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The FDA's New Recall Announcements Will Now Include Specific Grocery Stores, Supermarkets

The FDA's New Recall Announcements Will Now Include Specific Grocery Stores, Supermarkets



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Federal agencies are trying to make understanding where potentially harmful foods are sold much easier for shoppers.

You may be used to quickly scanning your food's best-by date or a product's barcode and UPC code when you hear of a new national recall—but the Food and Drug Administration says it will now include information about exactly where recalled items are sold. This includes the name and location of each and every store, according to a statement released by the agency's top official.

"Moving forward, the FDA intends to publicize retail consignee lists for food recalls when the food is not easily identified as being subject to a recall from its retail packaging, or lack thereof, and if the food is likely to be available for consumption," writes Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the FDA's commissioner, in the statement. In the past, shoppers often didn't find out which stores were included in the recall until after initial announcements.

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Gottlieb explains that previously, the FDA chose not to name grocery stores and supermarkets to avoid confusion between the product's manufacturer or supplier and the store itself. While the information included in national recalls often allows shoppers to correctly identify the food that needs to be tossed out, sometimes a recalled item doesn't have a name brand or a label, which can easily lead to confusion

"This might include deli cheese, nuts, rawhide chews, or pet treats sold in bulk and fresh fruits and vegetables sold individually," Dr. Gottlieb continued.

In the past, the FDA has selectively included information about where recalled foods were sold to help shoppers avoid imminent risk of a widespread foodborne illness—including this past summer, when pre-cut melon was recalled for salmonella contamination. But the FDA says that including a list of where foods are sold could help shoppers avoid getting sick—or, more importantly, help them understand if they should seek medical treatment sooner rather than later.

Learn more about foodborne illnesses and how to protect your family:

"Knowing where a recalled product was sold during the most dangerous food recalls can be the difference between a consumer going to the hospital or not. While we can't prevent every illness, we can make sure we provide information to consumers to prevent more people from becoming sick from a recalled or hazardous food product," Dr. Gottlieb said.

It's unclear as to how exactly the FDA will prioritize and share this information moving forward, but the agency's statement makes it clear that any recall associated with serious health issues—or death—will now advertise the stores involved. You'll still need to check your product's printed barcode in the future, but this information could be crucial for anyone who has already consumed a potentially harmful product.

The FDA has opened up its internal "draft guidance," which aids the organization in determining when they should include information about grocery stores and supermarkets, to public comment and suggestions. For many who have previously criticized the national food safety agency for an uprise in deadly outbreaks recently, this could be the first step towards helping more Americans stay safe from foodborne illness.


Basil Sold In 10 Midwestern States Is Being Recalled Over Parasite Fears

A select batch of packaged basil has been voluntarily recalled by its manufacturer Shenandoah Growers, Inc. Over 3,000 units of the herb that were packaged at the company's Indianapolis location are included in the recall.

According to an announcement by the Food & Drug Administration, the concern is that the select batch of basil is potentially contaminated with Cyclopspora. Cyclospora, which is a parasite, may lead to the Cyclosporiasis infection when ingested. Symptoms of this infection include stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and body aches. Most people respond quickly to treatment with antibiotics.

The announcement said that 3,240 units of the basil were being recalled, each with specific lot codes. A full list of the codes, brands, and UPC numbers can be found on the FDA website and all of them have packaging dates of February 3 or February 4.

Recalled products were shipped to various retail grocery stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, so this recall is mostly affecting the midwest region of the country. A routine check of the product that took place at a Miami checkpoint tested the basil and found that it was at risk of containing Cyclospora.


After Massive Recall Of Salmonella-Tainted Eggs, Gillibrand, Food Safety Advocates Announce New Legislation To Let Shoppers Know When They’ve Purchased Recalled Food

New York, NY &ndash After a national salmonella outbreak that sickened thousands of people and led to one of the largest egg recalls in U.S. history, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), the first New Yorker to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years, stood at Morton Williams Supermarket in Manhattan along with food safety advocates to announce new Gillibrand legislation that would require grocery stores to notify shoppers about food recalls. Just last week, 8,000 gallons of milk sold in New York and three other states were also recalled. Under this law, which is expected to pass this Fall, New York City&rsquos supermarkets, neighborhood corner stores and food retailers must place notices in their stores on the shelves or at cash registers or use automated coupon technology to alert individual customers who have purchased tainted food so they can immediately dispose of it.

