Outsourcing Individual Health Budgets

The new individual health budgets give patients the opportunity to work in equal partnership with the NHS in order to achieve a continuing health care plan that is right for them. Patients are given greater choice and control over their health care.

Individual health budgets are the amount of money required to effectively manage an individual's condition, ensuring that the right kind of health care is available and that the person's needs are met. The amount is agreed between the patient (or their representative) and their local NHS team. It can be used to pay for things like therapies, equipment and personal care. Personal health budgets do not mean changes to the care and support that a patient is already receiving, but they do open up opportunities to explore health care options that may be more effective.

There are different ways that an individual can manage their budgets. One option is that they receive the continuing healthcare funding directly in order to buy the necessary health care and support they need from the local NHS team. The patient or their representative must manage the services effectively, and be able to provide evidence as to where the money has been spent. Another option is to outsource health budgets to a third party. The budget will be held by the organization and they will help the patient decide what they need. Once this has been agreed by the local NHS team, the organization will buy the selected care and support on behalf of the patient, thus removing the aspect of them dealing with financial matters.

When in receipt of their budget, a patient takes on the role of an employer. In effect, the patient employs healthcare workers and support workers with their continuing healthcare funding. Many patients will have no experience of employment legislation and the tax and insurances that must be in place in order to legally employ a person. This is where the management of personal health budgets by a third party would be beneficial to the patient, removing any element of stress and worry that may be detrimental to the individual's health.

Specialist companies that assist in managing individual health budgets can help a service user manage their own personal health budget. They take on the everyday management of payslip provision, wages, tax issues and general administration in order to remove the burden from the patient. They can also arrange for personal health loans to be paid directly to them from the local council, to avoid using the patient's personal bank account. Alternately, the patient can receive the budget themselves and then in turn employ the services of a company that manages personal health budgets to deal with the financial matters. Whichever option the service user chooses, they can expect to receive a high standard of service and support from one of the professional leading service providers.

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What’s in Every Student Nurse’s Clinical Bag?

It is not easy being a student nurse. In fact, it is a very stressful time. The trials and difficulties that every student nurse goes through will help filter out those who really want to be nursed and those who thought the job was “cute”. If you want to have a good nurse, you need to take your studies seriously. As such you need to have the right equipment in your clinical bag. This will help you have an easier time during your studies. In order to do this, your clinical bag needs to include certain books, products as well as stethoscopes like the Littmann Master Classic II Stethoscope or the Littmann Classic II SE. If you are a nurse and you want to know what to have in your clinical bag, here is a list to help you.

• Syllabus – having a syllabus handy enables you to prepare for your classes accordingly. In the medical world, preparation is very important. It will help you get ahead.

• Diagnostic Lab Binder – this will help you keep track of the laboratory records of the patients assigned to you. Having the lab book or binder handy enables you to familiarize with the condition of each of your patients.

• Complete Medical Handbook – this type of book has many versions. At the bottomline, having a book that lists down every known medical condition and every known treatment for it as a friendly reference is going to help you as a student nurse. Every time you come across a new case, you can review the treatment procedures using the handbook.

• Drug book – the IPAMS is an example of a Drug book. The Drug book lists down all the existing medicines and the ailments and conditions that these drugs treat. This is a pretty handy reference especially for student nurses who are still not familiar with the common medicines used to treat various medical conditions.

. Lotion – being a nurse is a stressful job. Stress can dry up your skin. As such it is a good idea to have some lotion handy to keep your skin from drying up.

• Hand sanitizer – being exposed to sick people requires you to take precautions. Hand sanitizer keeps you free from germs and other contagious agents.

• Stethoscopes – finally, no nurse's clinical bag is complete without a good stethoscope. As a student nurse, it is highly recommended that you invest in a very good unit You have to understand that you will be using this device all the time not just in school, but in your nursing career.

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Choosing a New EMR – Transferring Data and Resolving Integrity Issues Using a Data Conversion

Consider the dilemma of change or not change software and the question attached to it: convert the data or leave it behind. There is no doubt the data is valuable, you have paid a bunch of money to get it. It is also clear what the condition of the data appears to be in your current system. The question then is when you remove it from that system how much of it will correlate in your new system? The answer will be a bit different depending on three factors.

  • The data integrity requirements of the new system
  • The hidden quality and integrity of your data in your old system
  • The skill and interest level of your conversion team

Data Integrity
Each system has data integrity requirements that are built in by the database structure. Some of these can not be compromised by the application code such as a duplicate patient ID. If that patient ID is a KEY in the data base, it can not be duplicated. The database engine will not allow it. However, if it is not a database KEY then duplicate patient IDs can get into the system whether allowed by the application or not. We see it all the time and clients are usually surprised to see duplicates which their software does not allow. However, when they see specific patient records and their relative patient IDs it is no longer a mystery. Often we hear a comment like “oh yes, I know where those came from. We used those numbers to identify …”.

