Understanding Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage (formerly Medicare + Choice) is a program through which the Medicare population can receive benefits with a private insurance plan. The government pays insurers a set amount to cover a portion of the plan while insurers can offer a variety of other benefits (and some other costs) according to rules set down by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Solutions. In many cases, prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D) is included in Medicare Advantage plans.

Types of Plans

  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): Some Medicare Advantage plans contract with a network of health care providers (eg hospitals, doctors) and charge less when participants use services from those providers. Plan participants can use outside providers for an additional cost.
  • Health Management Organization (HMO): HMOs also have a network of pre-approved service providers that will be covered within your plan, however the one main difference is that you must elect a primary care physician. This primary care physician acts as your personal doctor, but also as your health care coordinator. If you ever needed to see a specialist doctor who was not in your HMO plan network, your primary care physician could offer you a referral if they deemed it necessary. With this referral, your insurance will cover a share of the costs but without it you can expect to pay full price.
  • Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS): PFFS plans act much like traditional Medicare in that you can see any care provider that will accept your plan's payment arrangements. Sometimes these plans set up networks of providers for certain categories of services but allow you to see anyone ouside the network who will accept the plan's payment.
  • Special Needs Plan (SNP): Special Needs Plans are available for members of the Medicare-eligible population who are also eligible for Medicaid, are institutionalized or are afflicted with a chronic condition.
  • Medical Savings Accounts (MSA): Medical Savings Accounts usually do not require a premium as they have a high deductible. Participants must pay the Medicare Part B premium, and also pay for Medicare covered services, and after a participant reaches the deductible, the plan will pay for Medicare services. Medicare also deposits money in a savings account to pay for Medical costs. MSA plans do not include prescription drugs but a standard Prescription Drug Plan can often be purchased.

Medicare Advantage is beneficial because it usually does not require the purchase of a Medicare Supplement Plan and usually offers additional benefits such as dental and vision coverage or “wellness” benefits such as discounted gym memberships. Participants who opt to enroll in Medicare Advantage retain all the protections of regular Medicare patients and retain the right to petition the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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Medicare Eligibility

Who is Eligible for Medicare?

The price of medical bills and maintaining your health can be quite overwhelming. As people approach the age of 65 and approach retirement they need to consider how they will pay for these constant medical expenses. The US Government has established Medicare, a health insurance system to aid US citizens in meeting the costs of their healthcare. However, being a US citizen age 65 or older is not the sole requirement for receiving Medicare. You may also qualify to receive for the Medicare benefits if you are under the age of 65 and have certain disabilities or if you have permanent kidney failure. Since all Americans have different medical and financial needs, it is important to pick the health insurance plan that works best for you.

Which Medicare Plan Are You Eligible For?

The Medicare Health Insurance Program consists of four parts, Part A, B, C, and D. While Part A, B, and D are all grouped just as a part of the Original Medicare Plan, Part C is known separately as Medicare Advantage Plan .

Part A:
When you register to receive Medicare Part A, you will be covered for hospital insurance. While Part A covers most necessary medical hospital services, it does not cover all expenses. The medical expenses covered by Medicare Part A include inpatient care in hospitals (over-night hospital care and treatment for a minimum of three days, 72 hours), blood transfusions (units of blood received at the hospital), skilled nursing facility care (brief) period care at a facility or at nursing home after medical treatment in the hospital), hospice (at home support services for terminally ill patients), and home health care services (part time nursing care service and equipment for ill at home). The payment of a premium is not common for Medicare Part A. You are eligible for Part A if you meet any of the listed qualifications for Medicare.

Part B:
Most Medicare providers require that you also get Medicare Part B coverage when you apply for Part A. Medicare Part B is medical insurance. These are all the other expenses that your medical needs may require that are not covered in Part A. This can include necessary doctor services' (doctor visits or medical advice), and outpatient care (medical service that does not require overnight stay in the hospital or may not even include a hospital visit). Medicare Part B is important for those with diabetes or at risk for diabetes because it covers many costs associated with diabetes. Also, Part B covers many necessary preventive shots (such as the flu shot or hepatitis B). However, unlike Part A, Medicare Part B requires a monthly premium around $ 96.40 a month. If you qualify for Part A, you will likely qualify for Part B.

Part D:
Medicare Part D may also be added to your Medicare Plan coverage. Part D covers prescription drug costs, which is done through private companies approved by Medicare. This, too, requires a premium monthly payment. To receive coverage from these private companies, you must either join a Medicare prescription drug plan or choose the Medicare Advantage Plan, Part C (which already covers Part D). Medicare Part D will cover your necessary prescription drugs. Depending on the costs of your prescription drugs, you may have co-pay fees. If you are eligible to receive Part A or Part B Medicare, then you are eligible to receive Part D.

