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Archives for: April 2011


  04:36:33 pm, by MedBen5   , 319 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Cost Trends, Wellness and Health Reform Among Government Roundtable Topics

Representatives from Ohio and Indiana municipalities were in attendance at MedBen’s 5th Annual Employer Roundtable for Government Health Plans on April 28. Held at the MedBen home office, this year’s free program explored a wide range of… more »
  11:48:33 am, by MedBen5   , 193 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Pharmacists Also Available To Help With OTC Decisions

Pharmacists offer a ready source of information to patients trying to sort their way through the maze of over-the-counter (OTC) offerings as well as those bearing prescriptions – and based on the findings of a new study, most are more than willing… more »


  02:53:19 pm, by MedBen5   , 235 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

US Sets Healthy Goals For 2020, Emphasizes Prevention

Late last year, this blog briefly touched on Healthy People 2020 – a Department of Health and Human Services effort to encourage Americans to practice better lifestyle habits. The program sets various benchmarks that will hopefully be acheived in… more »
  11:23:22 am, by MedBen5   , 164 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Healthy Lifestyle Greatly Reduces Cancer, Heart Disease Risk: Study

If you live a healthy lifestyle – that is, if you don’t smoke, drink alcohol in moderation, and observe proper diet and exercise regimens – you hopefully get the payoff of being fit and feeling well. But the scientific community wants… more »


  05:37:51 pm, by MedBen5   , 161 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

MedBen Plans Cover A Wide Range Of Medical Services

The New York Times has put together an interesting graph showing the percentage of specific health benefits covered under employer-sponsored plans. Using 2008-09 data gathered for a Labor Department report (a requirement under the Affordable Care Act),… more »
  02:46:05 pm, by MedBen5   , 204 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

FDA Planning One-Page Prescription Drug Summaries

A few months back on this blog, we noted an effort by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, the group that sets drug standards, to make directions on drug labels easier to understand. Now, the federal government is also looking to simplify the instruction… more »
  12:40:22 pm, by MedBen5   , 234 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Dietary Supplements May Lead To Poor Health Decisions

It’s probably just a coincidence, but research is coming out fast and furious in the wake of a recent announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that over half of Americans use dietary supplements. Last week, we were told that… more »


  12:53:09 pm, by MedBen5   , 178 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Brokers Say Health Reform Negatively Impacting Their Clients

The Affordable Care Act is apparently having an unintended impact on employers, MedCity News reports. In a National Association of Health Underwriters survey of almost 2,400 insurance agents and brokers, more than half of the respondents state that some… more »
  11:33:17 am, by MedBen5   , 281 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

With Food Packaging, Look Beyond The Buzzwords

Several recent research projects drive home the point that food package labeling should not just be taken at face value – and it applies to adults as well as kids. By the simple use of a word or image, marketers can influence our attitudes about a… more »


  05:29:24 pm, by MedBen5   , 247 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Over 3/4 Of 2010 Prescriptions Were Generics, Report Says

Generics are, as the marketing gurus say, on the “grow". According to the Medical Xpress website, a new IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics report shows that of the nearly four billion prescriptions written in the U.S. in 2010, over 78% were… more »
  12:32:49 pm, by MedBen5   , 171 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

CDC: U.S. Will Have Nationwide Smoking Bans By 2020

For those old enough to remember when the armrests at movie theatres had built-in ashtrays, the concept of a nationwide smoking ban in many public places sounds rather incredible. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that by 2020, it… more »
  11:59:02 am, by MedBen5   , 307 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

How One Man Reversed A Hospital's Fortunes

Sometimes, it may seem that the health care system is beyond repair when it comes to controlling costs – but luckily, some people refuse to buy into that mindset. Kaiser Health News and Fast Company share the story of one man’s successful… more »
  11:08:25 am, by MedBen5   , 205 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Can Protein Powders Benefit Your Workout?

If you’re a casual gym rat, you’ve probably seen the die-hard exercisers downing protein drinks during or after their workouts – and perhaps you’ve thought to yourself, “Should I be doing that,too?” According to… more »


  05:29:14 pm, by MedBen5   , 266 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

Relax... It's Just The Dentist!