This becomes important when choosing a new system. The people who provide the demonstration of its capabilities most likely do not know the restrictions or lack of them in the database design. They do know what the application requires and as the example noted above demonstrates, that is not necessarily what you get.

Your old system
This same dialogue applies to your old software but usually to a higher degree of dysfunction. It is older software, built when data integrity rules in the industry were something less stringent. The database engines at the time they were designed may not have provided for as much integrity as was needed so it was programmed into the application. This did not always produce satisfactory results. These conditions allow for a higher level of uncoordinated data, lack of integrity in older systems than what is often found in newer systems.

The data conversion team:
Data conversion technicians are no different in the variation of their skill levels than any other group of professionals. For example, you probably know a plumber or attorney who work you do not like. The same goes for conversion technicians. There are some who will be careful and detailed and thorough, and others who will not. A statement like “your old data does not support what you want done” may be true. It may also be translated as “I can not make your data work”. Or “I can not work any longer on your conversion because the money you paid for it has run out”.

A closing thought
It is also worth while to ask about the credentials of the people who designed the system. A database expert (not a programmer) and a user expert (not a front office clerk) are the minimum essentials for the design team. If the question is not answered in any meaningful way you would do well to be suspect. Internal system integrity is as important as features and functions.

Changing software does not have to be a nightmare. The costs can be managed to be reasonable. Data conversions can provide good, useful results. Ask questions. Compare the answers across the board. Do not make an emotional decision, that will be bad for your practice and your pocketbook.

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4 Facts That You Need To Know About Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens (BBPs) are everywhere and can be easily transmitted from person to person. As microorganisms in the blood and bodily fluids, BBPs can be transmitted when blood or bodily fluids come in contact with one another through open cuts, sexual contact, or injured blood.

Most people tend to think of HIV as the most common BBP, but syphilis, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C are all common illnesses that are transmitted through BBPs. A simple way to protect your self from these easily transmitted diseases is to sterilize and disinfect the areas where the person infected is staying, take precautions in the event that you may have to get in touch with the infected persons blood or bodily fluids with wearing gloves and masks. Since this is a large issue for many people, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) issued standards and regulations in 1991 to improve the containment of these potentially deadly diseases. Below are some fun facts about BBPs and OHSA's regulations.

• The OSHA has taken measures to protect employees within the work place by imposing standards that companies who employ at risk individuals (individuals who have the potential of coming in contact with blood or other bodily fluids) must follow. Some simple measures established by OSHA include wearing protective clothing and latex gloves.

• The OSHA has also required employers of at risk individuals to train employees upon hire and then review that training on an annual basis. Trainees will learn about how to define the various BBPs and why they are dangerous, indentify exposure risks, and prevention and handling practices of things like needle sticks.

• Some other simple precautions to take against BBPs are washing hands, never picking up glass or sharp objects with your bare hands, disposing medical waste properly, never smashing overflowing trash cans with your hands or feet, cleaning tables and equipment after each use, covering all cuts, open sores, and dermatitis, get a hepatitis B vaccine, and report all accident needle pokes. Although there are many precautions to take and diseases like HIV / AIDS or Hepatitis B / C are very serious, it is also important to remember that every exposure does not mean infection; however, if you are exposed it is still important to make a visit to your doctor.

• Exposure to BBPs does not necessarily have to be direct either, as there are several ways to be exposed to BBPs. Indirect exposure like picking up another person's soiled dressings is one way of coming in contact with another's infected blood or bodily fluids, while even inhaling in droplets from an an infected person can potentially measure exposure. Perhaps more frightening is vector-borne transmissions, where a person's skin is penetrated by an infectious source, such as mosquito's or other insects.

Although BBPs have the potential to be everywhere, there are many simple methods you can do to protect yourself without seeming too dramatic. Many companies even require BBP training, but it is always a good idea to get the training anyway and make sure that you know how to best protect yourself from these microorganisms.

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Double Your Sex Drive With Male Enhancement Pills

It is pretty hard to say for how many years one can have sex. But it would great if one can perform at his best every time he has having sex, even on days when you are not up to it. Surely it is going to be great. But this herbal sexual enhancer can work well. It works as an instant libido booster. It is like a miracle in one's sex life. Many men have a wrong concept about these sexual enhancement pills. If sexual enhancement pills can help then everyone could have consumed it. But the true fact is taking the right pill is the actual solution. Different male sexual enhancer solves different problems so it is always advised to know which one best suits one's need.

