Tag: Medical

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Time, volume of patients, and previously undiagnosed conditions all contribute to making the initial patient examination challenging for the dedicated physician. Therefore, thermal imaging with an infrared camera system can be an efficient and highly objective way to get valuable physiological information that can make a difference. It is absolutely non-contact, with no radiation or penetrating forces being sent into the body.

The thermal imaging test facilitates early diagnosis and successful treatment plans. It may help to avoid the necessity for performing more invasive tests that could be painful, stressful, or even hazardous, along with those procedures that might prolong recovery.

The scanning of children and expectant mothers are excellent examples of the value with thermal imaging. At the Department of Pediatric Surgery, Medical University of Graz, Austria, “IRT (infrared thermal imaging) was found to be an excellent noninvasive tool in the follow-up of hemangiomas, vascular malformations and digit amputations related to reimplantation, burns as well as skin and vascular growth after biomaterial implants in newborns with gastroschisis and giant omphaloceles. In the emergency room, it was a valuable tool for rapid diagnosis of extremity thrombosis, varicoceles, inflammation, abscesses, gangrene and wound infections.”

With the expectant mother, the thermal image poses no risk to the baby, especially if the mother is complaining of other health conditions or suffers from low back problems. The University of Michigan, Department of Ob-Gyn in the mid 1990’s conducted a study with infrared thermal imaging for the evaluation of preterm rupture of the fetal membranes. It showed potential for being a sensitive clinical indicator for chorioamniotic infection. It’s an ideal test to provide the physician with additional information which can be used to better treat the mother.

Thermal imaging has applications in breast oncology, neurology, integrative medicine, plastic surgery, dentistry, orthopedics, acupuncture, occupational medicine, pain management, vascular medicine, cardiology and veterinary medicine. Novel uses now being developed include sleep studies and stress research.

One of the controversial applications has been for breast examinations. Of some note is the recognition that invasive breast cancer in its early stages exhibits little structural abnormality (thus escaping routine structural imaging recognition). Rather, it is detected often by a skilled technician using their hands to assess the side to side breast temperature differential. Unfortunately, a poorly conducted U.S. National Cancer Institute study in the late 1970’s with untrained physicians and cumbersome early thermal cameras tainted the prospects of the test being used extensively in this area. The emphasis was directed towards mammography.

Despite early advocates of the test, it was not until the late 1990’s, with improved efficiency and sensitivity of infrared imaging cameras, did the viability of thermal imaging for breast evaluations become recognized. Most recently, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Cornell, NY, found infrared thermal imaging to be “a valuable adjunct to mammography and ultrasound, especially in women with dense breast parenchyma.” While it is not a replacement for the mammogram, the non-radiating aspect is certainly attractive. The level of ease for conducting the test, with regular risk-free follow-up at low cost, is also appealing.

As thermal imaging is adjunctive, it is not considered solely diagnostic. In relation to X-rays, it can complement the structural information, leading to a more thorough examination. It also helps with other imaging methods by enabling a more precise set of views, rather than a generalized approach, thereby reducing exposure. At the Department of Neurosurgery in Yongdong Hospital, Seoul, Korea, “the areas of thermal change in cervical disc herniation can be helpful in diagnosing the level of disc protrusion and in detecting the symptomatic level in multiple cervical disc herniation patients.”

Some patients are not candidates for MRI, for example, and therefore, thermal imaging is a low cost initial step, especially when symptoms are non-specific or multi-faceted. Its use in brain surgery at the University of Southern California is revolutionary. They’ve determined the potential for thermal imaging to locate the margins of primary and metastatic brain tumors. Earlier work, published in 2002 by Mayo Clinic, demonstrated, intraoperatively, that infrared imaging “exhibited the distinct thermal footprints of 14 of 16 brain tumors.” It provided “real-time assessment of cerebral vessel patency and cerebral perfusion.”

