Healthcare Bill and Its Impact on Medicare

The Senate Health Bill has been grabbing headlines for months as members of the Senate continue to debate spending, bill allotments, and the merits of improved or universal healthcare coverage. The latest iteration of this bill in late November and included a price tag of 9 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. 0 billion alone would be set aside to help cover doctors' fees so that they would not suffer from a drastic cut back to reimbursement rates.

Much in keeping with the diversity of American opinion, this bill has come with more than its fair share of controversy, sparking heated debates on both sides of the political aisle.


Bill controversy

Healthcare Bill and Its Impact on Medicare

Democrats and Republicans are sharply divided over the merits and allocations included in this healthcare bill. The final vote on the bill showcased this division; the voting results were nearly entirely along party lines. In the 243 to 183 win by the Democratic-controlled House, only 11 Democrats voted against the bill and only one Republican voted for the bill. That Republican is also an obstetrician - Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas.

Republicans called the 0 billion allocation to cover doctors' fees a political payoff and labeled it as the Democrats' way of thanking physicians for their support of President Obama's healthcare overhaul.

What's included in the bill and how will it affect Americans?

The new healthcare bill, which will go into effect in 2010, is said to provide coverage to 94 percent of Americans. The bill is also estimated to cut the federal deficit by 7 billion during its first ten years. In its second decade, the bill is estimated to cut the federal deficit by as much as 0 billion. Over a 20-year period, it is believed that the bill would cut the federal deficit by 7.

However, in order to cut this deficit, the bill will reduce payments for Medicare plans and cut spending in a wide variety of other areas. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that seniors on Medicare will have to pay billion in higher healthcare premiums over the next 10 years, passing along much of the healthcare expenses to Medicare beneficiaries.

Additionally, because of reduced payments and services covered by the bill, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that Americans will see a 5 billion price increase in doctors' fees for those doctors who treat Medicare patients. With only a percentage of those fees being covered by Medicare, patients themselves will have to make up the difference out of their pockets. TRICARE (the military healthcare program) beneficiaries would see an increase in fees by about billion for non-military physicians who see patients enrolled in the TRICARE program.

How can Americans protect themselves from these price increases?

While it may be impossible to predict exactly how this bill will impact Americans and their pocketbooks until the bill is fully approved and implemented, Americans would be wise to begin looking for alternative healthcare solutions. Many Americans on Medicare may want to investigate alternatives to Original Medicare plans, including Medicare Advantage Plans.

Also, as healthcare prices increase, so will the prices of prescription medications and other medical services. Therefore, many Medicare beneficiaries would benefit by enrolling in Medicare Supplement insurance plans to help cover the cost of price increases and of items that are not covered by Original Medicare plans.

Managing the national healthcare system has proved to be a challenge and a politically derisive topic - especially over the past year. While changes are inevitable and are sure to impact every American, Americans can help to protect their health and their pocketbooks by focusing on maintaining or improving their health in controllable ways. Enrolling in affordable healthcare programs, such as a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplemental insurance program, may also help to save Americans a significant amount of money at the doctor's office.

Healthcare Bill and Its Impact on Medicare

By Wiley Long - President, - The nation's leading independent agency specializing in Medigap coverage. Our professional medigap advisors will help you choose the best Medigap plan for your needs.

Marketing To Healthcare Industry: Selling Pharma Products To Doctor

Marketing healthcare products to physicians requires tact and skill. Trust is very important, since physicians are always on the lookout for reliable sources of information on healthcare products. Marketing healthcare products also needs some basic knowledge of clinical evidence, as well as a good sales pitch.

Since many representatives of the pharmacy industry to endorse products approach doctors, you need to be able to convince them about the efficacy of your products. If the sales pitch is overdone, doctors may get annoyed and refuse to listen to you.


Effective Tips for Marketing Healthcare Products:

Marketing To Healthcare Industry: Selling Pharma Products To Doctor

Here are some ways to convince doctors about the efficacy of your healthcare products.

1) Tone down the sales pitch and provide authentic information. Give as much scientific data and information on clinical trials as you can.

2) Apart from face to face interaction, offer information through the Internet, email, mobile phones, print media and television and radio broadcasts.

3) E-detailing is another method of selling healthcare products to physicians. It involves electronic communication between physicians and sales representatives.

4) Offering online information is another way to market to the healthcare industry. Many doctors use online resources to keep track of the latest developments in the field.

5) Some healthcare companies also organize "fairs" that let physicians meet patients. This is a good chance for the pharma industry to market itself.

6) The Epocrates mobile service provides doctors instant answers to their healthcare related queries. Alerts are sent to physicians when a response to the query is available.

How to Market Healthcare Industry Online:

Online marketing is the latest in the marketing strategies of the healthcare products related industry. Your website must provide the latest, authentic information when marketing to healthcare professionals. Here are some points to keep in mind when selling to physicians online.

