When we’re feeling sick, we often find ourselves desperately looking for a “magic pill” to get us back to normal but unfortunately that’s not always the case. With viral and bacterial infections so closely related, how can we tell when we have either one? What treatments are available? What can we do to prevent them? Today, modern medicine has a solution for almost every problem but sometimes the only treatment is the tried-and-true method of letting it run its course, especially when it’s viral.
Symptoms of both bacterial and viral infections are incredibly closely related. Consider an upper respiratory infection, both viral and bacterial infections have symptoms of a cough, congestion, headache, and sometimes shortness of breath. In recent years, we’ve learned first-hand how easily pneumonia initially caused by a virus will worsen when a secondary bacteria infects patients. This was particularly true with COVID-19; despite being caused by a virus, antibiotics were vital in treating the associated bacterial infections.
Bacteria can live in almost every conceivable environment, including in or on the human body while viruses are parasitic and require living cells or tissue to grow. Our bodies have naturally beneficial bacteria that provide us with beneficial advantages to our overall health. In fact, without our gut bacteria, we wouldn’t be able to break down food appropriately. Similarly, when bacteria from our gut is introduced to our bladder, we find ourselves suffering from a urinary tract infection. We can encounter bacteria from other people, food, or the environment whereas viruses are most often spread from person-to-person. While only a handful of bacteria cause infections in humans, nearly all viruses cause some degree of an immune response from the infected individual. When our immune system is weakened by a virus, bacteria will take advantage of the situation and infect our bodies, making us feel even worse.
Fortunately, there are several resources available for providers to diagnose whether you have a viral or bacterial infection causing you to feel the way you do. Examples include strep tests (bacterial infection), flu and COVID tests (viral infections) and the new tests like the Spot Fire that can test you for 22 different viral and bacterial agents. With the availability to be able to test and diagnose accurately, treatment has become less of a guessing game.
Antibiotics are the drug of choice for treating bacterial infections such as strep throat, urinary tract infections, and cellulitis. Regrettably, viral infections are trickier as there aren’t as many anti-viral medications available for treatment and best “treated” with prevention. Infections such as influenza and chicken pox/shingles have medications made specifically to treat these infections. Treatment for most viral infections are directed to help relieve the symptoms such as fever, cough, congestion, nausea, vomiting, etc.
Prevention is the greatest treatment for all types of infections. Methods of prevention include washing your hands with soap and water, staying away from people who are sick and avoiding others if you are sick. Covering your cough and sneezes, as well as disinfecting frequently touched surfaces are also superb ways to keep ourselves healthy. A wholesome diet with regular exercise and daily multivitamins are excellent approaches to ensure your body’s natural defenses are excellent and ready to fight off any potential threat of infection.
Bacteria and viruses are the cause of a variety of common infections and can be transmitted by similar means. Sometimes tests are available for accurate diagnosing while other times your doctor will diagnose your condition by using their best judgement during a simple physical examination. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections while most viral infection treatment focuses on treating symptoms while letting the virus runs its course. Overall, the best medicine is prevention.
Article Written By Andrianna Kovatch RN
Golden Triangle Emergency Center- Orange invites children in K-5 grade to participate in our 7th annual coloring contest. Creativity is a bonus!
Please return the artwork to Golden Triangle Emergency Center Orange (3107 Edgar Brown Drive Orange, TX 77630) by Monday March 13th with the child’s name, gender, school, grade and phone number legible. There will be a boy and a girl winner from K-1st grade, 2nd-3rd and 4th-5th grade.
The winners will be announced on Wednesday March 15th. Each winner will win a Basket filled with goodies that can be picked up at Golden Triangle Emergency Center in Orange.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call 409-920-4470
The “Did You Know?” Campaign for Golden Triangle Emergency Center- Orange is an informative campaign launched to further educate the public on the services we offer our community, how to understand your bill and the laws that are in place to help you.
Understanding your (EOB)
The Explanation of benefits (EOB) is a form that the insurance companies will send to their members to explain what part of a claim was paid by insurance, what part was not paid, and why.
How to Read Your EOB
An EOB from your insurance company will typically include the following information:
Top of Your EOB: Date of Service and Member identification information, and the claim number. You will need this information to check on the status of a claim.
Under Claim details: You will be provided the amount billed, adjusted amount (Discounted), amount not covered, Co-Pay, Deductible, Co-insurance, what your plan paid and what you owe.
