How to prevent ED visits for URIs? CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED PO Box 971100 El Paso, TX 79997-1100 Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Walla Walla, WA Permit No. 44 Provider Newsletter Fall • 2018 A ccording to Texas Health and Human Services, upper respiratory infections (URIs) have been in the top 5 conditions for hospital emergency department (ED) visits in Texas for years. In 2015 alone, there were more than 500,000 ED visits for URIs. In 2016, that number was still over 500,000. As you know, most of the time, URIs are not considered an emergency, and members should not be seen in the ED. We need your assistance in encouraging members to seek services at Providers' offices, promoting the use of night clinics, and providing education to parents to help them manage the symptoms of URIs at home instead of immediately heading to the ED. El Paso Health also has some services that can help: ■ ■ FIRSTCALL Medical Advice Infoline. The line is available 24/7 to our members only—registered nurses will triage our members over the phone to provide the best medical advice for their situation. ▶ STAR members: 1-844-549-2826 . ▶ CHIP members: 1-844-549-2827 . ■ ■ Night clinics. El Paso Health has many contracted night clinics that accept El Paso Health Medicaid. You can look in our Provider directory to see a list of night clinics. You can also call our offices at 915-532-3778 for night clinic brochures to offer El Paso Health members. FLU SEASON Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate! David Palafox, MD, DABFM, El Paso Health Medical Director As the flu season rapidly approaches, encourage your patients, family, and friends to get their annual flu vaccine. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccine effectiveness can vary. Recent studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40 and 60 percent among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well- matched to the flu vaccine. Flu vaccines are available beginning mid-September 2018 through the pharmacy benefit for all El Paso Health members: STAR, CHIP, and CHIP Perinate members ages 18 and over per Texas Vendor Program and the vaccines they approve. Members under 18 must receive the flu vaccine at their Primary Care Provider’s office starting at age 6 months. Flu vaccines are available through these participating pharmacies: ■ ■ CVS ■ Albertsons ■ Walgreens ■ Wal-Mart ■ Target Pharmacies and Providers can call 1-877-908-6023 Navitus PBM with any questions about coverage. Oseltamivir Generic (Tamiflu) is on the Texas Medicaid PDL preferred drug list in capsule and liquid forms. View the formulary at txvendordrug.com/ formulary/formulary-search .