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CaroMont Health and Humana Renew Contract
Agreement gives Humana Medicare and commercial members continued access to medical facilities and physicians
CaroMont Health and Humana, one of North Carolina’s leading Medicare Advantage providers, announced today that they renewed their network contract effective January 1, 2014. The partnership will enhance the current Patient Centered Medical Home model at CaroMont, resulting in more enhanced care coordination, improved quality and affordability.
The agreement provides Humana’s Medicare Advantage Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Point of Service and Private Fee for Service (PFFS), and health plan members with in-network access to the nationally recognized health care system’s medical facilities and providers.
“We’re pleased to announce our continued partnership with CaroMont Health and the access it provides our Humana Medicare members and the State of North Carolina retirees to its comprehensive facilities and physicians,” said Tim Moorhead, Humana’s North Carolina vice president of Senior Products.
The agreement renewal means people eligible for Medicare who currently have a Humana plan in 2013 or select Humana’s 2014 HMO, PPO and PFFS Medicare Advantage plans during the Medicare annual election period that runs through Dec. 7, 2013, will be able to receive in-network services at all CaroMont Health facilities including CaroMont Medical Group, CaroMont Regional Medical Center and Courtland Terrace.
“As physicians, we are always focused on meeting our patient’s needs, said David Rinehart, MD, Physician at CaroMont Health. “The Medical Home model that Humana enthusiastically supports helps us provide patient centered, accessible, high value care.”
Under the Patient Centered Medical Home Program, clinical care coordinators within CaroMont Medical Group provide assistance and support to patients with health challenges to navigate the health care system, particularly those with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
CaroMont Physician Talks to WSOC-TV about RSV Cases
By Peter Daut (Reporter at WSOC-TV)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Pediatricians and local hospitals said they’re seeing a rise in cases of a virus called RSV. It can affect the respiratory system of both adults and children. When babies get infected, it can cause serious complications.
“It devastated me, because you don’t want to go through something like that with your child,” Erin Probst said about her 6-month-old daughter, Kylee.
RSV is highly contagious, and one of the most common causes of respiratory illness in children. But pediatricians at Gaston Memorial Hospital said the half a dozen cases they’ve seen in the past two weeks alone is more than usual, especially for this time of year.
“The fact that it’s a little earlier than the season and it’s coming on already is concerning, because the season still has a long way to go,” Dr. Omodele Masha said.
RSV is spread by droplets containing the virus, or by hand-to-hand contact. It can lead to pneumonia, or other more serious illnesses. Doctors say the virus is especially dangerous to the elderly, infants and young children born prematurely.
“These children get a lot of congestion of their lungs, they have a very harsh cough, and they may have some difficulty breathing,” Masha said.
There’s currently no vaccination for RSV, and it can only be treated with fluids and rest.
Baby Kylee is expected to make a full recovery.
“I’m ready for her to come home, so she can sleep in her own bed,” Probst said.
Doctors say it is important to remember the “three c’s” for prevention: cleaning your hands, confining yourself to a space if you are sick, and covering your cough. Also, do not let anyone who is sick handle your child, since they might get infected.
Source: WSOC-TV (Channel 9 News)
Winter Skin Care Tips
As the seasons change, your skin care regimen should too. During winter months, the cool outdoor temperatures, harsh winds, indoor central heating systems, and extra long hot baths and showers all contribute to dry skin, also known as xerosis. The harsh winter elements not only irritate healthy skin but also aggravate certain pre-existing skin conditions, such as eczema. Your skin needs moisture to stay smooth, supple, and healthy. Without adequate moisture, the skin becomes dry, roughened, cracked, tight, itchy, and uncomfortable. Furthermore, once the skin barrier is compromised, it is predisposed to secondary infection.
To keep your skin looking and feeling healthy this winter, please follow these simple tips:
- Use lukewarm (rather than hot) water and gentle, fragrance-free cleansers to wash your face and body.
- Limit your time in the bath or shower to five to 10 minutes.
- Moisturize within three to five minutes of exiting the bath or shower while the skin is still damp.
