BodyTalk – Complementary Or Standalone Healthcare System

BodyTalk – Complementary Or Standalone Healthcare System[EXTRACT]
BodyTalk in fact falls into the category of Energy Medicine and is not all invasive or prescriptive. A BodyTalk Practitioner does not do any invasive procedures and neither diagnoses nor prescribes anything. This makes BodyTalk an excellent healthcare system that can be used both on a standalone basis or it works very well as a complementary healthcare system too.BodyTalk is ideal when used on a standalone basis when one is fundamentally healthy but just wanting to maintain and improve overall health and balance of the various aspects of oneself; physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual. BodyTalk is great in helping one balance the experience of normal daily stress and discomfort. By using BodyTalk on a regular basis one finds that in general one heals faster and more easily.

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BodyTalk is also very helpful in a situation where someone is already receiving other physically based treatments; whether they are alternative or traditional. Because BodyTalk works on an energetic level and is not invasive, there are only two possible outcomes from the treatment.Most people find that they benefit from a BodyTalk session and usually feel much better for having had one. Because BodyTalk is not at all invasive, if a session is found to be ineffective, then the person simply experiences no change from having had a session.For many years it seems that one had to make a choice between alternative or traditional medical treatment. More and more, however, people are taking the best treatment from both disciplines and applying those to one individual. One is finding that doctors from both disciplines are working together, and some doctors themselves have studied both disciplines and then they pick an appropriate treatment or combination of treatments from both disciplines.

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BodyTalk is effective whether used on a standalone basis, or when used in combination with other healing disciplines.

A Flawed U.S. Healthcare System and Some Potential Solutions

A Flawed U.S. Healthcare System and Some Potential Solutions[EXTRACT]
Earlier this year, the Associated Press and other popular news agencies reported on the disturbing results of a study published in the March 16, 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine that concluded that Americans receive, on average, only 55% of the care that they should receive at any given time 1,2. This study evaluated the care that individuals, from a wide variety of ethnic and economic backgrounds, receive in a variety of different healthcare settings (clinic, hospital, etc.) here in the U.S. The authors came to a conclusion that was, to me, very startling; but, as it turns out, this is not really new information.With some minor variation across the boards, people were either under or over treated, for a variety of conditions ranging from alcohol dependence to urinary tract infection. This means that, although we have very well defined screening, diagnostic, and treatment protocols, nearly half of the time these protocols were not followed by physicians, other health care personnel, or the institutions in which they work.While the Associated Press story decried this as “woefully mediocre… care,” and the New England Journal authors concluded that the “problems with the quality of [health] care,” are “widespread and systemic,” I personally see this as an outright tragedy. Although we spend more money on health care than any other nation, and our massive research efforts have well defined the ideal mechanisms to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease, we are still unable to provide our mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, husbands and wives, with the care that they all pay for, deserve, and that is available. I find the idea repellant that people’s quality and duration of life is routinely compromised in this manner.

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Although this is profoundly disturbing, this is also not a new problem by any means, but instead is simply another aspect of an inadequate and dysfunctional health care system. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (http://www.iom.edu/), a private, non-profit research arm of the National Academy of Sciences, published “To Err is Human,” which reported that somewhere between 44,000 and 98,000 individuals die annually, and that “hundreds of thousands” of others are injured or narrowly escape injury, as a result of avoidable medical errors (also available free on-line at http://www.nap.edu/books/0309068371/html/) 3.While hospital systems and healthcare providers attempt to begin the lengthy process of remediating this situation by initiating a number of changes across the country (including,as oneexample,instituting an electronic, all-inclusive medical record accessible from any clinic, hospital, or emergency department, among other changes), one area has yet to be addressed – patients are far too often unaware and uninformed about their diagnoses and treatments, and as such, are unable to make informed decisions about their healthcare. Although we are far past the days of following the “doctor’s orders,” and “the doctor knows best,” we have yet to provide patients with one of the best protections available -a thorough understanding of their health and the knowledge to be actively and effectively involved with its maintenance and restoration.There are a few barriers to this process, however, in the current system. It is not uncommon today that a physician has far less time to examine, diagnose, prescribe and counsel to a patient than the time that it takes to change the oil in your car, or get a haircut, etc. Some physicians, in fact, have to average less than ten minutes per patient! It is impossible to expect that any physician, even the most caring and dedicated, could adequately explain to a patient their diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis within that time frame, and answer questions as necessary. Furthermore, some providers are worse than others at this skill, and the current system most certainly does not encourage or help them in this regard.The current system does not really value, then, an informed patient. While we are taught in medical school that patients need to be properly “informed” in order to make “competent” medical decisions, the system currently in place clearly does not encourage this sort of activity. If anything, in fact, it discourages it.The time has come for external systems to try and pick up this role, and to help patients and their families understand any and all aspects of their health. It is unlikely that any time soon physicians will have more time to help better educate patients (new cuts in Medicare reimbursement, as a matter of fact, just approved in July of 2006, will, if anything, make it even harder for physicians to spend time educating their patients). Services must be established (some are already in place) that can help patients answer questions that they might have about their diagnosis or treatment options. Unfortunately, at present many of these services are offered with little oversight as to the quality of information that is provided.Without the help of a professional, patients often try and find answers for themselves to their health-related questions. While there are many valuable internet resources that are available (WebMD., etc.), there are many more available that offer inaccurate, incomplete, or incorrect information. If taken at face-value by a patient, this can present a profound problem as patients can then base potentially life-threatening or life-changing decisions on this information. So a guide, in many respects, is really necessary to provide accurate information, and then to make sure that the patient understands it.

