why-our-healthcare-system-isn-t-healthy

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Why Our Healthcare System Isn’t Healthy

by:
Deb Bromley

Most people are well aware that an estimated 45 million Americans currently do not have healthcare, but is the crisis simply the lack of health insurance or even the cost of health insurance? Is there a bigger underlying problem at the root of our healthcare system? Although the U.S. claims to have the most advanced medicine in the world, government health statistics and peer-reviewed journals are painting a different picture — that allopathic medicine often causes more harm than good.

People in general have always felt they could trust doctors and the medical profession, but according to the Journal of the American Medical Association in July 2000, iatrogenic death, also known as death from physician error or death from medical treatment, was the third leading cause of death in America and rising, responsible for at least 250,000 deaths per year. Those statistics are considered conservative by many, as the reported numbers only include in-hospital deaths, not injury or disability, and do not include external iatrogenic deaths such as those resulting from nursing home and other private facility treatments, and adverse effects of prescriptions. One recent study estimated the total unnecessary deaths from iatrogenic causes at approximately 800,000 per year at a cost of $282 billion per year, which would make death from American medicine the leading cause of death in our country.

Currently, at least 2 out of 3 Americans use medications, 32 million Americans are taking three or more medications daily, and commercials and advertisements for pharmaceutical drugs have saturated the marketplace. Although our population is aging, exorbitantly expensive drugs are being marketed and dispensed to younger and younger patients, including many children who years ago would never have been given or needed medication, for everything from ADHD to asthma to bipolar disease and diabetes. Clearly, the state of health in this country is not improving even though there are an increasing number of medications and treatments. Between 2003 and 2010, the number of prescriptions are expected to increase substantially by 47%. In recent years, numerous drugs previously deemed safe by the FDA have been recalled because of their toxicity, after the original drug approvals were actually funded by the invested pharmaceutical companies themselves.

According to the media, thanks to advances in U.S. drugs and medical procedures, Americans are living longer statistically, but they are living longer sicker, with a lower quality of life, and often dependent on multiple expensive synthetic medications that do not cure or address the underlying causes, but only suppress symptoms, often with a plethora of dangerous side effects to the tune of billions of dollars for the drug industry. Considering that the U.S. is supposed to have the most advanced technology in the world and the best health care system, it is at odds that we spend the most on healthcare, yet are the most obese and most afflicted with illness outside of the AIDS epidemic in some third world countries.

Unless you have an acute emergency that requires emergency room care, being admitted to a hospital environment may also be more dangerous to your health than staying out. In 2003, epidemiologists reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that hospital-acquired infections have risen steadily in recent decades, with blood and tissue infections known as sepsis almost tripling from 1979 to 2000. Nearly two million patients in the U.S. get an infection while in the hospital each year, and of those patients over 90,000 die per year, up dramatically from just 13,300 in 1992. Statistics show that approximately 56% of the population has been unnecessarily treated, or mistreated, by the medical industry.

Additionally, as a result of the overuse of pharmaceutical drugs and antibiotics in our bodies and environment, our immune systems have become significantly weakened, allowing antibiotic-resistant strains of disease-causing bacteria to proliferate, leaving us more susceptible to further disease. Not surprisingly, incidences of diseases have been growing at epidemic levels according to the CDC. Now diseases once thought conquered, such as tuberculosis, gonorrhea, malaria, and childhood ear infections are much harder to successfully treat than they were decades ago. Drugs do not cure. They only suppress the symptoms that your body needs to express, while they ignore the underlying root cause. Side effects of synthetic and chemical drugs, which even if they are partly derived from nature have been perverted to make them patentable and profitable, are not healthy or natural, and usually cause more harm than any perceived benefit of the medication.

Where “physician errors” are concerned, these may not be entirely the fault of the doctors, as they are forced to operate within the constraints of their profession or risk losing their license, but doctors have become pawns and spokesmen for the drug companies, and the best interest of the patient has become secondary. In the name of profit, physicians are also under great pressure from hospitals to service patients as quickly as possible, like an assembly line, increasing the likelihood of error.

