Primary Care Physicians Pay Disparity Gap Widens

Acronyms have always dominated the practice of medicine and one of the older ones is RVS or Relative Value Scale. Simply stated, although far more complicated in reality, the RVS sets the fee structure that physicians will be paid by insurance companies and agencies such as Medicare and Medicaid. A lesser known acronym is RUC which represents the real power behind the RVS. This entity, the Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC), evaluates physician’s procedures and makes recommendations to the CMS or better known at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These reimbursement recommendations are almost always followed, i.e., ninety percent of the time. More alarmingly, they almost always favor dramatic increases for specialists rather than primary care physicians…six times more frequently.

Why is this disparity so important one might ask? It is terribly important for a whole host of reasons. These include:

The compensation disparity between specialist and primary care docs widens geometrically. Specialists now earn $135,000 per year and $3.5 million during a career more than a primary care doctor;

  • Clearly, with this type of incentive, many more docs are becoming specialists and eschewing the field of primary care;
  • The PCP base is shrinking at exactly the time we need it most;
  • The new Health Care legislation is heaping 37 million more Americans into the health care system and they all need a PCP

Income disparities shape medical student specialty choice Specialty and geographic distribution of the physician workforce: what influences medical student and resident choices? March 2009. Accessed January 4, 2010

It is not just “Houston” that has a problem…it is the American health care system and all Americans. Soon the waiting time for a PCP appointment will lengthen to dangerous intervals. Overworked and underpaid docs will be the norm and that isn’t good for anyone.

One solution is concierge medicine or often referred to as Direct Care. A Direct Care practice denotes an experienced primary care physician who limits his or her practices to 300 to 400 patients and works for an annual fee rather than accepting insurance payments. This allows patients to receive the care they need and deserve and PCP to practice medicine in a thorough and safe manner while achieving a reasonable earnings level.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Recovery Testimonial

In 1989 I was medically diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, due to chemical poisoning from pesticides such as 245-T, Network, Roundup, Asulox and Malathian and heavy metal poisoning from Mercury (due to toxicity from amalgam fillings in my teeth), aluminium and lead.

After consultations with many doctors, specialists and natural health therapists, including Homeopaths and Acupuncturists, I was told that I would never regain normal health again due to the length of time I had been ill with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. At that time, I wasn’t able to work, couldn’t sleep at night, had no energy and reacted to almost everything I ate!

I was getting pretty desperate at that stage to get my health, life and career back to normal when I met Philip Rafferty while he was doing allergy testing in a health food store. As I already knew of my allergies, I thought I would put him to the test. You can imagine my surprise when in a couple of minutes of using Kinesiology; he was able to correctly identify what my allergies were.

My life at that time had been a real struggle. I had just undergone two years of medical treatment and was taking all the right remedies and nutrition; however, I was still suffering from extreme fatigue, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), chronic Candida, food allergies, poor concentration, short term memory loss, acne and had very little energy. I then decided to have several Kinesiology treatments, and to my surprise, I started feeling much better.

Kinesiology Got Rid Of My Allergies, Lots Of Health Issues And My Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
To help me understand, Philip explained that Kinesiology encompasses holistic health disciplines that use gentle manual muscle monitoring to obtain information about a person’s well-being. It may assist with pain, stress, allergies, TMJ problems, toxicity, heavy metals, candida, dehydration, learning, sabotages, and more. Kinesiology realigned the muscles in my body, and as the muscles are connected with the organs, puts the organs back into balance, and this allowed my body to assimilate nutrition and water properly. He said that by putting the muscles back into balance, that my body would be able to heal itself from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

While my muscles were out of balance, my body was using up all its energy just trying to function on a basic level, therefore leaving me with no energy to do anything else. After several Kinesiology treatments my food allergies reduced, my blood sugar came back to normal, the severe cystic acne on my face cleared dramatically, I started to gain weight and I had a lot more energy.

Amazing Results Recovering From Myalgic Encephlomylitis Lead Me To A New Career
At the time of seeing Philip Rafferty he started teaching Kinergetics, a new modality of Kinesiology here in Melbourne, Australia and asked me if I would be interested in learning this for myself. After having such amazing results and a full recovery from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis due to Kinesiology, I was curious to find out how it actually worked and why.

I found learning Kinergetics absolutely fascinating. After completing the whole series of eight levels of Kinergetics, I then trained to become a Kinergetics Instructor and began teaching Kinergetics in 1994.

