Universal Health Care - Ethical Issues in Health Care Reform

Universal health care seems to be a hotly debated topic whenever health care reform in the United States is discussed. 

Those who maintain that health is an individual responsibility do not want a system that requires them to contribute tax dollars to support fellow citizens who do not act responsibly in protecting or promoting their own health. They argue that they want the freedom to choose their own physicians and treatments, and suggest that government cannot know what is best for them.  These people argue that preserving the current system with improvements to provide better insurance coverage for citizens who remain uninsured or under insured for their medical care needs is the only reform that is needed.

Health Care

Those who believe health care is an individual right support a universal health care system with the argument that every citizen deserves to have access to the right care at the right time and that a government's responsibility is to protect its citizens, sometimes even from themselves.

Two opposing arguments arising from two opposing ideologies.  Both are good arguments but neither can be the supporting argument for implementing or denying universal health care.  The matter must be resolved through an ethical framework.

Examination of the ethical issues in health care reform would require consideration of much different arguments  than those already presented.   Ethical issues would center on the moral right.  Discussion would begin with not "What is best for me?" but rather  "How should we as a society be acting so that our actions are morally correct?"

Ethics refers to determining right and wrong in how humans relate to one another.  Ethical decision making for health care reform then would require human beings to act in consideration of our relationships to each other not our own individual interests.

Examination of some of the common ethical decision making theories can provide a foundation for a different perspective than one that is solely concerned  with individual rights and freedoms. 

Ethical decision making requires that specific questions be answered in order to decide on whether intended actions are good or morally correct.  Here are some questions that could be used in ethical decision making for health care reform.

  • What action will bring the most good to the most people?
  • What action in and of itself is a good act and helps us to fulfill our duties, obligations, and responsibilities to each other?
  • What action in and of itself shows caring and concern for all citizens?

As the answer to all  these questions, universal health care can always be considered the right thing to do.

The United States is in the most advantageous position there is when it comes to health care reform.  They are the only developed country without a national health care system in place for all citizens.  They have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes that have been made by all the other countries that have already gone down the universal health care road. They have an opportunity to design a system that can shine as a jewel in the crown of universal health care systems everywhere. 

However, all ethical decision making is structured around values.  In order for universal health care to be embraced by all citizens in the United States, they will first have to agree to the collective value of equity and fairness and embrace the goal of meeting their collective responsibility to each other while maintaining individual rights and freedoms. That may prove to be the most difficult obstacle of all.

Universal Health Care - Ethical Issues in Health Care Reform

Beverly Hansen OMalley is a nurse with over 35 years experience in nursing education. She is health promotion specialist and is passionate about the necessity to address social determinants of health as part of overall health promotion strategies. She is the owner of http://www.registered-nurse-canada.com where she provides information on the Canadian health care system, the nursing profession in Canada, and the nursing entrance tests for the US and Canada.

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Medical Coding Careers

Careers in medical fields require great responsibility; dexterity in the specialized line of medical affairs is an inevitable part of the whole thing. As time goes by, a career in the medical profession is becoming more of a challenge, adventure and competition. One can belong to any of the fields of medical science.

One can be a doctor, medical officer, pharmaceutical manager, administrator of a hospital, a nurse, medical transcriptor, medical biller, medical coder and much more. Many new medical careers are related to the manufacturing, business administrative and management fields of medicine. Among all the various careers, one of the most intriguing and interesting fields is that of medical coding.

Health Care

The profession of medical coding involves the frequent use of alpha-numeric codes to record specific illnesses, injuries, and medical procedures. This process of assigning codes is usually done under the system of a particular rule of coding that is used across the world, from doctor's offices and hospitals to insurance companies and federal agencies. These codes are greatly utilized by the hospitals, nursing homes, labs and doctors for internal data collection and other planning objectives.

On the other hand, various insurance companies and public agencies concerned with the health care system require the codes to reimburse health-care providers. One of the greatest utilities that these codes offer is that they are even used by international health organizations to track patterns of disease and the costs of health care which will enable them to take measures to prevent the diseases.

Medical Coding Careers

Medical Careers [http://www.e-MedicalCareers.com] provides detailed information on Medical Careers, Top Medical Careers, Medical Billing Careers, Medical Coding Careers and more. Medical Careers is affiliated with Medical Malpractice Law [http://www.e-medicalmalpractice.com].

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9 Easy Skin Care Tips

Young and old, man or woman, having healthy skin is truly pleasing to our senses. More than the simple raves of having great skin it can also represent a sign of your overall health. Changes in your skin can mean something has changed and you should pay attention to these signs. These few simple tips will help you get the glowing skin you've longed for and help maintain it.

  • Drink plenty of water each day. Doctors and Nutritionists recommend 8 glasses of water per day. This keeps your skin and body hydrated and helps to flush toxins out of your body.