What this sexual enhancement can do is amazing. It can send one's libido in an overdrive in just minutes even though one is not in a mood for sex. It increases the blood flow which increases the size of the penal that will help you t please your partner. This male sexual enhancement ensures harder and longer erection. It also keeps your penis hard even after ejaculation. The best part of the male sexual enhancement is that one does not have to take it for weeks to enjoy the revitalizing effect of sex. If taken 10 to 3 minutes before sex it will give one the best pleasure he has dreamt about. Once the herbs get into the body its effect stays up to 4 days.

Male Enhancement Pills are also sex enhancement supplement but this penis not only activates one's hormones but it also increases the length of the penis. But the question is how safe it is and how much it can be effective. There are many who are not happy with the size of their penis. For them the best way to rekindle the lost passion is to have best male enhancement pills. But in the market there are penis pills which not only increase the length and generation of the penis but also increase the libido. There are many penis pills that give the combined effect of sex pills also.

Therefore it is recommended to do a detailed inquiry about the Male Enhancement Pills or also known as the penis pills that is to be consumed. Different individual can have different side effects so it is better to read the directions and side effects clearly. What the penis pills or the sex pills do is simple. It increments sperm density, helps in strengthening and toning of sexual glands, increase in blood flow to the genitals and increase in testosterone level. But the difference between sexually pills and penis pills is that penis pills increases the length along with these above activities whereas sex pills only do the above activities. So before buying or consuming best male enhancement pills it is good to do a detailed research about both the sexual enhancement pills, otherwise one can be disappointed in the long run.

Men who are suffering from male sexual conditions for many months or even years but has not gone for medications owing to certain doubts and fears often regarding the efficiency of these penis enlargement pills and especially if they contain a well known herbal ingredient called Asian Ginseng. This supplement has been used in the East countries for almost thousands of years during the age of educated rishis and gurus as an energy providing item and also as a method to cure malaise. Its contains a highly effective ingredient which is known as ginsenoside which has the power to supply a healthy flow of blood to the brain and the penis. In male enhancement pills which contain ginseng, as its most important ingredient, most producers generally add vitamins A, C, D and E so as to make sure that the ginseng produces the optimal result while circulating in the body.

It is highly advised that you do a thorough study on the industry and the user ratings of various male enhancement pills that are available in the market before using them. This will provide you an idea of ​​what brand of penis enlargement pills to use and also about the ingredients that are contained in them and how efficiently they will improve male virility, increase the volume of sperm ejaculation or increase the size of the penis. The answer to the question about the effectivity of these pills lies in the billion dollar industry that deals with male sexual health, and in the growth of this industry day by day more and more men are choosing these pills to reduce enhancement dissatisfaction with the various enhancement pills that are available in the market.

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Seniors: Sign Up for Coverage, Get Fit Today!

Worried about staying in shape as you approach old age? Consider Medicare Advantage.

Many Medicare Advantage programs offer fitness and weight-loss programs to older adults. The SilverSneakers program, offered through many Humana plans, offers adults around the country a free gym membership and access to fitness classes tailor to their needs. These include such offerings as SilverSneakers Yoga Stretch, guided stretching exercises with chair support, SilverSplash, a shower-water exercise routine designed to improve muscular endurance and CardioFit, a low-impact exercise class that leaves participants energized. Other favorites include SilverSneakers Muscular Strength and Range of Movement which keeps older adults strong and flexible,

For those inclined to design their own workouts, SilverSneakers gives members access to a pool, sauna, exercise room and other available equipment. A trained program advisor is available on-site to assist members in their exercise plans, as well. For consultations at home, online help is available for those looking to quite smoking, lessen stress and lose weight. In particular, online tool Easy Quit is provided to tailor a smoking cessation tool to each user. Now is the time to lower blood pressure, improve lung capacity and get healthy!

Many older adults do not know enough about what they could be doing to get healthier and lighten the load of their healthcare costs. In this, Medicare Advantage plans step in to fill the information gap. Firstly, SilverSneakers provides seminars on healthcare topics. Also, most Medicare Advantage carriers maintain twenty-four hour help lines staffed by registered nurses to answer any health questions that may arise. This saves members the trouble of going into the hospital for every minor worry or complaint. Also available in some Medicare Advantage programs is Nutrisystem. Nutrisystem is an easy way to diet for those who can not get out to a nutritionist or assemble the materials to cook perfectly tailor meals. Participants fill out a form online and get ready-to-cook meal ingredients right to their door! It's far-and-away the most convenient option for seniors.

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 MA plans.

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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing – Getting Ahead With Faster Turnarounds

All contract pharma manufacturers are bound by the same industry levels of quality control, trying to go against guidelines to make a drug that is better in some way will simply result in the product being rejected and never making it to market. Entering into a price war, can be a good short term way of attracting clients, but soon enough, prices will begin to be undercut, or matched by companies with better reputations.

