January > Wellness Wise
The right care at the right time
Don’t waste time and money with unnecessary trips to the emergency room.
Good reasons to go to the ER:
- Signs of a heart attack
- Signs of a stroke
- Loss of consciousness
- Sudden, severe pain
- Coughing up or vomiting blood
Bad reasons to go to the ER:
- Cold or flu
- Fever (if there is a convulsion go to ER)
- A sprain
- A skin rash
- Minor cuts (no severe bleeding)
There are ways to determine how and where you should seek care:
- Call the 24/7 Nurseline. Experienced registered nurse counselors are available 24/7 to answer health care questions and provide information about a wide variety of health care issues and medical non-emergencies. To talk to a nurse, call this toll-free number: 1-888-315-9473.
- Use the Symptom Checker. This intuitive tool located within the Living Well Health Manager, powered by WebMD, lets you check your symptoms and research possible health problems. Just click on the part of the body where you feel symptoms. Visit www.webmdhealth.com/ut and select Symptom Checker from the Living Well drop down menu.
Preventive Colon Cancer Screening: 100 Percent Covered
Have you added a routine colon exam to your preventive screening checklist? If not, then maybe you should. The UT SELECT Preventive Care Program currently provides 100 percent coverage for preventive colon cancer screening by way of colonoscopy or CT colonography - also know as virtual colonoscopy. This valuable benefit is available to all employees and dependents covered under the UT SELECT medical plan. No copayment or other out of pocket costs are required for preventive screenings with in-network physicians at any in-network facility.
The American Cancer Society estimates more than 106,000 men and women in the United States were diagnosed with colon cancer in 2009, and almost 41,000 new cases of rectal cancer were reported.
Since colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States and the second most deadly, it is important to understand different factors that affect your risk of developing the disease and know what you can do to reduce your risk.
Individuals at increased risk for developing colorectal cancer include:
- Men and women age 50 and older
- Individuals who smoke and/or drink alcohol
- Individuals who consume a high-fat diet and processed foods
- Individuals who are physically inactive and/or overweight or obese
- Individuals with a personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer or benign (non cancerous) adenomatous polyps
Reducing your risk is essential to your health. Activities that have been proven to reduce individual risk include the following recommendations:
- Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day
- Limit daily fat intake to no more than 30 percent of the total calories consumed
- Exercise regularly, at least 30 minutes per day
- Maintain an ideal weight
- Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption
It is important to know that both prevention and early detection are key factors in reducing your risk for this disease. Colorectal cancer is preventable and highly curable if found in the early stages. You have the ability to address both of these factors directly at little or no cost.
The UT System’s 100 percent coverage of preventive colonoscopy and preventive CT colonography screenings offers an opportunity for covered individuals to have this life-saving procedure at no cost to the UT covered employee, covered and dependent. UT System’s Living Well Health Manager can connect you directly with numerous resources that offer various types of support for incorporating risk reducing behaviors and activities into your regular routine.
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and an opportunity for you to make an important plan regarding your health:
- Know your risks
- Reduce your risks
- Get Screened
For more information about this benefit, contact Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Customer Service at 866-882-2034.
About UT Systems Office of Employee Benefits- “Living Well: Make it a Priority” Worksite Health & Wellness program was established in 2007 to encourage all employees, retirees and dependents to reach their full potential and maintain the productivity necessary to meet the challenges of work and life. Our goal in providing a variety of programs, tools and resources is to enable you to take charge of your health and to develop your own personal wellness program utilizing all programs and services available through both UT System Institutions and our plan vendors.Visit us at www.LivingWell.utsystem.edu.