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Top Countries For Health Care

While many Americans believe we are in one of the top countries for health care, the truth is we are not. While the United States’ healthcare is the second-most costly in the entire world, we rank a distant 37th in quality! While it may not shock you to learn that America is not the top country where health care is concerned, the fact that we are not even in the top 10 should certainly give you reason for pause.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), France leads the world in quality health care. France is followed by Italy, Spain, and Oman, with Austria and Japan rounding-out the top 10. It must be noted that these “rankings” by the World Health Organization are actually some 10 years old now; this study was done in 2000, based on information compiled in 1997-1999. The World Health Organization no longer produces such studies due to the work involved, though it releases a new world health report every year.
Just to put things in perspective, the data, which the World Health Organization used to compile this ranking order, was most likely formatted on computers running Windows 98 – maybe even Windows 95! MP3 players were still relatively new and the entertainment industries were in an uproar over an upstart site called Napster. Bill Clinton was still in office as President. In many ways, 1998-2000 seems longer than 10 years ago.
In the last nine years, technology has advanced greatly, both in and outside of the medical field. As we all know, the United States is unquestionably a leader in technology. However, it does not necessarily follow that, because we are a world leader in technology, we are also a leader in health care – just as it does not follow that because we spend more on health care than almost any other country, we are a leader in the quality of that care. These statistics can be confusing, as the amount of money spent also reflects the fact that medical care in the United States is the most expensive in the world. Still, WHO found that access to healthcare in the United States has actually declined in the intervening years, meaning that, if anything, our ranking has probably slipped!
But it isn’t all doom and gloom: worldwide, health care has improved and improved the lives of millions. Fewer children (ages five and under) are dying, and Malaria rates have gone down. More people today have access to clean drinking water, which helps cut-down on disease and parasitic infestation, as well. All told, the worldwide health care outlook is very good, and much of this has to do with technological advancements made in the last decade.
The top five countries for health care are (in order) France, Italy, San Marino, Andorra, and Malta. The United States is a distant 37th, despite the fact that it spends more than any other country (save one) on health care. While technological advancements have continued at a staggering rate and improved health care globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) found that access to medical care has actually declined in America since this report was made! Like all statistics, the results can be misleading without further information, and the information presented in this article is actually some 10 years old now, however it is the only information available to us, as WHO quit ranking countries for their health care due to the amount of resources it requires.…

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When You’re Mad, Get Even

Now that I’ve got your attention, today’s topic is all about helping my daughter help a dear friend. When the times look the bleakest and big brother’s got his foot in your back the best thing to do is gather your buddies and give a communal drop kick. So please read and do what you can to help our cause.
I grew up in Chicago, but when it came to raising my own kids, I chose the tranquility of central Illinois’ farming country. There was a sense of community and safety. No gangs, no violence, just lots of likable friends. My children grew up right across the street from the school, k-12. Consequently, our house was the ‘hangin’ grounds’. I got to know almost every child in our small little town (pop. 1200). One of these kids has remained a good friend to my daughter and son. She’s married now and has 3 small children. And a terminal diagnosis. She is fighting valiantly every day to stay well and stay alive – for herself, for the hubs and especially for those three precious little ones.
And now comes the rub. After being insured with one of the big 3 (and I’m talking big) health care insurers, she is being denied vital diagnostic procedures that would hopefully prolong her life and give her the chance to raise those kids. And I know that every single one of you has personally heard this excuse from a health care provider: the treatment is not approved, so we can’t cover it! How does treatment get approved, anyway then? If someone out there isn’t willing to try it and advance its progress, how can any treatment be accepted?
I, myself, am hoping against hope that it’s not the same old crap you see everyday on the news! We’re tired of having to actually pay out anything and your treatment has exceeded our profit/loss margin, so now we’re dumping you and moving on to the next sucker who wants to pay inflated insurance premiums to a company with its hq in Las Vegas! In Jamie’s case, she has a rare form of liver cancer with a dire prognosis. Her medical team have agreed on a course of treatment that can give her any hope and now the big, bad, blue says it won’t pay for her pet scans, which costs in the thousand of dollars. I’m hoping that it’s not the same old case of insurance company character flaws: deny, deny, deny and maybe she’ll go away!
Jamie and her husband have decided to do the grown up thing and approach their company to see if they can get this worked out. So, for now, I just wanted to tell her story and enlist your future aid in anything we may do as a group to help.
I hate to say this, but good luck with that, Jamie & hubs. It’s so evident by the state of our health care system that our nation and insurers have a long way to go before they have attained your maturity. All our love, thoughts and prayers are with you and your family for some sort of recovery and extended life.
As for your insurance company all I have to say is: do the math, idiots! It’s cheaper to pay for a few pet scans than to have the public support and raise three motherless children!!!!! Geeze, did I really have to say that out loud? Doesn’t everybody realize that?…

