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Health Food

Creating a Culture of Health and Wellness

I deal mainly with small-to-medium sized employer groups and every time I broach the subject of creating a company culture that promotes the health and wellness of their employees – I usually get the same response. It goes something like this; “Are you kidding? It’s not good enough that I provide a good paying job with a great employee benefits program, now you want me to promote healthy lifestyles for my employees? Forget it!” Coincidentally, my response is always the same. “As long as you [the employer] have a fiduciary responsibility for your companies health plan, meaning, it’s your name on the plan and you’re the one they ultimately look to for payment – then you have an incumbent responsibility to shield your company finance’s against premium increases. Think about it for a moment. If the majority of your employees are living unhealthy lifestyles (i.e. they’re over-weight, they smoke, live sedentary lives) then you’ll be bearing that burden in the form of higher health insurance premiums year after year.
It’s not just higher premiums that become the negative outcome. It’s also the fact that unhealthy employees tend to be more unproductive than their healthy counterpart employees. They have a higher absenteeism rate and they have a tendency to be less productive even when they’re at work. Ignoring a robust health and wellness component to complement your employer-sponsored health plan just doesn’t make good business sense.
Here are some chilling facts:
A recent analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES), which is conducted regularly by the National Center for Health Statistics, warns that middle-aged individuals may be at greater health risk than anyone anticipated. In comparing the results of two large-scale studies of the U.S. population in 1988 to 1994 and in 2001 to 2006, the report shows that the number of people aged 40 to 74 adhering to healthy lifestyle habits has seriously declined.
* The percentage of surveyed adults with a body mass index greater than 30 has increased from 28 percent to 36 percent *
* Physical activity 12 times a month or more has decreased from 53 percent to 43 percent *
* Eating five or more fruits and vegetables a day has decreased from 42 percent to 26 percent *
* Moderate alcohol use has increased from 40 percent to 51 percent *
* Smoking rates have not changed (26.9 percent to 26.1 percent) *
*The Vitality Group ” CREATING A NEXT-GENERATION HEALTH AND WELLNESS PROGRAM: Why employers should take the lead, and how to do it
While it’s true that Americans are living longer today (life expectancy for males is 75 years and for females it’s 80 years), it’s also true that more Americans suffer from chronic and debilitating diseases such as diabetes, hyper-tension, acid reflux, heart disease, mostly stemming from too many Americans being obese. In fact, it’s estimated that obesity alone accounts for 147 billion dollars a year in health care related costs. Now, I’m not an economist by any means but I can figure out that if we created a culture of health and wellness in this country that seeks to stem the negative affects of obesity, we wouldn’t need the government to get involved with health care at all.
Business owners, maybe it’s time to make some radical changes in your workplace like, don’t just ban smoking in the building but eliminate the 35 smoke breaks that take place throughout the day. After all, if I came to you with a request to go into the break room to eat something every 30 minutes you would probably suggest that maybe this job’s not for me – and you would have every right to suggest that! Studies have shown that it’s well worth the investment with ROI’s sometimes being $3.27 reduction in medical costs for every dollar spent on health and wellness, as well as, reducing absenteeism costs by $2.73 for every dollar spent. Just some healthy food for thought.
If you would like to learn more about how to cultivate a culture of health and wellness at your company; email me at [email protected]

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Health Tips

The President and Congress Need Health Care?

