Browsing: Healthcare Systems

Health Care Truths

HEALTH CARE TRUTHS
This is the first offering of what I hope will be well received articles about “Health Care Truths.” The government, politicians, media, and health insurance companies have not been entirely truthful with the American people when it comes to something we know as Healthcare. I want to help everyone understand the truths about health care so we can all be healthier. If you want to help, feel free to pass these comments to friends and family so we all can enjoy a better life.

I will admit to being a conservative thinking person and I have never been a fan of President Obama and his policies that affect each of us. His policies on finance have given us bigger government, more debt, more unemployment, lower personal income, and an economy that is not growing fast enough. His policies have also contributed to a worsening healthcare system that a majority of Americans really does not benefit from, or even want. His policies also contribute to an educational system that does not educate as well as it can, and much more.

But President Obama has finally given us a truth we can live with. Recently he told us that FIFTY YEARS of sanctions against Fidel Castro of Cuba have not worked to force good relations between the US and Cuba. Because the sanctions against Cuba have not worked, President Obama has unilaterally ended them, and resumed relations with Cuba. Now I do not care about relations with Cuba, it's the fifty years that caught my attention.

Enough is enough because if a program is not working after fifty years or more, the program will probably never work. For instance; for over fifty years our government has been pouring our tax dollars into a hole called “poverty,” and we probably have more people in poverty today than we did when the program started.

For over fifty years the government politicians have tested to improve “education,” with very questionable results. Each year they are pouring more and more of our tax dollars into that educational hole and still have no clue how to improve it. For almost fifty years, government politicians have tried to make healthcare work. To be able to tell truths about health care I have written three books and I have experienced first-hand for about fifty years how inept a government-run health care system is. That being said, let us remember the great Albert Einstein told us, and I am paraphrasing, that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of “insanity.”

Can anyone tell me if there has ever been a government-run program that worked as it was intended? I would love to hear from you, and please be reminded, I would be happy if the government could run a health care system but I'm not holding my breath.

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Growth Of Medical Tourism Industry In India

India is widely known for medical treatments like Bypass, Surgery, Transplantation, Replacement, Rehabilitation Care and Palliative Care. The diseases that can be treated in India are Cancer, Heart Bypass, Knee & Hip Replacement, Dental issues, etc. The medical fields that India is known for are Oncology, Cardiology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, etc. The Ayurveda treatment is what attracts many of the tourists from various places as it is the best. The Medical Industry is booming and the numbers of hospitals have multiplied in the years. India, now, has many individuals who are qualified and certified doctors. The industry has space for not only doctors but for individuals involved in the industry like Medical Tourism Consultants, Facilitators, Medical Attendants, Pharmacists, etc. It is a vast industry with a current size estimate of about $ 3 billion. The tourist arrivals is estimated to be around 230, 000. This number is to double by 2018 at the size being $ 6 billion and with more tourist arrivals in fourfold the current number.

India has some of the best certified professionals and specialists involved in the industry that is making a lot of patients from the foreign land go to the country for all sorts of medical diseases. The main reason for the industry to expand is that the cost of the treatments is low and affordable when compared with other countries. People might think that spending much would give them definite positive results and shall be quality assured but in India, the quality and results are both high and effective. Medical Treatments in India comes from the care that the doctors' show and they put in all their time and efforts to make every patient's life better. One can save money and complete the treatment within their budget. The Medical Tourists come from various places in different continents like Singapore, Nigeria, Russia, London, France, Indonesia, etc. India receives people from mixed cultures and even the Indians travel from one place to another depending on the kind of treatment and budget.

There are hundreds of hospitals in India and a few famous ones are Tata Memorial Hospital (Mumbai), Kovai Medical Center & Hospital (Coimbatore), Christian Medical College (Vellore), Fortis Hospital (Delhi), Apollo Hospitals (Chennai), Columbia Asia Referral Hospital (Bengaluru), Lilavati Hospital (Delhi), and the list goes on. The Apollo Hospitals is a multispecialty hospital and is well reputed, restructured and reliable. It has a group of hospitals that are dealing in different medical fields such as cancer, dental, heart, etc. They are spread of 25 cities in India and are continuing to maintain a record in the healthcare world. The hospitals offer services and facilities ranging from preventive, diagnosis, treatment, cure, consultancy, pharmacy, etc. and all hospitals have advanced and modernized equipment for the medical tourists who sort to India for achieving a healthy living.

