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Archives for: June 2011

06/30/11

  01:25:41 pm, by MedBen5   , 279 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Medical Screening Studies Offer Promise, Reveal Problems

A new study emphasizes the value of regular medical screenings, while a second study finds many adults fail to get one important screening for a variety of reasons. Reuters reports that an ongoing study of breast cancer screenings has found that… more »
  11:47:03 am, by MedBen5   , 237 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Appeals Court Upholds Affordable Care Act's Constitutionality

CNN reports that a federal appeals court in Cincinnati has ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional. The three-judge panel voted 2-1 in favor of the Obama Administration and Congress – the first U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals to do so. At… more »
  10:09:15 am, by MedBen5   , 255 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Study Links Obesity, Lack of Exercise To Chronic Pain

This may come under the heading, “stating the obvious", but it still bears noting – by carrying around extra weight and not working out, you’re doing your body a serious disservice. And a new study linking obesity and lack of exercise… more »

06/28/11

  05:04:11 pm, by MedBen5   , 349 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Gov't "Secret Shopper" Survey Has Doctors Divided (UPDATED)

Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that, in order to gauge how difficult it is for people to get appointments with primary care physicians, the Department of Health and Human Services will recruit a team to pose as patients and call… more »
  01:31:44 pm, by MedBen5   , 339 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Diabetes Studies Find Global Increases, Higher Survival Rates

A lot of diabetes stories on the newswire this week – the first one, an eye-opener: Reuters reports that the number of adults with diabetes has more than doubled since 1980 to 347 million. While 70% of the increase can be attributed to… more »

06/27/11

  06:03:30 pm, by MedBen5   , 242 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

MedBen And The Better Health Care Strategies

On the blog KevinMD.com, writer and consultant Joe Flower has outlined “5 strategic tools to solve our healthcare woes“. Based on a survey of major employers, hospital systems and insurers (among others), Flower learned about participant… more »
  11:59:28 am, by MedBen5   , 182 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Most States Won't Make Exchange Deadline, Former HHS Head Says

A former Health and Human Services Secretary secretary thinks that most states will likely miss the 2014 deadline to establish health insurance exchanges. Speaking to Kaiser Health News, Michael O. Leavitt observed that as many state legislatives are… more »
  10:21:43 am, by MedBen5   , 261 words,  
Categories: Wellness

What's Behind Job Stress -- And What To Do About It

Jobs and stress… at times, the two seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly (or tainted jelly, which would make the analogy more logical). A recent WebMD feature looked at stress in the workplace and what employees can do it bring the… more »

06/24/11

  05:17:18 pm, by MedBen5   , 208 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Federal Government Modifies Insurance Appeal Rules

Kaiser Health News reports that the Department of Health and Human Services will scale back health insurance appeal rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While group and individual health plan participants still maintain the right to appeal the… more »
  04:03:39 pm, by MedBen5   , 249 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Soda In The News

For whatever reason – the warm weather, an upswing in picnicking, a sudden fascination with carbonated beverages – articles about soda have been all over the newswires these days. Here are just a few that caught our interest: The Yahoo!… more »

06/23/11

  12:00:30 pm, by MedBen5   , 133 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Supreme Court Rules Against Rx Data Mining Limits

The Associated Press reports that the Supreme Court has ruled that states cannot restrict drugmakers’ access to information about what medicines doctors like to prescribe. In a 6-3 vote, the court struck down a Vermont data-mining law designed… more »
  11:15:26 am, by MedBen5   , 255 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Want To Keep Weight Off? Say 'Yea' To Nuts, 'Nay' To Taters

A federally funded analysis of 20+ years of data has revealed how certain foods affect weight gain over an extended period, The Washington Post reports. In reviewing information gathered from over 120,000 men and women in their 30’s, 40s and 50s,… more »

06/22/11

  05:14:17 pm, by MedBen5   , 240 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

Health Exchanges Will Suffer From Excess Regulations

A Guest Opinion piece on the Kaiser Health News website asserts that the health insurance exchanges, which are to be established under the Affordable Care Act by 2014, will have a tough go of it. Not because the idea is bad or unpopular, but because… more »
  12:22:49 pm, by MedBen5   , 337 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

Show Your Doctor How Smart You Are!

