As the Healthcare landscape changes in the USA, how healthy is your Healthcare? Whether Obama-care survives the Judicial and Legislative battles, Healthcare is changing.Don’t expect to go back to allowing Insurance companies to deny coverage based on a pre-existing condition. And the days of canceling insurance when a person is sick are over. These changes that are perceived by the public to be good will stay in place. Insurance companies expect to have a large new pool of young, healthy folks buying insurance. If that does not happen, someone must pay the cost. That would be you. Either you pay more for coverage or the government provides a transfer payment. Either way, we are on the hook.But that is just the tip of the iceberg. We are living longer as a people. You can check the census data to verify this fact. But you know this to be true without checking. As we live longer we experience more health needs. Financial pressure is brought on Medicare, Social Security and other public and private retirement systems.Our birthrate is now lower than in previous years. This means that there are fewer of us coming along to pay the cost for us as we age. You have seen the figures about the number of folks paying into government programs shrinking. All the while, the number of us receiving benefits is rising. Does the Baby Boomer Generation ring a bell? Yet we are better off than many other countries facing the same challenges.What does all this mean? Are we truly going to have rationed healthcare? Will all our rates, deductibles and co-pays go up? That is the question? And who will provide the answer?What can we do? First, stay healthy. Exercise, stay as close to your optimal weight as possible, eat your vegetables, grab those fruits, take any medication as prescribed and see your medical caregiver as needed.Plan for the worst and work for the best outcome. Be aware of the ever changing healthcare debate. Speak out! Be proactive. This is your life, your health.Determine what you want to leave for your children and their children. Do you want them saddled with debt to pay behalf of your generation? If not, work to be a part of the solution. Eat you spinach. Drink your milk. And be ready to shake the political nuts out of the tree.
When it comes to healthcare and the options available it can be very complicated. This was especially so for a woman and her husband’s two surgeries within one year. One surgery was for appendicitis and then another, which brought their medical bills to $147,000. They had insurance, so they covered $100,000, which left them with 47,000 out-of-pocket to pay. Since they didn’t have enough in their savings to cover it they went to the internet for a solution. They were able to find a solution that worked alongside their current insurance plan. The company provided a supplemental healthcare plan.The supplemental healthcare provider was able to go to battle for the couple and bring their $47,000 debt down to $1,655. They credited this to the company, but it was ultimately great to know that there was a solution that helped their finances in the midst of uncertainty.Supplemental healthcare programs are becoming the “go to” alternative for many people just like this family who can’t afford their hospital bills. These hospital advocates, under the programs, negotiate with the hospitals and the insurance companies on behalf of the client. Sometimes they are able to bring the bills down to zero. Most discount programs give discounts ranging from 20 – 50%. This can increase a bit based on the primary care physician you choose and you may be able to get an even larger discount from the doctor in addition to what you receive from the programs.If you are interested in wanting to explore a discount program, remember that not all of them are the same. They each have different rates of discounts for hospitalization, medical procedures, and more. They may not even have a hospital advocacy attached to their discount health programs, so look for this if you fall in the previous situation as the couple. Be sure to compare the competition and go with a plan that suits your situation. If your situation is not that recent you may have to come out of pocket so be aware of your options and think in a preventive way about protection.No one knows when the time will come for an unexpected visit to the emergency room but one thing is for sure options are available. No one should feel boxed in by insurance companies and their small print. Supplemental healthcare may be just the thing you need to hold you over until your new year of insurance coverage begins.
When Accurate Time Counts – Drug AdministeringEvery second counts in a life or death situation, therefore, hospitals depend on accurate time. Legally, doctors & nurses are required to record every minute of patient care to avoid potentially fatal consequences.Precision time is particularly crucial in hospitals for administering drugs. Exact times must be recorded in order to ensure life-saving drugs are administered at required intervals.Administer too early & this could lead to further health problems, administer too late & the outcome could prove fatal, potentially leading to lawsuits.Every aspect of patient care needs to be timed to perfection, mainly because hospitals experience regular staff changeovers. Therefore, it’s vital that time records are accurate for the purposes of medical staff relaying patient information to each other.Accurately charting when a patient’s vitals were last taken, and times they have received required medication, aids healthcare personnel in delivering the best care.When Accurate Time Counts – During SurgeryThe operating room also relies on precise time. Why? It allows medical staff to monitor the amount of time that has lapsed during a critical situation. Timing is everything when resuscitation is necessary during cardiac arrest scenarios.For instance, the UK resuscitation council’s guidelines for resuscitation recommend that doctors should attempt resuscitation procedures for at least 15 minutes after cardiac arrest. One clock, out of sync by one minute, could potentially cost a life.Anaesthesiologists also rely on precise time in order to administer anaesthetics at correct intervals. Mistiming a dose of anaesthetic could lead to several complications.For instance, in the USA 24% of at risk hospital patients suffered complications due to anaesthetics between 2000 & 2002.Staying in the US, a proportion of surgeries are covered by medical insurance, so an accurate time record of healthcare is vital to both hospital & patient.When Accurate Time Counts – Healthcare Administration Keeping any healthcare facility running efficiently is dependent on accurate time. Hospitals, GP surgeries & dentists all rely on precise time to meet appointments and manage staff changeover.Wasting time has serious implications on functionality.Accurate time is also vital to computer networks. Many of the processes carried out by a healthcare facility’s computer network require precision timing to backup databases that hold patient records.Literally every clock, in every corridor, on every ward, in every waiting area or every operating room should be in sync, using NTP servers, for the protection of patients, staff & the institution as a whole.