Are You Eligible For The Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)?

Medicare Part C is the Medical Advantage Plan which services are performed by private companies also approved by Medicare. Part C Combines Part A and B as well as any other necessary medical services a person may require (drug prescription, hearing, and vision services). Many people will opt for this plan because it offers the ability to add a wide range of service coverage to their medical insurance plan, but Plan C is not offered in every state. However, most Medicare Advantage Plans consist of particular doctors and hospitals in an area that a person must use in order to receive coverage for the medical treatment they receive. In addition to the premium paid for Part B Medicare coverage, a person receiving Part C coverage will have to pay a monthly premium. There are several Medicare Advantage Plans available to you. These plans include Medicare Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Medicare Preferred Provider Organization plans (PPO), Medicare Private Fee-for-Service Plans (PPFS), Medicare Special Needs, and Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA).

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Social Security, Medicare and Disability

If you've begun receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, it's time to think about signing up for Medicare. In most cases, if you're receiving Social Security Disability Benefits then you become eligible for Medicare two years after starting to receive benefits. In some cases, it's even sooner.

Who can receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

Broadly speaking, adults under sixty-five must be either blind or disabled and in straitened financial circumstances to receive benefits. In addition, they must be willing to demonstrate this by allowing the federal government to review their financial records and remaining in the United States to apply. The disabling condition must, in the judgment of the Social Security Administration, be expected to last longer than twelve months (or be life-threatening) and prevent you from doing substantive work. Finally, you must demonstrate that you've worked recently and for a certain number of years.

Can anyone receive Medicare before the two-year mark?

Those with Lou Gehrig's Disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), certain government employees (and their dependents) and those with permanent kidney failure are eligible for Medicare before reaching the two-year mark on social security disability payments.

What can fill the gap between the time I become disabled and receipt of Medicare benefits?

The 1985 Consolidate Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers and their families the right to retain health benefits for eighteen months after ending employment. For disabled workers, an eleven-month extension can be added so long as it is applied for early enough in advance for the Social Security Administration to process your claim. After twenty-nine months, the five-month waiting period for disability benefits and the two-year waiting period for Medicare will be over. Be aware though, that you will often have to pay a substantially higher premium during the disability extension period.

Will I be able to buy a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policy?

Federal law does not force insurers to sell Medicare Supplement policies to those under sixty-five. However, twenty-eight states have laws that require insurers to sell Medicare supplement policies to disabled adults. Check your state insurance bureau for more details as these laws vary. When your age cohort enterers open enrollment at age sixty-five, you will want to purchase a new Medicare Supplement policy as you will have access to more, lower-premium plans. The following states require insurers to offer at least one kind of Medicare Supplement policy to disabled adults:

California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Tennessee
Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, North, Carolina, Texas
Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Vermont
Florida, Maine, Missouri, Oregon, Wisconsin
Georgia, Maryland, New, Hampshire, Pennsylvania
Hawaii, Massachusetts, New, Jersey, South, Dakota

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Code Blue, STAT! For-Profit Vs Not-For-Profit: A Frontline Prospectus

Healthcare is forever changing right before our eyes. With the Supreme Court's ruling earlier this summer, the landscape has forever been changed. The debate can go on and on whether the decision was right or wrong. This article is not here to discuss the new healthcare law, but to analyze the facilities that provide the healthcare (ie not-for-profit vs. for profit). Some would argue that there are not many differences between the two types. It appears that more and more not-for-profit, community owned healthcare entities are disappearing and being replaced by greater for-profit, corporate owned entities. Is this a criticism of our current healthcare situation, or a glimpsed into what the future landscape will look like? Does a patient receive better treatment and care from a for-profit or is care independent from facility to facility? Is there still a place in healthcare for the community owned facility? Is there really any difference between the two types?

I have fifteen years of healthcare experience, with the last five serving as a manager in the ambulatory setting. Within the fifteen years I have been employed by both for-profit and not-for-profit. From own experiences the only major differences between the two was that the for-profit are more in-tune and swiftly to steer towards a positive profit margins, than that of the not-for-profit. When employed by the for-profit, if it was a slow day or the census was down, staff was cutting hours. The same can be said for a not-for-profit, but the-profits react quicker and broader. A major factor in the ability to cut and focus on the positive margin was that of the CEOs pay structure. The pay structure would be in direct relationship to the profitability of their healthcare facility. The greater the profit margin, the larger the CEO paycheck. In a for-profit it is a must for the facility to be nimble and quick with the ability to react to current market conditions. Big business is structured the same way. We have witnessed CEOs big bonus based off the fact that the company performed well. Does this have a place in healthcare? Is the profit margin the same for Toshiba computers as it would be for your open heart surgery? It has often been cited that for-profits will limit services based on profitability. I personally have not witnessed this. The for-profits I was employed by offered the same services as their not-for-profit competitors.

