Monthly Archives: August 2017

2 Ways to Fight the Rising Cost of Health Care

The next time you visit a health care provider make sure you are paying the contracted rate and you are in network. This will help you save money and ensure that you are getting the benefit from your health insurance.

#1 The Contracted Rate

The contracted rate is a critical component of the insurance industry. In my opinion it is the single most important aspect for why everyone should have coverage. The usual and customary charge by any physician, hospital, pharmacy, or lab facility is a fraction of what the charge is with health insurance versus not having coverage.

The contracted rate is the negotiated rate agreed upon between your health care provider and the insurance company. Your portion is only a fraction of what the total bill may be. This is what will save you thousands of dollars the next time you need an expensive procedure. The balance of the claim for that expensive procedure is written off.

Example #1 the cost of a covered service at the hospital is over $30,000. Mr. Smith receives a final bill totaling $1,500 and the rest of the balance is written off due to the contracted rate.

Note: A list of covered services is found in your evidence of coverage when you were approved for health insurance. Call your health insurance company for a copy if you do not have a copy at home.

Example #2 Mrs. Jones goes in for knee surgery. The claim is for $8,800. Mrs. Jones only pays $1,100 and the balance is written off due to the contracted rate.

While many will argue that the cost of health insurance is expensive, the cost of receiving the health care you need without health insurance is astronomical by comparison.

Make sure that you pay the usual and customary rate or contracted rate on all of your health procedures and health claims every time.

One way to ensure that you are paying the contracted rate is to work with a licensed insurance agent in your state. This agent will also help you with your claims as well.

And remember, always stay In Network.

#2 In and Out of Network

When you are In Network, the health care provider accepts your health insurance.

Hospitals, your doctor’s office, labs, specialists, your pharmacy, and any health care provider you visit must accept your insurance for you to receive the contracted rate.

Staying In Network ensures that you pay the contracted rate.

The very best way to ensure that your health care provider accepts your insurance is to simply ask them and confirm. Remember, you will not get the contracted rate unless you are In Network.

A second way to ensure that you are In Network is to verify with your health insurance company or your licensed insurance agent.

Your insurance company can help you by mailing another copy of your coverage benefits summary along with a directory of health care providers that will keep you In Network. Your licensed insurance agent will also have access to the information in case you cannot find your doctor in the directory that your insurance company provides you.

Now, if you go “Out of Network”, it means that the health care provider you visit may not accept your health insurance coverage that you are paying for. In this case the visit will be very costly to you.

In most instances, going Out of Network will cost you more than twice the amount had you stayed In Network.

This day and age health insurance companies do such a great job in growing their network that you can travel outside the U.S. and still visit a health care provider that is In Network.

A company like Blue Shield automatically enrolls you into a plan that will allow you to carry an insurance card outside of your state or outside of the U.S. so that you are In Network in case of an emergency.

To find out if you can stay In Network the next time you are travelling outside of your state or outside of the U.S. simply contact your health insurance company and ask.

Final Thought

Now, more than ever, it is important that you educate yourself on the topic of Health Insurance in this country.

DO NOT GET LOST IN THE POLITICS AND THE MILLION AND ONE OPINIONS HEARD DAILY ON THE NEWS!

These people are not in your living room helping you understand how best to plan for your healthcare needs this year. Make sure that you always stay In Network and that you are paying the Contracted Rate.

Basic Guidance on Health Insurance

Health care providers like labs, hospitals and x-rays our the house of store which shares and access your health information with the doctors and using computers and other electronic devices makes your work easy for you. Using computers in this interesting way in today fast life is called health information technology or health IT.

Health information technology is a very useful technology. They are as follows eliminating the need for the handwritten medical records thus reducing the paper work..it eliminates the mistakes of misreading of the doctors handwriting and also reducing medical errors by transmitting accurate information electronically. By decreasing the need of repeat medical tests by different doctors which in turn reduces the health care cost and eliminating both staff s time and hospitals storage space to maintain the medical records.improving your health care quality by decreasing the errors and assuring to have exact and accurate information of your health by your health care providers on time.