The only clear way of gaining an advantage over competitors is to offer faster turnaround times. The benefits of a faster turnaround are obvious: products are manufactured and delivered quicker, thus getting to market quicker and giving the pharmaceutical company the edge over their competitors. Faster turnaround also results in shorter production and cash cycles.

The Options

The most common way of achieving a faster turnaround is to add capacity. This can be done by expanding operations; buying more equipment and hiring more staff. Investment in a high-speed production line is a sure way of speeding up processes and is purchased high-end hot melt extrusion machinery. Hiring more staff and adding a second or third shift to operations will also help boost production efficiency. However, the best way of getting a fast turnaround time may be found in the use of rapid microbial methods (RMMs).

Rapid Microbial Methods

RMMs can be used by any contract pharmaceutical manufacturer company and presents a much quicker way of obtaining definitive results during testing when compared to traditional microbiological methods. By using modern rapid testing systems results are displayed in clear graphics that are color-coded for easy identification. Results can be provided in just 24 hours, often 17 days quicker than tradition methods.

By introducing RMMs into the manufacturing process, contract pharma companies are able to:

• Quickly reduce inventory and stock requirements
• Reduce waste
• Use less energy and water
• Adapt quickly to the ever-changing needs and demands of clients
• Recover quicker from contamination events

These benefits give contract manufacturers a clear edge over competitors using traditional methods and will give them the ability to attract more customers. Reducing energy and inventory space also present financial rewards to contract manufacturers, allowing them to save money and take on more work. Many of the global leaders in pharmaceuticals are already using RMMs for testing, and it is only a matter of time before more companies begin to demand that pharmaceutical manufacturers use them too.

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10 Essentials and Benefits of Proper Juicing

10 Essentials of “Proper Juicing”

1. Keep vegetables and fruits separated as a general rule. Apples are OK with vegetables but in most other cases do not use both food types in the same drink and separate the eating of the two by about 30 minutes.

2. Make it a priority to absorb the vast majority of your raw vegetables by juicing them in order to maximize the nutrition you take in and to access more nutrients.

3. Fresh raw vegetables – Juiced – will result in access more nutrients than by any other means. Juice 2 to 3 times a day and eating one large salad is ideal. However, juicing once a day 4+ days a week would be beneficial.

4. Preserve the life force of raw foods by juicing or eating the majority of them raw for your greater benefit and your greatest wellness.

5. Juice consistently through the week for the best nutrition and rewarding results. Shoot for a minimum of 65% of your diet being raw foods juiced or ateen with 85% being ideal for the very best results.

6. Develop a consistent juicing routine that works best for you – the benefits are well worth the changes this may require.

7. Be as careful as you can to get the best quality Food and Juice your budget will allow. This will determine the quality and quantity of juice you get and drink.

8. Focus on Vegetable Juicing, drinking the rainbow of colors displayed through the whole wide world of vegetables.

9. Take a minimum of 9 days on a consistent juicing routine combined with some cooked and some raw food. Enjoy the results!

10. When storing fresh juice do it immediately, fill it FULL, seal it tightly and refrigerate or freeze right away!

Some Benefits of “Proper Juicing” Include:

1. A much easier way to acquire the recommended daily requirements of fruits and vegetables for our best health and greatest wellness.

2. Much more nutritional value and delivered more efficiently by absorption

3. Nutritional values ​​are enhanced beyond any other method

4. Keeps blood pressure better controlled, even reduced

5. Returns your body to its natural weight – amazing weight control

6. Removes stress from your digestive system – Removes Stress, Period.

7. Healing of your body takes place from stem to stern – through

8. Much better results than prescription medications with Zero side effects

9. Oops – one side effect – great weight control, oh, and lots of people reporting lost symptoms of previous problems – oh well … those we can live with!

10. Greater energy will be yours within days of consistently juicing – Try it!

11. The energy you gain is natural not induced by stimulants you can not pronounce.

Take your own energy drink to work with you for a power packed day!

12. A renewed quality of life by feeling a lot better than you have for a long time!

13. It's easy: buy some fruits, clean, cut and place in your extractor then enjoy drinking the juice and clean-up!

14. Better clarity of mind in terms of thinking and memory

15. Sleeping will improve – for most folks

16. Much more bang for your buck! We save money from our previous food bills

17. Many report healing from cancer, heart problems, diabetes, leaky gut, better eye health and a whole host of other issues. What will your results be?

18. Stay well while others around you get sick – juices almost never get sick

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Medicare’s Prescription Drug (Part D) Coverage Gap: The Donut Hole

With the new Affordable Care Act taking action, many Medicare related topics are going to be subject to consequent change. One of these topics is Medicare's Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D). One of the largest changes that is likely to occur is Part D's coverage gap-the “donut hole”. The Affordable Care Act contains benefits that will help make prescription drug coverage more affordable enabling more people to benefit from this plan. These benefits include:

  • A discount on brand-name drugs when purchased through a pharmacy or mail order
  • Partial coverage for generic drugs

What is a Donut hole, how do I get out of it, and how do I save money while in it?