In conclusion, increases in healthcare costs are not just the result of frivolous law suits, but are primarily the result of a profit-oriented industry that encourages practices that lead to unnecessary and harmful procedures being performed, lethal adverse drug reactions, infections, expensive legitimate lawsuits, in-hospital and physician errors, antibiotic resistance due to overprescribing of antibiotics and drugs, and the hundreds of thousands of subsequent unnecessary deaths and injuries. Many people do not realize that there are healthier natural options, and anything unnatural or invasive we are exposed to is likely to cause either immediate or cumulative damage over time.

For more information on how to help your body heal itself naturally without chemicals, information on drug side effects, and harmful disease-causing chemicals in the foods you eat and your environment and how to avoid them, please visit the NatureGem web site at http://www.naturegem.com

About the author:

Deb Bromley is a science and technology researcher and the President of NatureGem Nontoxic Living, an organization devoted to promoting awareness of toxins in our food and environment that can cause disease, and providing access to nutrition information, natural remedies, and alternative health resources. Please visit http://www.naturegem.comfor more information.

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treatment-options-for-prescription-drug-addicti

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Treatment Options for Prescription Drug Addiction –

by:
Damian Sofsian

There is help available for people addicted to prescription drugs. There are countless inpatient and outpatient programs around the world that are specifically created to help people kick their drug addictions. These programs usually include detox centers, psychologists, and often include safe alternative substances to help curb withdrawal symptoms. The level of treatment needed depends on the length and severity of the addiction. It is important that people realize that some type of treatment or rehabilitation is always a good idea. It can be dangerous for an addict to try to quit taking drugs without any medical advice or intervention.

Inpatient treatment centers are the best option for people with severe addiction problems. These centers require that the patient live in the facility for a specified length of time while receiving treatment. Inpatient treatment centers can be extremely expensive, but they are sometimes covered by health insurance policies. The prescription drug addiction treatment provided by these facilities has several phases.

Outpatient prescription drug addiction centers are a great option for other people. If someone cannot afford to live in an inpatient facility, or if the problem is not so severe, outpatient treatment is a great alternative.

There are several components to a prescription drug addiction treatment. First is a period of detoxification, which is when the drug is slowly cleared out of the addict抯 body. This can be the most difficult part of the treatment. Withdrawal symptoms can be so severe that medical intervention is needed. At the very least, detox is time consuming and uncomfortable.

Another aspect of prescription drug addiction treatment is psychological counseling. This helps the recovering addict cope with a drug free lifestyle, and deal with any symptoms of withdrawal. Availability of emergency counseling is vital for keeping addicts from relapsing. Counseling helps the patient see how much better life is without the complications of a drug addiction. Counselors also help the patient figure out how to avoid situations that could lead to a relapse.

Many prescription drug addiction treatment programs give replacement drugs to patients who need them. Some of the most common drugs of this type are methadone, buprenorphine, and naloxone. These are safe alternatives to opioids; they can help curb withdrawal symptoms while helping the addict detoxify. Drug alternatives are usually only available for opioids and not for CNS depressants or stimulants.

It is vital that anyone who is addicted to prescription drugs gets treatment. Prescription drug addiction treatment helps the addicts to safely deal with their drug problems in a supervised and secure environment.

About the author:
Prescription Drugs Addiction Info provides detailed information about prescription drug addition symptoms, treatment, statistics, and forums, as well as personal prescription drug addiction stories. Prescription Drugs Addiction Info is the sister site of Drug Testing Web.

