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Short Course on Tips – Getting to Square 1

Beginner’s Golfing Club for Men and Women

Golf is a sport that can be played by everyone.For both men and women who are interested on starting to play golf, it is actually an easy sport that you can enjoy to your heart’s content. For ladies and gentlemen out there who are wanted to learn how to play golf quickly and easily, the best thing that you need to do is to join a golf club. In this article, we have gathered some tips that can be helpful to you when it comes to choosing the right golfing club especially if you do not know whom to choose.

If you are looking for a golfing club to join in, one of the most important aspect that you must consider is the location of that specific club. When you consider this factor, then you will surely benefit most out from it. Do you not think it is better for you to choose a golf club that is situated near your workplace or home? It will be for your benefit to choose a golf club that is located on a convenient place so that when you go there on a daily basis, you will not feel any disappointment or regrets.

I bet you are thinking: “Is there an assurance that anyone from the golf club I will be joining will be kind enough to assist a beginner like me?” There is nothing for you to worry about since golf clubs are making it a point to offer tutorials and lessons for their clients especially those who are still beginners. And also, for the coaches that will be assisting you, don’t you worry since they are expert and trained. Furthermore, they will also help you find the best set clubs suitable for your level and will also help you determine the right type of swing for you.

What are the kid of facilities that they will be offering you? The answer lies on the inquiry you will be conducting to each golf clubs in your area. There are private golf clubs who have private tutors to cater your beginners skills however, there are also those who have driving ranges in which, you get to practice your swing. But still, if you were to choice, better opt for a golf club that offers you with dining, caddies, showers, golf carts, and even locker. The next step that you have to do in choosing the right golf club is to know how much every golf club charge the fees for their membership and if you are already subjected to enjoy their facilities once you become a member.

In creating a golf course, a course designer must consider so many things before proceeding on putting it into action. Of course for a beginner such as you, it is required for every private club to have courses that are of low level in terms of difficulty.
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If You Read One Article About Golf, Read This One

Whether you’re a neophyte or an old-timer in golf, there is commonly the urge to register with a golf club where you can play golf without limit and enjoy other bonuses. Even if you like playing in various courses, membership benefits are still worth a grab. After all, being a member of one club does not bar you from playing in other places. In fact, you can invite other members of other clubs to your own club and vice versa.

In any case, below are the six key reasons you’d like to sign that membership application:

Camaraderie and Community

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of joining a golf club is the sense of camaraderie and community you feel with other members. All clubs take these relationships seriously. They are happy to provide members a break from the daily rigors of their lives. They highly value the personal relationships that are made on the course and off. Family members can benefit as well, not just in terms of playing golf but also when it comes to enjoying a great meal or having a few drinks by the swimming pool.

Excellent Playing Conditions

In terms of conditions, there’s no going wrong with a club that works to keep their course in a perfect state. These venues are not only maintained strictly and regularly, but you can also expect less divots and foot traffic on the greens, considering that there are less golfers.

Better Game Efficiency

Being a golf club member, the last thing you’ll worry about is pace of play. Again, since there are fewer golfers on the course, you can move faster through a round of golf in shorter than four hours. This is great news for those who are very busy and can’t don’t have all the time to play.

Less Overall Cost

At first glance, it would look like a membership was too expensive; but if you total the green fees, repairs and other expenses, it could actually save you a lot of money over a year. Aside from discounts on the course, membership usually entails discounts on such things as equipment repair and golf lessons. Furthermore, golf clubs offer other amenities as well, which only increases the value of your membership. Most of them have tennis courts, gyms, spas and of course, swimming pools. In short, they are actually made not just for golfers but their families as well, with all their different interests.

Family Spirit

We all want to feel a sense of warm belonging. That’s just how you feel when you’re part of a golf club. Waiters being first name basis with you, the reception staff playing with your children – what a it’s a great way to affirm that you have a much bigger family than you ever realized.
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Find out the Great Ways to Enjoy a Vacation in Scottsdale

One of the fastest growing communities in the west is Scottsdale, Arizona. As to why Scottsdale is considered as one, the reason is just so obvious. From its downtown area up to the many attraction that are scattered in the entire place, you will have the best moment of your life enjoying variety of amenities and entertainments that will definitely be to your liking. And also, Scottsdale is famous for its wealthy activities that will let anyone worn out from their hectic schedules, enjoy and unwind.

