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EAGAN, Minn. (November 22, 2023) – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) has expanded its statewide High Value Network for Medicare Advantage to include all locations of Hennepin Healthcare, including the hospital and hospital-based clinics located on the HCMC campus in downtown Minneapolis. The additions, which are part of a new three-year contract between Blue Cross and Hennepin Healthcare, have the High Value Network providing Medicare Advantage members with access to 98 percent of doctors in Minnesota.
Hennepin Healthcare is a nationally recognized integrated system of hospital and neighborhood clinics located in Minneapolis and suburban communities across Hennepin County. The HCMC campus is the heart of medical care in downtown Minneapolis. The campus is comprised of a 484-bed hospital, an outpatient Clinic & Specialty Center, and a Level 1 Adult and Pediatric Trauma center that makes up the largest emergency department in Minnesota. In addition to its downtown hub, Hennepin Healthcare operates clinics in the North Loop, Whittier and East Lake Street neighborhoods of Minneapolis and the suburbs of Brooklyn Park, Golden Valley, Richfield and St. Anthony Village.
The Blue Cross High Value Network for Medicare Advantage provides broad choice of quality care from providers that Minnesotans know and trust. In the Twin Cities metro area, the High Value Network includes all major care systems, including Allina Health; Children’s Hospitals and Clinics; Entira; M Health Fairview; North Memorial Health; Ridgeview; St. Croix Regional Medical Center; University of Minnesota Physicians; and now, Hennepin Healthcare.
Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plans are among the top-rated Medicare plans in the nation, earning a total of 4.5 out of a possible five stars from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for 2024. According to December 2022 enrollment data from CMS, Blue Cross is the No. 1 Medicare plan chosen by Minnesotans, with options available in all 87 counties.
More information about Blue Cross Medicare plans can be found at bluecrossmn.com/medicare.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota- For 90 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (bluecrossmn.com) has supported the health, wellbeing and peace of mind of our members by striving to ensure equitable access to high quality care at an affordable price. Our 2.5 million members can be found in every Minnesota county, all 50 states and on four continents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Citations for claims made in this announcement are available at bluecrossmn.com/medsources
FirstLight Home Care is a renowned provider of non-medical home care services, offering a range of solutions designed to meet the unique needs of each client. Their team of dedicated caregivers is passionate about fostering independence and ensuring the well-being of those they serve.Services Offered:1. Companion Care: FirstLight Home Care understands the importance of companionship for overall well-being. Their caregivers provide friendly and supportive companionship, engaging clients in meaningful conversations, games, and activities.2. Personal Care: Recognizing the significance of personal dignity, FirstLight's caregivers assist with activities of daily living, including bathing, grooming, and mobility support. These services are tailored to maintain a sense of independence and dignity for clients.3. Dementia Care: For individuals living with dementia, FirstLight Home Care offers specialized care services. Caregivers undergo extensive training to provide compassionate support while promoting a safe and familiar environment for those with cognitive challenges.4. Respite Care: Family caregivers often need a break to rest and recharge. FirstLight Home Care offers respite care services, allowing family members to take time off while ensuring their loved ones receive the care and attention they deserve.5. Transition Assistance: Moving from a hospital or rehabilitation facility to home can be challenging. FirstLight Home Care assists in easing this transition by providing support during the initial period, helping clients regain their independence.6. Travel Companion Program: FirstLight understands that travel can be daunting for seniors or those with special needs. Their Travel Companion Program offers assistance for individuals who want to explore the world, ensuring a comfortable and secure travel experience.Quality of Care:FirstLight Home Care is committed to delivering exceptional care through highly trained and compassionate caregivers. Their rigorous hiring process ensures that caregivers possess the necessary skills, empathy, and dedication to meet the diverse needs of their clients.Client-Centered Approach:What sets FirstLight Home Care apart is their emphasis on individualized care plans. Each client receives a customized care plan based on their unique preferences, needs, and lifestyle. This client-centered approach ensures that the care provided aligns with the values and goals of those receiving it.Conclusion:FirstLight Home Care in Minneapolis is more than just a care provider; it is a partner in enhancing the lives of individuals and families. Through their comprehensive range of services and commitment to personalized care, FirstLight stands as a beacon of support, promoting independence, dignity, and a higher quality of life for all those they serve. Call us for more information and help at 612-473-3227.
