Member Advisory Council (MAC)
New Year, New MAC? Well not entirely but we do have a new way of doing things. In-person MAC meetings are on hold. Instead, virtual MAC meetings are taking place. These meetings are open to our B – UFC/ALTCS members and/or relatives and representatives, community agencies and providers. At these meetings we get to hear our member’s feedback about our services and identify issues.
Below is the quarterly MAC meeting schedule
May 18, 2021 – 2:00p.m – 3:00p.m. via Microsoft Teams
August 17, 2021 – 2:00p.m – 3:00p.m. via Microsoft Teams
For more information or if you would like to participate please email email@example.com.
08/24/2020: COVID-19 Update
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person meetings have been placed on hold. We miss the interaction with our members, providers, and community representatives. We look forward to the time when we can safely gather again. Meanwhile, we have created a special MAC direct mail piece just for you! This is scheduled to be mailed by September 30, 2020.
9/28/2020: You've Got Mail
The MAC direct mail piece was sent September 21, 2020! We hope you find the information helpful. Please continue to check our website for future MAC Updates. The digital version is available below.
11/05/2020: MAC Memory
We miss you! Right around this time last year we kicked off our Quarter 1 MAC Meetings. Here are some pictures to look back on and reminisce the great times we had. We are hopeful to be able to gather again soon and capture new memories!
We want to hear from you and know how you are doing. Remember you can contact our Customer Care Center or your ALTCS Case Manager for assistance with your health care needs.
11/12/2020: B – UFC/ALTCS in the Community
Look at what our ALTCS Case Managers have been up to! Case Managers teamed up with local Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities in Yuma and had residents design, color and paint hands. The hands were used to decorate a Promise Garden for the 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
11/18/2020: Prepare for the Flu
Prepare for The Flu
If we were still holding MAC meetings, we would certainly be having a discussion about Influenza (the Flu). Here are some points we have discussed at previous MAC meetings:
- Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus
- Influenza is spread mainly from person to person, through droplets made when people sneeze, cough, or talk
- Prevent spreading the virus by washing your hands often and covering coughs and sneezes
- Routinely clean frequently touched objects and surfaces including doorknobs, phones, remotes, etc
- The single best way to prevent the Flu is to get a vaccine every year
- The Flu shot is an inactivated vaccine (contains killed virus) You cannot get the Flu from the vaccine
- About two weeks after receiving the vaccine, antibodies develop that protect you against the virus
Get your Flu Shot!
Checkout our 2020 Flu Resources and find out how you can qualify to earn a $10 Subway gift card just by getting your Flu shot!
- Go to the BannerUFC.com/ALTCS Home Page
- Scroll down to News & Events
- Click on Flu Resources
OR Click Here!
11/25/2020: Thanksgiving Tips
Weather it’s a virtual gathering, just immediate family or a party of one, we want to wish you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! In addition to COVID-19 precautions, there are some other safety tips to keep in mind. Click here to read about Top Tips for Safe Stuffing.
12/03/2020: Pyx Health™ Mobile App
During the holiday season it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the happenings and pressures. The added concerns around COVID-19, and the need to take precautions to stay safe, may add to your stress. Today we thought it would be nice to remind you as you to take care of yourself. Here are some tips from our friends at Pyx Health:
- Take care of yourself physically- this can improve your mental health
- Eat nutritious meals
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise, which helps decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods
- Get enough sleep- Researchers believe that lack of sleep contributes to a high rate of depression
- Practice good coping skills- try one-minute stress strategies, exercise, take a nature walk, play with your pet or try journal writing as a stress reducer
- Break up the routine- although our routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule
Last but not least… Download the Pyx App! - When you download the app, Pyxir – Pyx's intelligent robot will be with you at every step. Pyxir can help you:
- Laugh, feel less lonely and be a friend whenever you need it
- Connect with your family and friends to give you support
- Find a provider
- Connect you to local resources for food, housing, employment, and ﬁnancial assistance
12/10/2020: December Holidays Around the World
Although Christmas is the most celebrated Holliday in the US, let’s look at what other holidays are celebrated throughout the world in just December alone! You may celebrate some of these yourself or know someone who does.
Hanukkah, or Chanukah, is an eight-day Jewish celebration that commemorates the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem following the Maccabean Revolt. Those who took part in the re-dedication witnessed what they believed to be a miracle. Even though there was only enough untainted oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued to burn for eight nights.
Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 after the Watts riots in Los Angeles. He founded US, a cultural organization, and started to research African “first fruit” (harvest) celebrations. From there, he combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations to form the basis of Kwanzaa.
Boxing Day takes place on December 26. Only celebrated in a few countries, the holiday originated in the United Kingdom during the Middle Ages. It was the day when the alms box, collection boxes for the poor often kept in churches, were opened and their content distributed, a tradition that still happens in some areas. It was also the day servants were traditionally given the day off to celebrate Christmas with their families.
