Survey: Big Business May Shift Retirees, Part-Timers To Insurance Exchanges

exchangeCorporate America is taking a hard look at moving retirees and part-time workers into health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, suggests a survey by the National Business Group on Health.

To a lesser extent large companies also expect coverage for their full-time workers and spouses to shift to the online, Continue reading

The Modern-Day ‘Slave Class’ Is Anyone Who Cannot Do Math… And That’s About 95% of the Population

mathThroughout human history, most slavery has been enforced physically — with whips and chains. You either did what you were told or they beat you into submission.

Most modern people mistakenly believe slavery has been largely eradicated across our world. They don’t see people shackled in chains or being ordered what to do by their owners. Continue reading

Report: Obamacare Family ‘Glitch’ Could Price Millions Out of Healthcare Coverage

Millions of Americans will be priced out of health insurance under President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul because of a glitch in the law that adversely affects people with modest incomes who cannot afford family coverage offered by their employers, a leading healthcare advocacy group said on Tuesday. Continue reading

Salt Therapy

Did You Know…

… that simple salt can effectively treat respiratory ailments, anxiety, and even cystic fibrosis?

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed saltwater inhalation therapy for bronchial and lung disorders.  Continue reading

30 Stunning Facts They Don’t Want You to Know about Gardasil and HPV Vaccines

Guarantees, insurance, promises.

Concerns over safety, security, and health make most people apprehensive about the future on some level. Guarding against future unknowns has become a big part of the American economy. You can get a warranty on almost anything with a battery, take out insurance on Continue reading

Health Care Costs Set to Increase for University of Minnesota Employees

The University will pass an estimated 5 percent of UPlan costs to employees.

Spurred by an impending slash in state funding, the administration is looking to compensate by cutting $12.7 million from employee health care.

The nearly 18,000 employees on the University’s plan could face hikes in premiums or co-pays. The University will pass about 5 percent of UPlan costs for 2012 over to employees, said Dann Chapman, director of employee benefits.

It’s not attractive, but the alternative — reducing health benefits and coverage, Continue reading

Is Lap-Band Surgery for Weight Loss Safe?

People used to have to be very obese to qualify for LAP-BAND surgery, a weight loss operation in which an inflatable silicon ring is wrapped around the stomach to create a small pouch, drastically limiting food consumption.  Until recently, the procedure was only approved for those with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above, or patients with a BMI of 35 or above, plus a severe obesity-related illness, such as heart disease or diabetes. Now the FDA has expanded the criteria to include people who have a BMI of 30, along with an obesity-related disorder.

That means 37 million more Americans are  Continue reading

Telemedicine Acknowledged by Medicare

American Medical News: Through teleconferencing technology, doctors are able to treat patients who live far away without access to a specialist. “Nationwide, telemedicine increasingly is being used to bridge gaps in access to care in rural and other medically underserved communities that have a hard time recruiting physicians. … The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is making changes to promote telemedicine. In June, the agency proposed new policies that would make it easier for hospital officials to credential physicians who provide telemedicine services at their facilities. And in January 2011, CMS will expand Medicaid coverage for remote services, including disease management training for patients with diabetes or kidney disease” (Krupa, 11/22).

Austin American-Statesman: “Tech executives say Austin is positioned to be a player in health care technology, thanks to its deep pool of business software talent that is comfortable working in a startup environment and has expertise in creating products that save companies money. … So far, a handful of promising venture-backed players have emerged. … All in all, hundreds of computer hardware, software and services companies are competing for a piece of the market, which accelerated in 2009 with the passage of the federal economic stimulus bill, which set aside $19 billion in incentives for health care information technology. By one estimate, the government’s push to spur health care computer spending will help drive global health care IT spending to $106 billion by 2014, up from nearly $89 billion this year (Hawkins, 11/21).

