonoscopy Within Three Years. American Journal of Medicine.

 

December 18, 2017 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Migraine Triggers and Symptoms

MigraineMore than 37 million Americans, ages 15 to 55, suffer from migraines, according to the National Headache Foundation.

Migraines are three times more common in women than men, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Most migraine sufferers – 70 to 80 percent, have a family history of migraines, according to the National Headache Foundation.

Researchers believe migraines may be inherited and related to genes that control activity of some brain cells. Migraine pain occurs when excited brain cells trigger the trigeminal nerve, to release chemicals that irritate and cause blood vessels on the surface of the brain to swell. Pain is typically felt around the eyes or temples and can also occur in the face, sinus, jaw and neck area.

The following factors can trigger migraine attacks:

  • Alteration of the sleep-wake cycle
  • Missing or delaying a meal
  • Medication that causes swelling of blood vessels
  • Daily or near daily use of medications designed to relieve headaches
  • Bright lights, sunlight, fluorescent lights, TV and movie viewing
  • Certain foods
  • Excessive noise

Symptoms

Warning signs such as blurred vision, tingling in the arms or face, difficulty speaking or loss of peripheral vision can happen minutes or hours before a migraine occurs.

Pain, nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sound and other symptoms can last hours or days, according to the Mayo Clinic. And, the most common time for migraine pain to occur is 6 a.m., according to the American Migraine Foundation.

Getting a Second Opinion

If you are considering a second medical opinion, click here to learn about Grand Rounds. Members of major medical employer-sponsored, self-funded health benefit plans administered by Starmark® have access to Grand Rounds®, which provides medical second opinions from expert physicians specializing in the area of need. It is available for no additional cost to members and doesn’t require travel. For more information, visit grandrounds.com/starmark.

Grand Rounds is not an affiliate of Starmark or Trustmark® Life Insurance Company.

Source: LiveScience. Migraines: Causes, Symptoms & Relief. Alina Bradford. 2/12/16.

December 18, 2017 at 12:13 pm Leave a comment

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