With all these advantages, Cost and Professionals especially, makes India the best destination for Medical Tourism. Indians are very friendly and helpful. The hospitality offered by them makes one feel like they belong here and gives an elevated feeling. An added advantage is that India has many places that are famous among tourists and one can visit these places before or after treatment. Some popular tourist spots are Taj Mahal (Agra), Tirupati Balaji Temple (Andhra Pradesh), Ajanta Ellora Caves (Ajanta), Red Fort (Delhi), Gateway of India (Mumbai), Aureville (Pondicherry) Golden Temple (Amritsar), Qutub Minar (Hyderabad), etc. If one wants to go on a trip and explore the real Indian Culture then they could visit places like Varanasi, Banaras, Nainital, Udaipur, Pondicherry, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mathura, Thrissur, Allepey, etc.

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Consumer Genomics Is Transforming Healthcare

With people reeling from the reality of rising healthcare costs, it is easy to think that there is no hope in sight to obtain affordable healthcare for everyone. However, a fundamental change in healthcare is poised to occur within the next few years as personal genomics finally penetrate the mainstream. Genetic sequencing has made long strides over the last 15 years, when the Human Genome Project produced its first rough draft assembly of the genome itself.

This effort was achieved by researchers sequencing DNA from a wide range of individuals and then combining that information together into a general average that scientists can use to better understand how individual genes affect an organism in its entity. Every single human being's genome is different; While there may be similarities between individuals, but extremely every person is unique which means that their health is unique to them as well.

This concept is already being investigated within the current hunt for genetically resilient people living among us. By studying variations in how certain people are able to combat deadly diseases at the genetic level, researchers are expecting to replicate that information into future generations of drug treatments. Individual sequencing is what drives the concept of personal genomics. Instead of taking samples to find a population's genetic average, personal genomics advocates sequencing every single person and presenting that knowledge to them, in order to optimize their health and well-being.

For example, it can let an individual know with certainty where or not they are susceptible to certain diseases such as cancer. If so, one can then begin planning for treatment with incredible lead time versus suffering a full-blown outbreak and now be forced to combat the disease at its most deadly. Not only is the person at higher risk but their healthcare costs will inevitably sky rocket. What makes this route even more appealing is the knowledge that DNA sequencing and analysis methods are increasing in accuracy while simultaneously dropping in price.

Personal genomics is also poised to affect other areas of daily health such as physical fitness. Companies are now beginning to offer services that, for a set fee and cheek swab, can analyze a person's DNA for specific genetic markers known to govern the body's reaction to exercise. By understanding what specific marks and variants a person possesses, he or she can begin optimizing workouts to take full advantage of what the body is best designed to do.

Imagine what one could do with this information. Instead of taking a bevy of medications to fix physical problems, one could rather design a fitness routine that could avoid many of those said problems, improve their health, and do so while achieving results in less time. Insurance premiums would plummet as quality of life increases. This technological shift still needs to reach critical mass in the public's eye but the benefits are crystal clear, while the technology to make it available only becomes cheaper. The future of healthcare is already here, it is now up to everyone else to finally catch up to it.

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DNA Breakthroughs in 2014 and 2015

Genetic technology has yet to show any signs of slowing down; while the discovery of the double helix's structure astounded the world decades ago, advances in this field continue on an ever-increasingly furious pace.

Over the past twelve months alone various developments have come to light which, in time, may reinvent the entire field yet again. Here are stories to be aware of over the past twelve months:

1) DNA Proven Capable of Carrying Electric Current – An international research team recently provided proof that DNA strands are capable of carrying measurable electric current. The importance of this discovery lies in the field of molecular electronics, which posits that complex electrical circuits can be composed of DNA molecules. Such circuits could be precisely created on a scale as small as nanometers. While this discovery does not guarantee DNA circuit boards anytime soon, it does provide an important proof of concept that up until now had not been achieved by previous attempts.

2) Artificial Genetic Code Leads to Potential Custom Drug Development – DNA is composed of four base nucleotides, adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine, hooking together in various combinations. All life is based upon the interactions of these four chemicals. However, scientists have now have expanded that limited alphabet by successfully introducing a new base pair into the genetic structure of E. coli bacteria. The ramifications of this move now make it possible for scientists to generate custom proteins that would otherwise not be possible. These proteins can be used for the creation of new drugs and antibiotics.

3) Gene Therapy Editing Can Potentially Help Cure Alzheimer's & Other Diseases – Scientists have recently reported the discovery of an enzyme which is capable of cutting out faulty DNA segments from the human genome itself. This gene-snipping enzyme, called Cas9, can be inserted into a virus which, in turn, can introduce itself into human cells and affect the DNA within them accordingly. This new tool provides researchers the ability to quite soon be able to edit genes effectively enough to avoid debilitating diseases like Alzheimer's from even occurring.