A major fear when a for-profit incomes a market (by buy out or merger) is the charitable giving that community based facilities are noted for. It has been noted that both types of facilities have in the same manner (ie not-for-profits acting more and more like for-profits). “Whether nonprofit organizations have differently different ownership types, particularly in the hospital industry, has raised reasonable liability.” In 2004 more than fifty lawsuits alleging that nonprofit hospitals have violated their charitably obligations were filed in federal district courts alone. overhaul of the nonprofit sector's regulatory period to increase accountability. Any discussion of the value of nonprofit hospital ownership must account for the significant differences in service offerings some hospital types and how those offerings vary according to profitability “(Horwitz 2005).

“In recent years some have argued that changes in the health care arena have forced not-for-profit hospitals to become indistinguishable from their for-profit counterparts. If this is true, we should expect not-for-profit hospitals to cut their costs by reducing expenses and cutting hospital staffing ratios. “(Potter). It seems that healthcare is becoming a blended concoction of not-for-profit and for-profit.

In retrospect, defining and maintaining a positive bottom line has become the driving force in healthcare. It seems that patient care has taken a back seat to the driver, which is profitability. Do not say this in a negative manner. I was employed for a healthcare system that had a religious affiliation. They prided themselves on the charitable care that they “wave way.” The first thing mentioned in business meeting was this, “we have to make money in order to give money away.” What a substantial statement, you can not give away what you do not have. Imagine you are the new CEO of your local community facility. Your pay structure is based on the facilities profit margin. What do you do? I feel this is more on the management spectrum than the ethical side. With the new healthcare law, shrinking reimbursements, more and more uninsured and skyrocketing cost the ability to create and sustain profit becomes a daunting task. Finding creative ways to manipulate the market and thinking outside the box to create revenues, becomes a way of life for the CEO.


Horwitz, Jill R. Making Profits and Providing Care: Comparing Nonprofit, For-Profit, And

Government Hospitals. Health Affairs. Vol 24, (May 2005), pp. 790-801

Potter, J. Sharyn. A Longitudinal Analysis of the Distinction between For-Profit and Not-for-Profit Hospitals in America Journal of Health and Social Behavior Vol. 42, No. 1 (Mar., 2001), pp. 17-44 Published by: American Sociological Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3090225

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Shingles Vaccine and Medicare

You may have noticed pharmacies advertising that the shingles vaccine is in stock and available. The CDC's list of recommended immunizations is constantly evolving and the most recent addition is the shingles vaccine for all adults age 60 and over. This has many seniors wondering if they should receive the shot and if Medicare covers the cost.

Should you get the shingles vaccine?

Over 95% of the people in the United States are infected by the Varicella zoster virus at some point in their lifetime. The virus causes the common childhood disease of chickenpox and then lies dormant within the nerve cells. In approximately one third of the population the virus will re-activate later in life as shinglees: a contagious, nasty, blistering rash that can cause sever, debilitating pain that may last for weeks, months or even years (called post herpetic neuralgia). It can also attack the eyes and permanently damage vision (though this is less common).

These numbers equate to over 1 million people being affected by this virus. So it's no surprise that the CDC recommends a single dose of the zoster vaccine Zostavax for men and women 60 years of age and older, even if they have had a prior episode of shingles.

Recently, a study published online in the Journal of Internal Medicine has shown the vaccine to be safe, and well tolerated in a controlled study of 193,000 adults age 50 and over. Studies have also shown the vaccine to be effective; with results similar to those found in clinical trials in 2006 it was first approved. The vaccine reduced the risk of developing shingles by more than half, and minimized the effects of the disease in those that developed it.

The over 60 crowd is often the highest risk group for contracting disease due to declination immunization, co-existing health issues, multiple diagnoses, or even increased stress factors. The CDC recommends the immunizations, but you should consult your doctor to determine if the vaccine is right for you.

How much does it cost and will Medicare pay for it?

Currently, the only vaccines covered under Medicare Part B are: Flu, H1N1, Pneumococcal, and Hepatitis B. So if you have strictly traditional Medicare the answer is no.

Technically, Part D plans will cover the vaccine and administration, but it may require some advance planning and organization on behalf of the beneficiary to ensure the claim gets paid.

In fact, Medicare.gov states:

“Except for vaccines covered under part B, Medicare drug plans must cover all commercially available vaccines (like the shingles vaccine) when medically necessary to prevent illness.

According to Merck, the manufacturer of Zostavax:

“Medicare Part D = Prescription Drug Benefit 90% of Medicare Part D insured individuals are in plans that have ZOSTAVAX on formulary. The availability and amount of reimbursements will depend on a patient's insurance benefit design, including applicable co-pays, coinsurance, deductibles and / or limits. ”

The vaccine is usually around $ 200, so the time and homework required to ensure re-imbursement is worth the investment.