The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger: “Under federal health care reform, doctors must convert to an electronic system capable of chronicling each patient visit, tracking their care and sharing that information with hospitals and other doctors by 2015 — or the federal government will withhold some of the money it reimburses them for treating Medicare and Medicaid patients. … But so far, neither the promise of incentive nor threat of punishment is enticing a large number of New Jersey doctors to make the big switch. Only 20 percent of physicians in New Jersey have incorporated electronic medical records into their daily practice, compared to nearly 30 percent nationally, state Health and Senior Services Commissioner Poonam Alaigh said” (Livio, 11/21).

Medical Programs Missing Millions of Kids

An estimated five million uninsured children in the United States were eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) but were not enrolled in either plan, according to a new report.

The study published on Friday in the journal “Health Affairs” recommended policy reforms and broader efforts to get uninsured children into government medical programs, including the use of income tax data for automatic enrollment.

An estimated 7.3 million children were uninsured on an average day in 2008 and 65 percent of them were eligible for Medicaid of CHIP coverage, the report said.

President Barack Obama, who signed landmark healthcare reforms into law in March, has made providing health care to all Americans a top priority of his administration.

Thirty-nine percent (1.8) million of eligible uninsured children live in just three states — California, Texas and Florida, the report by the Washington-based Urban Institute Health Policy Center said. Sixty-one percent (2.9 million) of uninsured children live in 10 states, the report said.

“This new data will help us to focus our efforts and our grant funding where they are most needed,” U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “We now have a much better sense of where most uninsured children live, and which communities may need more help.”

Medicaid is the joint state-federal health plan for the poor, disabled and elderly. CHIP provides low-cost coverage for children in families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance coverage.

“No child should have to skip a doctor’s appointment or go without the medicine they need because their family can’t pay,” Sebelius said, challenging state and local officials to “find and enroll those five million kids.”

Hospital ‘Center of Excellence Program’ launched by US Tele-Medicine

For Immediate Release:

Hospital ‘Center of Excellence Program’ launched by US Tele-Medicine

Qualifying hospitals and clinics can now earn revenues derived from Telemedicine referrals.  In addition, these hospitals and clinics will access a national Telemedicine provider as a solution to overflow issues and to support expansion.

“The global world of Telemedicine opens to these facilities without the major up-front costs and effort normally associated with developing an in-house Telemedicine department,” said Gideon Ilumin, Director of Business Affairs for US Tele-Medicine.

US Tele-Medicine, a national health care provider based in Beverly Hills, CA and licensed in twelve states, providing General Practice and Family Practice services, is forming joint ventures with hospitals and clinics in its territories. The program is called “Center of Excellence” and identifies these facilities as telemedicine approved.   In the agreements, US Tele-Medicine refers its telehealth patients to the joint venture partners for consultation, imaging, surgical procedures, and specialty care.

“We present a number of solutions. First we increase hospital/clinic revenues, as the nature of telemedicine referrals generally involve more expensive specialty procedures that a telemedicine doctor cannot accomplish on the phone or internet,” said Ilumin.  “Secondly our infrastructure brings a solution to clinics and hospitals wishing to expand their patient base, yet finding they are restrained by finances, personnel or structural limitations,” said Ilumin.

US Tele-Medicine supplies remote and wireless monitoring devices to patients that measure a number of vital signs and transmit that information to the US Tele-Medicine EMR (EHR) platform, for medical oversight.  The strength of US Tele-Medicine is providing management for many chronic conditions in a less expensive environment such as the home or office.

Randy Ryder, US Tele-Medicine’s Director of Patient Services says, “Most clinics and hospitals need to expand to stay afloat.  I understand that, but I also know that many people come to these facilities and wait, sometimes for hours, to see a physician, when all they are seeking is basic primary care or some support for a chronic condition. US Tele-Medicine is especially effective at treating this type of patient.”

“Imagine the improvement in ease of operation for a hospital or a clinic when you remove that patient load from over-utilizing facilities,” said Ryder.  “Hospitals can then concentrate on being hospitals, rather than Doctor’s offices, and expand their specialties or surgical centers, where their economic strengths come from.”

So what happens to these patients?  “They receive their care at home, in their offices or on the go,” answered Ryder. “Telemedicine is a modality proven to promote greater wellness, provide accessible medical care at reduced costs and do it immediately.”