Scottsdale is known for the wondrous spa treatment they are providing their guest in which you get to relieve your stress by enjoying the relaxing feeling of a massage and facial or mud bath. And also, in Scottsdale, you will get to find lots of resorts that are known to be as one of the most popular attraction in the whole city which provides you with personal services for your personal needs.

If you love to be united with nature, then you are suited to go on a hiking trip to the Sunrise Trail in the McDowell Mountain Preserve and take pride of the spectacular view of the city and surrounding area while you enjoy the fresh mountain air.

For those who loved visiting unusual places like deserts, why don’t you try the Sonoran desert in a guided tour and learn about how such beautiful landscape shapes the culture and history of Scottsdale. If you want to take a look at the beauty of the nature; you can try an off-road or horseback tour.

If you want to experience the entertainment side of Scottsdale, there are so many lively cultural scenes and concerts. If you want to enjoy live performances from students whose music are produced by world-renowned musicians, the Arizona State Campus is what you are looking for. For various entertainments, you can visit the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. The Scottsdale Philharmonic is the right one for you if you wanted to have a relaxing evening of musical entertainment.

If you want to experience something new, another great way for you to spend you day that will relieve you from your stress, you can have a tour of the unique architecture of Arizona. The beautiful desert landscape of Arizona is a subject to a number of notable architects to create a design that depicts extraordinary structures in the area.

For shopaholics like you, I am certain that you will get the best and the most out of the various traditional and unique goods offered by Scottsdale. You can also visit the Fifth Avenue Shops in downtown Scottsdale which have a number of interesting boutiques that you can ravish to your heart’s content.

If you love food, you will certainly enjoy and appreciate the many sumptuous meals offered by one of Scottsdale’s resorts.
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Central Baptist Hospital, Lexington, KY – Providing Quality Care and Research

Central Baptist Hospital meets general medical and surgical needs for roughly 1.5 million people in the city of Lexington and across central Kentucky. The hospital contains 344 beds and provides care to over 30,000 inpatient and outpatient visitors a year. Those who have a need to travel to Central Baptist Hospital for treatment will find various hotels in Lexington, Ky to meet accommodation needs.

A wide variety of services are offered by Lexington’s Central Baptist Hospital which fall into categories of both inpatient and outpatient care. Important inpatient services include neonatal intensive care, heart catheterization and surgery, cancer services, and hospice and palliative care. Important outpatient services include chemotherapy, kidney dialysis, urgent care, sports medicine, physical rehabilitation, and home health services.

Central Baptist Hospital maintains a busy and well respected heart care program. Every year the facility performs over 15,000 heart catheterizations and exceeds 400 open heart surgeries. Its Cancer Care Center is also quite effective, providing such cancer treatments and services as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, counseling, and more. Also, around 4,000 babies are delivered through the Hospital’s obstetrics department each year. Staying at area hotels in Lexington, Ky makes access to Central Baptist Hospital’s excellent services both convenient and comforting.

Besides direct patient care and support, Central Baptist Hospital provides support services for family members like language translation, support groups, chaplain or pastoral care and patient representative. The hospital also reaches directly into the heart of the community by offering public health screenings and conducting informative health fairs. All of these important support services can be obtained by affected family members while staying at area hotels in Lexington, Ky.

Central Baptist Hospital carries a consistent patient satisfaction rating of around 85% which is approximately 15% above the state and national average. Much of these positive ratings are due to the hospital’s research and education center that provides not only breakthrough technology, but also excellent healthcare stemming from quality medical services being applied via compassionate attention to its patients.

An attractive selection of hotels in Lexington, Ky are located near the hospital’s Clinical Research Center which was established in 1999 and performs clinical trials and fosters investigative research on behalf of their customers’ needs. The center involves more than 40 physicians who act as investigators for research projects which are facilitated and organized by highly trained research coordinators.

With over 20 years experience in conducting clinical trials, Central Baptist Hospital’s Clinical Research Center assists with providing breakthrough medical advancement in such research areas as oncology, cardiac, stroke, bariatric, obstetrics, electrophysiology, neuro intervention and neonatal. The Center also works closely with a wide variety of top-name pharmaceutical companies to help produce effective products and medicines.