Check specifically with your Part D plan carrier as a first step. Some plans may require prior authorization, which means your doctor must first get approval before you can receive it. Your doctor may need to state that the drug is 'medically necessary' because he feels you are at high risk for contracting the disease for any reason. Some plans and / or some states may also authorize your pharmacist to administrator the vaccine in the pharmacy and can bill insurance plans directly if they are in-network.

To date, the shingles vaccine has been underutilized. Past stocking issues by pharmacies and physician's offices, cost, and challenges with ease of reimbursement under Medicare part D plans are all to blame. Medical spending to treat shingles or its complications totaled $ 566 million in 2005 or an average of $ 525 per patient. When these expenses are projected on the sheer number of people who are subject to developing the disease, it seems the recommendation to receive this vaccine is a prudent one.

As more patients request and file claims for vaccine re-imbursement, hopefully the process will become more routine to claim handlers and the confusion or misinformation regarding whether or not the vaccine is paid for and how, will diminish over time.

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Why Spectrophotmeters Are Essential for Medical and Research Facilities

An instrument designed to measure the amount if light of a specified wavelength which passes through a medium, spectrophotometers are now considered essential in medical and research facilities. There are many models available, each meant for a specific purpose. This article discusses some important applications of this important device.

Functions of the Research and Medical Lab Spectrophotometer

Many different types of medical analyzes are based on the Lambert-Beer law of absorption. In a medical lab, a spectrophotometer is used for:

  • Analysis of blood samples: It can separate different chemical components from blood or other fluids.
  • Protein separation or protein electrophoresis: the color intensities of the separated components will differ depending on the amount of protein fragments from the serum. Lambert-Beer law is used to determine the proportion of different protein components from the blood.

A biological research laboratory uses a spectrophotometer to measure the concentration of certain substances.

  • In molecular biology, the instrument is used to measure the growth of microorganisms like bacteria.
  • Spectrophotometry is used to differentiate the various pigments such as the chlorophyll content of plant cells.

Types of Lab Spectrophotometers

Lab spectrophotometers are generally classified into single beam and double beam spectrophotometers. The single beam device measures the difference in light intensities between a reference and test sample. In the double beam model, the source of light source is divided in two, one illustrating the sample and one that does not go through it. So one beam has a reference sample with known properties, and the other contains the test sample. The Absorbance is measured as a difference in intensity of light transmitted and that which is not transmitted. The spectrophotometer model used will depend upon the type of test that has to be performed.

Purchase Quality Medical Lab Equipment

UNICO, an industry leader in scientific instruments, offers several models of reliable single and double beam spectrophotometers for medical and research facilities. A UNICO spectrophotometer serves a wide range of applications and is a valuable addition to any lab. Based on the functions they perform, the instruments are classified into various series such as the 1000 series, 1100 series, 1200, series, 2100 series and SpectroQuest UV-Vis. UNICO spectrophotometers provide the accuracy expected from precise optics. The 2100 Series features an expandable sample compartment for up to 100mm path length cells. The 2102 and 2102A SpectroQuest UV-Vis models expand lab applications to include Multiple Wavelengths, Scanning, Abs. Ratio / Difference, Kinetics, and Standard Curve.

All laboratory equipment should be purchased from a reliable dealer. An established laboratory equipment supplier would have a wide inventory of leading brands of all devices including spectrophotometers from UNICO.

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Why HIPAA Compliance Plans Are Necessary

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, was signed into law on August 21, 1996. It is a complex piece of legislation that requires detailed training and planning by health care providers. It seeks to create greater efficiencies in the health care industry, and ensure privacy of patient's medical records. In order to comply with and meet these ideas, a HIPAA Compliance Plan is essential. Compliance only occurs as a result of a specific plan with detailed procedures. A specific plan needs to be in place to guarantee that the provisions of the law are met. Failure to prepare and implement a plan can have grave consequences.

The main thrust of HIPAA is privacy of medical records. An effective HIPAA Compliance Plan involves setting in place procedures to ensure that there are no breaches of patients' privacy rights under the law. All personnel who have any contact with medical records need to be aware of the provisions of HIPAA. This requires extensive training as part of any plan. The training needs to be comprehensive, and all employees need to be current with the latest effects of HIPAA. In a large medical practice or hospital, one employee's failure to comply with HIPAA can become a source of liability and cost.

What happens when there is no compliance plan, or an ineffective plan, in place? What are the consequences? The main result is a breach of security involving medical records. Someone's private records are released to a party who has no right to the information. This is done by a telephone call, an email, or a written request. It can be as simple as an apparently harmless question from a visitor in the hospital. One slip and personal medical information is released. Former spouses and other individuals may know sufficient personal information about an individual to convince someone to release information. In any event, personnel information can be used for identity theft, or to embarrass the patient. No one wants an unauthorized release of sensitive medical information.

