HPSJ Resource Center

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Power Outage and Fires
HPSJ asks members to please stay safe each fire season & during any PG&E power outages
August 2020

To our Health Plan of San Joaquin members,

We always are concerned for your health and the well-being of your family and community. This involves when there are natural disasters, such as the recent California fire season.

We ask you to please:

  • Keep with you your prescribed meds and charged or battery reliant health care tools
  • Keep your HPSJ ID card with you
  • In a natural disaster, you can get any of this local help, FREE, without prior HPSJ say-so – ER hospital care, Urgent Care, and Drug store fills of prescribed meds

PG&E Helppge.comTwitter updates; get text/email alerts; and PG&E’s Emergency planning tips for people who count on charged or battery reliant health care tools – click here.

HPSJ Customer Service:

  • Toll-free at 1-888-936-7526 (TTY/TDD 711), 8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday-Friday
  • If you have a problem getting vital or life-sustaining supplies during a power outage, please call HPSJ Care Coordination at 209-942-6352 (Monday-Friday, 8:00AM – 5:00PM).
  • Our 24-7 Nurse/Doctor Advice Line (HealthReach) is at 1-800-655-8294 – Call any time, day or night!

You can always learn more at our HPSJ Resource Center, https://www.hpsj.com/hpsj-asks-members-to-please-stay-safe-this-fire-season-during-any-pge-power-outages/
What we are doing for HPSJ members touched by fire season and power shut-offs:

  • Ease of Reach to Meds
    • HPSJ works with nearly all drugstores in California, as well as all major chains. Members may go to any of these drugstores. In the rare case that a drugstore is not part of the group, HPSJ will pay you back for out-of-pocket charges. 
    • If you have had your meds lost, harmed or destroyed due to fire or mandated evacuations, you may at once refill them, even if they are not due to be refilled.
    • HPSJ offers a three-day (72-hour) supply for meds, along with controlled meds that are part of a benefit, but may be subject to limits.
  • Find a doctor
    • If you are not able to be seen by your group or normal doctors, along with urgent care and hospitals, we will help you find a doctor, along with, if needed, doctors not in our group.
  • Mental Health
    • HPSJ’s partner, Beacon Health Strategies, will help members find mental health help if they cannot reach their usual source of care. Call Beacon Health Strategies, at 1-888-581-7526.         
  • Urgent Care
    • If the fires or power outages cause you to need urgent care, you may go out of HPSJ’s group.
  • Toll-free numbers for questions on loss of member ID card, meds refills, and doctors not in our group, or how to reach nearby health care:
    • HPSJ Customer Service number, at 1-888-936-PLAN (7526), TTY/TDD 711  
    • HealthReach 24/7 Nurse/Doctor Advice Line, at 1-800-655-8294 – Please, call any time, day or night! We are here to help you.
  • Your safe member portals are at:
  • hpsj.com/members – set up or get into your online account
  • myHPSJ – download for the app for your phone (Apple or Android)
Staying Safe in Summer -  Comfort Tips for Masks & Cooling Zones

Our medical caregivers do so much for us.
Here, they share their secrets for more comfortable mask wearing.

  • Add a breathable layer to your mask. Take a tissue and put it at the tip of your nose and then just below your lower lip to avoid irritation. Find 5 more tips from experts, courtesy of NBC’s The Today Show.
  • Have more than one mask, in case you are outside the home for a long period – or it’s hot and humid. If your mask gets sweaty and damp, you will be grateful for the relief of a fresh mask.
  • Find “10 Easy Ways to Relieve Ear Pain from Face Masks,” especially for those masks that loop over the ears; at Nurse.org.
  • Rashes and skin irritations bother even dermatologists. Mayo Clinic’s Dawn Davis, MD, uses “hypoallergenic soaps and washing hands and face in warm – not scalding – water. Pat dry, using linen or cotton, less abrasive than a paper towel.” She also “likes zinc oxide – which fights inflammation – the same stuff lifeguards put on their noses to prevent sunburn, and parents put on babies’ bottoms to treat diaper rash. Put a thin layer in facial areas where the mask rubs. Dr. Davis recommends this for really troubled face abrasions: Wash (in warm water), pat dry and apply hypoallergenic moisturizer – lotion or cream – twice, leaving a thick layer.. For more, including her “skin burrito” recipe for irritated hands, See this Washington Post article.
  • Also in the Washington Post article, Karen Ousey (Director, Institute of Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention, University of Huddersfield, England) recommends we “Apply moisturizer at least 30 minutes before putting on the mask … and remove masks every two hours to relieve pressure.”
  • CDC recommends limiting time wearing a mask. Yes, wear them in public areas where it’s hard to stay 6-feet apart; but stay home if you can. See more helpful tips for mask wearing in hot weather from Carrie Madormo, RN.