A bill for any amounts you may owe will come separately. Review it carefully to make sure you actually received the services being billed, that the amount your healthcare provider received and your share are correct, and that your diagnosis and procedure are correctly listed.
An Example of an EOB
Highlighted in Yellow is the amount billed by our facility. Highlighted in blue is the amount your insurance company adjusted/discounted off. Highlighted in red is the amount your insurance company paid. Highlighted in green is the amount you a projected to owe.
Diving Deeper into this EOB
In this graph you will see our facility billed $4,302.04 to this particular insurance company. The insurance company adjusted off $3,253.51 or 75% from the total bill and paid $897.67 or 20%. This leaves the patient responsible for $150.86 or 3.5%. However, the problem with this example is the patient has met their deductible and insurance should cover more than 20%.
The Adjusted Amount ( or sometimes listed as discounted amount) is the difference between the amount our facility (GTEC) billed your insurance company and what your insurance company chose to pay. This amount is not what the insurance company paid.
Breaking Down of the EOB
It is important to always check over your EOB closely. You may have received a service that is not covered by your insurance in which case you are responsible for paying the full amount. Your EOB will generally indicate how much of your annual deductible and out-of-pocket maximum have been met. If you’re receiving ongoing medical treatment, this can help you plan ahead and determine when you’re likely to hit your out-of-pocket maximum. At that point, your insurance company will pay for any covered in-network services you need for the remainder of the year.
Filing an insurance appeal
If your insurance company denies a claim for treatment, you have the right to appeal. The policy holder or guardian can write a letter supporting your case and provide documentation, such as journal articles, list of symptoms, to support why a certain procedure or treatment was medically necessary.
You can file an appeal up to 180 days after you are notified of a denial. The explanation of benefits (EOB) you get from your insurance company will have information about how to file. If you do, your insurer must do what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services calls a “full and fair review” of its initial rejection. If you lose here, you can request an “external review” by an independent organization accredited to review health care decisions.
The Patient Advocate Foundation has a downloadable guide with detailed advice on navigating this process, including sample appeal letters and a checklist of evidence to gather.https://www.patientadvocate.org/
- Get the itemized bill: Our facility sends a bill that summarizes the services you received and lists payments for each service as well as a total amount.
- To spot problems, ask for an itemized statement, this is just a more detailed explanation of the services provided.
- Take notes/Gather evidence: Starting with your first phone call, write down the date and time, the name of every person you talk to and the information they share. If you hit a brick wall request to speak to a supervisor.
- Check to see if you are being charged for services you didn’t receive, medications you didn’t take or facilities you didn’t use.
- Compare the bill with the explanation of benefits (EOB) sent by your insurance company.
- CALL US: Ask our facility about any charges you don’t understand, point out any obvious errors and request that they review your bill.
- Contact your insurance company: If your health plan isn’t covering something you thought would be covered, call the customer service line and ask directly, “What needs to happen for this to be covered? ”Sometimes, it’s just a matter of the medical provider entering the wrong code when it submitted your claim.
Affordable Care Act
Prudent Layperson Standard
One of the most important principles supporting the medical safety net is the “prudent layperson” standard for defining an emergency, which requires health insurance plans to base reimbursement on a patient’s presenting complaint rather than the final diagnosis.
This means insurers must cover emergency department care, for example, when a patient’s severe chest pain turns out to be heartburn rather than a heart attack. Such a determination often takes hours, multiple diagnostic tests, and the considered judgment of an experienced emergency physician. Under the prudent layperson standard, insurers cannot use the final diagnosis as an excuse to deny coverage.
Affordable Care Act
What is the Affordable Care Act? The “Affordable Care Act” (ACA) is the name for the comprehensive health care reform law and its amendments. This law addresses health insurance coverage, health care costs, and preventive care.
Rights & protections
The health care law offers rights and protections that make coverage more fair and easy to understand.
- Requires insurance plans to cover people with pre-existing health conditions, including pregnancy, without charging more
- Provides free preventive care
- Gives young adults more coverage options
- Ends lifetime and yearly dollar limits on coverage of essential health benefits
- Helps you understand the coverage you’re getting
- Holds insurance companies accountable for rate increases
- Makes it illegal for health insurance companies to cancel your health insurance just because you get sick
- Protects your choice of doctors
- Protects you from employer retaliation
Additional rights and benefits:
We would like to thank the AMAZING Nurses that work at GTEC- Orange and tell you a little about each of them.