4) DNA Origami Breakthrough – Nanotechnology, or the ability to create functional machines on the molecular level, has reached a new stage as a popular offshoot known as “DNA Origami” continues to demonstrate this research field's vitality. Taking inspiration from the Japanese art of paper folding, DNA origami is the application of genetic materials to create tiny objects and devices. German researchers have recently broken the field open by discovering a new method to create such objects through 3D modular blocks that can snap together into more complex devices. Not only is this method time-saving but allows greater configurability opportunities at the molecular level.

5) DNA Photofit – Police are now capable, through advances in genetic sequencing, to build a virtual suspect profile from a single drop of blood left at a crime scene. This new sequencing technology can determine the subject's race, hair and eye color, height, and age. What makes this breakthrough even more impressive is that it raises the possibility of future investigations bypassing eyewitness testimony alike. Furthermore, potential suspects can be quickly eliminated without additional third-party intervention. Investigators may soon quickly wrap up cases with a test that costs less than $ 1000 and takes only up to ten days for full analysis. Such a development could eliminate cold cases and false arrests overnight.

6) Genetically Engineered Fitness Training – DNA-based Fitness is rapidly emerging as the latest trend revolutionizing the entire industry. By isolating specific gene markers known to affect physical fitness variables such as fat burning ability, muscle fiber growth, and blood oxygenation, scientists now have provided a clear picture of the internal factors that affect every person's fitness potential. Genetic fitness training provides this data to individuals in order to design workout routines optimized to their genetic strengths. Approaching fitness in this manner has the potential to cut down workout times while increasing results.

These are but a few examples of how DNA technology is rapidly fulfilling capabilities that were only dreamed about before.

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Truths About Health Insurance

I'm convinced that having health insurance does not do anything to improve one's health and I would like to help you see the truths about your health issues. Health Insurance is just a financial instrument that may or may not pay for your health needs, and the Affordable Care Act is all about forcing Americans to buy health insurance policies. I have always contended that most people do not really understand the fine print or the purpose of having health insurance. Remember when the ACA was declared a “success” by the Democrat politicians during the first year of its existence? They talked regularly that they were providing this great solution to your health needs. But what did they provide for American's health? The answer is; nothing! Your choices are between, paying an IRS penalty, or purchasing one of three categories of policies offered by health insurance companies because of the ACA. I consider the IRS penalies for not purchasing a policy to be unconstitutional. Then, if you think you will save money by purchasing the least expensive health insurance policy, think again. If you unexpectedly have health issues during the year, you may find yourself having to pay up to $ 10,000 as a deductible before the insurance company is obliged to pay their first dollar toward your health costs.

If you are looking through news, or listening to TV or radio programs for any positive news about health insurance to dispute what I write about health insurance companies, you will only find articles about how many policies have been sold. If you look closely in the middle of newspaper sections, and at the bottom of newspaper pages, you may find additional information about health issues. For instance, one day recently I found an article about the government filing a lawsuit against AIDS healthcare companies for scamming Medicare and Medicaid. As a result, the federal government is trying to recover 20 million dollars that they paid out for fraudulent claims to these AIDS groups. It stands to reason that other health care providers are also scamming the health system, but that's what we can expect from government-run programs.

Back to individual ACA issues, I strongly feel that when people use their coverage and experience the higher co-pays, reduced doctor options, uncoformed medical procedures, longer wait times and more, there will be fewer happy insurance policies owners. Then as time passes people will experience even higher premiums, fewer covered procedures, higher co-pays, fewer doctor options, and government subsidies reduced or disappearing completely.

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X-Rays and How They Help You

What is ionizing radiation?

A form of radiation dubbed 'high energy' is ionizing radiation, which is of varied types such as x-rays and gamma rays. Some forms of ionizing radiation which come out on the use of an x-ray machine may be cancerous.

Although, as human beings get exposed to different kinds of radiations from natural sources in our daily life, these are not hazardous to health. Everything varies from the water you drink to the food you consume presents you to some kind of radiation.

Neverheless, the health issues that may be caused by ionizing radiation can be averted only with the regulation of man-made exposures.