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Improvements like the electronic medical record will most certainly help reduce the incidence of medical errors, and should also help ensure that patients receive care up to the current standard. But improvements must also be made in other areas as well, including patient education, because patients can most often provide far better oversight of their own care than any pre-designed system, no matter how “high tech” it might be. It seems that patients have already realized this, and are seeking out information from any available source. Hopefully hospital and insurance administrators, and government officials and healthcare providers will also realize this, and dedicate funding and efforts to fill this substantial, but presently ignored, gap in the provision of healthcare.- Jonathan Fay, M.D., August 14, 2006.References1. Asch SM, Kerr EA, Keesey J, et al. “Who is at greatest risk for receiving poor-quality health care?” N Engl J Med. 2006 Mar 16;354(11):1147-1156.2. “Study Says Americans Get Equally Mediocre Health Care” – Jeff Donn, Associated Press, 3/15/2006.3. To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Institute of Medicine, Committee on Quality of Health Care in America. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 2000.Copyright © 2006 Jonathan Fay, M.D.

What Medical Professionals Can Do to Prepare For the New Healthcare System

What Medical Professionals Can Do to Prepare For the New Healthcare System[EXTRACT]
In the United States one of the hot topics of conversation among medical professionals is the new health care system. There has been so much debate and everyone has an opinion about health care reform, but one thing is very clear: There will be changes. Being prepared for these changes will help medical professionals become better at taking care of patients.From 2011 and beyond, the new healthcare system in the United Sates will add millions of new people who will need healthcare services. Because of this overwhelming increase in people needing health care, there will be an enormous amount of paperwork to process. Doctors should go over current policies and procedures to ensure that there is an established system in place to take care of administrative tasks. Doctors will most likely need to increase their staff because there will be new patients who will have many questions or need help filling out paperwork. The more organized a department is, the easier it will be to process all of this paperwork.

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Another area that medical professionals should look at is proper training of hospital staff. Those working in management should make sure that every single person on the staff understands what is required of them. This will reduce errors and keep everyone on the same page.The most important thing that medical professionals should consider during all of these changes in the healthcare system is the quality of care that they offer patients. This has always been the case, but now more than ever medical professionals have to be more aware of how they are treating their patients. Providing quality health care will be the determining factor on whether or not a person continues to seek care from a particular medical professional or hospital.

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The bottom line is that medical professionals should maintain flexibility and adapt to the inevitable changes in healthcare that will happen in the following years. Keep an open mind and always be on the lookout for ways to improve patient care.

The Oldest Healthcare System Can Be Now Of Help To You As It Deals With The Science Of Life

The Oldest Healthcare System Can Be Now Of Help To You As It Deals With The Science Of Life[EXTRACT]
Understanding that we all have a unique constitution, body and mind alike, has led the wise man of ancient India to develop this healthcare system that is known as the science of life.Different from the modern approach regarding the treatment of diseases this system is only seen as a complementary option. Although it is complicated, it sometimes serves by just a couple of elements as massage, meditation, and other therapies.India is where it all started, and because of this almost around 90% of the population uses the holistic treatments. Such treatments include following strict diets and practicing traditional medicine. The approach to treat and care for its patients includes a system based on each’s state and will be custom made to ensure the success. This system is made out of all of the individual’s needs, and not just the ones related to sickness or health. Thus, there are nutrition, exercises, hygiene, and other elements that are taken into consideration.

