(Click “Like” to become a fan of the Palm Coast Observer.)
More than eight million Americans suffer from Peripheral Vascular Disease, which is the hardening of the arteries — also known as atherosclerosis — in the limbs, often the legs. One in 20 Americans over the age of 50 has PVD, and many of those with PVD do not experience symptoms. PVD can reduce mobility and increase the risk for heart attack and stroke. If left untreated, PVD can be fatal.
The disease is on the rise among midlife and older Americans and is caused by the same risk factors that lead to heart disease. It is a common and treatable disease. However, PVD is still largely unknown, often unrecognized, and falsely regarded by many as an inevitable consequence of aging. People who are at risk for PVD include anyone over the age of 50, especially African Americans; those who smoke or have smoked; and those who have diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol or a personal or family history of vascular disease, heart attack, or stroke.
The Florida Hospitals in Volusia and Flagler counties are offering free screenings to help determine an individual’s risk of PVD. Dates are as follows:
Sept. 1: PVD Screening at Florida Hospital DeLand
Sept. 4: PVD Screening at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City
Sept. 15: Florida Hospital Flagler in Palm Coast
Sept. 16 to 20: PVD Screening at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach
Appointments are required and space is limited. To be qualified for the screening, participants must take a free online PVD risk assessment at www.FHVascular.org. After completing the risk assessment, those who are identified as moderate or high risk will be able to register for the free PVD screening.
+ Healthcare partnership to launch in Flagler, Volusia
A new partnership to provide health insurance to 10 counties in Florida is moving forward — and it will start in Flagler County.
Florida Hospital Healthcare System, which administrates employee health insurance for Florida Hospital, and Health First Health Plans are finalizing a contract that will provide health insurance options to people from Tampa to Orlando to Daytona Beach.
The two organizations are joining together to develop health insurance products that could be available to Medicare and commercial patients.
“The business structure of healthcare is evolving,” said Mike Schultz, president and CEO of the Adventist Health System Florida Region. “With more Medicare and Medicaid payment reductions expected in the future, partnerships with quality companies like Health First allows us to strengthen our healthcare system and provide more local insurance options for the community.”
As announced earlier this year, the FHHS and Health First team agreed to pilot its first product to Medicare patients in Volusia and Flagler Counties. Florida Hospital Care Advantage, administered by Health First, will roll out in January 2014 with the five Florida Hospitals in Volusia and Flagler Counties providing infrastructure, as well as clinical and physician support for the plan.
Open enrollment for this first product in Volusia and Flagler Counties begins Oct. 15.