Ilumin said “We are the most advanced telemedicine operation in the USA today, far ahead of others in the use of technology.  By referring their patients to US Tele-Medicine, hospitals and clinics enter the world of telemedicine without the substantial up-front investment.  Strategically this is very smart both financially and for reputations’ sake (marketing effectiveness) of that facility.  Adopting the “Center of Excellence” program increases revenues and demonstrates to the world the inclusivity and understanding of state-of-the art medicine as well as adding tremendous public prestige.”

For more information, go to www.ustelemedicine.com,

email: media@ustelemediicne.com, or call 800-498-1081

Five Million California Adults Say They Are Mentally Stressed

Almost 5 million California adults say they could use help with a mental or emotional problem, according to a survey released Wednesday by researchers at UCLA. About 1 million of them meet the criteria for “serious psychological distress.”

However, only one in three people who perceive a need for mental health services or are in serious distress have seen a professional for treatment, the survey found.

The survey was conducted among more than 44,000 adults as part of the 2005 California Health Interview Survey, administered through the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Since the survey was conducted, the recession probably has contributed to worsening mental health for even more people, said the lead author of the study, David Grant.

The survey showed that lack of health insurance coverage was a major reason why people didn’t seek help — a situation that may be rectified somewhat by state and national mental health parity laws now in effect that require insurers to cover mental health conditions similarly to they way they cover physical conditions. (The final phase of the federal law went into effect on July 1.) However, stigma continues to be a barrier to mental health services. The survey found that men, people 65 and older, Latinos and Asians were less likely to seek help because of the stigma associated with mental or emotional problems. But being poor is the biggest barrier to care.

According to the survey:

  • Women were nearly twice as likely as men to say they needed help because they felt sad, anxious or nervous (22.7% compared to 14.3%).
  • Adults under age 65 were twice as likely to perceive the need for help (20.2% compared to 9.2%).
  • The poorest adults were more than five times as likely to report symptoms of serious psychological distress compared to those living well above the federal poverty level.

“The findings also demonstrate a crucial need for continued efforts to expand mental-health services and to meet threats to such services caused by the ongoing state budget crisis in Sacramento; reduced state funding for local mental health programs and public insurance programs could be devastating to hundreds of thousands of Californians with mental health needs,” the authors wrote.

Mental health services always seems to be a big target when it comes to trimming state and local budgets. Lawmakers can get away with it, of course, because the stigma surrounding mental illness prevents people from protesting such cuts. Given the number of people in pain, according to this survey, it may be time for Californians to overcome the perceived stigma and demand expanded public funding and insurance coverage of mental health care.

Coffee Extract Prevents Bad Breath

We all know why Starbucks puts boxes of breath mints close to the cash register. Your morning latte can create a startling aroma in your mouth, strong enough to startle your co-workers too.

But intriguing new research from Tel Aviv University by breath specialist Prof. Mel Rosenberg finds that a coffee extract can inhibit the bacteria that lead to bad breath. New laboratory tests have shown that the extract prevents malodorous bacteria from making their presence felt ― or smelt.

“Everybody thinks that coffee causes bad breath,” says Prof. Rosenberg, “and it’s often true, because coffee, which has a dehydrating effect in the mouth, becomes potent when mixed with milk, and can ferment into smelly substances.”

But not always: “Contrary to our expectations, we found some components in coffee that actually inhibit bad breath,” explains Prof. Rosenberg. The findings were presented last month to members of the International Society for Breath Odor Research in Germany by Yael Gov, a researcher in Prof. Rosenberg’s laboratory

A “taster’s choice” for stopping bad bacteria
In the laboratory, the team monitored the bacterial odor production of coffee in saliva. In the study, three different brands of coffee were tested: the Israeli brand Elite coffee, Landwer Turkish coffee, and Taster’s Choice. Prof. Rosenberg expected to demonstrate the malodor-causing effect of coffee in an in vitro saliva evaluation developed by Dr. Sarit Levitan in his laboratory. To his surprise, the extracts had the opposite effect.

