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  • Monitoring Patient Compliance with Mobile Devices April 1, 2015
    Company iGetBetter hopes that remote patient monitoring with phone apps and wearables will reduce hospital admissions and increase patient compliance after procedures. The platform allows patients to access post-op directions on a mobile device, ask questions, and send data directly …
  • Americans Can’t Afford to Use Insurance They Own March 30, 2015
    One in three Americans have delayed medical treatment for themselves or a family member because of cost. Many patients, 25% of the non-elderly, don’t have enough cash to cover a mid-range deductible of $1,200-$2,400. These patients need to shop around …
  • Third Party Free Medical Practice Case Studies March 28, 2015
    Dr. Kathy Brown, Jack Brown, and Dr. Keith Smith speak at the 69th Annual Meeting of AAPS, September 2013. http://www.oregonderm.com/ & http://surgerycenterok.com
  • A Tale of 2 Prices…or 3?‏ March 27, 2015
    by Ralph Weber About a year and a half ago, Perry Hunt needed a hip replacement. He had been in constant pain for years and owned a construction company, and could not afford to take the 6 months off that …
  • Tisha Casida interviews Ralph Weber: Free Market Solutions to Healthcare March 25, 2015
    Tisha Casida with Rebellion.life interviews CEO of MediBid, Ralph Weber, about his work educating the public and the government about common sense health care solutions. MediBid is an online marketplace with true transparency, listing not only prices, but qualities and …
  • Small Business Coverage Uncertain Future with Association Health Plans March 23, 2015
    For the last 20 years, small businesses in Washington state have relied heavily on associations and trusts to provide healthcare insurance for their workers at lower cost than in the open market. The system is popular and works well, a …
  • Outpatient Surgery Saves Patients Time and Money March 20, 2015
    The death of Joan Rivers after a routine procedure has some asking about the safety of outpatient surgical centers. First off, it is important to make sure to know if you are a good candidate for surgery and what to …
  • Study Finds Hormones Can Help Younger Women Through Menopause March 18, 2015
    Hormone replacement therapy used to only be given to women who had completed menopause, relieving hot flashes, sleeplessness, and other symptoms. In 2009, about 8 million women used HRT, most over the age of 60. A recent Cochrane review finds …
  • Retail Health Care Clinics Multiply with Increasing Demand March 16, 2015
    Integrated care facilities offer primary care, specialty services, labs, and diagnostics all under one roof. These clinics follow a model common in Latin America. This consumer-focused type of providing medical care is gaining in popularity and increasing in number since …
  • Avoiding Caregiver Burnout March 13, 2015
    Over 43.5 million Americans care for older parents, grandparents, spouses, or other loved ones. Most family caregivers are spouses or children. The demands of caregiving can be overwhelming and can take a toll on your health, relationships, and sanity – …
  • It is Safe to Assume They Lie March 11, 2015
    by G. Keith Smith, MD I laugh every time I see headlines bragging about the number of people enrolled in “Obamacare.”  What choice to people have, after all?  ”Buy this crappy insurance plan (that you wouldn’t buy unless you were …
  • FinalHayes1 March 11, 2015
  • Physician Burnout – What To Do March 9, 2015
    Signs of physician burnout can range from decreased enthusiasm for work, increased cynicism and a low sense of accomplishment.  Where at one time the physician may have felt a burning passion for medicine, he may feel that “light” burning out, perhaps …
  • Increasing Wait Times for Hip Surgery Ruin Patients’ Lives March 6, 2015
    Frustrated patients in British Columbia are in constant pain as their wait times for hip replacement surgeries increase. Wait times for joint replacements have increased in most Canadian provinces despite promises from the government to address the problem. B.C. is …
  • Staying Physically Active: How Much Exercise is Right for You? March 4, 2015
    by Adrienne Snavely Everyone knows that the key to keeping a healthy body is a combination of a healthy diet and regular physical activity. What is considered “regular” differs from person to person. The Dietary Guidelines for America (DGA) first …
  • Supreme Court to Hear New Obamacare Case This Week March 2, 2015
    Later this week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in King v. Burwell, the results of which could affect the future of Obamacare. This case addresses if consumers who buy health insurance at HealthCare.gov are eligible to receive tax credits …
  • How to Fight and Prevent Sugar Cravings February 27, 2015
    The average American consumes about 16 teaspoons more sugar per day than what is recommended. Sugar causes the brain to release serotonin, creating a natural high, and the endorphins leave us wanting more. Kicking a sugar addiction can be tough, …
  • Hospital Closures Bring “New Day” in Healthcare February 25, 2015
    Hospitals are operating with fewer beds or closing, as patients seek more affordable medical care at clinics and outpatient surgery centers. A low occupancy rate makes for a high-priced facility, which is not competitive. These closures are due to the …
  • Do Your Part to Protect Your Heart – February Special February 23, 2015
    February is Heart month. Protect the health of your heart, preventing heart disease and stroke, with a simple blood test. Below are the February specials from DirectLabs. Lipid Profile – $19 (Regular Price $29, $98 Retail) Test includes: Cholesterol, Total …
  • The Various Dimensions of Mammogram Screening February 20, 2015
    by Adrienne Snavely Every year, over 200,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 40,000 will die from it. When breast cancer is detected early, it is easier to treat. Forty million mammograms are performed each …

