Newsletter | January 2020
January is National Blood Donor Month. Help support our friends at LifeStream.
Someone needs blood every two seconds in the U.S. and one in four Americans will require transfused blood at least once in their lifetime. LifeStream is a nonprofit blood center founded in 1951 as the Blood Bank of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Today, LifeStream provides blood products and services to more than 80 Southern California hospitals and medical facilities in six counties.
To fulfill patient need, LifeStream must collect 600 blood donations daily. That’s why they conduct about 1,700 mobile drives annually throughout the LifeStream service area at schools, churches, businesses, government offices, hospitals, and service clubs. Desert Oasis Healthcare (DOHC) has held quarterly blood drives at our Palm Springs campus for many years.
Knowing that many DOHC patients need regular transfusions on an outpatient basis, we set about significantly reducing the “time in the chair” for those patients by as much as four hours. Starting with a single infusion clinic in Palm Springs in 2012, DOHC has since opened two other transfusion clinics, strategically located in Palm Desert and Yucca Valley.
Today, these three DOHC transfusion clinics provide services for those with acute but stable conditions, such as gastrointestinal bleeds. DOHC also specializes in "infusion naïve" patients and now offers platelets for those who need even greater services. Beginning with 25 transfusions in 2012, outpatient transfusions reached 380 in 2018.
"Outpatient transfusion saves patients from being admitted to the hospital for a blood transfusion," said Dr. Marc Hoffing, Medical Director of Desert Oasis Healthcare. "This provides a more comfortable environment for the patient while saving them time. But it also conserves hospital resources and is safer for the patient."
In April, LifeStream honored Desert Oasis Healthcare with its Award for Medical Excellence at its 2019 Gift of Life Tribute: 10-Gallon Donor Celebration. The event attracted more than 1,000 attendees, including more than 100 people who had given more than 50 gallons of blood … and 20 donor who had given more than 100 gallons!
To help assure a safe and steady blood supply by putting more mobile blood donation coaches on the road, legendary two-time Grammy Award winner Rita Coolidge headlined LifeStream’s first Thanks4Giving gala to help raise the necessary funds. As the current LifeStream coaches will soon be noncompliant with more stringent state emission standards, the need for new mobile blood donation coaches has become urgent.
Recognizing that Desert Oasis Healthcare has heard the cry for necessary financial support, as well as being a steady medical partner, LifeStream presented DOHC with its inaugural Humanitarian Award at the 2019 gala. Accepting the award on behalf of DOHC, Maggie Deering, RN, VP of Clinical Services Integration and Jessica Voigt, RN, MSN, Director of Outpatient Clinical Nursing, remarked, "It’s a truly mutual relationship with LifeStream because without them our outpatient transfusion clinics might have have sufficient supplies of blood, plasma and platelets."
L to R: Maggie Deering (RN VP Clinical Services Integration); Dr. Rick Axelrod (CEO of LifeStream); Jessica Voight (RN Director of Outpatient Clinical Nursing)
Throughout the year, we provide our support to many charitable organizations.
To help improve the lives of our more than 57,000 members, our annual giving to nonprofits includes funding programs and services at local senior centers … fighting hunger through FIND Food Bank and Meals on Wheels … helping the less fortunate through Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine … and supporting many other organizations, including the American Heart Association Desert Communities chapter.
In 2020, we’ll continue partnering with the local chapter of the American Heart Association to bring education and health screenings to the community. In addition to health fairs and events throughout the Coachella Valley and the hi-desert, we’ve also held monthly heart-health educational sessions at the Indio Senior Center.
We want everyone to learn how to control their blood pressure and reduce their cholesterol for better health.
"Life is Why" is about helping everyone to "know your numbers" when it comes to achieving better heart health. Why not get started right now? We call it Check. Change. Control.
Here are the highlights of how Team DOHC supported the 2019 Coachella Valley Heart Walk:
See you at the Go Red for Women luncheon on February 21!
Medicare might be one of the best things about turning 65!
Whether you are turning 65 next month or next year, we want you to have the best information about Medicare – for YOUR situation.
Find out more by attending a "New to Medicare" seminar...at no cost, no obligation. Desert Oasis Healthcare is not an insurance company but provides healthcare for a variety of Medicare Advantage health plans – one of them might be the right choice for you to get the best healthcare for many years to come!
For more than 50 years, Medicare has been helping to improve the health and longevity of older Americans, as well as some younger people with disabilities or end-stage renal disease. With healthcare being one of the hottest topics under discussion today, you may be uncertain about your best Medicare choice.
Maybe you’re wondering...
Are Part A (hospitalization) and Part B (medical) enough for me?
Do I need a supplement plan also?
As Part C, what does Medicare Advantage provide that I don’t get with A and B?
What’s covered by Part D, the optional prescription drug benefit?
What if I’m living with a serious, chronic condition – or several chronic conditions?
How can I be sure I’m getting the best coverage for me at a price I can afford?
If your 65th birthday is approaching, you want to make sure you’re getting the right information, to make the right choice about Medicare for you.
And you need to do it soon enough, so you’re not faced with a penalty for not signing up on time.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – or CMS for short – is one of the largest federal agencies, administering vital healthcare programs to over 100 million Americans. CMS wants to make sure that anyone who needs more information about these programs can find it.
The Administrator of CMS had this to say on July 22 in her keynote speech, "The Role of Medicare Advantage in Innovating for the Future of Medicare", at the Medicare Advantage Summit 2019 organized by the Better Medicare Alliance:
"Premiums in Medicare Advantage are at their lowest level in 6 years, having declined 6% since just last year – and even declining by 40% or 70% in certain areas. With greater competition and lower costs, it’s a win for seniors who continue to report high satisfaction with Medicare Advantage."
This "Medicare Advantage 101" presentation on the Better Medicare Alliance website can also be a place where you’ll find answers like these:
- Medicare Advantage plans often cover additional benefits, such as dental, hearing, vision and transportation coverage at no additional cost.
- You can join a Medicare Advantage plan even if you have a pre-existing condition, except for End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
- Your Initial Enrollment Period is when you first become eligible for Medicare or when you turn 65. In general, you can enroll in Medicare Part A, B and C (Medicare Advantage) during your Initial Enrollment Period, which is the 7 months surrounding your 65 birthday.
Medicare can be confusing, but Desert Oasis Healthcare can help explain it to you! If you’re uncertain what the best Medicare option is for you, attend a no-cost, no obligation seminar.
Your primary care office is closed … NOW what?!
No problem … we have Immediate Care locations in Indio, Palm Desert, Palm Springs and Yucca Valley. Whether you just walk in or make an appointment online, our Immediate Care doctors have specialized training and skills.
We’re able to treat a wider range of symptoms than most urgent care locations. In addition to common illnesses, infections and injuries, count on DOHC to recognize and treat more serious health concerns. If it turns out that you DO have a life-threatening condition, we can triage and transport you to ER care quickly.
When you visit one of our Immediate Care Clinics, please bring your insurance card, list of current over-the-counter and prescription medications, and a photo ID. Most patients will see a doctor within 15 minutes of arriving.
We want to make sure you have the best coordinated care, so we’ll share the results of your Immediate Care visit with your other DOHC providers. This helps your team stay up-to-date on your health, so your care is as safe and tailored to your needs as possible.