Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Walk-In Clinics Provide Needed Medical Care

It's Sunday morning, and your infant has been crying for hours. It could be cramps or an earache. Your pediatrician's office is closed. Before you head to the emergency room, you should know that walk-in clinics are available to handle many family practice health issues.General GuidelinesWalk-in clinics treat minor emergencies that are not life-threatening. On-staff certified physicians provide qualified care to patients who come in. These walk-in clinics exist for convenience, when you can't wait to see your doctor, and don't feel the extended wait times at an emergency room's triage center are worth the trip. If possible, you should assess the seriousness of your condition before visiting a walk-in clinic. You can often call to speak to a nurse on-duty about symptoms or consult medical websites. More information about what kinds of services are available at a particular walk-in clinic is usually available on their website.Walk-in clinics can handle some first aid and non-trauma conditions, and the board-certified medical personnel there will let you know if they cannot treat your condition. You will otherwise be treated quickly and the same day without the need for an appointment.Walk-In Clinics also accept most insurance plans. Insurance companies will often charge far less for a clinic visit than for an emergency room visit. If your insurance plan is not accepted, or you do not have a valid insurance plan, ask about available options for treatment.Treatable SymptomsThere are a variety of conditions that can be handled by walk-in facilities including:

• Cuts and/or bruises
• Infections
• Rashes
• Headaches
• Stomachaches
• Sore throats
• Sinus conditions
• The flu or colds
• Asthma
• Minor sprains or fractures
• Cough
• Diarrhea or vomitingIn addition to treating these ailments, many walk-in clinics can also administer immunizations and conduct physical exams, screenings and lab tests.Finding Your Walk-In ClinicThere has been an increase in walk-in clinic facilities recently. This increase has been generally funded by private investors, which often means the clinic is not affiliated to a local hospital. This can have good and bad results. One good result is you rarely have to wait too long. Another is that walk-in clinics are no longer mostly found in large metropolitan areas. With the rise of walk-in clinics, there is likely to be one near you. A quick search on the Internet or a call to your local information service will provide an ample number of options.Cut the Red Tape and Feel Better FastIt's good to have options. Your doctor may give you more personalized care, and the emergency room may possess the best equipment and staff for emergencies, but when the other inconvenient situations occur that can't wait for your regular doctor or don't require an emergency room visit, there's the option of walk-in clinics. Many clinics even offer online registration to facilitate the treatment process. It's about getting better when you need it, without the paperwork, and fast.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Case for the Repeal of ObamaCare and the Economic Destruction of Our Economy

Against the widespread wishes of the American people, Democrats passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare") of PPAC into law in 2010 promising, among other things, to "correct the deficiencies" of medical care. Yet the ironically titled law, in its 2,800 pages of federal intervention into the economy, is failing to "protect" anyone as health insurance becomes even less "affordable."Even worse, ObamaCare is restraining an economic recovery and destroying jobs by burdening entrepreneurs and employers with tax increases and costly regulations. Congress can help end the economic uncertainty by keeping our Pledge to America and repealing this disastrous law. This month was a milestone for PPAC as the health insurance exchanges opened to memorialize the legacy of Obama as his experimental economic policies continue to plague our growth.As the law became a reality on October 1, 2013, over 50% of all Americans do not understand how this new law is structured and even more of them do not understand the economic ramifications. This became evident when I overheard a conversation between two employees in my office this past week. Both of them in the late 20's, the very demographic that proponents of the plan are expecting to enroll in droves, the young and healthy millennials.As the conversation between these two people developed, through the door outside my office, I overheard several conversations about the health care bill. One of these people was anticipating the arrival of a nationwide insurance exchange coming online in a few days to get his "free health care plan" we will call him Keith. The other, we will call him Scott, proceeded to explain to Keith that there was nothing free in ObamaCare. I was astonished at the exchange between these two bright and educated people. This is a classic case of a low-information consumer vs. a highly informed person. Keith, apparently, has not recently had health insurance coverage and was under the impression he was going to get a limitless benefit from the federal government. Scott, to the contrary, explained that this was the biggest political Ponzi-scheme on the planet and that Keith was going to have to pay for his coverage. In reality, Keith was hugely disappointed, no different from the millions who recently discovered that no one is getting free health insurance.What is the reality of this controversial piece of legislation? Could it be that the actuaries that the democratic pollsters hired to run the numbers got it wrong? Let us look at some economic facts about this legislation.First of all, when the health insurance exchanges opened up on 10/1, there was a lot of perplexity, not because the web site had mal-functioned, but because millions were expecting to get this new benefit for free! One can only imagine the bewilderment experienced when these Americans realized that they actually have to pay for this service. What happened? Didn't the democrats promise health reform and didn't they promise health insurance coverage for the 45 plus million Americans without? They sure did, but they failed to fully explain how devastating this was going to be to all Americans by in large. According to the U.S. Census Bureau current population survey, consider the following statistics as part of the discussion as it related to the number of un-insured Americans (the percentages are a comparison to the total population):Total number not covered by insurance 47.9 million - 15.4%Total of these in families 35.8 million - 14.2%Where do the uninsured live?Living in the Northeast 5.9 million - 10.8%Living in the Northwest 7.9 million - 11.9%Living in the South 21.5 million - 18.6%Living in the West 12.4 Million - 17.0%How much money do people without health care make?Income level of less than $25k 14.5 million - 24.9%Income level between $25 - 49.9k 18.8 million - 21.4%Income level between $50 - 74.9k 7.0 million - 15.0%Income level of $75k plus 7.7 million - 7.9%How old are the uninsured?Between the ages of 25-34 11.4 million - 27.4%Between the ages of 35-44 8.4 million - 21.1%Between the ages of 45-54 7.8 million - 18.2%BY association, it would seem that the demographics of uninsured Americans are relatively spread evenly between all social classes and economic populace. In actuality, the overall concept to offer all Americans with high quality health care coverage is a step in the right direction. But a government sponsored bill to force people into a health exchange is not the answer, especially when it is expected to be funded by citizens who don't need it to pay for citizens who do, much like social security.

