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How To #FightFlu This Season

How To #FightFlu This Season
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Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself, your family and vulnerable people in our community

Flu shots can reduce flu illnesses, doctor visits, and missed work or school due to the flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

A 2017 study in Pediatrics was the first to show that flu vaccination also significantly reduced a child’s risk of dying from influenza.

The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from the fluincluding older people, very young children, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.

What’s new this flu season?

The recommendation not to use the nasal spray flu vaccine (LAIV) was renewed for the 2017-2018 season. Only injectable flu shots are recommended for use again this season.

Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses (the influenza A(H1N1) component was updated).

Pregnant women may receive any licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate flu vaccine.

Main options for flu shots this season

Standard-dose flu shots

Most are given into the muscle with a needle (one is given into the skin). The virus used to make vaccine is dead; you cannot get the flu from a flu shot! MainStreet has this quadravalent.

High-dose shots for older people

There are now data that this stronger dose of shot adds greater flu protection in people 65 and over – an especially vulnerable segment of our population. This version is available at several local pharmacies and it is paid for by Medicare. 

Source: Centers for Disease Control (#FightFlu)

Fact Check: Can the flu vaccine give me the flu?

No. The flu vaccine is made with killed virus or a recombinant method using non-living ingredients.
So the flu shot can’t give you the flu. But a few people may develop flu-like symptoms after getting a flu shot for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Reaction to the vaccine. Some people experience muscle aches and a slight fever for a day or two after receiving a flu shot. This may be a side effect of your body’s production of protective antibodies.
  • The two-week window. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take full effect. If you’re exposed to the influenza virus shortly before or during that time period, you might catch the flu.
  • Mismatched flu viruses. In some years, the influenza viruses used for the vaccine don’t match the viruses circulating during the flu season. If this occurs, your flu shot will be less effective, but may still offer some protection.
  • Other illnesses. Many other diseases, such as the common cold, also produce flu-like symptoms. So you may think you have the flu when you actually don’t.

Posted in: Health Blog, News, Workplace Health, Your Health

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MainStreet Clinic Anniversary Open House Nov. 2

MainStreet Clinic Anniversary Open House

LAWTON – October 28, 2016 – MainStreet Clinic members and the Lawton area community are invited to an Anniversary Open House on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. at MainStreet Clinic, 415 W. Gore Blvd in Lawton.

Featured guest this year will be Elisabeth Murphy of Murphy Farms in Walters. Murphy will demonstrate the many organic fruits and vegetables grown year-round in neighboring Cotton County. Also Dr. Birdwell will present contributions from the Clinic’s generous members to the Lawton Family YMCA scholarship fund and to the Lawton Food Bank. These community partners exemplify the Clinic’s commitment to the “Keys to Health” – Eating Real Food, Getting Regular Exercise, and Access to Real Care. Please R.S.V.P. at (580) 248-9966.

MainStreet Clinic introduced an innovative health care payment model called direct primary care clinic membership to southwest Oklahoma.

“Clinic membership is a new health care model that is really old-fashioned, person-to-person health care. It’s a direct system between the doctor and the patient. I am available to you anytime you need a question answered or have a need. Even house calls. It’s whatever you need to stay well and be cared for,” Dr. Brian Birdwell said.

For a flat monthly membership fee, patients are assured

  • access to all clinic services on the same day or next day;
  • unhurried extended-time clinic visits;
  • contact with the doctor anytime by text or phone;
  • discounts on many generic medications dispensed directly from our clinic; and
  • other premium services.

No health insurance is required since MainStreet Clinic does not file insurance claims or do any billing for our care. But the Clinic does work with private insurance or government coverages for which members are eligible.

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MainStreet Clinic Celebrates National Health Education Week

Chronic Diseases in Oklahoma Are Common, Costly, and Can Be Reduced Through Exercise, Good Nutrition and Access to Health Care

Health Education Week Prevent Chronic Diseases

LAWTON, OK – During the week of October 17-21, MainStreet Clinic joins the Society for Public Health Education to promote National Health Education Week to raise public awareness of the importance of

  • exercise and physical activity,
  • good nutrition and
  • access to health care

in the prevention of chronic diseases.

Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, can be very costly, disabling and deteriorate the quality of life, especially when undiagnosed or untreated.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Public Health: “Chronic disease is the most common and costly of all health problems. A person’s risk of developing a chronic disease can be greatly reduced by avoiding tobacco, being physically active and eating well. However, individual behavior is not enough. Access to affordable health care saves lives, reduces disability, prevents hospitalizations and lowers medical costs.”

Today, more than half of adults aged 18 years or older did not meet recommendations for aerobic exercise or physical activity. More than one-third of adolescents and 38 percent of adults said they ate fruit less than once a day, while 38 percent of adolescents and 23 percent of adults said they ate vegetables less than once a day.

According to the Oklahoma Hospital Association, more than one in six or 17 percent of Oklahomans are uninsured and Oklahoma ranks seventh highest in the nation in percent of uninsured.

“Access to affordable primary care should not be a barrier to Oklahomans with limited or no health insurance. MainStreet Clinic membership is open to everyone with or without health insurance,” said Dr. Brian Birdwell.

MainStreet Clinic supports and collaborates with community non-profits including the Lawton Food Bank and the Lawton Family YMCA to promote consumer health education along with prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. And through a unique program named Care First Employee Benefits, MainStreet Clinic works with employers to offer clinic membership through employer group health plans.

About National Health Education Week

National Health Education Week (http://www.sophe.org/nhew.cfm) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and sponsored by the Society of Public Health Education, a non-profit professional organization founded in 1950 to provide leadership to the profession of health education and to promote health and wellness in the community. National Health Education Week is celebrated annually during the third week of October and focuses national attention on public health issues, provides public education, and improves consumer understanding of health education’s role in promoting public health.

The Chronic Disease Service of the Oklahoma State Department of Health can be reached at 405 271-4072 or 1000 NE 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117. The Chronic Disease in Oklahoma Data Book is available at https://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/CDS-Chronic%20data%20book%20AUG2013.pdf.

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Care First Alliance To Help Lawton Business Adopt Direct Primary Care

Care First provides Lawton business with creative alternatives in health benefits featuring direct primary care membership

Care First Alliance Direct Primary Care

LAWTON — Dr. Brian Birdwell announced the introduction of Care First Benefits to  provide Lawton area employers with creative alternatives featuring direct primary care membership benefits for employees.

“Health care has been turned upside down by radical changes and spiraling insurance costs, and business owners need fresh alternatives that provide affordable care their people can actually access and use,” said Craig Scurato of Simplifi Benefits.

“Direct primary care membership is relationship-based medicine, where patients have all the time they need, as often as they need it, and same day or next day clinic access for one, flat monthly membership fee averaging about $60 per employee, per month,” said Dr. Brian Birdwell.

Lawton area business owners are invited to a Care First Employer Briefing Tuesday afternoon, March 8, come and go between 4:00 and 7:00 pm at the Chianti Wine Bar, 5370 NW Cache Road, presented by MainStreet Clinic, Direct Care Partners and Simplifi Benefits. Please R.S.V.P. at (580) 248-9966.

About Brian Birdwell, MD and MainStreet Clinic

Lawton internist Brian Birdwell, M.D. is owner and physician-director of the MainStreet Clinic team of medical professionals. MainStreet Clinic is a direct primary care membership clinic offering innovative medical services in the old fashioned style of a personal physician caring for each patient individually. Clinic services include complete primary care services for individuals and families, regardless of insurance coverage, and occupational health and wellness services for employers

About Direct Care Partners, LLC

Dr. Brian Birdwell co-founded Direct Care Partners, LLC with Rob Bartlett, Jr. in order to accelerate and scale the growth of direct primary care in the Greater Lawton Area and across Oklahoma.