1) Combine the sales pitch with facts when presenting your products online.

2) Team with vendors who are trusted by doctors.

3) Market your products on websites that are trusted by doctors.

4) The website should be well maintained and offer the latest information on clinical trials and anything else of interest to doctors.

Physicians are always on the lookout for credible information on the latest healthcare products. You should do your research well when presenting your products to doctors, since they are critical about overt sales pitch and little information. In order to market your products, you need to convince doctors about the quality of the products. Use the latest marketing tools like Internet, mobile devices and telephonic marketing in order to sell healthcare products to physicians. You can approach a business consultant for advice if you need to know more about marketing healthcare products to doctors, as well as to the public.

Marketing To Healthcare Industry: Selling Pharma Products To Doctor

Alexander Gordon is a writer for - The Small Business Consulting Community. Sign-up for the free success steps newsletter and get our booklet valued at .95 for free as a special bonus. The newsletter provides daily strategies on starting and significantly growing a business.

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France Has the Best Healthcare System in the World

As the United States struggles toward a system of universal health care, many have looked at the Canadian health care system as a model. Only a few have looked toward France. That's a mistake for at least 2 reasons.

First, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), France has the best health care system in the world . It has been widely reported that the WHO found the French system to be number 1 while the Canadian system is number 30 and the U.S. number 37.


It should be noted here that the WHO rankings actually contain multiple rankings and the numbers generally quoted are the ranking based on the measure that the WHO calls the OP ranking. OP is said to measure "overall performance" adjusted to reflect a country's performance based on how well it theoretically could have performed. When reporting the rankings of 1 for France, 30 for Canada and 37 for the United States, it is the OP ranking being used.

France Has the Best Healthcare System in the World

Why did the French system do so well in the WHO rankings? The French system excels in 4 areas:

  • It provides universal coverage
  • It has responsive health care providers
  • Patients have freedom of choice
  • The health and longevity of the population

Second, we should be looking more closely at the French system because it has more similarities with the U.S. system than either the Canadian or British system. Many Americans assume that the French system is like the system in Britain. Nothing could be further from the truth or more insulting to the French.

Exactly like the United States, the French system relies on both private insurance and government insurance. Also, just like in America, people generally get their insurance through their employer. What is different is that everyone in France has health insurance. Every legal resident of France has access to health care under the law of universal coverage called la Couverture maladie universelle.

Under the French system, health insurance is a branch of Social Security or the Sécurité Sociale. The system is funded primarily by taxing the salaries of workers. An employee in France will pay about 20% of their salary to fund the Sécurité Sociale. These taxes represent about 60% of the cost of the health insurance plan.

The balance of the funding comes from the self employed, who pay more than salaried workers, and by indirect taxes on alcohol and tobacco. Finally, additional taxes are levied against other income, both direct and indirect.

The French share the same distaste for restrictions on patient choice as American do. The French system relies on autonomous private practitioners rather than a British-style national health service. The French are very dismissive of the British system which they call "socialized medicine." Virtually all physicians in France participate in the nation's public health insurance, Sécurité Sociale.

Perhaps it's time for us to take a closer look at French ideas about health care reform.

France Has the Best Healthcare System in the World

Sheila Guilloton is the owner of Prestige Planners, a health specialty agency placing health and dental insurance for business and individuals. Licensed with all the major carriers, she counsels and advises clients on how to select the most appropriate coverage. Follow the series on health care systems around the world by visiting

Quality Health Insurance - United Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield

Two of the giants in the health care industry are United Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield. For many years, the latter was the number one health insurance provider in the country. Today, however, other companies have surpassed it, although they are still considered to be a first rate carrier of group health insurance.

No Cut-Rates Here!


In addition to group health policies, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) also offers individual based health coverage. You are not looking at HMO insurance or cut rate health insurance when you choose either United Healthcare Insurance or BCBS. Both of these carriers are considered to be tops when it comes to quality health plans.

Quality Health Insurance - United Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield

Most of the time, the person who is enrolled in BCBS or United Healthcare does not make a choice when it comes to getting health care coverage as the insurance is provided to them by their employer. In other cases, a person who seeks out health policies can do so by looking for an agent who will sell them the insurance that they want.

Universal Acceptance with United Healthcare and BCBS

Both group health insurance plans that are being offered by United Healthcare and BCBS are top notch plans and are accepted at most health facilities across the nation as well as in some other countries. Most doctors will accept United Healthcare and BCBS, although they do have their limitations. There are some doctors who will not accept United Healthcare and Blue Cross, although they are few and far between. This is the case with all health care carriers.

Before you get health care insurance, it is always a good idea to make sure that your health care provider accepts the type of policy that you are obtaining so that you can be covered. For the most part, however, both of these prime insurance companies are accepted by most medical care providers.