  • Fighting stress is very important not just to your skin but to your overall health. Stress can lead not only to blemishes and headaches but to very serious health problems. Find ways to distress each day. Walk away for a moment when things get heated to take a few deep breaths and close your eyes for a quick fix. Exercise, meditation, a full nights sleep, a warm shower or bath, aromatherapy, laughter are excellent ways to wash away the stress of the day.

  • Exercise to keep your muscles toned up. A toned body screams health. This also helps to keep flexibility in our bodies fighting effects of age.

  • Make sure you are getting 6-7 hours of sleep a night. Your body heals itself at night and you wake up refreshed. You'll be fighting the dark circles and wrinkles that form under your eyes by getting a good night's sleep instead of waking up looking like you've been in a boxing match.

  • Wash and cleanse your face once or twice a day to remove dirt, oil and irritants. This will keep your pores from clogging up and fight blemishes. Use mild cleansers and lukewarm water and be gentle to your skin. Don't use regular soap as this dries your skin.

  • Know what your skin type is and use skin care products made for that type. Using the wrong products can cause the opposite effect. When cleansing and exfoliating use portion control. Over applying is not effective on making your skin look better. In actuality, using too much of a product will damage your skins natural barriers causing drying or irritation. A quarter size of cleanser is sufficient for most skin types and a pea size dab for sensitive skin. If using a scrub a dime size will do.

  • Moisturize and protect no matter what your skin type is. Without properly hydrating your skin then it can't protect itself from wrinkles, damage or spots. Protection from the sun isn't just meant for the warm sunny days it's needed every day regardless if the sun is in full view or behind a sky full of clouds. Most moisturizers now come with SPF protection built in. Apply your moisturizer when you skin is still damp.

  • Don't forget your neck as part of your skin care routine.

  • Lastly don't ignore any signs of change or concern in your skin. Seek professional help to address those changes.

Health Care

9 Easy Skin Care Tips

I hope you found this short article helpful. When it comes to skin care one can easily be pulled in too many directions. I strive to keep things simple and wholly endorse the 1,2,3's when it comes to our skin. Please read my other articles or better yet visit my small site at http://www.skincarerx.info where you can sign up for a FREE guide on skin care for various kinds of skin, to combat acne and fight the wear and tear of time. Rachel Serrano...skin care advocate

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Flexible Health Care Scheduling Software

Any person who is employed in the healthcare industry knows everything depends on efficiency. In this particular industry there is no time to waste. All functions are part of a system that carries the patient and the doctor through the complete phase of health care. Scheduling software is a means for staff to keep one step ahead of the needs of doctors and their patients. You will not be expected to read minds because an automated scheduling system in the form of software does it all.

It is necessary that health care scheduling software works in the most logical way possible. Each industry has its own way of operating and the software system must behave logically in terms of the health care. A staff member can make adjustments to the system in order to carry out specific functions that are required. For example, a request can be added to send out appointment reminders to patients and also to the relevant doctors. Such a system must be flexible enough to cope with adjustments and also rescheduling. Rescheduling is really an employee having to redo a complete process because time or dates change. Scheduling software will automatically make all the necessary changes throughout the process so that when it is called up it will be up to date.

Health Care

The best health care scheduling software would offer a free trial period. Usually, you would be allowed to make use of the software for a period of thirty days. Many healthcare enterprises make good use of this offer to see for themselves how effective professional scheduling software is at improving business efficiency. It is also a very useful tool in keeping up with the needs of patients and their health history in order to provide the best care and foster a good relationship between medical staff and patients.

Flexible Health Care Scheduling Software

Harriet Schultz is a health care scheduling software specialist and a contributing writer to ScheduleView.com/blog. She provides honest recommendations and advice on all things related to appointment scheduling software and more. Get your FREE tips, tricks, and updates from the website today!

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How Caffeine Can Affect Your Health

In a regular cup of coffee there are about 170 mg of caffeine and in decaffeinated coffee there are about 30/40 mg of caffeine.

On the stock market, Coffee is a 90 billion dollar industry but what is significant is that just in North America 85%+ drink 3 to 5 cups of coffee per day. A huge number of people are at risk for many of the issues surrounding coffee consumption.

Health Care

Top Ten Reasons why you should consider switching to a "Healthy Coffee"

Top 10 Caffeine-Related Health Problems

Cardiovascular Problems

Caffeine increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure, and can contribute to the development of heart disease. Both decaf and regular coffee increase your cholesterol and homocysteine, the biochemical that science has linked to increased risk for heart attack. Caffeine is also linked to coronary vasospasms, the cause for 20% of all fatal heart attacks which kill otherwise perfectly healthy people.

Caffeine stimulates the excretion of stress hormones which can produce increased levels of anxiety, irritability, muscular tension and pain, indigestion, insomnia, and decreased immunity. Increased levels of stress from caffeine can keep you from being able to make healthy responses to the normal daily stress everyone is subjected to in their lives.

