Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Health of the Millennia Generation

The millennia generation is composed of young adults born between the years of 1980-2000.  There are some alarming health statistics that will certainly raise a few eyebrows about this seemingly young healthy generation of people.  The world we live in today is fast paced to say the least.  People are glued to their smart phones, slugging caffeine, working long hours, and sacrificing their time in order to pay down outrageous student loans in tough job market.  Leaving little time for exercise and proper dieting.

The obesity rate for the millennia generation is alarming to say the least.  If you think about the up-bringing for this generation it shouldn't come as a surprise.  Fast food was second nature, kids know how to use a smart phone at about the same time they learn to walk and everything has been made so simple we can rent movies without leaving the couch.  Another issue contributing to obesity and other illnesses is stress. Stress causes and/or complicates 90% of all diseases.  This generation certainly has the right to be stressed out. More and more adolescents are attending college or some sort of higher education just to get their ticket to the middle class. Upon graduation they find themselves frantically looking for anyone that will hire them so they can pay down an average of $43,000 in debt. This being said this will be the first generation with a shorter life span than their parents (SCARY).

60% of millennials voted for Barrack Obama but the majority of them will not be able to afford health coverage under the ACA.  Hopefully they will be able to remain on their parents plan until the age of 26.  So this leaves us with one of the most unhealthy groups of people that won't be able to afford to take care of themselves.  If this continues the cost of care will only go up, the main cause contributing to the cost of healthcare is the amount of people that get sick. If people would make their health a top priority the cost of healthcare would decrease tremendously.

So how does primary care tie into this? Your primary care doctor is someone that can advise you on what to do to keep yourself healthy. They can recommend certain diets and exercises and tell you what to stay away from. The Doc can only inform people how to keep themselves healthy but it's up to you to make it happen. Lets strive to be healthy!

EVERA. Everyone should feel this good about healthcare.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The ACA's Definition of Success

Any judgement passed on whether or not the ACA is working or not up to this point would be speculation.  The numbers we have are estimations at best and we have no way of knowing the specifics.  Who actually paid their premium? Who already had coverage? Will states that accepted federal money to expand medicaid be able to withstand the financial burden placed on them in the future? With all these variables how can someone confidently say "This thing is working" or vise versa. Every time a mistake is made with the roll out or promises are broken regarding procedure a new, lower benchmark of success is created.

This is a terrible way to think let alone roll out a new healthcare law. Imagine if every time you set a goal for yourself you saw yourself not being able to reach that goal. You set an easier goal and surpassed it is that success? NO not even close. I understand we need to be realistic in setting goals. The saying goes "shoot for the stars you'll reach moon" not shoot yourself in the foot repeatedly before you start a 5k.

We will have a much better understanding of how this law is shaping up in June once insurance companies report their 2nd quarter earnings. At least then we will will be able to compare the number of "Sign-Ups" to the number of people who are actually insured in the United States.

EVERA. Everyone should feel this good about healthcare.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Switching Lanes

I am the type of person that doesn't like to sit idling and I'm always looking for my next project or improvement. So I'm introducing you to my "how to keep yourself healthy" portion of the Evera Health Blog. Evera Health is more than just a company that offers and excellent service to its customers. We also try our best to aid in healthcare reform as well as the overall health of our people. So every so often when I get bored of bashing the ACA and helping my readers depict between facts and propaganda. I will also throw a little something in there that will help you feel better and be healthier.

My first discussion actually relates to a personal experience of mine. Growing up for the most part I worked jobs that required me to be on my feet and constantly moving around. I was a short order chef, caddy, I've done some landscaping so moving around was not a rarity. Once I began working for Evera Health it was a big switch for me. I actually prefer working from a desk because allows me to use my physical energy on things other than work. It is important to be aware of a change like this especially if you do not exercise regularly.

So whenever you experience a change in your life, think about how it can effect your health!

Here are 6 Tips to remain health whilst working from your desk

EVERA. Everyone should feel this good about healthcare.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Here's why Republican Governors are refusing free money.