It is going to present a huge burden on taxpayers in America, so how much is it really going to cost the American taxpayer?Actuaries, who helped designed the plan, are expecting the uninsured Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 to enroll with income levels from $25k trough$50k. Unfortunately, this is not going to happen, first, young Americans are struggling to make ends meet, if they do not have an employer sponsored health plan, they are not going to take money from disposable income regardless of the penalty. Especially when the penalty is insignificant in contrast to the premiums which we will prove later.A family of 4 making $40,000 annually will pay an annual premium of $8,290 with a tax credit of $6,325, this family will pay $1,373 after the tax credit which is 3.9% of gross income but actually 13% of take home pay.A family of 4 making $60,000 annually will pay an annual premium of $8,290 with a tax credit of $3,377, this family will pay $4,913 after the tax credit which is 8.2% of gross income but actually 20% of take home pay.A family of 4 making $80,000 annually will pay an annual premium of $8,290 with a tax credit of $690, this family will pay $7,600 after the tax credit which is 9.5% of gross income but actually 24% of take home pay.This family of four, based on the government figures, is expected to pay health insurance out-of-pocket costs anywhere from 3.9% to 9.5%.
In reality, ObamaCare is expected to cost this family of four anywhere from 13% to 25% of disposable income because of after-tax income. The percent illustrated in column (1), based on the government estimates takes the actual net tax premium and divides it gross income. In reality, it needs to be divided by net income after paying income taxes, social security deductions, Medicare deductions and other payroll taxes.
This family of 4 will have $690.00 per month less income because they will have to pay the premium monthly with the tax credit coming in the following tax year. For example, in 2014, this family will have to fund the policy for 12 months from disposable and the tax credit from column (3) will not be realized until early in 2015. Once again, the government is using Obama accounting to present a really bad program.
Tax Increases - Between the years of 2014 and 2019, there are a multitude of taxes that will be imposed on Americans from an increase in payroll taxes, mandates on business taxes, a decrease in Medicare payments for seniors that will need to be absorbed through other health insurance increases, and a myriad of other taxes imposed on middle to lower income tax payers. Please visit the heritage foundation website to review these taxes in detail.
If the taxpayer opts out of ObamaCare, they will have to pay a penalty equal to 1% of gross income or $95.00 per adult in 2014, increasing to 2.5% of gross income and $695 per adult in 2016. It will be more cost-effective for the family to pay the penalty and not incur the annual out-of-pocket costs.It's Cheaper to pay the tax penalty than to enroll in ObamaCare - Based on this analysis, it is cheaper to pay the tax penalty than it is to subscribe to ObamaCare. Why in the world would a healthy person enroll in a government sponsored health plan knowing it will cost them an extra $600 per month in disposable income? It's not going to happen.So who is going to enroll in ObamaCare? The indigent and the sick! Taxpayers who could not afford any kind of health insurance prior to the passing of the PPAC. This will drive up the cost of coverage in itself, because the young and healthy are not willing to bear the cost burden to fund the indigent and otherwise ailing population segment.Widespread Ignorance - That is correct, widespread ignorance best describes the concept of this policy. The taxpayers enrolling in the program have no idea how much it is going to cost them and the people employed to aid the enrollees have even less knowledge on the details of ObamaCare.At the end of the day, this will cost Americans dearly, especially hurt will be the low information Americans who believed that this administration actually had their best interest in mind. Bigger government and government administered health insures has failed even before it got started. This will cost taxpayers and the economy anywhere $100 billion annual y to as much as $300 billion annually depending upon the number of people who actually enroll in the program. Economically speaking, this is the most fragile time in American history in the last 100 years, regardless of the outcome, whether are not people enroll or don't enroll, they effect on our economic recovery will be devastating.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Finding the Right Donor for Your Liver Transplant

