On the Healthcare Front
Issue #22: December 2023
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when should you call kepro?
- If you are not ready to be discharged from the hospital.
- If your Medicare skilled services are ending too soon. Examples of skilled services include things like physical therapy and nursing services.
- If you have a concern about the quality of care you received.
- If you have a concern about your medical care that needs to be taken care of right away.
Click on the link below for the phone number for your state. These services are free for people who have Medicare.
keep kepro's information close by with wallet cards
If you want to keep Kepro's information handy for the future (just in case you need it), you can print out our wallet cards.
The document can be printed on letter-size paper and includes cards for you to share with family and friends.
Please be sure to print out the card for your state because Kepro phone numbers are not the same for each state.
december 4 - 8 is national influenza vaccination week
It’s important to be aware of flu season, especially since winter is coming.
Flu viruses typically spread in fall and winter, with activity peaking between December and February.
Read more about the flu on Kepro’s flu page, including finding a place to get your flu shot near you.
Medicare covers the flu shot at no cost to you.
The links below include healthy recipe options from several different websites, such as the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
You will also find recipes for people who manage health conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
links for recipes
- Celebrate Cultural Heritage with Healthy Recipes and resources from Nutrition.gov.
- Celebrating Cultural Traditions Through Food is a great way to connect with people and learn about their heritage.
- Explore Culture and Food and find traditional recipes from around the world.
- Find Healthy Recipes from the Federal Government and Cooperative Extension sites in this recipe collection.
- The National Library of Medicine has recipes that show you how to prepare tasty, healthy meals to help you develop a healthy eating pattern.
- Heart Healthy Recipes from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Medicare covers medical nutrition therapy services in certain situations.
Read more about Medicare coverage for medical nutrition therapy.
What will you do differently next year? During this season, people tend to look back and think about what they would like to do differently in the new year.
Maybe you’re thinking about your health and improving how you feel.
You have a lot of options.
Are you making the most of your doctor’s visits?
One thing you can do is think about what you would like to ask your doctor during your visit. Preparing in advance can be quite beneficial. For example, you may have a medical condition like high blood pressure or diabetes. If so, you can ask about new steps to take to help you feel better overall. You can also ask whether there are changes you can make to your lifestyle that could help.
Here are some materials to help you make the most of your doctor’s visits:
- 5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Doctor’s Visit (National Institute on Aging)
- How to Prepare for a Doctor’s Appointment (National Institute on Aging)
- Tips for Patients (scroll down to where it says 'For Patients' on the page)(Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)
Embrace the opportunity to continue to change. Find a new passion. Go on an adventure! Push boundaries by not letting age define your limits.
Visit our Older Americans Month page. There, you can read about adding physical activities into your day. Useful steps are provided that you can take to promote healthy aging.
Earlier this year, we updated our Nutrition Month web page. It now includes resources and information to improve health and nutrition. Check out the information to help you focus on eating healthier.
Our website has other information to help you manage your health:
Best wishes for a healthy new year!
Seeing your doctor regularly – whether it’s your primary care doctor or a specialist – is a good thing.
However, to get the most from your visits, it’s important that you have a good understanding of what your doctor is saying. Then, you can be as involved as possible with your health care!
This is why health literacy is so important. Your personal health literacy is how much you are able to understand and use information from your doctor to help you make good health-related decisions.
what can you do when you don't understand your doctor?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your appointment. If there is something you don’t understand, speak up! Some doctors use words that you might not know. Let your doctor know if you don't understand something. If you don't ask questions, your doctor will think you fully understood what was said.
repeat the information back to your doctor
As your doctor shares information during your visit – things like medications and lifestyle changes – repeat this information back to your doctor in your own words. Doing this will help your doctor know that you understand the information being sharing.
have someone else with you
Sometimes people get nervous at the doctor’s office and have a hard time remembering everything about the visit. Having someone with you who heard the same information can help you to remember and understand the information.
Visit our Health Literacy page for more tips to help you be more involved with your health care.
The holidays can be an enjoyable time. Yet, for some, it can also be a stressful time.
It’s easy for the holiday season to feel not so happy due to dysfunctional families, experiences of loss, or the increasingly cold and dark winter days.
During these times, feelings of sadness can be overwhelming. For those of you who find yourself in this situation, we have a list of resources that could be helpful to you during this holiday season.
- 7 Tips for Managing Your Mental Health During the Holidays (UC Davis Health School of Medicine)
- When the Holidays Aren’t Joyful (University of Minnesota)
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (National Institutes of Health)
- 7 Ways to Manage Stress During the Holidays (Veterans Health Administration)
Publication No. RI146810-327-11/2023. This material was prepared by Kepro, a Medicare Quality Improvement Organization under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy.