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Showing posts from May, 2012

Sugar in Soft Drinks

A picture says it all.  Parents, please stop buying soda and soft drinks for your kids.  Lets break the sugar/obesity epidemic once and for all.

Current Insurance Policies Fall Short of Health Care Reform

While we await the ruling of the  supposedly non-partisan Supreme Court on the legality of  the Affordable Care Act (aka: Obamacare, health care reform) it is useful to know one thing that would change if it goes through.  More than 11 million Americans are currently covered by private individual insurance plans that would not meet the minimum standards of coverage with ACA.  The big insurance companies would have to improve their plan offerings value if ACA goes into effect.

A study by Health Affairs showed that 51% of current policies had an actuarial value of less than 60% which would put it below the minimum requirements established under the Affordable Care Act for future state-based exchanges.  Those exchanges are scheduled to begin by 2014.

It is exorbitantly costly to be self insured and consumers are often stuck with what they can get.  The idea of "competition" and choice is a myth.  The individual insurance design falls short of what most people think they are b…

High Health Cost Does Not Guarantee Quality

The new buzzword in Medicine these days is "value based purchasing".  It's not a new concept...everyone wants to get their moneys worth, whether it is a new car, a meal at a fancy restaurant or the best medical care.  Without clear information on quality,  however, many patients assume that more expensive care is better care.

The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHCRQ) has funded a study to look at this.  A team of researchers studied how various presentations of cost and quality influenced the choices of patients.  They found that many people perceived low cost clinicians to be substandard and avoided them.  It didn't matter if they were paying out of pocket for care or if they had insurance that covered the service.  They still associated higher cost with higher quality care.

When patients were given information in the form of easy to understand data about care quality they were more likely to make choices that didn't cost more.  It mattered how th…

PSA Tests Not Advised

A top panel of health experts, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued their ruling that prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests should not be done as a screening test on any man.  This is after several years of controversy about the blood test that many men get routinely at their annual physical exam.  The task force said the test leads to treatments that do more harm than medical terms we say the risks outweigh the benefits.

This ruling sparked an outcry from the American Urologic Association, who said the recommendation was "inappropriate and irresponsible".  Keep in mind that the urologists are the specialty that benefits from biopsies and other imaging tests that are needed to confirm whether a PSA is a "true positive" or a ""false positive".  The Association recommends annual PSA tests for men over the age of 40.

The American Cancer Society's chief medical officer, Dr. Otis Brawley, said he agreed with the Task Fo…

Stop The Choking Game

A few weeks ago I did a post on "The Choking Game" and I have received a number of comments and emails about it.  Some of the stories are so sad...grieving parents who lost vibrant kids to this crazy game.  Children have no idea of the dangers involved and there is a lack of awareness even among educators and parents.

I was contacted by a woman who is raising money to attend and exhibit at the National PTA Convention, which will be held in San Jose in June.  The goal is to raise awareness about the Choking Game.  I hope readers will see how important this cause is.

Please go to this link and donate a little if you can so these parents can help educators know that knowledge is power and kids need to be informed.   The video on the site is too shocking to put on EverythingHealth.  I could hardly watch it to the end.  A light needs to be shined on this practice and hopefully parents, teachers and principals will understand that informing kids about the game will not increase …

Sharing Blog Posts

EverythingHealth gets many requests from other publications and blogs around the world to write health articles for them.  When it is an established site, I allow them to re-print some of my past posts to better educate the public and spread the word about health.  If you missed the post on Oseoarthritis, one of the most common conditions of mankind, please check out here:

Consultant 360

And thanks again to MR for the great photo of her hands.