Health care costs are the biggest contributor to our long term deficits, and so this issue gets a ton of attention in Washington. President Obama has argued for years that simply bending the long term cost curve on health care will result in huge savings regarding government spending helping to reduce deficits. The trend may have already started.
Health care spending growth has famously slowed over the past five years, significantly enough that the Congressional Budget Office recently revised its projections of Medicare and Medicaid spending over the coming decade downward by hundreds of billions of dollars.
Now, research papers suggests the recent slowdown doesn’t just reflect temporary economic weakness, but also structural shifts in how health care is delivered and financed — possibly attributable to the Affordable Care Act — and thus might be a harbinger of a longer-term trend.
If they’re right, and the trend continues, it means workers can expect higher wages and the country’s projected medium term deficits are significantly overstated, which in turn suggests lawmakers’ continuing obsession with the current budget deficit, and deficits over the coming decade, are misguided.
One of the keys to Obamacare is to move our health care system away from fee for service care to health care delivery that takes a holistic approach where doctors and hospitals are paid for overall care and outcomes as opposed to more tests and procedures. It makes sense that this shift has started to decrease overall costs.
If you want to know one reason why our health care system is so screwed up, please read this article. It explains how hospitals often make more money when complications arise during surgery.
Patients who suffer complications after surgery are lucrative for hospitals, which get paid more when they treat infections and other problems, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association today.
In 2010, an unnamed, nonprofit 12-hospital chain in the southern U.S. was paid an average of $49,400 per person for treating surgery patients who have complications — more than double the $18,900 paid for patients who underwent only the initial surgery, according to an analysis by researchers from Harvard Medical School and elsewhere.
Read the entire article for details on this problem. We need to alter these incentives and pay for health care that actually works. Incompetence and mistakes should not be rewarded.
Seeking help for yourself, or someone you love, in resolving a drug problem is one of the biggest decisions you can make in your life. But deciding to get help is only a small part of the process. The bigger issue is determining they type of treatment needed, and where to find the best drug rehabilitation program.
Finding a Facility:
On an average day, you could see encounter several advertisements, in radio, TV, and even billboards for expensive rehab programs in spa settings with ocean views. And while it might be tempting to try one of these programs, they are not always the best bet for everyone.
Some addicts could benefit from an outpatient program. Choosing a facility close to home would allow an addict continue meeting his daily obligations, such as work, school and family, while receiving intensive treatment several days a week. A nearby facility would also allow the addict to receive support from family and sober friends. Additionally, someone who needs prescription drugs for an underlying medical condition could benefit from staying in close proximity to his personal physician.
Other addicts might benefit from a complete change of venue, including separation from family and friends who might trigger a relapse, and an out-of-state facility could fit the bill.
Whether searching local or out-of-state, it might be tempting to open the yellow pages or do a web search to find facilities in your target area. For example, if you need a facility in a different area, a search for something like “best drug rehabilitation Manistee” or “drug rehabilitation centers in (city/state)” will definitely yield results. You can find a list of facilities in your target area. This is a great way to get a basic idea of what is available, but it will not give you the whole picture.
Your best option is to go to the agency that oversees mental health in the state where you would like to attend rehab. The primary reason you want to go through a state agency is that you are more likely to find programs that are accredited and licensed by the state. This is important because it ensures that the facility is following state-mandated standards of care, and that the facility receives periodic inspections. A non-accredited facility could be using unproven, and untested techniques.
The state mental health department can also give you information on the effectiveness of the program and its success rates. If you contact a rehab facility directly, it will most likely report high success rates. However the fact is that the average post-rehab relapse rate is 50 percent or more. There are several factors that determine relapse, including the initial quality of care and the type of aftercare services the facility provides.
A reputable facility should have information on its success rates compiled by an outside source, but you should also be able to find this information at the state agency. Additionally, a good facility will provide information on the type of aftercare services they provide including referral services for patients who choose to continue their recovery out of state. Always ask for this information before making any sort of commitment to the facility.
If you are unable to find information at the state level, you can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is part of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. SAMHSA offers a treatment locator and additional resources for finding treatment to meet your needs.
Here’s a fascinating story about how hypothermia treatments are being used for newborn babies when there is a possibility that brain damage has occurred, like in instances where the umbilical cord was wrapped around the newborn’s neck. We’ve seen similar treatments used with great success for spinal cord injuries, as the cold slows down the death of brain and nerve cells after an injury.
Dr. Robert Lustig has a new book out called “Fat Chance” that addresses the huge problems caused by excessive consumption of sugar, which is a real problem in this country. Watch this video and you’ll realize that you need to be very cognizant of how much sugar you are consuming. This is particularly important if you’re a parent.
The biggest issue involves hidden sugar in processed foods, like salad dressing, hamburger buns, BBQ sauce etc. It’s a labeling issue and an issue about government subsidies for the sugar and corn industries.