- Use oil-based or ceramide-containing creams or ointments (rather than water-based lotions) to moisturize your skin.
- Soften your skin with shaving cream or gel prior to shaving and change razor blades frequently.
- Avoid contact with products containing alcohol, such as hand sanitizers.
- Apply lip balm containing petrolatum regularly, especially when outdoors and before going to bed.
- Bundle up with your coat, gloves, and scarf when outdoors.
- Use hypoallergenic, fragrance-free laundry detergents.
- Do not use fabric softener/dryer sheets.
- Wear gloves when you cut, peel, or press fruits and vegetables. If possible, wear washable cotton gloves beneath protective plastic or vinyl, (not rubber/latex) gloves.
- Use a humidifier or add a humidifier to your home heating system.
Even though the warm sunshine is not as apparent during the winter season, damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays persist through the cooler, darker days of winter. You should wear sunscreen daily to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer and to prevent the early signs of skin aging.
- Use a moisturizing broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater.
- Wear sun- and wind-protective gear when outdoors for extended periods of time.
Ashley Walker, MD is a physician at CaroMont Dermatology in Gastonia, NC.
Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
To see the article in the Gaston Gazette, click here: http://www.gastongazette.com/lifestyles/health/holiday-bulge-1.239887
As the holiday season approaches, many of us will be looking for ways to enjoy the season without gaining unwanted pounds. Dr. Crystal Bowe shares some useful tips to help you fight the “holiday bulge”.
- Cut out sugary drinks. Replacing your sweet tea or soda with a zero-calorie drink is an easy way to decrease your caloric intake at each meal without cutting out any food. Just one, 8-ounce glass of sweet tea contains around 75 calories. One, 8-ounce cup of soda (depending on the brand) contains around 100 calories. Cutting out these extra calories is a great way to stay on track during the holidays with your diet.
- Drink a glass of water before each meal. Research has shown that drinking an 8-ounce glass of water before each meal can decrease the amount of calories you eat with that meal. Since most of us don’t drink enough water each day anyway, this tip will help you stay hydrated and cut calories at the same time!
- Use a smaller plate. It may sound silly, but using a smaller plate can help decrease the amount of food you eat per meal. This tip is an easy way to reduce portion size. You only eat what you can fit on the plate.
- Wait at least 15 minutes before having a second helping. After using a smaller plate, waiting 15 minutes before having your second helping gives your stomach time to tell your brain if you are really still hungry or not. You can use this 15-minute break during the holidays to chat with family and friends, clean up, or even take a walk.
- Walk it off. There is nothing better than a little exercise to help combat holiday weight gain. Increasing your physical activity each day by walking may also help you feel better and have more energy. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. During the holidays, walking can be a great way to help kids burn off excess energy and to connect with family and friends.
Using these tips during the holidays (and even year-round) should help you avoid unwanted weight gain while still enjoying the holiday season.
About Crystal Bowe, MD
Dr. Crystal Bowe MD, MPH is a board certified family physician and a provider at CaroMont Family Medicine—South Gaston in Gastonia NC.
CaroMont Health Hosts Regional Mended Hearts Meeting
CaroMont Health hosted the Mended Hearts Mid-Atlantic cluster meeting at CaroMont Regional Medical Center on Saturday, November 2. More than 29 regional and satellite chapters from North and South Carolina, Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland and Delaware, as well as the local CaroMont Regional Chapter, attended the meeting.
Mended Hearts is a national and community-based non-profit organization founded by Dwight Emary Harken, MD who started the program with three of his own open heart surgery patients. The patients spoke of their new feeling of health and well-being after surgery, which inspired the 60-year-old program today that offers services to heart disease patients through visiting programs, support group meetings and educational forums.
Every year, Mended Hearts volunteers across the globe gather to share ideas and stories, learn from fellow volunteers and network. At this year’s function, Lynn Berringer, National Vice President, presented Doug Luckett, President and CEO at CaroMont Health, with the “Hospital of the Year” “in grateful recognition of the hospital’s outstanding service to Mended hearts, heart disease patients, and the community. The hospital received the award earlier this year at the annual Mended Hearts meeting in Dallas, TX.
