New Mexico Health Connections | my connection | Summer 2019

{ MYCONNECTION } 3 It’s upsetting to be told you’re at risk of losing your eyesight due to a rare disease. That’s what happened to Lori, an information technology professional and mother who lives in Albuquerque. Fortunately for Lori, her condition was treated safely and effectively. Caught in time In 2018, after being treated for keratitis and chronic dry eye in her right eye, Lori learned she had limbal stem cell deficiency in both eyes. Limbal stem cells are a part of the top layer of the cornea. When there is a deficiency in the number of limbal stem cells present, the cornea becomes irregular and vulnerable to breakdown or infection. This could lead to severe consequences that may eventually gravely affect a person’s eyesight if they don’t receive a transplant. “Hearing I had limbal stem cell deficiency was shocking,” Lori says. “Not being able to wear regular contact lenses had affected my ability to drive, as I couldn’t get a good enough correction in eyeglasses for finely tuned depth perception.” Lori’s specialist recommended treatment with PROSE contact lenses. PROSE lenses look like oversized hard contact lenses that fit over the sclera—the white part of the eye—so they don’t rest on an already fragile cornea. Made from a gas-permeable polymer with a pronounced dome shape, the lenses hold sterile saline inside. This keeps the eyes constantly hydrated while allowing oxygen in. PROSE lenses act as a protective barrier to support the healing of the cornea, improve blurry vision and prevent further damage to the eye. Lori felt fortunate that her doctor had caught this issue before her eyesight degraded. Commitment to care As an NMHC member for three years, Lori knew NMHC was “not your typical insurance company.” She originally chose her coverage after learning about NMHC’s commitment to preventive care and lowered costs. Initially, Lori was denied the PROSE lenses, but after she requested a review and spoke in-depth with the director of appeals and grievances, NMHC’s medical directors approved the lenses. “It’s made a huge difference in my life!” Lori says. “PROSE lenses solved all my problems.” A few months after testing them out, Lori received good news from her doctor—her limbal stem cell deficiency had greatly improved. “He said my eyes were doing beautifully,” Lori adds. “They are always hydrated. I can drive without any issues. And I appreciate the care NMHC took with me. It’s an insurance company that wants to serve its customers. They saved my vision and quality of life.” Share your story with us Do you have a positive experience as a member that you’d like to share? We’re always looking for member testimonials. Please complete this brief member survey at , and we will be in touch with you. ‘A huge difference in my life’ The 411 on medication recalls From time to time, drug makers issue recalls for medications that do not meet certain standards. A recall is a process to remove products from the market when they do not comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards. Recently, certain medications commonly used to treat high blood pressure, called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), have been recalled because of the presence of an impurity. Examples of ARBs include losartan and valsartan. In response to ongoing recalls of ARBs, FDA recently published a list of ARBs that do not contain an impurity. You can find the list on the FDA website at Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm634620 .htm . When reviewing the list, look for the words not present . This means FDA has determined these products do not contain the impurity. Facebook “f”Logo CMYK / .ai SUMMER 2019 MYCONNECTION is published as a health and wellness service for the members of NEW MEXICO HEALTH CONNECTIONS. Information comes from a wide range of medical experts. If you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health, please contact your primary care provider. Models may be used in photos and illustrations. 2019 © Coffey Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. ID0694-0619 Find us online: Contact us: Customer Service : 855-769-6642 Michelle McRuiz, editor Facebook “f”Logo CMYK / .ai Bill Age 58 Problem: Crushing pain in chest for over 2 hours Wait to see ER doctor: 10 minutes Alternative: None—this is a true emergency Linda Age 22 Problem: Sore throat for 1 day Wait to see ER doctor: 4 hours Alternatives: Call to nurse advice line/possible virtual clinic visit; urgent care $500: Member cost-share for ER visit $0: Member cost-share for nurse advice line; possible copay if prescription given via virtual clinic visit $50: Member cost-share for urgent care visit Jill Age 32 Problem: Rolled ankle while run- ning today; mild to moderate pain Wait to see ER doctor: 3 hours Alternatives: Over-the-counter pain medications and rest/ice/ compression; primary care physician $350: Member cost-share for ER visit Less than $10: Member cost- share for over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen and compression wrap $10: Member cost-share for primary care visit Jose Age 63 Problem: Pain- ful callus on foot Wait to see ER doctor: 6 hours Alternative: Primary care physician $750: Member cost-share for ER visit $35: Member cost-share for primary care visit Jim Age 28 Problem: Dry cough for 2 days Wait to see ER doctor: 4 hours Alternative: Over-the-counter cough syrup 50%: Member cost- share for ER visit after deductible is met $2 to $12: Member cost-share for over- the-counter cough syrup The cost of care GET THE CARE YOU NEED— AT THE BEST PRICE { W E L L N E S S }