Monitoring Patient Compliance with Mobile Devices

mobiledeviceCompany iGetBetter hopes that remote patient monitoring with phone apps and wearables will reduce hospital admissions and increase patient compliance after procedures. The platform allows patients to access post-op directions on a mobile device, ask questions, and send data directly to their physician. Using this program helps healthcare providers reduce costs by avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions and office visits. Pilot projects are now testing the system, and the first year has had positive results.

http://ryortho.com/breaking/wearables-phone-apps-monitor-patience-compliance/

Young, Biloine W. “Wearables & Phone Apps Monitor Patience Compliance.” Weekly News, Analysis, and Commentary. Orthopedics This Week Inc,17 Mar 2015. Web. 31 Mar 2015.

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Posted in Health Care Innovation Tagged , , , , , , |

Third Party Free Medical Practice Case Studies

Dr. Kathy Brown, Jack Brown, and Dr. Keith Smith speak at the 69th Annual Meeting of AAPS, September 2013. <a Continue reading

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Posted in Medibid Television, Tax Increases

A Tale of 2 Prices…or 3?‏

by Ralph Weber

About a year and a half ago, Perry Hunt needed a hip replacement. He had been in constant pain for years and owned a construction company, and could not afford to take the 6 months off that he was told he’d need for a hip replacement. Eventually the pain got so bad, he could not stand it, so he finally booked the surgery. He was approved by his insurance company and had his pre-op visit. Then, just 5 days before the scheduled procedure, the hospital called him and told him that the insurance company would not cover it, but if he paid cash at the time of care, they’d take 30% off the price. That would reduce his cost from $100,000 to $70,000. He could not afford $70,000 and 6 months away from his company, so he cancelled the surgery.

Then he found MediBid. He made an online medical request and got bids back ranging from $7,500 to $21,000. He selected the $21,000 procedure since he liked the quality outcomes of the surgeon. In addition, this surgeon would perform a minimally invasive procedure, so his recovery time would be 2 weeks, not 6 months.

The above story was featured on the Today Show in the fall of 2013.

Now comes the sequel to this story:

Almost 18 months after his hip replacement, his other hip needed replacing. Since he was so thrilled with the outcome that he got from the orthopedic surgeon the first time, he decided to go to the same surgeon. Only this time, his insurance plan would definitely cover the cost and the doctor was in network. In March of 2015, Perry went for surgery on his other hip with the exact same surgeon and facility.

On March 19, he received his EOB (Explanation of Benefits). It stated that the billed rates were about $65,000, but that the insurance company had gotten a $29,000 discount. After paying his deductible and co-insurance, the cost to him was $6,500. The remaining $29,500 was paid by the insurance company and charged to his employer’s health plan.

Why would it cost one of the largest insurance companies in America $36,000 to get what he had paid $21,000 just 18 months earlier through MediBid? Are insurance companies getting a fair price or are they being overcharged? Employers are saving incredible amounts using MediBid instead of their insurance networks.

One question which has not been asked is whether the insurance provider actually received $36,000?

