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Archives for: March 2011

03/31/11

  05:21:44 pm, by MedBen5   , 181 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Ohio Pharmacy Board To Reverse One-Transfer Rule

Well, that was fast. On January 1, a rule went into effect that limited pharmacy prescription transfer to one per year. Now, measures are being taken by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy to reverse the rule. Oh, did we mention that the same Board of… more »
  02:24:50 pm, by MedBen5   , 243 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Artificial Food Colorings Under FDA Scrutiny

Artificial dyes that make many foods all colorful and attractive to kids may come under scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administation, The New York Times reports. Despite concluding years ago that food colorings had no effect on an individual’s… more »

03/30/11

  09:19:57 pm, by MedBen5   , 194 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

"Dispense As Written" Requirement Leaves Prescriptions Unfilled, Increases Cost

Most prescription drug users have no problem with substituting a brand name medication for a generic equivalent. But a new study suggests that a handful of doctors and patients aren’t convinced that generics are as safe as brands – and their… more »
  05:31:45 pm, by MedBen5   , 215 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

GAO Compiles Alternatives To Individual Mandate

The mandate that would require individuals without medical coverage to buy health insurance beginning in 2014 is unquestionably the most controversial aspect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Two federal judges have declared the provision… more »

03/28/11

  09:55:41 pm, by MedBen5   , 169 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

New Bill Would Let FSA Members Retrieve Unused Funds

A flexible spending account (FSA) is a great way to pay for medical expenditures using pretax dollars, but the inability to roll over remaining funds from year to year means that participants have to be careful about their annual contribution. Now,… more »
  02:16:31 pm, by MedBen5   , 317 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Sit-ups And Shredded Wheat: Two Keys To Lower Blood Pressure

Looking to control your blood pressure? Sure, we all are! Here’s a couple recent news items that offer food (and exercise) for thought: WebMD reports that regular exercise not only is an effective way to keep blood pressure down, it may also… more »

03/25/11

  05:15:24 pm, by MedBen5   , 207 words,  
Categories: Prescription

Got The Right Pills?

While it’s thankfully not something that happens very often, a pharmacist may accidentally fill a prescription bottle with the wrong pills. KevinMD.com offers a few ideas on what to do should you find yourself with a bum drug. The most important… more »
  12:03:32 pm, by MedBen5   , 307 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Health Care Reform, One Year Later

This week marks the first anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) – so if you see any parades around your neighborhood this weekend, you’ll know why. (Just kidding.) But as the initial provisions… more »
  10:16:13 am, by MedBen5   , 188 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Finding The "Good" In "Bad" Foods

As we like to see the “good” in everything whenever possible, we jump at the opportunity to stand up for anything that’s got a reputation as, well, “not good". So an article on the Cool Health Tips website appealed to our inner… more »

03/23/11

  06:12:18 pm, by MedBen5   , 321 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

MedBen Wellness Partner Named Award Finalist

AWAC, a MedBen partner in the administration of iHealth Worksite Wellness and cost containment services, has been named a Finalist in the categories of Wellness/Prevention and Overall Case Management in the second annual Case In Point Platinum Awards.… more »
  05:34:33 pm, by MedBen5   , 245 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

More American Smokers Kicking The Habit

If you’ve noticed less cigarette butts getting tossed out of passing cars these days, there’s a good reason for it – heavy smoking is on the downturn, a new study finds. HealthDay News (via MedicineNet.com) reports that the number of… more »

03/21/11

  05:44:41 pm, by MedBen5   , 335 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Federal Government Extends Grace Period For Appeals Procedures Implementation

The Department of Labor (DOL) has extended the enforcement grace period for implementation of new appeals procedures under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a DOL technical release (which you can read here). The date for non-grandfathered… more »
  05:38:38 pm, by MedBen5   , 179 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Americans Living Longer Than Ever

Despite myriad studies and media profiles concluding that Americans are a generally unhealthy group, there is some positive news out there: Life expectancy is on the upswing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National… more »

03/18/11

  05:22:12 pm, by MedBen5   , 170 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

U.S. Cancer Survivor Population Continues To Grow

Early detection of the disease is among the reasons that the number of cancer survivors has increased over the past several decades, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute. The… more »
  04:35:59 pm, by MedBen5   , 176 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Man's Best Friend Makes A Good Workout Companion, Too