The second consequence that flows from the lack of an effective compliance plan is the liability of the medical provider. They risk claims and lawsuits from patients when unauthorized disclosures are made. This consequence is a never-ending concern. The compliance plan must have safeguards that ensure HIPAA is met at all times. Damages can be fundamental, and the reputation of the medical provider can suffer. Every patient wants the assurance of privacy. If they do not have that, they may avoid the medical provider and seek care elsewhere.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Understanding This Issue and Finding Relief

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is a common issue among older adults. If you've noticed that your bowels have become unpredictable and problematic, you may be suffering from this condition. When the body is out of balance, it can be difficult for things to work properly, resulting in IBS for many people. Finding the right IBS treatment starts with understanding the problem. What is irritable bowel syndrome, exactly? Here are some things to know.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a digestive disorder that usually affects the colon. It does not usually cause permanent damage, but it can be painful and difficult to tolerate. Typically, this condition is caused by a lack of proper bacterial balance in the digestive system. * That means that things do not function as they should and that the system is more susceptible to toxins and bad bacteria that can lead to serious health issues. * More info on IBS symptoms include:

– Stomach pain / cramps
– Gas and bloating
– Diarrhea
– Constipation

Everyone is different, so the symptoms might be different for you. Any combination of these, however, could be indicative of IBS. Finding inulin sources can be helpful and it will help provide your body with the right support for total digestive health. *

Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome *

For some people, a strict diet can be a solution for irritable bowel syndrome. * There are certain foods that contain probiotics that can offer the support that your body needs. a result of IBS. Therefore, changing your diet to help with irritable bowel syndrome can be a solution for people who want natural relief. of the issue at all. *

How Supplements Can Help

Supplements that include probiotics can be an addition to a special diet, or an alternative remedy. * You can find probiotic supplements that are specifically designed to help balance your digestive health, which will alleviate a lot of the symptoms that you are experiencing simply by offering a solution to the cause of the issue in the first place. * Supplements are something that you should talk to your doctor about and you should always be looking for the most reputable probiotics so that you can get the digestive support that you deserve. *

Under Section 5 of DSHEA, the content material within this article or webpage is for consumer and educational purposes only.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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The Emergency Department – Hospitalist Hybrid Model

A possible solution to the inpatient staffing challenge faced by Critical Access Hospitals today

Just over a decade ago, some questioned the benefits and sustainability of Hospital Medicine (HM). Today, most hospitals have an organized HM program or they are seeking to develop one. In effect, over half of all US hospitals now utilize hospitalists, with over 80 percent of hospitals with 200 or more beds having a HM program.

For Critical Access Hospitals (CAH), the progress towards HM organized services has been a bit more elaborate. Community size, difficulty in provider recruitment, slower PCP acceptance and more challenging ROI demonstration are a few of the more discussed reasons for less HM use. One driver of the HM model in these smaller communities however, is the loss of patients to larger regional institutions, resulting in a steady, sustained decline in the CAHs patient volume. Indeed, the executive teams at most CAHs struggle with this issue on a daily basis. In many cases, the local PCPs voice discomfort carrying for some marginal cases, most of which could be managed locally if there was a dedicated physician present and available with the requisite skill set. Patients themselves also want to stay local at their community hospital, allowing better access to family and loved ones, while in the midst of reliable and familiar healthcare providers.

Recently, one very promising option has emerged for CAHs. It is the ED – Hospitalist Hybrid Model; relieving the PCP burden of unassigned and some recruited patient referrals. Each program is exclusively built to satisfy the needs of the relevant hospital, but there are a few common themes that exist. The models below highlight two of the more common arrangements.

Model # 1

2 FTE per day model with an ED physician plus a hospitalist physician both in house from 8am – 5pm. From 5pm – 12am, the hospitalist can be off campus, but keep on call for admissions and cross-coverage of inpatients. From 12am – 8am the ED physician responds to all patient related issues and functions as the House Physician.

Model # 2

Single House physician who functions primarily as an ED provider, but also continues the care by rounding on inpatients. This can only be accomplished in a very low patient volume environment where the inpatient volume hovers around 5 patients on the service. In most instances, there is a Non-Physician Provider (NPP) available at targeted times of increased patient activity.

This ED – Hospitalist collaboration has been framed in a number of ways, but usually the actual provider staffing and schedule will depend on both the ED and in-house patient activity. In most circumstances, the system will require 2 FTEs per day for sustained success. Essentially, the two providers jointly and effectively function as a single unit, managing the patients within the institution. As expected, the key to success is proper communication. Throughout the day both providers engage in a structured dialogue about the patients. At all transition points, patient status is discussed, making certain that all members of the care team (nurses, social workers and case managers) are up to date on the plan of care.