Rebuilding the Tower of Babel – A CEO’s Perspective on Health Information Exchanges

Defining a Health Information Exchange

The United States is facing the largest shortage of healthcare practitioners in our country’s history which is compounded by an ever increasing geriatric population. In 2005 there existed one geriatrician for every 5,000 US residents over 65 and only nine of the 145 medical schools trained geriatricians. By 2020 the industry is estimated to be short 200,000 physicians and over a million nurses. Never, in the history of US healthcare, has so much been demanded with so few personnel. Because of this shortage combined with the geriatric population increase, the medical community has to find a way to provide timely, accurate information to those who need it in a uniform fashion. Imagine if flight controllers spoke the native language of their country instead of the current international flight language, English. This example captures the urgency and critical nature of our need for standardized communication in healthcare. A healthy information exchange can help improve safety, reduce length of hospital stays, cut down on medication errors, reduce redundancies in lab testing or procedures and make the health system faster, leaner and more productive. The aging US population along with those impacted by chronic disease like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and asthma will need to see more specialists who will have to find a way to communicate with primary care providers effectively and efficiently.

This efficiency can only be attained by standardizing the manner in which the communication takes place. Healthbridge, a Cincinnati based HIE and one of the largest community based networks, was able to reduce their potential disease outbreaks from 5 to 8 days down to 48 hours with a regional health information exchange. Regarding standardization, one author noted, “Interoperability without standards is like language without grammar. In both cases communication can be achieved but the process is cumbersome and often ineffective.”

United States retailers transitioned over twenty years ago in order to automate inventory, sales, accounting controls which all improve efficiency and effectiveness. While uncomfortable to think of patients as inventory, perhaps this has been part of the reason for the lack of transition in the primary care setting to automation of patient records and data. Imagine a Mom & Pop hardware store on any square in mid America packed with inventory on shelves, ordering duplicate widgets based on lack of information regarding current inventory. Visualize any Home Depot or Lowes and you get a glimpse of how automation has changed the retail sector in terms of scalability and efficiency. Perhaps the “art of medicine” is a barrier to more productive, efficient and smarter medicine. Standards in information exchange have existed since 1989, but recent interfaces have evolved more rapidly thanks to increases in standardization of regional and state health information exchanges.

History of Health Information Exchanges

Major urban centers in Canada and Australia were the first to successfully implement HIE’s. The success of these early networks was linked to an integration with primary care EHR systems already in place. Health Level 7 (HL7) represents the first health language standardization system in the United States, beginning with a meeting at the University of Pennsylvania in 1987. HL7 has been successful in replacing antiquated interactions like faxing, mail and direct provider communication, which often represent duplication and inefficiency. Process interoperability increases human understanding across networks health systems to integrate and communicate. Standardization will ultimately impact how effective that communication functions in the same way that grammar standards foster better communication. The United States National Health Information Network (NHIN) sets the standards that foster this delivery of communication between health networks. HL7 is now on it’s third version which was published in 2004. The goals of HL7 are to increase interoperability, develop coherent standards, educate the industry on standardization and collaborate with other sanctioning bodies like ANSI and ISO who are also concerned with process improvement.

In the United States one of the earliest HIE’s started in Portland Maine. HealthInfoNet is a public-private partnership and is believed to be the largest statewide HIE. The goals of the network are to improve patient safety, enhance the quality of clinical care, increase efficiency, reduce service duplication, identify public threats more quickly and expand patient record access. The four founding groups the Maine Health Access Foundation, Maine CDC, The Maine Quality Forum and Maine Health Information Center (Onpoint Health Data) began their efforts in 2004.

In Tennessee Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIO’s) initiated in Memphis and the Tri Cities region. Carespark, a 501(3)c, in the Tri Cities region was considered a direct project where clinicians interact directly with each other using Carespark’s HL7 compliant system as an intermediary to translate the data bi-directionally. Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics also played a crucial role in the early stages of building this network. In the delta the midsouth eHealth Alliance is a RHIO connecting Memphis hospitals like Baptist Memorial (5 sites), Methodist Systems, Lebonheur Healthcare, Memphis Children’s Clinic, St. Francis Health System, St Jude, The Regional Medical Center and UT Medical. These regional networks allow practitioners to share medical records, lab values medicines and other reports in a more efficient manner.

Seventeen US communities have been designated as Beacon Communities across the United States based on their development of HIE’s. These communities’ health focus varies based on the patient population and prevalence of chronic disease states i.e. cvd, diabetes, asthma. The communities focus on specific and measurable improvements in quality, safety and efficiency due to health information exchange improvements. The closest geographical Beacon community to Tennessee, in Byhalia, Mississippi, just south of Memphis, was granted a $100,000 grant by the department of Health and Human Services in September 2011.