Emotional Disturbances

Anxiety and irritability are hallmark mood disturbances associated with caffeine consumption, but equally important is depression and attention disorders. Depression may occur as part of the let down after the stimulant effects of caffeine wears off. It may also appear during the recovery period after quitting caffeine while the brain's chemistry is readjusted. Caffeine rather than increasing mental activity actually decreases blood flow to the brain by as much as 30% and negatively effects memory and mental performance.

Blood Sugar Swings

Diabetics and hypoglycemics should avoid caffeine because it stimulates a temporary surge in blood sugar which is then followed by an overproduction of insulin that causes a blood sugar crash within hours. If you're trying to loose weight, this rollercoaster will actually cause weight gain since insulin's message to the body is to store excess sugar as fat.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Many people experience a burning sensation in their stomach after drinking coffee because coffee increases the secretion of hydrochloric acid leading to an increased risk for ulcers. Coffee, including decaf, reduces the pressure on the valve between the esophagus and the stomach so that the highly acidic contents of the stomach pass up to the esophagus leading to heartburn and gastro-esophageal reflux disease. With America 's high consumption of coffee, its no wonder the best selling over-the-counter drugs are the so-called antacids.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Caffeine inhibits the absorption of some nutrients and causes the urinary excretion of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and trace minerals, all essential elements necessary for good health.
Male Health Problems

Male Health Issues

Coffee is an irritant to the urinary tract and bladder. It is also a diuretic that aggravates conditions associated with frequent urination. Eliminating coffee and caffeine often relieves symptoms associated with frequent urination due to enlarged prostate glands.

Dr. Milton Krisiloff, M.D. has found that in the majority of cases, men can significantly reduce their risk for urinary and prostate problems by making dietary changes which include eliminating coffee and caffeine.

Female Health Problems

Fibrocystic breast disease, PMS, osteoporosis, infertility problems, miscarriage, low birth weight infants, and menopausal problems such as hot flashes are all exacerbated by caffeine consumption. Women on birth control pills are particularly at risk since they have a decreased ability to detoxify caffeine.

Adrenal Exhaustion

Caffeine consumption leads to eventual adrenal exhaustion which can leave you vulnerable to a variety of health disorders related to inflammation, autoimmunity, and fatigue.

Many people find in their forties that they can no longer tolerate the same level of caffeine consumption as they could in their twenties and thirties. The production of DHEA, melatonin, and other vital hormones start to decline and caffeine speeds up that downhill drop. Caffeine dehydrates the body and contributes to the aging of the skin and kidneys. It has been shown to inhibit DNA repair and slow the ability of the liver to detoxify foreign toxins.

Exhausted Adrenal Glands

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It causes the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline, the hormone your body depends on in emergencies to elevate your heart rate, increase your respiration and blood pressure for a rapid flight-or-fight response. When you overuse stimulants, the adrenals become exhausted. If your caffeine sensitivity has diminished or you're one of those who claims you can drink 3 shots of espresso and go right to sleep, guess what? Your adrenals have given up responding. This means you have less resistance to stress, which leaves you vulnerable to health hazards such as environmental pollutants and disease pathogens

Severe Blood Sugar Swings

Caffeine forces the liver to release glycogen into the blood stream. The pancreas responds to the sudden rise in blood sugar by releasing insulin, the hormone which causes excess carbohydrates to be stored as fat. Within the span of an hour or two, the result is a sharp blood sugar drop resulting in a state of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). That's when you think it's time for another cup of coffee and the whole cycle starts up again.

Acid Imbalance

Over 208 acids in coffee can contribute to indigestion and a wide variety of health problems resulting from over-acidity associated with arthritic, rheumatic and skin irritations. Many people experience a burning sensation in their stomach after drinking coffee because coffee increases the secretion of acid in the stomach. Optimal health calls for an alkaline pH balance in the body.

Essential Mineral Depletion

Coffee inhibits the absorption of some nutrients and causes the urinary excretion of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and trace minerals, all essential elements necessary for good health. Women need to be concerned about osteoporosis as menopause sets in. Studies show that women who drink coffee have an increased incidence of osteoporosis compared to non-coffee drinkers. Men are not immune to osteoporosis either.

These are a number of health conditions for which doctors advise their patients to eliminate coffee and all caffeine from their diet.

Acid indigestion
Anxiety, irritability and nervousness
Candida or yeast problems
Colitis, diverticulitis, diarrhea and other irritable bowel symptoms
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other auto-immune disorders
Diabetes or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Dizziness, Meniere's syndrome or tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Gout (Elevated Uric Acid levels)
Heart disease or heart palpitations
High blood pressure
High cholesterol
Insomnia and interrupted or poor quality sleep
Liver disease and gallbladder problems such as gallstones
Kidney or bladder problems including kidney stones
Migraines or other vascular headaches
Skin irritations, rashes and dryness
Ulcers, heartburn, and stomach problems such as hiatal hernias
Urinary tract irritation


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How Caffeine Can Affect Your Health

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History Of Electronic Medical Records

In the 1960s, a physician named Lawrence L. Weed first described the concept of computerized or electronic medical records. Weed described a system to automate and reorganize patient medical records to enhance their utilization and thereby lead to improved patient care.

