Dive Brief: CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced her vision for Medicaid and new policies to encourage states to create innovative programs that improve patient outcomes at the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) fall conference Tuesday. Verma said CMS’ policies will encourage states to propose Medicaid reforms, as well as reduce federal regulations, increase efficiency and promote transparency and accountability. Verma said the CMS may approve work requirements for the program. Eight states have requested the CMS allow them to require people who are not disabled to work or provide community service in order to be eligible for Medicaid. The CMS has updated Medicaid.gov to provide more information that will allow states to know how to align their Medicaid programs with the program’s core objective, which is to serve the health and wellness needs of the most vulnerable, Verma said. Dive Insight: In announcing new Medicaid policies and … [Read more...] about CMS signals more state flexibility with Medicaid
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Anna Peterson is only 27, but she's already watched her mother and her aunt develop breast cancer. She also saw her grandmother's eyesight fail from macular degeneration. So Peterson, a graduate student in Ottawa, Ontario, took her health care into her own hands and did what millions of others of all ages are doing: She opted for at-home DNA testing for genetic diseases. When the results from the $985 test from deCODEme arrived in her e-mail, Peterson felt relief learning that she didn't have an elevated genetic risk for macular degeneration. Yet the test did show a slightly elevated risk for the more common forms of breast cancer. The results, Peterson says, empowered her to make healthier choices. Together with her physician, she'll use that information to advocate for earlier screening for breast cancer--and possibly start getting mammograms at age 30. "Prevention starts with knowing the odds," says Peterson. "I now have the opportunity to make lifestyle changes in my 20s, rather … [Read more...] about Do-It-Yourself DNA Testing
A frivolous extra for rich moms-to-be. A New Age-y aid for women who want to have their kids out in the woods. An unnecessary hand-holder during labor. Until recently, doulas—or trained labor coaches—didn't have the best mainstream rep. But studies are blasting that faulty perception into the past: More and more doula-assisted births now take place in the hospital and involve pain management, a constant dialogue with your medical team, and pretty stellar results. Research shows that women who use doulas are less likely to have premature and low-birth-weight babies and are twice as likely to avoid labor complications.And since smoother deliveries are cheaper, doulas can end up saving you money, despite their fees: Their services start at $500 (and go up depending on location and experience level); using one could shave off about $1,000 in medical costs, which can reach $7,000 after insurance.RELATED: 6 Women Share How Their Birth Plans Got Shot to HellLittle wonder, then, … [Read more...] about Really, What’s the Deal with Doulas?
best websites you've never heard of for dealing with life's most annoying moments. Like when you remember that your nephew in Omaha is turning 7 tomorrow and you have no idea how tofind — or send — the right gift in time. Or when the heel snaps off your lucky slingbacks. Or when your Labrador lets loose on someone else's Persian rugStressor It's dinnertime, and all you've got in your pantry is half a box of pasta, some peanut butter, a can of chicken stock, and an old red pepper.Solution All RecipesCost Free ;-) If you like grocery shopping about as much as getting your bikini line waxed, meet your new best friend. Click on the "Ingredient Search" link, type in whatever random ingredients you've got lying around, and the site searches a database of more than 30,000 dishes for something edible you can make (in this case, spicy peanut sauce over pasta). The recipes are created by real visitors to the site and vetted by editors with culinary expertise. "It's a great resource … [Read more...] about Websites for Stress Relief
The biggest financial milestone of my life occurred about 2 weeks after my father died unexpectedly of a heart attack. My mother and I were in the lawyer's office reviewing all the documents of death when the attorney pushed back his leather chair and told us that my father was almost a quarter million dollars in debt. We were shocked. Secretly, he had been borrowing from 15 credit cards and investing the money—poorly—in the stock market.We all have financial passages in our lives, and the degree to which we sail through them, or hit the rocks, determines not only how we feel about our lives but also how we're remembered after the final audit. The real tragedy of my dad wasn't that he left us in debt but that he secretly worried about it. I often wonder: Did his financial worries contribute to his death at the young age of 61?What follows are the key financial milestones of a man's life, as well as expert advice on how to handle them. But other events may influence you as … [Read more...] about The 12 Financial Milestones of a Man’s Life