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Posted in Cost of Health Care Tagged , , , , , , , |

Tisha Casida interviews Ralph Weber: Free Market Solutions to Healthcare

tishaTisha Casida with Rebellion.life interviews CEO of MediBid, Ralph Weber, about his work educating the public and the government about common sense health care solutions. MediBid is an online marketplace with true transparency, listing not only prices, but qualities and education of physicians. MediBid was created after the 2008 election as a way to get medical care in the U.S. for Canadians on wait lists. The system worked so well that they expanded worldwide. In 2010, Ralph wrote the book MediCrats, which explains the history of healthcare in America and how it has evolved over time. The more the federal government tries to fix healthcare, the more confusing it becomes. The best hope is for changes to begin at the state level. MediBid allows the free market to work with self-funded health plans, including employer plans or faith-based cost-sharing groups, providing substantial savings for all patients.

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Posted in Free market medicine Tagged , , , , , , , |

Small Business Coverage Uncertain Future with Association Health Plans

For the last 20 years, small businesses in Washington state have relied heavily on associations and trusts to provide healthcare insurance for their workers at lower cost than in the open market. The system is popular and works well, a good deal for both employers and employees. Traditionally, small businesses had the option to buy insurance on the small group market or with an association/trust. In 1995, the WA legislature created rules for associations and trusts so employers with less than 50 workers could buy “large group” insurance. With the association plans thriving, the small group market became smaller and more expensive.

Now, heImage courtesy of [badmanproduction] FreeDigitalPhotos.netalth insurance coverage for small employers and their workers hangs in limbo. Obamacare has issued a new definition of what kind of associations can sell insurance, rejecting the majority of the state’s association and trust plans. The new rules state that the association must be formed for a purpose other than only selling insurance, and its members must work in the same industry. They must also offer appropriate rates, not charging more for sick people or women. So far only nine plans have passed these qualifications. Associations with disapproved plans have 90 days to appeal or move people to new coverage. If the new rules survive, the association plans will not. The final result for small businesses will be losing plans they liked and will see rates go up. Employers and TPAs (Third Party Administrators) can dramatically reduce their healthcare costs by harnessing the power of competition and transparency available through MediBid using our affordable employee healthcare plan for Employers and TPAs.

http://kaiserhealthnews.org/news/health-coverage-in-limbo-for-many-small-business-employees/

Stiffler, Lisa. “Health Coverage In Limbo For Many Small-Business Employees.” News. KaiserHealthNews, 13 Mar 2015. Web. 23 Mar 2015.

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Posted in Employer Health Plan Tagged , , , , , , , |

Outpatient Surgery Saves Patients Time and Money

clinicThe death of Joan Rivers after a routine procedure has some asking about the safety of outpatient surgical centers. First off, it is important to make sure to know if you are a good candidate for surgery and what to look for when choosing a facility.

Outpatient procedures have increased in number, tripling in the past three decades. Shorter recovery times and less invasive surgical techniques have made these facilities very popular. The most common procedures are cataract surgery, colonoscopy, and endoscopy. Infections are less likely in outpatient clinics than in hospitals, in part because the patients are normally healthier than hospitalized patients, yet some procedures are riskier than others. If you have a serious health problem with higher risk of complications, such as congestive heart failure or uncontrolled diabetes, it could be better to have your procedure done at a hospital.

When choosing a surgery center, shop around. Prices can vary widely for the same procedure within the same city, which is especially a concern if you have a high deductible insurance plan. Find out who runs/owns the clinic, who performs the anesthesiology, and learn about their emergency plan with a hospital nearby. Find a surgeon who has performed your procedure at least 50 times in the past year.

When selecting a surgeon on MediBid, you can compare physician education, type of procedures performed, facility fees, and what all is included in the procedure cost. Shopping around is not only a great way to save money, it is a smart way to find the best qualified physician for your medical needs.

“The Upside – and Downside – of Outpatient Surgery”. Consumer Reports Jan 2015: 22.

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Posted in Free market medicine Tagged , , , , , , |

Study Finds Hormones Can Help Younger Women Through Menopause

postmenopausal-womanHormone replacement therapy used to only be given to women who had completed menopause, relieving hot flashes, sleeplessness, and other symptoms. In 2009, about 8 million women used HRT, most over the age of 60. A recent Cochrane review finds that taking hormones does not lower the risk of heart disease after menopause, yet it is not dangerous for women either. Women who begin treatment within the first 10 years of menopause (starting around age 51) have a lower risk of heart attack and stroke, yet a higher risk of blood clots in the leg. A younger woman who is having uncomfortable symptoms of menopause can be started on hormones and feel much better. Taking HRT immediately post-menopausal may not be as risky as taking it 10 years after menopause. Exercise helps alleviate symptoms, but some women may still need hormones.