Weed's work formed the basis of the PROMIS project at the University of Vermont, a collaborative effort between physicians and information technology experts started in 1967 to develop an automated electronic medical record system. The project's objectives were to develop a system that would provide timely and sequential patient data to the physician, and enable the rapid collection of data for epidemiological studies, medical audits and business audits. The group's efforts led to the development of the problem-oriented medical record, or POMR. Also, in the 1960s, the Mayo Clinic began developing electronic medical record systems.

Health Care

In 1970, the POMR was used in a medical ward of the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont for the first time. At this time, touchscreen technology had been incorporated into data entry procedures. Over the next few years, drug information elements were added to the core program, allowing physicians to check for drug actions, dosages, side effects, allergies and interactions. At the same time, diagnostic and treatment plans for over 600 common medical problems were devised.

During the 1970s and 1980s, several electronic medical record systems were developed and further refined by various academic and research institutions. The Technicon system was hospital-based, and Harvard's COSTAR system had records for ambulatory care. The HELP system and Duke's 'The Medical Record' are examples of early in-patient care systems. Indiana's Regenstrief record was one of the earliest combined in-patient and outpatient systems.

With advancements in computer and diagnostic applications during the 1990s, electronic medical record systems became increasingly complex and more widely used by practices. In the 21st century, more and more practices are implementing electronic medical records.

History Of Electronic Medical Records

Electronic Medical Records provides detailed information on Electronic Medical Records, Electronic Medical Record Software, Electronic Medical Record Systems, Electronic Medical Record Companies and more. Electronic Medical Records is affiliated with HIPAA Laws.

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The Health Care Crisis - and a Solution

We are presently facing a health care crisis that is getting more dire every day. Health care costs are increasing so rapidly that many companies who offered free health insurance to their employees are now passing a lot of the high cost on to their employees. Other employers are dropping their health care plans altogether because they have become too expensive. Millions do not have health insurance because they can't afford the premiums.

There are many reasons that this situation is escalating out of control.

Health Care

One reason is that the primary emphasis is on treatment of the symptoms of disease. There is too little emphasis on prevention of disease.

Most people don't take care of themselves well enough, partially due to insufficient knowledge on how to prevent disease. Many people tend to eat too much and exercise too little. Many others have habits which impact their health, such as alcohol or tobacco.

We have an aging population. We live longer, but require more health care to accomplish that, partially due to insufficient attention to our health in earlier years.

Health care insurance encourages people to neglect their health because they think they can rely on a quick fix when they need it.

Medical choices are often made by others in the name of the patient, rather than the patient being involved in the financial and medical choices.

Many insured patients tend to overuse medical resources since those resources appear to be free or almost free, masked by the cost of the insurance.

What is the solution to this ever-expanding problem? How do we bring health care costs under control and make a better life for people?

There are many facets to the solution, but the most important part is disease prevention. Many of the nation's biggest health problems can be prevented with proper knowledge and proper habits.

The emphasis for health care needs to be shifted from treating disease to prevention of disease. We need to stop disease before it manifests. This will not eliminate the need to cure disease, but it can diminish that need significantly. One very important by-product of this is a healthier population.

Now that we know the solution, how do we implement it?

It is implemented through proper health education. The knowledge of how to prevent disease has existed for thousands of years. The knowledge has been largely ignored, to our detriment. People got used to the idea of taking pills to treat the symptoms of disease rather than taking proper actions to prevent disease in the first place. This fostered bad habits and people increasingly lost the inner knowledge of what was good for their health and what was bad for their health. People began to crave junk food and a sedentary lifestyle - the opposite of what was good for their health.

How do we gain the proper health education and restore the inner knowledge to help guide our journey to better health? Ayurveda, the science of life, provides a wealth of information for restoring better health and balance to our systems. You can get more information on health at http://www.mindxpansion.com/health/. You can also check the balance of your own system or get a comprehensive Ayurvedic Analysis at http://www.mindxpansion.com/ayurvedic/. The solution to this momentous problem lies in the hands of each one of us. Start doing your part today and you will reap the benefits for many years to come.

The Health Care Crisis - and a Solution

Tim Larson developed the first computer program on Ayurveda. His mix of the ancient secrets of Ayurveda with the modern technology of computer programming brought a new interactive experience of Ayurveda, custom-tailored for the user. You can find more information about health at http://www.mindxpansion.com/health

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In Demand Health Care Jobs: Phlebotomy Careers

The health care industry is always searching for qualified, hard working employees in all fields. Among the many fields of interest is to train to be a Phlebotomy Technician. This is a career that will be rewarding personally and financially. A certificate or degree will give you the training needed to be qualified to apply for this position.