A healthcare model for Nashville to emulate is located in Indianapolis, IN based on geographic proximity, city size and population demographics. Four Beacon awards have been granted to communities in and around Indianapolis, Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana Health Centers Inc, Raphael Health Center and Shalom Health Care Center Inc. In addition, Indiana Health Information Technology Inc has received over 23 million dollars in grants through the State HIE Cooperative Agreement and 2011 HIE Challenge Grant Supplement programs through the federal government. These awards were based on the following criteria:1) Achieving health goals through health information exchange 2) Improving long term and post acute care transitions 3) Consumer mediated information exchange 4) Enabling enhanced query for patient care 5) Fostering distributed population-level analytics.

Regulatory Aspects of Health Information Exchanges and Healthcare Reform

The department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the regulatory agency that oversees health concerns for all Americans. The HHS is divided into ten regions and Tennessee is part of Region IV headquartered out of Atlanta. The Regional Director, Anton J. Gunn is the first African American elected to serve as regional director and brings a wealth of experience to his role based on his public service specifically regarding underserved healthcare patients and health information exchanges. This experience will serve him well as he encounters societal and demographic challenges for underserved and chronically ill patients throughout the southeast area.

The National Health Information Network (NHIN) is a division of HHS that guides the standards of exchange and governs regulatory aspects of health reform. The NHIN collaboration includes departments like the Center for Disease Control (CDC), social security administration, Beacon communities and state HIE’s (ONC).11 The Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Exchange (ONC) has awarded $16 million in additional grants to encourage innovation at the state level. Innovation at the state level will ultimately lead to better patient care through reductions in replicated tests, bridges to care programs for chronic patients leading to continuity and finally timely public health alerts through agencies like the CDC based on this information.12 The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act is funded by dollars from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. HITECH’s goals are to invest dollars in community, regional and state health information exchanges to build effective networks which are connected nationally. Beacon communities and the Statewide Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement were initiated through HITECH and ARRA. To date 56 states have received grant awards through these programs totaling 548 million dollars.

History of Health Information Partnership TN (HIPTN)

In Tennessee the Health Information Exchange has been slower to progress than places like Maine and Indiana based in part on the diversity of our state. The delta has a vastly different patient population and health network than that of middle Tennessee, which differs from eastern Tennessee’s Appalachian region. In August of 2009 the first steps were taken to build a statewide HIE consisting of a non-profit named HIP TN. A board was established at this time with an operations council formed in December. HIP TN’s first initiatives involved connecting the work through Carespark in northeast Tennessee’s s tri-cities region to the Midsouth ehealth Alliance in Memphis. State officials estimated a cost of over 200 million dollars from 2010-2015. The venture involves stakeholders from medical, technical, legal and business backgrounds. The governor in 2010, Phil Bredesen, provided 15 million to match federal funds in addition to issuing an Executive Order establishing the office of eHealth initiatives with oversight by the Office of Administration and Finance and sixteen board members. By March 2010 four workgroups were established to focus on areas like technology, clinical, privacy and security and sustainability.

By May of 2010 data sharing agreements were in place and a production pilot for the statewide HIE was initiated in June 2011 along with a Request for Proposal (RFP) which was sent out to over forty vendors. In July 2010 a fifth workgroup,the consumer advisory group, was added and in September 2010 Tennessee was notified that they were one of the first states to have their plans approved after a release of Program Information Notice (PIN). Over fifty stakeholders came together to evaluate the vendor demonstrations and a contract was signed with the chosen vendor Axolotl on September 30th, 2010. At that time a production goal of July 15th, 2011 was agreed upon and in January 2011 Keith Cox was hired as HIP TN’s CEO. Keith brings twenty six years of tenure in healthcare IT to the collaborative. His previous endeavors include Microsoft, Bellsouth and several entrepreneurial efforts. HIP TN’s mission is to improve access to health information through a statewide collaborative process and provide the infrastructure for security in that exchange. The vision for HIP TN is to be recognized as a state and national leader who support measurable improvements in clinical quality and efficiency to patients, providers and payors with secure HIE. Robert S. Gordon, the board chair for HIPTN states the vision well, “We share the view that while technology is a critical tool, the primary focus is not technology itself, but improving health”. HIP TN is a non profit, 501(c)3, that is solely reliant on state government funding. It is a combination of centralized and decentralized architecture. The key vendors are Axolotl, which acts as the umbrella network, ICA for Memphis and Nashville, with CGI as the vendor in northeast Tennessee.15 Future HIP TN goals include a gateway to the National Health Institute planned for late 2011 and a clinician index in early 2012. Carespark, one of the original regional health exchange networks voted to cease operations on July 11, 2011 based on lack of financial support for it’s new infrastructure. The data sharing agreements included 38 health organizations, nine communities and 250 volunteers.16 Carespark’s closure clarifies the need to build a network that is not solely reliant on public grants to fund it’s efforts, which we will discuss in the final section of this paper.