About Craig Scurato

Craig Scurato, president of Simplifi Benefits (www.simplifibenefits.com), provides consulting assistance to direct primary care physicians, and offers small and mid-size employers with a competitive advantage in the health insurance marketplace, through its own private marketplace exchange and access to a wide range of insurance and benefits products.

Posted in: Direct Primary Care, Health Blog, News

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Affordable Care and Health Insurance, Too

LAWTON – MainStreet Clinic announced the second community forum on the topic of “Affordable Care and Health Insurance, Too,” to be held on Monday, December 7 at the Lawton Public Library beginning at 6:00 p.m. The Lawton Public Library is located at 110 SW 4th Street in Lawton, Oklahoma.

Participants will “get the skinny on finding accessible care and wrap-around health insurance coverage that most people can afford in Lawton and southwest Oklahoma,” said Dr. Brian Birdwell. He will provide general information about direct primary care, an innovative health care payment model, where patients pay a flat monthly membership and receive full access to all clinic services, unhurried clinic visits, same day or next day appointments, and after-hours access to the clinic.

Joining Dr. Birdwell in the presentation will be Lynette Wallace, outreach and enrollment director at the Lawton Community Health Center. She will describe how Lawton residents may be able to access health insurance plans that wrap around direct primary care membership at prices most people can afford.

This community forum is free to attend. Please R.S.V.P. at (580) 248-9966.

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Can I afford health insurance and the costs of getting health care, too?

LAWTON – MainStreet Clinic will sponsor a community forum Thursday, November 19 at the Lawton Constitution community room beginning at 6:00 p.m. titled Can I afford health insurance and the costs of getting health care, too?

Participants will “get the skinny on finding real, accessible care and wrap-around health insurance coverage that most people can afford,” said Dr. Brian Birdwell. He will provide general information about direct primary care, an innovative health care payment model, where patients become clinic members and are assured

  • access to all clinic services on the same day or next day;
  • unhurried extended-time clinic visits;
  • contact with the clinic after hours by text or phone;
  • discounts on many generic medications; and
  • other premium services.

Joining Dr. Birdwell in the presentation will be Lynette Wallace, outreach and enrollment director at the Lawton Community Health Center. She will describe how Lawton residents may be able to access health insurance plans that wrap around direct primary care membership at prices most people can afford.

This community forum is free to attend. Please R.S.V.P. at (580) 248-9966.

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Public Invited To MainStreet Clinic Open House Nov. 4

LAWTON – November 2, 2015 – Dr. Brian Birdwell, Lawton internist, announced the relocation of his medical clinic, formerly Birdwell Ferris Clinic, to 415 W. Gore Blvd and the clinic name has been changed to MainStreet Clinic. An Open House will be held Wednesday, November 4, 2015 from 3:30 until 5:30 p.m. and the public is invited. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at about 4:30 p.m., conducted by the Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce “Red Hat Committee.” Also at that time, Dr. Birdwell will present contributions from the Clinic to Habitat for Humanity and The Salvation Army. Please R.S.V.P. at (580) 248-9966.

MainStreet Clinic introduces an innovative health care payment model to Lawton, called direct primary care clinic membership. For a flat monthly membership fee

  • patients are assured access to all clinic services on the same day or next day;
  • unhurried extended-time clinic visits;
  • contact with the clinic after hours by text or phone;
  • discounts on many generic medications; and
  • other premium services.

No health insurance is required, since claims are not filed with any health insurance companies.

“It’s really old-fashioned. We are available for whatever you, the patient, may need — even house calls. We have time for you. Some people say, ‘It’s like having a doctor in the family,’” Dr. Brian Birdwell said.

Across the U.S., employers have begun revamping their group health benefits plans to make direct primary care membership the centerpiece, and reimburse employees for their clinic membership fees. Several Lawton employers are considering this approach now.

Consumers who must buy individual health insurance plans on a market exchange find that direct primary care membership combines well with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Dr. Birdwell will host a public community forum titled “Can I afford health insurance and the costs of getting health care, too?” at a date and time to be announced soon.