If you’ve been around long enough, then you know that dental care nowadays is a more pleasant prospect than it was way back when. But that doesn’t mean there still aren’t plenty of people who still panic at the thought of “the… more »
  04:22:44 pm, by MedBen5   , 273 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

FTC Takes Weight-loss "News" Sites To Court

Let’s be honest: When you feel like you’ve tried just about everything to shed pounds and still haven’t succeeded, those online ads touting easy weight loss products can, at the very least, peak your interest. And when the ads are… more »


  04:32:43 pm, by MedBen5   , 249 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management

Healthy Behaviors At The Heart Of Medical Cost Savings

A recent USA Today article examines the idea of promoting healthy behavior as a means to control health care costs. One-quarter of Americans can trace their health problems to smoking, overeating, not getting enough exercise and other personal habits.… more »
  11:24:41 am, by MedBen5   , 174 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

FDA Announces Program To Stem Prescription Drug Abuse

The White House is stepping up its efforts to prevent accidental overdoses of painkiller drugs, Reuters reports. The Food and Drug Administration has sent letters to drugmakers that manufacture opiods – synthetic versions of opium, used to treat… more »
  10:36:13 am, by MedBen5   , 244 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Calcium Supplements May Jeopardize Heart Health, Study Finds

It figures. Just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that more than half of Americans use dietary supplements, one of the most popular is under fire. HealthDay (via Yahoo! Health) reports that a new study that… more »


  03:27:06 pm, by MedBen5   , 262 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Study: HDHP Usage Not Affected By Low Income, Chronic Conditions

People with low incomes or chronic conditions insured under high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) seek medical care at a similar rate as other people enrolled in such plans, according to a new RAND Corporation study. The nonprofit research organization… more »
  02:40:52 pm, by MedBen5   , 230 words,  
Categories: Wellness

BMI Alone Doesn't Reveal The Whole Wellness Picture

In anticipation of what is sure to be a dire report from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the nation’s weight crisis later this year, the Los Angeles Times is questioning the measuring tool the agency will use to make its conclusions… more »


  04:20:45 pm, by MedBen5   , 265 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Claims Savings, Healh Care Reform Among MBU Topics

Lawrenceburg, Indiana hosted the first MedBen University (MBU) of 2011, on April 13. Co-sponsored by Pinnacle Advisory Group, the seminar covered two timely topics, employer cost savings and federal reform, with the goal of helping attendees to make… more »
  12:55:51 pm, by MedBen5   , 233 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Supreme Court Takes No Action On Health Reform Law

The State of Virginia has asked the Supreme Court to speed up a ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, but the judicial body has taken no action on the request, Reuters reports (via Yahoo! News). If the Supreme Court were to rule… more »
  12:14:27 pm, by MedBen5   , 267 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Butterflies, Burpees or Squats: Which Exercise Is Best?

Is squatting better than walking? Does interval training beat a burpee? The New York Times asked a number of doctors, “What’s the single best exercise?” and got just as many answers. The butterfly stroke burns about as much calories… more »


  12:26:16 pm, by MedBen5   , 167 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

President Repeals 1099 Provision From Health Reform Law

The first major cut from the Affordable Care Act is in the books. President Obama has signed a bill repealing the 1099 tax-reporting provision from the health care reform law, Bloomberg reports. Business groups vehemently pushed for the removal of the… more »
  11:30:31 am, by MedBen5   , 222 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Apples Are A Smart Heart Option

We’ve all heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but there’s always gonna be skeptics out there who want to see some proof. Fortunately, a new study offers some pretty convincing evidence that the fruit lives up to the hype. WebMD… more »


  01:07:06 pm, by MedBen5   , 238 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Reform News: House Votes Down Public Health Fund

A House vote and and dwindling public support top our health care reform news today: The Hill website reports that the House has voted 236-183 to eliminate the $18 billion Prevention and Public Health Fund provision from the Affordable Care Act… more »
  11:15:42 am, by MedBen5   , 193 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

More Americans Using Dietary Supplements, CDC Study Finds

As eating habits nationwide continue to gravitate toward less healthy options, more Americans are looking to dietary supplements as a means of getting necessary nutrients, WebMD reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tracked… more »


  04:01:45 pm, by MedBen5   , 163 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

New Reform Initiative Seeks To Reduce Medical Errors

President Obama has announced a new campaign – no, not THAT campaign. This one’s a broad initiative aimed at cutting hospital-acquired infections and other preventable conditions by 40% over the next three years, the Los Angeles Times… more »
  01:30:49 pm, by MedBen5   , 273 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Studies Reveal Parents And Kids Lack Healthful Habits

Kids and their parents are under the researcher’s microscope these days, and two new studies find that both are lacking in the areas of diet and exercise. USA Today reports that although nearly 90% of parents believe that they’re promoting… more »


