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A Conversation with Pam Morris, President & CEO of OurCareSource

Author : CareSource

Oct 19th, 2015 | by CareSource

August 9, 2015

Pam Morris, President & CEO of OurCareSource, speaks with Ron Rollins (Dayton Daily News – Ideas & Voices) about the OurCareSource beginnings and the impact of Medicaid after five decades.

What has been the impact of Medicaid after 50 years?

This summer, the federal health-insurance programs Medicaid — which covers poor and low-income people — and Medicare — which covers Americans over 65 who’ve paid into the system — turned 50 years old. It seemed like a good time to check in with Pamela Morris, the founder, president and CEO of CareSource, the Dayton-based health-insurance company that is one of the country’s largest managed Medicaid plans. We interviewed her in the company’s downtown headquarters building. — Ron Rollins

Q: Certainly, most people around here have heard of CareSource, but it’s a large and complex business — can you start us off with your shorthand description of the organization and what you’re about?

A: Well, we’re currently celebrating the fact that Medicaid is 50 years old this year, and it really is the foundation for what we are. CareSource is a nonprofit, consumer-focused health plan, serving primarily low-income populations, but also Medicare consumers. The Medicare customers we have are primarily low-income seniors who get Social Security but also qualify for what we call “wraparound” Medicaid benefits. Most of the members we serve in our health plan are children; uninsured, low-income adults; and seniors. Our roots are in the community — dating back to the formation of what was then the Dayton Area Health Plan in the 1980s, when local leaders came together in a community task force to look at better ways to provide health care to low-income populations, primarily using Medicaid. Long story short, we got funding from the state and built this concept to a community-based non-profit led by a board of trustees in 1985.

To read the full article, visit myDayton Daily News.

Unexpected Rewards

Author : CareSource

Aug 9th, 2013 | by CareSource

CareSource employees are dedicated to providing quality healthcare to our members, but we’re also committed to our own health. Employees participated in a competition between departments recently to see what team could earn the most Vitality points. The Vitality program rewards participants for making healthy choices in their lives and gives them points for activities such as going in for your yearly physical or walking a certain number of steps in a day.

Our employees are a competitive bunch, and over three months collectively racked up more than 1.2 million points! These points represent a lot of individual goals met, appointments made, and hundreds of thousands of steps taken. Most of all these points prove our employees are making a conscious decision to take care of themselves.

One employee, Jake, shared his story and it really helps to see all the value the program brought to our employees lives.  Not only did the program allow Jake to become more active, but it also gave him something to bond over with his co-workers and helped keep his work-life balance in check. 

“Although I did lose inches and drop pant sizes while participating in the Vitality program, that wasn’t the biggest takeaway from my experience.   Some of the unintentional side effects had an even larger impact on my life. When I started the Vitality program, I started it like most others … begrudgingly. As I got involved more and more in the program I noticed some side effects that went beyond a healthier lifestyle.  I noticed that I was introduced into a sub-culture of CareSource, a group of people who were going through the same steps and classes I was. Discussions revolved around how many steps you got in the day before and what you had done to get those steps. It really started to build friendships and camaraderie across department lines. But, the biggest and most unexpected benefit was that it really helped me to gain a work-life balance. 

Like many other folks with young kids, a balance of work and life is not very easy to obtain. You get up early to drop the kids at day care, work all day, pick the kids up, eat dinner, get the kids ready for bed, clean up, and then flop down to watch a littleTV, and go to bed. What started to change is that I became obsessed with getting my steps in so that I would have something to talk about at the office the next day. I don’t like to be the one with the fewest steps. 

Well, that meant I needed to walk on my time at home.  In order to get that done I had to drag the kids along; I dreaded it. I wanted to walk fast so I could get in a good workout,but they could never keep up.  I decided I would put them on their bikes. THEY LOVED IT! It became our daily thing. They got to ride their bikes and I got to exercise. A true win-win.  Not only was I getting my steps in, but I was also able to enjoy quality time with my family. 

It is now to the point where my kids are asking me how many steps I got in and if I need to get more in for the day.  Talk about accountability! Try having your kids asking you if you are going to walk every day.

I am truly grateful for this program as it has helped me to achieve something I was not able to find on my own, quality time with my kids.”

You don’t have to be an employee to reap the benefits of a more active lifestyle. Making healthy choices is the first step to living a healthy life. We have great resources on CareSource.com  to get you started including healthy recipes to incorporate into your daily life and tips for staying active. We know if you try it, you won’t regret it!

ObamaCare, Affordable Care Act—What’s in It for You

Author : CareSource

Jul 19th, 2013 | by CareSource

In the past several years there has been lots of media attention about Health Care Reform. From a Supreme Court ruling to front page headlines, it is hard to keep up with the latest news about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or also known as ObamaCare. And despite the headlines, what every person is asking is, “what’s in it for me.”

At CareSource, we’re very interested in what the ACA will mean for our current members and those who we will serve in the future. Today we came across a great video from the Kaiser Family Foundation that helps break down what the ACA will mean for those who are currently insured and those who will soon be able to get health insurance coverage.

Beginning this fall Americans will have new choices in health care coverage, and some with coverage for the first time. To learn more about the ACA and what’s in it for you, visit HealthCare.gov and check back here. We’ll continue to find the best resources about the ACA to help you navigate the health care system.

Affordable Care Act Video

‘Spring’ into Wellness

Author : CareSource

Mar 18th, 2013 | by CareSource

As soon as the weather warms up, people head outdoors. Whether it’s doing yard work, cleaning out the garage, taking a bike ride or walking the dog, there’s something about those first few days of spring that helps us all get moving, especially after the winter we’ve had this year. And there are quick and easy ways you can add activity to your daily routine.

Here are five tips to help you and your family ‘spring’ into wellness:

1. Buy a pedometer.

Wear it every day to count the number of steps you walk/run. Did you know it’s recommended that we take 10,000 steps per day? That’s a lot more than you realize. By wearing a pedometer, you may find that you have a little more motivation to take the stairs instead of the elevator or to park a little farther out at the grocery store than you normally would. Most pedometers are very affordable and range in price from $10 to $30 depending on the model and features.

2. Drink plenty of water.

How much water should you drink every day? Take your total weight and divide it by two. That’s the number of ounces you should be drinking per day. For example, if you are male that weighs 184 pounds, you should be drinking 92 ounces of water a day.  That’s 11 1/2 eight ounces of water. Water makes up 60% of your body weight and is important for your body to function – flush toxins out of organs, carry nutrients to your cells and provide a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. Doctors recommend that an average, healthy adult drink at least 8 – 9 cups (8 oz) of water each day. If you’re concerned about your fluid intake, check with your doctor.

3. Make time for fun and relaxation.

We all live very busy lives. Trying to balance work, raising kids, volunteering, paying bills, attending events and doctor appointments can certainly be challenging. However, if you regularly make time to have fun and relax, you’ll be in a better place to handle stress.

  • Set aside relaxation time. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.
  • Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life.
  • Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for activities that make you happy – taking photographs, playing an instrument, or working out.
  • Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. Laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.

4. Get more sleep.

Lack of sleep means your body is working extra hard to do its everyday jobs. If you feel like you need to consume extra sugars and caffeinated drinks to make it through your day, you may not be getting enough sleep. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night is best for a healthy, active lifestyle.

5. Visit your doctor regularly.

Most people only go to the doctor when something is wrong, but it’s very important to see your doctor at least once a year, whether you’re sick or not. Preventive care can help detect warning signs of heart disease, cancer and stroke – three of the biggest threats to your health.

Resources: Mayo Clinic, Humana, WebMD