Current Status of Healthcare Information Exchange and HIPTN

Ten grants were awarded in 2011 by the HIE challenge grant supplement. These included initiatives in eight states and serve as communities we can look to for guidance as HIP TN evolves. As previously mentioned one of the most awarded communities lies less than five hours away in Indianapolis, IN. Based on the similarities in our health communities, patient populations and demographics, Indianapolis would provide an excellent mentor for Nashville and the hospital systems who serve patients in TN. The Indiana Health Information Exchange has been recognized nationally for it’s Docs for Docs program and the manner in which collaboration has taken place since it’s conception in 2004. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of HHS commented, “The Central Indiana Beacon Community has a level of collaboration and the ability to organize quality efforts in an effective manner from its history of building long standing relationships. We are thrilled to be working with a community that is far ahead in the use of health information to bring positive change to patient care.” Beacon communities that could act as guides for our community include the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County and the Indiana Health Centers based on their recent awards of $100,000 each by HHS.

A local model of excellence in practice EMR conversion is Old Harding Pediatric Associates (OHPA) which has two clinics and fourteen physicians who handle a patient population of 23,000 and over 72,000 patient encounters per year. OHPA’s conversion to electronic records in early 2000 occurred as a result of the pursuit of excellence in patient care and the desire to use technology in a way that benefitted their patient population. OHPA established a cross functional work team to improve their practices in the areas of facilities, personnel, communication, technology and external influences. Noteworthy was chosen as the EMR vendor based on user friendliness and the similarity to a standard patient chart with tabs for files. The software was customized to the pediatric environment complete with patient growth charts. Windows was used as the operating system based on provider familiarity. Within four days OHPA had 100% compliance and use of their EMR system.

The Future of HIP TN and HIE in Tennessee

Tennessee has received close to twelve million dollars in grant money from The State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program.20 Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIO) need to be full scalable to allow hospitals to grow their systems without compromising integrity as they grow.21and the systems located in Nashville will play an integral role in this nationwide scaling with companies like HCA, CHS, Iasis, Lifepoint and Vanguard. The HIE will act as a data repository for all patients information that can be accessed from anywhere and contains a full history of the patients medical record, lab tests, physician network and medicine list. To entice providers to enroll in the statewide HIE tangible value to their practice has to be shown with better safer care. In a 2011 HIMSS editor’s report Richard Lang states that instead of a top down approach “A more practical idea may be for states to support local community HIE development first. Once established, these local networks can feed regional HIE’s and then connect to a central HIE/data repository backbone. States should use a portion of the stimulus funds to support local HIE development.”22 Mr. Lang also believes the primary care physician has to be the foundation for the entire system since they are the main point of contact for the patient.

One piece of the puzzle often overlooked is the patient investment in a functional EHR. In order to bring together all the pieces of the HIE puzzle patients will need to play a more active role in their healthcare. Many patients do not know what medicines they take every day or whether they have a living will. Several versions of patient EHR’s like Memitech’s 911medical id card exist, but very few patients know or carry them.23 One way to combat this lack of awareness is to use the hospital as a catch-all and discharge each patient with a fully loaded USB card via case managers. This strategy also might lead to better compliance with post in patient therapies to reduce readmissions.

The implementation of connecting qualified organizations began earlier this year. To fully support organizations to move toward qualification the Office of National Coordinator for HIE (ONC) has designated regional education centers (TN rec) who assist providers with educational initiatives in areas like HIT, ICD9 to ICD10 training and EMR transition. Qsource, a non-profit health consulting firm, has been chosen to oversee TNrec. To ensure sustainability it is critical that Tennessee build a network of private funding so that what happened with Carespark won’t happen to HIP TN. The eHealth Initiatives 2011Survey Report states that of the 196 HIE initiatives, 115 act independently of federal funding and of those independent HIE’s, break even through operational revenue. Some of these exchanges were in existence well before the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009. Startup funding from grants is only meant to get the car going so to speak, the sustainable fuel, as observed in the case of Carespark, has to come from value that can be monetized. KLAS research reports that 54% of public HIE’s were concerned about future sustainability while only 35% of private HIE’s shared this concern.