Types of Radiation

A number of medical imaging tests today use x-rays; these may venture:

  • Radiography – This form of medical imaging test involves x-ray images of broken bones or chest or teeth.
  • Mammography – Mammography involves screening of breast cancer with the help of breast x-ray.
  • Computed Tomography – Computed Tomography or CT helps in diagnosis of varied illnesses such as certain cancers.
  • Fluoroscopy – Fluoroscopy may include barium x-rays which help detect any problem in the digestive system of the patient.

Why X-ray?

Varied parts of your body can easily be tested for different illnesses using the x-ray technology, which has highly advanced over the years.

  • Fractures – Any kind of fractures can easily be detected using x-rays.
  • Infections – Teeth infections are easy to be diagnosed with x-rays.
  • Osteoporosis – Bone density can be measured using some special kinds of x-ray technologies.
  • Bone cancer – Bone tumors become easily detectable with x-rays.
  • Arthritis – X-rays help examine your joints which can help detect arthritis problem. Also, doctors may identify if your arthritis is becoming severe.
  • Dental decay – Dentists also make use of x-rays to test your teeth for decay or cavity.
  • Blocked blood vessels – A contrast material is also used sometimes to examine parts of the circulatory system. Since, this contrast material carries iodine which makes those sections appear on x-rays.
  • Breast cancer – Mammograms coupled using a special x-ray machine help detect breast cancer by examining breast tissues.
  • Lung infection – To your surprise, x-rays even hold the potential to detect lung infections or diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, and lung cancer. Chest x-rays help in the same.
  • Digestive tract issues – The contrast medium dubbed barium is used to find a problem with your digestive tract. This contrast medium is given in a drink or enema.
  • Anything accidentally swallowed – Sometimes, small things such as a coin or something may accidently be swallowed by your kids. An x-ray examination may help identify the location of the same in the kid's body.

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Future of Healthcare in Australia

To state that the future of healthcare lies in the further influx of technology is very much stating the obvious. Over the decades of the twenty century we have seen a great deal of technological advances in all spheres of human life and this includes the medical, clinical and communication spheres. These advances combined have greatly enhanced the levels of healthcare practice & delivery across Australia and of course through the rest of the world.

As we are now firmly into the 21st century, the pace of technological advances is only gather further pace while their percolation into the mainstream has not been more faster ever before. The opening of the first ever fully integrated digital hospital in Queensland, Australia provides the proof of this, if such a thing was actually required.

Based on the past history and the present scenario, the future of the Australian Healthcare system therefore can be summarized in three parts as seen below:

Going further & father

Healthcare providers now have the technology to reach the furthest populace. Various options such as – remote patient consulting and telemedicine facilities – have revolutionized the ability of delivering healthcare to the farthest ends of the geographical extemities. Patients can now consult with the doctors, despite being miles away from the clinic. With the use of technology hospitals and healthcare providers are now able to go further than they ever have been to reach that section of the populace which may have thus far been outside its net.

Improving communication facilities have allowed patient's the option of being in touch with the hospital in multiple ways. Apps, widgets and social media provide for a whole new concept of patient-doctor relationship.

Integrated & Unified approach

As the entire Australian landmass stands at the cusp of being integrated into the National Broadband Network, the opportunities that lie ahead for the healthcare sector are innumerable. Patient data can be integrated and made available on a unified platform. Healthcare provides can access this data whenever there is a patient touch-point and offer better medical advice.

Personalized Care

As more and more people are brought into the National Broadband Network, it allows for healthcare service providers to build personalized health solutions based on specific needs. Healthcare service providers can remain in touch with the patients and monitor their health on a periodic base without the need for the patients to be visiting the clinic. This allows for service providers to prescribe personalized health care solutions which act as preventive procedures against certain diseases.

Advances in the sphere of communication will uniquivocally revolutionize the Australian healthcare sector, as hereto unseen!

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What Is the Importance of Clinical Trials?

Many people see the words clinical trials but do not understand what it is all about. These trials consist of research studies that explore whether a medical treatment, strategy or device is safe to use on humans. These research studies are also used to see what form of treatment and medicines will work the best on those with certain illnesses. All of the data is meticulously collected and analyzed before final results are released.

There are many groups of people that will take part in these trials. There are companies where you can sign up to receive the list of trials that will be taking place. Most clinical trials will pay a fee for your time and effort. The fee will be paid to you once the research is completed.

When agreeing to be part of a clinical trial you will have to pay attention to how you are feeling and report in. Some trials will have reporting done daily, and others will only be once or twice a week. These trials have come a long way, and much of the reporting can be completed either over the phone or on the computer.