Most Medicare Prescription Drug Plans have a limit on what they cover for prescription drugs; this limit is the “coverage gap” -also known as the “Donut Hole.” This coverage gap starts after you and your drug plan have spent a certain amount of money for covered brand-name drugs. Under the Affordable Care Act, once you reach the coverage gap you will be given a discount of 50% (in 2012) on brand-name drugs and a 14% discount on generic drugs . Over the next few years you will begin to pay less in the coverage gap until 2020 when the donut hole will be absolutely closed. Once you have reached the coverage gap limit you are held responsible to pay all retail drug costs out-of-pocket up to a yearly limit until you reach the “catastrophic” coverage ($ 4,700 as of 2012). Your yearly deductible, coinsurance / copayments and what you pay while in the donut hole all count towards your out-of-pocket yearly limit but the pharmacy's dispensary costs do not. However this limit does not include your monthly premiums from your Part D plan or what you pay for drugs that are not covered by the plan.

In short, while a person is in the coverage gap (donut hole) they must pay all expenses for their drug costs until they have reached that “catastrophic” limit- $ 4,700. Once you reach this limit you will then be only required to pay a nominal coinsurance fee for your medicines for the rest of that year-statistically meaning once you spend $ 4,700 out-of-pocket, you will only be liable to pay a small copayment for the rest of the year. Fortunately, there are some other ways you can save while in the coverage gap:

  • You are currently enrolled in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes prescription drug coverage (HMO or PPO, for example).
  • You do not receive Low-Income Subsidy “Extra-Help” for prescription drugs-Medicare program that provides people with limited income to help pay drug costs.
  • You have already reached the donut hole

Still confused? Take Mrs. Smith, for example:

Mrs. Smith has just entered the coverage gap: she goes to the pharmacy to buy her monthly prescribed brand-name drugs. The price is $ 40 and the dispensary is $ 5. Because of the discount she receives – 50% – she pays only $ 20 + the $ 5 dispensary cost = $ 25. Mrs. Smith will be responsible to pay $ 25 for her brand-name prescription but the full cost ($ 45) will count as the out-of-pocket limit helping her climb out of the coverage gap.

Lastly, the Medicare insurance experts at MedicareSolutions are available to help you further understand your rites as a Part D beneficiary.

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Commonly Asked Questions of Medicare Agents

If you've just started looking into Medicare, you might be confused about the options available to you. Here are a few questions that many older adults have as approach retirement.

How Do I Apply for Original Medicare?

If you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while you were working and you're receiving Social Security, you will receive a Medicare card in the mail three months before your sixty-fifth birthday and automatically be managed in Part A (hospital insurance) on your birthday. If you are not receiving Social Security because you're still working, you must contact Social Security directly to enroll in Medicare during your initial enrollment period (the three months before your birthday and the three months after). If you did not pay Medicare taxes while working, you must contact Social Security directly to purchase Part A.

If you are an automatic Part A enrollee you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B – the medical insurance component of Medicare – at the same time, the first day of the month you turn sixty-five. Part B costs a standard premium amount for almost everyone. If you are not an automatic enrollee and choose not to enroll in Part B when you apply for Part A because you or your spouse are still working and on an employer's plan, you may do so during the General Enrollment period (January 1-March 31 each year, coverage begins July 1) or the Special Enrollment Period. The Special Enrollment Period allows you to sign up for Part B anytime while you have employer-based group coverage or during the eight-month period after that employment or employer-based coverage ends (whichever happens first). If you enroll using the General Enrollment Period, you may be subject to a late enrollment penalty for not enrolling when you first became eligible.

What Can I Purchase to Supplement Original Medicare?

Medicare Supplement plans are standardized, and so carry the same benefits no matter which carrier you purchase them from. During your open enrollment period (the first six months in which you are both sixty-five and enrolled in Medicare Part B), an insurance company can not deny you any Medigap policy it sells, make you wait for coverage to start or charge you more due to a pre-existing condition. These plans vary but include benefits like the first three pints of blood when you're hospitalized, excess charges for Part B and coinsurance for skilled nursing facility care.

Medicare Advantage are private insurance plans that contract with the government to provide Medicare coverage (including medical and hospital needs). Oftentimes they include Part D (prescription drug) coverage in addition to traditional benefits and usually require an out-of-pocket premium. Some of these plans – such as HMOs and PPOs – restrict the services you can use to their provider networks. However, they can often lower your health care costs. You may enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan when you first became eligible for Medicare or between November 15-December 31 or January 1-March 31 each year.