&ldquoThe current system to notify consumers is completely antiquated. In America, in 2010, it is unconscionable that we don&rsquot have an effective way to let consumers know about recalls,&rdquo Senator Gillibrand said. &ldquoAs a mother of two young children, I know how frustrating it can be to get the most up to date information on which brand names are being recalled and what dates are affected. Letting shoppers know about recalls will prevent tainted food from reaching dinner tables and actually save lives.&rdquo

&ldquoAs a New Yorker, a mother, and a victim of food borne illness, I commend Senator Gillibrand's efforts to remedy the FDA recall reporting system,&rdquo said Pam Berger from Safe Tables Our Priority, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing foodborne illnesses and death. &ldquoAs it is now, consumers do not have easy access to basic and potentially life-saving information about the food we eat. The system as it is now is out of date and ineffective, and the solution Senator Gillibrand is proposing is a common-sense and direct approach. We have the right to know if the food we are bringing home to our families could sicken them, and we shouldn't have to have a background in research to access this information.&rdquo

&ldquoThis important legislation will immediately provide consumers and health professionals with information on recalled products to help keep their families and children safe,&rdquo Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, Professor of Pediatrics and Chairman of the Department of Community & Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine said. &ldquoChildren and seniors are particularly affected by food borne illnesses. Senator Gillibrand&rsquos bill will lead to more diseases prevented and more lives saved.&rdquo

Between May and July, a growing nationwide salmonella outbreak resulted from tainted eggs, with nearly 2,000 reported illnesses. Last month, more than half a billion eggs that were distributed in 14 states have been recalled by two Iowa producers. While there were no New York cases linked to this outbreak, thousands of egg-transmitted salmonella in New York are reported each year.

Senator Gillibrand&rsquos legislation would have required grocery stores and food distribution centers across 14 states which sold the salmonella-tainted eggs to either list the specific recalled brands in their stores or notify customers who already purchased the tainted eggs using their membership info &ndash all within 24 hours after the FDA&rsquos official announcement. This process would alert unaware consumers, provide clarity on exactly which egg brands are unsafe, and prevent potential food-borne illnesses from taking place.

Beyond the egg recall, Senator Gillibrand&rsquos legislation would require consumer notification of all recalled products under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and as well as the stores that they were sold in. Stores that fail to notify customers would be penalized.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 5 million people are afflicted with a food-borne illness each year across New York State, with an estimate of nearly 2.1 million stricken in New York City. In October 2009, Senator Gillibrand&rsquos office released data which showed that over 900 food products had been recalled from New York City shelves for various violations since 2005 &ndash including products such as cheese spread, caramel spread, preserved olives, dried prunes and more.

While the FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have made some progress improving food safety regulations, there has not been a significant overhaul to the nation&rsquos food safety laws in more than a century.

Senator Gillibrand&rsquos Consumer Recall Notification Act would:

Notify Consumers

Stores which sell food products that are under FDA&rsquos most severe type of recall (Class 1) would be required to do one of the following within 24 hours of the recall announcement: place a notice at the register, place a notice on the shelf where the food was sold, place a notice in another prominent location, such as the front of the store or at a kiosk at the entrance, or use membership cards to call customers after they have purchased a recalled product or provide shoppers with coupon info on the recalled product.

Stores that fail to notify customers of Class I recalls would be hit with penalties ranging from $1,000 to $50,000.

The FDA would also be required to publish an easy-to-access list of contaminated products on the internet for both stores and consumers.

Distribute Critical Information to Health Workers

To improve communication between States and local health departments when there is a Class I recall, the FDA would be required to distribute advisories to States, local health departments and frontline health professionals, such as emergency departments and pediatricians. The information distributed would include timely info on symptoms to look out for and test for in order to diagnose food-borne illness and save lives.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on Senator Gillibrand&rsquos legislation&mdashwhich is part of a larger Senate food safety amendment offered by the Chairman and Ranking Member and has strong bipartisan support&mdashlater this month.