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Not being able to rely on prescription pills means that the plans made for certain individuals will strive to achieve a robust physical condition alongside with a healthy mind, and spiritual harmony.There are two main principle that govern this form of healthcare and these two are:• The body and mind are linked; there can be no separation while speaking of healing one or the other• The mind is the most powerful tool when it comes to healing the body; nothing can match itAs an example of how the system works, we will consider meditation. This is a frequently used practice, and we will see why.Meditating will bring a balanced state of mind, your inner self will experience this and will be able to transfer it to the outer body. As the two of them are linked the body will benefit from the quiet, peaceful state of mind. The body reacts to the meditation state and lowers the heart rate; it also decreases the production of some hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. While reducing certain elements others will have an increased production rate, well-being neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and endorphins are released into the body.

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Another piece of the puzzle is eating well, eating fresh and nourishing at the same time. The magic of eating healthy comes from the way foods are prepared and consumed. No nutrients must escape our daily meals and to do so, the Ayurveda provides us with a little trick. Make sure all these tastes are included in your diet: sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent.

Offshoring U.S. Patients No Cure for Ailing Healthcare System

Offshoring U.S. Patients No Cure for Ailing Healthcare System[EXTRACT]
For several years now, American healthcare consumers, including many from other western industrialized nations, have heard about elective surgeries being performed in lesser-developed nations and due to cost and denial of coverage by health insurance providers have opted to go there. However, surgeries in the past were truly elective and not medically necessary procedures that largely consisted of face-lifts, tummy tucks and gastric bypasses for cosmetic purposes.But just in the past two years, American patients are being wooed to make decisions on serious medically necessary surgeries due to their fears of excessive healthcare costs. And the decision involves traveling abroad primarily to India and Thailand in order to receive such hospital care which they require.For those self-insured, underinsured, or not insured at all, the desperation of receiving medical care without sacrificing homes or assets in the process is plausible, since costs of similar procedures in South Asia range from 75% – 80% less than in the United States. But now U.S. based corporations have entered the arena as well by encouraging employees to go to India and Thailand via cash incentives, free airfare and hotel stays with no co-pays due on the final bill.Yet, just as with any large purchase consumers must look beyond the fancy advertisements and read the fine print with a Buyer Beware mentality. Americans have become quite adept at learning what to look for when dealing with car dealerships when purchasing an automobile and with computer retailers when purchasing a new computer. But it has taken many years to educate consumers as to their rights and protections under the law and what to do when something does go wrong.The term “medical tourism” has been inaccurately applied to what is essentially the offshoring of patients of the U.S. healthcare system to foreign countries, in order to appeal to potential customers who are really medical patients. The term was invented by the media and it stuck and is now being used as a marketing tool. Deceptive in its concept, it is an implication that a patient can go sightseeing before or after a serious hospital procedure in that foreign country. But for those who are more scrupulous it remains difficult to get the necessary information needed to make a reasoned decision on whether to have surgery performed, let alone halfway around the world.There are now organizations being touted as medical tourism agencies that have cropped up throughout the U.S. in order to facilitate such care overseas for individual patients as well as to serve as a clearinghouse for corporations wishing to outsource their employees’ healthcare with them in tow. These groups include MedSolution, GlobalChoice Healthcare, IndUShealth, Planet Healthcare and Med Retreat, to name just a few.