“The lesson we learned here is one of humility,” says Prof. Rosenberg. “We expected coffee would cause bad breath, but there is something inside this magic brew that has the opposite effect.”

Prof. Rosenberg would love to isolate the bacterial-inhibiting molecule in order to reap the biggest anti-bacterial benefits from coffee. “It’s not the raw extract we will use,” he says, “but an active material within it.” His latest discovery could be the foundation for an entirely new class of mouthwash, breath mints and gum. Purified coffee extract can be added to a breath mint to stop bacteria from forming, stopping bad breath at its source, instead of masking the smell with a mint flavor.

Prof. Rosenberg previously developed a popular mouthwash sold widely in Europe, a pocket-based breath test, and an anti-odor chewing gum.

Telemedicine Brings Immediate Relief

August 2, 2010 United States of America

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Telemedicine reduces the expense, eliminates the bother and time needed for people to receive the primary medical care they require. In rural America the Telemedicine effect is dramatic.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2010 — For Immediate Release

Telemedicine Brings Immediate Relief

Dora Johnson calls upon her neighbor or daughter whenever she needs to visit a Doctor. She suffers from high blood pressure and arthritis has wracked her legs into two misshapen appendages, which can no longer support her weight without experiencing excruciating pain. “It’s not so much the pain anymore,” explains Dora, “that is a constant. It is the embarrassment I feel when bothering other people just to get me to the doctor. After a while you just forgo the frequent doctor visits and do the best you can.”

When Dora does get her ride, she travels for thirty-five minutes to the county general hospital where she waits for two-three hours to see a physician. “All they ever do is take my blood pressure and send me home,” said Dora. It seems that “they” also check her prescriptions.

Dora and her friendly neighbor drove 50 miles and spent over four hours just to have her blood pressure checked. In addition to their expenses, the hospital billed some payor $450 – $600, inclusive of the hospital facility charges, for Dora’s visit.

This failing model of providing care is the standard in the USA today.

Dora is a now a patient of US Tele-Medicine. The Beverly Hills based operation provides care in eight states and furnishes patients with wireless remote devices that can check blood pressure, pulse, temperature and other vital signs. This data is then sent to the US Tele-Medicine EMR platform, which is accessible to Dora, her primary physician and the doctors at US Tele-Medicine.

“Why didn’t my insurance company or doctor suggest telemedicine for me?” asked Dora, “they know I have trouble getting around. Now I check my blood pressure whenever I need or when the telemedicine doctors tell me and I do it without bothering anyone or leaving the house.”

The convenience factor aside, US Tele-Medicine billed her payor about $200 for the telemedicine visit, the remote devices, and the support she receives on line 24/7. The difference is staggering. Dora’s insurance company saved about $250 – $400, Dora saved her neighborly relations, the pain she felt when moving in and out of a vehicle, she saved on gas money, and the four hours of time it once took, all to get her blood pressure checked.

Dora is just one of the thousands of patients enjoying the benefits of telemedicine in the USA. While still at an early stage of mass e-care, telemedicine and especially US Tele-Medicine have made great strides in remote sensing of vital information and the application of medical practices using the telephone, email and the Internet.

“Our focus is on a specific patient demographic,” said Gideon Ilumin, Director of Business Affairs for US Tele-Medicine. “The US Tele-Medicine business model operates at its most favorable condition when dealing with patients who are functional human beings, but suffer from some sort of chronic condition such as diabetes, obesity, allergies, even depression and require constant medical oversight.”

Ilumin continued, “These people lead full lives and the prospect of taking a day off of work or school to see a doctor is truly bothersome, leads to unnecessary absenteeism and is simply just expensive for everyone concerned: the employer, the patient and the payor.

Telemedicine removes the majority of the expense, the bother, and the time needed for these people to receive the care they require. If you are talking about rural America, then the difference, the savings and the benefits of Telemedicine are even more dramatic.”

Federal departments such as Commerce, Agriculture, Defense, and of course the HHS are funding telemedicine initiatives throughout the country. Most are smaller test groups or pilot ventures.