I began my career in senior living in 1996. I had just graduated with my bachelors degree in therapeutic recreation. My first job was working in a nursing home as an activity assistant in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota. For the next ten years, I devoted my work week to providing seniors with meaningful activities. It was a joy to bring smiles to people. The programming that is now offered in senior housing has evolved. While some assisted living communities still offer bingo and bible study there is so much more to look forward to.Social EventsParties and Themed Get TogethersSocial events serve the purpose of bringing people together for the fun of it. Birthday parties, monthly themed get-togethers and holiday celebrations are other fun ways to bring people together. Some senior living communities will plan theme parties and design the menu to include a special meal related to the party. This gives everyone an opportunity to participate.Music is a MustLive music is one activity that almost everyone enjoys. You can sing along, clap, dance or just listen to the tunes. Music feeds the soul. It also helps to bring forgotten memories forward for people that have dementia.Happy HourHappy hour is not just for people who enjoy adult libations. Non-alcoholic options are almost always served too. Many assisted living homes include a generous snack to go along with the beverages.Community TripsShoppping and OutingsSenior living almost always offers transportation for scheduled community outings. First off, most people like to go out to eat. Even when the senior living offers meals three times a day, getting out allows for a change of scenery.Secondly, seniors like to go to the store and shop. In this case, the bus will take you from home and drop you off at the store. Sometimes, a staff member is available to assist you with shopping. Seasonal trips to the theater, casino, and other places around town offer entertainment outside of facility.When I was an activity director, the residents of the senior living wanted to go sledding during the winter. One resident had never done this before, and it was something she always hoped to do. We loaded up the van and took the residents to Buck Hill in Burnsville.Ill never forget the smile on Claras face as she rode down the hill. As I helped her out of the inner tube she said to me, you made my dream come true. It is a highlight of my career.Intellectual ProgramsLifelong LearningKeeping your mind engaged in stimulating programs is important as a person ages. Senior living homes are now offering a wide range of programs to do just that, keep your brain active.Lifelong learning is one of the cornerstones at Ebenezer communities. They combine educational programs with a collection of coordinated arts to keep the mind active. The Waters Senior Living offers a program called The Great Courses. This award-winning program allows you to learn from experts and professors from institutions all around the world.Online OptionsTechnology now offers many ways for seniors to stay engaged in educational programming. Whether its Solitaire or Soduko, games like these help engage the mind. Online courses are a benefit today. We can learn about events and history all over the world in the comforts of our own home.Creative ArtsArt gives everyone the opportunity to explore and tap into their creative selves. Whether it is a guided painting class, drawing or journaling, we all have an artist within us.It is amazing to watch something beautiful emerge from a blank page. There are some senior living communities that have designated space such as an art studio or a woodworking shop. At times, these classes are taught by the residents living there. This is a great way to share a talent and give leadership opportunities to the people living there.Dementia Specific ProgrammingWhen it comes to serving people with memory loss, senior living communities create targeted programs that are designed to give purpose and meaning for those living in memory care.For several years, I worked in an assisted living community that served as a primary residence to more than 70 people living with dementia. What made this community special was the programming and the people who carried out the services daily. Great care was taken in planning activities that would be meaningful to the people living there.Music always played a big role in bringing forward memories. Faith based programming was also incorporated into each month. Sensory programs like baking and special meals were also intertwined throughout the month. Reminiscing about the past was incorporated into sing along programs and trivia.In memory care, it is essential to know the interests of each resident to design a program that gives everyone an opportunity to participate.Celebrate Activity ProfessionalsJanuary 24th, 2024 is National Activity Professionals day. It is a day to recognize and thank the creative teams that bring so much joy to the people they serve in senior housing and beyond. Take a moment to say Thank You or write a note of encouragement.Planning creative programs month after month is challenging. The professionals that chose this career do it because they love making other people happy.Thank you, activity professionals for making a difference in the lives of seniors! Call us for more information at 651-261-5379. Written by Janelle Meyers, CSA (R), LALD
