Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

Tomorrow is Global Rare Disease Day. Do you have a rare disease? Tell your story. Do you know someone who has a rare disease? Listen to their story. Rare diseases are so challenging -- not only is the diagnosis hard to pin down, but there are no FDA approved treatments for most of them, so you have to fight with an insurance company to get what you need to live. And somewhere along the way, somebody's going to tell you it's all in your head, so you have to live through that indignity, as well. But there are a lot of us out here now, and we're loud and proud. So join us and fight for your civil rights. I'll post some links in a post either later or tomorrow if you want to learn more. But here's one for you -- ULTRA -- Unlocking Lifesaving Treatments for Rare diseases Act. More than 140 organizations support this legislation, including us.

And now, the news:

At-risk patients get the attention of health insurers. One percent of patients are responsible for 25 percent of health care costs. Insurers are looking for ways to manage their care and control those costs.

The cost of having cancer -- even with insurance -- is extraordinary. Copays and coinsurance are huge, and then there are the things insurance doesn't cover. Treatment decisions are being made based on the ability to pay. I don't think this is true only of cancer.

Bank of America is accused of imposing unnecessary burdens on homeowners with disabilities. Really? Ugh.

The Senate is getting ready for a vote on a GOP bill that would restrict access to contraceptives by exempting all religious-affiliated employers from the requirement that contraceptives be covered.

Schools, day-care centers and restaurants are getting better about caring for kids with food allergies. About time.

Health insurance in the mall? Some insurers are trying to start a retail business. How interesting. Highmark in PA, BCBS of Florida, and UnitedHealthcare in New York have all opened stores.

More Americans are seeking dental treatment at emergency rooms, where it's insanely expensive. This surprises me -- it would never occur to me to go to an ER with a toothache.

Black women are heavier -- and happier -- than white women. They have more comfort in their bodies than do white women. Interesting.

Black children are diagnosed with autism later than white children. Parents need to learn the warning signs.

Ever feel like you're having a good old-fashioned nervous breakdown? Now, it's called something fancier -- PTSD, depression -- but it's still the same paralyzing weight on your chest. Get help before it becomes immobilizing.

Patients develop chronic pain after hernia repair. Really? I've had 4 hernia repairs and no chronic pain as a result. Must be because my surgeon is the best on the planet.

When should you keep your sick child home from school?

Stents are no better for treating coronary artery disease than medical management, says a new study.

Hepatitis C surpasses AIDS in death rates. Some new drugs are in the pipeline, but until then .... Very tough.

Music for people with hearing aids. Love it!

Knee replacement may give you your life back.

Omega 3 fatty acids do help foster brain acuity as we get older.

Caffeine may have some positive effects. It may help with depression. I need espresso!

Was this autistic boy made to sit in a cardboard box in school, or did he seek refuge in the box on his own? Should we let a kid choose to sit in a cardboard box, even if it's his own choice? Teacher's on leave, but the right answer is harder than it may seem.

And that's it for this morning. Have a great day! Jennifer

1 comment:

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