Hospital Implications of HIP TN (A Call to Action)

From a Financial perspective, taking our hospital into the future with EMR and an integrated statewide network has profound implications. In the short term the cost to find a vendor, establish EMR in and outpatient will be an expensive proposition. The transition will not be easy or finite and will involve constant evolution as HIP TN integrates with other state HIE’s. To get a realistic idea of the benefits and costs associated with health information integration. we can look to HealthInfoNet in Portland, ME, a statewide HIE that expects to save 37 million dollars in avoided services and 15 million in productivity reduction. Specific areas of savings include paper or fax costs $5 versus $0.25 electronically, virtual health record savings of $50 per referral, $26 saved per ED visit and $17.41 per patient/year due to redundant lab tests which amounts to $52 million for a population of 3 million patients. In Grand Junction Colorado Quality Health Network lowered their per capita Medicare spending to 24% below the national average, gaining recognition by President Obama in 2009. The Santa Cruz Health Information Exchange (SCHIE) with 600 doctors and two hospitals achieved sustainability in the first year of operation and uses a subscription fee for all the organizations who interact with them. In terms of government dollars available, meaningful use incentives exist to encourage hospitals to meet twenty of twenty five objectives in the first phase (2011-2012) and adopting and implement an approved EHR vendor. ARRA specified three ways for EHR to be utilized to obtain Medicare reimbursement. These include e-prescribing, health information exchange and submission of clinical quality measures. The objectives for phase two in 2013 will expand on this baseline. Implementation of EHR and Hospital HIE costs are usually charged by bed or by the number of physicians. Fees can range from $1500 for a smaller hospital up to $12,000 per month for a larger hospital.

Perhaps the most compelling argument to building a functional Health Information Exchange is patient and community safety. The Healthbridge reduction in disease outbreak detection of 3-5 days is a perfect example of this safety benefit. Imagine the implications in the case of a rampant virus like avian or swine flu. The goal is to avoid a repeat of the 1918 influenza outbreak and ultimately save the lives of our most at risk. Rick Krohn of Healthsense makes the case for a socially responsible HIE that serves those who are chronically ill, uninsured and homeless. As the taxpayers ultimately bear the societal burden for our country’s healthcare coverage, the need to reduce redundancies, increase efficiency and provide healthcare worthy of the United States is imperative. Right now our healthcare is in the Critical Care Unit it’s time to stabilize it through operational excellence starting with our hospital. Let’s rebuild the Tower of Babel and enhance communication to provide our patients the healthcare they deserve!

This Could Be Your Grandpa – Indirect Euthanasia Via Health Insurance?

A sad story in Miami, Florida regarding health insurance was recently brought to my attention. It highlights the flaws inherent in both public and private health insurance plans, and is an example of why healthcare reform is so important. A friend of mine has an ailing grandfather, named Benito Jimenez. Benito’s daughter, Maria Conroy cares for him 24/7, and has taken charge of navigating the complexities of his insurance coverage. Her 85-year-old father has Medicare, but also has a Medicare Advantage administered by Humana. This would seem like an ideal compromise of the government and corporations, which would allow them to provide the best healthcare possible. Instead, it’s only brought Maria and her family one frustration after another.

Benito suffers from various conditions, but his health recently took a turn for the worse. He has developed anemia, which decreases the amount of healthy red blood cells. Severe anemia prevents your body from pumping oxygen everywhere it’s needed, so it’s obviously an urgent concern, especially for senior citizens. His doctors aren’t sure where his internal bleeding is coming from, though Maria suspects that it’s related to a previous stomach ulcer that was caused due to Benito taking a large combination of medications daily. The recommended test is an endoscopy, generally considered a simple and safe procedure (as opposed to a colonoscopy, which is more invasive). Unfortunately, possibly due to Benito’s age, his gastroenterologist–part of his primary care doctor’s “team”–refuses to perform it himself, despite being able and certified to do so–Maria feels that he is most likely scared of a malpractice lawsuit. Maria begged him to allow her to sign a waiver removing his liability, but he refused to take the risk of doing it on an outpatient basis. That gastroenterologist further explained that he would be obligated to do any and all tests necessary to save Benito’s life if he was in a hospital setting.

After the gastroenterologist told them to go to the hospital (where the procedure would be performed at a higher cost to them, as well as their health insurance), Maria and Benito were kicked back to their primary care physician. Despite Benito’s hemoglobin level being a very low 8.5, they were told that he wouldn’t be referred to a hospital until his hemoglobin level was 7. She is unclear as to whether the doctor or the insurance company establishes this arbitrary rule. If they had investigated his medical history, a hemoglobin level of 8 had previously sent Benito to the hospital in need of a blood transfusion. In the infinite wisdom of Medicare and Humana’s reimbursement rules, they would not offer preventative treatment until he was in critical condition and needed even more medical care. This runaround was costly for Maria, both financially and emotionally. Benito was prescribed an increasing number of medications to mask his symptoms, but they produced other side effects and exacerbated his main problem (while also resulting in higher co-pays). She felt that the doctors were condescending and were more focused on preventing health insurance fraud than providing care. While Medicare fraud is relatively common, the preventative measures may have backfired. Honest, ethical patients and their loved ones don’t receive the care they need, because they are unaware of the loopholes. For example, a previous cardiologist of Benito’s once referred him to Baptist Hospital in Miami, in order for another specialist to examine him; however, his insurance company wouldn’t pay for a visit to that particular hospital. The cardiologist suggested that he pretend to faint somewhere in close physical proximity to the hospital or in the hospital lobby, so they would be forced to admit him and later discover what he actually needed. This suggestion shocked and dismayed Maria.

For too many doctors, the health insurance bureaucracy has changed their caring vocation into an impersonal business. Ideally, healthcare reform would change this, even though this story shows an negative example of government involvement in health insurance. The saddest part of Maria’s story is that Benito was present when his primary care doctor shockingly informed Maria, as if he wasn’t capable of understanding or wasn’t listening, that further investigation would be pointless due to his frail condition–or at least, not enough of a sure thing to avoid the risk of lawsuits. They indirectly, but essentially told her, in front of him, that he should go home, medicate the symptoms and wait to die. Again, their fear of malpractice judgments and desire to bill Humana and the federal government (thereby making up for decreased funding that cut reimbursement rates) for as many procedures as possible overtook their oath to “do no harm”. It seems as though they prefer to wait until someone is in critical condition to provide preventative care, which results in their needing even more medical care. Meanwhile, Benito’s condition was far from terminal. A previous gastroenterologist agreed to perform an outpatient procedure, but his insurance was only willing to cover the specialist recommended by his primary care doctor. As opposed to working together for the benefit of the patient, that doctor steered them to the uncooperative gastroenterologist described above. Since the outcome was unsuccessful, Maria eventually managed to get her father’s initial gastroenterologist covered under his health insurance plan; however, the delay was detrimental to his care. Benito’s anemia is now critical: this lessens the chances of success of an outpatient endoscopy and might mean that he’ll need a hospital stay, after all.

In Maria’s own words, the health insurance industry has enacted its own “cash for clunkers” program. Only in this case, the so-called “clunkers” are older Americans being sent to the junkyard. There’s a lot of fault to go around: Medicare stretches its budget to the limit and has bureaucrats making coverage decisions, while for-profit insurers like Humana have CEOs and shareholders that also demand a reduction in costs. The patients themselves–our parents, grandparents, siblings, children, partners, and friends–are lost in the midst this battle, even though they should be the most important factor of all. Some opponents of the public option claim that it will lead to the forced euthanasia of seniors, while others believe those claims are overblown. Nevertheless, indirect euthanasia is already happening right now; this is a case in point. Healthcare reform is a complicated issue, and it’s deeper than greater availability of affordable health insurance. That won’t matter if, after paying premiums and/or taxes for decades, your insurance won’t give you the care you need most. I don’t claim to know what proposal will work best, but Maria says that the current system is broken and that we urgently need healthcare reform of some kind. “Everybody doesn’t have a family member to be an advocate,” she adds. “I worry about how many elderly people fall through the cracks without someone to find the loopholes to work the system for them.”

A Review of the Integris Health Multi-Level Marketing Program

The Integris Health Domain was registered in February 1996 which means they have been around a very long time. Their Domain Contacts originate out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Integris Health was originally founded in 1983 before anyone knew how to log into the internet and the purpose of this MLM Company is to financially assist the Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City. The MLM Portion of this company launched in 1997. Larry Cantrell and Willam Kellas are the two people who founded this company. William Kellis also wrote a couple books. One is called Surviving the Toxic Crisis and the other is Thriving in a Toxic World.

