Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sutter Amador Hospital: Key Facts about Covered California -- Amador County

Key Facts about Covered California -- Amador County
March 2014
Individual and Family Product
Blue Shield of California
·         All Sutter Providers, including those in Amador County, are contracted with Blue Shield of California for the EPO or PPO Covered California products, although the Blue Shield PPO product is not offered to residents of Amador County.
·         Blue Shield is only licensed in certain ZIP codes in Amador County for their EPO product. (This was a business decision made by Blue Shield and approved by Covered California. This is not related to our contract with Blue Shield. We contracted with Blue Shield for all of their Covered California individual and family products).
o        Blue Shield has excluded the following Amador County ZIP codes: 95629, 95640, 95666, 95669, 95689
o        If you have questions or concerns about Blue Shield insurance plans, please call 1-800-541-6652 (Providers) or 1-888-256-3650 (Members).

Individual and Family Product
Anthem Blue Cross
·         Anthem Blue Cross is licensed in ZIP codes where Blue Shield is not.
·         Sutter Amador Hospital is contracted with Anthem Blue Cross PPO Pathway product; however, Sutter Medical Group doctors are not.
·         Anthem Blue Cross patients who reside in these ZIP codes (or the county) can choose independent physicians for their health needs and access Sutter Amador Hospital services.
·         If you have questions or concerns about Anthem Blue Cross Pathway, please call 1-855-333-5730 or visit www.anthem.com/ca.

SHOP Product (Small Business Health Options Program
·         This is a small group product for employers with 1-50 employees
·         Sutter participates in the Blue Shield PPO product for SHOP. There are no ZIP code exclusions for this product.
·         Sutter also participates in the Health Net PPO for the SHOP product. There are no ZIP code exclusions for this product.

If you need help with your existing health plan, please call, write or email:

Department of Managed Health Care
California Help Center
980 9th Street, Suite 500, Sacramento, CA 95814-2725
Covered California Service Center
P.O. Box 989725
West Sacramento, CA

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sutter Amador Hospital Welcomes New Provider Rita Reyes, PA-C to Plymouth Health Center

JACKSON, Calif.Sutter Amador Hospital is pleased to announce the arrival of board-certified physician assistant Rita Reyes, PA-C. Rita recently joined Sutter Medical Group’s Plymouth Health Center located at 9279 Locust Street in Plymouth.

After earning her bachelor of science in neurobiology, physiology, and behavior from the University of California in Davis, Rita received her board-certification as a physician assistant through the university’s Department of Family and Community Medicine program.

Rita most recently comes to the Plymouth Health Center from Mercy Clinic White Rock in Rancho Cordova where she functioned as the primary healthcare provider for patients through every stage of life from newborns to adults.  Prior to that, she provided routine obstetrical and gynecological care and treatment at Creekside OB/GYN in Folsom. Rita is fluent in Spanish and has a broad range of primary care experience including physicals, sick visits, sports physicals and women’s health for patients through every stage of life. She also has experience caring for chronically ill patients and performing a wide range of procedures.

“In her short time here, Rita has already really connected with patients,” says Colleen Riordan, RN, Regional Director of Sutter Medical Foundation. “She not only is extremely experienced in a wide range of health issues, but is very caring and approachable. She is a valuable addition to our healthcare team in Plymouth and is passionate about caring for our community.”

As a physician assistant for nearly 11 years, Rita has excellent knowledge and experience in treating patients of all ages. Her professional interests include working with the Hispanic community, especially women and young adults. She welcomes all new patients. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call the Plymouth Health Center at (209) 245-6968.

PHOTO: Rita Reyes, PA-C

Sutter Amador Hospital Foundation Announces Matching Grant Campaign for New Mammography Equipment

Breast Cancer Survivor Stresses Importance of Annual Mammograms

Jackson, Calif. – Mel Welsh knows firsthand how critical regular screening is in detecting and treating breast cancer successfully. The 60-year-old Pine Grove resident finished treatment for breast cancer last fall after an annual mammogram revealed abnormal results.