Casey Daigle our Employee of the year 2021. Pictured with his beautiful wife Wendy and three children. One of the many reasons we appreciate Casey is when Hurricane Harvey made its landfall, GTEC was impacted like many other homes and facilities in our area. When we needed help getting back to working conditions, Casey volunteered himself and his time. He was first on the scene prepared with his own personal equipment to help rebuild our ER. He worked, without complaint, in 100 degree weather and always stayed in contact with management to make sure our facility was okay. Casey is also a veteran from the US Navy and Graduate from McNeese and has been a nurse for 13 years.
John Hennessy is our charge nurse and employee of the year in 2019. John is a father of two beautiful children, Kortlyn and Jase, married for 17 years to his wife Maegan and dad to their dog Cash. He loves LSU, golf, cars, music and traveling. He graduated from Vidor High School and graduated from Excelsior college. He’s a big foodie. A has been a nurse for 11 years and in the ER for almost 20.
Brandon & Aubrey Welch have been married for 5 years this year and are parents to 2 hairless cats (Ollie and Opie) and 1 dog (Odus). They both love to travel the world and have adventures. Aubrey is a native of Orange, graduated from Lamar Orange and went to Bridge City high school. Her husband Brandon had been a nurse for 11 years.
Blake Shute has been a nurse for 11 years. He and his wife had a Halloween party last year and surprised everyone by having a wedding! Father to Jolie and Lily as well as their great dane Rufio. Jack of all trades and loves to read auto biographies and listening to classic rock as well as a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers. Blake graduated from Orangefield high school and Lamar Orange.
Sherry Jones has been a nurse for 24 years. Mom to three kids (Christian, Josh and Jeremy) and loves to spend time at her property in Silsbee with her horse. Sherry has an amazing personality and a joy to work with. Married to her late husband for more than 20 years.
Jordan Read has been a nurse for 11 years. Pictured with his girlfriend Paola (Pao) (also a nurse) and a native of Orange. He graduated from Lamar Orange and went to LCM high school.
Finally our Director of Nurses Annie Kovatch. Annie moved to southeast Texas when she was in 4th grade. She later married her high school sweetheart and now resides in Orangefield where they are raising their two children Annalise and Maverick. Annie has worked as an Emergency Room Nurse since 2008 and has special training in the CVICU, is a member of Emergency Nurses Association, and Texas Nurses Association. Annie is bi-lingual and has worked closely with clubs in our community like the Lions Club and the America Red Cross. She has been able to grow with the company originally PRN, to full time nurse, to Charge Nurse, then the Director of Nurses and help open a new facility.
To receive this distinguished award we look for an employee who goes above and beyond their job requirements. Someone who is always looking for a way to better themselves, the people around them and this company. This individual has done just that.
We would like to congratulate Sheala Vice on being the employee of the quarter. She is a staff radiology technologist for GTEC Port Arthur and has been with the company since its inception 5 years ago. She graduated from Orange Memorial High School and has over 47 years of experience in her field. She helped create the protocols and techniques used at GTEC today for the CT machine. Her job entails: quality patient care, Quality Control of the CT machine, X-Ray patients, help with labs and run tests. She goes above and beyond for this company to make other employees and patients happy and taken care of. Sheala is always helping with event and continuing to find ways to improve Golden Triangle Emergency Center.
Sheala is mom to three daughters, 4 grandsons and 1 granddaughter, and she has two cats Ash and Bibbity (like Cinderella). She loves to read books- preferably crime novels (she could take us all out), garden, shop, admire jewelry, food and to travel! She loves her grandchildren and is always attending their events in Bridge City. She just recently returned from a trip to Russia and Rome and will be heading to London by the end of this month. So, if you see her be sure to tell her congratulations!
Upon receiving this award, the employee will receive a certificate of recognition, their picture hung on the “Wall of Fame”, their own parking space for 90 days, 12 hours of paid time off, and their name is considered for employee of the year. Congratulations again Sheala Vice!
Golden Triangle Emergency Center is celebrating five-years of providing Mid-County with top quality emergency medical care. Golden Triangle Emergency Center was the first free-standing emergency center in mid-county, a service made all the more crucial after the recent closure of St. Mary’s Hospital in Port Arthur. We would like to thank the community for their use of the facility and belief in our company, we would not have made it five years if it were not for this communities’ support.
In the five years that Golden Triangle Emergency Center-Port Arthur has been proud to serve the community with charity programs, school presentations, assistance with emergency relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Each Year GTEC-Port Arthur also provides scholarships for an RN and LVN students from Lamar State College Port Arthur semi- annually. GTEC’s Marketing Director Kari Busch was awarded the Ambassador of the Year 2018 for her involvement in the community and with the chamber. GTEC is a huge asset to the community and hopes to continue to be able to serve the community for many more years to come.
Golden Triangle Emergency Center-Port Arthur is located at 8035 Memorial Blvd, Port Arthur TX 77640, next to Cheddars, in a state-of-the-art 10,000 square foot building with on-site imaging and laboratory facility and a full range of clinical services as well as occupational oversight. Golden Triangle Emergency Center provides concierge-level care to our local communities with state-of-the-art facilities, short wait times, and steadfast commitment to patient care. GTEC is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and treats all major and minor health emergencies. They have a phenomenal staff which pride themselves on complete and total patient care from the moment they arrive until they have been discharged. Your emergency won’t wait and neither should you! Let Golden Triangle Emergency Center be your Gold Standard for emergency and industrial care.
COLA is a physician-directed organization whose purpose is to promote excellence in laboratory medicine and patient care through a program of voluntary education, consultation, and accreditation. COLA helps us ensure accurate test results, run our lab in accordance with quality systems, and meet CLIA accreditation requirements in order to serve our patients better.
This prestigious award is only given to laboratories that apply rigid standards of quality in day-to-day operations, demonstrate continued accuracy in the performance of proficiency testing, and pass a rigorous on-site laboratory survey with zero deficiencies. Golden Triangle Emergency Center has earned the COLA Laboratory Excellence Award, a result of the hard work from their new Lab Lead, Jenna Mueller, EMT-P and Director of Nurses, Annie Kovatch, RN.
Jenna is a certified paramedic and has been with GTEC for over 4 years. She recently took on the responsibility of Lab Lead and worked tirelessly to earn a perfect score with COLA for Golden Triangle Emergency Center – Orange.
Golden Triangle Emergency Center’s goal is always to provide the resources, including health information our community needs to stay safe and healthy. However, when sickness or injuries strike, Golden Triangle Emergency Center is here 24/7, 365 days a year with gold standard in emergency and industrial care.
GTEC works with Lamar State College-Port Arthur to encourage students with a proven academic record of excellence and a passion for healthcare to apply for these scholarships. In order to ensure that the community will be supported by the highest caliber of healthcare professionals, Golden Triangle Emergency Center invests in future generations of stand-out students by offering this scholarship twice a year; fall and spring semester.
The winner of the $250 LVN scholarship is Melanie Morton of Nederland, Texas. Melanie has been serving others since she was in middle school through mission trips and volunteering with her church. More recently she has volunteered her time as a swim instructor at the Shorkey Center for physical and occupational therapy and rehabilitation for children, and at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas in the NICU department. Her passion for providing support and care to others is intensified by her first-hand experience of the profound difference a compassionate caregiver can make to a patient and their family. Her enthusiasm, background, and dedication to her goals make her the ideal recipient for this award. Melanie plans to continue her education upon graduation and pursue a Bachelor’s and then her Master’s degree.
The $500 RN scholarship winner is Afrania C. Davila of Port Arthur, Texas. A Cum Laude graduate of Lamar State College-Port Arthur’s LVN program, Afrania is pursuing her BSN in the Upward Mobility Nursing Program. Afrania knew she wanted to go into health care because when she was just 15 years old, she saved her sister’s life by staying calm and performing CPR on her after she suffered a seizure. Her natural ability to focus and listen to the 911 operator’s instructions despite the chaos around her that was the deciding factor in her career path. Afrancia’s passion for clinical care is matched with the emphasis she puts on empathy and compassion with her patents. With clinical experience at St. Elizabeth, Medical Center of SETX, Baptist Hospital, and The Meadows of orange, along with excellent grades, Afrancia is a standout student and future RN. Upon graduation, she plans to seek employment in the ER or NICU and is keeping the door of possibility open to pursuing her Master’s.