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Travel Nurses Provide One Solution To Nursing Shortage

by:
Terry McDermott

Copyright 2005 Terry McDermottAmerica is in the midst of a nursing shortage that is expected to get worse as baby boomers age and the need for health care increases. Complicating the nursing shortage problem is the fact that nursing schools and universities across the country are having difficulty maintaining enrollment levels that remain insufficient to meet the projected demand for nursing care. Based on a recent survey, it is common knowledge that there is a nursing shortage and this is viewed as a serious issue. The study revealed that 75% of Americans think that the nursing shortage is a very real and very important health care concern. The general view is that the nursing shortage will have a negative effect on health care services. The poll indicates that 81 percent of the population is acutely aware of the nursing shortage and fully 65 percent believe that the nursing shortage is nearing crisis levels. The survey also found that, despite the nursing shortage most Americans are confidant that nurses’ opinions on medical issues are highly credible and that the nursing profession is generally respected and admired. Because of the nursing shortage there are many more nursing positions available than can be filled. This is despite the fact that average nurse salaries match up quite well with other professions. Many potential solutions, such as travel nursing, are being developed to address the current nursing shortage. The position of travel nurse was created more than 20 years ago in order to address shortfalls in staffing in states that experienced dramatic swings in seasonal population. Now, being a travel nurse is regarded as operating in a specialized nursing category and has become a crucial factor in potential solutions to the worsening nursing shortage. Becoming a travel nurse opens the door to a world of possibilities. Agencies that specialize in travel nurse placement will help locate a variety of travel nurse positions in areas of the U.S in which a nurse has an interest. A travel nurse assignment will normally last for about 90 days but may continue for up to six months. After selecting the region or state the nurse must decide which travel nurse position tol accept. It is entirely up to the nurse which type of program and which type of medical facility to join. The compensation for a travel nurse is well above average and is attracting more nurses into the travel nurse profession. The salary or a travel nurse is well above the norm. What’s more, the travel nurse package usually includes complimentary housing. Plus, travel expenses are also covered. A travel nurse will also receive generous benefits such as health insurance or a retirement plan, if it is a good travel nurse agency. Most travel nurse assignments provide a substantial bonus upon completion of a tour. The collective compensation for a travel nurse is far greater than permanent, local nursing positions. In many cases being a travel nurse can result in a six figure annual income.

About the author:

Terry McDermott is the administrator of http://www.TravelMedPro.com,a website that specializes in providing resources and opportunities for travel nurses and other medical professionals.

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the-top-five-health-insurance-plans

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THE TOP FIVE HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS

by:
David Chandler

Since competition in terms of health insurance is on the rise, it is no wonder that more and more forms of health insurance are being designed. Among these, there are few that are popular and they are briefly described below.

Individual Insurance: Ensuring a person individually is a common mode of insurance. One may be selective about what s/he wants in a plan through this process. Accordingly, one has required premium is calculated, and the insurance plan takes effect.

Group Insurance: Another type of insurance is the group arrangement. Through this type of insurance, one is compelled to abide by what others are going for, and this is dependent on the insurance providers. They are the ones that decide what is feasible to include in a plan, and on that basis, a group insurance can take place.

Indemnity Plan: This plan allows one to go to any doctor when one needs to; there are no restrictions on this, and it is believed to be more of a traditional plan. One does not need permission to go to a particular health care provider. However, usually what happens is that the member pays 20% of the total fee for treatment while the insurance provider pays 80%. In addition to this, there is a period through which one pays up in this manner, and then the company takes over paying the whole 100%.

HMO: The Health Maintenance Organization is one that allows a member to select a particular doctor off the panel. It is these selected doctors that will deal will with members’ problems. The selected doctor is the one that will be approached for checkups of any kind, and if there are problems with a member that cannot be handled by him or her, the member is referred to specialists.

About the author:

For more information, visit http://www.healthinsuranceinfocenter.com

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the-need-for-pre-employment-drug-testing–

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The Need for Pre-Employment Drug Testing –

by:
Damian Sofsian

Employers have many reasons for requiring pre-employment drug testing. One of the most obvious reasons is that of safety. Those handling dangerous equipment or those who drive commercial vehicles have a greater chance of accidents or inflicting injury upon themselves or others if they are under the influence. Companies have a moral and legal obligation to ensure that their employees adhere to Federal work-safety guidelines, and pre-employment drug screenings can be an effective tool.

