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

Why Health Care Costs Are Rising – Here Is One Reason

The price of preventing preterm labor is about to go through the roof.

A drug for high-risk pregnant women has cost about $10 to $20 per injection. Next week, the price shoots up to $1,500 a dose, meaning the total cost during a pregnancy could be as much as $30,000.

That’s because the drug, a form of progesterone given as a weekly shot, has been made cheaply for years, mixed in special pharmacies that custom-compound treatments that are not federally approved. Continue reading

Telemedicine Can Reduce Corporate Health Care Costs By 25%

June 16, 2010 United States of America


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


( June 16, 2010 — Press Release

Contact: James McMann, 702-516-4047

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:

US Tele-Medicine Corporate Web Site


More information can be found online at

Face-to-Face Medical Care over the Internet?

Face-to-Face Medical Care over the Internet?

A new unified communications solution from iVisit, iVisit Rx telemedicine platform, just won first place in the Fourth Annual CTIA Emerging Technologies Awards for Healthcare. The face-to-face communication platform brings medical professionals and their patients together for remote treatment and monitoring. It works on IP and 3G+ networks and allows connectivity between mobile phones, desktops, laptops and mobile diagnostic devices. The beta version now available runs on Windows Mobile with touch screens and PCs.

“iVisit’s video conferencing and data services running on Windows Mobile are a good example of high value 3G services that are now possible,” said Steve Hegenderfer, group product manager for Windows Mobile at Microsoft Corp. “The Windows Mobile platform makes it possible for developers, such as iVisit, to easily build compelling applications with a familiar programming language and top-level industry tools.”

According to iVisit:     iVisit and its partners are developing iVisit Rx as a telemedicine and assisted living platform that combats soaring healthcare costs. For example, CELLUCARE is helping patients manage their diabetes condition by providing coaching and intervention, which reduces the likelihood of medical events that incur higher costs and improves quality of the patients’ mobile lifestyle. Nurse Practitioners talk face-to-face with patients in their homes using 2-way video over mobile phones powered by iVisit Rx.

    A second iVisit Rx partner, Wound Technology Network (WTN), offers a distributed wound treatment program where two wound specialists (one on location, one connected remotely) simultaneously assess and treat patient wounds. Through its centralized specialist call center, care management software, and use of iVisit Rx, WTN offers patients a level of wound care expertise, standardized protocols, and quality of care that rivals the best specialty wound care clinics.

“iVisit is a great example of public and private investment in critical healthcare research and development,” said Rohit Shukla, CEO of the Larta Institute. “We are proud to be associated with such a stellar group of folks, as they define the future of mobile communications and bring its advantages and advances to underserved populations.” iVisit is a participant in the Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP) which Larta Institute manages for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Green Spaces ‘Improve Health’

Green Spaces ‘Improve Health’

The best health benefits come from living less than a kilometre (0.62miles) from a green space.

There is more evidence that living near a ‘green space’ has health benefits.

Research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health says the impact is particularly noticeable in reducing rates of mental ill health.

The annual rates of 15 out of 24 major physical diseases were also significantly lower among those living closer to green spaces.

One environmental expert said the study confirmed that green spaces create ‘oases’ of improved health around them.

The researchers from the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam looked at the health records of 350,000 people registered with 195 family doctors across the Netherlands.

Only people who had been registered with their GP for longer than 12 months were included because the study assumed this was the minimum amount of time people would have to live in an environment before any effect of it would be noticeable.

Health impact

The percentages of green space within a one and three kilometre (0.62 and 1.86 miles) radius of their home were calculated using their postcode.

On average, green space accounted for 42% of the residential area within one kilometre (0.62 miles) radius and almost 61% within a three kilometre (1.86 miles) radius of people’s homes.


Coronary heart disease

Neck, shoulder, back, wrist and hand complaints

Depression and anxiety


Respiratory infections and asthma

Migraine and vertigo

Stomach bugs and urinary tract infections

Unexplained physical symptoms

And the annual rates for 24 diseases in 7 different categories were calculated.

The health benefits for most of the diseases were only seen when the greenery was within a one kilometre ( 0.62 miles ) radius of the home.

The exceptions to this were anxiety disorders, infectious diseases of the digestive system and medically unexplained physical symptoms which were seen to benefit even when the green spaces were within three kilometres of the home.

The biggest impact was on anxiety disorders and depression.

Anxiety disorders

The annual prevalence of anxiety disorders for those living in a residential area containing 10% of green space within a one kilometre (0.62 miles) radius of their home was 26 per 1000 whereas for those living in an area containing 90% of green space it was 18 per 1000.

For depression the rates were 32 per 1000 for the people in the more built up areas and 24 per 1000 for those in the greener areas.  The researchers also showed that this relation was strongest for children younger than 12. They were 21% less likely to suffer from depression in the greener areas.

Two unexpected findings were that the greener spaces did not show benefits for high blood pressure and that the relation appeared stronger for people aged 46 to 65 than for the elderly.

The researchers think the green spaces help recovery from stress and offer greater opportunities for social contacts.

They say the free physical exercise and better air quality could also contribute.

Dr Jolanda Maas of the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, said: “It clearly shows that green spaces are not just a luxury but they relate directly to diseases and the way people feel in their living environments.”

“Most of the diseases which are related to green spaces are diseases which are highly prevalent and costly to treat so policy makers need to realize that this is something they may be able to diminish with green spaces.”

Professor Barbara Maher of the Lancaster Environment Centre said the study confirmed that green spaces create oases of improved health around them especially for children.

She said: “At least part of this ‘oasis’ effect probably reflects changes in air quality. “Anything that reduces our exposure to the modern-day ‘cocktail’ of atmospheric pollutants has got to be a good thing.”