Dogs are great to have around the house for any number of reasons. Companionship. Security. Rubber ball retrieval. And several studies suggest you can add personal trainer to the list. The New York Times reports that Michigan State University… more »

03/17/11

  05:40:50 pm, by MedBen5   , 186 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Brand Name, Generic Drug Costs On Different Trajectories

Here’s the bad news: Brand-name drug costs continue to go up. Here’s the good news: Generic drug costs continue to go down. Our professional advice? Whenever available, go for the generics. (No need for thanks, just doing our jobs.)… more »
  04:56:11 pm, by MedBen5   , 196 words,  
Categories: Wellness

A "Castle" That's Well Worth A Visit

There’s nothing we enjoy more on this blog than telling you about cool and informative wellness websites, being the cool and informative people that we are. We recently happened upon such a site – HealthCastle.com. Offering “nutrition… more »

03/16/11

  03:30:40 pm, by MedBen5   , 176 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Resolution Puts Reform-Minded Democrats On The Offensive

A flurry of legislation activity by Republican members of Congress have put Democrats on their heels a bit this year. But a new amendment suggests that Democrats may have finally realized that the best defense is a good offense. The Hill website… more »
  01:54:42 pm, by MedBen5   , 177 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Getting Fish-Eyed (In A Good Way)

Apparently, fish oil advocates have hired a dynamic new publicist. After several recent studies challenged the virtues of Omega-3 fatty acids, earlier this month we learned that supplements may aid chemotherapy patients. And right on the heels of that… more »

03/14/11

  09:53:18 pm, by MedBen5   , 292 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Health Reform Simmers While Congress Shifts Focus

There hasn’t been much talk of health care reform on Capitol Hill these days as other issues have taken priority. But there’s still a couple of rather important matters bubbling under the surface, so just to keep you up to speed…… more »
  04:47:54 pm, by MedBen5   , 325 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Coffee Study Coverage Raises Blogger's Ire

Coffee may reduce the risk of a stroke. And then again, it may not. WebMD reports that new research in the journal Stroke – yes, there’s apparently a journal called Stroke – that women who drink at least one cup of coffee daily may… more »

03/11/11

  05:44:46 pm, by MedBen5   , 191 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Health Plan Management

OTC Reform Provision Irritates Consumers, Inconveniences Doctors

A Wall Street Journal article examines some of the less desirous effects of health care reform. The piece focuses on the fallout from the Affordable Care Act provision that excludes over-the-counter drugs as an approved flexible spending account… more »
  04:37:49 pm, by MedBen5   , 126 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Set Clocks Forward, Get To Bed Earlier

Is there any single day of the year people hate more than the one where we move our clocks ahead one hour? Something about the loss of those 60 minutes really brings out our collective surly side. Well, don’t look now, but Daylight Savings Time… more »
  10:50:28 am, by MedBen5   , 191 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Video Games Now Cool AND Healthy!

Should parents encourage their kids to play video games? Absolutely – so long as the games offer a opportunity for better health, a new study finds. WebMD reports that University of Massachusetts researchers monitored the metabolic rates of… more »

03/10/11

  05:55:09 pm, by MedBen5   , 171 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Maine Gets Health Care Reform Waiver

There’s a whole lotta waiverin’ going on in the federal government these days. Over 1,000 organizations have been granted waivers that temporarily exclude them from meeting mandated coverage limits since last September. And now a whole state… more »
  03:41:33 pm, by MedBen5   , 266 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Palliative Care Eases Suffering While Lowering Costs: Study

Last October on this blog, we noted a study that revealed patients who receive palliative care – which contentrates on relieving the pain and stress of chronic conditions – actually live longer on average than those who get care focused… more »

03/08/11

  02:06:26 pm, by MedBen5   , 159 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

New Website Offers Accessible Approach To Health Reform Law

In an attempt to make the Affordable Care Act (ACA) comprehensible to those of us who don’t speak government-ese, some well-known organizations – AARP, the American Cancer Society, and the American Medical Association among them – have… more »
  12:13:52 pm, by MedBen5   , 140 words,  
Categories: News

1 in 5 Orthopedic Scans Performed for Defensive Reasons, Study Finds

MedPage Today recently reported on a study in which Pennsylvania orthopedic surgeons acknowledged that nearly 20% of the scans they performed were for purely defensive purposes – representing about 35% of their total imaging cost. Robert A.… more »

