Health Plans that Fail ACA Minimum Value Test to Get One-Year Pass: IRS

Group health care plans that do not provide coverage for hospital care will not pass the health care reform law’s “minimum value” test, but the Internal Revenue Service is giving a one-year pass to existing or soon to be implemented plans excluding the coverage. Continue reading

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

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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.

DISEASES THAT BENEFIT MOST FROM GREEN SPACES

Coronary heart disease

Neck, shoulder, back, wrist and hand complaints

Depression and anxiety

Diabetes

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.”