Because it's not free! Nothing is ever free if you don't know that by now you need to start opening your eyes. So just to bring you up to speed if you don't continuously read my blog (which you should) I recently wrote a piece about the Presidents press conference last week. His closing comments on the ACA were trying to guilt republican governors into taking money from the federal government to expand medicaid. At first glance you may be outraged that republican governors would deny coverage to millions of Americans. Here's the breakdown, there is this formula called FMAP Federal Medical Assistance Percentage. The Federal Government traditionally spends $57 for every $43 the State spends on medicaid. The expansion will be funded 100% by the Fed for the first 3 years. Which is great today and maybe next year or 3 but by the time 2020 rolls around the Federal Government only plans to fund 90% of states medicaid expansion expenses. Not to mention the Fed's are under a lot of pressure to decrease their budget so who knows if they will even be able to cover that much of the cost.

Thats not the only problem with Medicaid. Prior to Obamacare there were many people that were eligible to sign up for medicaid and never took the time to. In the past you would need to schedule a meeting in person, show many forms of ID and the process was a pain. Now the sign up is fast and simple, you don't need to be there in person and they are expanding the service to more people. The Fed will cover the cost of expansion for the first three years. After that the states will be more and more on their own to cover costs associated with the Medicaid expansion. Making the sign-up faster and easier is a good thing but, it brings us to our next problem.

To put the icing on the cake here we have the "Woodward effect". Anyone that was previously eligible for medicaid prior to the expansion will NOT receive the 90-100% government funding. They will receive the traditional FMAP 57-43 ratio. There are some states that have less than 50% of the people eligible for for Medicaid signed up. Florida & Texas being 2 of them, there is no way States would be able to finance this increase in the participation of Medicaid.

So now everyone can stop thinking the Republican governors are refusing government funding out of "Political Spite". They are refusing money because the President has yet to come up with a solution that will be affordable and not force the states to burden its people with heavy taxes to balance these costs.

"If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free"
-P.J. O'Rourke

EVERA. Everyone should feel this good about healthcare.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Breakdown of Obama's Press Confrence

The President one of three things. He is either too afraid to admit that his law is tanking, consumed in his own lies to the point where he believes they are true, or the ACA is actually working.  I have very little confidence in it being the latter. He is certainly not afraid to make claims that Obamacare is working. He stated that 8 million people have now signed up through healthcare marketplaces. Exceeding the estimated total of 7 million. However the amount of people under the age of is less than forecasted at 35% compared to 40%. (Not a surprise)

"Now covering more people at less cost than most would have predicted a few months ago" This quote from the president I find to be quite humorous. Of those 8 million sign-ups 5 million of them were completely content with their current health insurance plans and were forced to buy more expensive coverage with less option pertinent to providers. So even though it's "less than most would have predicted" it's still more?

Another thing the president said that raised my eyebrows is that half the states are refusing to take money from the Federal Government that would give millions of people access to healthcare through medicaid. He believes it is out of political spite. That is an asinine comment, you suspect republican governors are denying millions of people coverage because of political spite? No way, maybe its because they have strong reason to believe this is not the direction the healthcare industry needs to be pushed in order to prosper. People don't turn down free money that could be used to help millions of people out of political spite.

EVERA. Everyone should feel this good about healthcare.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why We believe Evera Will Be Great

Paying for your regular doctor visits with a monthly subscription to a provider may seem like a new way off receiving care. I assure you that we are not the first company to do something like this! There have been several companies that have been successful offering a service like ours. Some chain Direct Primary Care companies as well as individual practices have found this method of care to be more effective and profitable. Not only does this model work better for doctors but it works better for the patient as well. Patients are receiving more time with their doctors because their facilities are less flooded with patients. They will not skip a check-up or visit because of added cost and they can also receive information from their doctor by phone or email. The process of paying a monthly subscription for your normal doctor visits is beneficial to Doctors, Patients, and Insurance companies. It cuts out a tremendous amount of administrative work, keeps patients healthy, and improves quality of care. All of which lower the total amount of healthcare costs. It's amazing to me that this model hasn't become the staple of primary care. That's why we're here, to reshape the industry.

EVERA. Everyone should feel this good about healthcare.

The article that backs my opinion can be found here

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Good "Somewhat" True News About the Healthcare Industry

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the ACA will decrease the expected cost of care over the next ten years from 1.2 trillion to 1 trillion. The reasoning behind this speculation is due to tighter regulations on insurance companies and the plans that they offer on the federal exchange website. Providers will be paid less and the treatment options are more limited for patients. So the cost cutting tactic is basically hurting providers and patients instead of reforming the system. Not very impressive...

However it is still a positive for the ACA because it is combating the most important issue it's facing (COST). Lets see if the can come up with something in future that cuts costs that doesn't effect the quality of care, then we can give them a round of applause.