Thermal imaging helps to verify a patient’s progress through therapy and …

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A recent mortality study conducted by the non-profit Society of Actuaries indicates that life expectancies for both women and men have increased by roughly two years since 2000. To be precise, the study showed that the average 65-year-old woman in the U.S. is expected to live 88.8 years, up from 86.4 in 2000. Life expectancy for the average U.S. man age 65 is now 86.6 years, up from 84.6 in 2000.

While this may be good news for retirees and their families, it’s not necessarily good news for their retiree medical benefits. Also known as “post-retirement health insurance,” these benefits are typically employer-sponsored benefit plans for retired workers 55 and older.

Many baby boomers covered by retiree medical plans are relying on future employer-paid medical benefits, but are likely to be disappointed to learn that these benefit plans can be changed or terminated. ERISA-governed benefits plans typically contain a “reservation of rights” provision allowing the plan sponsor to change or terminate all or parts of the plan.

Escalating health care costs and increased risk concerns have forced many employers to reduce or eliminate retiree medical benefits. In a recent survey titled “2015 Survey on Retiree Health Care Strategies,” Towers Watson uncovered additional factors influencing employers to reconsider their approach to retiree medical benefits, including:

— Increased financial reporting requirements for benefit-related balance sheet liabilities

— Ongoing administrative expenses

— ERISA obligations, such as reporting, disclosure, and fiduciary responsibilities

— Lack of an efficient funding vehicle

Traditionally, employers have been able to control expenses and risk by such cost-cutting measures as, for example, shifting costs to retirees, limiting or ending benefits for new hires, capping the company subsidy, and changing retiree eligibility requirements. Employers are finding, however, that these conventional actions are still falling short of the amount of cost and risk control needed.

Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has created new ways for employers to meet the retiree medical needs, while still controlling cost and minimizing risk. For Medicare-eligible retirees, for example, nearly 80% of employers are either using or considering using the services of a private Medicare exchange to aid retirees with their individual coverage.

Additionally, new insurance products now allow employers to “de-risk” heir balance sheet by transferring the retiree medical benefit liability to an insurance company through the purchase of a group annuity. The annuity then allows retirees to receive tax-free funding for life, which they then can use for their medical benefits.

For pre-Medicare retirees, many employers have determined that the individual plan market and public health insurance exchanges will provide a functional alternative to employer-sponsored coverage. Towers Watson reports the following as part of their survey results:

— Eight percent of retiree medical plan sponsors are confident in the public exchanges as a viable alternative for 2015, with the confidence level rising to 35% by 2017.

— Fifty-three percent of employers surveyed said they will reassess their current approach to providing pre-Medicare health benefits by 2017 to take into account public insurance exchanges and federal subsidies.

— Seventeen percent of employers said they would consider ending coverage for pre-Medicare retirees altogether. When doing so, they would provide access via a private exchange which would then act as a coordinator to the public exchanges.

With public and private exchanges simplifying access to, and easing the process of buying individual plans, many employers will evaluate alternative retiree medical benefit strategies that will controls costs while still meeting retiree medical needs.

April, 2015

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Source by Mark Johnson, Ph.D., J.D.

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The medical care industry is continuously growing and there’s no sign of it slowing down soon. The growth can also be seen on the allied health care services closely tied up to medicine.

The reason for this growth is the continued demand for medical care. It was further fueled in the past decade by the fact that the world population is aging and is therefore requiring more health care services.

Based on this knowledge we can easily see that one of the best industries to start a career is in medical care. With its continued growth this industry promises a stable career as well as possible fulfillment knowing that if you are a professional in this field, you are helping directly in making people’s lives better.

However, it’s not a secret as well that the traditional ways of obtaining a job in the medical industry isn’t easy nor expensive. It takes years and a lot of money to study for a health care career especially if you are working on the clinical side.

The good news is that there’s another side to the medical industry where accountants, programmers, encoders, and people from other professions can go into. That is the administrative side of the medical care industry.

Though the clinical side of health care is the hearth of this industry, allied services are also required to keep the medical care system working. Accountants, marketers, purchasers, stock room custodians, computer programmers, encoders, transcribers, and back office staff are also needed in the administrative side of the health care system.

So if you are thinking of starting a career in the medical care system but you don’t have the money to invest for a profession in the clinical side of things, you can study for one of the allied health care services. One of the fields you can go into is medical billing and coding.

Medical billing and coding is the part of the administrative side of medical care that deals with the revenue cycle. Medical billers and coders are the people that process the health insurance information of patients, the services rendered to patients and finally make sure that claims for services rendered to insured patients are submitted and settlements are received.

Though working on the administrative side of health care that particularly deals with the health insurance system, the medical billers and coders are still adept in the theoretical knowledge of medicine. Medical billers and coders won’t be able to directly provide any form of medical care to patients and are not licensed to do so but they have working knowledge of the entire body anatomy and of the diseases that affects the body. They are also adept in medical terminologies.

The working knowledge of medical billers and coders in medicine is a must. They are interacting with physicians and medical care workers so it’s a requirement that they know how the theories of medicine.

So the best way to become a medical biller and coder if you are interested in becoming one is to have professional training and learn all of the following critical knowledge required from all medical billers and coders:

1. Human anatomy, physiology and diseases

2. Medical language and terminology

3. Health insurance and reimbursement process

4. CPT and ICD-9-CM medical coding databases

These are the subjects that you must learn and master if you want to get into the health care industry by becoming a medical biller and coder. Though it will still take time to study these subjects it won’t be as hard and as expensive as studying for a career directly involved in the clinical side of medical care. Good luck!

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Source by Mike C Clarke

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Let’s start with the basic terminology with health medical plans (health insurance).  There are three basic coverages to a plan, the deductible and coinsurance (coins) and the frequently used copay.  I will explain them below.

Deductible: This is what you pay out of your pocket before the insurance company pays any claims. Deductibles are on an annual basis and reset every January first. This is similar to your car or homeowners insurance policy.

Coinsurance: Once you meet your annual deductible, the insurance company shares some expenses with you until you reach your annual maximum out of pocket. Plans are written as 80/20 plans or 90/10 plans, they always add up to 100%. This is not unlimited there is a stop loss for you.

 

Co-pay: A co-pay is the amount you pay for a visit to the doctor (HMO or PPO plans) or a pharmacy prescription plan. The copay has nothing to do with the annual deductible and not all plans have co-pays.

 

What should a family look for when buying health insurance?

 

If you see the doctor a lot or your children frequently need a doctor’s care you may want a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan. An HMO is a type of plan that has a network of doctors and facilities that you must go to for health care. Your health insurance company will have a list of doctors for you to choose from and the doctor you choose is the doctor you must go to when you feel sick.  You the patient is responsible for when you visit a health care facility with a co-pay, this is good for an individual or family with children that need to see the doctor many times in a year.

 

If you’re a person who does not go to the doctor a lot except for a checkup, you may want a PPO plan. These insurance plans have a network of providers that you can go to receive health care at a discounted or negotiated rate. Although there is a network of doctors who agree to the negotiated rate not all do and these are considered out of network. A PPO health plan allows you to go to out of network doctors but you will be responsible for the higher non-negotiated cost of health care.

 

The greater the insurance coverage, the higher the premium that you need to pay for individual and family health insurance.

Buying Health Insurance Online

The internet is a powerful way to shop for insurance. Most health insurance quotes from websites will let you run comparisons of all types of plans from all the top health insurance carriers. You can search and purchase insurance online without the need to talk to an agent. The prices for insurance plans are state mandated and no one website can give you a better quote than another.  Buying direct from the insurance company won’t save you money either, everybody has the same price.  Working with an agent gets you free advice and helps you sort out plans that are best for you.  So shop online, there is no obligation to buy and you can complete applications right online.

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Source by Ronald Filian

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In this article, we are going to talk about a few medical benefits of marijuana that you can enjoy if you have a medical prescription. In other words, we are going to shed some light on the positives on the basis of scientific research. Marijuana is not recommended for recreational purposes.

