American Heart Month

Take time during February to show yourself love and learn about your risks for heart disease.  Stay "heart healthy" for yourself and your loved ones.

Age is the number 1 risk factor for heart disease. The heart undergoes a number of changes during the normal aging process.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death in people over the age of 65.[1]   An estimated 42.2 million American adults, who are 60 years of age or older, have 1 or more types of heart disease[2].  

Race and ethnicity also affect your risk. Nearly 44% of African American men and 48% of African American women have some form of heart disease[3]. Other factors that increase the risk of heart disease include[4]:

  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use

There are different types of heart disease2:

  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Poor diet
  • High Blood Pressure (HBP)
  • Heart Failure

Here are some tips to protect your heart4:

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions and stay on your medications.

  • Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt; low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol; and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Take a brisk 10-minute walk, 3 times a day, 5 days a week.

  • Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible. Visit for tips on quitting.

Learn more strategies for better heart health at February is American Heart Month and try to make them lifelong habits!


[1] CDC/National Center for Health Statistics. (2015, January 7). Older Persons' Health. Retrieved January 29, 2015.

[2] American Heart Association. (2013, January 1).  Older Americans & Cardiovascular Diseases. Retrieved January 29, 2015.

[3]National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. (2014, February 12).  February is American Heart Month. Retrieved January 29, 2015.

[4] National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. (2014, October 29).  Heart Disease Facts. Retrieved January 29, 2015.

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.

[1] Understanding Medicare Part C & D Enrollment Periods. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Oct. 2012. Web. Dec. 2013.

BPHC released the new Governance PIN (  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: