Family Dental Care: How to Find a Dentist for Your Family

Finding a good family dentist can be a challenging process. There are a lot of things that need to be considered. The dentist will be a long-term health provider, which is why it is crucial to spend time finding the perfect one. There are many considerations that will need to be made in order to find the one that is best suited to meet the family's needs.

The first thing to think about when shopping for a family dentist is the family dental plan. Check to see if the insurance specifies which dentists to choose from. If it does, then narrow the search for the right dentist with the dental plan's options. Otherwise, benefits might be less or will even come completely out-of-pocket. With that said, some dental plans do not specify a dentist. Therefore, it is important to check with the provider's rules.

Another thing to do is get recommendations from friends, relatives or coworkers. Not only that, but the family doctor can even make a recommendation. It would be good to see whether or not they are satisfied with the quality of care that their dentist provides. If they are, then it might be a good dentist to choose. However, if they are not satisfied, then it is a good way to eliminate one from the list of choices.

Once a list has been made with some possible options, there are some things that will need to be figured out. First, determine what their office hours are and whether or not they will work within the family schedule. Then, calculate how far away each office is so one is not chosen that is too long of a drive. Finally, look into the dentists' education and training. Make sure they are reputable and a licensed member of the American Board of Dentistry.

Besides all of that, there are a couple of things to look for when visiting an office. One of the most important of things is to make sure that it is kept clean and orderly, especially the equipment. Then, consider whether or not the staff is helpful. They should be willing to answer questions. Also, observe whether or not the staff wears gloves during treatments. Health and sanitation should be a big priority.

Picking a dentist takes work, but the effort will be worth it when the right one is found. Make sure to use these tips so a reputable dentist takes care of the family. Consider dental plans, recommendations, ease of accessibility, as well as their level of training and education.

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Landmark – The Inside Story of America's New Health Care Law and What It Means for Us All

Book Review: Landmark – The inside story of America's new health care law and what it means for us all

Landmark is a collection of essays written by various reporters, editors and national staff of 'Washington Post' followed by the actual text of the bill. It provides a comprehensible summary of the legislation and examines its impacts on Americans on various categories and on health care system as a whole. In addition to this, it gives a very rich historical background and perspective. Such as how the legislation came together, the events and negotiations, the political challenges and obstacles, etc etc

The book has a systematic structure and is divided into three sections. The first section provides behind the scene reporting about the way the law came up. The second section highlights the effects and impacts of the new law whereas the third section is a summary of the legislation.

For a lot of people, the presence of the historical background makes it a worthwhile read as it also covers a lot about the national healthcare coverage. People also find it a worthwhile read because it gives a proper and detailed coverage as compared to the fragmented and sensational media coverage.

Although the bill seems to be corrupted in a few places, the authors still manage to convince you that the law will change the way doctors make business and also mark a change in the patients experiences.

This book will increase your knowledge on the issues related to this bill and your ability to discuss and debate on the issue will also be enhanced. This book provides a very balanced perspective and should be read by all.

Landmark is a well written analysis of the new health care reform bill, all of the contributors clarify specific areas of the bill, recommended.

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Health Care Billing Issues: Sudden and Expensive

Insurance is designed for sudden expensive exposure that most of us cannot afford. If you look at those words again: sudden and expensive. It does not spell out the predictable and affordable. For years though, we had someone with the bigger purse paying the bills. Most of us had very little to pay out-of-pocket for any of our own medical expenses. At least until now.

It's common knowledge that those who have more money tend to have more to spend without question. Insurance companies are not any different; they are the ones with the bigger purse. Medical providers know this as well. Over the last 50-60 years, the providers increased their prices to see what they can get away with, at the same time the insurance companies were negotiating for bigger discounts. This is how healthcare became big business. The insurance companies fronted this cost, and now we have to cover the expense of higher premiums today.

The pricing transparency is null in the healthcare industry. Partly because we never needed to know because someone else was paying the bulk of the bill. The other reason is that no one shopped their healthcare expenses like they do other consumable items. The medical providers know this and took advantage of this. The price for something billed to the insurance company and what is the 'cash price' can be completely different. Which one are you going to pay?