According to researchers, the herb can help with the treatment of absent-mindedness, malaria, gout, and rheumatism, just to name a few. Now, let’s talk about some of the prominent benefits of this herb.

1. Cancer Treatment

According to a study published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, marijuana can help fight cancer. Another study found that CBD can also curb the growth of cancer cells in the body.

The researchers at the American Association for Cancer Research say that the herb does a good job of slowing down the growth of tumors in the lungs, breasts, and brain.

2. Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease

CBD has a powerful ingredient called THC that helps control the Alzheimer’s disease, says the research that was done at the Scripps Research Institute. Also, THC can curb the growth of amyloid plaques as it tends to block the plaque-producing enzymes. You may get Alzheimer’s disease if your brain cells get killed by the plaques.

3. Treats Glaucoma

CBD may also help treat glaucoma. Actually, marijuana reduces pressure in your eyes, which helps protect your eyeball.

4. Relieves Arthritis

According to a 2011 research study, researchers concluded that cannabis can help patients get rid of pain and swelling. As a result, patients with rheumatoid arthritis can get enough sleep.

5. Treats Epileptic Seizure

Another study done in 2003 found that the herb can be used to treat epileptic seizures as well. An experiment done on rats gave enough evidence that CBD does prevent seizures for up to 10 hours. Actually, THC binds the cells in the brain that are responsible for triggering seizures.

6. Helps with Parkinson’s Disease

Many studies were done in Israel to find out the benefits of marijuana for patients with Parkinson’s disease. The study found that the drug can help ease the pain, which helps patients improve their sleep. The patients consumed the herb also enjoyed better motor skills.

7. Helps with Crohn’s Disease

Cannabis is also a good choice for patients with Crohn’s disease. This disease causes pain and inflammation in the intestines. Patients also experience pain, weight loss, diarrhea, and nausea.

In Israel, studies were done to find out if this disease can be controlled with cannabis. And the results were positive. More than 90% of the participants who smoked marijuana experienced fewer symptoms.

Long story short, if more research is done, we may come to know about a lot of other benefits of this herb as well. For now, we can say that CBD has some benefits as far as the treatment of the abovementioned diseases is concerned. However, we don’t recommend that you smoke or use this herb in any form without a valid medical prescription. Hope this helps.

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Source by Shalini M

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A lot of people think that times have always been difficult for them, and no matter how much they earn, it seems to never be enough anyway. Sometimes, even if it’s enough, it’s really just that-enough. Many people live from paycheck to paycheck and more than 50% of the middle class Americans have a huge chunk of credit card debt. To add to that sad statistics, many people admit to not being able to save enough and save religiously. What happens now when an emergency strikes, like medical bills? Will a medical loan be enough to cover what you need covered?

The quick answer to medical emergencies are medical loans. You avail them because somebody in your family got hospitalized and your income can’t pay hospital bills incurred and/ or you need more time to figure out how to cover all the expenses. Medical loans may be a quick way out of those piling medical bills but you must be careful about managing the cash that you get from such loans, because they’re worth so much more than you can imagine. Here are some tips on managing medical loans properly:

Like getting any other loan, you must study the terms well. There are a lot of financial institutions which offer easy-approval loans but remember to read the fine print all the time. How much is the interest rate? How much is due per month? How much maximum time to you have to pay off everything? Study all the trappings that come with the loan and place it vis-à-vis your income. Don’t be afraid to ask questions for anything that concerns help with medical bills. Being informed really helps a lot.

Will you, realistically, be able to pay it off depending on your regular income? If you think that the loan you’re getting may be paid off with portions from your regular income, then most likely it is still safe to get that loan. The healthy ratio for the monthly due is 20-30% of your total income. With that, you’ll still have enough to pay for your other essentials.