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And with more and more corporations adding select foreign hospitals as Preferred Providers to their employees’ health insurance plans, medical tourism companies handle the paperwork and travel arrangements for their employees. Other countries of destination include Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Panama, Mexico, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey and South Africa.However, it is at this point that the patient needs to start their own due diligence. There is usually a requirement by most U.S. healthcare insurance providers for patients to get second opinions for most complicated surgeries in the U.S., but not so for offshore surgeries. And the list of surgeries which are being sent offshore are indeed medically necessary but confusingly being reported to the media as elective. But you can determine for yourself whether or not the following are elective procedures: cardiac bypass, cardiac stent implantation, cardiac angioplasty, knee replacement, hip replacement, mastectomy, hysterectomy, chemotherapy, eye surgery, vascular surgery, among others.And as the medical tourism agency is only an intermediary between the client and the hospital as well as between hotels and airlines they do not provide any liability in the event that there is a medical complication or there is a mishap at the destination hospital. Furthermore, there are fees which could arise not documented by an employer nor agency which could require additional expenses upon the patient’s arrival. And as a conduit between patient and hospital, the medical tourism business remains an unregulated industry in the U.S., without licensing requirements and with most managed by non-medical personnel.Similarly, and unbeknownst to most U.S. patients is that the healthcare industry in India is highly unregulated. It was only in 2006 that regulations regarding the medical device industry, which includes surgical devices such as cardiac stents and orthopedic implants for use in hip and knee replacements, was mandated. Such call for regulation from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) only came about as the result of discovered defective drug eluting cardiac stents in 2004. And although hospitals have the option of applying for accreditation through the Joint International Commission established in 1999, a subsidiary of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, used for hospitals in the U.S., there is no such requirement to do so.As of 2006 there are five hospitals in India which have JCI accreditation, renewable every three years. They include the three facilities of the Apollo Hospital group, the Shruff Eye Hospital and the Wockhardt Hospital. The Bumrungrad International in Bangkok is Thailand’s sole JCI hospital. Singapore has over a dozen JCI hospitals however, and the Philippines has one. But the JCI accreditation only applies primarily to hospital management which although includes procedures to reduce risk of infection and disease and to ensure patient safety, it has no jurisdiction over the actual physicians performing surgical procedures.The patient is provided limited information other than an introductory phone call to the intended physician and having medical records electronically sent to the doctor or hospital via the internet by the medical tourism agency. The patient has a choice of physicians, but unlike in the U.S. where there is easy access to a doctor’s medical status by medical boards and organizations, other than knowing whether the doctor may have practiced medicine in the U.S., there is little information to come by. Without standardized protocols it is difficult for the patient to make a correct assessment.When decisions on a patient’s health is driven primarily by cost it can impair the decision making process. There is little argument that healthcare costs in the U.S. are bankrupting corporations and labor unions and deceleration of escalation is nary in sight. With the healthcare industry being 15% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product and having risen in cost 75% for employers and 143% for employees since the year 2000, the system is broken. High malpractice insurance fees required by both employers and physicians, hospital deregulation and class action medical litigations have only exacerbated the problem.Such high medical costs will only encourage limited access to healthcare for the middle class and ultimately result in less preventative care costing taxpayers more in the long run. The problem is not the medical care in the U.S., still considered the best in the world, but its delivery system. It is when Medicare and the health insurance providers became the decision makers and took that power away from the physicians that the system began to unravel. Added to that is the lack of restraint of costs by the pharmaceutical industry which charges U.S. patients more for its own medications than any other country in the world.But as expensive as healthcare is in the U.S., there are legal and safety issues which are part of the American fabric which Americans very much take for granted yet expect but are not present in the undeveloped world. For example, there are few regulatory bodies such as the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, various medical boards, consumer protection laws, available legal experts and the court system. All serve as a net of safeguards offering remedies. But unlike a car purchase, medical care is a complicated undertaking in which there are no guarantees, yet there are areas of compliance which must be maintained.Once the patient is in a foreign country there is little protection for redress and once that patient leaves the country should they need follow-up care such as therapy or if complications arise even during travel, they must seek medical care in the U.S. Secondarily, if the procedure is performed overseas, insurance providers or Medicare may not honor the additional required care in the U.S. Still, patients may decide to take the risks in addition to the inherent risks of any surgery, but should not be coerced into uninformed choices in order for their employer to save costs under the guise that they are helping to reduce the costs of U.S. healthcare in the long run.

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In July 2006 the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging held a hearing called “The Globalization of Healthcare: Can Medical Tourism Reduce Healthcare Costs?” Its goal was to address the subject of medical tourism, its growth, safety of patients and possible regulation of the industry itself. Its Committee Chairman, Senator Gordon H. Smith, has asked that several federal agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Commerce and the Department of State create an interagency task force necessary for lawmakers to reach informed decisions that healthcare consumers themselves cannot accurately make at this juncture regarding offshoring their medical care.And among the labor unions, the United Steelworkers Union (USW) has publicly weighed in on this issue when it learned one of its union members, employed by Blue Ridge Paper Products, was going to be sent to India for gall bladder surgery simultaneously with shoulder surgery. Leo W. Gerard, USW International President, fired off a complaint dated September 11, 2006 to Congress by contacting the following committees: the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Committee on Finance, and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.The goal is not necessarily to create more legislation but to establish guidelines. Perhaps Mr. Gerard puts it best when he states, “The right to safe, secure and dependable health care in one’s own country should not be surrendered for any reason-certainly not to fatten the profit margins of corporate investors.” He also contends to the Congress that “We remain steadfast in our commitment to rebuild a domestic healthcare system.”
Let us hope that our government and healthcare providers can likewise make such a commitment by investing in the health and welfare of the American people.Copyright ©2006 Diane M. GrassiContact: dgrassi@cox.net