Ways to Get Care When You Need It
1. See your Doctor firstYour Doctor handles most of your medical care, like:
• Routine checkups
• Sick visits, such as colds, flu and fever
• Chronic illnesses, like asthma and diabetes
• Order medical tests
Your Doctor also handles your preventive care, such as vaccines, shots, health screenings and other tests. Preventive care is about preventing disease. Regular checkups, even when you are not sick, can help your Doctor spot a health problem early, and treat it before it gets worse.
2. Getting care from a Specialist
When you need specialty care, your Doctor will refer you to a Specialist.
This is how referrals work:
• When the request is received by IEHP, a decision will be made within 5 business days for a regular referral.
• For an urgent referral, this is done within 72 business hours.
• For a regular referral, expect a letter from your medical group or IEHP within 2 days after a decision has been made.
• When the request is approved, call your Specialist to make an appointment. If the request is denied, talk to your Doctor or call IEHP Member Services at (800) 440-4347 or (800) 718-4347 (TTY) to learn more.
3. Getting your medicineYou can fill your prescription at any IEHP contracted pharmacy. There are more than 760 pharmacies in our network. From major chains, like Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart and many others. To find one close to you, check your IEHP Doctor Directory or click the Provider Search link.
Helpful tips to help your treatment:
• Be sure to call the pharmacy five days before you run out of medicine.
• Take your medicine the way your Doctor tells you to.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can happen if I take a few medicines at the same time?
|When you take two or more medicines, they will likely mix well. On certain occasions, you might have what’s called a “drug-to-drug interaction.”
This means that some medicines you take together may cause an adverse reaction in your body. For example, a “drug-to-drug” interaction could:
TIP: Talk to your Pharmacist about all medicines you take and ask if they mix well together.
What are some reasons that I might have a harmful effect from taking one or more medicines at the same time?
|These reasons might include:
TIP: To avoid problems when taking two or more medicines together, tell your health care Provider and Pharmacist about all the medicines (and other remedies) you are taking.
How do I know if I’m taking the right medicine – at the right dose, at the right time to control my symptoms?
|Any medicine taken the wrong way might put your health at risk.
A drug maker has to show research data to the FDA to get each medicine approved. This research could be about:
|Could a medicine taken at a high dose be harmful?
||Yes. That is why your Pharmacist checks your medicines to make sure you are on the right dose. Don’t forget to ask your Doctor or Pharmacist any questions about your medicine.
Taking higher than recommended doses of certain over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines – including abuse or misuse of the medicines – can cause serious health problems. It could even lead to death. Also, a dose that is safe for you may not be safe for someone else.
|Who most often needs to have their medicine dose changed and why?||Certain people need to have their dose changed, so that they don’t take too much (called “overdosing”). These include the elderly, children, and women who are pregnant or mothers who are breastfeeding, and people with chronic health conditions.
Always ask your Pharmacist if the medicines are safe for you to take at the prescribed doses. Don’t share your medicines with friends or family.
|What are “duplicate drug therapies”? Why do I need to know about this?
||You might have different Doctors who have prescribed medicines that work in the same way for you. When medicines have similar active ingredients, they could be:
TIP: It’s important for you to keep a full list of each medicine, vitamin and herbal remedy you are taking.
Please show this list to your Pharmacist or your Doctor. The list helps your health care Provider check for any unwanted effects between drugs and check that the two or more medicines work well for you or not.
|Why are some medicines “high risk” for the elderly?||Some medicines can be too strong for a certain group of people and are considered “high risk” for them.
This special group may include older people, pregnant women or mothers who are breastfeeding, children, and people with other medical conditions affecting their kidney or liver.
For example, certain medicines prescribed for memory issues may have a side-effect that causes dizziness in some seniors who are at “high risk” for falling. In that case, an alternative medicine (or no medicine) for this condition would be better.
|Where can I find details about medicines that might be harmful for older people?||If you are over 65 years old, ask your Doctor or Pharmacist if the medicines you are taking may not be right for you.
Please see the short list below of the most common medicines prescribed that may be harmful for older people.
Older adults (age 65+): Check with your Doctor first before taking these medicines:
|Medicine or Medicine Class||Potential Risks|
|Sliding scale insulin||May make your blood sugar level too low – without improving the condition|
|Glyburide||May cause a long period of excessively low blood sugar|
|Muscle relaxants||May be poorly tolerated|
|Barbiturates||May increase risk of dependence and overdose|
|Benzodiazepines (alprazolam, temazepam, lorazepam)||May increase risk of falls and fractures|
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