The Details

Product recalled: Tanimura & Antle single-head packaged romaine lettuce sold in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico with a pack date of 10/15/2020 or 10/16/2020.

The problem: The romaine lettuce may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The fix: Return the lettuce to the store where it was purchased for a full refund or toss it into the trash.

How to contact the grower: Call Tanimura & Antle Consumer Hotline at 877-827- 7388.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to include the number of people sickened and hospitalized. It was originally published on Nov. 10.


This Popular Herb Is Being Recalled in All 50 States

There have been quite a few outbreaks, alerts, and official recalls the last few months, and there's another product to add to the list. If you recently purchased parsley or Herbes de Provence from World Market, Walmart, or other grocery stores in any state across the country, it could be part of a Salmonella herb recall.

A customer tested a sample of High Quality Organics' parsley and Salmonella was potentially discovered. Part of the recalled lot was supplied to Red Monkey Foods, according to the FDA. The company repackages the parsley and uses it in Herbes de Provence mixtures. The contaminated parsley and the other herb blend were sold in all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico. (Check your fridge for these herbs, but keep other products in mind, too, because here are the 8 Grocery Items That May Soon Be in Short Supply.)

The recalled product names have specific item numbers and UPC codes. They include:

  • Cost Plus World Market Herbes De Provence in a 0.6-ounce package with the item number of 533310-06 and the UPC 2533 3107.
  • Cost Plus World Market Organic Parsley in a 0.3-ounce package with the item number of 533325-06 and the UPC 2533 3251.
  • Great Value Herbes De Provence Organic in a 0.6-ounce package with the item number of GV5451-24 and the UPC 0 78742 15451 0.
  • Great Value Organic Parsley Flakes in a 0.3-ounce package with the item number of GV5460-24 and the UPC 0 78742 15460 2.
  • O Organics Herbes De Provence Organic in a 0.65-ounce package with the item number of 14200102-24 and the UPC 0 79893 41131 6.
  • O Organics Parsley Organic in a 0.3-ounce package with the item number of 14200099-05 and the UPC 0 79893 41109 5.
  • Full Circle Parsley Organic in a 0.3-ounce package with the item number of 32831-06 and the UPC 0 36800 32813 0.

No customer complaints or reports of illnesses have been linked to the herb recall. But if the product is in your household you should throw it away. You can also return it to the grocery store of purchase for a full refund.

Eating a contaminated product can cause fever, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. If Salmonella gets into the blood via a more serious infection, it can cause arterial infections, endocarditis, and arthritis. In children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems it can be dangerous and sometimes fatal, the FDA warns.

Just a few days before the herb recall was issued, the FDA announced 18 brands of pet food could contain aflatoxin from corn and grains in the ingredients. to check if your pet's food is one of the brands listed, head to the FDA's website.


News and anouncements

We are working to address questions and concerns you have. Please see the below FAQs and reference guide to assist you with providing critical care to our members. We will continue to keep you informed as the situation evolves.

Emergency Room Reductions and Hospital Readmissions

The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) has issued a bulletin, Reimbursement Reductions for Preventable Emergency Room Visits and Hospital Readmissions, which communicates changes to the reimbursement structure of such claims. These changes will become retroactively effective as of July 1, 2020. For details of the changes, see the notice below.

Introducing Changes Coming to KP Online Affiliate Claims Section

We are excited to inform you of a few new updates coming Saturday, August 8, 2020 to the Kaiser Permanente Online Affiliate.

We are committed to continually improving the online capabilities for our external providers, and the upcoming changes will allow you to easily view specific claim detailed information.

These changes will introduce the following to the claims detail report:

  • A brand new look and feel of the claims details report
  • Claim related referrals and diagnosis information have been added
  • Provider/vendor address on Claim submission will be viewable

Please see our job aid to make it easier for you to get comfortable with the new look.

Please reach out to your regional Online Affiliate representative should you have any questions.

Ranitidine Market Withdrawal

On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested all manufacturers of ranitidine, also known as Zantac, to stop producing and selling this medicine. All forms of prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine will no longer be available in the U.S. Providers are to discontinue prescribing ranitidine effective immediately.