Prescription Drug Plans are standardone plans purchased to offer drug coverage. Usually these are not needed if you purchase a Medicare Advantage plan.

What is the Late Enrollment Penalty?
For Medicare Part B (which, unlike Part A, is not always automatic), every year in which you do not enroll in Part B after you become eligible will add ten percent to your monthly premium when you do. This is to discourage older people from delaying enrollment until they get sick.

The Part D penalty is calculated by multiplying 1% of the national base beneficiary premium by the number of full months you were eligible for coverage, but did not enroll. In addition, you can be penalized anytime you go a period of 63 days or more without a Medicare prescription drug plan or some other creditable coverage (from a former employer, for example).

What is the Medicare Donut Hole?
The Medicare coverage gap (often called the “donut hole”) refers to the way Medicare drug benefits are structured in which beneficies must bear 100% of the cost of drugs after their drugs add up to a certain price but bear only a nominal (5) %) cost after they catastrophic spending levels. However, beneficiaries receive a 50% manufacturer-paid discount on covered brand-name drugs (although the full price will count towards the catastrophic limit) and a 14% discount on covered generic drugs. Due to the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act of 2010, this is set to slowly close before effectively being eliminated in 2020.

Does Medicare Cover Preventive Care?

Due to growing recognition about the value of preventive care, Medicare does cover many aspects of preventive care such as:

• A yearly physical, including a “Welcome to Medicare” visit during your first twelve months.

• A yearly cardiovascular screening.

• Two fast blood glucose screenings (diabetes exams).

• All people are eligible for a screening colonoscopy generally once every 10 years, once every 2 years if you're at high risk. Beneficiaries over age 50 are eligible for a fecal occult blood tests once every 12 months, and a flexible sigmoidoscopy once every 4 years.

• Annual mammograms for women over forty (Medicare also pays for one baseline mammogram for women with Medicare between ages 35 and 39).

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Will the Stethoscope App Replace the Classic Device?

One of the most important medical devices used by medical professionals is the stethoscope. This instrument is the primary diagnostic tool used by doctors. With a stethoscope, they are able to determine if something is wrong with their patient by just listening to the sounds of their patient's body. They use this medical device to listen to the heart beat, breathing as well as the sound of the stomach. This is the main reason why almost all doctors demand nothing but the best stethoscopes like the Littmann Master Classic II Stethoscope or the Littmann Classic II SE. However, there is a new innovation in medical technology called the Stethoscope App.

Using an Apple iPhone, doctors can listen to the heartbeat of their patients without using a traditional unit. Here are a couple of highlights about this application:

Uses the Accurate Microphone Of The iPhone

The iPhone has a very accurate microphone. If you press it against your skin, it can easily detect the heartbeat. The said special app then amplifies the signal before passing it through a special algorithm that is used to analyze the signal. This is one of the best applications available for the iPhone. It perfectly takes advantage of the capabilities of the smartphone for medical use. It is no wonder that this app has over 3 million downloads to date.

More Accurate Heart Rate Count

With this particular application, the heart rate of a patient can be recorded more accurately. This is because it automatically graphs the heart beat and displays it on the iPhone's screen. Because of this, medical professionals can use this data to diagnose their patients accurately. It also helps them double double their initial testing using traditional stethoscopes.

Makes For More Efficient Consultations

Prior to the invention of such program, medical practitioners need to record the heart beat to a sound recorder and send the file to other collections for consultation. This took too much time and effort. However, with this application, they can just send it to other doctors to consult directly from their iPhones. This cuts down the consultation process and led to faster treatments for their patients.

Not a Replacement for Traditional Stethoscopes

Doctors should use the Stethoscope App side by side with traditional stethoscopes. The software still has many limitations and there are many things that only traditional stethoscopes can do. This is the main reason why it is really highly recommended that doctors still stick with traditional stethoscopes and just use the Stethoscope App when they actually need it or if there is a specific application in mind. They should work together not replace one over the other.

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Mesothelioma Chemotherapy: Is It a Good Treatment Option?

In the medical world, there have been different approaches to the treatment of mesothelioma cancer. One form of treatment that is being administrated by some doctors is chemotherapy. Is mesothelioma chemotherapy really worth anything to people?

Basically, mesothelioma chemotherapy refers to the use of medications to deal with the health problem of mesothelioma cancer. There are different ways by which chemotherapy can be administered, and the common ones involve the use of pills and intravenous medicines.

In addition, mesothelioma chemotherapy can be administered directly to the affected area of ​​the body. A typical case is that of patients who receive intra-peritoneal chemotherapy. The medical procedure is usually done after a surgical operation to remove tumors. It is also referred to as chemotherapy wash in which the medications or drugs are slowly heated and left to stay in the peritoneum for few hours and then subjected to drained. The treatment makes the drugs to be in direct contact with the affected cancerous region. The purpose of heating the drugs to normal body temperature is to increase the capacity of the chemicals to penetrate the affected tissues.

