Saturday, September 20, 2008

Take Charge of Your Health Care Carnival September 20, 2008

Welcome to the September 20, 2008 edition of take charge of your health care. It is now the start of the Fall season and Back-to-School. This is always a busy time of the year, but be sure to follow good health guidelines to make sure that you are ready for this busy season.

I am really impressed with the quality of the articles that have been submitted this month. Welcome also to the new authors submitting articles to Take Charge of Your Health Blog Carnival.

Alternative Medicine

GrrlScientist presents The Bi Polar Puzzle posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, "This is a summary of Jennifer Egan's piece that will be published tomorrow in the NY Times Magazine. The article focuses on three main questions; whether bipolar disorder exists in children, what it looks like and whether children with undiagnosed/untreated bipolar disorder will grow up to be bipolar adults. I've summarized it here, along with a few of my own comments, for those of you who cannot access it."

Joel Gray presents Herbal Cancer Treatments A Boost To Your Cancer Fighting System posted at Health Tips 101, saying, Cancer is a dreaded diagnosis, but not the deadly one that it used to be. Today, alternative methods of alleviating the ravaging symptoms of a disease that was once always a fatal diagnosis are available at varied places around the world. There are many Holistic Medical Practitioners who believe that there are herbs and roots that will assist in removing cancerous cells from the body.

Piotr Stepien presents Try It On Everything - EFT movie review posted at we overstep, saying, "There is a little technique that can heal almost everything."
Dean Moyer presents
Microdiscectomy and Herniated Discs posted at The Back Pain Blog, saying, "Back pain goes back to class where we learn what really causes herniated discs. This is part four in the series on herniated discs and covers the two main causes of bulging and ruptured discs. We then examine some useful tips your family can use in planning a rehabilitation program."

Consumer Driven Health Care

Stephen presents Are You a Victim of the Great Cholesterol Con? posted at Balanced Existence, saying, "The state of affairs has reached a rather horrifying place. Recently cholesterol-lowering drugs in the United States have been urged for children with heart risks. This comes off the back of the release of a study showing that certain cholesterol lowering drugs are ineffective. The results of the study represented a big hit to the bottom line of large pharmaceutical companies. The subsequent response by the pharmaceutical companies was to go after a new market. Your children."

Kristen McCarthy presents Menstrual Suppression is the New White posted at, saying, "This season menstrual suppression is the new white. Designer oral contraceptives like Seasonale are the latest in cute pink pills to target the Western woman. No more mood swings, cramps, or unexpected whoopsies during your weekend getaways."

Janelle Fisher presents This is going to get brutal… posted at Not Gently. Editor’s note: This is a must read if you suffer from PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome.

Alvaro Fernandez presents Your Brain At Work, by the Dana Alliance and the Conference Board posted at SharpBrains, saying, "Simple, practical strategies for incorporating brain-friendly practices into day-to-day life."

Raymond presents My Experience With Lasik Eye Surgery - Thoughts About Laser Vision Correction - Is It Worth The Cost and Risks? posted at Money Blue Book. Editor’s note: Very informative post about Lasik eye surgery. This is certainly a viable and safe alternative for people who want freedom from contact lenses and thick eyeglasses.

Dental Care

Helene Zemel presents Get Started for $25 with the AmeriPlan Opportunity posted at Work at Home Mom and Dad, saying, "If you have ever dreamed of owning your own healthcare company, now you can start your own business as a benefits consultant with a 16 year old company for just $25.00."

Aparna presents Benefits of chewing gum posted at Beauty and Personality Grooming. Editor’s note: Who would have thought? Chewing gum can have health benefits.

ChristianPF presents How to make natural toothpaste posted at Money in the Bible Christian Personal Finance Blog, saying, "I never knew how easy and cheap it was to make your own!!"