Throughout your health care system HIT plays a important role. Three important healths IT of the types might affect your future as more of the consumers are opting and using personal health records (PHRs) and more over the entire physician uses the latest electronic health record (EHRs) and electronic prescribing (e-Rx)

Now let’s see about personal health record. A document with information regarding our health and (our family members health) which has to be updated everyday for reference and this effective document is called personal health record.Date of your children immunization, major illness, allergies,operations or most important the list of your family members medicines all this can be followed and tracked on using (PHR).

(PHR) are provided free from hospitals, doctors office, private companies and government. (PHR) is also very easy to use. Some (PHR) company also charges there specific fees monthly or annually. You can manage your health information from anywhere if you have access to internet since your (PHR) is online. Due to electronic facility you can collect, share, manage and view your health information, and having a (PHR) it will help you to manage and take care of your health care more actively.

Electronic health record ( EHR) is an latest method of designed for easy health care. An electronic health record ( EHR) is a document used by hospitals, your doctor, and the doctors staff which is on computer basis. Similar to your old paper medical chart,an EHR provides information from your doctors and also the other health providers. Health conditions. allergies, treatment medications and test all this information you will find in any typical (EHR) certain (EHR) have alerts provided for the test and treatment you undergoing,which is also benefited to the doctors.

7 Tips For Super Health

What is real health and how do we get there? Getting down to your target weight, exercising every day, eating a balanced diet – is that health? Here are 7 Super Health tips that I’ve gained from my health journey.

 1 – Become Your Own Doctor – Get a 2nd Opinion – Your Own. Three critical facts about today’s doctors. First, they have little, if any, training in nutrition, or how to prevent or cure diseases. Second, they treat your symptoms, not the cause, and third, statistics show that 94% of them get paid for prescribing drugs. 3 good reasons for a 2nd opinion.

 2 – Balance is Critical. A stool Has 3 Legs – just one or two and you fall over. What you eat determines 70% of your health. Exercise determines 20% – do something. Your health environment, both internally, the way you think and feel, and externally, your social network, is 10%.

 3 – Discover Super Foods. Whole foods provide better nutrition, more energy, and build a stronger immune system. Eat whole grains and seeds in cereals and breads, and wheat germ, bran and brewers yeast. Eat fruits and vegetables and drink green smoothies, fruit smoothies with 2 or 3 green veggies added. I have my green smoothie recipe on my site.

 4 – Invest In You. You educate yourself, spend thousands on your home and cars. Invest in your body – for the best results over your lifetime. Take nutrition courses – read some health books. Learn what builds health and what causes degenerative diseases (tip: it’s what you eat). Read The China Study to revolutionize your life.

 5 – Discipline Yourself – No-one Else Can. Become a closet health nut year by year. Don’t broadcast it – live it. Many people care more about their cars than their body – and spend more time planning their vacations than they do caring for the temple they live in. Don’t be one of them. Incorporate what you learn into your lifestyle.

 6 – Health is a Journey. Your body is miraculously resilient. You can recover from obesity, alcoholism, drug addiction, and from abusing your body. Your health is always determined by what you do in the previous 3 months of your life. Commit to and become healthier, and live into your 80s and 90s, and even 100s with joy, zest, and bounding energy.

 7 – Become a 95% Vegetarian. The evidence is now conclusive. The fat, cholesterol, triglycerides, and carcinogenic protein from meat and dairy products clogs us up, restricts our blood flow, decreases the oxygen to our cells, makes us sluggish, causes high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and cancer. Cut out 95% of meat and dairy. Fruits, vegetables and grains taste heavenly when your tongue isn’t filtering them through layers of fat, grease, salt, and sugar. The sensational Eating DVD documents it all.

Reclaiming Good Mental Health

What is good mental health? We are all more or less mentally healthy, and this usually varies through our lives especially as we deal with difficult life events, change and so on. Whether we call this psychological wellbeing, happiness, contentment, positive mindset, all these terms relate to good mental health.

With our physical health, it’s part of our everyday discourse to be aspirational. We want to feel physically fit, energetic, strong, balanced in our weight, eating a healthy diet, supple, resilient and not prone to minor ailments. Sure we complain about our problems, and talk about how we can’t do all the things we know we ought to do. We know it’s not easy to stay physically healthy without working at it, especially if we’ve experienced health problems. We know that even if we reach the peak of physical fitness, we can’t maintain this for the rest of our lives without paying attention to it.

