El Paso Health | About Your Health | Spring 2021

Baby Steps Program ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A $100 GIFT CARD! The Baby Steps Program urges you to complete your baby’s well-child checkups. Complete 6 by their 15-month birthday for a chance to win a $100 gift card! After 15 months, your baby needs to complete visits at 18, 24, and 30 months. Annual visits start at the age of 3 years. Continue to work with their PCP to make sure your child gets the preventive care they need. This is your chance to ask about healthy nutrition and physical activity habits. Recognizing fraud and abuse in health care Q How do we know the vaccines are safe? A vaccine must be shown to be safe and effective before it can be offered to the public. That’s what the clinical trial process is for. FDA only authorizes a vaccine for use if it determines that the benefits outweigh the risks. Both the vaccines currently in use had excellent safety records in clinical trials. The most common side effects are mild, like a fever or soreness at the injection site. While some people have experienced allergic reactions to the vaccines, the overall number is small. And vaccine providers are taking steps to monitor and treat any problems. FDA and the CDC also continue to monitor vaccines for safety after they are in use. You can help by signing up for CDC’s v-safe program at vsafe.cdc.gov after you get your first shot. Q How well do the vaccines work? The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 in clinical trials. Moderna’s vaccine was 94.5% effective. Janssen’s vaccine was about 72% effective overall in its U.S. trial and 85% effective against severe disease. All these numbers are very good. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses, given several weeks apart, to provide full protection. The Janssen vaccine is given in a single dose. Q How much does a vaccine cost? The vaccines themselves are free. Some providers may charge a low fee for giving the shot. But most health plans will cover it. For El Paso First STAR and CHIP Members, the COVID-19 vaccine is a covered benefit. So there should be no cost to the person getting the vaccine. No one can be denied a vaccine if they can’t afford to pay. Q After I get a vaccine, can I stop social distancing and wearing a mask? No. A vaccine is just one safety measure we can use to help stop Abuse in health care is as important as fraud and should also be stopped and reported. Both can cost the American government millions of dollars. The important part about abuse is that it can become fraud if not stopped. When you do something wrong and you know it, it is fraud. When you don’t follow rules, it is abuse. Here are some examples of abuse in health care: BY DOCTORS: ■ Overtreatment: when a doctor orders tests or exams you don’t need. ■ Duplicate billing: when a doctor bills the insurance companies for the same thing twice. BY PATIENTS: ■ Using the emergency room for services that are not emergencies. ■ Going to different doctors for a lot of prescriptions. REPORT, REPORT, REPORT Abuse as well as fraud should be reported: ■ You may contact El Paso Health’s: Compliance Department: 1145 Westmoreland El Paso, TX 79925 Hotline for Waste, Abuse, and Fraud: 1-866-356-8395 ■ You may contact the Office of Inspector General Department of Health and Human Services: 1-800-447-8477 PO Box 23489 Washington, DC 20026 the pandemic. But no vaccine is 100% effective. People will still need to wear masks and stay 6 feet away from others. That will need to continue until health experts are sure the vaccine provides long-term protection and until the virus stops spreading so widely. Source: https://oig.hhs.gov/ 3 family health