Approximately 21,000 people died from viral hepatitis in the United States in 2013. Many of these cases could have been prevented. With increased awareness and support over 4,000 lives can be saved each day.
Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver often caused by a virus. The most common types of hepatitis are hepatitis A, B, and C, while hepatitis D and E are rarer. Although many people infected with hepatitis do not show symptoms for 2 weeks to 6 months after exposure, there are still some things to look out for:
- Abdominal pain
- Grey-colored stools
- Joint pain
Approximately 75 percent of the 3.2 million people infected with chronic hepatitis C in the United States were born between 1945 – 19654. The baby boomer generation is shown to be 5 times more likely to develop hepatitis C than other adults4. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer and people born within this age bracket account for 73% of hepatitis related deaths. Talk to your provider about Hepatitis C testing.
Mark your calendar for World Hepatitis Day on Tuesday July 28. Help spread awareness. For more information about hepatitis please visit http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/
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