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Archives for: January 2011

01/31/11

  05:16:24 pm, by MedBen5   , 227 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

MedBen out in Front with Wellness Model

The KevinMD.com blog discusses the various ways members of the health care industry have endeavored to control care costs over the past three decades, and notes an “emerging business model” that is finding success: “[W]e are beginning… more »
  03:56:37 pm, by MedBen5   , 164 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Reducing Salt Intake Tops New Federal Dietary Guidelines

The federal government has a message for every other person in America: Cut down on the salt, people! The Associated Press (via MSNBC) reports that the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services have released updated dietary guidelines,… more »
  12:40:29 pm, by MedBen5   , 193 words,  
Categories: Prescription

What Does a Drug's Expiration Date Mean?

The Slate website examines the question of whether drugs are still effective after their stated expiration dates, and answers with a definite “well, maybe". As the article notes, a medication’s expiration date is not the day it stops… more »
  11:37:12 am, by MedBen5   , 216 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Regular Breaks from Sitting Good for the Heart, Study Finds

Have you been sitting at your desk all morning without taking a break? That’s admirable – but not all that great for your health, according to a recent study. As reported by HealthDay (via Yahoo! Health), researchers found that people who… more »

01/28/11

  05:59:04 pm, by MedBen5   , 131 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Allegra OKed by FDA for OTC Sales

Allegra will soon be available without a prescription, according to The Orlando Sentinel. The Food and Drug Adminstration has given the green light to sell the popular allergy drug over the counter beginning in March. Allegra – as well as its… more »
  05:29:32 pm, by MedBen5   , 197 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Study Reveals Flu Double Standard

From the “Do as I say, not as I do” department: A new survey finds that 59% of Americans get irritated when another person comes to work or a public place with the flu. But that doesn’t stop 66% of us from going about our daily… more »
  02:41:33 pm, by MedBen5   , 148 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Waiver Fever Hits the Capitol

The Hill website reports that over 700 groups have received waivers from the Department of Health and Human Services, thus excluding them from meeting 2011 coverage limits under the Affordable Care Act. Most of the 729 businesses and unions, which… more »

01/26/11

  11:06:13 pm, by MedBen5   , 166 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

US Life Expectancy Lags Behind Other Countires

Our poor lifestyle choices have apparently caught up with us. A report from the National Research Council on international longevity found that while Americans are living longer than they used to, we lag behind the lifespans of many other wealthy… more »
  09:51:51 pm, by MedBen5   , 143 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

President Obama Expresses Willingness to Tinker with Reform Act

Health care reform was among the topics President Obama addressed in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. In the wake of efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Obama expressed a willingness to work with Republicans to make improvements to… more »

01/25/11

  10:43:47 pm, by MedBen5   , 156 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Anti-fraud Measures Recover $2.5 Billion Last Year

It was a record-breaking year for health care fraud recoveries, USA Today reports. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that federal agents won $2.5 billion in fraud cases during the budget year that ended in September.… more »
  09:52:38 pm, by MedBen5   , 184 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Use Your Head When Shoveling Snow (or Words to that Effect)

If you live in a cold weather climate, chances are you’ve already taken a snow shovel in hand and cleared off your driveway or sidewalk. But as WebMD points out, you do so at your own risk: on average, more than 11,000 adults and children visit… more »
  05:32:49 pm, by MedBen5   , 255 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Health System Headaches Go Global

The See First Blog offers a convincing argument that dissatisfaction with the health care system is not a uniquely American phemonenon. Writer Evan Falchuk cites The Commonwealth Fund’s 2010 international survey on health care views, observing that… more »

01/20/11

  05:45:58 pm, by MedBen5   , 178 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

CDHP Growth Continues in 2010

The number of people enrolling in FSAs, HRAs and other consumer-driven health plans continued to grow in 2010, an Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) survey finds. Insurance & Financal Advisor website reports enrollment in CDHPs rose from 4%… more »
  12:34:21 pm, by MedBen5   , 218 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Study Finds Fruit & Vegetable Consumption Leads to Heart Health

The produce section of food pyramid may get a little more crowded, if new research proves to be influential. As reported by ABC News, A University of Oxford study found that people who ate eight or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day were 22%… more »
  11:23:09 am, by MedBen5   , 189 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

House Votes in Favor of Reform Repeal

As expected, the House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday to repeal the federal health care reform law. The vote was 245 to 189, almost completely along party lines (three Democrats voted for the repeal, while no Republicans voted against it).… more »

01/19/11

  06:45:09 pm, by MedBen5   , 238 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Cancer Costs Projected to Increase 27% This Decade

A National Institutes of Health study finds that the projected cost of cancer treatments will reach at least $158 billion in today’s dollars by 2020 – a 27% increase from current levels, according to The American College of Physicians… more »
  06:09:26 pm, by MedBen5   , 242 words,  
Categories: News

Half the Country Has A Pre-existing Condition? Really?

