Category: health

Wisconsin Cuts $600 Million From Medicaid Budget, Still Faces Deficit

The top Wisconsin health official said Thursday that the state is “on track to cut more than $600 million from Medicaid, but even with those reductions, high demand from the poor for insurance benefits could result in up to a $150 million shortfall.”

Karen Timberlake, secretary of the Department of Health Services, said the 66 areas targeted for cuts include delaying payments into the budget next year, increasing generic drug usage, reducing rural hospital reimbursement payments and rebidding contracts for state health care programs. At the same time, the state expects a $150 million budget shortfall because of increasing demand under the state children’s insurance program, BadgerCare Plus (Bauer, 12/17).

The jobs bill passed by Congress this week could help provide up to $490 million during 2011 and 2012 for Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. “The Legislature’s non-partisan budget office said earlier this week that the BadgerCare Plus Medicaid program had 700,000 participants as of Nov. 30, which is far above the average 638,000 expected for the year” (Stein, 12/17).

Washington is getting federal “bonus” money to help its health care program for low-income children. “On Thursday, officials announced that Washington was among nine states getting extra federal money for meeting performance goals. Washington’s cut is $7.5 million,” The Associated Press/Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports (12/17).

California’s state insurance program for the children of the working poor was granted a reprieve by federal authorities, who are considering whether to allow a funding mechanism that helps cover the costs of 700,000 children in the program, the Los Angeles Times reports. “That will allow the state’s Healthy Families program to continue operating under a plan adopted by the Legislature in September and signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The $196-million plan included raising about $100 million with a 2.35% tax on health insurance firms serving the poor, a scheme that federal officials had said might not meet regulatory muster” (Bailey, 12/18).

In other Medicaid news, New York authorities say they’ve settled Medicaid fraud claims “against three home health agencies accused of using hundreds of aides without required training to provide care for elderly, frail and indigent New Yorkers,” The Associated Press reports in a separate story. The agencies will return $24 million to Medicaid (12/17).

Finally, in Pennsylvania, the Secret Service Thursday began helping an investigation into the “alleged theft of patient records from the University of Pennsylvania Health System” where records were used to create credit card accounts that ran up about $3,000 in charges, the Philadelphia Daily News reports. “A spokeswoman for the health system said yesterday that 18 medical records had been compromised but that all the victims had been notified and had been offered help repairing their credit issues.” A suspect has been arrested in the case (Campisi, 12/18).…

By Dante Filyaw October 13, 2015 Off

Anthem Blue Cross Vs Blue Shield – A Competitive Analysis

Anthem Blue Cross

Anthem Blue Cross is the health care company the people of California has trusted for several decades to protect their health at affordable rates. In fact, Anthem Blue Cross covers 8.3 million Californians – more than any other carrier in the state – and has today become a household name in California.

Anthem Blue Cross is a dynamic company constantly striving to create innovative health coverage solutions that are accessible as well as affordable to all Californians. Anthem Blue Cross provides customers a multiplicity of choice and flexibility in meeting their individual health care needs.

Unique offerings are available in the individual, small and large group, senior and similar segments and they include a full range of integrated medical and specialty products, such as dental, vision, life and disability coverage.

It has to be noted that Anthem Blue Cross has won many recognitions they can be proud of. Anthem Blue Cross HMO/POS has earned an Excellent Accreditation status from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Anthem Blue Cross PPO is the first and continues to be the only PPO in California to have earned a Full Accreditation from the NCQA5.

Two years back, they launched the Zagat Survey online tool, which will allow consumers to share their medical experiences with one another. The survey and results will be available free of charge to members via their health plan’s web site.

They go beyond covering health care needs and take extraordinary pain to educate people how to prevent illness and lead healthy lives. To accomplish this goal, they provide members with health-related resources and information. They recommend preventive care by asking members to take precautionary screening, undergo immunizations and participate in counseling programs for preventing major illnesses.

Blue Shield of California

To those who may not be aware, Blue Shield Ca is an independent member of the Blue Shield Association and more than that, they are a not-for-profit health care organization committed to providing Californians access to high-quality health care at an affordable price.

As a not-for-profit health care institution, Blue Shield is guided by certain ethical values, which enables them to be a catalyst for innovation and constant improvement.

Blue Shield of California supports and celebrates the different life paths of their clients. Their service helps many people in the Golden State of California live robust, healthy lives free from serious illnesses.