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Birdwell Ferris Is Now MainStreet Clinic at 415 W. Gore Blvd

LAWTON — Birdwell Ferris Clinic has moved to 415 W. Gore Blvd, across from the Lawton YMCA, and we are now the MainStreet Clinic. We look forward to seeing you at our new location.

While the address has changed, our team is the same and we remain focused on your care and well being. Reach us at (580) 248-9966 or fax number 248-6458.

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Direct Primary Care Legislation Signed Into Oklahoma Law

OKLAHOMA CITY — April 21, 2015 — Senate Bill (SB) 560 was signed into Oklahoma law today by Gov. Mary Fallin, having passed the Oklahoma House 83-0 on April 15 and the Oklahoma Senate 44-0 on March 2. Titled the Health Care Empowerment Act, this legislation is intended to protect patients’ and physicians’ rights to enter into direct-pay relationships, including direct primary care membership agreements. Read legislative history and the final enrolled version of the law.

Direct Primary Care Legislation Summary

Under Section 2 of this Oklahoma law:

  • direct primary care membership agreement” means a contractual agreement between a primary care provider and an individual patient (or legal representative) in which:
  • primary care services are provided for a flat periodic (monthly) fee;
  • direct primary care providers will not bill third parties on a fee-for-service basis;
  • any per-visit charges will be less than the monthly equivalent of the periodic fee.

The Act provides these protections for primary care providers and consumers:

  • a direct primary care membership agreement is not insurance and is not subject to regulation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department;
  • direct primary care providers are not required to obtain any (insurance) certification to market or sell a direct primary care agreement;
  • a direct primary care provider is not required to register as a medical discount plan;
  • it allows either party to terminate the agreement (immediately) upon written notice to the other party;
  • provides that fees are not earned by the direct primary care provider until the end of the month; and
  • provides that, upon termination of this agreement by the individual patient, all unearned fees are to be returned to the patient.

“We are very appreciate of the authors for delivering such a clean, articulate bill that gained unanimous support in both houses of the legislature and protects free-market, innovative medical practice in Oklahoma going forward,” said Rob Bartlett, Jr., executive director of Direct Care Partners, LLC.

SB 560 was introduced by Sen. Rob Standridge of Norman and co-sponsored in the Oklahoma House by Rep. David Derby of Owasso. This bill ensures that “Oklahoma citizens maintain control over their own access to quality health care at lower costs,” said Sen. Rob Standridge. It received “widespread support in the Oklahoma legislature, because it emphasizes individual responsibility for health care choices and payments, while it restores the patient-doctor relationship,” said Rep. David Derby.

SB 560 was supported by the national Direct Primary Care Coalition, an organization of physicians across the U.S. promoting direct primary care as an innovative alternative payment model that protects patient choice and promotes restoration of the doctor-patient relationship.

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Direct Primary Care Legislation Passed Oklahoma Senate

Legislation passed by the Senate Insurance Committee February 19 was passed in the Senate on March 2 by a vote of 44-0 and has been co-sponsored in the Oklahoma House. Senate Bill (SB) 560 is intended to protect patients’ and physicians’ rights to enter into direct-pay relationships, including direct primary care membership agreements.

This legislation allows employers to offer new, innovative health benefits to workers of all incomes that ensures employee access to a personal physician. When signed into law, this bill will ensure that direct primary care membership agreements are not treated as insurance products by state regulators.

SB 560 was introduced by Sen. Rob Standridge of Norman and is co-sponsored in the Oklahoma House by Rep. David Derby of Owasso. This bill ensures that “Oklahoma citizens maintain control over their own access to quality health care at lower costs,” said Sen. Rob Standridge.

“Widespread support is expected for this bill in the Oklahoma legislature, because it emphasizes individual responsibility for health care choices and payments, while it restores the patient-doctor relationship,” said Rep. David Derby.

SB 560 is supported by the Direct Primary Care Coalition, an organization of physicians across the U.S. promoting direct primary care as an innovative alternative payment model that protects patient choice and promotes restoration of the doctor-patient relationship.

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