Wrinkles form on the skin as it grows old. Apart from the age of the skin itself, there are several other contributing factors to facial wrinkles such as smoking cigarette and UV Rays. Daily stress can also lead to its formation.
Facial wrinkles will form with age as it’s a natural process, but there are several remedies available that can be used to prevent and delay that glowing skin of young age from hitting the dimmer switch early.
To make your facial skin look younger and avoid the formation of unappealing wrinkles, here are some tips that you can follow:
1. Eat a healthy diet
Implement foods into your diet that are rich in antioxidants. Free radicals are formed when the skin absorbs UV rays. The free radicals can interfere with DNA functioning, causing changes that result in wrinkles.
Foods that are rich in antioxidants should be incorporated into the daily diet. Examples include fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, pomegranates and vegetables such as broccoli and spinach.
2. Use Topical Vitamin C and other skin applicants
Vitamin C reduces the damage done from free radicals and encourages the formation of collagen. Vitamin C is found in different fruits, but getting it enough to prevent wrinkles may not be possible through diet alone, as the rate of absorption is limited by the process of digestion.
Topical applications of Vitamin C will lead to a higher concentration being produced in the skin, leading to a glowing and youthful complexion.
You also have the option to buy Restylane and other effective skincare applicants in addition to Topical Vitamin C and use for wrinkle prevention.
3. Smile and be happy
Researchers conducted a study on identical female twins and found out those women who were divorced looked older than twins who were windowed or married, and those twins who were not on antidepressants had a younger complexion than those who were.
Staying happy and smiling on most occasions, along with being optimistic about life can help to prevent wrinkles. Being happy will also keep your mind away from worries even if you’re at the age of developing wrinkles. Be around people who make you smile and bring happiness into your life.
4. Get enough sleep
According to Nicholas Perricone, MD, Yale dermatologist, when you don’t sleep enough, excess cortisol is produced by the body, which is a hormone that leads to skin cells breakdown. Sleeping enough leads to the production of human growth hormone, which helps the skin to stay elastic and less prone to wrinkle development.
Apart from getting enough sleep, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends individuals to sleep on their back. This is because when you sleep on the side, pressure on the skin and cheeks can lead to wrinkles. Sleeping face down is the prime cause of wrinkle lines, which become prominent if there’s regularity in this position.
5. Protect the skin from sun
The skin’s water retention ability leads to wrinkle formation with age. There’s quite a difference between genetic mutations that take place in a skin that’s exposed to the sun compared to a skin that hasn’t. Exposure leads to greater mutations, which increases the risk of wrinkles, and even skin cancers.
Sun screens can be used from protection against wrinkles. Avoiding the sun all together may be a bad option as the skin absorbs Vitamin D from the sun.
Here’s a great column penned by Senator Mark Kirk who describes suffering from a stroke and then his rehabilitation process.
Climbing the steps of the Capitol on Jan. 3 was one of the greatest moments of my life. It was a goal fulfilled and a message to all stroke survivors: Never, ever give up.
I was the beneficiary of many kindnesses from colleagues on both sides of the aisle after my stroke, and those acts will forever matter more to me than any political differences. I don’t expect to be the same senator I was before my stroke — I hope to be a better one. I want to make my life matter by doing work that matters to others. I want to do it with the help of my friends, Republicans and Democrats, and to share the satisfaction of knowing we have honored our public trust together.
I was once a pessimist. I’m not that man anymore. And that change, brought about by misfortune, is the best thing that ever happened to me.
It’s important to share inspirational stories like this with people who have suffered from a stroke or other illnesses.
We discuss all aspects of health here, including dealing with disease and serious health issues. But for your overall health and wellness, there’s nothing more important than the basics. This article on how to take back your life has simple pearls of wisdom for your physical health along with your emotional and spiritual health.
1. Get sufficient sleep every night. Sleep is often the single most undervalued behavior in our lives and the one with the most immediate power to improve our experience in every waking moment. If you sleep in the 6-6½ hour range, like the average American, just one more hour of sleep a night will leave you feeling more physically energized, emotionally resilient, and mentally clear.
2. Move more. It’s not only good for your heart’s health, but also for your mental health. Do some form of exercise that significantly raises your heart rate for 30 minutes at least four times a week and move frequently during the day.
3. Eat less, more often. Food is fuel. Lean proteins and complex carbohydrates are high-octane fuel. You’re best off when you keep feeding your internal furnace in small doses throughout the day, beginning with breakfast.
Read the rest of the article and you might find yourself coming back to this list often.
This blog is for consumers of health care and medical services. Basically, it’s for everyone. For health issues you should always see a doctor or qualified medical professional - we are not dispensing medical advice. You should, however, be an educated consumer, so we offer information to help you start the process to become educated and to ask important questions. There are many excellent resources on the web, along with all sorts of conflicting opinions and advice. The key is to use a wide variety of resources to learn and access information, so you can ask the important questions when you are with your doctor or health professional.