It’s here! National Patient Safety Awareness Week: March 4 – March 10

It’s here! National Patient Safety Awareness Week: March 4 – March 10

“Be Aware for Safe Care” is this year’s theme of the National Patient Safety Foundation. The NPSF leads global efforts to promote patient safety awareness among health care providers and consumers. Every year the NPSF reaffirms the Universal Patient Compact, a set of principles which emphasize the importance of partnership between patients and providers....

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Health Alert

Health Alert

The outbreak of whooping cough has proved harder to control than anticipated, leading the Center for Disease Control to recommend that all adults in the U.S. receive the vaccine. Contact your primary care physician about obtaining the vaccination. The statistics for 2010 infections are chilling: In 2010 California experienced a whooping cough outbreak that...

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How Henrietta Lacks Achieved Immortality

How Henrietta Lacks Achieved Immortality

We all benefit, at least indirectly, from scientific research. Depending upon how it is conducted, we also can be harmed by it. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is not only a highly engaging biography but a study in medical ethics that raises important, thought-provoking questions.

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More Profits for Health Insurers

More Profits for Health Insurers

Here we go again. Although California health insurers cannot justify raising premiums, rates continue to grow faster than underlying costs. Premiums for hundreds of thousands of individual policyholders are to increase at 8% to 14%. This is a significant chunk of change. My policy is $1,000 monthly. So a 14% increase is $140. The...

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Short but thought-provoking…

Short but thought-provoking…

Should those who have pledged organ donation receive preference on a transplant list, all other things being equal? Israel is introducing a law which does precisely that. This has incited much controversy because of religious beliefs, and yet pledges have greatly increased – no small result given Israel’s bottom ranking among Western countries for...

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Are You a “Dual Eligible”? If so, your prescription drug benefits are enhanced.

Are You a “Dual Eligible”? If so, your prescription drug benefits are enhanced.

If you live in, say,  New York and are on Medicaid, then you become Medicare eligible, do you use Medicaid’s prescription plan, Medicare’s prescription plan, or both? Short answer: Both. But – once eligible for Medicare, Part D is the primary payor for dual eligibles for prescription medication and Medicaid is always the insurer...

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Medi-Cal: California’s Medicaid Program

In California, Medicaid is termed “Medi-Cal.” It is governed by federal and state governance as well as the governance of 58 counties, and is a patchwork of various programs and services subject to complex federal, state and county criteria eligibility. The applicant must supply proof of California residency. A social security number or pending application...

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The Mind/Body Problem

The Mind/Body Problem

Once again, separating the mind from the body is an arbitrary paradigm. Bottom line: psychiatric diagnoses have a pathology. Or, in plain English: Yes, again. Turns out that mental health is sometimes caused by a bodily process. Another hormone has been implicated and the lay media is finally taking notice. Your thyroid, a little...

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October 29 is World Stroke Day.

October 29 is World Stroke Day.

Once again, the CDC announces October 29 as World Stroke Day. The ABC’s of  stroke prevention: A – Aspirin, if you are at risk. B – Blood pressure control. C – Cholesterol management. You can act now to prevent a stroke. Please see your physician for a blood pressure check, review of any medications...

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Partners Against Pain, Brought to You, In Part, by Purdue Pharma.

Partners Against Pain, Brought to You, In Part, by Purdue Pharma.

Investigating the topic of chronic pain and its impact upon society, I happened across a website which at first glance seemed helpful: Partners Against Pain. Even better, a Pain Management Advocacy Toolkit was among the website’s resources. Clicking on the link, I was led to a new website entitled “In the Face of Pain:...

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