Always interested to learn and grow more, I went on to attain a “Diploma on Health Sciences in Holistic Kinesiology” at the Kinesiology College for Energetic Sciences in Carlton, Melbourne, Australia.

I love practicing and teaching Kinesiology and Kinergetics, and seeing the life-changing results in my clients and mentoring students. I continue to work using my Kinesiology skills and knowledge using Transformation Coaching working with many people all around the world.

I work with clients with a broad range of issues relating to Myalgic Encephalomylitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Lyme Disease including resolving allergies, candida, heavy metal toxicity, emotional issues, stress, pain, TMJ, dehydration, sabotage and much more.

How to Control Use of Animals in Medical Research?

Medical research is essential for progress. However, conducting research and developing treatments at the cost of making an animal suffer is not acceptable to several people. Apart from growing humane concerns and mounting economical pressures, availability of limited funds from funding agencies have facilitated a marked decrease in the irrational use of animals in research. As per a study conducted by a medical research group, the number of animals used in medical research annually has decreased significantly during the last 20 years.

Researchers are now looking towards finding better alternatives to animal research. Latest scientific advancements and technological breakthroughs have now made it possible to reduce the use of animals in medical research. Science has developed valuable non-animal research models such as cell cultures, human tissue sections and computer-simulation models. Cell and tissue culture experiments are being used extensively in identifying the medical benefits or toxicity associated with a medical compound.

In spite of all these developments, there would be certain situations such as blindness where the use of a complete animal model for research is inevitable. In these circumstances, proper awareness programs should be conducted for researchers regarding the handling of animals while conducting research.

Animal Ethics Committee should overview every miniature details in experiments involving animal use, including approving all research, teaching and testing procedures, supervising experiments, providing training to personnel about animal handling and maintaining proper animal care facilities. Ethics committee must ensure that the experiments being conducted do not harm the animal. Persons doing any research, teaching or experiment that is not approved by the Animal Ethics Committee should be prosecuted.

Texans Save Yourselves: Get Affordable Health Insurance Now

Even Superman should have health insurance. Amusingly, most of us who struggle with health coverage are similar to Superheroes and their woes. We encounter problems with obtaining health insurance for a number of reasons. Either our employers do not provide it, the costs are too high, or the plan does not adequately suit our needs. Superman is self-employed, does not produce an income, and has an incredibly risky profession, which includes daily injuries and a high possibility of death each day.

If Superman attempted to get health insurance from most companies in the United States, it is rather probable he would get rejected over and over again.

Some of us believe we are indestructible, like Superman, and we do not opt for health insurance because it seems unnecessary. However, a lot of people would love to have the security knowing their well-being is covered, yet simply know they cannot afford it. Regardless, whatever the reasoning behind your choice to ‘wing-it,’ is, it is crucial to your health, security and emotional state that you reconsider.

It is no secret the United State’s health care system has flaws. Politicians have been trying to amend these flukes for decades, and it is constantly an issue that resurfaces during each presidential election. While it will be some time before any revolutionary changes are observed in our system, now is the time for you to change your outlook on health insurance options.

Certain states are worse off in their status’s of having heath insurance. Health insurance companies need to come to rescue for Texan inhabitants. Texas has one of poorest ratios of those who have health insurance coverage to those who do not. Currently, 1 in 4 Texans do not. That is 25% of the population!

Every individual comes with a unique situation. Be smart. Protect yourself. Indestructible or not, you never know when a freak accident or sickness will occur and leave you broke and emotionally shattered.

How to Maintain Proper Health?

Everyone feels that happiness lies in the health. So, maintaining proper health all the time is necessary. It can be done by taking all the necessary care and by opting for a proper health insurance too.

Health insurance policies are mostly offered by private insurance companies which estimate health care expenses of an individual and develop a structure that ensures good profits for the company and also provides health care benefits to an individual as specified in the insurance agreement.

Mostly people opt for a health insurance assuming that it takes care and pays for our medical expenses. Health insurance actually provides a minimal coverage than what is expected. People, sometimes, will be asked to pay all the health care costs out of their own pockets saying that the amount will be reimbursed later. This causes a lot of infuriate and distress for the people. However, most of the people are getting to understand how things work out and are not opting insurance policies.