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/womens-health/hrt-may-help-younger-women-hot-flashes-study-finds-n320316

Fox, Maggie and Shapiro, Marin. “Hormones May Help Younger Women With Hot Flashes, Study Finds.” Women’s Health. NBCNews, 9 Mar 2015. Web. 17 Mar 2015.

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Posted in Health (taking care of yourself) Tagged , , , , , , |

Retail Health Care Clinics Multiply with Increasing Demand

CVS-Minute-ClinicIntegrated care facilities offer primary care, specialty services, labs, and diagnostics all under one roof. These clinics follow a model common in Latin America. This consumer-focused type of providing medical care is gaining in popularity and increasing in number since Obamacare was signed into law, proving that patients want more transparency and affordability with the ability to compare prices and receive timely care. Retail health care clinics post prices and allow patients to select which services they want with no waiting or cloudy pricing schemes. Out-of-pocket costs and high deductibles have made patients more price conscious, wanting more “skin in the game”. CVS leads retailers with the most MinuteClinics nationwide. Retail clinics will fill the void caused by the primary care doctor shortage and an aging population. Several conditions can be treated in a less expensive way.

http://kaiserhealthnews.org/news/retail-health-care-spurs-innovation-in-south-florida/

Herrera, Chabeli. “Retail Health Care Spurs Innovation In South Florida.” News. Kaiser Health News, 12 Mar 2015. Web. 15 Mar 2015.

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Posted in Health Care News Tagged , , , , , , , |

Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

oldhandsOver 43.5 million Americans care for older parents, grandparents, spouses, or other loved ones. Most family caregivers are spouses or children. The demands of caregiving can be overwhelming and can take a toll on your health, relationships, and sanity – which can lead to burnout. Burnout is caused by too much long-term stress, which can affect your physical health. Signs of burnout include:

  • excessive use of alcohol, tobacco, or sleeping pills
  • changes in appetite
  • depression
  • rough treatment of the person whom you are caring for, agitation, impatient
  • trouble sleeping, constant exhaustion
  • difficulty concentrating
  • exhaustion
  • cutting back on leisure activities

Ignoring the signs of burnout will only make them worse. If you become depressed for more than two weeks, seek help. Signs of depression include feeling worthless, lack of personal hygiene, agitation, and anxiety.

caregive

Be sure to get help before you become overwhelmed. To avoid burnout, take care of your own health: avoid tobacco, exercise regularly, and eat well. This will heal your heart and mind.

  • Find out as much as you can about your loved one’s health problems and how these will change.
  • Make it possible for the older person to remain as independent as possible by installing grab bars and relocating items to lower shelves.
  • Ask friends and family to run errands for you or come watch the care receiver so you can take some time for yourself – at least 30 minutes per day. Laughter and relaxation is good for the mind.
  • Don’t feel sorry for yourself or blame someone else. Focus on what you can control and make your loved one as comfortable and loved as possible. If they get angry or say hurtful things, remember this is because of the illness. Do not take it personally.
  • Keep all of your own doctor visits. Exercise regularly, which boosts your energy level and fights fatigue. Meditate and eat well.
  • Join a support group to share your troubles and help others like yourselves

 

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/caregiving-stress-and-burnout.htm

Smith MA, Melinda and Kemp MA, Gina. “Caregiver Stress and Burnout.” Stress. HelpGuide.org, Feb 2015. Web. 8 Mar 2015.

https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@hcm/documents/downloadable/ucm_300657.pdf

“What is Caregiver Burnout?” Answers by Heart. American Heart Association, 2012. Web. 8 Mar 2015.

http://www.healthinaging.org/resources/resource:tips-for-avoiding-caregiver-burnout

“Tips for Avoiding Caregiver Burnout.” Resources. HealthinAging.org, Mar 2013. Web. 8 Mar 2015.

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Posted in Health (taking care of yourself) Tagged , , , , , , , |
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