The health care reform legislation would now become a joke if the consequences were not so devastating to million of Americans. In an effort to quickly pass legislation in the Senate, regardless of its content, legislators are removing anything that would prevent votes from being lost. This policy which, originates in the White House, reflects the President’s demand of passing a historic health care bill this year regardless of whether or not it meets the original goals. The goals were to insure all (or at least most) Americans, lower the cost of health care as well as the cost of health care insurance and to regulate the health insurance industry to cover patients with pre-existing conditions and to prevent coverage from being terminated. Guess what – we aren’t even close to achieving these fact, health care costs will increase, available care will be reduced, Americans will be taxed if they don’t purchase private insurance and in the end the cost of health care and insurance will increase significantly. Worst of all, it appears that the President and many members of Congress don’t care. We now have come to the point where not only Republicans are against this legislation but now many Democrats also oppose it. Regardless, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi (with the help of the President) are trying desperately to find enough votes to ram this bill through. The latest NBC/Wall Street Poll now indicates that only 32% of the people of the United States are in favor of this legislation, but this doesn’t matter either, the Democratic leadership is still hell bent on passing this disastrous legislation.
We lost the basic focus of what the goals are. First and foremost should have been the reduction of the cost of health care. There are a number of things that can be done. Tort reform would have created a tremendous savings by limiting the number of tests and procedures performed only to protect against litigation and it would have reduced physician and facility liability insurance premiums which could have been passed along to lower costs. Allowing most insurance carriers to offer insurance in most states would have created additional competition which almost always drives prices down. Regulating test and procedure costs based upon many years of historic data collected by government resources such as VA, Medicare, Medicaid, could have standardized costs at lower prices for most tests and procedures. Allowing FDA approved prescription drugs to be imported from other countries like Canada would provide substantial savings. Correcting Medicare/Medicaid fraud and mismanagement would save and reduce costs by hundreds of billions of dollars. This could be achieved by contracting independent auditors who would be paid based upon what they identified and recovered, thereby not costing anything, being paid from funds that were previously not collected and lost. When you add up the potential gains of implementing these actions, there is no question in my mind that ample savings could be used to cover more uninsured Americans under the Medicaid program. The costs to move these programs forward would be almost nonexistent when compared to the current legislation.
Instead our government is attempting to pass legislation that will reduce Medicare/Medicaid funding by $400-$500 billion dollars. This is supposed to save these programs that are deeply in debt. What it will do is reduce reimbursements to physicians and facilities. This will reduce the number of physicians who will accept Medicare/Medicaid patients, increase the number patients accepting physicians can treat, thereby drastically increasing the load and reducing the time available to schedule treatments, which of course creates a rationing situation. There will be additional taxing on most Americans. Those in the $200,000 earnings category will be taxed, those who have high end health care insurance policies nicknamed the “Cadillac Policies” which includes many union members and of course those who choose not to purchase health care insurance will be taxed, although some choose to call this a penalty. Insurance companies will be forced to take patients with pre-existing conditions, but they won’t be forced to offer low premiums. Forcing those who can’t afford this high cost insurance to pay a penalty for not carrying insurance on top of dealing with life threatening illnesses. There will be government agencies involved with health care decisions similar to one that recently suggested that women under the age of 50 do not need mammography screening. Prescription drug importing has been defeated in the Senate. Tort reform is not part of the legislation. And the list of negatives goes on and and on. Even the former director of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, is now against passage of this legislation. Yet the President and Democratic leadership is still trying to push to through.
The passage of this bill has required the President to make deals with the American …