A phlebotomist's primary performance is to draw blood from the vein. Most of us have had blood drawn for testing at some point and are familiar with this procedure. As a trained phlebotomist you will have the option to work at hospitals, laboratories, doctor's offices, clinics and other health care institutions.

Health Care

You can choose what type of education level to pursue There are in-class and on-line schools available to learn this skill. A certificate is usually a requirement to obtain employment in this field. While training to draw blood is the primary goal of the certificate or degree, you will accomplish other tasks as well. You may be called upon to work with a patient preparing them for tests, take blood pressure, etc. Also, documenting patient's records and preparing blood samples for the lab are additional skills to consider. Whether you decide to pursue a certificate on-line or in-class, you will be prepared upon completion to interview for your first health care job.

Higher education in this field will enable you to learn further skills and become more qualified. This usually will present a higher salary. You may want to consider an Associate's Degree or Bachelor's Degree. Of course, this will require more time and money. There are various forms of financial aid available to help out.

A certificate can be accomplished in as little as 6 months. An Associate's Degree around 2 years and an additional 2 years to finish with a Bachelor's Degree.

In Demand Health Care Jobs: Phlebotomy Careers

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Process Improvement in Health Care

Although dashboards have been a popular method for helping senior leaders understand their organization's current state, they often do not provide information on accountability or how they will help the organization achieve their organizational goals. This alignment is important if health care organizations are going to become highly effective organizations. There are several keys to developing a highly sophisticated and useful process improvement plan.
1.      Develop a clear and compelling vision
This is important if organizations are going to have employees who understand the work they need to do. One study suggests that one of the major reasons that overall organization effectiveness is compromised is due to the lack of vision within the organization.
2.      Develop a strategic plan with clear measures
In organizations the strategic plan helps everyone in the organization understand how they are going to accomplish the vision. If the strategic plan is to be effective, it should be broken down into goals and performance measures for each individual within the organization. This will help each individual recognize their value in the organization.
3.      Align process improvement to strategic goals
Each strategic objective and goal will have some work around it, these should be prioritized and a map should outline the processes that need to be improved first. Successful process improvement is based on the concept of prioritization and accurate resource allocation. Often process improvement strategies are not prioritized and are not associated with a specific strategic objectives.
4.      Track progress in real time
This is the benefit of dashboards, they can be designed to have input from the teams who have a well designed project in real time. This can include having a clear charter with identified accountabilities, resources being used, timeline and measures of success. Once this information is placed in an accurate dashboard it can become useful to determine how the organization is progressing towards its goals.

Health Care

Process Improvement in Health Care

Envisage Health Inc. is a health care consulting group that is dedicated to tapping into the unrealized potential of your organization. For more information email info@envisage-health.com or visit us at http://www.envisage-health.com.

Simon Mittal, MD, MMM
CEO, Founder
Envisage Health, Inc.

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Benefits of Public Health Education

Public health education can be considered an ambiguous term. It teaches the proper way to improve one's health, and can involve only one or two people, or the population of several countries. Anything that can seriously threaten the physical, mental, or spiritual health of a wide range of people, notably due to their interactions with one another, can be classified as a threat to the community's public health. This is why public health education becomes a necessary tool to aid people against the spread of potential diseases and illnesses. Five of the most important reasons of how public health education can prove beneficial are as follows:

1. People are able to learn how to prevent the spread of communicable diseases through the training and methods being taught in education. People are able to have better access to information regarding general prevention of diseases, including the knowledge of what to do and how to act during epidemics in their area. Certain diseases have their own individual prevention methods that people should be well aware of, and employing these techniques lessens the risk of being infected by possible diseases. Through public health education, even simple things such as wearing a flu mask in particularly affected areas, or knowing when to take vaccines for a particular illness that is prominent at that time of the year, always proves very effective in limiting the number of people affected annually.

Health Care

2. More people are able to access private and public medical institutions to prevent diseases or medical conditions, or to better treat them. Without the benefits of a public health education, most people may feel healthy enough and not find the need to go for a general check-up. Being aware that it is necessary to see your doctor regularly is one of the important things learned in a good public health education. Most medical hospitals and clinics offer immunization or vaccine shots during the flu seasons, or when a general outbreak of hepatitis is going around, and a public health education ensures that more people know to go to these facilities and avail of the treatment, thereby lessening the amount of ill people.

3. People are able to adopt a healthier behavior to lessen the risk of diseases being spread among themselves. Keeping things cleaner around the house, opting to lessen or quit smoking altogether, or exercising more are just a few of the many different ways taught in public health education to combat sickness and improve one's lifestyle.

4. People become more aware of information relating to the disease, rather than believing in just public perception. Public health education not only deals with how to prevent illnesses, it also provides details of how a disease works, which may dispel some myths and fallacies about it in society. The HIV virus for example, can be spread through unprotected sexual intercourse, but not through activities such as kissing or touching. This also helps change a person's views towards someone infected, promoting more empathy rather than discrimination.