Both models above will usually also engage a few of the local PCPs for the rare case of disasters or just an overwhelmed service. As the inpatient service gain acceptance within the community, the overall service volume will inevitably increase requiring adjustments to meet the needs of the patients, PCPs and institution.

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Disposable Gloves – A Variety of Different Uses

Disposable gloves are regularly used around the world. Purchasable in many different sizes, they are worn by people who work in a wide range of industries. Disposable gloves are often worn by people who specialize in the service industry that prepare food, as well as those who clean residential and commercial buildings. This is because they come into contact with a wide range of cleaning products that have high levels of chemicals which may otherwise irritate their skin. Disposable gloves are available available to purchase online and there are many which can be purchased.

The Numerous Types of Disposable Gloves

There is not one particular glove which can be purchased because there are many types that can be bought which are very cheap, such as latex gloves. This type of disposable glove is regularly used during medical examinations and other procedures because they minimize the chance of bacteria passing onto one area from another. There are actually several types of latex gloves which are worn by medical professionals who work at all levels within a hospital, such as Nitrile gloves.

Nitrile gloves are blue and are completely different to the aforementioned type of disposable glove. As Nitrile gloves are used by surgeons, they are less susceptible to wear and tear because they have a thicker density. Wearing Nitrile gloves for everyday use is not recommended because of the high prices which are charged for them. Nitrile gloves offer the utmost level of protection because these sterile gloves are made out of thicker material which cost more to manufacture. If other types of sterile gloves need to be worn which cause minimal irritation to the skin, there are many to choose from.

Why Aloe Vera Gloves Can Soothe Skin

Unlike latex and Nitrile gloves, Aloe Vera gloves provide extra protection because wearing them has been proven to minimize irritation and not exacerbate it because they nourish dry skin. When disposable gloves are worn regularly by workers in factories and other manufacturing environments or service industries, this can cause many problems and rashes may appear. However, Aloe Vera gloves can reduce discomfort and can heal cuts and wounds. Aloe Vera gloves can also help to better the skin's immune system as well. As the skin is the body's largest organ, boosting its ability to counteract attack from viruses and bacteria is highly recommended, especially if they are worn when working in a hazardous environment.

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The Pros and Cons of Buying Medical Instruments Online

If you are a medical professional, you would need different medical instruments for you to be able to do your job properly. Amongst the things that medical professionals need are stethoscopes, surgical tools, face mask and a lot more. When it comes to stethoscopes, the popular brand is the Littmann Lightweight II SE Stethoscope or you can also check for some stethoscope reviews before buying one especially if you plan to buy online.

If you plan to buy online, here are some of the pros and cons of buying these online:

The Issue of Quality

If you plan to buy online, make sure that you check out the website first to find out if such website is licensed to sell different types of medical instruments. This is to make sure that you are getting quality equipment. If the website is licensed, then you would be able to get warranties in case the instruments are defective or if there is something wrong with it. This will certainly help you in terms of saving a lot of money.

The Wide Selection

Another thing that you might consider as a pro in terms of buying medical instruments online is the fact that you would get a lot of choices. You also get to pick the most recent medical instruments as compared to buying it in stores. One con though is the fact that you would not be able to examine the instrument and you would just have to rely on what the online stores say about their products or better yet, look for some reviews to help you out.


Buying medical instruments online may offer advantages but you would also have disadvantages. As an example, in case you buy your instruments from an unreliable source or online shop, then what would happen is that you would certainly end up wasting your money for something that is not worth anything. To make sure that you would not have problems when buying medical instruments online, be sure to look for reliable websites so you can be assured of quality medical instruments.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Buying stuff online offers pros and cons and as a buyer, you need to be aware of these things so you would know whether or not it is a good idea to buy medical instruments online.

These specific type of stethoscope is the most trusted one by most medical professionals so you might want to make sure that you have your own Littman stethoscope. You can also buy this online as long as you get them from reliable sites.

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Assisted Living Facility for Individuals With Alzheimer

Alzheimer can be a testing condition, not only for the one suffering from this condition, but also the relatives of the diseased. As the disease progresses, it requests for much more attention and care than a family member can ever offer. In such conditions, memory care assisted living facilities come in as a life saver.

Over 25 million people are known to be affected by Alzheimer disease worldwide. Initially, the symptoms of Alzheimer become noticeable when one experiences loss of short term memory, especially for recent happenings. Gradually, it develops into a failure to remember and perform even the normal activities of day to day life.

