Serving the Community Since 1956

Serving the Community Since 1956

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Addressing Air Quality Concerns


By Adam Dendauw
Respiratory Department Manager
 
It’s that time of year again when the fires flaring up and spreading smoke into the valley. Most of us think of this as an annoying or irritating, which it is, and are more or less unaffected by the exposure. Those of you out there with pulmonary and lung histories, such as COPD or Asthma dread this time even more. Air pollution and smoke exposure are two very big risk factors to those with a lung disease; even a small increase in the air pollutant index increases your chances off hospital admission due to an exposure related exacerbation. We wanted to give you a few tips to help avoid an episode of shortness of breath or an asthma attack due to smoke exposure.

               The number one tip is obviously, try and remain indoors and avoid smoke exposure as much as possible during this time, if you must go outside try and check the air quality reports first. There are a few websites that can give you a good idea of what the air quality levels are quickly and easily.




               Currently we have a moderate air quality index for the Redding and surrounding areas. Try to remain outdoors as little as possible, even if the air quality is stated as being good or moderate, it can still easily affect those with lung conditions. Avoid the outdoors at all costs if the air index drops to unhealthy. Refrain from any physical activity that is too strenuous or adds other exposures, such as yard work or being around animals. If you can’t avoid an activity, take frequent breaks indoors and out of exposed areas. Also try and do as much as you can early in the day, this is when air quality is at its peak. If you have been prescribed any breathing medications, always carry them with you and consult your doctor about worsening symptoms due to the smoke this time of year, they may be able to give you alternative medications or instructions for your current medications to help with the added smoke risks. When traveling by car, try and keep your windows up and when your air conditioner, please use the internal air circulation to avoid pulling in smoke from the outside.

While indoors, keep your home well ventilated, replace all filters for your air conditioners or central air units in order to cut down on exposure. You can prevent smoke from filtering into your home by making sure that all doors to the outside are properly sealed on all sides and most importantly make sure there is no gap at ground level. Make sure windows are properly sealed off or weather stripped, not only will this help prevent smoke from entering, but it will increase your energy efficiency. Plugging up unused electrical outlets with childproof plastic covers and any other gaps should be filled with suitable filler such as insulating foam for large gaps or silicone caulk for smaller ones. Consider gaps around light fittings, electrical points, around air vents, around plumbing items etc.

Remember that children a are even more prone to problems due to exposure, if your child has a history of asthma or breathing problems, it is best that they avoid smoke exposure if at all possible. Remember to inform their schools, care providers and other family member to be aware of the risks associated with smoke inhalation. Also make sure that they are aware of any breathing medications that they take and that everyone is educated on how to properly use them.

If you or a loved one are caught in an exposure and have shortness of breath try and remain calm, use any breathing medications as prescribed by your doctor, try and get out of the smoke as quickly as possible and rest, taking slow deep breaths, until you feel better. Contact emergency services if you continue to be short of breath. We hope these tips will help, if you have any questions please feel free to contact us, at Mayers Memorial Hospital District Memorial Hospital District. We are Always Caring, Always Here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Don't Fret Over that Bill...We May Be Able to Help



Financial Counseling Can Assist Patients

Unexpected things happen and we are seldom in control of our healthcare needs. Unfortunately an illness or injury isn’t something that is budgeted for.  Mayers Memorial Hospital District has taken necessary steps to assist the patient in time of need.

FinancialCounseling offers patients the opportunity to apply for Financial Assistance through various Federal, State, and local programs.  Mayers Memorial Hospital has a Certified Covered California Application Counselor on staff that can assist patients with applying for Medi-Cal or other insurance coverage.

With Financial Counseling, we are able to access the patient’s needs and find the best solution for them that will allow them to proceed with medically necessary services while still being able to afford them.  From a Financial Assistance Policy to monthly payment arrangements, each situation is handled on an individual basis to reassure the patient we are truly here to help.
If there are concerns with a bill received, patients are encouraged to reach out to our Patient Financial Services department for assistance as soon as they receive their first bill.  If a bill is forwarded to a third party agencies for handling, Mayers can still assist the patient and address any concerns they may have, and will work with you to resolve the account.  Mayers has two third party companies that handle billing on our behalf:

·        AR Services – An extension of Mayers Patient Financial Services Department.  The perform follow up patient billing on our behalf, handling accounts after the first statements is sent by Mayers.  If patients pay their bill in full or make monthly payment arrangements directly with Mayers within 30 days of receiving their first statement, the account will not be forwarded to AR Services. 

 
·        State Collections – Mayers collections agency.  If an account remains outstanding without a payment arrangement in place for more than 120 days they are referred to State Collections.  It is important to handle accounts sent to State Collections within 30 days of the first statement date.


It is the goal of Mayers to assure patients that the staff is here for them in regards to every aspect to their care, including the often overwhelming task of paying for services received. 

Visit www.mayersmemorial.com for more information on financial services and the discount payment program.