Health Insurance and Save Money on Health Care

Helene Zemel presents Big Brother Is Watching Your Health Care posted at Health Plans Plus, saying, "Health insurance companies are increasingly making use of prescription use databases in an effort to exclude people from health insurance. This blog post explains why you should be concerned about this invasion of your health care privacy."

NAOMI presents OAPS RULE IN BRITAIN posted at Diary From England. Editor’s note: The author makes the comment that the health care system should serve all of the people regardless of age or condition.

Jose DeJesus MD presents Medicare Pilot Personal Health Record Program posted at Physician Entrepreneur, saying, "A pilot Personal Health Record (PHR) program will be rolled out next year in Arizona and Utah for Medicare patients."

fightingfatigue presents » Economic Impact of CFS posted at Fighting Fatigue, reporting that, “A study was published in Dynamic Medicine in April revealing that CFS imposes a substantial economic burden on the United States”.

Diet & Fitness

Sandra Ahten presents The Reasonable Diet posted at Sandra Ahten, saying, "Learn How can we make healthier dieting and weight control a source of pleasure instead of duty? How can we, as Thoreau suggests, take it upon ourselves and bring happiness to this area of our lives?"

Kelly Sonora presents Measured Success: 50 Online Fitness and Nutrition Calculators posted at Nursing Colleges & Training Schools, saying, “Whether you are trying to lose weight or just want to improve your overall health and fitness, there are plenty of online calculators that can help you achieve your goals. Find tools to assist with packing the most nutritious lunch, creating a overall health picture, eating the healthiest fast food, creating a great running plan, or telling you how strong a swimmer you are.”

Neelakantha presents 100 Killer Free eBooks to Improve Your Health, Wealth and Happiness posted at Nursing School Search Blog. Editor’s note: The author has presented an excellent list of free e-books to help you with your health, wealth, and well being.

Joshua Seth presents Paul McKenna Owes Courtney Love An Apology posted at Joshua Seth Blog, saying, "Yes, it is possible to lose too much weight. There is such a thing as a healthy range. And unfortunately singer Courtney Love seems to have taken weight loss hypnosis a bit too far."

James J. Gormley presents So what's the big (low-fat) deal? posted at The Gormley Files, saying, "James Gormley gives us the skinny on fat."
Stephen presents
The Best Diet for You posted at Balanced Existence, saying, "There are thousands upon thousands of books on the subject of diet. Browse through the internet and there is a staggering array of conflicting advice. This plethora of information has lead to confusion and frustration for those seeking the path to physical health and wellbeing. To make matters worse it has been shown that those who diet and fail regain more weight then they actually lost. The effect on health of a wildly fluctuating body weight and dietary intake is not good to say the least. Can there possibly be a solution to this problem that is plaguing so many?"

Chris presents How Fast Can You Lose Fat ? posted at, saying, "Alwyn Cosgrove, M.S., C.S.C.S. is a nationally renown fat loss expert whose work has appeared in magazines such as Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Men's Journal, Self, Oxygen, and Muscle & Fitness HERS. His Warp Speed Fat Loss system is a complete Done-for-You A-Z Fat Loss Blueprint that gives you exactly everything you need to eat and exactly what to do for exercise to lose weight in record time."

Piotr Stepien presents Raw Vegan Food posted at we overstep, saying, "What seemed to be an extreme diet is easier and more efficient than a regular diet."
Leeman presents
3 Great Life Philosophies to Remove Sadness and Anxiety posted at Be Happy, saying, "Use great life philosophies to remove sadness and anxiety in daily life, and to work and live happily"

Silicon Valley Blogger presents 12 Cheap Ways To Keep Fit And Stay Healthy posted at The Digerati Life. Editor’s note: These 12 health tips should be helpful to readers.

Alex Smith presents Jiu Jitsu as Self Defense posted at TBO-TECH, saying, “jiu jitsu is not only a way to get in shape, but it’s also a fun way of learning self-defense.”

Alex Smith presents Self-Defense Courses or Lessons posted at TBO-TECH, saying, “Many types of self-defense courses are offered today, designed to teach people of all shapes and sizes to defend themselves properly. All you need to do is find one that appeals to you and fits your schedule.”

Miscellaneous presents Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Bangalore: Part 1: Ancient Watch Tower and Organic Cultivation posted at Editor’s note: The author shares some beautiful photographs of this fascinating place as well as some recipes for organic horticulture.

Sarah Scrafford presents Consumer Beware: Online Education Scams and the U.S. Government?s Recommendations posted at Online Editor’s note: This article gives some good advice on how to tell whether an online college is accredited or a scam. A must read if you are considering an online college degree.

WordPress Hacker presents Auto Create Navigation Tabs for New WordPress Pages posted at WordPress Hacker, saying, "In this article I explain how you can setup your blog to automatically create main navigation links/tabs when new pages are published by using custom fields to mark those pages you want to appear in the navigation menu."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of take charge of your health care using our
carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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take charge of your health care, blog carnival.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Big Brother Is Watching Your Health Care

We all know that the big insurance companies are in the business solely to make a profit. They are not in the business to help people access and receive quality, affordable health care. At times it seems that the insurance companies don’t want to insure people who need it the most, but only those individuals that will use health care services the least.

We already know that if you have had a serious illness such as cancer or heart disease, even if successfully treated, you will find it nearly impossible to purchase health insurance if you are either self employed or are uninsured because you work for a small company which cannot afford the constantly rising health insurance premiums. This elimination of people with health risks from the pool of insured patients extends even to people with easily treatable chronic illnesses such as asthma, hypertension, diabetes, or mental illness. People have even been turned down for excess weight or prescription drug use. Eliminating these people from the ranks of the insured helps insurance companies make huge profits each year but unfortunately at the expense of the American consumer. There are now over 47 million people in the United States with no health insurance, and many others are underinsured.

I recently read an article, in the Washington Post by Ellen Nakashima entitled Prescription Data Used to Assess Consumers, which explained how in an effort to weed out people who may have had a serious illness or have a chronic health condition, health insurance companies collect and analyze personal health information on consumers through such companies as Ingenix, Milliman Intelliscript, and others. These companies maintain large prescription use databases and provide health insurance companies with consumer drug profiles. Traditionally the health insurance industry has gathered this information from doctors' offices, but with the advent of computer databases, health insurance companies are now gathering information from prescription drug records and clinical and pathological laboratories. You as a healthcare consumer are usually unaware that this is going on. It is certainly an invasion of your privacy. Consumers should find this very frightening.

As Joy Pritts, a research professor at Georgetown University’s Health Policy states: “As health care moves into the digital age, there are more and more companies holding vast amounts of patient’s health information. Most people don’t even know these organizations exist. Unfortunately the Federal health privacy rule does not cover many of them.”

These companies mine the huge prescription history databases kept by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Every time that you have a prescription filled using your insurance card; this information goes into the PBMs database. Consumers are assigned a “pharmacy risk score” with the highest scores being assigned to AIDS and cancer medications.

While Congress did pass the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996, whose purpose is to protect the confidentiality of patient health records, unfortunately, according to the article, companies like Ingenix and Milliman are not regulated by the HIPAA act. There is concern that this breach in the confidentiality of patient prescription data will be extended to other types of patient electronic medical data as well. Before long, people will not only be turned down for health and life insurance but for employment as well. This is surely a case of “big brother” overseeing your most intimate health records. There have been calls for further legislation on health privacy issues, so do let your local and Federal officials know where you stand on the issue.

If you find yourself uninsured or underinsured due to a pre-existing condition or a past serious illness, a
discount health plan is an affordable alternative. With discounts on doctor visits, laboratory tests, imaging studies, and more, these plans can help you save money on your healthcare needs. Many discount health plans offer a hospital advocacy program which will not only slash the cost of your hospital, but will also work out an affordable payment plan which will help you avoid a bankruptcy due to high medical costs. For more information on discount health plans visit: