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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette



Benefits confusion

There seems to be a great deal of confusion concerning pharmacy benefits between existing United Healthcare commercial patients and the new United Healthcare Maryland Medicaid Program that is administered by the state. If you have United Healthcare Commercial Insurance be assured that this does not affect you at all … at least as of now.
UHC Medicaid managed care organization (MCO) has sold a concept to the state to save money by creating a new UHC MCO, but it is very shortsighted for the patients of the eastern shore with negative consequences to occur. In their haste, they neglected to assure practical access for these patients.
Sure, the [Code of Maryland Regulations] regulations specify that 30 miles is the limit in distance for rural patients to travel from their residence to a pharmacy, but that has never been an issue in the past since the independent pharmacies have positioned themselves to fill the void. Those who are disabled and depend on delivery as well as those without transportation will suffer.
Drugs don’t work if you don’t take them and if you can’t get them, the results will be increased healthcare costs with hospitalizations as a reality. It obviously makes no sense to save on drug costs, but in turn increase total healthcare expenditures with hospitalization. Beginning April 1, there will be over 300 pharmacies that will be left out of the new network, which includes all independent pharmacies in the state.
If you think you have to wait for your prescription at chain pharmacies now, can you imagine what it will be like when nearly half of the pharmacies in the state of Maryland won’t be able to fill those UHC Medicaid prescriptions?
If you’re an existing UHC MCO patient, you can change to another state MCO by calling 800-977-7388, and choosing option 3.
Please remember that all of this change only affects UHC Medicaid MCO participants and your voice can help prevent a catastrophe in your wellbeing.  
Please note: If you did not get a letter from United HealthCare, this change does not apply to you.
Jeff Sherr,
President Apple Discount Drugs

Thanks for blankets
At the beginning of February, Coastal Hospice put out a call to the community requesting lap blankets for our hospice patients.
Many of our patients become chilled, especially in the cold weather of winter or with air conditioning in the summer, and we have traditionally provided lap blankets to give them comfort and warmth. At the time of our call, the demand was exceeding what we were able to supply.
We have been astonished at the generous response from the Lower Shore community. We have received hundreds of beautiful lap blankets–many lovingly crocheted by hand, some meticulously quilted, others soft and fleecy. Groups got together and knitted bags full of blankets; children hand-tied cuddly fleece throws; and individuals spent their evenings sewing and stitching.
Our patients have received this outpouring of love with appreciation and gratitude, and our staff has been inspired by the care shown by you, our dear neighbors.
Thank you all for your love, care and generosity. Please know you have brightened someone’s final days.
Alane K. Capen
President, Coastal Hospice