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Healthcare Plan Information

Mail Handlers Benefit Plan

The Mail Handlers Benefit Plan:

Protecting Members Through Important Patient Safety Initiatives

Illegible handwritten prescriptions, preventable hospital errors and dangerous drug interactions threaten your health. The Mail Handlers Benefit Plan (MHBP) is concerned about these and other potential threats to your health and well-being and that of your family.

The fact that 98,000 preventable medical errors occur in our this country each year is alarming. This is why we help you protect your health by promoting the identification of identifying potential safety concerns. We also work with providers and others in health care to bring about system-wide change.

Because medical errors typically occur at the point of care—doctor’s offices, pharmacies or hospitals— these locations are the focus of our safety initiatives.

Working Together for Your Safety

The Mail Handlers Benefit Plan offers you access to providers in the First Health® Network. Our stringent quality assurance initiatives include:

  • Strict credentialing standards for providers participating in The First Health® Network—our board certification rates are significantly higher than national norms, with 88 percent of our primary care doctors and 90 percent of our specialists board-certified. And they stay with us— 99 percent of hospitals and 96 percent of doctors choose to stay in the network year after year.
  • Providers must continue to meet our quality standards to continue participation remain in our network.
  • Oversight of all First Health quality and performance improvement initiatives by First Health’s Corporate Quality Improvement Committee.
  • Daily interactions by our team of registered nurses note 1 and clinical medical directors with members and their physicians.

Call us around the clock at 1-800-410-7778 or email feedback about experiences with your providers. To locate a provider go to under "Search for a Doctor, Hospital or Facility."

Prescription Protection

Risky drug interactions, allergic reactions and over-medicating First Health®Rx manages the MHBP’s prescription drug benefits and helps identify potential errors and serious prescription interactions. Because medication errors make up a large proportion of medical errors, we:

  • Require preauthorizations on some prescriptions and compare your demographic and prescription profile against the drug prescribed. First Health® also, checking for an unusually large number of prescriptions or prescriptions from multiple physicians and pharmacies.
  • Promote detection of inappropriate use of medications, especially narcotics, and limit quanities to help prevent overdose.
  • Alert pharmacists and doctors, as appropriate, to potential risks. At times, we may send educational mailings to you on medication safety. Find out more at under "Patient Safety."

Support—When You Need it Most
If you have an ongoing or complex medical condition, we understand you may need extra help. The First Health® Care Support Program gives you general guidance so you can better manage your condition— now and in the future. Members report high satisfaction with our URAC-accreditedcare support program, available for:

● Asthma ● Diabetes ● HIV/AIDS
● Atrial fibrillation ● Heart attack recovery ● Pregnancy
● Congestive heart failure ● Hepatitis C ● Transplants

Find out more at under "Patient Safety."

Experience Counts
It’s a fact—the more experience hospitals have with medical and surgical procedures, the better your outcome is likely to be. So evaluate your options. Use our new hospital comparison tool at to compare and rank hospitals for your procedure or diagnosis on the basis of number of times the hospital has performed a particular procedure, outcome (mortality) rates for that procedure patients, percentage who develop complications or die, and length of stay and costs. And, the First Health® National Transplant Program refers patients requiring transplants to hospitals that have consistently favorable transplant outcomes.

Working as an Advocate for Change

First Health has a leadership role on the Council for Affordable Quality Health Care (CAQH), an alliance of health benefits companies committed to improving the quality of health care by developing important patient safety initiatives:

  • Universal Credentialing DataSource, with up-to-date information on providers and one means to assess quality.
  • Formulary DataSource, a physician resource for finding cost-effective and appropriate medications for their patients and to lay groundwork for an electronic prescription program.
  • Save Antibiotic Strength, a program to preserve the power of antibiotics through appropriate prescribing.
  • Beta blocker education and treatment, promoting long-term use of beta blockers for heart attack survivors.

Find out more at under "Patient Safety."

The MHBP Works With You

Because you take an active role in your health care, we’re open 24 hours. Call us at 1-800-410-7778 with health or benefits questions. Explore for:

  • Educational resources like Healthwise®Knowledgebasenote 2—information about health topics, medications, medical tests and support groups.
  • Health assessments—see how you score and identify risks, learn prevention strategies and discover simple ways to improve your health.
  • Medical library— symptom checklists, issues to consider when making treatment decisions and child development guidelines.

The MHBP takes your health and safety seriously. We will continue our efforts to encourage the health care community to reduce preventable medical errors.

Join us—together we can make health care safer.

1 - First Health® nurses cannot diagnose, prescribe or give medical advice. Specific questions should be addressed to your doctor. All treatment decisions are between you and your doctor.

2 - Healthwise® Knowledge base is a registered trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

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