“I feel very grateful that we caught the cancer early. If I hadn’t gotten my mammogram every year, it could have been a very different outcome,” says Welsh, a registered nurse with the Sutter Care Coordination Program.

Welsh is enthusiastic about Sutter Amador Hospital Foundation’s $300,000 fundraising campaign to acquire new mammography equipment that will significantly improve diagnostic care for patients in the community. The equipment’s 3-D technology will improve image quality, enabling doctors to identify cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage. In addition, the new technology will reduce patients’ radiation exposure by as much as 30 percent.

The foundation seeks to raise $150,000 from the community, which Sutter Health will match dollar for dollar up to $150,000, doubling donors’ investment if the foundation successfully raises half through cash gifts or pledges byDecember 31, 2014.

“Access to high-quality care locally is a priority for us,” says Anne Platt, CEO of Sutter Amador Hospital. “New mammography equipment is an essential community need and will enable local residents to receive the best and latest diagnostic care close to home.”

Because Welsh was faithful about getting an annual mammogram, Sutter Amador Hospital radiologist Lincoln Russin, M.D. was able to detect changes in her breast tissue from one exam to the next. Prior to her diagnosis, Welsh’s mammogram revealed calcifications – calcium deposits within the breast tissue sometimes associated with cancer. Dr. Russin told her to come back in six months for another exam.

At Welsh’s follow-up appointment, Sutter Amador Hospital radiologist Lucy Miller, M.D., detected significant changes. The images revealed that the number of calcifications had doubled. A biopsy last June confirmed breast cancer and Welsh underwent a lumpectomy and four weeks of radiation treatment.

“I take pride in my health. I run 30 miles a week and I don’t drink or smoke. I have always been very proactive with my health,” says Welsh. “Nobody is immune to this disease.”

“Regular screening is the best way to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. Early detection means that treatment can be started earlier in the course of the disease, possibly before the cancer has spread,” says Dr. Russin “Mel’s experience is a perfect example of how mammography, along with clinical breast exams, are the most effective ways to detect breast cancer early.”

Welsh believes the new 3-D mammography equipment will improve breast cancer detection significantly.

“Breast cancer can touch anyone, but treatment is successful if it is caught early,” she says. “Think about the loved ones in your life when you think about supporting Sutter Amador Hospital’s campaign. If we have the latest medical technology, there’s no need to leave the community for health care.”

To learn more about the matching grant fundraising initiative, please contact Jody Boetzer at 209-257-7619 orboetzej@sutterhealth.org.

PHOTO: Sutter Amador Hospital radiologist Lincoln Russin, M.D. (L) with breast cancer survivor Mel Welsh, R.N.

Monday, March 3, 2014

NAMI offers free 10-week "Peer to Peer" Program for individuals living with mental illness - April through June

One of NAMI’s Signature programs, Peer to Peer, a 10-week educational program to enhance mental health recovery, will start on Monday April 7 from 1 to 3PM at Amador Senior Center, 229 New York Ranch Rd, Jackson.  This program is for individuals living with mental illness and is taught by NAMI-trained mentors who are well along in recovery.  Goals are to provide education about mental illness, emotional and practical support, independent problem solving and relapse prevention.  

This is the sixth time NAMI Amador has been able to offer the program, so many people have benefitted from learning that recovery is possible.  The course will be taught by two very experienced mentors (teachers), including a NAMI California state trainer.  The workbooks that every participant is given are new and updated this year with the latest information from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM V).

As with all services of NAMI Amador, the course is free to the public.  Mental Health Services Act funding is provided by Amador County Behavioral Health Department.  All class sessions are confidential.

 Each week builds upon the last, offering a variety of tools with which to better understand and manage an individual life.   Thus, attendance is expected at each session.   Contact 223-9133 to learn more or to sign up.

NAMI Amador is Amador County’s chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and is a volunteer non-profit public charity serving people with mental illness, their families and other loved ones. More information is available at www.facebook.com/NAMIAmador.