Blue Shield has a long enviable history of providing access to quality health care for millions of Californians with diverse lifestyles, different health conditions and different medical care needs. As a not-for-profit organization, their endeavor is more about preserving the health of their members than about dollars.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Companies like Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield must stay competitive especially with their continuing changes in the health care system. By offering better coverage, they can still compete not only with each other but also with what the government will be offering. There are also controversial issues like abortion and Medicare that the government will have to deal with before anything can be passed.

Companies like Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield can take advantage of whatever market the government leaves behind. For instance, large corporations like Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, can choose to cover abortion costs whatever the government chooses to do.…

By Dante Filyaw October 12, 2015 Off

Seniors Seek To Minimize Healthcare Costs As Anthem Blue Cross Increases Premiums

Los Angeles, Calif. (March 3, 2009) – Anthem Blue Cross implemented an across-the-board increase in Medicare supplement insurance plan premiums March 1, 2009, which is causing senior citizens to look for ways to maximize their healthcare dollars and minimize expenses.

This is particularly true in light of today’s recession and as IRAs and 401(k) retirement accounts continue to dwindle in value. As federal bailout and stimulus monies are released, some economists warn of possible increasing inflation rates, a concern for many on fixed incomes.

There is no way to entirely avoid rising insurance rates. AARP and AETNA both increased their Medicare supplement insurance plan premiums on Jan. 1, 2009, and depending on the plan, rates can go up at regular intervals as seniors get older. For seniors who are not affected by the upcoming Anthem Blue Cross rate increase, in the current economy it can be beneficial to shop around, since costs vary from plan to plan and from insurance company to insurance company.

Comparisons can be made by calling the various insurance companies one by one, by seeking out an insurance broker specializing in Medicare supplement insurance plans or even more conveniently by visiting a California-based Medicare supplement insurance plan Web site, such as http://www.medicaresupplementplans.com/. The site provides easy access to information about rates, plans and benefits from several prominent insurance companies.

“I received a notification that my insurance was being increased again. I went on the Internet…and now I’m saving over $100 a month,” said Sharon Davis, 67, of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Why purchase a Medicare supplement insurance plan at all? There is a common misconception that Medicare pays 80 percent of a senior’s healthcare costs. What Medicare actually pays is 80 percent of the amount it has approved for a particular health care service, not 80 percent of what the doctor actually charges. Medicare’s “80 percent” might, for example, cover only 50 percent of the doctor’s bill, often making a Medicare supplement insurance plan, also known as Medigap insurance, essential for senior citizens’ financial well-being.

Larry Peschek, 78, of Thousand Oaks said that his insurance broker “helped my wife and me get a Medigap policy that saved us money, but still had the same benefits.”

Available insurance options and plans can often be bewildering to seniors, leaving them to wonder what the difference in costs and benefits are between various Medicare supplement insurance plans. The information is out there; it’s just a mouse-click away at http://www.medicaresupplementplans.com/

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By Dante Filyaw October 11, 2015 Off

Aetna Family Health Insurance For Families With Children

It is very important for families to have health insurance. Aetna family health insurance can be a great buy for any family. It is important for children to have a regular doctor that the family can visit. It is also important that in case of emergency a child can get the proper care needed without it breaking the family’s bank. Also everyone usually needs medications at some point and children are not different. Aetna family health insurance can be a great way to save money for all these necessary services.

Children need to go to the doctors for regular check ups. It is important in their preventative care. There are many childhood illnesses that can be treated before the child gets terribly sick from them. Asthma is one such disease. Also children need shots to prevent things like measles and small pox. Aetna family health insurance can help to make these visits cost less. Although this is important, most of the time children need to go to the doctors because they get sick. Public schools are breeding grounds for many illnesses. Strep throat and chicken pox runs through most grade schools non-stop. Aetna family health insurance can help with these visits.

Everyone gets hurt and needs immediate care at some point. It is very common for this to happen to children. Children can be clumsy and have all sorts of accidents all the time. They also do not always use the best judgment and do things like climb too high on a tree or run too fast down a hill. Aetna family health insurance can help with the costs of these visits. There are other more unfortunate circumstances too that can lead children into the emergency room. In cases like car accidents, a whole family may end up going to the emergency room. This can be very expensive for so many people to all have been seriously hurt at the same time. Aetna family health insurance is then a very useful thing for people in those types of situations to have.