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Changes in Qui Tam Whistleblower Cases Under the False Claims Act – A Review For Lawyers & Attorneys

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“PPACA”) and the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (“HERA”) (collectively, the PPACA and HERA are referenced as the “Legislation”), passed in the spring of 2010, enacted sweeping changes to health care, including important changes to the federal False Claims Act that will affect prosecution of qui tam cases by the federal government, relators and whistleblowers. Health care fraud lawyers, attorneys and law firms and their clients must be aware of these significant changes in cases involving fraudulent claims against federal government healthcare programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare. Health care fraud defense attorneys will be disheartened, and federal government prosecutors, whistleblower lawyers and qui tam plaintiffs will be pleased, because these changes have lowered the bar for prosecutors and qui tam whistleblowers with respect to False Claims Act cases.
The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733 (the “FCA”), is an important tool used by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), U.S. Attorney’s (“USAOs”) and private whistleblowers to bring civil prosecutions against those individuals and entities who perpetrate frauds upon the United States through false and fraudulent claims for payment. The FCA provides for treble damages and civil monetary penalties to be awarded to the federal government, and the qui tam whistleblower plaintiff, often called a “relator,” may recover up to 30% of the award, plus statutory attorney’s fees.
The recent FCA amendments make it easier for whistleblowers to bring qui tam suits on behalf of the federal government by lowering the “public disclosure” standard. Prior to the amendments, a qui tam plaintiff who was not an original source was jurisdictionally barred from bringing an FCA suit if the fraudulent conduct of the defendant had been previously disclosed in the public domain through the media, federal, state or local reports, audits and investigations, or criminal, civil and administrative hearings and proceedings. For instance, in Graham County Soil & Water Conservation Dist. v. United States ex rel. Wilson, 130 S.Ct. 1396 (2010), the United States Supreme Court recently upheld the dismissal of an FCA claim for lack of jurisdiction based on prior public disclosure of fraud in California county’s audit reports. See United States ex rel. Gonzalez v. Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles, et al., Case No. 09-55010 (9th Cir. July 1, 2010).
Under the amendments of the Legislation, publications deemed as public disclosures under the FCA are now more limited. They only include a federal criminal, civil and administrative hearing in which the government or its agent is a party, a congressional, Government Accounting Office (GAO) or other federal report, hearing, audit or investigation, or a disclosure in news media. See 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(A). This means that state and local audits, reports, investigations and hearings, as well as litigation between private parties, can now be used as the sole source of information for an FCA suit for defrauding the federal government, and the Legislation has abrogated this part of the Graham County Soil & Water Conservation Dist. decision.
The Legislation’s amendments also changed the jurisdictional nature of the public disclosure provisions. Before the new law was enacted, a violation of the public disclosure requirements of the FCA was a jurisdictional defect which could be raised by a party at any time or sua sponte by the court. Now, a qui tam whistleblower complaint which violates the public disclosure provision can be dismissed pursuant to a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, unless such dismissal is “opposed by the Government.” Id.
The Legislation also amended the “original source” provisions of the FCA. Prior to the amendments, a whistleblowing relator who was an original source could bring an FCA suit regardless of whether there was a previous public disclosure. This meant that the whistleblower had to have “direct and independent knowledge” of the information on which the fraud allegations were based and had voluntarily provided the information to the Government before filing an FCA action which was based on the information. Under the Legislation, the “direct and independent knowledge” requirement has been eliminated, and an original source is an individual who voluntarily discloses the frauds to the government prior to a public disclosure or “has knowledge that is independent of and materially adds to the publicly disclosed allegations or transactions.” 31 U.S.C. § 3730(e)(4)(B). Therefore, as long as the qui tam whistleblower has information about the government frauds which are independent of publicly disclosed information, even if the qui tam whistleblower did not have “direct” information usually derived from personally witnessing the fraudulent conduct, an FCA suit may be pursued.
By broadening the original source provisions and limiting the public disclosure provisions of the FCA, Congress has encouraged an increase in the filing of qui tam whistleblower lawsuits. While the change in the jurisdictional aspect of the public disclosure provisions ostensibly helps qui …

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Effective Dental Health Care For Pregnant Women