5. People are able to help and contribute to disease prevention by supporting or volunteering at health care facilities. Public health education is more than just spreading information; it also calls people to actively participate in aiding others. To be able to protect one's health, it is also necessary to protect the health of other people around you, and helps foster a more close-knit community and a better sense of camaraderie.

Benefits of Public Health Education

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Benefits of Having Health Insurance

Insurance is an interesting concept that most Americans understand. We all have auto and homeowner insurance but hope to never have to use it. If we use it, it means something bad has happened. The same mentality goes for medical insurance. Most people who are healthy do not believe that they need medical insurance because they don't go to the doctor. Insurance is not for the things we know will happen, but for those things that we don't know about.

Even if you feel healthy, everyone needs to see a doctor for an annual physical. If you have health insurance, you will automatically get a free annual checkup. The doctor will do blood work and check to make sure that your cholesterol and blood sugar are in good shape. These simple checkups can detect health problems long before you know they exist. If you find everything in time, you may be able to cure them before they become life threatening.

Health Care

New medical benefits can come with a waiting period for pre existing conditions. If you do not have any conditions now, that does not mean you will not have any in the future. If you have had continuous coverage prior to getting the new plan you will not have to worry about the waiting period. For this reason getting the least expensive plan available such as a short term health insurance plan to bridge your gap in coverage could save you a lot of money on claims in the future. Having health insurance keeps you from having pre existing condition waiting periods.

Also if you have coverage you will get a discounted rate for services. Insurance companies negotiate rates with doctors and hospitals. If you do not have coverage you will be billed a much higher amount for the same services that you would get if you did have coverage. Even if your plan only covers expenses with a deductible and co insurance, you will be able to get the discounted rate for your charges. If you don't have coverage you can expect to be charged much more.

People do not realize how expensive medical care is. A doctor visit might only be a few hundred dollars. But if someone needed something specific and rare such as anti-venom for a poisonous snake bite, you can find yourself with a 25,000 dollar bill. Regardless of the costs, if you run on a trail and get bitten by a poisonous snake, get the anti-venom. That is not something you could budget for, but with insurance, you will not have to nor will you have to worry about it.

Benefits of Having Health Insurance

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The Importance of Your Health Care Deductible

Health insurance plans are complicated. This used to be the problem of the Human Resources department. However, today more Americans then ever are sharing the responsibility of making decisions for their employer based health care coverage. Millions more are on their own, purchasing health insurance in the private market. While many decisions are centered on the monthly premium, the level of your health insurance deductible can greatly impact the overall cost of your plan and even your level of care.

What Is A Deductible?

Health Care

A deductible is the amount of health care that the insured must pay before the health plan provider begins to make payments. The deductible applies only to medical care that has been billed directly through the insurance provider. It does not apply to any medical care paid for outside of the health plan.

Deductibles can vary widely from just a few hundred dollars to over ,000 a year. Some will vary based on in-network versus out-of-network medical care. The deductible is wiped clear once a year, usually on January 1st.

Growing Influence

Most people have typically received health care coverage through their employer. Under such plans, the worker generally paid very little for actual medical care used. There might be a co-pay for a visit to the doctor and perhaps a small yearly deductible, but for the most part, benefits meant you did not pay much, if at all, for the health care you used.

But that's often no longer the case. The reality is that health care costs have been on a steady, high growth rate over the past two decades. The cost for an employer to provide health benefits has reached a critically high level, in many cases well over five figures. In response, many employers have pushed some of the costs back on the employee. This is often seen directly in an increased share of the monthly premium paid by the employee, but also an increase in plans with high deductibles, most or all of which will be the responsibility of the employee.

High or Low?

When selecting a health care plan, many people focus on the monthly premium. When it comes to budgeting, many people think in month-to-month terms. Low premium, high deductible plans can look attractive. However, with such plans, the insured will have to spend a lot of money out of pocket, in addition to the premium, in the event that they use medical care. Plans such as these are best paired with a health savings account, so that money can be saved tax-free towards the deductible. Otherwise you may be stuck with a very large medical bill you are unprepared to pay.

Many people are used to low-deductible plans, and often prefer them. Its nice to know your medical care has been largely taken care of in a standard monthly payment. Part of why people have insurance is to have predictable costs. However, the cost of high premium plans has risen dramatically over the years, often beyond what a car payment is and in some cases rivaling a house payment. This has made high premium plans less attractive.

What Is Best For You?

In general, a high deductible plan will have a lower total yearly cost then a high premium plan. This is because many people do not use as much medical care as they think over the course of a year. What they have to pay towards a deductible is often offset by their monthly savings with the lower premium.

If you are someone who uses a lot of health care year in and year out, a high premium plan may be a better solution. High premium plans can also be a good decision for people who have a hard time saving. A high deductible plan can be a major hardship for people who do not have much in savings and who typically do not save a lot of money. A high premium plan is somewhat like a forced savings plan.