Kaiser Permanente members who received a prescription for ranitidine tablets or oral syrup have been informed of the market withdrawal via letter with the following information:

Why is the FDA removing all ranitidine medicine from the market?

  • The FDA has learned that an impurity called NDMA found in ranitidine can increase even when the medicine is stored correctly in your home. If the medicine is stored at higher than normal temperatures, the amount of impurity can increase even faster.
  • NDMA is a probable carcinogen, which means it may cause cancer

What should I do with my ranitidine medicine?

  • You may continue to take your ranitidine prescription until you are able to pick up a different medicine. Once you find a different medicine, you should throw any ranitidine medicine away.
  • Famotidine (also known as Pepcid) and cimetidine (Tagamet) are medicines that work in the same way as ranitidine. These medicines are sold over-the-counter (OTC) and are available in pharmacies, grocery stores, and convenience stores.
    • Your local pharmacist can recommend a dose of famotidine or cimetidine that will be equal to the dose of ranitidine you are taking.
    • Cimetidine can be associated with many drug interactions and it is important that you make sure you are not taking a medicine that can be affected by cimetidine. Please consult with your pharmacist where you are buying the medication or your physician by giving them a list of all your prescribed and OTC medicines.

    Members have been encouraged to contact their primary care providers or their local pharmacy if they have questions regarding which treatment option is best for them.

    Providers with questions may contact Provider Experience at 1-877-806-7470 or by email at [email protected]

    New Provider Email Contacts at KP

    Effective January 1, 2020, we&rsquore making some updates to where information should be sent to us so that we can serve you better and ensure that inquiries are going directly to those that will handle them.

    Ensuring that your message is sent to the correct email address or that your call is placed to the correct phone number allows us to respond quickly and serve you better.

    The below list provides updated contacts at Kaiser Permanente for participating network providers.

    You may begin to use the new contacts on January 1, 2020. If you&rsquore unsure about who to contact for an issue, contact Provider Relations at [email protected] or 877-806-7470 for assistance.

    Provider Experience

    Email: [email protected]

    Phone:
    877-806-7470

    • Claims payment questions
    • Billing questions
    • Provider form/orientation requests
    • Online Affiliate inquiries

    Member Services

    Phone:
    800-810-4766

    • Check claims status and general claims payment
    • Member eligibility and benefit verification
    • Members needing care who don't have a Kaiser Permanente identification card
    • ERA/EFT status
    • Provider itemized bill questions
    • Provider appeal inquires

    Provider Demographic Updates

    Email: [email protected]

    • Provider addition and termination requests
    • Provider status update requests
    • Provider demographic changes (i.e., name, practice locations, phone number, fax number, specialty update, etc.)

    Utilization Management

    Phone:
    800-810-4766

    • Referral management and pre-certification
    • Emergency care recordation
    • Inpatient care authorization
    • Case management and concurrent review

    Interested Providers

    Email: [email protected]

    • Apply to contract with Kaiser Permanente
    • Status updates on applications
    • Send initial credentialing applications

    Provider Recredentialing

    Email:
    [email protected]

    Medicare Advantage

    On January 1, 2020, Kaiser Permanente will further expand our Medicare Advantage plans into our current Medicare Cost Service area (shown below in orange). But Medicare Advantage is more than expansion. Members will now have Kaiser Permanente as their primary insurance carrier and some billing requirements will change. More information on the geographic, billing and other changes are detailed in this article.

    Our Medicare Advantage membership is projected to go from over 55,500 to over 83,500 members in 2020. Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage Participating Providers will play an integral role in the care and coordination of services for all Medicare Advantage members. It is important that these providers are familiar with these responsibilities and the differences between our Medicare plans when providing and/or coordinating services to our members.

    This includes VA (the counties depicted below in VA only) and the following counties in Maryland: Calvert, Carroll, and Frederick. As a result, we will automatically renew our group plan members in these counties to new Medicare Advantage plans. Current direct pay members in Medicare Cost in these areas may keep their Medicare Cost plans in 2020.

    Also, we will close Medicare Cost in Charles County, MD. All members in Charles County will have the Medicare Advantage plan. No Kaiser Permanente member will be able to keep Medicare Cost in Charles County in 2020.