Contrary to what others advice and believe, dental health care must not be neglected even during pregnancy. This is because the condition of the mother’s gums and teeth can affect the baby’s health inside her womb. Several medical surveys show that preterm delivery and babies with low birth weight are both caused by dental and periodontal infections.
Now, how do you start with this? Firstly, inform your dentist whether you are trying to get pregnant or already in the early stages of pregnancy. By doing so, he can help you prepare for oral health problems that may come your way during the conceiving stage up to the delivery stage. Secondly, take efforts to know which of the dental procedures are not advisable for you to undergo.
Challenges on pregnant women’s dental health care usually start from the presence of plaque. The latter is a film of bacteria which can wound the gums and seep deep into the gums and into the bloodstreams. Take note whatever infection present in the bloodstream can reach the fetus any time. The good news about this is that it can be prevented through a thorough periodontal exam that which may be done months or years before your planned pregnancy.
In the case that you are already pregnant, do not forget to religiously practice oral hygiene at home. This can prevent potential problems in your gums and teeth. Seeing the dentist while pregnant is another measure to observe. Moving forward, you can also undergo professional cleanings which can equip your gums and teeth from the harms of dental illnesses brought about by the hormonal changes during pregnancy. Enamel erosion and gingivitis are two common examples of these illnesses.
Some specialists suggest that cavity fillings and installation of crowns may be done to reduce possibilities of further infection from gingivitis or enamel erosion. In fact, root canal may also be administered so long as local anesthesia is used. Dental x-rays are the procedures to be avoided since its harmful rays are believed to harm the fetus. If ever emergencies require them, abdominal shields may be used. As for the medicines associated with these treatments, they should only be taken under prescription by the dentist. Do not risk the health of your unborn child by buying over-the-counter pain relievers. Cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening and implant installation must be postponed until your baby is born. The same goes for treatments with which application of electricity will be used.
Again, dental health care must be observed with persistence even before you plan to bear a child in your womb. Apart from regular brushing and flossing of your teeth, you should not miss regular dental check-ups at least twice a year. Opt to all kinds of healthy foods as well. Avoid sugars and feast on foods that can make your gums and teeth stronger. Keep a copy of ovulation calendars when planning your pregnancy so that you can keep your wellness in tune and track dental concerns after giving birth.…

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Hospitalized Again? Keeping Your Older Parent From Returning to the Hospital

According to studies by Medicare 18-20% of patients find themselves back in the hospital within 30 days of being released. Lack of follow up by patients is the main reason for a return trip. Discharge instructions almost always recommend that patients see their primary care physician within one to two weeks of being released from the hospital.
This is important because medical care today is very different from medical care years ago when your primary care physician actually came to the hospital to see you. Today, physicians called hospitalists care for you while in the hospital. Your primary care physician cares for you when you are in the community. Many times your primary care physician has no idea you were even hospitalized, thus the importance of making an appointment to discuss further treatment for the condition that placed you in the hospital in the first place. Otherwise it’s likely you’ll win a return trip to the hospital.
Make sure any prescriptions that you leave the hospital with are filled and that you take the medication as prescribed. These prescriptions were written for a reason, yet many of go unfilled. Were you prescribed physical or other therapy? Participate. Again more recommendations that go unheeded by patients. Did you think you ended up in the hospital because you were caring for yourself properly? Is it your intention to go back home and do the same thing? You’re playing monopoly with your life, lose a turn and go back to the hospital.
Many older adults fail to see the progression and seriousness of their diagnosis. This occurs for several reasons. Physicians talk in medical speak. Older adults seeing the physicians as god-like are hesitant to ask questions; they do not ask questions about anything they do not understand. Physicians also diagnose versus offer information that affects the day to day life of their patients. For example many physicians do not tell patients to lose weight, improve their diets or stop smoking when this direction would benefit many individuals.
Due to insurance issues, hospitals are also rushed to push patients out the door, usually in three days or less. This rush many times does not allow for conditions to be fully diagnosed thus the problem resulting in the hospitalization is not resolved. What happens then? The patient is released, does not take medications, does not make a follow up appointment with the primary care physician and ends up back in the hospital.
This is expensive not only to the patient but the healthcare community. In 2009 a trip to the hospital costs the average Medicare patient a co-pay of $1,068. The ambulance trip to the hospital another $600-800. If individuals, not insurance, had to pay these costs I have to believe that we would take better care of ourselves.
Other issues with older adults that complicate this situation is memory loss. Many individuals do not take care of themselves because they simply can’t remember if medications were taken, meals were eaten, and bathing was completed. About fifty percent of individuals over the age of 85 have dementia, many times undiagnosed unless a family member notices because the individual cannot report a condition to their physician of which they are not aware. To further complicate the situation; most general physicians do not have experience with the subtlety of memory loss.
It is important if you are an older adult to have someone who can advocate for your health care needs. If you are a child, offer to attend medical appointments or coordinate information for your parents. Make sure they follow up with post hospitalization recommendations. You’ll save unnecessary trips to hospital emergency rooms and help your parent have a better quality of life. A little help goes a long way.…

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Advice For Getting The Best Possible Chiropractic Care

Back pain causes many people to struggle and suffer throughout each day. It shouldn’t be this way for you, and if you need help with this you’ve come to a good place. Many wonderful chiropractic care techniques are included below.

