June/July 2011
ODS news
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ODS Rx July Updates  


ODS has made some changes to the ODS Preferred Drug Program for the 2011 benefit year, effective July 5, 2011. By clicking on this link, you will find an updated Preferred Drug List. You also can view and print these documents from myODS after July 5, 2011. This list is developed and maintained by the ODS Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, which is made up of physicians and pharmacists. The committee makes decisions based on information about each medication's safety, effectiveness and associated clinical outcomes.

The ODS Preferred Drug Program works differently than programs with a typical drug formulary. Many programs require participants to use the generic or low-cost brand drugs listed on the formulary and will not pay for any high-cost drugs that are not on the list. The ODS Preferred Drug Program offers more flexibility. Members can choose non-preferred, higher-cost drugs if they desire and still have a portion of the costs paid by their health plan administered by ODS. Members can choose among value, select generic drugs (Tier 1), preferred drugs (Tier 2) or brand drugs (Tier 3) - each with a different copayment amount. The copayments will vary depending on which medications are selected.

A similar notification will be sent to members with a history of using the prescription drugs that will be affected by the changes outlined here. We encourage members to use the 2011 Preferred Drug List to discuss alternative therapies with their providers. If members have questions about the Preferred Drug Program or their pharmacy benefit, they may contact ODS Pharmacy Customer Service through our website, or by calling 888-361-1610.

If you have questions regarding this notice, please contact your ODS Marketing Representative at
503-243-3948. We are here to help.

Health happens with summer safety 


It's not enough to simply buy a bicycle helmet - it should be properly fitted, adjusted and worn each time you ride. Watch a  video of Robert Gootee, CEO of ODS Health, and Jay Graves, owner and CEO of Bike Gallery, demonstrating the proper way to fit a bike helmet. Make health happen this summer by ensuring your family's safety when riding bikes: get everyone a quality-made bike helmet that fits properly.


Biking is not just a leisure activity these days. Many people are commuting by bike to work, and, according to an  article by David Stabler in the Oregonian, employers are offering some innovative incentives to encourage the practice. Biking has a low impact on the environment, is a great way to get regular exercise and offers various other community benefits.


Whether you're going to work or just out having fun, follow these safety guidelines every time you ride:

  • Always wear a bike helmet
  • Use the right size bike
  • Check your brakes
  • Wear bright colors and reflective tape
  • Ride in the same direction as cars

For more information on bicycle safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  website.


Check out the Health Happens With Summer Safety video on My apple a day, a blog sponsored by ODS and written by our Health & Wellness Specialist from the Healthcare Services team. Through communication and interaction, we can help each other get well sooner and live well longer.


The facts about skin cancer
  • Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types.
  • In the United States, skin cancer has an estimated incidence of 1 million cases per year.
  • In 2010, the American Cancer Society estimated that 11,790 people would die from skin cancer that year.

Skin cancer is more common in older people and can affect both men and women, regardless of the color of their skin. Powerful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the root cause of cellular changes associated with aging skin and the development of cancer. However, you can take steps to protect yourself from getting skin cancer and to detect it early enough for effective treatment.

While basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are the two most common types of skin cancer, melanoma is by far the most serious.Like BCC and SCC, melanoma can be cured if caught in the early stages of development. However, melanoma also has the potential to spread to other areas of the body with serious implications.

As with any skin condition, it's crucial to consult your physician, who, with the help of a pathologist, can accurately detect and interpret any abnormalities.

What you can do to prevent UV damage and skin cancer

To help prevent skin damage and provide for long-term skin health, take the following precautions*:

  • When outdoors, apply a sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher
    •   Liberally apply a sunscreen with ingredients that block both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays
    • Be sure to cover often-missed spots: lips, ears, around eyes, neck, scalp (if bald or hair is thinning), hands and feet
    •  Apply 30 minutes before going outside; reapply at least every two hours and more often if some of the product may have been removed while swimming, sweating or towel-drying
  • Wear protective clothing
    •  When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
    • Shade exposed areas like the scalp, ears, face and neck with a hat, preferably with a three- to four-inch brim
    • Use UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your eyelids and the sensitive skin around your eyes
  • Try to stay out of the sun during peak hours
    • The sun's UV rays are particularly damaging between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  •  Protect children, too
    • Remember that skin is damaged with each unprotected exposure and that the effect is cumulative over a person's lifetime. Therefore, make sun safety a must for children.

* Adapted from the Skin Cancer Foundation Guidelines for Year-Round Sun Protection

Self-examination is key to maintaining skin health

Taking just a few minutes once a month to perform a self-examination can make a big difference in diagnosing skin cancer. Regular self-examinations help you to be sure that no new discolorations or moles have appeared and that existing ones have not changed or advanced.

Even if you do not find any new growths or changes, it is important to routinely schedule annual appointments with your physician, who can professionally diagnose any changes in your skin. Together with a laboratory pathologist, your doctor can perform interpretative tests that can help rule out skin cancer or offer the right information to treat potential irregularities.

Performing a self-exam

Once a month, you should perform a self-examination, following the five steps shown below. Self-examinations help you to recognize any changes in your skin, including discolorations or moles that could be cancerous. Be sure to consult your physician about any changes you notice. More information on how to perform a self examination can be found on the American Academy of Dermatology website.

Watching out for melanoma

Because melanoma can spread and even cause fatalities, it is particularly important to monitor growths and moles for changes and patterns that indicate possible melanoma.

A = Asymmetry - one half does not match the other half
B = Border irregularity - the edges are notched or ragged
C = Color - varied shades of tan, black and brown
D = Diameter - greater than 6 millimeters (6 mm) across
E = Evolving - significant change in size, shape and shade of color


**Adapted from the Skin Cancer Foundation.  


Other warning signs of melanoma include:

  • A sore that does not heal
  • Spread of pigment from the border of a spot to surrounding skin
  • Redness or a new swelling beyond the border
  • Change in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness or pain
  • Change in the surface of a mole: scaliness, oozing, bleeding or the appearance of a bump or nodule
  • A mole that looks very different from your other moles
Article from Quest Diagnostics


 Disclaimer    Not all plans have access to all resources or tools referenced in this newsletter. Please refer to your Member Handbook, or call your ODS Sales and Account Services Representative for plan-specific information.

Volume 2, Issue 3 

In This Issue
Updates to Preferred Drug List
Bike helmet safety
Facts about skin cancer
Apple a Day Blog

Make sure to visit the  Apple a Day Blog! Apple a day 2



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