“Pilot programs now are a waste of time and indicative of the continued failed health care institutional thinking.” says Ilumin, “There have been countless of pilot studies for the past ten years worldwide, and all of them show the same conclusive results; patients become healthier, there is a marked decrease of hospitalization, costs for all concerned are reduced, and more patients receive more health care, than with any other model.”

Ilumin went on to say that the reason Telemedicine is slow to progress and find acceptance nationwide is medical communities themselves. Each individual institution needs original empirical data that is found acceptable by a group of doctors, while disregarding other studies not done by that institution, is slowing the acceptance of the Telemedicine process. Ilumin asked, “How often do you have to re-invent the wheel?”

Health insurers seem to be on the forefront of telemedicine, more so than the medical community. Anthem Blue Cross has published guidelines for Telemedicine Providers in their network. United healthcare is offering its services to Delta Airline employees, Blue Sheild is offering Telemedicine services to its patients in the San Fransisco bay area, and many others are launching this new product.

There are tens of millions of Dora Johnsons suffering chronic pain and individuals afflicted with conditions that allow them to function, but never live optimally. Right now these people are a drain on themselves, emotionally, spiritually and financially, a drain on payors who are shelling out excess dollars for their primary care, and on the system itself, that lacks the presence of family and managed care physicians for this population.

From all indications, the people with life-long medical conditions clog the medical structure, they disproportionately increase costs and never truly seem to obtain the level of care and support required to achieve wellness.
Tele-Medicine corrects these issues, lowers costs and provides immediate, personalized, refined and definitive health care to each person.

“My life is better, no question about that. I also feel safer and more cared for sitting in my house, than I ever did at any doctors’ office anywhere and the neighbors aren’t afraid to pick up my calls now.” Dora shares this sentiment with the thousands of US Tele-Medicine patients who are reaching higher levels of wellness and care, without the added bother or expense of visiting a doctor’s office.

Any patient may join by logging on to www.epatienthealthcare.com and clicking the “Join Now” tab found on that web site. US Tele-Medicine is a leader in national telemedicine care, founded in 2005, in network with the major carriers and serving patients throughout the United States.

–end

Telemedicine Touts Labor Unions to Reduce Healthcare Costs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A national leader and pioneer in Telemedicine has pitched its cost saving platform to union leaders in California, Arizona, and Nevada.

Contact: Jim McMann 702-516-4047 media@ustelemedicine.com

(Beverly Hills) US Tele-Medicine has pitched its cost saving telemedicine platform to union leaders in California, Arizona, and Nevada.

US Tele-Medicine (www.ustelemedicine.com) claims their telemedicine based management of chronic “lifestyle” health conditions reduces direct health care costs by 25%.

“Outpatient services and facility charges have risen by over 12% in 2009 and expected to rise over 11% this year,” said Gideon Ilumin, Director of Strategic Affairs for US Tele-Medicine. “Tele-Medicine means no facility charges and our physicians are Family Doctors, which means reduced medical fees.”

The scarcity of general medicine or family practitioners in the USA is causing medical fees to rise. There is no relief in sight as only 6% of recent medical school graduates are seeking their careers in general or family medicine. The relevance is that patients needing primary care, or general health management, are treated by specialists costing hundreds of dollars more per visit, than would be charged by a family physician.

To exasperate the circumstances, over 50 million Americans seek this primary care at a hospital ER. Expanded billing to unions and other self-insured entities reflects these rising facility charges, special ER fees, specialist fees and unless intervened with, this unsustainable practice will continue unabated.

“One of the problems,” continued Ilumin, “is that we have allowed a middleman hospital mentality to foster health care. Rather than a patient dealing directly with their physician, we established needless hurdles for the patient and redundant levels of micro-management. All of it comes at a price and at the expense of self-insured unions, companies or taxes.”
Ilumin said, “Telemedicine will save any union or entity about 25% of their overall outpatient health care expenses.”