Research tells us that good mental health is even more beneficial than good physical health. A positive mental outlook increases the rate and speed of recovery from serious, even life threatening, illness. Psychological resilience and wellbeing gives people the strength to turn problems into challenges into triumphs.

Yet whenever I ask a group of people to tell me what words come into mind in relation to ‘mental health’, their responses are about mental ill-health! It’s as if the term has been hi-jacked to become totally problem-focused.

In the meantime, we’re experiencing an epidemic of mental ill-health. About 1 in 4 people are experiencing some form of common mental health problem such as depression, anxiety and various stress related symptoms. GP surgeries are overwhelmed with such problems, mental health services are only able to provide support for the 1% of the population with much more severe mental health difficulties, and there’s a plethora of largely unregulated services, treatments and remedies out on the private market. A recent research study showed that the majority of long term sickness absence from work resulted from stress related conditions.

The trouble with focusing on the problems and the pain, is that that’s what we become experts in. We’re looking for cures and treatments to fix the problem, instead of focusing on what makes for good mental health. We know that physical health is multi-dimensional – no-one imagines that pumping iron to build your muscles is a recipe for overall physical health, although it will certainly make you stronger for certain activities.

So what are the essentials of good mental health?

Connection is certainly one of the best known. Having positive close relationships is good for our mental health, as is having a wider network of friends, colleagues and acquaintances which will vary over time. Giving to others is another really important aspect of connection, improving our sense of self worth and wellbeing.

Challenge is about learning and development, it’s how we grow. For children, everyday brings new challenges, yet as adults we often become increasingly fearful of change, unwilling to learn new skills or put ourselves in unfamiliar situations. So expanding our comfort zone, sometimes in small ways if we’re feeling particularly vulnerable, will help develop our self-confidence and sense of personal achievement.

Composure means a sense of balance, and ability to distance ourselves from our thoughts and emotions. It means our ability to respond rather than react. This could be described as our sense of spiritual connection, which may come through a particular belief or faith, or may be found through connection with nature. A mentally healthy person will feel an inner strength of spirit, and find ways to support that.

Character relates to the way in which we interpret our experiences and our responses to them. We all have our own personal story, or stories, which we may or may not tell others. We may cast ourselves as the hero, the victim or the villain, and however we do this will impact generally on our mental health. Someone who has experienced severe life trauma may have great difficulty piecing together their story at all, leaving them feeling literally fragmented. Good mental health means having a strong sense of personal values, awareness of our own strengths, skills and resources, and personal stories of learning from mistakes, survival, success and appreciation.

Creativity represents the fun, childlike aspects of our mental health. As children we are naturally creative and we play. As we grow into adulthood, our creativity and playfulness is often discouraged or devalued, and this can cause great frustration, literally diminishing the capacity of our brain to function as well as it could. Exploring creative activities has often been found to have a powerful therapeutic effect, and good mental health certainly depends in part on opportunities to bring fun, playfulness and creativity into our lives.

These 5 C’s of good mental health offer a framework within which we can think about our mental health in the same way as we might our physical health. It’s pretty damned hard to be a perfect specimen of physical health,but then who needs to be perfect? Just like our physical health, our mental health is a work in progress and always will be.

In years gone by, many people with physical illnesses were treated cruelly because of ignorance and shame. I recall when cancer was spoken in hushed whispers as the Big C. Nowadays mental ill-health is the ‘elephant in the room’ which we need to be looking at long and hard, exposing to practical common sense and intelligent discussion.

World Mental Health Day on October 10 has been a timely reminder that good mental health really is something we can aspire to for everyone. Let’s make it so!

Carolyn Barber, Bsc (Hons), CQSW, is the founder of Wayfinder Associates, a social care training and consultancy business specialising in team development, independent supervision and staff wellbeing. As a serial social entrepreneur, Carolyn has developed community based programmes to promote understanding of mental wellbeing using positive solution focused approaches.

Carolyn has over 30 years experience in social care as practitioner, trainer, researcher and manager, working across public, voluntary and independent sectors.