Ōmisoka, New Year’s Eve, is considered the second-most important day in Japanese tradition as it is the final day of the old year and the eve of New Year’s Day, the most important day of the year. Families gather on Ōmisoka for one last time in the old year to have a bowl of toshikoshi-soba or toshikoshi-udon, a tradition based on eating the long noodles to cross over from one year to the next.
12/18/2020: Area Agency on Aging
Are you familiar with your local Area Agency on Aging? Resources such as; 24 HR Senior Help Line, Adult Day Health Care, Ameri Corps, APS Care Coordination, Benefits Assistance, Congregate Meals, Family Care Giver Support Programs and many more are available to you! See below to find your local Area Agency on Aging Information:
Cochise, Graham, Greenlee & Santa Cruz Counties
Southeastern Arizona Governments Organization (SEAGO)
La Paz & Yuma Counties
Western Arizona Council of Governments (WACOG)
Area Agency on Aging, Region One
(888) 783-7500 or (602) 264-HELP (4357)
Pinal & Gila Counties
Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens (PGCSC)
Pima Council on Aging (PCOA)
This information is also found in your B – UFC/ALTCS Member Handbook, in the Additional Resources section, listed under Family Support Information and Community Resources.
12/22/2020: Prior Authorization Requests
12/23/2020: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people. Gatherings during can be an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. This holiday season consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families, and communities healthy and safe.
- Check the COVID-19 infection rates in areas where attendees live on state, local, territorial, or tribal health department websites. Based on the current status of the pandemic, consider if it is safe to hold or attend the gathering on the proposed date.
- Limit the number of attendees as much as possible to allow people from different households to remain at least 6 feet apart at all times. Guests should avoid direct contact, including handshakes and hugs, with others not from their household.
- Host outdoor rather than indoor gatherings as much as possible. Even outdoors, require guests to wear masks when not eating or drinking.
- Avoid holding gatherings in crowded, poorly ventilated spaces with persons who are not in your household.
- Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors to the extent that is safe and feasible based on the weather, or by placing central air and heating on continuous circulation.
- For additional information on increasing ventilation, visit CDC’s information on Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home.
- Winter weather can be cold, wet, and unpredictable. Inclement weather makes it difficult to increase ventilation by opening windows or to hold an event outdoors.
- If setting up outdoor seating under a pop-up open air tent, ensure guests are still seated with physical distancing in mind. Enclosed 4-wall tents will have less air circulation than open air tents. If outdoor temperature or weather forces you to put up the tent sidewalls, consider leaving one or more sides open or rolling up the bottom 12” of each sidewall to enhance ventilation while still providing a wind break.
- Require guests to wear masks. At gatherings that include persons of different households, everyone should always wear a mask that covers both the mouth and nose, except when eating or drinking. It is also important to stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not in your household at all times.
We may celebrate differently this year, but the spirit is the same. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
01/06/2021: Socks for Seniors
We’d like to take a moment to recognize our B – UFC/ALTCS Case Managers for their positive contribution to local communities! Every year, case managers hold a Sock Drive and drop donations to local assisted living facilities.
This year, a total of 727 pairs of socks where collected! To go along with the socks, case managers and their families got creative and made holiday greeting cards! We appreciate our case managers, their families and all who donated.
We would like to recognize some of our top donors:
- United Cerebral Palsy
- Adult Protective Services
- Blanca Arias
- Hospice Compassus
01/07/2021: Healthy Lifestyle Resources
Thinking about embarking on a healthy living journey? See below for a list of local resources that may be available to you at no cost!
- Diabetes Self-Management Training Center
Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center
- Produce on Wheels Without Waste (P.O.W W.O.W)
Chandler Regional Medical Center
- Center for Diabetes Management
- Diabetes Self Management Education Program - Comprehensive
- Scottsdale Healthcare Diabetes Center/John C. Lincoln Deer Valley & North Valley
480-323-4800 Ext. 1
- Diabetes Education
Banner - University Medicine Endocrinology and Diabetes Clinic
- Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
- Diabetes Education
Carondelet Health Network Holy Cross Hospital
- Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
- Yuma County Wellness Program
- Eat Healthy Be Active Program
- Diabetes Self-Management Education
Yuma Regional Medical Center
01/14/2021: MAC Going Virtual
It’s been a long time since we have come together and although in-person meetings are cancelled, we can still come together virtually and hear what our members and communities have to say!
Meetings are open to B – UFC/ALTCS members, peers, family members, community agencies, providers, and other community representatives. MAC meetings dates are posted quarterly on the main MAC Page. Below is the quarterly schedule for 2021.
February 16, 2021 – 2:00p.m. – 3:00p.m. via Microsoft Teams
May 18, 2021 – 2:00p.m – 3:00p.m. via Microsoft Teams
August 17, 2021 – 2:00p.m – 3:00p.m. via Microsoft Teams
Please contact your ALTCS Case Manger or our Customer Care Center at (833) 318-4146 if you would like to participate in the MAC virtual meetings. We look forward to hearing from you!