When people get sick they need medications to make them better. Children are no different and usually are sick more often then adults. Often they just need penicillin, but depending on the school there can be lots of medications that children need. For instance if lice break out in a class, then all of the children will need medicated shampoo to get rid of them. In smoggy places like Los Angeles, children often need inhalers or other things to help them breathe. Aetna family health insurance can help with the price of medications. There are other medical supplies that Aetna family health insurance can help with as well. Children often break limbs and need crutches or are diabetic and need insulin.…

By Dante Filyaw October 9, 2015 Off

Doctors Debate Healthcare Reform Online

Today, the Los Angeles County Medical Association in association with Doctors for America, the California Medical Association, the Orange County Medical Association, and Youngphysicians.org announced plans to produce the first online healthcare reform town hall meeting for healthcare professionals by healthcare professionals entitled – “Policies that Impact Your Practice.” This live event, co-produced by EMARC and VeoMed, will focus on doctors’ issues and fears surrounding the pending healthcare reform bill. Medical professionals and those interested in the healthcare reform debate are encouraged to log on to www.VeoMed.com/EMARC to watch and discuss this free event on October 7th, 2009 at 5pm PST/8pm EST.

“We are looking forward to an honest and open discussion of what doctors are facing. This is an important and new opportunity for our community to engage and learn from each other,” stated Youngphysicians.org President Dr. Liza Capiendo.

Developed as a program dedicated to healthcare professionals, the town hall forum will involve a live moderated panel, opportunities for guests to phone-in live, and an online discussion. Due to the online nature of this event, organizers expect to be able to accommodate tens of thousands of participants from across the nation.

Dr. Nick Shroff, the Director of the Midland Urology Center in Texas said, “I am glad to see that VeoMed and EMARC are facilitating a meaningful online discussion on the impact of the proposed Obama health care reform. Where else can you find thousands of doctors discussing this important topic?”

The live event will be moderated by Southern California Physicians Magazine Editor Cheryl England, and will feature distinguished panelists including: Dr. Marcy Zwelling from the Los Angeles County Medical Association; Dr. Alice Chen, Vice President of Doctors for America; Dr. Liza Capiendo, President of Youngphysicians.org; and Dr. Alex Foxman, Vice President of Youngphysicians.org and Founder of the Beverly Hills Institute.

“Regardless of whether or not you support healthcare reform efforts, it is important–actually critical that doctors are involved and connected to this ongoing process. This powerful program has opened doors to thousands and thousands of physicians who want to be engaged,” said Dr. Marcy Zwelling from the Los Angeles County Medical Association.

Participate online on at www.VeoMed.com/EMARC on October 7, 2009 at 5pm PST/8pm EST.

About VeoMed
VeoMed is a technology company dedicated to providing the medical community with social media solutions. VeoMed’s social media software blends the best features of YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter into one platform designed to facilitate communication, collaboration, and information sharing, around pertinent issues in medicine. VeoMed’s software powers VeoMed.com, a leading free social media website for healthcare professionals, academic institutions, and medical organizations. VeoMed also licenses its software to biotech, pharma, and medical device companies, as well as other institutions interested in creating their own customized online communities.

VeoMed has hosted two other live events on healthcare reform led by prominent thought-leaders in the medical community including the American Medical Association President Dr. Rohack and policy leaders from the California and Los Angeles Medical Association.

About EMARC
EMARC is a communications firm specializing in providing medical professionals resources that will improve their business development capabilities. Through advanced marketing services to innovative continuing medical education programs, EMARC provides its clients new advantages in a dynamic marketplace.

About Doctors for America
Doctors for America is a grassroots coalition of doctors across America speaking up to build a better healthcare system. Doctors for America believes that physicians have a critical responsibility to bring physician expertise to ensuring the country enacts effective, comprehensive reform this year.

About the California Medical Association
The California Medical Association (CMA) represents more than 35,000 physicians in all modes of practice and specialties. The CMA is dedicated to the health of all patients in California.

About the Los Angeles County Medical Association:
The Los Angeles County Medical Association (LACMA) is a professional association representing physicians from every medical specialty and practice setting as well as medical students, interns, and residents. For over 100 years, LACMA has been at the forefront of medicine, assuring that its members are represented in the areas of public policy, government relations, and community relations.