Of a truth, receiving chemotherapeutic cancer treatment is not bearable to most patients. Mesothelioma patients will need some determination to go through the whole procedure without mind the side effects. Since this mesothelioma treatment option has been found to be the most promising, most people often choose to accept it.

Generally, it is expected that an oncologist who is experienced in the treatment of mesothelioma should be able to choose the most effective drugs that can be used for mesothelioma chemotherapy. Such a person will have to tell the mesothelioma patient what to expect in respect of the side effects of the treatment.

It is worthy of note that chemotherapeutic drugs and their reactions vary from one patient to the other. Generally speaking, side effects can range from being mild to being severe. After receiving the treatment, you should report to your physician whenever your body reacts to the chemotherapy.

Here are common side effects of chemotherapy:

1. Fatigue
2. Fever and cold
3. Low platelet counts (this can disallow blood clotting)
4. Loss of appetite
5. Low white blood cell count (which leaves you prone to infections)
6. Nausea
7. Vomiting
8. Hair loss
9. Constipation
10. Depression
11. Rashes
12. Generalized body aches

Cases of any infections, high fever, urine that has traces of blood, or undue loss of appetite must be reported to your physician immediately since these are often termed as life-threatening symptoms.

To some extent, mesothelioma chemotherapy is a good treatment option as long as you can manage the symptoms until they eventually disappear. Nonetheless, this requires the supervision of your doctor.

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Medigap Plan F

Medigap Plan F is the most popular Medicare supplement plan in the nation. The reason is simple. Plan F currently covers the most out-of-pocket Medicare expenses.

However, changes may be on the horizon for Plan F. These potential changes, along with changes already being made to Medicare as a result the Affordable Care Act, mean Medigap customers need to shop around for 2012.

Medicare Supplement Policies-including Plan F-Still a Smart Choice

For many people, a Medicare Supplement Policy, like Plan F, is still a great way to protect against deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance and other out-of-pocket expenses that Medicare does not cover. In fact, two new Medicare Supplement policies, M and N, are now available so you have even more ways to save.

As of today, Plan F still provides the greatest amount of protection from out-of-pocket expenses. But if lawmakers on Capitol Hill continue to view Medicare Supplement policies, and specifically Plan F, as a place to cut costs, consumers should start thinking about a back up plan.

Know Your Options

The most important thing is to understand exactly what's available to you. This can be tricky, because not all insurance companies offer all Medigap plans, and offers tend to different by state. In addition, Plan F is also available as a high-deductible plan in some areas. That means you'll pay a lower monthly premium, but you'll have to meet a deductible of about $ 2,000 before the plan pays anything.

With so many potential changes on the horizon, there are a number of options you might want to consider:

Purchase Plan F Before Anything Changes

Congress continues to look for ways to reduce spending, including making changes to Medicare Supplement policies. One proposal would see Part B premiumss rise by as much as 30% for anyone with a Medigap plan that provides first dollar coverage, like Plan F. Until Congress acts, however, Plan F will remain unchanged, offering solid protection from out-of- pocket expenses. So, if you've ever considered purchasing Plan F, now may be the time, before anything changes.

Take a Look at the Other Available Medigap Plans

Now that Medicare provides more coverage for preventive services, you may not need all the coverage that Plan F provides. With nine other plans to choose from, including the new plans M and N, there may be another Medicare Supplement policies that meets your needs as well, or better, than Plan F.

Consider a Medicare Advantage Plan

While Medigap plans each cover a very specific set of services or expenses not covered by Medicare, Medicare Advantage policies take a broader approach. These plans offer all the same benefits, plus additional services like dental and vision screenings, hearing checks, wellness programs, annual exams and more. Many MA Plans even come with prescription drug coverage.

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Medicare Coverage and Travel Abroad

Many seniors take the opportunity to travel when they retire, finally getting away on the long, lingering vacations they dreamed about during their working years. Others live in border areas and routinely cross national boundaries as they go about their business. Either way, If you hope to take Medicare benefits with you abroad then choosing the right sort of plan to purchase will take you a long way.

Medicare covers expenses incurred in the United States (including Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the US Virgin Islands and American Samoa) except in the following circumstances:

– A patient is traveling through Canada from Alaska to the closest state in the US without unreasonable delay, experience a medical emergency and a Canadian hospital that can treat your ailment is closer than a US hospital. Medicare decides what constitutes unreasonable delay on a case-by-case basis.

– A Medicare patient get sick or injured in the US and there is a foreign hospital closer than the nearest US hospital.