The most highly renowed product Integris Health (many times referred to as Integris Global now) sells is called Life Solubles. This product is made from rice and has over seventy anti-oxidants present. The company says the effects of this product take place instantly, and that faster absorption is just what nature intended. Another product they sell is called Kona Gold. This product is made up of plankton and algae that is collected around the Oceans of Hawaii and that nutrients and minerals are extracted from this plankon and algae.

The company claims that all the Volcanic Activity constantly occurring in about 2,000 of deep seawater have over the centuries been in a continual state of nutrient enrichment. This forms what is called Glacial Milk which is exempt from herbicides, pesticides as well as heavy metal contamination. Integris Health also has a product called the Paragon System which is used for cleaning parasites.

The MLM Compensation Plan for Integris Health is a single level pay plan. The company pays 7% on levels 1-5 and 3% on level 6. Anyone who is over 18 years old can join this program, and the company has a total of 7 products you can sell for them.

From what I’ve read the Integris brand name hasn’t been widely promoted or is it yet recognized as a serious player. Also my understanding is that these products have not yet been approved by the FDA. However in all fairness this is the case with a lot of MLM Companies operating these days.

Selling Integris Health products could end up being tougher to sell than many mainstream MLM Programs out there. I say this because I don’t see much in cutting edge banners, follow-up systems, lead generation systems or big recruiters on board. So at least selling their products on the Internet could be an uphill battle. However if you are selling these to a small group of people for a little extra cash, such as your church group they could sell very well.

The Integris Business Owners (IBO) Kit is only $29.95 to get started, so the investment to get going is very minimal if you wanted to get your feet wet here and test the waters. This start-up kit includes the Policies and Procedures Manual, the IBO Application, and details regarding the Integris Marketing and Compensation Plan. They also include retail receipts and quite a bit more goodies. Based on the time this company was registered its domain, and the fact that we haven’t seen any complaints and their low start-up cost, I would definitely say this company is legitimate and doesn’t raise any red flags with us.

Christian Nutrition For Weight Loss and Genuine Health

Over the years I have met many incredible people who have dedicated their lives to serving God. Unfortunately, I have also noticed that some of them abuse their bodies and their health until they become run-down and diseased. I know this may sound harsh, but I believe this type of self-abusive behavior is a slap in God’s face, and I think for true change to occur it’s critical that our leaders set a good example in this area. According to Henry Brinton in an article in the USA today, He said:

“The clergy are among the worst role models when it comes to physical fitness. A 2001 national survey of more than 3,000 religious leaders, conducted by the Pulpit and Pew project at Duke Divinity School, found that 76% of Christian clergy are either overweight or obese (compared with 61% of the general population). Treatments of back problems and high blood pressure have been the top claims paid by the Southern Baptist Convention’s health insurance program in recent years – ailments often resulting from obesity or a sedentary lifestyle.”

Our bodies are one of the greatest gifts God has given us and out of respect for that gift we owe it to Him to take care of ourselves. How can we consider ourselves good and faithful stewards if we do not take care of the property God gave us? How would you feel if you made an expensive gift for someone you loved and they destroyed it? I’m sure you would be hurt, and feel they took your hard work and generosity for granted. How do you think God feels when we do not take care of the body He gave us? Take a moment to look at this situation from another angle, think about how you would feel if you had a son or a daughter who was suffering intensely because of their weight problem. Those who do know this personally can attest to the pain. Wouldn’t it be painful to watch your child struggle? Wouldn’t it be difficult to watch them miss out on many joyful things in life? Understand that this is how God feels when He watches us struggle with the bad health we may have created for ourselves or are suffering from. This isn’t the plan God has for you. In the Bible God clearly expresses how we should view and treat our bodies.

In 1st Corinthians 6:19 – 20 (NIV), it says: Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own: you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.

Honor God with your body! How many of us have ever thought that way? I don’t think many of us have. Maybe if we cannot lose weight to honor ourselves, perhaps we can do it to honor our Creator. It’s natural to have the mind-set to lose weight so you will look good for your girlfriend, your husband, or for the people at your class reunion. But I ask you, why not for God? Why can’t we show Him our gratitude by taking care of what He gave us? How did this way of thinking become lost? It’s not okay to let your health decline so that your joy is stolen. It’s not okay to let your body become rundown and filled with disease. It’s not okay to miss out on all the plans God has for you in this life. It’s just not! We need to shift our mindset and begin honoring God by taking care of our bodies, instead of allowing them to become run-down, dysfunctional and diseased.