    All remaining services areas will continue to offer Medicare Advantage plans only. This includes D.C. and the following counties in MD: Harford, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, and Prince George&rsquos.


    2020 Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States Medicare Advantage only Service Areas in blue. Areas in orange will offer both Advantage and Cost plans in 2020.

    The Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage member ID card has Medicare Advantage identified in the upper right corner and the CMS contract number H2172 in the lower right.

    Please verify benefits by contacting Kaiser Permanente Member Services at 1-888-225-7202 or verifying online via our Kaiser Permanente Online Affiliate website at www.providers.kp.org/mas.

    Medicare Advantage members will have Kaiser Permanente as their primary insurance carrier. This means that claims should be submitted to Kaiser Permanente as primary, and claims submitted to CMS after 1/1/2020 for a member transitioning to Medicare Advantage will be denied. Our claims mailing address is:

    Kaiser Permanente
    Mid-Atlantic Claims Administration
    P.O. Box 371860
    Denver, CO 80237-9998

    Although claims will be submitted to Kaiser Permanente, the same billing requirements for CMS will apply.

    Referrals for services for members moving from Medicare Cost to Medicare Advantage will not need to be reauthorized, with two specific exceptions - DME supplies and homecare referrals. All other referrals will remain in place throughout the transition from Medicare Cost to Medicare Advantage there is no change to the referral and authorization requirements. Referrals and authorizations will still need to be obtained for specialty care services, hospitalizations, homecare, DME, orthotics/prosthetics and facility services. Providers may continue to request authorizations from Utilization Management Operations Center by phone at 1-800-810-4766 or by fax at 1-800-660-2019. Providers with referrals who need to be edited or reauthorized or changed will receive separate communication from UMOC.

    To help support our Medicare Advantage Participating Providers, we have developed Medicare Advantage training tools. This information is available on our Community Provider Portal at www.providers.kp.org/mas. If you have any questions about the Medicare Advantage plan, please contact Provider Experience at 1-877-806-7470 or email [email protected]

    UMOC Fax Number Changes

    In an effort to streamline our referral process and improve timelines of requests, the Utilization Management Operations Center (UMOC) has made some adjustments to fax numbers for certain specialty services. All fax numbers previously communicated have not been changed and are currently in operation but have been re-assigned based on the type of referral requested. The chart outlines the service type, old fax number and new.


    Referral Type Old fax number New fax number
    Durable Medical Equipment (new URF referrals) 855-414-1695 800-660-2019
    Durable Medical Equipment (reauthorizations - add codes to update existing referral) 855-414-1695 855-414-1695
    All Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy/Speech Therapy (PT/OT/ST) (new URF referrals) 855-414-1695 800-660-2019
    Skilled Nursing Facility PT/OT/ST (reauthorizations) 855-414-1695 855-414-1698
    Outpatient Rehab PT/OT/ST (reauthorizations) 855-414-1698 855-414-1698
    Home Health PT/OT/ST (reauthorizations) no existing fax number 855-414-1695
    Early Intervention no existing fax number 855-414-1695

    These changes will go into effect on June 20, 2019. We have updated our training materials and provider manuals to reflect these changes. If you have additional questions, you can email us at [email protected] or call us at 800-777-7902.

    BD Alaris Large Volume Pump Module (Model 8100) Recall

    BD (formerly Carefusion), the manufacturer of the Alaris Infusion System, recently notified Kaiser Permanente that it expanded the recall on its Alaris Large Volume Pump Module (Model 8100). The recall involves the potential separation of bezel posts in the pump. Affected pumps could malfunction resulting in an over- or under-infusion of medication(s) and/or fluid(s). BD indicates that there were 12 reported safety events potentially related to this recall. For context, BD estimates its pumps are used to deliver approximately 161 million infusions worldwide. NO DEATHS were reported by BD. In addition, there have been NO reported safety events at Kaiser Permanente related to this recall.

    BD is working with its customers on remediation and replacement plans for the affected pumps. See the attached recall notice for more information.

    We, at Kaiser Permanente, want to bring this important patient safety matter to your attention. If your facility uses the Alaris Large Volume Pump, we strongly encourage you to engage BD, if you have not already done so, to learn the necessary steps to help mitigate the risk of an over- or under-infusion from occurring at your facility. Kaiser Permanente&rsquos top priority is the safety of our members, patients, and communities.