The Importance of Your Health Care Deductible

Health care has become a very complicated issue. For more information, go to How To Buy Health Insurance, a comprehensive guide on selecting plans that are right for you. The more you know, the better off you'll be.

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National Universal Health Care - Could it Work in the USA?

The United States is the only nation in the industrialized world without a universal health care system. The oldest universal health care system is in Germany, which had its inception in 1883 under Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.

Let's lay an important ground rule before we begin. Traditional insurance policies cover unexpected but predictable occurrences. For example, an auto policy covers an unexpected collision. But that policy does not cover maintenance costs which are a normal part of owning a vehicle. Health insurance has become maintenance insurance over the years, paying for everything from regular checkups and tooth cleaning to heart transplants. And, with some group insurance copays at to , the concept of deductibles is becoming archaic.

Health Care

So, in considering a single-payer cradle-to-grave government healthcare system, the old concepts of insurance and risk must be put aside. Single-payer healthcare is NOT INSURANCE in the strictest sense. It is a massive Social Security-type program, into which tax revenues flow and from which health care payments flow out to health care providers.

This article does not advocate a single-payer government-run healthcare system. But it does look at what a single-payer system might look like, and reasons why it will not work.

In December 2008 The McKinsey Global Institute issued an exhaustive 122-page report on health care costs in America, entitled "Accounting for the costs of US healthcare: A new look at why Americans spend more." The best estimate of American healthcare costs is about .1 trillion annually.

Here is a summary list of its findings:

1. Administration costs in the US are much higher than in most countries around the world. This partly due to the privatization of some health care, resulting in profits for shareholders.
2. Pharmaceutical costs: Direct-To-Consumer Advertising encourages use of newer, more expensive drugs, a practice only allowed in the USA. Also, pharmaceutical lobbyists were successful in getting Congress to ban collective bargaining for Medicare Part D, resulting in the highest drug prices in the world. Also, the patent system for new drugs allows drug manufacturers to patent and charge more for non-novel medications.
3. The absence of a universal system that prevents risk-pooling, and the selective underwriting done by insurers. This leaves millions uninsured, and the uninsured avoid treatment until problems are more critical and more expensive.
4. Huge fees of specialist physicians for their procedural skills, rather than primary care that emphasizes preventive health care, early diagnosis and disease management.
5. Defensive medicine: Excess costs and duplication of health procedures in order to protect medical providers from malpractice lawsuits. Lawsuits and jury awards themselves don't cause a large amount of monetary damage, but the tort system creates a culture in which physicians are paranoid and make health care decisions with lawsuits in mind, rather than patient interests first.
6. ICU Care: The costs of care at the end of life are wildly inflated, many times eclipsing the health care costs incurred in an entire lifetime. This is partly due to heroic efforts of lifesaving, pain management, and poor records.
7. Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems would be of great benefit in managing living wills, advanced care directives and previous treatment records. Without EMRs, doctors regularly order redundant tests and procedures because medical information management is so inefficient.

The McKinsey report doesn't recommend a universal healthcare single-payer system. It simply tries to provide accurate information to those who will be making policy regarding healthcare in the USA.

Here is what a universal healthcare system might look like. This takes the best characteristics from healthcare systems around the world.

1. Funding through individual taxation for wage earners and self employed persons. Low income persons subsidized. Should tax be based upon age? Should the tax be calculated as a percentage of income, like in the IRS Tax Tables and FICA payments?

2. Medicare, Medicaid, the VA healthcare system and all other Federal healthcare systems would be rolled into the universal system. That would include the healthcare benefits for Federal workers and members of Congress.

3. No individual underwriting. All living persons of US citizenship are covered. Non-citizens with taxable earnings could be taxed and covered.

4. No deductibles. Copay for any doctor visit of -.

5. Prevention-based health care at the General Practitioner level. Compensation based upon health of the patients. Healthier patients, doctor makes more money.

6. Medical school 100% paid by government in exchange for 10 years service as a Federal employee. This would include additional training in medical specialties. Compensation levels could be set lower since there would be no school debt.

7. FedGov sets minimum standards for care. Insured persons are free to choose their own doctors. Patients can choose specialists without first seeing Primary Care Physician.

8. No insurance company precertifications necessary.

9. System includes mental health, nursing home and hospice care.

10. FedGov sets prices for pharmaceuticals, medical procedures and medical supplies. FedGov sets wages for all medical employees, including administrators, nurses, med techs and doctors.

11. Tort reform. If health care was universal from cradle to grave, torts would be limited since the patient would automatically be eligible for additional medical care required by malpractice, an unintended consequence of treatment or a medical complication. Doctors would still be liable for negligence, but awards would not need to compensate the individual plaintiff/patient for anticipated medical care into the future.

12. Electronic Medical Records, a database of all medical records for each patient, accessible by all medical providers. Would eliminate all duplication. Living wills and advance care directives would be part of every patient file. This has the potential to drastically reduce end-of life invasive care and duplication of procedures.

