Opioid-addiction is a crisis around the region and nation, but treatment options are available

Insider Louisville LogoNo one is disputing that the opioid crisis is an epidemic in communities all over America. What starts for many as an addiction to legally prescribed painkillers can become an overwhelming craving that makes the introduction of heroin an economical and logical choice for many.

In fact, the number of deaths due to heroin overdose have recently surpassed the number of deaths due to motor vehicle accidents, Dr. Mary Bouldin, director of addiction medicine at LifeSpring Health Systems in Jeffersonville, says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville.

“It’s very rare that somebody starts off shooting heroin,” she says. “Nobody wakes up saying ‘I think I want to be an injection-drug user today,’ but what happens is that because of the development of tolerance, people keep crossing lines that they thought they would never cross.”

For those caught up in the addiction cycle, it can be challenging to get treatment. To read more from Dr. Bouldin, and to see how the issue has affected one former NBA and UK basketball star, please click here.

 

Passport presents Sixth Annual WLOU Summerfest Prayer Breakfast next month in West Louisville

Passport Health Plan is proud to present the Sixth Annual WLOU/WLLV Summerfest Prayer Breakfast at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 16, at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in Downtown Louisville.

The theme for this year’s event is “We Believe In West Louisville.”

The Keynote speaker for the event will be Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby, Senior Pastor of St. Stephen Church and President of Simmons College of Kentucky. Also speaking will be Passport CEO Mark B. Carter, YMCA CEO Steve Tarver, and Metro Louisville Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith.

For more information, please click here or call Angela Lee Price at (502) 776-1240.

 

Kentucky DMS posts Medicaid Address Change Form online for members who need it

Kentucky Unbridled Spirit logoThe Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) has posted a Medicaid Change of Address form online for any Kentucky Medicaid member who needs to update their home address. The form is available by clicking here.

If DMS receives any returned mail from an address that is not current, members could be dis-enrolled from Passport (and lose all of their Passport-specific benefits). However, if this happens, the member will NOT lose their overall Medicaid eligibility; instead, they will remain eligible for Kentucky Medicaid and will be in the fee-for-service (FFS) category until their address is updated.​

If an address appears incorrect, the member will have the remainder of that month plus another month to update the address.

To update their address, the Kentucky Medicaid member just needs to print out the form, fill it out, sign it and either fax it to 1-502-573-2005 or send it by regular mail to Centralized Mail, PO Box 2104, Frankfort, KY 40601.

 

Compassionate Louisville member works to increase conversation around death

Most people struggle to adequately reflect on their mortality and prepare when the inevitability of death comes for them or their loved ones.

That’s why Justin Magnuson, Compassionate Louisville Healthcare Constellation co-host, has been working to introduce the conversation our community should be having about death and dying by presenting events that show this is not just a concern for healthcare professionals or the elderly, but everyone. His passion for this topic is rooted in the transformative experience of being his grandmother’s health care surrogate when he was 25, and being a longtime hospice volunteer.

For more information about this subject or to get involved, please click here.

 

Go Red for Women helps increase awareness and education year-round about importance of heart health

Go Red for Women LogoGoing Red, as defined by the American Heart Association (AHA), may be the best thing a woman can do for her health.

The AHA began its Go Red for Women initiative in 2003 to bring awareness to the fact that heart disease is the number one killer of women, according to a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. That amounts to 1 in 3 women who die, which is more than all cancer deaths combined, according to the AHA.

Go Red for Women is “a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health,” according to the website. More than a million women nationally have committed to Go Red.

“My goal is to make it not only a February thing, but we should make it 365 days a year. Everybody should be thinking about heart health,” said Jill Bell, vice president of Passport Health Plan and chair of the 2017 Go Red for Women Luncheon in Louisville, which will be held on Friday, May 19. For more information about the event, please click here. Or to see a video about what Go Red for Women means to two Louisville women, please click here.

National Foster Care Month shines spotlight on 400,000 youth who need assistance

May is National Foster Care Month, when we pay special attention to the more than 400,000 children and youth in foster care. There’s an overwhelming need for individuals, families, and communities to become involved as foster parents, respite providers, volunteers, or mentors of children who need an adult role model.

Passport works very closely with the Kentucky Department of Community Based Services (DCBS) to help increase the adoption or placement of children in DCBS custody. DCBS Commissioner Adria Johnson recently said that DCBS moved children 5,558 times last year.

The National Foster Care Month website is full of resources to help support children, youth, and their families, especially those involved in foster care. Some ways to help include the following:

  • Becoming a foster parent
  • Volunteering as a court appointed special advocate (CASA) for children
  • Being a mentor or “supportive adult” in a youth’s life
  • Joining or hosting a fundraising event
  • Donating services, goods, computers, etc. to older youth in foster care
  • Lending a hand to help current foster parents and caregivers with their day-to-day needs

Visit the section dedicated to communities and take the opportunity to learn more about how to become a foster parent or find other ways to contribute to the positive development of children and youth involved with foster care. You can also join Passport on the National Foster Care Month Campaign Facebook page, which is open to all individuals, organizations, groups, or agencies with an interest in foster care. The page is your place to share, learn, and promote events, resources, stories, and photos celebrating National Foster Care Month.