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Health Store

A Quick Look at Chiropractic Health

Chiropractic health started officially in 1985, even though it has had historical references of having been in practice since the time of Hippocrates. Therefore it’s an old concept and had not been a present day concept. Virtually all chiropractors believe that our nervous system has a high chance of being troubled by backbone manipulation. Backbone manipulation is all about the structural and biochemical spinal derangement. The notion that our nervous system is very effectively touched by manipulation of the spine is traced to the proven fact that, there exists a close connection between our spine and the nervous system. This belief has its origin from anatomical studies and findings.
Having announced these, an individual’s structural trustworthiness can be well controlled and put back to shape using the chiropractic treatment. And so, the neurological tissues that are fragile experience a pressure reduction. Chiropractic health involves spine manipulation to bring about ease and relief, thus improving an individual’s health condition. Drugs and surgery isn’t part of the chiropractic doctor’s way of treating patients. If however, the chiropractor recommends a treatment method or two, he would take up considerations for the patient to consult another practitioner ( which might be a medical doctor ).
Steps Implicated During Chiropractic Treatment
During consultation, a patient is first examined very completely by following certain established routines. The patient under exam, is required to furnish with a wide range of personal important information like hospital therapy or healing measures taken during the past, diet and nutritional facts, History relating to occupation, Psycho / social history and Family history.
The data so collected, will be of enormous help to the chiropractor who will investigate it awfully fastidiously and make exact diagnosis of the infirmity and its area of influence. Similarly, a physical exam may be required that might involve an xray and possibly some lab tests following the clinical judgment of the chiropractor.
There are various chiropractic treatment strategies used in the chiropractic health practice system to know the portion of backbone that desires manipulation.
One of the treatment methods used for the Dictating Fixated / Hypermobile Segments of the vertebrae, includes the Static and Motion Palpation method. Next is the x-ray method that is involved when it’s got to do with the situation of Subluxations. Another chiropractic health treatment system employs a device for finding out the skin temperature in ones Para Spinal region. This technique is engaged with the dictation of segments of our spine that have really obvious temperature adaptations. So treatment of the spine is carried out to such influenced segments and this process has revealed to be a effective way of treatment.
Yet another treatment approach to chiropractic revolves round the concept of Structure Balancing – upwards from the feet. This is said to be a biomechanical process that looks after the entire bipedal structure. Quite a large number of times it is identified the diagnosis of such analyzed feeble links of this kinetic chain, are quite distantly differing from what is being complained by the patient. In such cases the treatment technique would involve muscular balancing that would reinforce the in some measure active muscles as also the articular manipulation. There would also be recommendations for undergoing stability of the pelvis, which is discerned by proper radiographic means.
With the advancement of scientific knowledge in recent times, chiropractic health practice has caught up with popularity and a lot lots of people find solace by moving ahead with chiropractic therapy for backbone issues and related treatment.…

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Healthcare Articles

How to Get a Free Advance Health Care Directive in California

Free Health Care Directive for Californians!
People usually forget that estate planning involves much more than wills and trusts.
Part of any solid estate plan, the Directive allows your chosen agent(s) to make health care decisions for you if you can’t do so yourself!
In some states, it is still called a “Living Will” which is probably why many people confuse it with a “Living Trust.” In California, the “living will” is now called an Advance Health Care Directive. I provide my clients with a VERY robust and comprehensive document.
Some online companies and paralegal services will sell you an Advance Health Care Directive, but what they are actually providing you is something you can get for free! That’s California Probate Code already provides a free Health Care Directive in section 4701 of the code. The reason some places sell this form to you is because they are NOT allowed to practice can only provide you with the entry-level form. While the form in the code has its shortcomings, and is indeed “entry level,” it is better than nothing.
If you don’t have a solid directive, and you haven’t done an estate plan, then at the very least, you can get the FREE one and fill it out yourself.
Here is how you can get the FREE entry level form:
1. Go to the California Attorney General’s website at
2. In the top right, you will find a search box
3. In the search box, type “advance health care directive”
4. The first result should be California’s FREE entry level form that you can fill out online. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully!
If you want something more robust or a more complete estate plan that will provide you and your family with MUCH more protections, please feel free to call my office and make an appointment. You will be glad you did.
EVERYONE OVER THE AGE OF 18 SHOULD HAVE AN ADVANCE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE. THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES, BUT HAVING ONE (EVEN THE FREE FORM) IS LIKELY BETTER THAN NOT HAVING ANYTHING AT ALL.
Please forward this email to friends, colleagues, and family that might find it helpful.…

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Healthcare Articles

I Thought ObamaCare Was Supposed to Be the Affordable Health Care Act?

