Tag Archives: health care

More Healthcare Reforms Now in Effect

StethoscopeSeveral of the health care reforms that were signed into law six months ago took effect yesterday, September 23rd. Many more Americans will be eligible for insurance and the changes may affect you.

Here’s a summary of the new laws:

  • Preventative procedures, including colonoscopies, mammograms, and immunizations must be covered entirely by insurance companies without co-pay.
  • People joining a new insurance plan may keep the doctors they already have.
  • Insurance companies may not deny coverage to children with pre-existing health conditions.
  • (more…)

How Much Did Your Meal Really Cost?

Ilya Rachman, MD, PhD, is a practicing physician, clinical instructor at the UCLA School of Medicine and founder of Trim360.com. Taking care of patients, being their advocate, educating and empowering them to lead a healthier and happier life has become the sole focus of his career.

If you still measure your food in dollars instead of calories, I hope you have enough money to waste. Here are three bite-sized thoughts to chew on:

1.  Do you REALLY think that the 950-calorie fast food lunch with 1000mg of sodium only cost you ~ $3.99?! Did you  forget to add the $20 co-pay for that cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes medication? How about all the other medical expenses related to weight-induced problems like heartburn, joint pains and others? Oftentimes, people do not realize the expense of weight related diseases. Aside from the hassles of doctor visits and prescription refills, medical care is a costly affair that in many cases could be avoided by making healthier food decisions in our daily lives. (more…)

South Carolina to Cover 100 Employees’ Weight Loss Surgeries

Starting in January, 100 obese South Carolina government workers will have a chance to get their weight loss surgery completely paid for.

Yahoo News reports that under the pilot program, South Carolina’s state employee insurance plan will cover weight loss surgery for 100 workers on a first come, first serve basis.

The test program was put in the 2010-11 budget to address the state’s growing obesity problem. The obesity rate in South Carolina has doubled since 1990, with an alarming 30 percent of adults classified as obese. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly two out three adults in South Carolina are overweight or obese. (more…)

Control Your BMI and Control Your Health Care Costs

Guest blogger, Carol Dunlop is certified through FiTour as a Personal Trainer and through the American Red Cross as a CPR, AED and First Aid Instructor. She has competed and placed in several Fitness America and National Bodybuilding competitions. To receive your free E-course “How to Burn Calories While you Sleep,” visit her website: OptimumBodySculpting.com.

Starting in 2014, the federal government is requiring doctors to record your BMI (Body Mass Index), a measurement of your body fat and muscle mass based on your height and weight, in their electronic records. It doesn’t have to be a scary thing. If you start to address it right now, this extra piece of information can be used for your good health.

These three little letters have caused so much talk and controversy in recent days. Everyone is wondering how it will be used in the future against you, i.e., higher insurance rates, possible “obesity tax,” etc.

But, there’s no need to panic. You can take control of your situation by putting together a plan of action that includes sensible eating, regular exercise and lifestyle changes.

Check out these simple steps to put in place  now to avoid the “I’ve got to do something!” syndrome later.


How Electronic Health Records will Help Americans Shed Pounds

Pulse offers Electronic Health Record and Practice Management solutions nationwide in more than 26 medical specialties. Since 1982 Pulse has focused on its mission to develop, market and support health care practice work flow solutions.

The picture of American public health is about to get much clearer thanks to HITECH, a provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The ARRA HITECH stimulus package incentivizes doctors to convert their practices from traditional paper records to Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology. EHRs have many advantages over traditional paper records, including increased efficiency, reductions in healthcare-related errors, and the ability to view the aggregate patient data in order to better understand the overall health of the populous. The aggregation of this data will arm public health officials with the insights they need to better understand causes and effects related to diet and weight. (more…)

What the New Meaningful Use Standards for Electronic Health Records Mean

On Tuesday, the federal government issued new standards that will reward the “meaningful use” electronic health records. Hospitals and doctors could potentially receive up to $27 billion over the next ten years for equipment to computerize patients’ medical records. The government feels the changes will help lead to higher quality and more reliable health care.

For example, doctors will now use electronic systems to store patient information normally kept on file, such as date of birth, sex, weight, height and blood pressure. It will also include health information such as medical conditions, smoking habits and medications. Doctors will also have to transmit 40 percent of prescriptions electronically.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, “Meaningful Use” has three major components. (more…)

One Nation Overweight on CNBC Tonight

The obesity epidemic in the U.S. is well documented. And while the first thing that comes to mind is the impact on our citizens’ health, there is a monetary cost involved that is staggering, as well. That’s why a cable business channel like CNBC is devoting an hour-long special on the issue tonight.

Obesity is the number one health crisis in America today. Over 200 million of us are in danger of obesity-related illnesses. And obesity costs us $147 billion every year.

CNBC, whose tagline is “First in Business Worldwide,” takes on the impact obesity has on business. The show takes viewer “where the waistline meets the bottom line.” It’s a problem that not only affects those fighting weight problems, but everyone else in the pocketbook as well.


Circus Fat Man Not So Shocking Today

The folks over at Modeled Behavior have presented an interesting, if not profound, point about obesity in modern society, and how perception of obesity has changed over the last 100 years.

At the turn of the 20th century, Chauncey Morlan traveled in a circus sideshow as a “freak.” Referred to as the “Human Freight Car,” people came from all around (and paid money) to see him. You see, Chauncey’s obesity was considered a spectacle at the time. But today, we see people like him on a regular basis.

Morlan passed away at 43 years old of Bright’s disease, a term for kidney disease that is no longer used.


Obama Health Care Bill’s Hidden Agenda for Weight Loss

While people on the left and right are debating the more popular issues regarding President Obama’s health care bill, if you look deeper into the legislation, there is Section 4205. This bit of the bill requires all restaurants with more than 20 locations to provide nutrition labeling for everything on their menu.

While this may be something new on the federal front, cities and states have already started taking this preventative health measure on their own, including New York City and Philadelphia. Mandatory nutritional labeling is also being scheduled to take effect soon in California, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

There are studies that support both sides of the argument. Supporters of the legislation site studies, including one from Stanford University that found that customers at Starbucks chose foods with lower calories when they were labeled. Another study found that when parents were presented with nutrition labels, they chose 100 fewer calories per meal on average for their children.


Trans Fat Ban Starts in California

california bans trans fatIn summer 2008, we told you about a pending ban on trans fats in California. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation banning the use of trans fats in the state’s restaurants. The ban has taken effect as of January 1, 2010.

The new law, passed by the California Legislature in 2008, gave restaurants plenty of time to change their menu items to trans fat-free meals. California has also passed a new law that applies to baked goods. This legislation will take effect on January 1, 2011.

While some people have cynically scoffed at this as government intrusion, I think they really miss the point. People know too little about what goes into their foods. And they are particularly vulnerable when they go out to eat. (more…)