For more information, contact Child Welfare Information Gateway at NFCM@childwelfare.gov or call (800) 394-3366.

 

Caregiver burnout is a growing problem across the U.S.

Restoring JoyFrom health sector caregivers to medical students and faculty, caregiver burnout continues to be a growing problem across the United States, according to a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville.

A study released in 2015 by the Mayo Clinic and the American Medical Association reveals that more than 50 percent of physicians in the U.S. demonstrate at least one sign of burnout, a 9 percent increase between 2011 and 2014.

And, according to the 2016 National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report published by NSI Nursing Solutions, Inc., the turnover rate for bedside RNs increased to 17.2 percent, up from 16.4 percent in 2014.

The Joy Experiment seeks to tackle this challenge through an exploratory pilot project for finding new way to use creativity (combined with compassion) to mitigate burnout and improve the health and well-being of caregivers. To learn more about this, please click here.

 

Passport Health Plan Promotes Carl Felix to Position of Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer

Passport Health Plan has promoted Carl Felix to the position of Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

“Carl joined Passport in May 2016 as Vice-President–Operations Oversight, responsible initially for the organization’s Medicare Advantage Dual-Special Needs Plan (called “Passport Advantage”) and the overall relationship with Evolent Health,” said Passport CEO Mark B. Carter. “Over the course of the year, Carl accepted a number of new responsibilities and performed at the highest level in doing so. His elevation to COO is simply being formalized at this time.”

Carl’s initial career in the United States Army culminated with his service at the rank of Sergeant Major. After an assignment with the Army in Kentucky and his retirement from active service, Carl served in the administrations of two governors. During his state government service his responsibilities, among others, included management of the Kentucky Employees Health Benefit plans and Commissioner of Personnel Administration. After leaving state government, Carl was Chief Operating Officer for Bluegrass Family Health in Lexington for 10 years. Carl will provide overall leadership to Passport’s operations and will be a key leader in the continuing development and evolution of the Medicaid Center of Excellence.

“Carl has brought talent, drive and dedication to Passport,” Mr. Carter added. “He is a rare executive in that he balances the qualities of an effective manager with those of a leader. And, he’s fully committed to our mission to improve the health and quality of life of our members.”

For more information, please click here.

 

March of Dimes and others continue to help women reduce risk factors of premature births

HopeEvery expectant mother has an ideal vision of the birthing process, one that results in her holding her newborn in her hospital room with family gathered around.

But the reality is that premature births happen — and in Kentucky they happen at a rate 2 percent higher than the national average. When a baby is born prior to the 37th week of pregnancy, it is considered premature. There’s no official cause of premature birth, and the March of Dimes spends millions of dollars on research to determine ways to help mothers carry babies to full term births.

“The cause of premature birth is unknown,” Ryan Burt, Wellness Manager at Passport Health Plan, said in an Insider Louisville article. “There are certain risk factors that can lead to premature birth and we can tell women to be sure to lower their risk, but the actual reason is still unknown.”

To read more about this, please click here. To register for the March of Dimes’ biggest annual fund-raiser, the Greater Louisville March for Babies, on Saturday, May 13 on the Big Four Lawn at Waterfront Park, please click here.

 

Passport Announces Decision to Move Company Headquarters to West Louisville

Passport Health Plan announced today that it has acquired a significant West Louisville property at 18th Street and Broadway. Passport’s plan for the 20-acre site is to create a state-of-the-art Health and Wellness Campus to serve the needs of the local community and house its 500-plus employees in its new corporate headquarters.

Plans for the campus would include health- and service-based retail sites adjacent to the newly announced YMCA facility. Together, the new developments will help transform this important section of West Louisville by providing much-needed services, jobs, and economic development opportunities. Before construction begins, Passport will engage the West Louisville community through a series of meetings and listening sessions to hear about residents’ needs and desires for the Health and Wellness Campus.

“Passport Health Plan is growing because of the great service we provide to our members, and we need to find a new home for our current and future employees,” CEO Mark B. Carter said at a news conference announcing the purchase. “After 20 years in the Louisville community, we realize that to truly meet our mission – to improve the health and quality of life of our members – we need to build a new model in healthcare. This new campus, and our initiative to integrate social determinants of health into our health plan, will ensure access to resources and services in our community and beyond to help our members flourish in all aspects of their lives.”

The corporate headquarters will initially be home to Passport’s current 500-plus employees, but will be designed with the extensive future growth in mind.

To read more about this announcement, please click here. For more information about the terms of the agreements, please click here.  To see an early rendering of what the site could look like, please click here