With the disease progressing, the symptoms start to worsen and manifest them in the below given forms:
• Language breakdown
• Long term memory loss
• Mood swings

In the beginning stages, it is not so much difficult to look after the patient, and usually family members can look after the affected person without facing any major challenges. However, as the diseases progresses to next level, it becomes necessary to get professional care and aid. At this stage, a lot of people find it appropriate, and in the best interest of their loved ones affected by Alzheimer, to choose memory care assisted living facilities. The advantage of the memory care assisted living facilities is that they can offer both residential benefits as well as the much needed medical care.

Such facilities offer the convenience of mitigating the diseases as well as addressing the needs of the patient with patience, compassion and understanding. There are many different memory care assisted living facilities available all around the world.

These facilities comprise a highly trained staff that is expert in dealing with patients with such condition. The environment of these facilities is also specifically designed to provide the patients dealing with memory loss issues, a safe and comfortable haven.

Essential Requirements for People suffering from Alzheimer

The memory loss issues that an Alzheimer patient sufferers from damages his / her sense of identity and shrinks his / her feelings of self-esteem. Classicly, patients suffering from Alzheimer require:

• Safe, comfortable, familiar and secure surroundings

• Individual care and attention for particular needs

• A understanding, patient, well-trained and compassionate staff

• Encouraging patients to engage in easy and simple activities, for example making breakfast, or engaging them in some sort of creative activities, like painting. Activities like these tend to boost the self-esteem and improve the feeling of efficiency in patients.

• Simple outdoor activities like gardening, walking or simple exercising.

The prerequisites of a good memory care assisted living home

• Hygiene – Cleanliness is extremely necessary, and the premises should have facility for cleaning on a daily basis; you can check this by noticing how well groomed the residents are and what kind of atmosphere prevails in the memory care assisted living facility.

• Trained staff – present round the clock – Presence of compassionate, diligent and hardworking staff is a must. To check on this, you may want to talk to relatives of the patients already living in the facility.

• Activities – The facility should also offer simple activities of day to day life, while balancing the same with enough rest hours.

• Meals – Meals offered in the facilities should not only be nutritious, healthy and wholesome, but should also have been prepared keeping the needs of patients in mind.

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Top 10 Considerations Before Choosing to Be Caregiver for a Loved One With Alzheimer’s Disease

Choosing to become a caregiver for a loved one is a major life-changing decision. Here are some things to consider before making the commitment. Consider your options and learn as much as you can before making the choice that is best for you and your family.

  1. Time Commitment: When your loved one begins to need help, it is natural to want to become their caregiver. Caring for a loved one is a more than a full time job. It's a twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week job. Do not forget about your own well-being too. The Alzheimer Society of Canada offers programs to help caregivers manage stress. They recommend setting realistic expectations and not spending every waking moment worrying about care giving duties.
  2. Consider The Living Situation: At some point, your loved one will need more attention than a simply phone call or visit. Consider having them move in with you or you move in with them. It may mean moving them into an assisted living facility. Not sure what to do? Consider this. The care guide explains that moving them into a facility should be stress free, remind them of home and be an adjustment for everyone.
  3. It Will Be Demanding: You could become physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted handling for a loved one.HomeHealthUnited.org mentions that caregivers sometimes injure themselves while caring for a loved one. This happens when a loved one has to be lifted or you must squat to help them. Maintain good posture is important.
  4. The Hardest Part is Letting Go: Try to accept that you will be caring for your loved one until the end. Caring.com has tips on coping with your loved ones changes in mood and attitude. They recommend focusing on being there for your loved one and communicating your love and understanding to them above everything else.
  5. Figure Out The Money Situation: The bills will begin to stack up and taking care of someone you love is not cheap. Equipment and modifications to a household make bills start to stack up. AgingCare.com includes many helpful guides about financial situations for the families of those with Alzheimer's. These tax tips also include what paperwork you need when you decide to become the primary caregiver for your loved one.
  6. Find a Healthcare Service: You are not alone. Contact a local hospital or healthcare service to find caregivers to help you anytime you need it. WebMD gives a thorough overview of what hospitality care entails and how helpful it can be. They have people available to stay with you 24 hours a day and seven days week. Find people to stay overnight and in the event of an emergency.
  7. Get Some Training: It is important to learn methods like CPR or giving an injection. Affordable Home Health Care explains that becoming familiar with these methods will help you feel more confident helping with your loved one. The more you know, the more you will be willing and prepared to help. We Care Home Health Services also offers services to your home, workplace or community if you are needing additional help with these methods.
  8. Do not Forget to Communicate: Keep all your family members in the loop about what is happening. Even the one you are caring for. Talk about finances, living arrangements, medical care, etc. Caregiverstress.com suggests dealing with conflict before it becomes an issue. Make decisions together, ask for help, and leave grudges at the door.
  9. Develop a Routine: Keep your loved on a schedule to help minimizeize confusion. Try to keep them active and aware, like engaging them in conversation. For example, the Alzheimer's Care Guide includes information about symptoms your loved one may express on a daily basis, so be prepared.
  10. Plan activities for them: There are many activities a loved one with Alzheimer's can enjoy. ActivityTherapy.com mentions dozens of activities from walking to listening to music to cooking. The resource breaks down activities based on what level of Alzheimer's your loved one has.