The international healthcare guidelines state that any patient who is suffering from liver cirrhosis and projects a life expectancy that is less than one year can be considered eligible for a liver transplant. The severity of the disease is typically graded from A to C.What is a Liver Transplant?Hepatic or liver transplant involves the replacement of a diseased liver with a healthy one from another individual. Based on the severity and urgency of the case at hand, the patient is either put on the cadaveric donation waiting list; or if the patient is able to find a willing family member with a matched blood group; a transplant may be scheduled based on the results of the donor's evaluation.Most surgeons recommend family members to consider donation in cases where the patient's condition seems to be getting worse.Who are the Cadaveric Donors?Cadaveric donors are essentially people who in their lifetime pledge that their organs from their body may be used after their deaths, to help patients with terminal illnesses. However, the local law states that the decision to donate the organs lies with the next of kin after the death of the pledged donor.Where to Find Liver Donors?If you are under treatment with a reputed liver transplant centre, they are most likely to assist you in making the correct decisions with regards to finding the right donor. Most liver transplant centers also run their own donor program that encourages individuals to pledge their organs for the terminally ill. Consequently, there are a number of government organizations and not for profit organizations who provide assistance in this regards.

Things to Take care of while Identifying a Donor:
Medically speaking it is of extreme importance that the donor and the receiver belong to the same blood group.
Make sure your surgeon has also taken all the necessary measures to evaluate the overall health of the donor.
Ask for a copy of the consent form that is filled up by the donor. Also acquire a written consent from the lawful custodian of the body of the deceased.
As a receiver as well as a donor, it is important for you to know that having a donor card does not bind an individual legally to give away his organs after death. It also represents one's willingness to donate the organs.
In the case of a cadaveric donation, it is mandatory that a panel of four doctors need to declare brain stem death twice within a gap period of 6 hours. This team must include the medical administrator, a neurologist or neurosurgeon, an authorized specialist and the medical officer under whom the patient was being treated.
As a receiver, you should not be compelled to make any payment on account of the liver donation.
With a vast shortage of liver donors, finding the right one can be an extremely daunting process. In such circumstance, it is best to get treated from a reputed liver transplant center that has the resources at hand to help you find the best donor within a requisite time frame.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

If You Are Healthy, Do You Really Need Health Insurance?

The Health Insurance Marketplace is coming soon! Are you ready to go shopping? The mandate requiring most individuals to purchase health insurance goes into effect on January 1, 2014 and the Marketplace will be up and running on October 1, 2013. After March 31, 2014 those who haven't purchased health insurance will have to wait until the enrollment period for the following year.The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has already provided benefits such as no more limitations on pre-existing conditions, free services such as vaccinations for children and birth control, and allowing young people to remain on their parents' health insurance plans until the age of 26.But what if you are under 30 and healthy? Do you really need to find health insurance? The law is very clear: If you do not purchase health insurance you will pay a fee: $95 the first year per person but will go up to 2.5% of household income or $695 per person in 2016, whichever is higher.Those implementing the ACA have valid concerns that healthy individuals may decide to skip insurance and just pay the fee. Although it's tempting, there are risks involved and there are ways to minimize the cost of your health insurance so that you benefit.An option for those under 30 is catastrophic insurance, high deductible or "consumer-directed" insurance plans. These have lower monthly premiums and will include 3 well visits per year and free preventive care. Why consider this at all? These plans provide a safety net for an unexpected serious injury or illness. If you don't purchase health insurance you pay the fine as well as any healthcare expenses you incur, which can be steep. A hospital stay due to an accident can run as high as $30,000 and medical costs are a primary cause of bankruptcies. Deductibles may be as high as $6,400 for individuals but Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can save pre-tax dollars and then be used for deductibles or wellness/informational tests.

With direct access lab testing facilities and HSAs to fill the gap, you can be proactive and do something you may have never done before: Go out and get the tests you want that meet your needs. HSAs can be used for informational tests that you may want to add on to provide baseline data for future reference or track potential or current health issues that you know may cause you problems down the road. If you decide to go with a high deductible or consumer-directed plan, you will have to become a smart healthcare shopper when selecting tests and services, and not necessarily go with your doctor's lab.If you are healthy and over 30, the Marketplace provides 4 options with varying premiums and deductibles. When choosing your health plan look at your overall health. If you don't require many doctors' visits, then a high deductible plan may be right for you, but if you or a family member has any medical challenges, the high deductible plan may cost you more in the long run.