13. Individual health insurance policies would still be available for those that wanted a higher level of care, and would be excess insurance, like a Personal Umbrella policy.

14. Private medical providers, including doctors and hospitals, would still exist, offering custom care for those willing to pay extra for it.

I know this is a cursory look at universal healthcare. I know I've left out important features and benefits. But I'm trying to wrap my mind...and yours...around a concept that I fear is in our immediate future.

The big insurance companies have completely screwed up the health insurance marketplace in the United States. So, if they get left at the dock when this new ship sails, I won't shed any tears. They get what they deserve.

Now, here is why I don't think that the system outlined above will work.

1. The Federal Government is broke. They are already running trillion dollar annual deficits. In order to stave off governmental collapse, the Federal Reserve is printing paper money as fast as it can. Eventually, inflation will sink the ship of state. To absorb the healthcare system into the Federal Government which represents about one-seventh of the economy, is a bridge too far.

2. Funding this new healthcare system would require increasing taxes significantly. Insurance premiums would be turned into tax payments. There is presently an IRS business deduction for insurance premiums for corporations. The business lobbyists won't want to give up this deduction and will fight it.

3. Pharmaceutical companies lobby Congress. They will fight any system that controls drug prices and threatens their profits.

4. Trial Lawyers have a powerful lobby in Congress. They will fight medical malpractice tort reform.

5. Medical providers, the American Medical Association and other medicine-related groups have powerful Congressional lobbyists. They will fight reforms, just like they do now.

6. Insurance companies will be forced out of business if the Federal Government takes over the healthcare system. Insurance companies hold trillions of dollars in US bonds and other municipal securities. They will threaten Congress with the collapse of the bond market if Congress passed a new system that leaves them out. All the insurance companies would have to do to crash the bond market and cause the collapse of the Federal Government is to sell off a small percentage of their bond holdings all at once.

In conclusion, I recommend looking at any Obama Administration proposal for universal healthcare in light of the competing groups in the medical field. Each group must be bought off for their cooperation, and in turn each one will buy off Congress to get what they want. Some things never change.

The single payer healthcare system that emerges from Capitol Hill, the system that will affect the healthcare of each American, should adopt as its logo the duckbilled platypus.

That's the animal that looks like it was designed by a committee.

National Universal Health Care - Could it Work in the USA?

Copyright 2009 by Russell D. Longcore

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Benefits of Elderly Home Health Care

Are you aware of the fact that elderly individuals prefer to stay at home than to be placed in nursing home or long-term care centers? Are you aware of the benefits of home health care? To know more about it, read the article below.

Senior citizens do not like to be placed in nursing homes or assisted living facilities because they do not like to loss their independence and they like to enjoy the comfort of their own homes.

Health Care

Majority of them want to stay in their own houses, but many of them are placed in geriatrics homes when it is not really needed.

Advantages of home health care:

* It is more suitable than nursing homes or assisted living facilities because it promotes their independence and their empowerment.

* It promotes stable of mind, mental health and boosts sense of being control of oneself.

* They feel less vulnerable because friends and family are near and just around.

* If you hire caregivers, your loved ones can establish strong bond of companionship with them.

* Caregivers can help them achieve normal routine while improving their quality of life.

* They can accompany your parents to visit their friends and relatives who also receive the same type home care.

As your parents or grandparents grew older, it can be challenging for you on how to take care of them better. Despite the different and sensitive needs they have, they need all the love, understanding, companionship, support and care from family members, thus home care is the best option to consider.

Tips on how to provide quality home health care for your elderly loved ones:

* Assess their needs first. List their needs and ways on how to meet them. If they have dementia or Alzheimer's disease, it is best that you consult your physician first before you decide to take them home.

* Sit down and have a talk with other members of the family regarding your decision to take care of your elderly loved one at home. Since it can be a difficult decision for the family, it is best that you have an open line of communication to know each other's concerns.

* If you and other members of the family are busy, you can hire a caregiver to look after your parents at home. It is much better than placing them in nursing homes because you can monitor their health and status easily. Be sure to choose credible, experienced and responsible caregiver. Try to ask friends, relatives and colleagues for referrals or surf the Internet to read reviews of satisfied customers.

* Having caregiver at home to look after your parents is advantageous because of several reasons like:

- They can provide company and support.

- They can keep an eye of safety hazards at home.

- They can help maintain the cleanliness of your home.

- They can prepare nutritious and appetizing meals for your parents.

- They can monitor and give medicines at prescribed time.

- They can bring your parents to the park, to visit friends or to the doctor for regular monitoring and check ups.

- They can assist in bathing and grooming of your elderly loved ones.

* Lastly, you have the chance to spend quality time with your parents or grandparents.

With the advantages of elderly home health care mentioned above, there is no doubt that home health care is the best option available.

Benefits of Elderly Home Health Care

Homer M. Cho enjoys writing for Adultdiaperhub.com which offers incontinence products and adult diaper as well as a host of additional services.

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