CNN.com recently asked a group of physicians about things that patients do to mess up their own care. Here is a summary of their top responses – “10 dumb things you do at the doc’s office“. You talk on your cell phone. Turn… more »
  11:26:12 am, by MedBen5   , 198 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Fuel Your Summer With Energy-Packed Foods

Just because the weather’s nice and the sun’s out longer doesn’t mean you can’t use a “pick-me-up” now and again. And we’re not speaking of floral bouquets or distilled spirits here – we mean nutritious… more »

06/21/11

  06:02:34 pm, by MedBen5   , 211 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Early Detection Among Reasons For Decline In Cancer Deaths

Cancer deaths have been on the decline in the past two decades, according to the American Cancer Society. HealthDay reports that between 1990 and 2007, nearly 900,000 fewer people succumbed to the disease – 22% fewer men and 14% fewer women.… more »
  11:23:24 am, by MedBen5   , 209 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

AMA Reaffirms Individual Mandate Support

The American Medical Association (AMA) has confirmed its approval of requiring most Americans to carry health insurance, though not without vocal criticism from some members, CBS News reports. At its annual meeting in Chicago, two-thirds of the House… more »
  10:52:12 am, by MedBen5   , 286 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Speed Up Metabolism By Correcting Workout Mistakes

One of the more irksome things about losing weight is when you “hit a wall” – regardless of how strenously you exercise, your weight just stays where it is. To some degree this can be a positive, because it may be a result of fat… more »

06/17/11

  02:52:58 pm, by MedBen5   , 223 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

HSAs Better Than HRAs? Not Necessarily

On his Health Policy Blog, John Goodman recently compared the advantages of HSAs and HRAs. Given that his blog masthead describes Goodman as the “Father of Health Savings Accounts", it isn’t too surprising that he comes down in favor of… more »
  12:13:24 pm, by MedBen5   , 219 words,  
Categories: Wellness

The Question Of Patient Responsibility

Stephen Wilkins, MPH, host of the Mind the Gap website, recently posed the question: Where does the patient’s responsibility for their health begin? Wilkins bases his question on the experience of his 89 year-old mother, who died following a spine… more »
  11:23:21 am, by MedBen5   , 197 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Higher TV Viewing Times Raise Diabetes, Early Death Risks

When mom warned, “Too much television is bad for you,” she apparently knew of what she spoke. Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health have found that people who watch lots of TV show an increased risk of diabetes, heart problems… more »

06/15/11

  12:13:46 pm, by MedBen5   , 296 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Wellness

Doctors Advised To Think Conservative When Prescribing Drugs

The Archives of Internal Medicine has published an article advising physicians take a more conservative approach to prescribing medications, Medical News Today reports. Most patients under age 65, the article notes, receive at least one prescription a… more »
  10:47:41 am, by MedBen5   , 219 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Here Comes The Sun...screen Standards

Strike “sunblock” from your skin care vocabulary. The FDA has announced that that word, as well as “waterproof” and “sweatproof” exaggerate a sunscreen’s virtues, MedPage Today reports. The FDA has established… more »

06/14/11

  04:54:27 pm, by MedBen5   , 275 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Health Plan Management

Going "Retail" For Child Care Not A Wise Option

In a recent KevinMD.com blog post, Roy Benaroch, MD had a few unkind words to say about retail clinics – the medical kiosks popping up in drug stores and grocery stores – that offer pediatric care: “Everyone knows that if you’re… more »
  01:14:18 pm, by MedBen5   , 267 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

Health Care Spending And The Out-Of-Pocket Factor

Last week, we touched on a Washington Post article by columnist Ezra Klein. He spotlighted a graph from a Kaiser Family Foundation report which showed that the United States government spends more on health care (as a percentage of GDP) than many… more »
  11:55:04 am, by MedBen5   , 198 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Good Sleep Habits Improves Quality Of Life, Reduces Depression

Medical News Today reports that getting six to nine hours of sleep every night positively influences people’s moods and how they judge their quality of life, according to a new study. Getting too little sleep can have a negative effect, the… more »

06/13/11

  05:04:04 pm, by MedBen5   , 253 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

HHS Waivers Raise Questions About Authority, Favoritism

A recent article in The Daily Caller claims that the Department of Health and Human Services lacks the authority to issue waivers from annual limit requirements, a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Rather, the HHS gave itself the power last… more »
  03:27:36 pm, by MedBen5   , 175 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Presenteeism Drains Workplace Productivity, Study Says

Pushing employees to come into the offce when they’re under the weather may offer some immediate benefits, but often proves costly in the long run – so finds a new Victorian University study. Medical Xpress reports that… more »

06/10/11

  04:52:49 pm, by MedBen5   , 311 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Appeals Court Ponders Constitutionality Of Individual Mandate

Earlier this week, Atlanta’s 11th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on the constitutionality of the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act. The Obama administration is appealing the January ruling of Federal District Judge… more »
  01:02:46 pm, by MedBen5   , 180 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Knowing Your Eating Habits Key To Weight Loss

You wanna get serious – we’re talking real serious, here – about taking off weight and keeping it off? You need to closely examine your eating habits. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these suggestions (via… more »
  12:53:34 pm, by MedBen5   , 176 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

House GOP Introduces Bill To Repeal Tanning Tax

Well, we now have a pretty good idea of how the “Jersey Shore” cast will vote in the next election: The Hill’s Healthcare Blog reports that 24 House Republicans have co-sponsored a bill that would repeal a 10% tax on tanning-bed… more »

06/09/11

  05:52:52 pm, by MedBen5   , 281 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Primary Care Access Linked To Higher Life Expectancy, Reduced Disease