    As always, thank you for your continued partnership and vigilance in protecting the safety of our members during this critical period. Please don&rsquot hesitate to contact Provider Experience with any questions or concerns. You may call Provider Experience at 1-877-806-7470 or email us at .

    Virginia Premier Kaiser Permanente Medicaid Program

    Kaiser Permanente's mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services to people throughout the region and achieve our goal of increasing our region&rsquos membership to 1.3 million members. Today, we provide coverage and care in Northern Virginia to 15,400 Medicaid members. Consistent with our mission, and despite the Commonwealth's consolidation of Medicaid managed care organizations, we intend to continue to care for current and newly eligible Medicaid members. With the Commonwealth&rsquos upcoming expansion of Medicaid, it's estimated that 400,000 more people residing throughout Virginia will become eligible for Medicaid coverage in 2019.

    To remain consistent with our mission of providing high quality, affordable health care services to our members and the communities we serve, Kaiser Permanente has entered into an innovative collaboration with Virginia Premier, the second largest Medicaid managed care organization in Virginia, to create a fully integrated health care experience.

    Unless members choose otherwise, starting October 1, 2018, current Kaiser Permanente Medicaid members will continue to receive Kaiser Permanente&rsquos integrated health care, just as they do today. Additionally, we will work with Virginia Premier to attract new Virginia members and patients beginning January 1, 2019.

    What does this mean?

    Kaiser Permanente Virginia Medicaid members will continue to receive the same high-quality health care. Members will retain their current Kaiser Permanente PCP. Participating providers should continue to obtain necessary referrals and authorizations through the same channels. All approved authorizations that extend beyond the transition date of October 1, 2018 will remain valid for approved dates and visits. Claims should still be sent to:

    Mid-Atlantic Claims Administration
    Kaiser Permanente
    P.O. Box 371860
    Denver, CO 80237-9998

    Current and new members will receive a new co-branded Virginia Premier &ndash Kaiser Permanente ID card.

    The Virginia Premier Kaiser Permanente Medicaid Program Provider Manual will replace the Kaiser Permanente Virginia Medicaid and FAMIS Provider Manual and will be updated to entail our new partnership with Virginia Premier.

    For further questions, providers and members may contact Kaiser Permanente Member Services at 855-249-5025, Monday through Friday, 7:30 A.M. to 9 P.M.

    Diversity

    Members have the right to free language services for health care needs. We provide free language services including:

    • 24-hour access to an interpreter: When members call to make an appointment or talk to their personal physician, if needed, we will connect them to a telephonic interpreter.
    • Translation services: Some member materials are available in the member&rsquos preferred language.
    • Bilingual physicians and staff: In some medical centers and facilities, we have bilingual physicians and staff to assist members with their health care needs. They can call Member Services or search online in the medical staff directory at kaiserpermanente.org.
    • Braille or large print: Blind or vision impaired members can request for documents in Braille or large print or in audio format.
    • Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS): If members are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired, we have the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) access numbers that they can use to make an appointment or talk with an advice nurse or member services representative or with you.
    • Sign language interpreter services: These services are available for appointments. In general, advance notice of two or three business days is required to arrange for a sign language interpreter availability cannot be guaranteed without sufficient notice.
    • Educational materials: Health education materials can be made available in languages other than English by request. To access Spanish language information and many educational resources go to kp.org/espanol or kp.org to access La Guía en Español (the Guide in Spanish). Members can also look for the ñ symbol on the English language Web page. The ñ points to relevant Spanish content available in La Guía en Español.
    • Prescription labels: Upon request, the KPMAS pharmacist can provide prescription labels in Spanish for most medications filled at the Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy.

    At Kaiser Permanente, we are committed to providing quality health care to our members regardless of their race, ethnic background or language preference. Efforts are being made to collect race, ethnicity and language data through our electronic medical record system, HealthConnect®. We believe that by understanding our members&rsquo cultural and language preferences, we can more easily customize our care delivery and Health Plan services to meet our members&rsquo specific needs.