Clinical trials are necessary in order to be developing the right type of medications in order to help people with illness and those who need a medical device. Most people will hear about the new medical device or the new medication that has been approved but will not hear anything about these trials.

Most people only became interested in the trials when they have an illness. This is the time that they are looking for something that will help with their specific ailment or disease. There is no right or wrong answer when deciding whether to join a clinical trial.

When deciding whether or not to join a clinical trial it is a very personal one. You have to compare the benefits and risks. Knowing what you are trying to achieve before going into the trial will also help you decide. If you do decide to take part in the research, then you need to know what to look for.

It is nice to know what to expect during the trial and testing. If you have specific questions, then be sure to write them down. You have the right to ask all questions that concern you. You also have the right to leave a clinical trial. Before leaving a clinical trial be sure to discuss your decision with your physician.

When joining a trial, you will learn that there are different phases to go through. The first is Phase 0, new drug exploration. This is the phase where a small dosage of a drug is given to see if and how it works. Patients may need lab work or blood drawn during this phase of research.

Phase 1 is the next phase, and this consists of finding the highest dose of a new medication that does not cause serious side effects. The first dose given is a very low dose. With each group of patients, a higher dose is given until doctors have figured out a dosage amount with side effects that are not serious and tolerable. In this phase of the research a small group of patients is tested.

Phase II of the research requests if the treatment is working. This phase usually has more patients involved. This is where researchers and doctors look for evidence that the treatment is working.
Phase III is done with the largest number of patients. This phase researches if the new treatment is better than the ones already being used.

Once all of the phases are completed the results are collected and analyzed, this is how the new drugs and treatments make it to the patients who can benefit from it.

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How to Plan for a Hospital Admission

Some admissions to the hospital do not allow you to prepare in advance. However, if you know that you will be entering a facility to receive care, you can plan for your stay. It may also help when you know what to expect during your time as an inpatient.

Pre-Admission Paperwork

Your hospital probably has a standard pre-admission package that they provide to people who are planning a stay at the facility. Ask about this paperwork if representatives do not offer it to you. Within this packet, you can expect to receive information such as the following:

1. Facility policies
2. Admission instructions
3. Information about charges
4. Pre-admission tests
5. Instructions for family

What to Pack

You will need some essentials when you are planning to become an inpatient in a medical facility. Bring items that you will need for your comfort, such as the following:

1. Toothbrush and toothpaste
2. Brush and comb
3. Razor
4. Deodorant
5. Shampoo and conditioner
6. Eyeglasses
7. Hearing aids
8. Dentures
9. Robe, slippers, and nightclothes
10. Reading material such as magazines and books
11. Cell phone and charger

Do not bring these items:

1. Medications (without your doctor tells you to bring them)
2. Money and jewelry
3. Food from home (unless your doctor approves this)

Rights and Responsibilities

Facilities require patients to sign a number of papers prior to administering care. You should expect to sign a general consent agreement where you agree to receive care. If you need surgery or other types of special procedures, the hospital will have you sign consent forms for these procedures as well. You will need to agree to pay for any services you receive that are not covered under insurance. Health care facilities must also have every patient sign a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also called a HIPAA. This form protects your privacy and security regarding the information associated with your health care.

The Team

As a patient, you will likely encounter numerous staff members who work together to deliver your care. You may have more than one physician coordinating your specialized care. Some teaching facilities also have interns and residents on staff, some of which are doctors in various stages of training. Nurses and nursing assistants will be an integral part of meeting your daily needs. You may also encounter other technicians, therapists, social workers, and representatives who perform specific jobs to help assist patients. By expecting to meet a variety of team members, you may be more prepared to interact with these various professionals.

Extra Assistance

There may be situations that arise that needitate additional care. For example, an interpreter can provide assistance when language barriers are present. Sometimes patients became confused by medical terminology. A patient may also disagree with a physician recommendation, deciding to opt against a treatment plan. In these situations, the hospital can provide special accommodations to resolve a difficulty.

Preparing for a hospital stay and learning as much as possible about the experience can help ensure that you have a positive exit.

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How Health Care Systems May Be the Answer For Your Loved One

Health care systems are made up of hospitals and other specialized facilities for people who are sick or injured. If you have an aging loved one with a serious medical issue, chances are they will need to be in one of these facilities at some point. Long-term and short-term treatment is available for those with terminal conditions, common illnesses, or those recovering. Consider just a few of the types of conditions health care systems can treat:

Alzheimer's

Some facilities will have special units for people suffering from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. They will dedicate staff specifically to these patients, and have daily activities and routines appropriate for the individual. Nutritional meals, regular medication, and family education are also offered.