If you or someone you love is recovering from a surgery or other type of hospital stay, home health care in Illinois can help you. While you may feel up to the task of caring solely for yourself, your body probably isn’t quite ready to take on such a responsibility. With home healthcare you will have someone available to assist you with all of your needs at any time of day or night. A complete recovery often requires the services of many medical specialists. Home healthcare allows a seamless transition between the hospital and home recovery by coordinating a team of nurse health professionals to carry out the physician-prescribed treatment plan.If your current medical status has you taking several different prescriptions, your nurse will ensure that you are taking the correct dosage at the correct intervals throughout each day. The nurse will also check to make sure that your prescription drugs are performing the way that your doctor intended. The nurse will assess your symptoms to make sure that your recovery is going well.If you have been in the hospital due to any type of cardiac problem, home healthcare in Illinois can also benefit you. Your nurse will be responsible to make sure that there are no lingering complications due to whatever surgery you may have had. Rather than remaining at your home throughout the day or night, the nurse will most likely drop by your home at regular intervals to check on your progress.Those who require speech or physical therapy can also benefit from home healthcare. Rehabilitation therapists are available to provide you will any sort of therapy that your physician believes you require. These therapists will work with you and adjust your therapy as needed depending on your level of progress. If you are feeling like you would rather be a little more independent, the nursing staff can educate you on your particular needs. They can instruct you on what types of exercises or stretches you can benefit from. They can even work with your family so everyone involved is as knowledgeable as possible.Whatever your current condition may require following your hospital stay, you can rest assured that your Illinois healthcare will have you in good hands. The follow-up treatments or therapy that your particular case requires will best be handled through home healthcare. With these highly qualified nurses at your disposal at any time of day or night, you will be able to relax a little easier. This will probably decrease the length of your recovery time, simply by relieving a little bit of that stress you feel after a stay in the hospital.
Everyday habits impact your employees’ lives significantly. These habits also impact your company significantly, since poor employee health is leading to increasing healthcare costs. The key to changing health care costs is changing health. The first step to a healthy company is awareness. The more aware your employees are, the more smoothly your benefits plan can be run.Once awareness increases, the next step is education. The more employees know the better choices they will make. Only 36% of employees feel educated about their benefits, according to a recent study. It is difficult for employees to make decisions on their healthcare use if they don’t feel like they know enough about it. Regular communication (through newsletters or surveys from a broker or wellness provider) is a great way to keep your employees educated.By educating your employees on the benefits plan, employees will know what they have. The same goes for everyday habits that lead to (or prevent) health issues.Once employees are aware of the role they play in their own health and care, the better decisions they will make. These better decisions – healthy decisions will lead to increased productivity, decreased medical costs and eventually lower insurance premiums. The moral of the story is: increase employee awareness, educate them on your healthcare plan and ways they can impact their own health and the impact they have on costs for everyone in your company.Healthcare is not just the responsibility of employers. While, health is not just the responsibility of employees. We are all responsible for both. Employees need to take ownership of their own health and employers need to help them do so. The more people know about their healthcare, the better they can use it and the better they can care for their own health. Companies that educate their employees are seeing the benefits in many ways. This is the way we have to go. Increased awareness and education with better decisions being made.