    Currently, when visiting a medical center, members should be asked for their demographic information. It is entirely the member&rsquos choice whether to provide us with demographic information. The information is confidential and will be used only to improve the quality of care. The information will also enable us to respond to required reporting regulations that ensure nondiscrimination in the delivery of health care.

    We are seeking support from our practitioners and providers to assist us with the member demographic data collection initiative. We would appreciate your support with the data collection by asking that you and your staff check the member&rsquos medical record to ensure the member demographic data is being captured. If the data is not captured, please take the time to collect this data from the member. The amount of time needed to collect this data is minimal and only needs to be collected once. Recommendation for best practices for collecting data is during the rooming procedure.

    In conclusion, research has shown that medical treatment is more effective when the patient&rsquos race, ethnicity and primary language are considered.

    To access organization wide population data on language and race, please see our Diversity & Inclusion Annual Report*.

    To obtain your practice level data on language and race, please email the Provider Relations Department at [email protected]

    Kaiser Permanente ClaimsConnect is Here!

    As of February 2016, Kaiser Permanente implemented a new and improved claims processing system, Kaiser Permanente ClaimsConnect. All HMO plan claims for the Mid-Atlantic States are now being processed out of a centralized Kaiser Permanente National Claims Administration (NCA).

    This resulted in a change in how you file claims with us. See the table below for claims submission addresses. Please note that there are no changes for the Self-Funded plan and the 2 nd and 3 rd tiers of the Flexible Choice plan. Also, there are no changes to how you submit claims electronically.

    Plans All paper claims
    HMO plans Mid-Atlantic Claims Administration
    Kaiser Permanente
    PO Box 371860
    Denver, CO 80237-9998
    Self-Funded (EPO) Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company (KPIC)
    Self-Funded Claims Administration
    PO Box 30547
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0547
    Flexible Choice (2 nd PPO & 3 rd OON Tiers Only) Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company (KPIC)
    PO Box 261130
    Plano, TX 75026

    In addition, provider disputes and appeals submission addresses have changed. All provider disputes and appeals submitted in writing should be sent to:

    Please do not send any claims or correspondence to the former P.O. Box in Rockville. That claims mailroom has been closed.

    This transition supports our goal to provide you with timely and accurate payments by upgrading to a more modern, efficient system, and integrating resources and expertise into one location.

    Along with these changes, providers are now able to view claims, check claim statuses, view and print EOPs electronically through our Kaiser Permanente Online Affiliate site. If you have not already registered for access to Kaiser Permanente Online Affiliate, please click on Online Affiliate Registration to enroll online.

    Provider Referral Requests

    The Kaiser Permanente Utilization Management Operations Center reviews each referral request and determines the number of visits that are medically necessary. When requesting referrals, please only request one visit or the exact number of visits that will be needed for a three (3) month period.

    Additional visits can be added if medically necessary before approval but if more visits are requested than needed the member will receive a partial approval/denial letter which has been creating confusion for members as they believe their referral is being denied. To help avoid this, please only request one visit or the exact number of visits necessary.

    Notification of Part D Negative Tier Change

    Effective April 4, 2017, ENVIO 0.4MG/0.4ML (naloxone) will be moved to the specialty tier for Medicare Part D members. Please see the memo* from the Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy Department for more details.

    New Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect AffiliateLink Enrollment System

    A new automated Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect AffiliateLink enrollment system was implemented in Spring 2015. With the new automated enrollment system, new users are able to apply online and receive their user ID and password electronically. It will no longer be necessary to submit paper enrollment forms. The new online enrollment system provides greater security measures that will help protect our members&rsquo health information.

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    Additional Information:

    • Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration posted a warning letter issued to Whole Foods Market for engaging in a pattern of receiving and offering for sale misbranded food products under their own brand name. In some cases, Whole Foods Market would receive finished products for repackaging and label them using misbranded scale labels. These products were misbranded because the finished product labels failed to declare all major food allergens present in the products, as required by section 403(w)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
    • Between October 2019 and November 2020, Whole Foods Market recalled more than 30 food products due to undeclared allergens. The implicated products were sold primarily in the bakery and deli sections of the store and are no longer available for sale. FDA noticed similar patterns of numerous recalls by Whole Foods Market for undeclared allergens in previous years as well.
    • Although retail establishments, such as Whole Foods Market, are excluded from certain requirements, they are responsible for ensuring the that the labeling for food manufactured under their brand name and the labeling that they perform in-store is accurate with respect to allergens. This is the first time the agency has warned a retail establishment for engaging in a pattern of offering for sale misbranded store brand labeled food products containing undeclared allergens. As part of the FDA’s ongoing efforts to address undeclared allergens as the leading cause of food recalls, we have analyzed patterns of recalls, and this letter is part of that work along with other work to improve industry’s compliance with allergen labeling requirements and reduce undeclared allergen-related food recalls.
    • Unlabeled allergens continue to be the leading cause of recalls and a leading cause of reportable foods registry reports. In addition, undeclared allergen-related reportable food reports have steadily increased since the Reportable Food Registry began. The FDA has issued eight warning letters to registered food facilities that have manufactured and distributed foods with undeclared allergens in 2020.
    • The eight foods identified as major food allergens are milk, eggs, fish (such as bass, flounder, or cod), crustacean shellfish (such as crab, lobster, or shrimp), tree nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans), peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.
    • Whole Foods Market needs to respond within 15 business days of receiving the warning letter to inform the FDA of the specific things the company is doing to address this violation.

    The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

    Join our community to stay up-to-date on news and food allergy recalls. Our blog also has the latest news on food allergy research and treatments. Our community forums provide an opportunity to connect with others who manage food allergies for day-to-day support.


    Reports and side effects:

    The company received few reports of illness, and the biggest complaint was an “unpleasant odor.” Some dogs began vomiting and had diarrhea after consuming the products.

    Spectrum Brands says:

    Exposure to quaternary ammonium compounds through direct ingestion may cause the following symptoms in dogs: reduced appetite, and gastric irritation including diarrhea and vomiting.

    These symptoms may require treatment by a veterinarian depending on severity.


    The FDA didn’t specifically say what illness they’re worried about, but experts suspect that it’s botulism.

    Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a toxin that attacks the body’s nerves, according to the CDC. The toxin that leads to botulism is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum or sometimes strains of Clostridium butyricum and Clostridium baratii, as SELF reported previously.

    These bacteria that make botulinum toxin are found naturally in many places, like in soil, but they rarely make people sick, the CDC says. The bacteria make spores which help them survive and, under certain conditions, the spores can grow and make one of the most lethal toxins known, the CDC explains. Those conditions include having a low-oxygen or no oxygen (anaerobic) environment, low acid, low sugar, low salt, a certain temperature range, and a certain amount of water.

    When canned foods are preserved incorrectly, it can create the ideal conditions for these spores to grow and produce botulinum toxin, which can make you really sick if you eat these foods, infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells SELF. “In order to make canned foods shelf-stable, there has to be some kill step,” food safety expert Darin Detwiler, Ph.D., director of the Regulatory Affairs of Food and Food Industries program at Northeastern University, tells SELF. “If any kill steps are missing, the product isn’t shelf-stable, and botulism can grow and multiply.”


    Changes in the Food Landscape

    While experts aren’t concerned that the country will run low on food, shocks to supply chains have changed the food landscape. Shoppers have paid higher prices at the grocery store, for example.

    Furthermore, Gomez and Sumner say that people won’t always be able to get the cut of meat or the brand of yogurt they want. “What we’re seeing now is that the variety, the assortment of food in the grocery stores, is less,” Gomez says. “That’s going to be a change because in this country, we’ve been used to having all products year-round, all the different brands that we want.”

    Finally, Gomez says, “We are entering a recession. For many households, income is going to drop. If I were a farmer or a food manufacturer, I would be thinking that these people will shift from fancy specialty foods to more basic foods at lower prices. I think that’s going to be a trend that’s going to affect the supply chains. I think we’re going to see that very soon.”

    Sources

    Meat and Poultry: “Map: COVID-19 meat plant closures.”

    TheFeed.blog: “Feeding the Nation and Keeping Our Team Members Healthy.”

    Feeding America: “Hunger in America”

    USDA.gov: “USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program.”

    Daniel Sumner, PhD, distinguished professor of agricultural and resource economics, University of California, Davis.

    Miguel Gomez, PhD, associate professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University.