About the Orange County Medical Association
The Orange County Medical Association (OCMA), a non-profit voluntary organization, is designed to promote the science …

By Dante Filyaw October 7, 2015 Off

Los Angeles Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Centers

Los Angeles often referred to by its initials, L.A., is the second most populated city in the United States and the largest in California. Los Angeles is one of the biggest economic, tourist and cultural centers in the U.S. if not the world. To give you some idea of how big LA really is, the LA five-county area has the world’s 11th largest economy in gross domestic product, ahead of the Netherlands, South Korea, and Mexico. As a manufacturing center LA ranks second in the country, only behind Chicago, and ahead of Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis. On the basis of population alone, Los Angeles County would be the ninth largest state in the United States.

Just like other major metropolitan areas around the world, LA has its share of problems related to drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. According to the County of Los Angeles Substance Abuse Prevention and Control factsheet (http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/sapc/FactSheet/AlcoholFactSheet.pdf) published in October 2010, the estimated annual economic impact of alcohol use in Los Angeles County is $10.8 billion. This cost includes: Illness ($5.4 billion), Traffic (DUI; $2.0 billion), Other Injury ($1.0 billion), and Crime ($2.4 billion). In 2007, there were 203,866 DUI arrests in California. In 2007, there were 42,736 DUI arrests in Los Angeles County alone. In 2008, there were 258 alcohol-involved fatal collisions in Los Angeles County and 4,832 alcohol-involved injury collisions.

In terms of drug-related problems for LA County, drug overdose, including unintentional alcohol poisoning, is the fourth leading cause of premature death in Los Angeles County and the 17th leading cause of death overall. It is the fourth leading cause of pre-mature death among men (15,446 deaths) and the seventh leading cause of premature death among women (5,495 deaths) in Los Angeles. Drug offenses account for the highest percentage of overall felony arrests in Los Angeles County. In 2008, there were 40,928 felony arrests for drug offenses and 34,312 misdemeanor drug arrests.

Fortunately the Los Angeles area also has a myriad of drug rehabilitation and alcohol treatment options for those seeking professional assistance with drug or alcohol problems. According to the national directory of drug and alcohol resources provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association or SAMHSA (http://dasis3.samhsa.gov/), there is a total of 429 drug and alcohol rehab programs in Los Angeles County. In the SAMHSA directory, LA County has 83 drug and alcohol detoxification centers, 41 methadone maintenance programs, 40 methadone detox centers, 53 halfway house facilities, 44 that use buprenorphine in treatment, 332 outpatient treatment programs, 82 programs that offer partial hospitalization, 64 residential short-term treatment centers, 134 residential long-term treatment centers, and 10 programs that provide hospital inpatient services.

Furthermore of those drug rehabs and treatment programs in the Los Angeles area, many provide specialized drug and alcohol treatment services for those with special needs. According to the SAMHSA directory, 161 facilities provide treatment services for adolescents, 168 programs for those with dual-diagnosis disorders, 86 programs for persons with HIV/AIDS, 66 facilities specifically designed for gays and lesbians, 69 facilities for seniors and older adults, 104 that provide services for pregnant or postpartum women, 153 facilities services exclusively for women, 24 facilities that provide residential beds for clients’ children, 127 facilities that provide rehab services specifically for men, 35 programs for DUI offenders, and 143 programs for criminal justice clients.…

By Dante Filyaw October 3, 2015 Off

The 15 Largest Health Spas in the USA

Health spas are places for relaxation and rejuvenation. Some of the largest health spas in the USA are discussed here.

The 15 largest health spas in the USA are:
1. Dolce Salon and Spa is located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is a luxurious spa with 28 styling stations, 21 full service spa rooms, 10 manicure and 10 pedicure thrones, a tanning room, a make up full service center and retail boutique. It covers an area of 13,083 square feet with two stories structure. It features body treatments, facials and massage therapy.

2. 24 Hour Fitness is located in San Fernando Valley. Mark Mastrov started it in 1983 with the name “24 Hour Nautilus in San Leandro, California. Today it has 338 clubs in 16 US states. This fitness club provides full service fitness centers, saunas, and group exercise classes.

3. Inn and Spa Berkeley Spring is located in Berkeley Spring, West Virginia. It features 62 guest rooms, 5 suites and famous for their secluded guest cottages. It provides classic and excellent service for client relaxation needs.

4. Today the fourth largest health club chain is Wellbridge. It features over 45 clubs in 16 markets of fitness and wellness spa for working professionals and fitness enthusiasts. It is a concept of fitness, wellness, sports, and fun.