EVERA. Everyone should feel this good about healthcare.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

You've Got To Spend Money To Save Money

Ever hear the saying "I never go to hospitals, that's where all the sick people are"?  I'm sure you have, a seemingly obvious saying that holds a tremendous amount of value. 1 in every 25 inpatients contract an infection from a hospital that is resistant to 1 or more of the antibiotics that are designed to combat these illnesses. The costs related directly and indirectly range between 96-147 billion nationwide. More importantly 23,000 people die each year due to these infections. Currently you will find plenty of antibacterial stations located strategically in most hospitals but leaving hygiene up to doctors and patients is simply not enough. Studies show that healthcare providers adhere to the national guidelines for hand hygiene less than 50% of the time. So how do we change this?

We leave less to chance. We change the physical surfaces within healthcare offices to something called antimicrobial copper. I know what your thinking, sounds ugly and expensive but hear me out. This material has the ability to kill bacteria associated with MRSA and e-coli along with many other illness causing germs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that copper has the ability to kill 99.9% of germs within 2 hours.

The costs that go along with the replacement of railings, chairs, doorknobs, etc. range between 7-14 thousand per room.  No healthcare provider in there right mind would be willing to invest this much in refurnishing if there was no expected return. Luckily there is, based on a modest 20% reduction in infections ( compared to the 60% reduction that was demonstrated in clinical trials) these changes paid for themselves in 1 year!

Which brings us to our last issue, it's still ugly. I seem to have an answer for everything today, I like when that happens. This material is currently produced in colors red, yellow, silver, and grey. So these structures can be changed and look very similar to their previous counterparts.  Copper has been know to tarnish overtime, but with the correct alloy mixture the tarnishing effect is depleted. After installing these materials a hospital will be looking better than ever while keeping people healthy and saving a significant amount of money over time.

So everything I've written so far shows there is nothing stopping healthcare provider from making this switch. There is one small problem. Copper products made for hospitals are in low supply. One of the larger companies that have launched a product line for healthcare providers is Ingersroll Rand. I don't see this shortage of supplies being an issue for very long simply because of the way our economy works. If a lot of people need something people will start creating it. This is a great way to lower overall cost of care across the board. I foresee providers making this switch rapidly with all the pressure from the people to make care more affordable.

Evera. Everyone should feel this good about healthcare.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Reading Between the Lines

So I woke up to an email sitting in my inbox titled "9.3 Million New Insureds" The article was published in the LA Times also known as the Less Accurate Times.  They have a reputation of being VERY liberal and donating to the Democratic party. That being said, the numbers provided by Rand Corp. are said to be a ball park estimates and could ACTUALLY be 5 MILLION off in either direction. The article goes on to boast about how almost all of the new insureds are a direct result of Obamacare or the ACA. If you only scratch the surface and believe everything you read without question that might seem totally legitimate. In reality it's not. One measurement that has a direct effect on the number of people that are insured in this country is Unemployment. Unemployment has dropped across the board since last year and 8.2 MILLION people are now insured under their employers that previously were not. So the growing numbered of insured people looks great for the ACA and they are using as propaganda to get the American people to buy into it.

Evera. Everyone should feel this good about healthcare.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

World Health Day

Today we celebrate the formation of the World Health Organization.  Since 1948 the “WHO” has been a huge advocate in educating people about common and not so common health issues effecting people around the world.  Every year the WHO focuses on a different issue and this year they decided to spread awareness of “Big threats from small bites”.  Vector-Borne diseases to be exact. Vecotr-Borne diseases consist of infections transmitted to humans and animals by blood feeding arthropods such as mosquitos, ticks, and fleas.  These illnesses hit the poorest populations the hardest.  When people don't have access to adequate housing, clean drinking water, and the ability to keep themselves clean they have a much higher chance of contracting one of these diseases.  People that are malnourished are especially susceptible to these sicknesses.  More than 1 BILLION people are diagnosed with these diseases each year while 1 MILLION people die from them!  This may or may not seem to be a huge number in respect to the global population of over 7 billion.  I think the reason behind the World Health Organization choosing this as a topic of focus is because it is something that is growing not only in the number of infections per year but the number of locations these deceases flourish in as well. The WHO believes that these diseases can easily be entirely prevented. The video below gives us guidance about the simple things we can do to protect ourselves from some of these horrible sicknesses.