Now, for the difficult part: if your target time bracket (to pay off of the loan) seems difficult to beat, what is your Plan B? If you have assets which you can easily convert into cash, make a list of all these assets and consider pawning them off or selling them in case you’re short for your monthly dues and you have no one to borrow money from. Never risk to miss out on a payment because the penalty fees may be higher than you can imagine. Many medical loans are classified under emergency loans like salary loans, so they have higher interest rates than regular loans like business loans and credit card loans.

Those are, pretty much, the things that you need to remember when getting a medical loan. Always put practicality at the top of your list and keep an open mind so that you are keen on your Plan B’s in case things don’t work out as planned.

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Source by M. Baylor

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Almost every man alive will need to go to the doctor for an intimate problem on occasion, and some unlucky guys will have an appointment like this on a regular basis. People who have been through an exam before will know all about what’s expected and what might happen, but those who have never had any kind of exam may be anxious about what might take place.

This quiz can help. Some common questions about men’s health exams are listed at the beginning of this article, with answers at the end. The information provided here might convince men that they should get the penis care assistance they need in order to stay healthy.

The Questions

1) True or false: Doctors allow their patients to keep their clothes on during an exam.

2) True or false: The doctor doesn’t do any talking during the exam.

3) Examinations are: totally comfortable, a little uncomfortable, painful.

4) Is a visit to a laboratory a mandatory part of this exam?

5) True or false: Getting an erection during an examination is unusual.

6) A man should get an exam like this: yearly, every 6 months, or once in a lifetime.

The Answers

1) False. Doctors need to perform a visual examination, so they can look for cuts, sores, bruises and other sources of discomfort. This means doctors need to be able to see the entire body during the exam. Unfortunately, this means ditching the duds and putting on that baggy robe.

2) False. In fact, doctors need to ask a number of important questions before touching the patient. They might ask about the person’s:

– Overall physical health

– Sexual history

– Lifestyle

– Family medical history

– Reasons for coming to the appointment

The answers to these questions will determine what happens during the appointment, so it’s a vital part of the exam.

3) A little uncomfortable. Doctors tend to be thorough in these examinations, and that means they tend to poke and prod in areas that might be a little tender. For example, most men find a prostate exam to be slightly uncomfortable. But, physicians are also careful to ensure that they don’t cause overwhelming pain. They want their patients to come back, after all; so the discomfort tends to be brief.

4) Typically, men who go through a penis exam need to stop at the laboratory and provide blood and urine samples. These fluids are tested for all sorts of health conditions, including sexually transmitted diseases and metabolic disorders. In addition, men who have some sort of discharge from the penis might also be required to submit a sample of that material.

5) False. There’s a lot of manhandling that happens during a physical exam, and sometimes, that touch leads to a rush of blood and a telltale stiffening. It can be awfully embarrassing for men to deal with a problem like this, but doctors have training and expertise, and they’re often quite calm in the face of an erection. Usually, there’s no need for an apology.

6) Yearly, unless something about the man’s health changes. A yearly exam allows the doctor to assess how well everything is working and how healthy the man is overall. But if some new symptoms appear, a man should always make an appointment to get those checked out.

But an exam isn’t the only thing a man can do in order to keep his manhood healthy. Men who really want to keep things in shape can do just that by adding in a penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil). These products contain the right mix of vitamins, minerals and emollients that can support the health of penile tissue, nerves and blood vessels. With a quality product, applied daily, a man might have less to talk about during his exam, and that might make everyone just a little happier.

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Source by John Dugan

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Electronic Medical Records are going to be needed in the future. It is important to learn the functions of EMR and how it fits into an office work flow.

1. Patient Charting

Patient visit information is put into templates or forms; to contain information such as vitals, complaints, medical histories, review of systems, physical exams, etc. Most EMR systems have pick lists, drop-down boxes, handwriting recognition, or voice recognition to accomplish patient charting.

2. Order Communication Systems

This is often referred to as a Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE). This allows the Electronic Medical Records system to communicate information with external systems such as laboratories, imaging centers, hospitals, and pharmacies via Health Level 7 Interfaces. This allows providers to send out lab requests, imaging requests, prescriptions, submit visit charges, and diagnosis codes to the office/billing system.