Indeed, sometimes I feel like we were sold a bill of goods, or that Congress approved the bill for the Affordable Health Care Act before they read what was in it. That sounds rather ridiculous doesn’t it? Although, that is what Nancy Pelosi said to CNN, FOX, CBS, and MSNBC reporters the night before the ObamaCare vote. Perhaps, this is more common than you think, and if so there is a very good book I believe you should read titled; “What Makes You Think We Read the Bills?” which was written by a former influential DC legislator.
Let me give you an example of some of the hypocrisy which is going on in the real world. The Affordable Health Care Act was supposed to make health care more affordable, it hasn’t. Health care costs have increased between six and 8.5% each year since President Obama has been in office and since ObamaCare has been in existence, and the more onerous costs and restrictions are still to come in 2014, some start right now in 2013 as it is phased-in.
The LA Times had an article recently titled “Insurer Plans 12% Rate Hike” by Chad Terhune which noted that “Health insurer Blue Shield of California wants to raise rates as much as 20% for some individual policy holders, prompting calls for the nonprofit to use some of its record-high reserve of $3.9 Billion to hold down premiums.”
Indeed, I know this is true because I myself have watched my premiums go up, even though I have never used them. Apparently, I am paying for everyone else’s increased costs due to this new law. We were all told that we would save money, that we would receive refunds, and that the government could run our health care system better than private enterprise. We should have known better, because the big blob of bureaucracy has never been able to run more efficient than free enterprise, not only our own country, but everywhere else as well.
Socialism doesn’t work, and nationalizing industries only makes them more inefficient. If you are wondering what’s hurting the economies of Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela, South Africa, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, and most of the nations in the Middle East, well, it is all about centralized control over industry, and the inefficiencies of socialism. We need not do that there, but apparently we have some left-leaning leadership that has fooled the masses into following the pied piper off the economic cliff of despair.
That’s unfortunate for such a great and strong nation which has become the economic powerhouse of the world thanks to free-market capitalism. Indeed, I’d like you will sit back for a moment and consider all this and think on it.…

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Healthcare Articles

The Ease of Buying Individual Health Insurance

There used to be so many variables when even attempting to purchase insurance coverage that the consumer was often left confused. Not to mention the whole process had to be handled by an agent who claimed to know what was best for the individual. Well those days are long gone and now the process of buying individual health insurance is both easy and convenient.
Many changes have occurred within the industries that are beneficial to the everyday individual. Purchasing insurance is now as easy as picking up the phone or even utilizing the Internet. Gone are the days of needing an insurance agent who always had just the right policy at an astronomical rate. Now the control to find the best coverage is in the hands of each individual.
Competition is fierce within the insurance industry and companies are trying to outdo each other. Buying individual health insurance has become much less of a burden to the consumer because of this. The price of insurance and the coverage provided can be curtailed to fit into most budgets and still provide security. Another benefit is that anyone can access the information needed to make a decision about health care on their own.
Resources are available to aid the consumer in discovering both the options and premiums offered with these plans. There are no more standard one size fits all policies that require payment for services that are not needed or even wanted. Every potential insured has the capability of picking only the coverage that is needed at an affordable cost.
Buying individual health insurance means purchasing what is needed without added coverage increasing the premiums. There are a variety of options available when choosing the right plan from full coverage to a supplemental policy for added protection. Deciding what type of plan is best should be the first step in obtaining information.
Once the decision has been made as to the benefits needed, start comparing prices between carriers. There are a variety of ways to decrease the amount spent out of pocket as well as ways to keep the overall cost of the plan down. Being an informed consumer is a smart consumer when it comes to purchasing insurance.
Take the time to find out what options are available and the surprise might be that great coverage is available at a reasonable rate. The control is in your hands when it comes to health care and the purchase. Buying individual health insurance can be done with ease and still provide peace of mind.…

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Health Facts

Short Term Health Insurance Savings

Companies are now offering high end insurance plans at short term prices that are lower than many companies are providing for their employees. If you work at a company that is not providing you a lot of coverage, you need to make sure that you’re doing well in regards to a lot of medical coverage. Yes, you need to make sure that you’re not lacking in regards to protecting your family. You’re going to see a brighter future if you’re willing to step up to the plate and look at policies rather than just signing whatever thing you find that covers you for the moment.
If you’re self employed, or recently unemployed you should look into the steady short term health insurance plans that are available to you and your family at a low cost. There are simply too many companies out there competing to get you the best price possible. Seriously, don’t be left behind the curve and don’t let the lights go out on your attempts to make something better than the rest. You need to make sure that you’re making good overall moves in regards to your health and the health of your loved ones.
If you’re not careful, health reform might end your coverage. So make sure your tied down with a great costing high end plan. If you don’t understand the plans terms, ask someone to go over them with you and enjoy the great peace of mind that comes from being protected against medical bills and more.…