About The Medical Arts Health Research Group:

The Medical Arts Health Research Group conducts clinical trials in the areas of Alzheimer's Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus among others. As a volunteer in a medical research study, a patient helps in the possible development of medical therapies that may offer better treatments and even cures for life-threatening and chronic diseases. People volunteer to participate in a medical research study for a number of reasons, including the advancement of science, hope for treatment that does not exist or improved medical care and to be involved in research that could help others.

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Medical Testing Phases

Medical testing is of great importance in finding new treatments for the different diseases faced by humans every single day. They involve trials of medicines and drugs which can either be new or already existing in the market by the medical professionals to see how they react and behave. The testing has helped very in coming up with effective treatments and they continue to help in achieving medical breakthroughs for different kinds of diseases which are still to find a treatment.

The medical testing is normally transported out by biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies and done on individuals who volunteer although they are paid for participating in the trials. The period within which the drug will be administered and observed will depend on the individual testing taking place. While some tests will take only a few days to complete, some take as long as a month or more depending on what the professionals are testing. This means that to take part in the testing you need to be well prepared.

The testing will involve sampling of blood and they are normally divided into two phases:

Phase 1: this is the phase where healthy volunteers help the professionals in monitoring how the drug or drugs in question get absorbed as well as the period of time they stay within the bloodstream and body for that matter. Drug body interaction is studied through varying dosages and the side effects analyzed. It is also a phase where they get to determine the effects different foods have on the drug on testing in relation to the absorption.

Phase 2: In this phase of the medical testing, the studies are intended to determine the real potential of the drug treating a certain condition it is developed for. In this phase volunteers suffering from the mild or moderate conditions in different kinds are used for the testing. Most of the conditions include blood pressure, asthma and diabetes among other different kinds of conditions depending on the drug in question.

Even though the medical testing will be paid, it takes much more than money to take part. You must be a willing member to participate in the testing since you see the importance of such trials in saving lives and achieving the breakthroughs most patients are still waiting for. You can volunteer for another testing three months after the initial one but there is also an importance of making sure you are well aware of any side effects that could be there.

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The PyraMed Colloidal Silver Maker With Microcontroller Technology

Through the use of Microcontroller Technology, the production of colloidal silver of optimum concentration and particle size is a reality. Tests at the University of Leeds on Aquasilver, the pure form of colloidal silver produced by the PyraMed machine has shown that particle size in the range 1-10 nm corresponds to nanometer size groups of atoms. These particles became suspended in distilled water to produce a colloid due to electrostatic charges produced by electrolysis, the safest method of production.

Various methods of production of colloidal silver over the years have shown that the electrical method of using silver electrodes in water produces nano size particles, which became suspended to produce a colloid. Particle size is important, for example particles in the region of one to ten nano-meters in size are active in inhibiting the HIV virus from binding to host cells [1].

The PyraMed has taken this process to a new level of effectiveness by the use of Microcontroller Technology. This means that the silver electrodes are controlled by software stored in the chip (known by electronic engineers as firmware). Gone are the days of two wires, crocodile clips and rows of batteries …

The PyaMed technology ensures that only distilled water is used, since the device measures the conductivity of the water before starting production. Some devices on the market do not discriminate about what kind of water us used, but this feature is important in the design philosophy of the PyraMed. This is to ensure that the particles of silver do not combine with dissolved solids to produce silver salts (such as silver chloride). By using pure water and high purity silver electrodes, the production of pure colloidal silver is achieved (known as Aquasilver).

In order to measure conductivity, the PyraMed electrodes are arranged as a measurement 'cell', as well as forming part of the electrolysis process. When a voltage is applied between the electrodes, the current flowing depends on the dimensions of the cell, and the conductivity of the liquid. The cell dimensions and the applied voltage are stored as constants in an embedded equation written in C code which forms part of the firmware design.

During the production cycle, the PyraMed is programmed to reverse the current flow in the silver electrodes according to an algorithm which takes into account the mobility of the silver particles. This ensures that the silver particles are deposited in sheet like formations in the liquid which position positions an even distribution. For this reason, the PyraMed production process is either constant voltage nor constant current since the time constant determined by the algorithm varies according to concentration and other factors. There are several advantages to this method, one being that stirring becomes unnecessary, and also that the reversal of current flow produces an even wear of the electrodes.

The PyraMed is available in several models from SciTron Healing Technologies

1. http://www.jnanobiotechnology.com/content/3/1/6

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