Alternative providers are becoming more common, and primary care physicians are turning to them for advice and help on difficult cases. You need to make sure your insurance covers other services that you may need in your treatment. They are great additions to more traditional medical care.

Concentrate on sleeping on your back. Put a pillow beneath your head and shoulders. Stick a rolled up towel under your neck and knees to help keep the three primary curves in your body stabilized. You also need to make sure you sleep on a comfortable mattress.

Are you aware of the fact that chiropractic care can help make your body’s immunity much better? When you have a spine that’s in the wrong position, it can make your nervous system act wrong and that’s bad for your immune system. When you get your spine aligned right, you get more blood going to the nervous system. This increases the body’s ability to ward off infection.

You need to get out of your bed the proper way. Before getting up, stretch before slowly raising. Then, you should swing the legs to the floor while supporting yourself with your arms. Getting out of bed this way can reduce spinal injuries.

Ask the chiropractic office to see of they offer discounts for multiple visits. Often, chiropractic treatment means multiple visits. They can even be a couple times per week for several months. Over time, this price can begin to add up. Perhaps you can get a discount if you have a program of extended treatment.

If you are looking for a chiropractor, it would be a good idea to ask your primary care doctor for a suggestion on a good provider. A referral may not be required, but it helps you find the most qualified, trusted professionals in your local area.

If you do choose to go with chiropractic care, then review references carefully before choosing a specific individual. Most chiropractors truly care about their patients; there are always a few bad eggs, however, in any bunch. Use online reviews and trusted references from physicians if you can.

How you sleep can be contributing to your back problems. Consider using a cervical pillow or rolled towel under your neck as you sleep. This technique allows you to maintain posture while you sleep.

Do you have high blood pressure? Studies show that manipulating the first neck vertebrae is as good as using two hypertension medications together. This manipulation frees the heart’s nerve supply, making for better regulation of pressure.

As you’ve read, suffering with back pain doesn’t have to ruin your whole life. There are some things you can do to get rid of the pain. Use the advice in this piece, and you will begin feeling great in no time.…

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Working With Diabetes – Tips for Success!

Diabetes is a serious medical condition which can cause some serious health problems, and may even lead to death. You can live a healthier life if you learn more about this condition and how you can manage it. This article presents many useful tips to help you manage your diabetes and live a healthy life.

A great tip to use to keep in control of diabetes is to live life in a orderly fashion. Keep your insulin close to you and store it in the same spot every night. Make sure you routinely do everything you’re supposed to when testing.

If you have a diabetic condition, you should be tested for sleep apnea as soon as feasible. If you are found to have sleep apnea, receiving immediate treatment can greatly assist you in maintaining a good quality of health.

Many online pharmacies offer steep discounts on popular diabetes medications. These services can deliver the medicine to your house every month, so that you do not forget.

Talk to a physician immediately if you have any vision problems. Diabetes can lead to many eye problems, including diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Cataracts can also be an issue. It is critical that you address any vision issues as soon as they appear because diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness.

If you have diabetes, you must be careful about what you eat. Blood glucose levels are affected differently by various foods, so it is necessary to keep close tabs on your food choices. Adapt your insulin injections to what you eat. Watch what you eat to manage your blood sugar levels.

It is never your own fault that you have gestational diabetes. In most cases, this condition does not appear for any specific reasons. Try not to feel stressed out about gestational diabetes. Just cut down on your sugar intake for the remainder of your pregnancy.

If your blood sugar level dips too low, you may need to drink something sugary like orange juice to get it back up. Don’t worry if your blood sugar level spikes when you do this. This means could mean that you are eating and drinking more than you should to fix your low level or that your body is releasing hormones to make up for the low level. Next time, drink or eat half the quantity you normally would, and then check again after thirty minutes.

Diabetics who smoke need to try and quit. Smoking is a poor health decision for those around you and for yourself as it can make your blood sugar dangerous. If you want to quit but are encountering difficulty, consider asking your healthcare practitioner for advice.

Make your favorite comfort foods more diabetes-friendly. One of the hardest things about getting used to having diabetes is that the diet can be very restrictive. Most people believe that they need to get rid of a lot of the foods they love to eat. Others will continue to eat their favorite, unhealthy foods. The smart solution is to examine your favorite dishes and make substitutions. You could replace certain ingredients with more diabetes-friendly alternatives for instance.

It is absolutely critical that all diabetics learn the proper ways to care for their bodies to preserve their health. This article contains some great advice that will be useful for all diabetics and their loved ones.…