01/18/2021: MLK Day
Today we honor a dream. Today we celebrate the inalienable rights of all humanity to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
01/28/2021: How to File a Grievance
Call Customer Care if you have a specific grievance or dissatisfaction with any aspect of your care. Examples of grievances are service issues, transportation issues, quality of care issues and provider office issues. Interpretation services are available in any language at no cost to you. You may call Customer Care to file a grievance (complaint) or voice your compliant at the MAC meetings. You may also file your grievance in writing by mailing it to the address listed below. Your grievance will be reviewed, and a response will be provided no later than ninety (90) days from the date that you call us at (833) 318-4146.
Banner – University Health Plans
Attn: Grievance & Appeals Department
2701 E. Elvira Road, Tucson, AZ 85756
Phone: (833) 318-4146, ask for Grievance & Appeals
Fax: (520) 874-3462 or (866) 465-8340
If B – UFC/ALTCS denies a requested service, you will get a letter called the Notice of Adverse Benefit Determination (NOABD). You can also file a complaint about the adequacy of the Notice of Adverse Benefit Determination (NOABD111) letter, for a denial of service by B – UFC/ALTCS.
For more detailed information about grievances click here to go visit our Grievances & Appeals page.
02/19/2021: Love of Reading Month
Do you like to read?
February is love of reading month! Did you know that the reading is linked to positive effects on overall health?
Research shows that regular reading:
- improves brain connectivity
- increases your vocabulary and comprehension
- empowers you to empathize with other people
- aids in sleep readiness
- reduces stress
- lowers blood pressure and heart rate
- fights depression symptoms
- prevents cognitive decline as you age
Need something to read? Checkout our newest member newsletter by clicking here!
What is the difference between normal sadness, grieving and depression?
Let’s see what the experts at the American Psychiatric Association have to say:
Here is a very simple way to tell the difference…
Everyone experiences a range of emotions over the course of days and weeks, typically varying based on events and circumstances.
- When disappointed, we usually feel sad.
- When we suffer a loss, we grieve.
Normally these feelings ebb and flow. They respond to input and changes.
By contrast, depression tends to feel heavy and constant. People who are depressed are less likely to be cheered, comforted or consoled. People who recover from depression often welcome the ability to feel normal sadness again, to have a “bad day,” as opposed to a leaden weight on their minds and souls every single day.
Source: American Psychiatric Association
03/26/2021: Advance Directives
Advanced Directives are your written treatment wishes. This is done when you are able to make decisions for yourself. We respect your right to accept or deny medical care. Your physicians will be able discuss your treatment choices. You will be in charge of preparing your Advanced Directive.
The two most common Advance Directives are the Living Will and the Durable Power of Attorney. The Living Will gives information about whether you want or don’t want life sustaining procedures if you have a condition that cannot be cured or improved. A Medical Power of Attorney allows you to name a person you trust to decide what type of treatment you will get if you are unable to decide for yourself.
These forms can be found at two (2) state approved websites:
Step by Step Advanced Care Planning
What do you need to do for Advance Care Planning?
- Visit your provider
- Talk about the care you want to get in case you get sick and can't speak for yourself
- Your family or friend can attend your visit
- At the visit your provider will explain your illness and what your options are
- Together you can decide to put your plan into writing to make sure your choices are known
- Plan how to share your choices with family, friends, and your other providers
- This optional advanced care planning visit is covered by your health plan
03/31/2021: Fall Prevention
Check for Safety
Each year, more than one in four older adults aged 65 and older will fall. Among older Americans, falls are the number one cause of injuries and death from injury. This represents 29 million falls, 3 million emergency department (ED) visits, 800,000 hospitalizations, and 28,000 deaths.
If you haven’t already, check your home for possible safety risks. Use the helpful checklist below from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Hello Spring! Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and the sun is shining. For some this means sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, itchy nose or ears among other seasonal allergy symptoms related to pollen exposure. Let’s take a look at what the CDC has to say about pollen and your health.
What is pollen?
Pollen is the grains or tiny seeds of flowering plants, trees, and grasses. These seeds can be carried on the wind and can cause various symptoms, or none at all, in individuals who are exposed to them.
What health problems can pollen cause?
For people with hay fever, also known as “allergic rhinitis,” breathing in pollen can cause sneezing, congestion, and a runny nose. Pollen exposure can also result in “allergic conjunctivitis” in some individuals, causing red, watery, or itchy eyes.
Pollen exposure can also cause asthma attacks in people who have asthma and for whom pollen is an asthma trigger.
How can I protect myself against pollen?
If you are allergic to pollen, or if you have asthma you can take steps to protect yourself:
- Check pollen forecasts on local news and online sources and plan to spend less time outdoors when pollen levels will be high.
- Take your allergy and/or asthma medications as prescribed by your health care provider.
- Don’t touch your eyes while you are outside and wash your hands when you go back inside (before you touch your eyes).
- Shower after being outside to remove pollen from your skin and hair.
- Change your clothes after being outdoors.
- Keep windows closed during pollen season.
- Use high-efficiency filters in your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Make sure your HVAC system can use high-efficiency filters and that they don’t violate the system’s warranty.