Weekend clinics will focus on preventative care

Filed under: Health Care |

Starting June 9, the Visiting Nurse Association will provide public wellness clinics the second Saturday of each month at 5373 N. Union Blvd, suite 101.

Registered nurses from the VNA will answer questions and provide access to health services for reduced fees.

Screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index will be offered, as well as immunizations for tetanus and hepatitis A and B. Meningitis vaccinations can be scheduled by appointment, and flu shots will be available in October.

The clinics are open from 9 a.m. to noon.

For more information, call 577-4448 or visit www.vnacolorado.org.

Community cancer screening successful

The free community skin cancer screening conducted May 5 at Peak Vista Community Health Centers was a success, organizers said.

Eleven volunteer dermatologists saw 446 people. They detected:

  • Thirty six suspected basal cell carcinoma, growths on the skin that can be detected early, easily treated and do not spread to other areas of the body.
  • Eight suspected squamous cell carcinoma, skin lesions that have the tendency to spread but are easily treated when detected early.
  • Four suspected melanomas, the most serious and dangerous type of skin cancer that can be successfully treated if detected early.

In all, 199 of the 446 people screened were referred to a dermatologist for a thorough assessment or treatment.

Organizers said they saw the largest number of suspicious lesions ever detected at the annual event.

Health insurers fight unethical brokers

In the wake of nationwide complaints about being coerced into signing up for Medicare Advantage by unethical brokers, a nonprofit organization has created an initiative to protect beneficiaries.

America’s Health Insurance Plans lists responsibilities that go beyond the existing guidelines. AHIP will work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to implement training and monitoring of brokers to ensure compliance — including requiring beneficiaries to attest on enrollment applications that they understand the plan they have chosen.

The plan also will strengthen the mechanisms to address non-compliance by working with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, CMS, beneficiary groups and broker organizations develop processes to report broker, agent or employee misconduct.

Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of AHIP, said that while the vast majority of brokers, agents and plan marketing staff adhere to ethical standards, the principles build on the current protections to ensure beneficiaries have greater peace of mind.

“When considering choices regarding their personal health care, seniors and individuals with disabilities deserve to know that they can trust the information they receive,” she said. “The principles coupled with tough enforcement are designed to allow beneficiaries to focus on their Medicare choices without worrying about the integrity of the information provided.”

The move comes after consumer groups complained that many people eligible for Medicare or Medicaid felt pressured or coerced to sign up for Medicare Advantage, the most expensive plan, which offers additional coverage to Medicare recipients.

Brain-injured adults find new home

More than 20 brain-injured adults who were given 30 days’ notice to leave a residential facility in Denver have a new home at The Lodge at Rocky Mountain.

The facility for brain-injured adults opened April 19 at 1420 E. Fountain Blvd.

In late February, the Denver program announced that it would no longer accept Medicaid recipients.

Rocky Mountain Health Care Services learned of the crisis and began work to convert its day clinic for brain-injured individuals into a residential facility.

The Lodge has accommodations for 28 people and a staff of health care professionals who will provide independent living skills training, community reintegration aid, and individual and group counseling.

RMHCS purchased a 13,795-square-foot building at 2335 Robinson St., and the day treatment center moved there April 10.

June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month

In 2006, more than 900 older adults were at risk of physical abuse, neglect or financial exploitation, according to the Department of Human Services.

The cases come to the attention of service providers through victims, family members, friends, neighbors or social workers.

The Colorado Coalition for Elder Rights and Adult Protection claims that as many as 10 percent of older adults are victims of abuse, but only one in eight incidents is reported to service providers.

People who work with the elderly suspect that abuse and neglect are far more prevalent than reports show.

Amy Gillentine covers health care for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.