Finally, if you just need a break – whether on errands, working outside, or working inside with limited air circulation, take a break. Find a secluded place, or a corner away from others, or go sit in your car for a few minutes with the air conditioning running, and carefully take off your mask. This also is a good time to hydrate, and clean your hands after handling your mask as it may have germs.

Excessive heat is here and likely to stay for awhile. 
Still masks are required for safety, even in local Cooling Zones 

(Check these county sites for San Joaquin and Stanislaus).

Click to download from CDC’s site

Click to download from CDC’s site.

For HPSJ Members – with special health needs: Helpful Information
And, at any time – day or night – you also can call our 24-7 Nurse/Doctor Advice Line (HealthReach) at 1-800-655-8294.

Refrigerated meds

Many refrigerated meds are stable at room temp for a few days.

  • Try to keep meds cool, but do not use ice, as some meds (along with insulin) lose effectiveness if frozen.
  • Store meds in a cool, dry place and away from direct heat or sunlight.

For questions about meds and guidance on storing insulins, please call your local drugstore and ask a druggist.

Insulin – Tips for you or your family member – we hope you will find this helpful and a good support:

  • Should be stored at 36° to 48°.
  • Once opened, it can be stored at room temp for up to 28 days.
  • High temperatures (below 35° and above 86°) can ruin a vial of insulin.
  • Insulin should be kept as cool as you can in very high heat and guarded from freezing.
  • If you suspect that the insulin has been ruined –
    • Insulin may need to be replaced if it:
    • Is cloudy
    • Has clumps even after you rolled it like you are supposed to
    • Has threads or strings in it
    • Has changed color
    • Or your blood sugar stays high even after your normal correction dose
  • In a power outage or crisis, call our Customer Service staff at 1-888-936-PLAN (7526)-TTY/TDD 711 (Monday-Friday, 8:00AM to 6:00PM), or 1-855-828-1486 during after hours, weekends or holidays to get an early refill in an crisis.

If you are worried about refrigerated meds not being safe to use and want a replacement or refill, call your local drugstore/druggist. 

  • HPSJ Pharmacy Services will allow members to get meds replacements if their meds has spoiled during outages from non-refrigeration. 
  • For crisis times, HPSJ’s Pharmacy Services approves at least a 72-hour supply of most meds without limit. This takes in meds awaiting submission or okay of a pre-approval ask. Certain limits apply.
Electrical medical equipment
Please call HPSJ’s medical equipment provider, Western Drug Medical Supply, 24/7, at 1-818-956-6691, if you use life-sustaining medical equipment that needs electricity to work.

Western can help you get other devices. Such as:

  • E Cylinders
  • An oxygen concentrator could be temporarily replaced with an oxygen tank
  • A battery-operated version of a DME or special batteries

For home dialysis patients –

  • As you know, there is a home renal dialysis clinic to which each potentially affected HPSJ member is attached. The clinic will squeeze in any member needing urgent health care if a power outage.
  • If you need urgent health care and cannot at once get to the home renal dialysis clinic, the alternative way is in place to help you:
    • Each machine has two hours of battery life if a power outage
    • For any power outage over two hours, each member has enough supplies for 5-7 days to give dialysis done by hand in their home without electricity
    • If you still need to get to your given renal dialysis place and are not able to get transport to that dialysis place, please call 911.

HPSJ will prioritize support for members with:

  • Oxygen-related or heart-lung aid devices
  • Infusion/IV or feeding/nutrition supplement equipment
  • Movement aid equipment
  • In-Home dialysis equipment

If you have a problem getting vital or life-sustaining supplies during a power outage, please call HPSJ Care Coordination at 209-942-6352.

For the latest wildfire facts, check your local news, along with TV, radio and the web – and keep your phone charged. And you are welcome to check HPSJ’s Resource Center, www.hpsj.com/safe.

Thank you for being a member of Health Plan of San Joaquin!

HPSJ Members

At HPSJ, we want to make sure you and your family know how to stay healthy and prepared.

San Joaquin County

Visit the Office of Emergency Services website for up to date San Joaquin County emergency information.

Stanislaus County

Helpful information for Stanislaus County residents during power outages and other emergencies. 

Posted on November 4th, 2019 and last modified on August 25th, 2020.