Cancer

When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, they can be easily overwhelmed by emotion and all the logistics of treatment. It's important to have a staff experienced in all the aspects of cancer treatment, and that will dedicate themselves to your care. These facilities will offer the range of services needed to manage your condition, including a laboratory, radiology equipment, chemotherapy, and more. With all that is involved with this illness, health care systems can help ease the stress of having to go to many different places during the course of treatment.

Diabetes

Whether your loved one has been dealing with Type 1 Diabetes for a long time, or has recently been diagnosed with Type 2 due to aging or other related conditions, this disease requires routine monitoring. Facilities can offer regular checks for blood sugar levels and kidney function, and address problems early. Also, experienced staff will educate patients and loved ones about healthy eating and other behavioral habits that could reduce the chances of complications.

Heart Conditions

Caring for your loved one's heart means many things, especially if they have a history of heart disease, heart attack, or other cardiac conditions. You will want an institution experienced in raising immediate issues as well as providing preventative care. Routine visits and blood work are paramount in detecting any problems with medication or the potential for a heart attack due to high cholesterol. In the event of a heart attack, health care systems will provide the rehabilitation services necessary to get the patient feeling better and stronger as soon as possible.

Rehabilitation

Whether it's for a broken bone, post-surgery, or just due to weakness andactivity, many facilities offer outpatient rehabilitation services. Professional staff work with patients to strengthen the muscles and joints, resulting in improved overall health and mental attitude.

Health care systems are designed to serve a wide range of needs for acute and long-term illnesses. When you are looking for the best option for your aging loved one, consider a facility that offers the services specific to your loved one's needs.

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Employment Opportunities For Healthcare Jobs

When you want to work in the healthcare industry, you have a variety of options for different types of employment. Although standard healthcare jobs such as nurseries and doctors are a possibility, you also have other choices that may not be known or popular.

Medical Assistants

Medical assistants help doctors and chiropractors in different clinical settings. These professionals may also help with administrative tasks in various situations. Diagnosis and treatment are not a part of this position, but medical assistants can perform some medical procedures. Most medical assistants work in doctors' offices, some are employed in hospitals, and others work in other venues such as nursing homes or residential care facilities.

Lab Technicians

Lab technicians perform many different types of tests on patients. Some workers specialize in the care they provide. For example, some professionals only draw blood, and others specialize in preparing tissue samples for diagnostics. Lab technicians receive training to operate laboratory equipment such as cell counters and microscopes. Job responsibilities may include examining tissue samples for bacteria and analyzing the test results.

Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacists often have pharmacy technicians preparing prescriptions and maintaining health records. Some duties of this position include measuring medication and filling prescriptions, preparing medication for patients, preparing labels for medicines, and maintaining stock on shelves. This professional may work in a hospital, a clinic, a stand-alone pharmacy, or in a pharmacy located within a larger store. People employed in this profession can not make any changes in medicine dosage without the express supervision of a licensed pharmacist.

Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy technicians assist people experiencing various breathing problems, including asthma and cardiopulmonary disease. These two healthcare jobs may sound like the same careers, but they have different duties. Both professionals assist patients with breathing problems, but a respiratory therapist has a higher degree of responsibility, performing more complicated procedures and consulting more frequently with doctors. Both professionals will perform diagnostic tests. After a physician determines the course of treatment, a therapist or a therapy technician would assist with administering medication or conducting therapy.

Surgical Technicians

The staff members working in operating rooms are surgical technicians. They are responsible for preparing patients for procedures and helping doctors during surgeries. These professionals are also responsible for preparing operating rooms with equipment and materials that will be needed during procedures and helping doctors prepare and sterilize themselves. Complicated surgeries require more staff members than simple ones. This staff typically works in hospitals and in some clinics that perform outpatient procedures.

Knowing that you want to assist and care for patients may lead you to explore a variety of healthcare jobs. Whether you enjoy pleasure or a calmer environment, you can find something that appeals to your needs and desires. After education and training, you can usually find job opportunities almost anywhere, because patients need healthcare in virtually every geographical location. You may also experience positive promotion when employed in this industry.

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How to Achieve Healthcare Cost Transparency

It's no secret that medical billing is complex and specialized. In fact, it has always been interesting at how difficult it appears to be to find out what a medical procedure costs – because there are many factors that contribute to that cost.

The internet can provide a range but often, the reality can be quite different because each patient presents different conditions. It looks like it should be as easy as finding out the price of a root canal, a new set of brakes or even a car. But, it's not.