A recent study suggests that regular checkups from a primary care doctor can positively affect life expectancy and disease prevention – and underscores the importance of wellness. Reuters reports that the study was unique in that it looked at the… more »
  11:53:12 am, by MedBen5   , 301 words,  
Categories: Health Plan Management

Realities Of Health Care Spending Offer No Simple Solutions

In a recent Washington Post piece, columnist Ezra Klein makes an interesting observation about the current state of government health care spending. Referring to a spending comparison graph from a Kaiser Family Foundation brief, he notes that when… more »
  10:24:57 am, by MedBen5   , 184 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Yo-Yo Dieting Healthier Than Obesity, Study Suggests

Losing weight on a diet only to gain it all back may be frustrating, but it beats doing nothing at all – that’s the finding of a Ohio University study. Medical News Today reports the laboratory mice given a “yo-yo diet” –… more »

06/08/11

  05:18:03 pm, by MedBen5   , 221 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

More Employers Than Expected May Drop Coverage In 2014

Anywhere from one-third to one-half of employers may drop group insurance coverage when state exchanges become available in 2014, according to a McKinsey & Company survey. A Wall Street Journal op-ed says that translates to upwards of 78 million… more »
  11:48:51 am, by MedBen5   , 180 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Focusing On Meal Reduces Snack Cravings Later, Study Finds

If you’re the grab-a-quick-bite-and-get-back-to-work type when it comes to lunch, you may want to pay heed to a new study. Medical Xpress reports that psychologists at the University of Birmingham have found that people who concentrate on their… more »

06/07/11

  12:52:06 pm, by MedBen5   , 238 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Wellness

Female Cancer Drugs Shown To Reduce Risk, Slow Progression

Two women’s cancer drugs are getting positive press around the Internet this week: At a meeting of American Society of Clinical Oncology, researchers reported that women with ovarian cancer may benefit from the drug Avastin, regardless of… more »
  09:24:20 am, by MedBen5   , 213 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Lowfat Chocolate Milk Better Than Sports Drinks?

Anytime we can link the words “chocolate” and “better shape", we feel it our duty – nay, our sacred obligation – to bring it to the attention of the masses. With that in mind… Medical News Today reports that drinking… more »

06/06/11

  05:32:02 pm, by MedBen5   , 188 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

CDC: Many People With Vision Problems Not Seeking Eye Care

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that many people with vision problems don’t visit eye doctors regularly, WebMD reports. Between 2006 and 2008, CDC surveyed 11,503 adults aged 40 and over with moderate-to-severe… more »
  12:07:27 pm, by MedBen5   , 218 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Doctor Says Regulation Reform Is What's Really Needed

On the MedCity News website, Dr. Westby G. Fisher voices his concern regarding a recent letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal from Nancy A. Nord, Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Ms. Nord responded to a WSJ op-ed from… more »
  11:21:51 am, by MedBen5   , 308 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

CELL PHONES LINKED TO CANCER! (or not really.)

One again, red flags have been raised about that unassuming electronic device in your purse or pocket. An International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) statement last week that there is a “possible” link between cell phones and cancer… more »

06/03/11

  05:04:03 pm, by MedBen5   , 248 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

A Healthy Plate Replaces The Food Pyramid

To use a baseball analogy: The pyramid has struck out, so it’s time for the plate to step up to the, uh, plate. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released a new dietary icon… a dinner plate consisting of fruits and vegetables on one… more »
  10:41:32 am, by MedBen5   , 170 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Obama Administration Revises High-Risk Insurance Guidelines

The federal government could lower premiums on high-risk insurance plans by as much as 40%, The Los Angeles Times reports. A provision of the Affordable Care Act designed to provide coverage to uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions,… more »
  10:06:50 am, by MedBen5   , 183 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Mow Like A (Safe) Pro

If you’re a own a house, chances are that you’ve already put your lawnmower to good use this spring. (If you haven’t, seriously, get at it this weekend – your yard’s gotta be looking like the Serengeti by now.) And when… more »

06/02/11

  05:39:46 pm, by MedBen5   , 257 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

CDHP Study Reveals Surprising Demographic Preferences

The Employee Benefit Research Institute recently examined the characteristics of consumer-driven health plan participants compared to those with traditional health coverage. You can read the institute’s findings in the May edition of their Notes… more »
  04:20:12 pm, by MedBen5   , 214 words,  
Categories: Wellness

The Key To Saving Lives? Ask Questions

Earlier this week, Evan Falchuk, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Best Doctors, Inc., gave a speech at a charity function aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid. In his comments – reprinted on his See First Blog – he noted that about half of… more »
  11:37:42 am, by MedBen5   , 231 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Late Sleep Habits Contribute To Overeating, Weight Gain

When you lead an active life as so many of us do, it’s easy to find yourself hitting the sack a little later each evening, to the point where it becomes commonplace. But the results of a recent Northwestern University study underline the… more »