A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when a blockage stops the flow of blood to the brain or when a blood vessel in or around the brain bursts. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States1. Strokes often lead to serious, long-term disabilities.
Older people are more likely to experience strokes. However, stroke is not an inevitable consequence of aging. The burden of stroke is greatest among the elderly, men, and African Americans2.
While there are uncontrollable factors such as family history, age, sex, and race/ethnicity that play a role in an individual’s stroke risk, there are some preventive actions people can take2.
Know your ABCS of health1:
- Appropriate Aspirin therapy: Ask your doctor if taking aspirin is right for you.
- Blood pressure control: Keeping your blood pressure under control reduces your risk of stroke. More than half of the world’s stroke deaths are caused by elevated blood pressure levels.
- Cholesterol management: Get your cholesterol checked regularly and manage it with diet and physical activity or with medication, if needed.
- Smoking cessation: Get help at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
When responding to a stroke, every minute counts. If you or someone you know exhibits the following signs or symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding.
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance and coordination.
- Severe headache with no known cause.
For more information, check out the following resources:
- American Stroke Association
- Cryptogenic Stroke Public Health Conference Report 2015
- Brain Attack Coalition
- National Stroke Association
- American Heart Association
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
- NINDS: Know Stroke: Know the Signs, Act in Time
Medicare Open Enrollment
Medicare Open Enrollment ended on December 7. If someone missed the Open Enrollment Period and is truly dissatisfied with their Medicare Advantage plan, there is a Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) that lasts from January 1 to February 14 of the following year. A person in a Medicare Advantage Plan can leave their plan, switch to Original Medicare, and join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage during this period. Learn more about joining a health or drug plan.
There are specific times when a person can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) or Medicare prescription drug coverage . They can also make changes to existing coverage:
1. If they first become eligible for Medicare or turn 65 during the Initial Enrollment Period
2. During certain yearly enrollment periods
3. Under certain circumstances that qualify the person for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
Learn more about the Medicare C & D enrollment periods and be sure to take advantage of everything Medicare has to offer.
 Understanding Medicare Part C & D Enrollment Periods. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Oct. 2012. Web. Dec. 2013.
BPHC released the new Governance PIN (http://bphc.hrsa.gov/policiesregulations/policies/pin201401.html). There will be multiple opportunities for training regarding the new PIN, including TA calls specific for consultants and for special populations.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has released Policy Information Notice (PIN) 2013-01: Health Center Budgeting and Accounting Requirements. The PIN is available at: http://bphc.hrsa.gov/policiesregulations/policies/pin201301.html