This being said Dengue Fever (Transmitted by a mosquito) is  the fastest growing Vector- Born disease in the world. It’s found in over 100 countries and cases have even  been discovered in the state of Florida. Lymphatic filariasis, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis and malaria are some of the major diseases the WHO is trying to spread awareness of. These diseases effect everyone and it’s important that we all do ourselves the favor to follow the simple steps to avoid these terrible diseases and enjoy life in a healthy fashion. Good health is something many people take for granted until they don’t have it. Cherish it and do everything in your power to keep it.

Evera. Everyone should feel this good about healthcare.

Friday, April 4, 2014

So You Missed The Deadline

     If there is one thing I know about Americans, it's that they don't like being told what to do.  They especially don't like being told how to spend their money.  Just incase you live under a rock the deadline to sign up for health insurance in the federal health insurance marketplace was March 31st.  If you happen to be one of those people, don't worry not all the news is bad ( and if you did sign-up, keep reading you might learn something).  Sure you'll have to pay a fine of $95 or 1% of adjusted gross income and you won't receive government subsidies ( What you probably don't know about them ). You still have multiple options to seek out.  Theres always the option of private insurance which could end up being a less expensive option than anything you would find on the federal exchange.

     The really good news is that you since you have to pay the fine anyway, there is more flexibility in respect to the coverage you can purchase.  You may want to seek out options such as pairing a high deductible low premium insurance with a direct primary care subscription.  This way you can ring fence your out of pocket costs by allowing yourself to see a doctor and receive treatment at no extra cost.  Doing so may actually be more effective and may save you more including the "tax" for not signing up on time or being compliant.  This is an especially good option for younger people who are generally healthy. 

    The option above is currently not ACA approved.  However, the idea of decoupling primary care and catastrophic coverage is the future of health care ( in my opinion ). 90% of all doctor visits are primary care.  Everyone that has insurance and pays a copay while the insurance company picks up the rest of the tab (as they should) adds administrative overhead to both insurance companies and doctors, raising the cost of care!  Having a subscription for for primary care eliminates a substantial amount of that cost. Allowing for treatment to cost less and the physician to spend more time with patients. Not to mention people will be less likely to blow off a doctor visit because they're "not that sick" and receive treatment earlier preventing further complications (Also reducing health care costs).

So I successfully shifted this post from "oh man I missed the deadline" to " wow this guy has a point" maybe?

Evera. Everyone should feel this good about they're healthcare.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Victory Speech? Really?

Maybe I am a tough critic, or maybe I can untangle and see through the words that come out of the presidents mouth about ObamaCare.  A victory speech pertinent to the sloppy roll out and launch of the Affordable Care Act?  That doesn't seem fitting, considering that so far 5.9 million people were forced to drop their coverage.  About 4 million signed back up with higher premiums, less choices as far as doctors, and higher deductibles.  All this to allow about 883,000 people who were previously uninsured to obtain coverage.  Doesn't sound like a victory to me.

 Not only was the speech itself surprising to me, but there was one thing he said that REALLY  caught my attention. When he mentioned the republicans tried to repeal the law without offering any plausible alternative.  The republican party has offered the Patients Choice Act as well as the Patients Care Act both of which decrease cost, increase access, and DO NOT depend on the weakest system we have Medicaid.

Health care needs to be fixed.  ObamaCare is not the solution.  For the president to say that the bill is working is scary because he disrupted and taken time and money from 5.9 million people to give health insurance to 883,000 people.  I agree that everyone having health care is important but at what cost to you? or your family?

"If you want to make something unaffordable have the government make it free"- Tom Coburn

Evera.  Everyone should feel this good about their health care.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

More Problems with Obama's Health Care Website

     As if Obama's Affordable Care Act hasn't been carried out slovenly enough.  On the final day Americans are allowed to sign up for health care the site has experienced problems yet again.  I have been following the roll out of this act for quite some time now.  It's embarrassing that the leader of our country that has every resource imaginable and can't build the website that can serve the American people.  Anyway, I do believe that EVERYONE in this country should have access to QUALITY health care.  In order to make that happen changes need to be made in the industry itself. Waste needs to be minimized so people can actually afford it. A good start would be to stop overcharging patients for simple procedures or making progress to change and of these disturbing facts about the health care industry.

Evera. Everyone should feel this good about their health care.