Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

I'm never taking another day off. It would have been easier to work yesterday than to be so aggravated at how many people don't get it when you say you're taking a day off. Oh, well. Here's the news:

In the midst of the debate over contraceptive coverage, here's a piece explaining that Catholic hospitals are on the rise, but there are strings -- like no contraception -- attached. And when a Catholic hospital merges with a secular hospital, the secular hospital has to stop providing abortion and contraception, too. This leaves people with nowhere to go.

But really, how did birth control get to be an election issue? This follows a bruising -- and, I like to think, embarrassing hearing on Capitol Hill last week, where a group of men argued that contraceptive coverage violates religious freedom. And here's a shock for you -- insurance companies don't want to pay for "free" (to insureds) birth control.

Get this --if you present to an emergency room for something that isn't an emergency, you may have to pay up front. Hospitals know insurers won't pay in some of these cases, so to be sure they get paid, they want money up front. Federal law requires that they see you, so they do screen to make sure there's no emergency, but if they don't think you have an emergency, it's pay or go home. Is this right?

A dialogue between a health care conservative and a health care liberal. Which side are you on? Next month, the Supreme Court will have to decide. Here's one possible way it could go. But I doubt it.

A push to train more primary care providers -- we need them for health care to work but the money is lousy, as are the hours. How do we get med students to choose such a hard road?

Counties in California are providing care for the uninsured. It's really impressive to see what they're doing. It's 47 counties and counting.

Two pharmacy distributors -- Cardinal and CVS Caremark -- ignored red flags that showed that two Florida pharmacies were ordering way more than their share of oxycodone.

Family history is a strong predictor of cardiac disease -- something your doctor should be looking at.

Tight clothes, high heels can be causing health problems. Duh.

Are doctors as curious as they ought to be? Or are they trying to fit us into well-expected categories? I'll tell you what -- were it not for the fact that my Crohn's expert is curious, I'd be dead.

We boomers are at risk for Hep C. And many of us don't know we have it.

Having problems at work? In bed? These are problems to discuss with your doctor in that they may be signs of medical problems.

Your eyes age, and that throws off the body's circadian rhythm -- and that may affect a host of medical issues that make us feel tired and lacking in energy.

Are signs of aging diseases we should treat, or should we just accept the natural aging process for what it is? Do you want to know how long you're likely to live? A new website predicts longevity.

Taking proton pump inhibitors (Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, etc.) may reduce absorption of calcium and result in bone loss, especially in older women.

How should we decide how to give out organs for transplant? In Israel, they are trying a new method, giving priority to people who have pledged to give their own organs. Fair?

Should you be stopping to eat during your work-out? Here are some other things that you should consider for running, biking.

The Obama administration is now pushing for changes to school vending machines -- foods kid eat outside of the cafeteria.

Omega 3 fatty acids reduce the risk of one kind of colon cancer, and only in women, a study says.

We all think about probiotics for gut ailments, but can they boost the immune system?

Is yoga good for you? Well, yes, but sometimes it's not. Read to learn which yoga poses may not be good for your body.

Fascinating. Syntesthesia blends the senses, so numbers have colors and emotions, and music has numbers and colors -- the senses get mixed up. And nobody's complaining.

A new book on heart health from the Cleveland Clinic -- get some free advice by reading the article.

Should we worry that, in a ferret study, swine flu appears to have the hallmarks of a pandemic?

And here in Connecticut, the state employees' health insurance pool is being opened to municipal employees now, with nonprofits (hopefully) to follow next year. The bigger the pool, the less expensive the premium, so this is good news as far as I'm concerned.

And that should get you started on your day. Have a great one. Jennifer

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