Weighing the Pros and Cons between United Healthcare and BCBS

When it comes to cost, you may spend a bit less when you get BCBS. The amount that you pay for a premium depends upon the coverage that you get and how many people are in your group. BCBS is still considered to be the top insurance company for those who need to buy individual health packages and who are not covered by group insurance policies as it is reasonable and covers a great deal.

United Healthcare is also a very well known company that is accepted at most of the places where you will see Blue Cross. United Healthcare is a little bit tougher when it comes to pre-existing conditions, although the cost of premiums for those without any pre-existing conditions and who have had a physical in the past 5 years is less than the cost of premiums for those who opt for BCBS.

The choice you make when it comes to health insurance coverage between United Healthcare and BCBS depends on whether you have pre-existing conditions, how much you want to spend for a premium and what type of coverage that you want. Both these companies offer quality coverage that you can purchase on your own or as part of a business group insurance.

Quality Health Insurance - United Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield

During these tough times, you need to find the health insurance provider that truly fits your needs. Go to and read up on user-provided United Healthcare reviews and Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance reviews to see if any of these providers answer your health care needs.

Fire Prevention in Healthcare Facilities

With a large amount of residents physically unable to move themselves, fires are a particular problem for the healthcare industry. Many facilities have been designed to be fireproof, however because burning materials often release toxic vapors fire prevention has and always will be a top priority. All employees can make a difference with fire prevention. With the proper training all healthcare facilities can become much safer institutions.

To help prevent fires employees need to know what starts them. All fires involve three elements: Heat, Fuel and Oxygen. Removing any of these elements will stop a fire. Fires are started with heat as the ignition and heat can be generated by anything that is hot - open flames, chemical reactions, Faulty electrical, overheated equipment and hot surfaces. Once a fire starts it will grow hotter and it will not stop until one of the three elements has been vanquished.


Flames are created by vapors coming off of a flammable material. The temperature at which a material gives off flammable vapors is known as a flashpoint. The flashpoint can change depending on how much oxygen is in the air. For instance an ordinary cleanser that would have a high flashpoint in normal air might be flammable in an area where a patient is being given oxygen.

Fire Prevention in Healthcare Facilities

What fuels a fire determines what will be used to extinguish it. Anesthetic gases can be extinguished by shutting off the gas, however most fires are extinguished by applying a material that eliminates the oxygen or the fuel. Applying the wrong substance can be devastating though. For instance, using water can cause burning liquids to spread and water conducts electricity at electrical fires.

Fires are separated into four classes: A, B, C & D. Class A fires involve normal substances like wood, paper or cardboard. These fires can be extinguished with water. Class B fires are fueled by flammable liquids and gasses. Chemical foams are the best way to extinguish these types of fires. Class C Fires are electrical and involve electrical equipment. They are extinguished by non-conductive agents. Class D fires are fueled by combustible metals. These type of fires are extremely difficult to put out and must be left to professional to take extinguish.

When a fire starts healthcare workers need to act quickly. The best way to insure this is an emergency action plan. The plan will carefully define how to report a fire, who will fight the fire, who is responsible for patient safety, evacuation procedures and lastly care of patients during an emergency.

The R.A.C.E. acronym is an easy way to remember what to do.

The first thing you should do is RESCUE. If anyone is in immediate danger get them out of the room and shut the door. ALARM is next. Make sure the fire alarm is activated and 911 has been called. Thirdly CONFINE the fire. Make sure doors are shut and the flames or smoke won't spread to other parts of the facility. The last step is EXTINGUISH. If you have been trained to use a fire extinguisher this is the time to use it, but make sure you are not in danger first. Always, evaluate whether you will be safe during the extinguishing process. Never try to put out a fire if you are not trained, the fire has grown too large, or if you have to open the door to where the fire is.

In office and industrial settings all staff is advised to exit immediately during a fire situation, however in healthcare facilities this is not practical. All non-essential personal and visitors are advised to follow posted escape routes, but in most cases patients are "defended" from the fire and not moved. In many cases, moving patients is more dangerous than the fire. When evacuating make sure you NEVER use the elevator, make certain the all doors are cool to the touch and if smoke rises crawl on the floor if necessary.

The best way to fight a fire is to make sure it doesn't start in the first place. Cigarettes are by far the most common cause of fires in healthcare facilities. Laundry areas, kitchens, storage closets and nurses stations are some of the most common areas for fires to start. You need to be very careful around flammable liquids and in areas where oxygen is being administered.

In conclusion, everyone is an important part of your facilities fire prevention plan. Employee training on fire prevention is crucial and can save lives. Have an emergency plan with clear instructions and make sure all employees know their part in a fire emergency.

Fire Prevention in Healthcare Facilities

Charlie Bentson King is the VP of Creative Content for Workplace Safety Videos - a distributor of safety videos and safety DVDs including safety programs on fire prevention in healthcare facilities.