Golden Triangle Emergency Center is proud to see the hard work going into the applicants’ education and looks forward to seeing them enrich the local workforce. Scholarship recipients must submit an 800 word essay, have at least a 3.0 GPA, and submit a resume illustrating a passion for the profession. If you are a student or know of one who fits the parameters required to receive this award, please encourage them to keep an eye on our Facebook page to see when we will be accepting applications for fall 2019 scholarships. Golden Triangle Emergency Center is here 24/7/365 for all your emergency needs.
Written by: Christina Segura
Each fall and spring semester, Golden Triangle Emergency Center in Orange awards a $250, and $500 scholarship to students enrolled in the LVN and RN program at Lamar State College-Orange, respectively.
Golden Triangle Emergency Center staffs its facilities with top-tier professionals and recognizes the value of investing in the future generations of healthcare providers in our local community. The scholarship recipients must demonstrate passion for the profession in an 800 word essay, have a 3.0 GPA, and submit a resume illustrating a history of excellence.
This year’s LVN scholarship was awarded to Parker Kidder of Orange, Texas. Parker is a nursing student at LSCO and has a GPA of 3.75. Passionate about providing high-quality healthcare with an emphasis on compassion and patient education, Parker stood out as the kind of future healthcare professional that would enrich the workforce. Parker plans to continue his education and pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing upon completion of the LVN program.
Landon Procella of Orange, Texas, is this spring’s RN scholarship recipient. Landon is an LVN who graduated from LSC-O in 2016. Upon graduation, Landon worked as a Medical Surgical Nurse at The Medical Center of SETX. He currently works full-time as a floor nurse and part-time in case management at Post Acute Medical Rehab Hospital of Beaumont while enrolled in the RN program at LSC-O. Landon’s dedication to providing meaningful care to his patients while studying to expand his skill-set in healthcare set his application apart. He plans to apply to a Nurse Practitioner program sometime after graduation.
Golden Triangle Emergency Center would like to congratulate both these men on their accomplishments and wish them luck with their future endeavors. If you are an LVN or RN nursing student at Lamar State College-Orange, or know a student who meets the qualifications, keep an eye on Golden Triangle Emergency Centers Facebook page to see when we will be accepting applications for the fall 2019 scholarship. Golden Triangle Emergency Center is here 24/7/365 for all your emergency needs.
Written by: Christina Segura
Annie has lived in Southeast Texas since the fourth grade. She graduated from WOS high school in 2005 and received her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Lamar University in 2011. She is married to her high school sweetheart Jared Kovatch, and the pair have settled in Orangefield to raise their two children Annalise and Maverick. Outside of work, Annie loves spending time outdoors hiking, gardening, and running. She is also an avid Crossfitter, foodie, and holistic lifestyle enthusiast. Annie and her family love to vacation together, and by 2021 the crew hopes to have a trip overseas in the works.
Golden Triangle Emergency Center, Orange is honored and pleased to announce that Annie Kovatch R.N, B.S.N., has taken over as the new Director of Nursing; a critical position on the facility’s administrative team. Annie began her career with GTEC in 2014 at the Port Arthur facility. She quickly earned her way up to the position of Charge Nurse, and in 2017 was offered the opportunity to open a brand-new facility in Beaumont as their Director of Nursing. Her journey with the company has amassed her a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise. Orange is fortunate to have her serving the community she also calls home.
A longtime advocate for healthcare, Annie has been active in serving her community since high school. She was a member of HOSA and joined the workforce as an Emergency Room Nurse as quickly as she could in 2008. She has special training in the CVICU, is a member of the Emergency Nurses Association, and the Texas Nurses Association. She has worked closely with clubs in our community, and uses her bilingual skills to bridge communication gaps among Latino populations and their healthcare providers.
In the next five years, Annie is looking to help GTEC expand its role in emergency care in the community. Orange county covers 380 square miles and is home to a population of approximately 82,000 people. Left without a hospital and only two free-standing ER’s to provide life-saving 24/7 emergency care, she is committed to working to ensure each citizen is aware of the resources GTEC can provide while continuing to evolve and improve on the gold standard of care the GTEC name prides itself on. “I’m so excited to learn and grow with this company in Orange County,” said Annie at her first staff meeting. “This is my home and I am proud to serve be able to serve it in this capacity.”
We are ecstatic to add Annie Kovatch to the GTEC team and are excited for the future. If you need to contact her please reach out to the facility at 409-920-4470.
Article Written by: Christina Segura