Research shows that seniors are common targets of scammers. One of the most common ways that criminals try to get information is through Medicare scam calls. In fact, your Medicare number is often more valuable for criminals than your social security number or credit card numbers/banking information.The caregivers at Gentle Shepherd Home Care in Colorado Springs can help you identify these scams. We offer a variety of in-home senior care services from companionship to medical care.In this article, well explain what you need to know about common Medicare scams.Does Medicare Ever Call Recipients?There are only two reasons that Medicare will ever call you, according to the Medicare website:Health/drug plan provider may call if you are already a member or the agent who helped you join may contact youCustomer service representative may contact you if youve left a message or received a letter stating that you will receive a phone callTop 7 Medicare ScamsFraudsters are getting smart with their scams. However, if someone calls you claiming to be from Medicare with the following pitches, its a scam.Your old Medicare card is invalid- you will be getting a new cardThis is one of the most common Medicare scams. The fraudster will inform you that in order to issue a new card, they will need your social security number and/or your Medicare card number.Truth: Medicare will not call you if there is an issue with your card. They will send a letter to arrange a phone interview.Your Medicare plan is about to be canceledThe caller will claim that in order to prevent your Medicare from being canceled, you will need to verify your current Medicare number, full name, address, banking information, birthdate, and social security number. This is also a common Social Security scam.Truth: Medicare representatives have your Medicare number on file- they will never ask for it. Additionally, Medicare representatives never ask for details such as your social security number to verity your identity.You are eligible for early access to vaccinationsThe COVID-19 pandemic spawned many pandemic-related scams such as being sent at-home testing kits or special access to vaccinations. These offers require that you provide information such as your Medicare number, social security number, and other personal details. Most of these start out as text messages or robocalls. The caller will offer you special access if you pay out of pocket.Truth: Medicare will never ask for you to pay out of pocket to get special treatment.You must confirm your appointment for genetic testingIn some cases, scammers will call offering free genetic testing to screen for a variety of health conditions. When you agree, they will steal your information and will bill Medicare for the test. In some cases, you may be sent an at-home test to complete along with a request for your information.Truth: Medicare will not call or send an at-home kit to offer you testing that you have not requested.You are eligible for free medical suppliesIf a scammer is aware of a specific health condition, such as diabetes, they may offer you free medical supplies or medications. They use this offer to get your Medicare number and other personal information as well as your credit card number so that you can pay for shipping. Your information will be used to over-bill Medicare.Truth: Medicare is not likely to call you to offer free medical supplies/medications. They will never ask for you to pay for shipping or provide financial information. Never pay for anything without seeing an invoice that can be confirmed with Medicare.You overpaid and are due a refundOne of the most common scams fraudsters use is to contact you via a phone call or text offering a refund on overpayment.Truth: Medicare will not call you to verify your personal financial information before issuing a refund. If you are due for a refund, a paper check will be sent out or it will be sent to the bank account on file.Youve been pre-approved for a cheaper/better planSome scammers will try to convince you that you are eligible for a cheaper/better plan than you are currently on. These are most common during open enrollment.Truth: Medicare will not call you without sending a letter first. You should never follow up on any unsolicited calls, visits from people claiming to be Medicare reps, or brochures.What to Do if You Are ContactedScammers can be persuasive, aggressive, and even threatening. However, its important to stay calm- they wont be able to do anything if you dont give them your information.Also, keep in mind that Medicare will not cold-call you. They will contact you via postal mail first to set up a phone interview.If you or a loved one is contacted by a fraudster:Never give out personal informationHang upReport the scam to MedicareWarn loved onesIf you or a loved one is in need of in-home elderly care, contact Gentle Shepherd Home Care in Colorado Springs. We offer a variety of services from simple companionship to medical care.