Now, though, as the medical landscape changes, we are bearing more of our health care costs than ever. For example, a recent report from the Commonwealth Fund claimed that 21% of adults with healthcare insurance spend 5% or more of their income on out-of-pocket healthcare costs. This means that doctors are increasingly getting asked about how much they charge for a procedure they recommend.

Driven by these changes, many providers are working to improve cost transparency. The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) even has a task force working on this issue.

Who's in the Know?

For starters, you can request an estimate from your healthcare provider. Who at your doctor's office is responsible for providing cost information? Is it the billing department, a customer service area, a concierge, coders? Providers need to decide and then make sure those responsible for disseminating cost information have access to relevant data so the figures provided are accurate. According to the HFMA, the objective is to provide timely and meaningful cost information in advance of receiving services.

It's Complicated

When doing due diligence on prices from multiple sources, which is becoming increasingly common for healthcare services, complications can arise because if only gross estimates are used, they do not take into consideration the permitted amount from insurance plan benefits which can significantly impact the costs.

Another reason for the complications is that procedure costs can vary according to patient conditions. Understand too that an estimate is only an estimate. What is black and white are your in / out-of-network individual / family deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pays.

It is also recommended to speak with your insurance plan directly to verify any coverage guidelines for your procedure before it occurs. This will help to prevent any surprises your doctor's office may have overlooked.

An Ally

In the quest for medical cost transparency, under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are required to list standard charges for items and services and make those lists available to patients. This just a beginning but it has prompted healthcare facilities to begin focusing on transparency which in turn will improve healthcare patient experience.

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Understanding Care Services: NHS Continuing Health Care

What Is NHS Continuing Health Care?

In England, NHS Continuing Health Care (NHSCHC) is care funded by the NHS. It is available for people aged 18 and above and is provided to meet physical or mental health care needs that have arisen through disability, accident or illness. NHSCHC is care that takes place away from a hospital. Care can be provided in your home or in residential accommodation.

Who Qualifies for NHS Continuing Health Care?

You will qualify for NHSCHC if you are assessed as having a primary health need. The NHS Choices website provides a very unhelpful circular definition of this. A primary health need, it is explained, is one that is on-going and fundamental and is related to your health. An assessment will take into account the nature and complexity of your needs; the intensity and severity of your needs, and the unpredictability of your needs.

How Do You Get NHS Continuing Health Care?

In short, you need to be assessed. The assessment is carried out by a multidisciplinary NHS team. There is no right to an assessment, but if it looks that you might need NHSCHC then the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for your area must carry out an assessment.

The fact that you have a long term medical condition is not, of itself, a qualification for NHSCHC. However, the following circumstances are likely to suggest that an assessment is appropriate. 1. Where you are due to be discharged from hospital and you have long term needs, 2 Where a period of intermediate care has come to an end, 3. Where your health declines significantly, 4. Where are you approaching the end of your life , 5. Where you stay in a nursing home and your health care needs are under review and 6. Where your health and social care needs are being assessed as part of a community care assessment.

In most circumstances, there is a two stage assessment process. The first stage is an initial assessment. The purpose of this is to decide if you need a full assessment. The initial assessment may be completed by a doctor, social worker or other health care professional.

The full assessment is carried out by two or more health and / or care professionals. The assessment looks at the following criteria: behavior , cognition (understanding), communication, psychological / emotional needs, mobility , nutrition (food and drink), pollution, skin (including wounds and ulcers), breathing , symptom control through drug therapies and medicine , altered states of consciousness , other significant needs.

Each of those criteria (or domains) is assessed on the following scale: no needs, low needs, moderate needs, high needs, severe needs or priority needs. The criteria in bold are assessed, on the full scale, from low through to priority. The criteria in italics are assessed from low to severe. The reminder is assessed from low through to high.

You will be eligible for NHSCHC if one or more criteria are assessed at the priority level or two or more criteria are assessed as severe. You may also be eligible if one criteria is assessed as separate and you have needs assessed in a number or other criteria or a number of criteria are assessed as high and / or moderate.

A two stage assessment is obviously a little time consuming. It can take 28 days from the initial assessment to determine you eligibility by way of a full assessment. Clearly in some cases this is far too slow. There is, therefore, a fast track procedure that can be used where your condition is worsening and / or you are terminally ill.

What Is the Cost of NHS Continuing Health Care?

There is no cost to you if you qualify for NHSCHC.

Who Provided NHS Continuing Health Care Services?