It's highway robbery if you ask me. Take a typical generic medication at the local pharmacy. One could cost about twenty dollars to the insurance company, but your price if you pay the cash price could be ten dollars. Why? It is because they can.

The opposite is also true. If you ask for the cash price, it could be double what the insurance companies negotiated price. Many providers will charge the patient the billed amount versus the discounted amount. It's kind of like since you asked I'll charge you more.

Personal case study: My kid injured his hand. The specialist could not tell that it was fractured or not. They wanted to lean on the side of caution, but I wanted to know if it was just a deep bruise or a fracture. The doctor suggested that we do an MRI on his hand just to be sure. As any caring father would, I inquired how much would this cost me if I paid cash, I have a high deductible health plan. He said the insurance company approved amount is $ 350 (this was a small MRI machine). He continued and said I don't make anything from them. So if you pay cash, I would charge you $ 450.

With many policyholders having High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) or Health Savings Account Plans (HSAs), many providers realize the patient is responsible for the initial expenses. This can be good and bad depending on the view.

First, there is the negative view. Many are expecting the first dollar coverage to be paid for by …

Health Savings Accounts and Chiropractic Care

The healthcare industry in the United States is dominated by the culture of conventional Western medicine. And health insurance caters to those who control the industry: medical doctors and hospitals. There is a long history of prejudice against chiropractic by medical doctors, which is one reason that chiropractic care is not often covered by health insurance.

Many research studies have shown that chiropractic care is beneficial and that it is more cost effective in the treatment of low back pain and other common musculoskeletal conditions than traditional Western medicine is. Chiropractic also lowers health care costs by focusing on prevention, was well as on treatment.

It is surprising that health insurers choose not to cover treatment that is as beneficial and cost effective as chiropractic care is. Studies have continually shown that individuals who seek the care of a chiropractor on a regular basis are healthier and, generally, spend less on health care than those who do not.

Chiropractic Care and Consumers

What is not surprising is that consumers are wise enough to see the advantages of chiropractic care. Many people prefer to see a chiropractor simply because they see tangible benefits from the care they receive. Many others are disillusioned with traditional Western medicine and the healthcare system, and they look for alternatives such as chiropractic care.

It is clear, both from patient testimonies and from clinical research that consumers benefit from chiropractic care. Unfortunately, they may have difficulty affording chiropractic care because it's often excluded from healthcare insurance policies.

Health Savings Accounts can help consumers afford chiropractic care, even when it is excluded from their health insurance policy. They can pay for chiropractic care and other alternative medicine with pre-tax dollars by using a Health Savings Account.

Many chiropractors keep their costs as low as possible in order to make chiropractic care more available to consumers. They can, however, only absorb so much of the cost of providing that care. Another way chiropractors can help clients gain access to chiropractic care is to encourage the use of Health Savings Accounts.

Health Savings Accounts and Consumer Choice

The combination of a Health Savings Account and a High Deductible Health Insurance plan is supposed to encourage individuals to become thoughtful, wise consumers of health care. The individual is spending more of his or her own dollars on healthcare, so she will be more concerned about how those dollars are spent.

Health Savings Accounts give consumers more choice in how their healthcare dollars are spent. Money in the HSA must be spent on approved medical expenses, but there are really very few restrictions on what kind of healthcare you choose. More and more chiropractic patients are discovering that having an HSA is saving them money on their medical expenses.

Traditional health insurance has gatekeepers and controls. Even when chiropractic care is covered (not typical on individual plans), the individual requesting chiropractic care may be required to go see their family physician (or gatekeeper) and get a referral. Not all medical doctors …

The Fitness Care Centers Are Their Benefits

Fitness care benefits are many, and this is why the need to keep fit is a priority for many health practitioners, nutritionists and even sports personalities. This perhaps explains why most of the people channel a lot of their efforts towards the maintenance of the fitness of their bodies. Fitness efforts are aimed towards maintaining the health of the body as well as the mind and spirit.