3. Clinical Decision-Making Support Systems

Alerts, reminders, and recommendations are built into the system allowing automatic clinical decision making with information in the database. It also helps doctors with coding and diagnosis. Many EMR systems provide physicians with a recommended CPT code based off of Evaluation and Management (EM) rules. This allows physicians to bill payers at the highest possible rate for the services performed.

4. Document/ Image Management

It is important for offices to manage the enormous flow of paper entering their office. Offices are constantly flooded with patient intake forms, referring physician letters, lab reports, and faxes. EMRs allow doctors to access these documents on a intuitive user interface. EMRs provide physicians a way to manage images such as x-rays, MRIs, and ultrasounds.

5. Patient Portal

Personal health records allow patients to access their health record from any computer with a secure internet connection. These programs include features such as appointment scheduling, refill requests, electronic intake forms, record access, outcome assessments and patient education. The patient can also grant other providers access to this information which allows provider-to-provider communication.

6. Statistics and Reporting

Providers can create reports from databases for statistical purposes. This becomes especially useful in the case of drug recalls, health maintenance reminders and disease management.

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Source by Marty Perdew

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Many individuals are hampered in their mobility because of disease, injury, or advanced years and medical wheelchairs can improve their quality of life. Many who need disability wheelchairs, however, cannot afford them due to their high cost and exclusion from many insurance coverage plans. A discount medical savings card can put medical wheelchairs in the hands of those who need them by offering up to 50% savings on the purchase of a new wheelchair.

Many families have been saddled in the past with getting the least expensive disability wheelchairs because of the costs involved. With the substantial savings of a discount healthcare savings plan, a choice can be made for the wheelchair that best suits the needs of the individual.

The primary types of wheelchair choices are:

* Wheelchairs that are self propelled – The least expensive and simplest medical wheelchairs are those that must be pushed by a caregiver or propelled by the person in the chair. These chairs are easily transportable, breaking down into a smaller size for traveling, but they are made primarily for a flat surface only, and a person with limited strength might be unable to propel the chair without assistance.

* Motorized electric wheelchairs – The better chairs for the weak or aged are the electric disability wheelchairs that allow for movement without the need for someone else to push them. Electric wheelchairs must be charged regularly, but they give the stationary individual more freedom of movement.

Many electric medical wheelchairs are not recommended for exterior use, and they have small wheels that work better on smooth and flat surfaces. Extreme care and caution are recommended as it may be dangerous for someone using one of these chairs to be outside alone, especially if the surface area is rough or uneven.

* Medical wheelchairs for better mobility – For the more active person with leg problems is the sports wheelchair. Larger tires with the ability to go into places other electric chairs cannot and greater speeds make the sports wheelchair diverse.

Important Points in Choosing the Best Medical Wheelchairs for the Application

With a discount health card, cost does not have nearly as much to do with choice as it would otherwise. More important concerns are how safe, functional, or comfortable the medical wheelchair is. The decision-making process involves four primary things:

* From where is the chair powered – Electric wheelchairs are powered from either the front wheels or the back, and the rear powered wheels usually are the fastest models.

* The size of the person – Wheelchairs are rated as to how much weight they can carry. With sedentary individuals, weight can become a big concern.

* The size of the chair itself – The height and width of the individual who will be using the chair are essential considerations when selecting the proper sized wheelchair. Sometimes it is necessary to have disability wheelchairs specially built for the individual.

* Safety to match the individual – One of the most important concerns in matching the wheelchair to the user is safety. Chairs are designed with safety features that are based on the many different types of individuals who use them.

Consider the future possibilities of what would happen should you or a family member need a medical wheelchair.

A healthcare savings plan can relieve you of some of the worry and financial burden that might come with a disability situation because getting the best wheelchair for your use is so very important and doing so at a price you can afford.

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Source by Cameron Z Jones

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