03/07/11

  10:13:07 pm, by MedBen5   , 182 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

Chronic Condition Costs Highlights Need For Wellness

A paper published in Health Services Research spotlights the cost of chronic medical conditions – and the need for a wellness approach to help control those costs. As noted on the Healthcare Economist website, health expenditure statistics are… more »
  04:03:28 pm, by MedBen5   , 217 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

One-third of Americans Are Pretty Sleepy

Not getting enough shut-eye these days? You’re hardly alone. Two studies by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that over a third of U.S. adults may be getting less than seven hours of sleep per day – and risking bodily harm by doing… more »

03/04/11

  02:24:28 pm, by MedBen5   , 225 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Florida Judge Grants Stay to Health Reform Law

ABC News reports that Judge Roger Vinson, the Florida federal judge who in January essentially voided the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has granted a stay until March 10 to allow the Obama administration to appeal his ruling. In his 20-page response to… more »
  11:34:37 am, by MedBen5   , 131 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Most Grocery Cart Handles Carry Bacteria, Study Reveals

You know those disinfectant wipe dispensers you see when you enter the grocery store? Snag a sheet before heading for the carts. USA Today reports a study of grocery carts found some rather unpleasant things lurking on the handles. Checking the handles… more »

03/03/11

  06:07:15 pm, by MedBen5   , 235 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Fraudulent Activity Costs Medicare $48 Billion

On the heels of a major anti-fraud sweep last month, a new report issued by the Government Accountability Office finds that almost 10% of all Medicare payments are fraudulent or otherwise improper, according to Politico. The Centers for Medicare &… more »
  04:54:08 pm, by MedBen5   , 182 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Study Finds Exercise Beneficial To Knees

If you’ve been wary about working out because you’re concerned about damage to your knees, a new study may offer some good news for you – or bad news, if you’ve been using a bum knee as an excuse to stick to the sofa. According… more »
  03:47:45 pm, by MedBen5   , 170 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

FDA Removes Unapproved Cold Medicines From Market

The Food and Drug Administration has ordered that more than 500 prescription cold, cough and allergy medicines be taken off the market, The New York Times reports. While none of the drugs on the list have been found to be unreliable or dangerous, they… more »

03/02/11

  10:52:43 pm, by MedBen5   , 260 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Confusion Abounds Regarding Status Of Reform Law

If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, you’re hopefully aware of the fact that the Affordable Care Act is alive and well (well, pretty well, anyway). But a pretty substantial number of Americans – nearly one-quarter, in fact –… more »
  10:04:18 pm, by MedBen5   , 201 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Fish Oil May Help Cancer Patients Maintain Weight and Muscle Mass

In previous blog postings, we’ve been pretty rough on fish oil, noting separate studies that concluded that the supplements don’t enhance babies’ IQs, slow Alzheimer’s disease, or prevent heart rhythm problems. But finally… more »
  09:19:07 pm, by MedBen5   , 240 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Doctor Supports Internet Research by Patients

A few weeks, back, we highlighted a Consumer Reports study of physician attitudes toward their patients. One of the noteworthy findings was that doctors don’t care much for patient who do self-diagnoses online – nearly half felt that it… more »

03/01/11

  10:37:14 pm, by MedBen5   , 235 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

President Obama Says He'll Approve Earlier State Opt-Out Date

Barack Obama appears ready to make a huge concession to critics of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Speaking to a group of governors Monday, the President said he would support letting states opt out of the health care reform law years earlier than… more »
  09:33:03 pm, by MedBen5   , 174 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Daily Consumption Of Sugary Drinks May Increase Blood Pressure Risk

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that soda, for all it carbonated tastiness, isn’t a particularly healthy option (though ironic, when one knows that some of the oldest soft drinks were initially marketed as miracle elixirs). Earlier this… more »
  05:08:45 pm, by MedBen5   , 147 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Ohio Legislation Would Require Drugmakers to Report Doc Gifts

A bill has been introduced in the Ohio Senate that would require pharmaceutical manufacturers to report gifts they give to doctors who are authorized to prescribe drugs, the MedCity website reports. If passed, drugmakers would have to submit an annual… more »