In this September Issue...
-Message from the President/CEO: Gearing Up for Open Enrollment!
-Open Enrollment Questions? Come to our Open House on Wednesdays!
-Surgery? No Sweat! Windsong Radiology Expands Outpatient Services
-Independent Health: Four Ways to Lower Health Care Costs
- No More ER Wait Times at Two Kaleida Hospitals
- One-Pot Pasta and Spinach! Mangia!
Message from President/CEO A.J. Baynes
Simplify Your Health and Dental Insurance Enrollment!

Open Enrollment is almost here. It’s your annual opportunity to make changes to your health and dental insurance policies. We look forward to assisting our current subscribers through a streamlined 2019 renewal process and welcoming new subscribing businesses!
 
Amherst Chamber of Commerce health insurance services are available to WNY businesses and their employees and all sole proprietors. 
 
The ACC is the only chamber in the region to operate a fully licensed in-house health insurance agency.

Gain peace of mind by working with the strength and stability of our experienced brokerage specializing in small business services. Our division staff is dedicated to helping you compare plans, evaluate what benefit and price point meet your business needs, and we’ll provide responsive service on your account throughout the year. The Chamber can connect our members to quality care through Independent Health, BlueCross BlueShield and Univera Healthcare.
 
To assist you in controlling costs and securing reliable coverage for yourself and your business, please:
  • call us 716-632-6905,
  • make an appointment to meet with us,
  • attend one of our 2019 Health and Dental Insurance Open Houses (see details below)
OPEN HOUSE FOR OPEN ENROLLMENT!
We Are Here For You!
Enrolling in a new health insurance plan?

Questions about your current health plan?

Stop by our office for one of our Health Insurance Open Houses!


2-6 pm Wednesdays in October and November (except 10/3, 10/31 and 11/21) .


No need to register; just show up!
Your Amherst Chamber of Commerce licensed brokers
are here to help!
Penny LaPlaca
Christine Langenfeld
Olivia Dann
Call the Chamber offices at 632-6905 or email healthinsurance@amherst.org for more information.  
How about a TEXT?
Sign Up for Texting and We'll Remind You!

For upcoming Amherst Chamber events and information sessions, text reminders are available now. To sign up, text notify acc to 313131 .
Outpatient Services Suite Expanded at Windsong
“Hospitals are wonderful, when you need them. But avoiding hospitals by providing the best possible technology and care at an outpatient setting improves outcomes while reducing cost to both the healthcare system and patient (including lower co-pays)."
  - Dr. Dana Dunleavy, Medical Director of the Windsong Interventional and Vascular Clinic in Williamsville.
WATCH our Video on the Expanded Services:
Lower Health Care Costs


Four Ways to Help Address Health Expenses
 
The drivers of health care costs are certainly myriad and complex, but there are some things we can do to help get rid of unnecessary care and expenses, and improve our overall health.  Below are different ways we can get healthier while addressing some drivers of health care costs.
 
One: Make informed health care choices
Did you know a typical emergency room costs at least five times more than an office visit? A phone call to your doctor before getting care at an urgent care center or emergency room can help avoid costly and unnecessary bills. Some health plans offer telephone or online consultations with physicians. Independent Health offers Teladoc, which gives members access to a physician by phone or mobile app anytime, anywhere.  
 
Services at free-standing facilities typically cost less than hospital-based services facilities. Ask your physician if you can have a pre-planned test done at a freestanding facility instead of a hospital. 
 
A national campaign, Choosing Wisely , spearheaded by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, is a great resource for consumers in learning how to make better informed choices and decisions. 
 
Two: Be proactive – Schedule your annual preventive visit and preventive screenings.
Staying up-to-date on preventive visits and screenings can avoid harmful and costly conditions so it’s helpful to have a primary doctor you trust and see on a regular basis. Preventive services are covered in full: Independent Health covers more than 60 preventive services with no cost share.  
 
Three: Get a flu shot
Ask your physician about getting a flu shot. Flu shots are even offered at a variety of locations in the community, or at work.
 
Four: Become more physically active.
It’s easier than you think to become more physically active: try parking farther away from your work entrance, or take the stairs instead of elevators. Exercising more and eating better can also help reduce systolic blood pressure, which can cut the risk for heart attacks and stroke.
 
And, Plus One: Quit Smoking (or for the majority of us: don’t start)
About 15 percent of the population still smokes. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing for your health. There are ways that make quitting smoking easier. Contact your health plan or the New York State Smokers’ Quitline to learn more.
Many chronic illnesses are preventable, and healthy lifestyles play a big role in this. Some of the steps toward wellness are more difficult to take than others, but many health plans offer help in making steps to wellness. Independent Health offers a variety of options to help members make healthier choices, such as our nutrition benefit; FitWorks Wellness program; Zipongo®, a digital platform that makes it easier to cook and choose healthier meals; and Brook Health Companion, which provides personalized health support through a mobile platform.
 
Whether it’s taking a daily walk, or scheduling a preventive visit with your doctor, the choices we make can help us get healthier in the long run. 
No More ER Waiting at Two Kaleida Hospitals
WAIT AT HOME, NOT THE EMERGENCY ROOM AT DEGRAFF MEMORIAL HOSPITAL AND MILLARD FILLMORE SUBURBAN HOSPITAL

Check-in for a projected treatment time with the free online waiting service
 
Tired of spending hours in a stuffy, overcrowded Emergency Department waiting room? Kaleida Health has the solution – Online Emergency Department Check-in, and it’s reinventing the way we access ER care.

You can now check-­ in for your projected treatment time at kaleidahealth.org , arrive at DeGraff Memorial Hospital or Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital at your designated time, and be promptly seen by a healthcare professional using an innovative online service.

“Our patients deserve more respect for their time in the Emergency Department,” explains Darcy Craven, president of DeGraff Memorial and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospitals . “Once a prospective patient receives a projected treatment time online at www.kaleidahealth.org, he or she can wait in the comfort of their own home rather than sitting in the waiting room. Once they arrive, it’s our commitment to make sure they are promptly seen by a healthcare professional.”

Online Emergency Department Check-in is not an appointment or reservation service, as the nature of ER triage does not allow for the scheduling of medical treatment. Online Emergency Department Check-In estimates treatment times based on facility conditions and allows its users to wait from the comfort of home, rather than the waiting room.

Online check-in users do not skip the ER wait, nor will they be seen ahead of individuals in the waiting room. In the event of a projected treatment time delay, online check-in users are sent real - time notifications via phone call and email so they can continue waiting at home.

“Online check-in is only intended for individuals with non-life-threatening or debilitating medical conditions,” Craven added. “It’s a simple and convenient way for people with busy lives and busy families to conveniently access care for minor medical needs. If you’re in doubt about the severity of your condition, you should always seek immediate care.”

The system is designed to flag symptom keywords that may indicate life-threatening or debilitating medical conditions. Those patients are prompted to dial 911 or go immediately to the nearest ER. Furthermore, symptoms are continually reviewed by a healthcare professional at Kaleida Health during the check-in process.
One-Pot Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes
Now that the kids are back to school and there is a nip in the air, nothing is more satisfying than a pasta dish for dinner.
This quick and easy recipe is not only healthy, it's made all in one pot, so clean up is a breeze! Enjoy!

Click here for the recipe. 
 Amherst Chamber of Commerce | (P) 716.632.6905 | (F) 716.632.0548 | www.amherst.org