However, not having a health insurance will also be a problem as the individuals’ have to pay the health care costs from their own pocket. This makes the situation worse than ever. This has made some companies like Ameriplan to start discount health plans that offer huge discounts of up to 80% on the health care bills. Discount plans cover various services such as vision, dental, prescription, and chiropractic services with no waiting periods, instant savings, ancillary services, nurse line and hospital advocacy which would be really helpful for every individual. These features also made discount plans user-friendly and are being opted by majority of the individuals.

How Do Strong Social and Community Ties Impact Your Health?

I called my friend, also named Lisa, who lives in Houston, Texas. Hurricane Harvey’s devastation had not only hit Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, but many communities in the Gulf Coast region. According to my friend, who lives on the north side of Houston where they got no flooding except for those who were near a river or large body of water, the worst of the rain is over. People are leaving shelters scattered thought-out Harris County, where Houston is located.

Out of the 6.5 million people in the greater Houston area only about 1.5 million lost power and most all the water is drinkable. No need for ice, a valuable commodity, for many of us here in Charleston who experienced the wrath of Hurricane Hugo. Unlike Houston, Hurricane Hugo, also a category 4 storm, was a direct hit and as a result we not only got the flooding but also high winds. But no one can deny that the Houston area experienced the worst flooding in its history, with some areas getting as much as 50 inches of rain. And because Hurricane Harvey’s devastation was so widespread, it will take years for the region to recover from this natural disaster.

My friend, Lisa, who is originally from Charleston, knows about hurricanes and the emotional roller coaster they bring; the anxiety before the storm of not knowing exactly what is going to happen, the storm itself, the flooding and aftermath once the storm has passed. No doubt, you too, no matter where you call home, are aware of the horrific situation the residents of the Gulf Coast region, north of Brownsville, Texas, are now experiencing. Lives have been lost, people displaced and the uncertainty of what’s ahead. It is one thing to watch the news again and again and be reminded of the destruction and the anguish. But to just absorb the information without acting when we can help can be paralyzing and emotionally harmful.

Animals as well need help and assistance. Donate to the Houston Humane Society, which is helping animals affected by the storm. The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation, is another charity. You may also want to check out Charity Navigator to further ensure your donations are helping those in need.

By helping those in need, you too can benefit. Studies have shown that people with strong social and community ties tend to live longer, are less likely to report being depressed, and have a stronger a sense of belonging, purpose and self worth.

The Importance of Doctor’s Visits For Children

Every child is unique and has different health care needs throughout childhood. Some children are born with weak immune systems, some with an adventurous spirit that often results in injury, and others with a preexisting medical condition. To be sure that each has his or her special needs attended to, all children should have regularly scheduled visits with a doctor.

How Minor Can Become Major

If not properly treated, small scrapes and cuts can become infected. Minor coughs and colds can develop into pneumonia or other sicknesses. A lightly fractured wrist can become a broken bone or a permanent injury. Whatever small medical problems your child is facing, they may develop into larger problems if they go untreated or are improperly treated. A doctor can immediately determine the cause of the problem and advise you on how it should be treated so that your child can fully recover. With regular doctor’s visits, recurring problems, such as allergies or asthma, can be diagnosed early to prevent potentially life-threatening health problems later on.

Paying for Your Child’s Health Care

Almost all parents understand that doctor’s visits are an important part of ensuring a happy, healthy childhood. However, office visits and medical treatment can be expensive. A health insurance plan can help you pay for your family’s health needs so that you don’t have to carry the burden yourself. In the case of a severe injury or illness, a child’s medical bills can build up very quickly to the point that you cannot afford to pay. Health insurance can protect your family from facing high medical costs.

Explore Your Options

Find the most affordable insurance for your children’s needs.

Bed Bugs and Public Health

Bed bugs have been around for centuries, and big cities have always had a certain low level of them. In fact, we’ve had a bit of a reprieve from them over the last 40 years because people used harsh poisons to keep them at bay, but due to a ban in poisons or toxic pesticides-bed bugs are now making a comeback are being blamed for the increase in infestations.

Well, the first thing that you need to know about is that bed bug bites are itchier than mosquito bites. This is because of the anesthetics in bed bug’s saliva. Bed bug rash will appear an hour after you were pierced. But to some people, the bed bug rash appear only after some days or week from being bitten. This depends upon the body’s reaction to chemicals being secreted by bed bugs.