  11:18:38 pm, by MedBen5   , 254 words,  
Categories: Wellness

The Hazards Of Health Risk Assessments

Health risk assessments, dangerous? An Employee Benefits News feature argues that the popular personal wellness analysis can actually serve as a deterrent to improving one’s health. Writer Andrew Sykes observes that most people who fill out an… more »
  10:09:03 pm, by MedBen5   , 163 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Americans Happy With Personal Health Care, Unhappy With "The System"

Many Americans don’t have a very high opinion of the health care system – but ask them about their own experiences with the medical community, and their attitude improves considerably. That’s the results of a new poll from the Robert… more »


  04:50:32 pm, by MedBen5   , 237 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Keep Your Back From Going Out Of Whack

“Lift with your knees, not with your back – that’s how you avoid lower back pain.” Definitely good advice, but there’s more to back pain than posture considerations. As WebMD notes, genes may actually play a role.… more »


  01:55:05 pm, by MedBen5   , 227 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

IRS Releases Interim Guidelines For Health Insurance W-2 Reporting

The Internal Revenue Service recently released interim employer guidelines for informational reporting of employer-sponsored health plans. Beginning in calendar year 2013 (tax year 2012), the Affordable Care Act will require certain employers to report… more »
  12:10:54 pm, by MedBen5   , 212 words,  
Categories: Wellness

How To Burn 5500 Calories (In 55 Easy Steps)

The Cool Health Tips website offers up “55 Ways to Burn 100 Calories”. Some of the suggestions fall under traditional types of exercsie, such as running for 5 minutes, doing aerobics for 11 minutes, 8 seconds, and working with weights for 13… more »


  10:57:30 pm, by MedBen5   , 170 words,  
Categories: Prescription

4 Out Of 5 Rx Patients Agreeable To Generics

As we noted on this blog last week, a small number of doctors and patients eschew generic drugs in favor of brand name medications – so much so they specifically request that pharmacists dispense their prescription as written. And more evidence… more »
  09:52:40 pm, by MedBen5   , 167 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Too Much Overtime Increases Heart Disease Risk, Study Finds

Working a few extra hours a day may score you points with your boss, but it may not be doing your heart much good. That’s the conclusion of a British study just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, WebMD reports. Using data from the… more »


  12:02:17 pm, by MedBen5   , 175 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Repeal of 1099 Reform Provision Headed To White House

The Affordable Care Act appears primed for a small but significant change. The Washington Post reports that the Senate has approved, by an 87-to-12 vote, a repeal of the health care reform law’s 1099 tax-reporting provision, which would have… more »
  10:37:46 am, by MedBen5   , 281 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Nip Spring Allergies In The Bud

Ah, spring! The flowers are in bloom, the grass is green and growing, and there’s a certain something in the air… though if you suffer from allergies, that’s not necessarily good news. For most of the 40 million Americans who face… more »


  09:16:14 pm, by MedBen5   , 263 words,  
Categories: Announcements

MedBen Hospital Roundtable Provides Analysis, Actionable Information

Medical and pharmacy cost trends, reporting and coverage innovations, and health care reform were among the topics explored at MedBen’s 9th Annual Hospital Roundtable on April 5. Representatives from hospitals throughout the Midwest attended the… more »
  04:45:01 pm, by MedBen5   , 173 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

FDA Calorie Count Rules Won't Include Movie Theaters

Good news for movie-goers who like to indulge in a big ol’ bucket of popcorn: The federal government won’t require theaters to tell you just how unhealthy your snack selection is. The Food and Drug Administration has released preliminary… more »


  03:28:35 pm, by MedBen5   , 287 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Reduce Cancer Risk Through Basic Lifestyle Choices

A cure for cancer may not arrive any time soon, but that doesn’t mean that we’re totally defenseless against the disease – on the contrary, there are a number of preventive measures that make a big difference. The American Institute… more »


  06:00:20 pm, by MedBen5   , 166 words,  
Categories: Announcements

MedBen Claim Surveillance Reaps High Savings In 2010

Clients who utilized the claims surveillance system offered through MedBen realized a gross average of $16.84 per member per month in extra savings in 2010. And we say “extra” because the surveillance savings clients received were in… more »
  04:38:19 pm, by MedBen5   , 227 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Experts Encouraged By FDA Approval Of Melanoma Drug

A small but significant step in battling skin cancer: The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug shown to prolong the lives of melanoma patients. According to USA Today, the injectible drug Yervoy, which activates the immune system to… more »
  10:59:27 am, by MedBen5   , 150 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

No April Fool's Joke: Cocoa Good For Heart Health

It’s Friday, so we like to offer some good news as you wind your way into the weekend: A new Harvard Medical School study finds that cocoa consumption may contribute to lower blood pressure, improved blood vessel health, and lower cholesterol… more »