Efforts such as selective diets, exercising and even intake of some pills are done with the sole goal of ensuring that the body is kept in great shape. Fitness is also done as a cushioning measure of maintaining diseases and ailment associated with unfit bodies at bay. Being able to keep fit ensures that the body is kept health and disease free. So what are the benefits of fitness health care? Below are some of the benefits:

Maintaining The Health Of The Body

Fitness is done so that the body is kept fit and healthy. Eating health, exercising and taking of certain fitness pills are all done to keep the body in the right shape so that the body can be able to function with absolute normality and ease. Bodies tend to take in a lot through foods and drinks and it is with these intakes that toxic materials such as the cholesterol and fat are introduced into the body making the body unfit and vulnerable to disease and disease agents.

Maintaining fitness therefore, is a good precautionary measure for ensuring the health of the body and its functioning. Fitness is an element of health and the two cannot be separated because fit bodies are healthy bodies. Healthy bodies prolong life and ensure that the long life is without any health issues.

Reducing Diseases And Chances Of Infections

Keeping the body fit reduces the vulnerability of the body to infections and diseases due to a developed immune system to combat such. Some of the diseases that kill a lot of people are associated with unfit practices such as consumption of foods with excess fat, taking in food containing high level of cholesterol and most of all failing to exercise the body to keep it fit and in shape.

Diseases such as obesity are as a result of ignoring the needs of the body with regards to keeping the body fit. Keeping fit therefore ensures that such diseases are not able to affect us and our bodies. It is therefore important for us to keep our bodies fit and healthy so that the diseases are unable to attack the body.

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Direct Primary Care and Concierge Medicine – What’s the Difference?

The Difference Between Concierge Medicine and Direct Primary Care

Direct primary care (DPC) is a term often linked to its companion in health care, ‘concierge medicine.’ Although the two terms are similar and belong to the same family, concierge medicine is a term that fully embraces or ‘includes’ many different health care delivery models, direct primary care being one of them.

Similarities

DPC practices, similar in philosophy to their concierge medicine lineage – bypass insurance and go for a more ‘direct’ financial relationship with patients and also provide comprehensive care and preventive services for an affordable fee. However, DPC is only one branch in the family tree of concierge medicine.

DPC, like concierge health care practices, remove many of the financial barriers to ‘accessing’ care whenever care is needed. There are no insurance co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance fees. DPC practices also do not typically accept insurance payments, thus avoiding the overhead and complexity of maintaining relationships with insurers, which can consume as much as $0.40 of each medical dollar spent (See Sources Below).

Differences

According to sources (see below) DPC is a ‘mass-market variant of concierge medicine, distinguished by its low prices.’ Simply stated, the biggest difference between ‘direct primary care’ and retainer based practices is that DPC takes a low, flat rate fee whereas omodels, (although plans may vary by practice) – usually charge an annual retainer fee and promise more ‘access’ to the doctor.

According to Concierge Medicine Today (MDNewsToday), the first official news outlet for this marketplace, both health care delivery models are providing affordable, cost-effective health care to thousands of patients across the U.S. MDNewsToday is also the only known organization that is officially tracking and collecting data on these practices and the physicians — including the precise number of concierge physicians and practices throughout the U.S.

“This primary care business model [direct primary care] gives these type of providers the time to deliver more personalized care to their patients and pursue a comprehensive medical home approach,” said Norm Wu, CEO of Qliance Medical Management based in Seattle, Washington. “One in which the provider’s incentives are fully aligned with the patient’s incentives.”

References and Sources

“Doc This Way!: Tech-Savvy Patients and Pros Work Up Healthcare 2.0”. New York Post. 4/7/2009.

Who Killed Marcus Welby? from Seattle’s The Stranger, 1/23/2008

“Direct Medical Practice – The Uninsured Solution to the Primary Medical Care Mess” with Dr. Garrison Bliss (Qliance Medical Group of WA).

