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Private Practice Physician: A Dying Breed

July 8, 2014

The days of Dr. Marcus Welby are fading faster than the TV show’s re-runs. And didn’t that comment reveal my age? Most of today’s physicians do not relate to Dr. Welby. In fact, the private practice physician numbers are dropping dramatically. According to a report from Merritt Hawkins, the largest U.S. physician search firm: 90 percent of new physician […]

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E-Cigarettes Pose Interesting Wellness Dilemma

July 1, 2014

Should e-cigarettes be part of an employer-sponsored wellness program? One study suggests electronic cigarettes help people stop smoking Health reform’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires coverage of tobacco cessation programs under preventive care That last point, as discussed in a recent article, is open to interpretation. E-Cigarettes and Wellness Companies that make e-cigarettes say the liquid, flavored vapors […]

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Will Reduced Surgical Errors Hurt Hospital Bottom Line?

June 25, 2014

Did you know surgical errors contribute to higher profit margins for hospitals? A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that finding in 2013. If you think about that, it makes sense. But should it? Surgical complications mean more care, possible extended stays or re-admission. More care + longer stays = […]

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Ruh-roh: HealthCare.gov Receiving Facelift

June 17, 2014

The debut of HealthCare.gov was anything but pretty. System crashes Missing applications Customer service with few answers It’s a nightmare no one wants to revisit. Let’s hope the announcement of an overhaul is not a warning sign of enrollment terror yet to come. HealthCare.Gov Facelift Those of us who spent years in health insurance appreciate technology challenges. […]

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Powerhouse Watercress Is a Knockout

June 9, 2014

Powerhouse fruits and vegetables. Who knew? Sure, our moms told us that fruits and vegetables are good for us. But did you know watercress tops the charts of powerhouse fruits and vegetables (PFV for the acronym lovers)? Take that kale. Powerhouse Watercress A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bestowed watercress with bragging rights. Food […]

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Beware of Early Health Exchange Surveys

June 3, 2014

Some Americans have strong opinions about health reform’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). Others are tired of talking, reading or hearing about it. I apologize to those in the last group for yet another post on the ACA. The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) issued an early health exchange survey. Its stated purpose was “…to better understand the impact […]

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Wellness a Winner With Insurance Carriers

May 27, 2014

Is a wellness program a part of your employer-sponsored benefits? Despite debate over effectiveness, wellness programs are on the benefits menu for over half of employers (51 percent) with 50 or more workers. Insurance carriers have been known to make premium rate concessions for employers with active wellness programs. With today’s premiums, every dollar counts. Now […]

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The State of American Dental Care

May 20, 2014

Dental care is like health screenings. We know we should schedule a visit but we don’t always follow through. From fear to increasing out-of-pocket costs, we have a variety of reasons for not visiting our dentist (if we have one). The 2013 State of American Well-Being offers further insight into the state of dental care. Dental Care Visits According […]

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Disability Study Reflects Health Trends

May 13, 2014

Cigna’s 20-year disability study may be the Mini-Me of American health. The study tracked short-term disability claims incurred between 1993 to 2012. Absences related to three conditions increased significantly during that time. Obesity Skin cancer Herniated disc surgeries Certain medical conditions causing short-term disabilities are more prevalent than they were 20 years ago. Our aging workforce […]

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Health Care Utilization: More Than a Numbers Game

May 6, 2014

Health care utilization seems to be all about numbers. We measure utilization Make utilization projections And analyze the heck out of utilization For all our numbers-crunching, health care utilization is much more than a numbers game. Health Care Utilization Defined There are various definitions. Because I prefer simple, let’s use the following. The type and frequency of […]

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