“The value of Mended Hearts volunteers goes beyond simply providing support to people who have or will be undergoing cardiac procedures,” said Gary Mims, Cardiac Rehabilitation Manager at CaroMont. “By hearing advice from the perspective of someone who has been there, patients are more likely to take a positive approach to their heart disease, attend cardiac rehabilitation, and begin living a new and healthier lifestyle.”
Guests enjoyed a full day of presentations from experts including Dr. Dustin Letts with CaroMont Heart, Robert Epps, volunteer and patient advocate for Aortic Health, and Laurie Mercer, Cardiac Heart Failure survivor and health care supervisor.
Dr. Ashley Walker and the staff at CaroMont Dermatology is welcoming new patients to her new practice. Click Here for more information.
Find out more about Health Care Reform and Open Enrollment at:
Find out more about Health Care Reform and Open Enrollment at:
CaroMont Health Selects New Chief Executive Officer
CaroMont Health announced today that Doug Luckett has accepted the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Gastonia-based health system. Luckett has served as interim CEO since April 2013 and has been with CaroMont Health since 2010.
During the selection process, the CEO Search Committee of the CaroMont Health Board of Directors worked extensively with key internal, community and physician stakeholders to identify a CEO competency profile to guide their choice.
“The CaroMont Health Board of Directors carefully considered the report of the CEO Search Committee, which found that Doug is clearly a qualified candidate,” said Sheila S. Reilly, Ph.D., Vice President of the CaroMont Health Board of Directors. “More than that, Doug’s involvement in and appreciation for our local community, his respect and partnership with the medical community, and his commitment to and support of the CaroMont Health workforce define Doug as a person committed to mutual respect and collaboration, the key ingredients for success of CaroMont’s CEO. We feel confident that this is the right decision for our organization.”
Luckett’s acceptance of the position will place him at the helm of CaroMont Health’s extensive network which includes the CaroMont Regional Medical Center, CaroMont Medical Group, Gaston Hospice, Courtland Terrace and CaroMont Specialty Surgery.
“CaroMont Health has been my home for nearly three years, and I am honored to be offered the opportunity to continue leading a very talented team of physicians and staff.” said Luckett. “My goal has been and will continue to be to make the best decisions possible for our health system. We will not outrun our staff, physicians or our community.”
Luckett joined CaroMont as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in December 2010. In June of 2011, he accepted the role of Acting CEO, while also fulfilling EVP/COO duties, in order to maintain executive leadership during the CEO transition.
Luckett has been an active member of the Gaston County community. He currently serves as treasurer on the Board of the Gaston Regional Chamber and is a board member of the Dream Center of Gaston County.
Prior to his role at CaroMont Health, Doug was the Chief Administrative Officer for Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers, Fla. and Cape Coral Hospital in Cape Coral, Fla. He was also a member of the Lee Memorial Health System Hospital Executive Group.
Luckett began his career by serving in the United States Army Infantry Unit. After his service ended, he began his health care career as a radiologic technologist.
Leading the way in quality care, CaroMont Health believes in treating everyone with respect, having open and responsible communication, never compromising integrity, and highly values customer satisfaction. Patients can come to CaroMont Health with the utmost trust and confidence that our staff is hard at work pushing the edge of medical science and saving lives. In 2010, we achieved HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence. And our Cancer Center won the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission.
We believe that a community’s wellbeing is dependent on everyone contributing and that together we can help our community thrive. By offering special events, sponsoring athletic competitions and attracting great speakers like Dr. Oz, CaroMont Health is creating shared community experiences. CaroMont Health has also developed CLiC Immediate Care Center in the Mountain Island lake community, which will save you time without sacrificing the quality of non-emergency care.
CaroMont Health has created support and educational services in a safe, family-centered environment to promote healthy lifestyle choices. By providing a variety of classes focused on topics for men, women, the elderly, newborns and more, CaroMont Health hopes to empower individuals to make a difference. Some classes offered for expectant and new parents for example, enhance the experiences involved in birth and beyond – such as Second Time Around, Moms in Motion, and Infant CPR and Safety.