Insurance and health-related absences provide two more reasons for implementing pre-employment drug testing. More than 175 million Americans are enrolled in workplace group health insurance; with an average of a 30% increase in premiums in the last three years, pre-employment drug testing may be one way to cut down on costs. Studies have linked short- and long-term health problems with drug abuse. Drug abusers are more likely to develop respiratory problems and are generally more susceptible to illness. Employers often view drug abusers as irresponsible since many absences can be attributed to the after-effects of drug usage. Employee absences cost employers millions of dollars every year, and many human resource experts suggest that pre-employment drug testing can reduce these costs.

However, some groups argue that pre-employment drug testing is not an accurate way to detect the use of drugs while at work. Many drugs, such as marijuana, will remain detectable for up to three weeks after usage. Other drugs, such as cocaine, may only be present for a few days after consumption. It is often a difficult call for an employer to make but most simply make their decisions cautiously. They often view it as better to not hire someone who occasionally uses drugs than to take the risk of the person using before or during working hours.

According to the Small Business Administration, companies lose an average of $7,000 per drug-using employee per year. This figure is often enough to convince an employer to implement a standard of pre-employment drug testing. In any given year, it is estimated that nearly 50 million American workers are required to have a drug screening. Advances in medical testing have made it quick, easy and relatively inexpensive for employers who wish to use this screening process. Many employers view this is as a simple means of ensuring the well being of both their company and their customers.

About the author:
Drug Testing Info provides detailed information about employee, random, high school, hair, and urine drug testing and drug testing kits. Drug Testing Info is the sister site of Prescription Drugs Addiction Web.

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the-need-for-hipaa-complaint-medical-billing-so

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The Need for HIPAA Complaint Medical Billing Software –

by:
Damian Sofsian

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) includes seven sets of rules that will affect your practice. The Department of Health and Human Services, or DHHS, issues these in the form of the “Notice of Proposed Rule Making” or NPRM. Every practice, regardless of size, must comply with HIPAA privacy, security and transactional regulations. Moreover, adherence to all subsequent regulations is also required. This covers most everything in your practice, including your medical billing software.

When you are shopping for medical billing software, ask how and for whom the system was designed, and whether the data will be safe and secure on backed-up, protected, HIPAA-compliant servers accessible only to authorized persons. Look for companies who provide free updates to ensure continued efficiency and HIPAA compliance. The new HIPAA standards require huge changes to how healthcare organizations deal with their patient information, including coding, security, patient record management, reimbursement and care management. HIPAA憇 provisions include stringent codes for the unvarying transfer of electronic data, including routine alterations and billing.

Clearly your approach to HIPAA medical billing software must include a serious investigation of software security. Most computer experts will agree that there is no such thing as absolute computer or software security, so working closely with your HIPAA software providers to help determine data deficiencies is a good idea. HIPAA Complaint Medical Billing Software can be easily expanded to meet future needs, and can be targeted directly to the size and complexity of your practice. Options for new HIPAA compliant software have never been better, as there is unlimited scalability, a wide range of customization choices, and a large selection of useful features that will prevent the patients’ privacy from being compromised.

Innovations in the technology of medical billing software have created a new criterion for digital precision. Make certain that the HIPAA compliant medical software packager you chose includes all finalized aspects of HIPAA to guarantee full compliance with HIPAA standards as they relate to the electronic transfer of protected health information. The regulations themselves took effect in February 2003, and affect every medical practice in the United States. Effective April 2005, HIPAA mandates security measures to physically and electronically secure electronic protected health information (PHI) against unauthorized retrieval, reliably store the electronic data, and provide for emergency access to the data.

Since most medical billing software packages are now designed to be HIPAA compliant, it is just a matter of choosing the right software for your practice, and your medical billing software will run as smoothly and efficiently as ever.

About the author:
Medical Billing Software Info provides comprehensive information about medical insurance billing software, HIPAA compliant medical billing software, easy and free medical billing software, and medical billing software prices and reviews. Medical Billing Software Info is the sister site of Medical Billing Web.

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