On the same day that the question of repealing the Affordable Care Act came up before the House of Representative, the Department of Health and Human Services released an report stating that as many as 129 million Americans under age 65 have… more »
  04:59:05 pm, by MedBen5   , 192 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Play It Safe When Cold Weather Hits

Cold enough for you? It is, you say? Okay, dumb question. Odd thing about chilly weather… it brings out the “rugged individualists". You know the type we speak of – people who brave freezing temperatures wearing little more than a… more »

01/18/11

  06:21:24 pm, by MedBen5   , 230 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Ohio Pharmacy Board Restricts Rx Transfers To One Per Year

The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy has made a rule change affecting the transfer of prescriptions. Effective January 1, 2011, a patient may transfer a prescription to a different pharmacy only once per year. The rule does not apply to electronically… more »
  06:20:12 pm, by MedBen5   , 247 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Appointment Preparation Saves Time and Money

Chances are, you see your family doctor no more than one or two times a year. And once you’ve made an appointment, you probably have a general idea of much time that appointment will last… which is to say, not too long. After all, most… more »
  04:42:39 pm, by MedBen5   , 143 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

House Republicans Introduce Repeal Bill

Republican Representatives today introduced the 2011 GOP Health Law Repeal Bill, aka the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act". The House of Representatives will debate the RJKHCLA today and are expected to vote on it Wednesday. The… more »

01/17/11

  04:27:50 pm, by MedBen5   , 317 words,  
Categories: News, Discounts

MedBen Saves Clients Millions On Unnecessary Heart Implant Devices

MedBen sets itself from the competition by offering cost containment measures that go beyond plan provisions and network discounts. Here on the Blog, we frequently discuss our claims surveillance system that saves clients an average of 46 percent on… more »
  03:14:53 pm, by MedBen5   , 133 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Do Fluids Really Help to Conquer Colds?

“Drink plenty of fluids when you’ve got a cold” – it’s advice we’ve all heard and shared, but does it carry any truth? An article in The New York Times says little evidence exists one way or the other. Scientists at… more »
  12:18:38 pm, by MedBen5   , 155 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Nutritional Info Makes Little Impact on Dining Habits: Study

All that money that fast food chains are about to invest in modifying their drive-thru menus may be for naught. A new study by Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School found that laws requiring franchise restaurants to provide… more »

01/13/11

  06:25:24 pm, by MedBen5   , 292 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Know Your Health Club Etiquette

Fitness clubs always see a business spike in January, as the New Year’s Resolution crowd arrives en masse. The throngs invariably diminish by February, but the determined ones stick with it. If you’re among those persistent few,… more »
  05:45:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 229 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

House Reform Repeal Bill to Be Introduced Next Week

As a new session of Congress convenes with the GOP holding a House majority, Republican Representatives are expected to introduce a bill next Tuesday calling for a repeal of health care reform, ABC News reports. “Americans have legitimate concerns… more »
  03:35:20 pm, by MedBen5   , 146 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Obesity in US, Canada Costs $300 Billion Annually

Getting bigger is getting pricey. A new study – reported by HealthDay News via MedicineNet.com – shows that the economic cost of overweight and obesity in the United States is currently about $270 billion a year, and $30 billion in Canada.… more »

01/11/11

  10:28:32 pm, by MedBen5   , 188 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Benefit Selection Meetings for State Exchanges About to Begin

State-based insurance exchanges won’t be in place nationwide until 2014, but the process of determining what benefits will be covered under the exchanges is already underway, Kaiser Health News reports. A 17-member panel from the independent… more »
  09:49:49 pm, by MedBen5   , 246 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Wellness

Use Caution When Splitting Pills, Researchers Suggest

Take care when you’re splitting pills if you’re making the cut to reduce your dosage. According to MedicineNet.com, a study featured in the January issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing finds that there’s a fine line between a… more »
  09:08:20 pm, by MedBen5   , 164 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Little Lifestyle Changes Make A Big Difference

If “lose weight” was at the top of your resolution list, a smart strategy is avoid making major modifications to your lifestyle, and instead focus on little things that can make a big difference. Consumer Reports Health (via The Louisville… more »

01/10/11

  10:15:44 pm, by MedBen5   , 189 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

Preventive Screenings Get Mixed Media Coverage in 2010

Preventive care has been one of the thornier aspects of the government’s health care reform efforts – how to balance the genuine benefits of many screening tests without going overboard on the number of tests offered, or offering tests that… more »
  08:26:28 pm, by MedBen5   , 123 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Does the "Little Green Leaf" Sweetener Measure Up?

You’ve probably seen the commercial for the natural sweetener that “comes from a little green leaf” – it’s been pretty hard to avoid lately. The sweetener is question is called stevia, and the foliage it comes from is a… more »

01/06/11

  05:39:54 pm, by MedBen5   , 162 words,  
Categories: News

An About Face on Medicare End-of-life Planning

A new Medicare regulation that tacitly endorsed end-of-life planning assistance – and which was quietly approved by the Obama administration just last week – will be revised, The New York Times reports. While praised by doctors and… more »

01/04/11

  10:44:33 pm, by MedBen5   , 138 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Pharmacy Organization Proposes Drug Label Changes

Most doctors and pharmacists do their best to ensure that patients understand drug dosage, but that doesn’t always make the instructions on the pill bottle any more comprehensible. To hopefully make things clearer, the U.S. Pharmacopeial… more »
  09:53:50 pm, by MedBen5   , 168 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Dear Food Diary...

A food diary is a great means to record your deepest, darkest dietary secrets, like “I had a turkey sandwich, an apple and a diet soda for lunch today… tell no one!” Okay, that’s not how a real food diary works – actually,… more »

01/03/11

  07:02:05 pm, by MedBen5   , 193 words,  
Categories: Prescription

Rx Coupons May Spur Higher Health Care Costs

The New York Times reports that pharmaceutical companies are increasingly providing patients with co-payment cards and coupons in an effort to steer them toward brand name drugs and away from their generic equivalents. Such discounts serve to mask the… more »
  06:58:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 267 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

More Reform Provisions to Come in 2011

A new year brings new health care reforms! Kaiser Health News has compiled “Nine Ways The New Health Law May Affect You in 2011″. Most of the changes relate to Medicare, such as the closing of the infamous “doughnut” hole,… more »
  06:14:50 pm, by MedBen5   , 247 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Make Some Healthy Resolutions This Year

Boston.com has put together a list of healthy resolutions you can make in 2011 – some physical, some psychological. We’ll summarize a few of our favorites below, though they’re all smart ideas (you can read the complete article here).… more »