The most commonly affected areas of the body are arms and shoulders. Reactions to the bites may appear delayed: up to 9 days before lesions appear. Common allergic reactions include development of large wheels, often>1-2 cm, which are accompanied by itching and inflammation. It has also been suggested that the allergens from the bed bugs may also be associated with asthmatic infections.

Even though the public health concerns are authentic, they are not good enough to importune widespread panic. Bed bug invasion can be eradicated or eliminated with pesticide sprays and dusting but the owner should get professional help, in case the condition gets traumatic or irritating.

So, above are some of the common symptoms and methods to detect and treat a bed bug infection. Keep your home and surroundings clean and neat, and enjoy a healthy life!

Knowing More About Injections for Low Back Pain

Dealing with lower back pain can be tough for some patients. At times, the pain is hard to manage, and painkillers might not be the right solution. Depending on the facts of the case, doctors may use epidural steroid injections. In this post, we will discuss some of the aspects of such injections in detail.

What’s an epidural steroid injection?

The use of injections for low back pain is limited to certain cases, but this is certainly one of the many ways to treat chronic pain. An epidural steroid injection essentially contains an anesthetic drug for pain relief with a corticosteroid. For the uninitiated, corticosteroid is a form of steroids known to have anti-inflammatory benefits. The injection helps in reducing the pressure from the nerves and surrounding areas and muscles, which can offer considerable respite, while the painkiller ensures immediate relief. Corticosteroids may work independently for pain relief, but since most patients want immediate effects, an anesthetic medicine is used.

Knowing the procedure

Please note that you cannot ask your doctor for epidural steroid injections. Unless the patient has stopped responding to nonsurgical treatments, doctors don’t try ESIs. In most cases, certain imaging tests are done, so as to find the right spot where the nerve roots at pressed or have a problem. In some cases, a x-ray machine may be used by the doctor, just to find the right point where the needle must be placed.

The need for epidural steroid injections

Typically, epidural steroid injections are used as the last resort to offer pain relief, especially in cases of extreme pain, often related to a condition known as “lumbar spinal stenosis”. This condition mainly starts from the lower spine and often spreads to the legs. There is limited information on how these injections may work in the long run, but like most steroid injections, this too offers relief for the next few weeks. It is always best to talk to your doctor, who can suggest more details in this regard. However, in cases of lumbar spinal stenosis, other treatments are tried and used as well.

What are the side effects?

There can be a few side effects with ESIs, but that varies from case to case. In most cases, the focus is on reducing the pain, so the minimal adverse effects are ignored. However, if you have issues with breathing or have swelling on your facial area, do contact your doctor immediately. There can be some pain at the injection site, but if that doesn’t subside in the next couple of days, check with your doctor. For immediate swelling at the injection site, you can use ice, which will also offer some relief from the associated pain.

Pain management clinics have a lot of information on epidural steroid injections. If you need to know more about lumbar spinal stenosis, you should consult a doctor at the earliest. With early intervention, other treatments may work more effectively for you, but it also depends on how you respond to the standard treatment plans.

The Health Care Crisis in a Faltering Economy

Many American’s are writing their health care out of their budget due to the uncertain economy. The Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a poll, which showed that 53 percent of participants said that they or someone in their family has cut back on health care because of the high costs associated with it. Especially for American’s who are out of work, not having coverage can send health care costs skyrocketing with bills piling up rather quickly. The poll also indicates that more people are turning to home remedies and over the counter drugs, as opposed to seeking the help of a physician. Lastly, more American’s are not filling prescriptions and/or avoiding medical tests or treatments in order to just get by.

A few things that will help you save money is to request your own records and do it well in advance of your doctors appointment, Take note of any changes you have had in the last six months and write everything down before your visit, so you don’t forget to ask any important questions. Essentially, get the most out of one appointment as possible. Ask your doctor for free samples of any prescriptions to help keep costs down and ask about cheaper generic alternatives to your current medications.

American’s do have an option to ask for financial help as many hospitals and clinics usually have financial assistance programs. Some doctors, like Feltheimer of New York Presbyterian, lowers his fees to $50.00 for patients’ who are out of work or uninsured. Many doctors will work out a payment schedules, so do not hesitate to ask what your physician’s policies are. People with chronic or debilitating disease such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, can access the Patient Advocate Foundation. They provide help negotiating with insurers and helps people get the most out of their health plan. There are no financial requirements to qualify, so call (800) 532-5274 to be assigned a case manager.