Emergency Care vs. Urgent Care

09.22.2014

It can be frightening when a sudden illness or injury strikes, especially if your regular doctor is not available. You need to make a choice quickly about where to get the medical attention you need. But, it’s also important to have all the facts before you seek care. What Are My Options? Emergency Rooms: Emergency rooms are open 24 hours a day for potentially life-threatening emergencies. Many plans cover some portion of emergency care no matter where you are, even out of their network area. Once your condition is stable, you will generally be moved to an in-network provider for follow-up care. You may have an ER co-payment, co-insurance or deductible. You may also have an additional out-of-network charge. If you have questions about what constitutes an emergency, or about what emergency costs are covered, call your insurer. Urgent Care Centers: These centers have extended hours and are not equipped …

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Will you be able to help your college age child in a medical emergency?

09.07.2014

The HIPAA privacy rule requires you to have a signed authorization Don’t get stuck in an information vacuum if your son or daughter ends up in the ER. Early one October morning, Sheri E. Warsh, a mother of three from Highland Park, Ill., stepped out of the shower to a ringing phone. On the other end, her 18-year-old son’s college roommate delivered terrifying news: Her son—270 miles away at the University of Michigan—was being rushed by ambulance to a nearby emergency room with severe, unrelenting chest pain. “I was scared out of my mind, imagining the worst,” Warsh said. In a panic, she called the ER for details. What she got instead was a total rebuff from the nurse. “She asked me how old my son was, and when I said 18, she told me I had no right to talk to the doctor,” Warsh said. Think the nurse was …

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Four Common Mistakes in Treating Back Pain

08.29.2014

Why you probably don’t need an MRI, strong drugs, bed rest, or back surgery With back pain, less really is more. Up to 90 percent of people who see a doctor in the first three days of a back attack get better within two weeks, regardless of what they do. Aggressive tests and treatments can waste your money and actually slow your recovery. Here are four common mistakes in treating back pain—and what to do instead. Mistake 1: Rushing to test Back pain can be so intense that your first thought might be that you need an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI to see exactly what is going on with your spine. But most people who have those tests within a month of the onset of pain don’t get better faster and might get worse. Why? Scans often show small abnormalities that aren’t the cause of the pain but can …

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August is National Immunization Month

08.17.2014

(StatePoint) August, which is National Immunization Month, is a great reminder to keep your family up-to-date on important vaccines. With the kids headed back to school and the upcoming flu season ahead, everyone, young and old, should brush up on the facts about vaccines, say experts. For example, did you know that most healthy adults are advised to get vaccines to protect their health? Anyone can become ill from infectious disease if he or she isn’t properly immunized. Most adults should get an annual influenza vaccine, as well as a Tdap booster shot every ten years, say doctors. Children heading to crowded classrooms are especially at risk for spreading or acquiring illnesses. Parents should check with their pediatricians before the school year about what immunizations their children need to stay healthy for the year ahead. From measles, mumps and rubella to polio, booster shots are crucial life-saving medical care for …

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Eating Raw Veggies Best for Blood Pressure

08.11.2014

Your blood pressure benefits when you eat lots of veggies. A recent study suggests the biggest benefit may come from eating your vegetables raw. In the study, researchers from Imperial College in London followed nearly 2,200 people from Japan, People’s Republic of China, United Kingdom and the United States for three years. The researchers wanted to see how the vegetables the people ate would affect their blood pressure. The researchers also were interested in whether there is a difference in health benefits between eating cooked or raw vegetables. Results showed that raw vegetables were associated with a lower blood pressure overall. The researchers did not count cooked white potatoes and sweet potatoes as vegetables because of their high starch content. What’s the difference between cooked and raw? What’s the nutritional difference between cooked and raw? When you cook vegetables, you change their chemical composition. Depending on the method, cooking can …

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Regular Exercise Can Help Kids Do Better in School

08.01.2014

Physical activity may not be the first thing parents or teachers think about when they want to boost a child’s academic performance, but evidence supports the notion that a bit of exercise for the body is beneficial to the brain as well. In fact, kindergarteners who participated in Build Our Kids’ Success (BOKS), a free before-school program involving physical activity and nutrition education, had significantly improved memory skills as rated by teachers, compared to their peers who did not participate. A study of the children’s performance also concluded that those who participated in the program exhibited good behavior in the classroom. “A sedentary life and poor eating habits can lower kids’ performance in the classroom and start a cycle of health problems later in life,” says Kathleen Tullie, Founder and Executive Director of BOKS and the Director of Social Responsibility for Reebok. “Simply stated, a healthy body and a healthy …

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How To Decode A Sunscreen Label: The Truth About Hypoallergenic, SPF 100, And Other Claims

07.28.2014

Natural, tear-free, sting-free, and pediatrician recommended. These are just some of the claims sunscreen manufacturers make on their product labels. They may sound authoritative, but many claims are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and some are unclear or misleading. Here’s the truth about the most common ones. Claim: Enriched with antioxidants What it really means: Many sunscreen labels have added antioxidants and in theory it makes sense. Sunscreens work by absorbing or scattering the sun’s harmful rays and can generate cell-damaging free radicals. Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, can neutralize free radicals. But a recent study of 12 products enriched with antioxidants showed that the compounds had little or no benefit. It’s difficult to make such a product because antioxidants aren’t stable. To be effective, the antioxidants need to be present in high concentrations and penetrate skin. Claim: Tear-free and sting-free What it really means: …

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Tips To Make Summer Slim Down Simple

07.20.2014

(StatePoint) The irony of summer is that for many people, it’s the most important time of year to stay fit, but it can actually be the hardest time of year to stick to one’s diet. “Too many weight loss plans are not designed for the reality of everyday living, especially in summer when there can be extra challenges like vacations, family barbecues and a general change of pace,” says Dr. Anthony Fabricatore, Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Development at Nutrisystem. But dieters can stay on track no matter where life takes them with these simple tips. Make Time to Exercise Daily exercise is important for weight maintenance, weight loss and general health. So don’t let your exercise routine take a vacation when you do. Skip the shuttle bus at the amusement park and walk from attraction to attraction. At the pool? Take breaks from lounging to swim laps. Whenever …

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5 Tips to Help You Snack Healthier at Work

07.15.2014

iTriage Eating healthy doesn’t apply solely to what you consume for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That is, unless the only time you eat is at mealtimes. Most of us, however, like to have a couple of snacks during the day. The right snacks can help us to focus mentally by taking the edge off our hunger and can provide a much-needed energy boost until the next meal. It’s important to choose wisely when selecting your snacks. You may eat the healthiest lunches in the office, but all of those salad greens and turkey sandwiches on whole-grain breads won’t amount to much if you’re noshing on junk between meals. Junk food such as candy bars, soda and potato chips won’t help power you through your afternoon — and consistent consumption of junk foods can harm your body over the long run by boosting your risk for disease. One strategy to make …

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CDC’s Health Alert Network recently published an advisory to clinicians regarding new WHO polio vaccination requirements for travel by residents of and long-term visitors to countries with active polio transmission

07.12.2014

“U.S. clinicians should be aware of possible new vaccination requirements for patients planning travel for greater than four weeks to countries with ongoing poliovirus transmission. The May 5 WHO statement names 10 such countries, three designated as “exporting wild poliovirus” (Cameroon, Pakistan and Syria [Syrian Arab Republic]) that should “ensure” recent (4 to 52 weeks before travel) polio boosters among all departing residents and long-term travelers (of more than 4 weeks), and an additional seven countries “infected with wild poliovirus” (Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Somalia and Nigeria) that should “encourage” recent polio vaccination boosters among residents and long-term travelers.”

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