“Direct Primary Care: A New Brew In Seattle”. Harvard Medical School – WebWeekly. 2008-03-03.

DPCare.org

Qliance.com

ConciergeMedicineToday.com

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American Health Care Trends: Old, Fat and Lazy

The recent AMA Executive Summary "Health in the United States: Health Care Trends" contains both a little hope and a lot of gloom.

Population Trends

By 2050 the segment of the population over 65 will double from today to 83.7 million. This means that the prevalence of chronic illness will rise dramatically. Since 1990, smoking has decreased from 29.5% to 18.1% of the adult population. Probably as a result, stroke has declined 34%, heart disease 27%, and cancer 17%. This sounds good but …

Fat and Sluggish

Since 1990, the obesity rate in adults (defined as BMI over 30) has increased from 12% to 29.6%. During the same time diabetes increased from 4.4% to 10% of all adults. Not old adults, all adults. The CDC predicts that by 2050, thirty percent of adults will have diabetes. As a result, obesity is now the leading cause of heart attacks. Physical inactivity is a major reason. Only 21% of adults get the US Department of Health and Human Services recommended 150 minutes of exercise weekly. My observation is that most get no exercise. Many employers now offer wellness programs that give financial rewards for healthy behaviors. This could be a big step in the right direction. Of course, punitive actions denying health insurance to the morbidly obese or uncontrolled diabetics could also be coming, especially if the federal government leaves the health insurance business to private companies.

Is There a Doctor in the Zip Code?

The AMA reports that primary care doctors are closing their practices and either retiring early or moving to non-clinical areas like insurance, quality management, the pharmaceutical industry or even medical informatics. Since the demand for health services will increase dramatically, an increasing percentage of primary care will be provided by PAs and Nurse Practitioners. I expect they will have increasing independence. This is not necessarily a bad thing, many of these caregivers are excellent and offer compassionate and comprehensive care. A possible byproduct of this trend may be an increase in demand for referrals and subspecialty care, such as sending diabetics to endocrinologists and COPD patients to lung specialists.

Take Responsibility or Someone Else Will

A dystopian future looms where the cost of medical care is greater than our resources can manage. In this rather terrifying situation, someone will have to be denied services, probably either the powerless or those who refuse to adopt mandatory health guidelines. It hasn't come to that yet. We still have time to make recommended changes in diet and activity. Remember, who could have predicted everyone would stop smoking?

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Home Health Care Equipment

Home health care equipment makes it possible for people to be directly involved in maintaining their own health care. Medical devices, tools and technologies designed specifically for home use are becoming more and more popular because of their convenience and their user-friendly nature. Innovations in home health care equipment include “smart” devices that significantly lower the amount of machine maintenance necessary. Many are also wirelessly connected to the Internet, which aids in providing efficient, monitored service.

Convenience and reduced health care costs are some the more important elements that make home health care equipment popular among patients. People with certain conditions which need strict monitoring no longer need to confine themselves to hospitals because there are devices which can now monitor patients in the comfort of their own homes. These devices are geared towards teaching people to monitor themselves and their conditions through the use of tools that can give warnings and signs concerning their health. This could mean more efficient and effective health care, contributed to by patients who have more control over his/her condition.

Home health care equipment sales have been steadily increasing based on customer demand for these innovations and advances. More and more, medical home devices are being designed and produced to cater to various medical needs. A lot of these new devices are very innovative and advanced. Soon to come are toothbrushes that can check one’s blood sugar and bacteria levels while brushing, that even comes with a holder that transmits information directly to the person’s medical file. People can soon expect heart monitors that can be connected to computers, making it convenient for people to monitor their own heart rates and other vital information which can easily be transmitted to their doctors via the Internet.

Another popular advancement in home health care is the use of video devices for telemedicine. Video equipment used in telemedicine offer high-resolution images and audio that are much better than what computer phones and telephone lines can offer. There are even telemedicine devices which include a blood pressure cuff, a stethoscope and a thermometer, aside from the monitor which directly transmits vital information to the owner’s health care provider.

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