Constantly under review and scrutiny, the issues on healthcare Systems have become international.Made up mainly of organizations and individuals, these healthcare structural systems are designed to meet a target population’s need for health care. On an international level, there is a diverse variety of health care systems. In some countries the planning of the health care systems are market driven and participated in by the private sector. In other countries the systems are composed of government and non-government entities such as religious groups, trade unions charities and or other coordinative bodies that are centrally run and planned, to enable the delivery of healthcare services to the populations they target. In other words, health care planning has evolved.According to a World Health Organization report in 2000, the main goals of health systems are the ability to provide a responsive health service alongside considerations of fair financial contributions. In order to appraise overall health care systems, a proposed two-dimensional approach was conceived. The first dimension consists of equity and the second is composed of efficiency, quality and acceptability.Several proposals have come from the Senate in the United States and the White House. Health care system issues according to President Obama are issues that should be addressed immediately and placed them on a top priority list. A universal health care system does not exist or is practiced in the United States. Some countries subsidize their universal healthcare directly from government coffers. This kind of universal healthcare is called socialized medicine, which is a combination of private and public delivery systems, with most countries spending public funds for this service delivery. Government taxes plays the role of funding this system supplemented and strengthened with private payments.The World Health Organization (WHO) report of 2000 ranks each member country’s health care system. Discussions on the positive and negative aspects of replacing health care systems with insurance systems use this report’s quotation. However, the WHO has remarked that as ranking healthcare systems is a complex task, these ranking tables will no longer be produced. Infant mortality and life expectancy are two main variables that are used in the ranking. Out of 198 countries, Canada ranks thirtieth and the US ranks thirty seventh. The World Health Organization ranks France, San Marino, Italy, Andorra, Singapore, Malta, Spain, Austria, Oman and Japan as the world’s top ten.With the founding of the UN (United Nations), there was planning and discussion on the need for a single entity to serve, observe and assess global health care system trends. Thus the World Health Organization was formed in 1948 on April 7th with headquarters based in Geneva, Switzerland. Annually the WHO is recognized by the celebration of a World Health Day. The WHO is the coordinative and directive authority for United Nations’ member countries individual health systems. Member countries of the United Nations are allowed WHO membership through the acceptance of the WHO constitution. To date there are a total of 198 member nations participating in WHO programs.
Consumer driven healthcare plans have proven to be an excellent solution to rising healthcare costs. Here are the two parts to true consumer driven healthcare coverage.The Catastrophic Health PlanSometimes referred to as a high deductible health plan, a catastrophic health plan has some advantages over a traditional health insurance plan. The first and largest benefit of owning catastrophic health insurance is the affordable price. Because the deductibles are higher and due to the very nature of the plans, they can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per year over traditional plans.The other big advantage to these plans is that some of them cover 100% of your medical expenses after you meet your deductible. Find the right plan and you won’t have to worry about splitting medicals bills with the insurance company once your deductible has been met.The Tax Advantaged Financial AccountThe other component of consumer driven healthcare plans is the financial account. Having a qualified high deductible health plan qualifies you to open a health savings account (HSA). This account allows you to deposit money into your HSA pre-tax and pay for your medical, dental, and other expenses tax free. It’s a huge advantage if you are in a medium or high tax bracket.Together, a catastrophic medical plan and a tax advantaged financial account make up a consumer driven healthcare plan. Consider this solution for yourself or your family. Start saving thousands of dollars per year on your health insurance premiums and hundreds, if not thousands more on medical expenses if they arise.
With the constantly-rising cost of healthcare and health services, many healthcare organizations are concerned about providing quality and affordable care for their patients, while still being able to make a profit.As with any other business, healthcare organizations are concerned about the return on their investments, or their ROI. Any time a new piece of equipment is purchased, or a new system is adopted, the ROI must be considered.One question that is currently being debated, in terms of its potential ROI, is the adoption of electronic record-keeping systems such as EMRs and EHRs.EMRs, or electronic medical records, are used to store all of a patient’s information in an electronic format, and are designed for use within a single organization where a patient receives long-term care. EHRs (electronic health records) are intended to store a more comprehensive and all-inclusive patient history, and to be shared among several organizations which have access to the system.That way, caregivers always have access to a particular patient’s information (including diagnoses, test results, treatments, etc.), even if they visit multiple providers, without patients and caregivers having to concern themselves with the transfer of paper records.Doctors and hospitals are slow to adopt these systems, however, because there is a high initial investment required; the equipment and software must be purchased, and then they must learn to use the systems.The time and effort spent, by caregivers, on learning the new systems detracts from that which can be spent on patient care, and they must also pay their staff extra for the time they dedicate to mastering the technology.However, despite the large initial investment, the ROI for these systems is high according to many experts, and more organizations are choosing to adopt the technology.The organized and neat format eliminates time wasted trying to locate files and decipher notes that are often nearly illegible; the system can also help to eliminate medical errors, which saves money on malpractice insurance and lawsuits.Unnecessary tests and repetitive treatments can also be avoided, which saves time and effort, but also a great deal of money.Paper records also require a great deal more storage space than electronic systems, and use up a significant amount of supplies, which means that while the initial investment for these systems is low, the cost to maintain them over time can be much higher than many practitioners realize.