By most standards, it's fair to describe my family line as being riddled with prostate cancer—the disease has struck my dad and uncle along with all my older male cousins. It's also true that none of us has ever died of it or even suffered much in the way of symptoms. This is not to say we haven't suffered.When my father was in his mid-70s, he registered just a little over normal on his PSA (prostate-specific antigen) exam—at the time, the most widely prescribed cancer screening tool for U.S. men. Like millions of men who have slightly elevated PSA levels, he was immediately referred by his primary care physician to a urologist for a follow-up.One year and two benign biopsies later, the spring-fired needle finally hit prostate pay dirt—several cores came back cancerous. After hearing about treatment options that varied from chemical castration to cryosurgery, my dad opted for the "gold standard" of total gland extraction—a radical prostatectomy. The operation … [Read more...] about The Six Million Dollar Gland
Oklahoma City was not John Bell's idea of a honeymoon spot. But somewhere between popping the question and setting a date came the difficult matter of his prostate.Until the prostate problem, Bell was a fit 66-year-old who'd always boasted of remarkable health, provided he didn't count an unfortunate dart to the eye in his college days. But then a biopsy in September 2009 revealed a tumor in his prostate. His doctors—and there would be many before he was done—recommended surgery. Bell didn't like what he was hearing, though, about his prospects of impotence and incontinence. He was about to marry Sherry, a woman he had met 20 years earlier when her late husband and Bell were both dedicated Civil War reenactors. He wanted to be cured, no doubt, but for his honeymoon, he wanted his bayonet as fixed and as ready as any in Pickett's Charge.Then his bride-to-be heard about something new: a treatment that zaps tumors with protons (subatomic particles that offered the promise of a … [Read more...] about The Magic Bullet for Prostate Cancer
There will be no broken coffee tables in this story. No blackouts, shots of Jager, thumping hangovers, or epic tales of tossing park benches into duck ponds. I’m not the guy who makes a scene or curls up asleep on a dog bed. This story is not about a booze blowout; it’s about a slow leak that could have left me empty and alone. There’s a decent chance that you drink like I do. I enjoy a cold IPA when I get home from work; maybe a glass of pinot with a plate of pasta later. I drink liquor only a few times a year; I can’t think of more than 10 times, all big nights out, in the past few years when I might have thrown down five or more drinks in two hours, which is how the CDC defines binge drinking.But still, I can recall the precise moment I realized I had a drinking problem. It was April 2005. I remember this clearly because our 3-month-old son was in the hospital to undergo a biopsy. Late in the afternoon, facing a second straight sleep-deprived night in a room … [Read more...] about Why Drinking a Little Booze Each Day May Be Killing You
Is 2016 the year meaningful use's omnipresence begins to dissipate within the industry? Most industry experts agree Stage 1 Meaningful Use was successful in that adoption rates soared, thanks to “achievable standards,” according to a blog written by Dr. Robert Wachter, a professor and associate chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. The number of hospitals with EHRs jumped from 10% in 2008 to 70% in 2014. However, things started to get rocky by November 2014 when CMS released data revealing only 2% of physicians and only 17% of hospitals attested to Stage 2 MU. Top personnel, including National Director Dr. Karen DeSalvo, had announced they were leaving HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). (However, DeSalvo did not end up leaving the position at the time.) The remaining $30 billion in ONC’s budget was running out. Providers and hospitals were bracing for … [Read more...] about What’s ahead in 2016 for healthcare?
Obamacare vs. the Holistic Approach Watching the engineered debacle of Obamacare unfold, exposing it as the planned disaster it was always meant to be, should beg the question, what would a real health care plan for America actually look like? The great healers and teachers of health, going back thousands of years and more, have always seen health from a holistic point of view. They never focused on covering up symptoms for the moment, even with natural remedies, but always taught that our whole life should be conducive to health. When there is sickness or disease, the causes have to be cleaned out in order to go back to our normal state of radiant health. Taking drugs, even if you call them “medicine,” just creates the conditions for the problem to get worse. Our concept of aging as the gradual breakdown of the body and mind, with increasing disease and disability, until we arrive at a completely helpless state and finally die an agonizing death, … [Read more...] about America’s Rx For Holistic Health: Compare This To Obamacare