– There is a foreign hospital closer to a patient's home, regardless of whether or not a particular emergency arises.
In addition, Medicare can not cover prescription drugs purchased outside the United States.

If you're on a cruise ship in a US port or more more than six hours away from the United States, Medicare will pay for medical services received so long as the provider is legally able to provide services at sea.

Please note that foreign hospitals are not required to submit Medicare claims. If you can not get a US hospital to submit your claim, you must submit an itemized bill for services rendered.

Standard Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, M and N cover 80% of certain medically necessary services outside of the United States after you meet a $ 250 deductible. These plans cover you during your first sixty days of travel and only if Medicare does not cover the care. There is a $ 50,000 lifetime limit on emergency foreign travel coverage. Please note that dialysis is only covered in the event of an emergency.

Medicare Advantage often covers services abroad, especially in cases of emergency. Usually, though, extra charges will be incurred by seeing providers outside your plan's network. For specific information, check a plan of evidence of coverage or summary of benefits documents. When in doubt, always call and speak to a representative at your carrier.

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Medicare Part D

Begun in 2006, Medicare Part D, or prescription drug coverage, is the most recent addition to the Medicare program. Now, anyone with Medicare Parts A and B is also eligible for Medicare Part D.

A few things to note about Part D:
• Medicare prescription drug coverage is available only through private health insurers approved by Medicare
• You can purchase a stand-alone plan (MA-PD), or your drug coverage can be bundled with a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C)
• Prices and coverage may vary from plan to plan, so it pays to shop around
• If you do not sign up for prescription drug coverage (or have some other form of creditable drug coverage) as soon as you're eligible, you'll be charged a late enrollment penalty

When to Enroll

Because Part D has a late enrollment penalty, just like Part B, it's important that you enroll as soon as you're eligible. You're eligible when:
• You turn 65 (you may enroll starting 3 months before your 65th birthday, the month of your birthday, and up to 3 months after your month month)
• You're under 65 and disabled
• You enroll in Part B (whether or not you have Part A)

If you do not enroll at one of these times, you can be charged a late enrollment penalty. In addition, you can be penalized anytime you go a period of 63 days or more without a Medicare prescription drug plan or some other creditable coverage (from a former employer, for example).

The penalty itself is calculated by multiplying 1% of the national base beneficiary premium by the number of full months you were eligible for coverage, but did not enroll. You can learn more about the Part D late enrollment penalty at Medicare.gov.

Two Ways to Get Coverage

While Medicare prescription drug coverage is only available through private health insurers, there are two ways you can receive your coverage:
• A stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (MA-PD)
• A Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan with prescription drug coverage included

If you have original Medicare and do not want to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan, then you'll need to enroll in a stand-alone MA-PD to avoid a late enrollment penalty (unless you have creditable coverage). While many Medicare Advantage plans offer prescription drug coverage as part of the plan, there are some that do not. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan that does not offer drug coverage, you'll need to find a stand-alone MA-PD.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Prescription Drug Plan

While price is always important, it's not the only thing to consider when shopping for a prescription drug plan. You'll want to keep these other issues in mind when making a decision:


A plan's formulary is just a list of the indications the plan covers. If one or more of the medications you take is not on a plan's formulary, you'll want to look elsewhere.


Most plans have a network of pharmacies that they want you to use in order to get the best prices. If you go to a pharmacy that's not in your plan's network, you may have to pay more for your prescriptions. Make sure your preferred pharmacy is in your plan's network.

Mail Order

Many prescription drug plans can give you a lower price if you have your medicine sent to you by mail. The plan may also require that you get a 3-month supply at a time. In most cases, this is not a problem, but you may want to check with your doctor to make sure mail order is right for your medines.

Service & Convenience

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage, there's just one company to contact if there's ever an issue with your coverage. If you're prescription drug plan is with a different carrier than your other Medicare coverage, it may be more difficult to coordinate benefits between plans.

A Word about the Donut Hole

If you've done any research into Medicare Prescription Drug Plans at all, you've probably heard about the so-called donut hole. The donut hole is a gap in coverage that occurs once you and your plan have met a pre-set spending limit for drugs. When that limit is reached, your drug plan stops paying, and you're responsible for 100% of your drug costs, for a time. If you reach the next spending plateau, the drug plan kicks back in and pays an even higher portion of your drug costs.

Keep in mind that every prescription drug plan currently comes with a donut hole. The good news, however, is that many people never reach the donut hole. What's more, there are discounts available on both brand and generic drugs for those who do reach the donut hole, and the coverage gap should be phased out all together by the year 2020.

When You're Ready to Enroll

If you're eligible for Part D and ready to enroll, there are plenty of resources available to help you. There's detailed information about Part D at Medicare.gov, as well as a Medicare Plan Finder. You can also find out of you qualify for Extra Help paying for your prescription drugs.

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