NHSCHC services can be provided by any number of health professionals including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and domiciliary carers. When you are assessed as being eligible for NHSCHC, you will be allocated a personal health budget. This is an amount of money that is used to support the needs that you have. It is similar to the personal budgets allocated by social services to support social care needs.

Just as with a social care personal budget, you can ask for your personal health budget to be paid to you in the form of a direct payment. A direct payment puts you in control of choosing who supplies your services. You do not have to do this. You may, however, enjoy the freedom and choice that direct payments give you.

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Why the Sudden Merger and Acquisition Activity Increase in the MIS Device Industry?

The Minimally and Non-Invasive devices industry has witnessed an exponential rise in the recent times. Huge adoption rates from the majority of the population have been instrumental in their growth. The promise of pain free procedures and a minimum side effects resulting from the procedure due to the usage of minimally invasive devices has been a key factor in the adoption rates. Although, minimally invasive surgery has been at the disposal for more than a century, it is only within the last few decades it has been widely accepted in the medical industry. As a reliably young field it holds a lot of promise with ever expanding technological advances with many exciting developments on the horizon.

With increasing product innovations in the minimally invasive device industry, the market for minimally invasive devices will be on the rise. The most recent news involves the agreement between Google and Johnson & Johnson to develop more advanced robotics technology for surgical use. Google hopes to tackle the software side of the issue by creating machine vision technology to aid doctors in guidance and control surgical equipment. This is a major indication of the promise the minimally invasive device industry holds. Technological advances have been rejected in a new line of products released by the major market players. Zimmer has been instrumental in showing 12 new spine technologies in the North American Spine Society Annual Meeting to grow their presence and retain their stand as one of the market leaders. All the products were designed for minimally invasive procedures.Medtronic's acquisition of Sophon, Inc., a company which was famous for their minimally invasive bone induction hearing implant technology and Boston Scientific's acquisition of American Medical Systems Urology Portfolio, Philips acquisition of MIS device manufacturer Volcano and Abbott's acquisition of Topera, a private, venture-backed medical device company indicating the demand for MIS devices all around the world and is a sign of product innovations driving the market growth on a global scale.

New technologies are being introduced into the market on a large scale primarily due to the increased demand for the adoption of MIS products in surgeries and other major medical procedures. These new technologies involve the likes of 3-D endoscopy and 3-D ablation devices, Robotic medical devices, picosecond tattoo removal technology and other technologies are one of the main reasons for the growth of the Minimally Invasive Device market globally.

All the above factors point out to the fact that device market is at its peak currently, primarily due to the increased adoption rates, product innovation and rapid technological advances and is set to continue this trend for a while till it reaches the point of saturation.

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Finances of Health Insurance (Part 2)

In this article I will be expanding on the finances of health insurance, how the industry functions, and who benefits. To set the stage for this discussion, remember the President would have you believe your health will improve if only you have a health insurance policy. Our elected politicians, in one form or another, are saying essentially the same thing because they want your vote. I declare that a health insurance policy has nothing to do with your health, and health services are overpriced because of health insurance. First, can we agree that health insurance is really not about your health? When you are sick, you do not make as appointment with a health insurance company; you make an appointment with your doctor, and hope he will honor your insurance.

A health insurance policy is really just a financial document, so let's begin to understand the health industry by looking at the words of an economist with no knowledge of health care, nor does this economist understand the workings of a doctor. He talks about the economic side effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), sometimes referred to as Obamacare. How the costs outweigh the benefits. He also points out that our economy is mostly based on labor and work, and that is what he addresses the most because he is not a worker in the health field.

The key economic concept required to understand the labor market effects of the ACA is what economists call “tax distortions.” Tax distortions are changes in behavior on the part of businesses or households for the purpose of reducing their taxes or increasing their subsidies. Those actions are then called “distortions” by economists, because the distortions do not occur in real businesses. The distortions occur because of our crazy tax code. A good example of a tax policy that creates distortions is the ethanol subsidy. Technically the ethanol subsidy is a tax credit, not a tax subsidy, wheree gasoline refiners are subsidized on the basis of how many gallons of gas they produce and mix with ethanol.

Another economic element that does not get much publicity from the news media or politicians is that that creating ethanol from corn is expensive. The cost of creating ethanol then becomes a “zero-sum-gain” when we use it to dilute gasoline in our vehicles. It's typical of our government to create these crazy regulations and the bottom line is that health insurance is a distortion too. Just like ethanol does not do anything to make your car run better, health insurance does not do anything to improve your health.

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