These are serious numbers in our current economic state and that translates to millions of additional available dollars for hiring, continued benefits, and fiscal recovery.
In addition to medical costs, employees and employers benefit from the telemedicine model where workers “visit” a physician from home, or at work and not at some remote hospital or clinic. Most US companies lose 9-10 days a year of production/ income for every employee, just to visit a Doctor.

A company employing 2,000 workers will suffer yearly loses of about 19,000 days of no performance, so an employee can travel to a doctor. Of those office visits, 65% are for a chronic “lifestyle” health conditions, treatable by telemedicine and therefore making those office visits keenly superfluous and unwarranted in expense.

US Tele-Medicine e-patients are given easy-to-use consumer medical devices that monitor vital data and send that information via a wireless signal, directly into the patient’s file on the Us Tele-Medicine
EMR platform. It is then reviewed by a physician, for any determination or action. Any spikes or abnormalities in the readings cause an alarm and brings immediate medical intervention.
That is competent medicine. That is care in 2010 and for the immediate future.

US Tele-Medicine’s chronic care management system is proven to advance the health and wellness of patients and is state-of-the-art in medical care. The advanced EMR system now communicates with any records platform worldwide making the transfer of all patient files, images and records possible.

The modality practiced by US Tele-Medicine, brings health care to the patient, wherever the patient is, and exactly when the patient needs it. That is pure telemedicine as its optimum form, for now.

www.ustelemedicine.com
www.epatienthealthcare.com

—end

Telemedicine Can Reduce Corporate Health Care Costs By 25%

June 16, 2010 United States of America

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Telemedicine reduces ER visits, incidences of hospitalization, promotes better health and reduces corporate health care costs by 25%.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Free-Press-Release.com) June 16, 2010 — Press Release

Contact: James McMann, 702-516-4047 support@ustelemedicine.com

For Immediate Release June 16,2010

Telemedicine Can Reduce Corporate Health Care Costs By 25%

(Beverly Hills) Self Insured Corporations are “avoidably” losing expensive days of production, income, and performance, because employees visit Doctors. Unfortunately, employees do fall ill from time to time and require immediate or urgent care.

Emergencies however are not too costly in terms of lost workdays; those are generally predictable short-term incidents. It is the days lost visiting doctors for allergies, anxiety, the cold, blood pressure, heart conditions, weight issues, diabetes, and many other “everyday lifestyle” health conditions that are chronic, which cost the most in the net loss of income, work and production.

A corporation employing 3,000 people will suffer a staggering 27,000 lost days of service, revenue, and performance – unnecessarily. Employees are away from work because they travel distances to medical offices, fill forms, wait, and finally, see a Doctor for five minutes. This really does require a full day off. It also generates employee frustration and anxiety. It is especially difficult for management considering not only the cost of the health care, but also the loss of time and effort.

US Tele-Medicine is a Family and General Practice medical provider in eight states using Telemedicine protocols and techniques, to care for employees in the comfort, safety, and privacy of their office or their home. This platform reduces out-of-work doctor office visits and days lost of income by a whopping 50%.

Telemedicine Medical Services costs less to any self-insured entity, simply because Family and General Medicine practitioners, charge 25% less for their services. Employers are paying excessively high prices for over qualified specialists performing basic medical tasks.

Corporations can save over 25% in health care costs in this new era of health connectivity through telemedicine.
Telemedicine actually condenses and strengthens the interaction between patient and doctor, irrespective of how many miles away the patient might be.

Employees use of a variety of compact state-of-the-art consumer wireless devices allowing physicians to monitor vital data remotely, providing real time, or scheduled time, diagnostic, and management markers. Many of these devices are standardized, further savings costs as more than one individual in an office or department can use them.

That means an employee receives consistent quality care, becomes a more informed and involved patient, shows a reduction in emergency physician services, suffers less chronic incident peak periods, and all this means significantly less costs for all concerned.

Today medical care is available when you need it, when you want it, at less cost and higher efficiency. That is the Telemedicine health revolution.

US Tele-Medicine Patient Web Site: http://www.epatienthealthcare.com

US Tele-Medicine Corporate Web Sitehttp://www.ustelemedicine.com

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More information can be found online at http://www.ustelemedicine.com