5. Nirvana Spa is located in Miami Beach, Florida. It features unique spas, 4 exotic steam rooms, massage, and yoga and workout facilities.

6. California Health & Longevity Institute has a total area of 40,000 square foot spa, which offers combination of Asia and Western rituals and strategies in the world of holistic treatments and therapy. This institute provides lifestyle transformation thru life advisor therapy to clients. It also houses a medical clinic, which provides medical assessments to complete the personalized life planning experience.

7. Evergreen spa offers treatments of combined touch approaches and organic products, which believe in holistic, approach spa.

8. Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa is a complete resort spa. It includes 5 pools and a two-storey health spa with fitness center covering 22 oceanfront acres. This place allows clients to experience canoe riding, underwater tours, and club activities. It also contains a library, bars, and restaurants.

9. Evensong Spa is located in the wooded acres of Green Lake, Wisconsin. It is a complete picture of woods, wetland, trails, and paths. It provides relaxation and healing services thru the combination of natural and modern products. The best feature this place can offer is their famous indoor labyrinth. This winding path allows customers to improve their brain activities.

10. The Spa at the Balboa Bay Club features nine treatment rooms, hot whirlpool, eucalyptus steam room, lounge with fireplace, and beauty amenities. It is located in Newport Beach, California. Customers get ultimate relaxation while bay viewing.

11. Spa Solage is a geothermal spa located at Solage Calistoga Resort in Calistoga, California. It has an area of 20,000 square feet, wide enough to allow customers to experience full transformation and relaxation with 14 stylish treatment rooms like the mud bar, fitness classes, beauty retreats hosted by professionals.

12. AquaMedica is a day spa located at Long branch, New Jersey. It is the best day spa in New Jersey which includes eleven treatment rooms, steam room, and color therapy shower. It offers treatments for men, women, and teens. It occupies an area of 5000 square feet facility with a water theme.

13. CopperWynd Resort and Club is located in between Scottsdale and Fountain Hills. It is a place of organic healing and rejuvenation allowing customers to appreciate nature. It offers relaxation while enjoying vacation or doing club activities.

14. Littlefield Cottage is another spa of combined ancient arts and modern strategies towards healing and transformation. Healthcare professionals provide wellness programs customized to the needs of the customers. It is located in Dahlonega, Georgia.

15. Bella Vita Retreat is located in a beach near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. One can choose between the Bella Boot Camp and a Private Weight Loss Retreat.…

By Dante Filyaw October 2, 2015 Off

Kaiser Permanente from Then to Now

Many different people have insurance from Kaiser Permanente and receive all of their primary care from the hospitals and physicians within this popular healthcare network today.  The organization operates in nine different states as well as Washington, DC.  Kaiser Permanente Colorado serves the Boulder and Denver areas, for example, while there are also separate networks for Northern and Southern California as well as the Pacific Northwest states and Hawaii.  There are also plans for Kaiser Permanente Georgia and the Mid-Atlantic States, which individuals, families and small businesses in those areas can sign up for. 

The story of Kaiser Permanente goes back to 1945, when industrialist Henry J. Kaiser and physician Sidney R. Garfield founded the organization at the height of the great depression with just one inventive young surgeon and a twelve bed hospital in the middle of the Mojave Desert.  It wasn’t long until the health insurance enterprise spread to include Kaiser Permanente Colorado and all eight other state-specific networks, but first there was a lot of work for this industrialist and doctor who revolutionized healthcare in the United States. 

The idea was set into motion when Dr. Garfield saw thousands of men occupied in building the Los Angeles Aqueduct who needed healthcare, so he borrowed money to construct Contractors General Hospital six miles from the tiny town of Desert Center to treat injured and sick workers.  He was having trouble financing the operation and convincing insurance companies to pay for his bills on time, and since he also cared for non-insured workers, he often paid for the services himself and was quickly getting into more debt than he could pay off.  This was when Henry J. Kaiser came in, and now there are facilities from Kaiser Permanente Georgia to Kaiser Hawaii bearing his name.

Kaiser Permanente is now administered through eight regions, including one parent and five subordinate health plan entities with one hospital entity and nine separate affiliated medical groups.  This may sound confusing, but as an individual or family, rest assured you only need to be concerned with the specific affiliated medical group for the area where you reside.…

By Dante Filyaw October 2, 2015 Off