The Healthcare Standard

15 Top Tips To Help With Quitting Smoking and Drinking This Stoptober

Today is October 1 and the start of two different abstinence campaigns

Stoptober is urging smokers to give up for the month.

Meanwhile, Macmillan Cancer Support’s Go Sober for October is asking drinkers to go dry and raise funds for the charity while they’re at it. Last year, more than 65,000 people took part, raising £4.4million.

Expect regular social media updates from the brave souls who have signed up as they track how much money they have saved, weight they have lost and how glowy their skin looks.

The medical evidence for giving up both smoking and drinking is rock solid. Alcohol is directly linked to seven forms of cancer and smoking kills about 10,000 people in Scotland each year.


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The Healthcare Standard

Health Insurance Is Confusing but Critical to Understand

My wife and I are fortunate to have health insurance, which pays for some of our medical bills, but not all of them.

My eyes glaze over when I hear words like deductibles and copays. I don’t understand insurance, and I don’t really want to. Jill has always taken care of our family’s medical bills. She has a background in healthcare and insurance, so it is easier for her to understand and deal with it. I’ll hand her an envelope from a doctor’s visit and oftentimes it will be “magically” taken care of.

I am finding out that healthcare is more than just paying bills. My first lesson came when our daughter started a new job and was thus covered by her own insurance policy. Jill showed me how much we would save by removing her and switching to individual plans. I never realized how much money we were paying for a family plan.

My second lesson came when our daughter was still on our insurance plan and we received a bill for her. Jill always asks for billing insurance codes to make sure they match the services that were given. The billing codes indicate what the services were for and allow the insurance company to make payments. Sometimes the billing codes are incorrect, which costs a significant amount of money. I don’t have a background in insurance, so I told Jill I couldn’t learn to navigate the codes, but she said I wouldn’t have to: All it takes is a quick internet search to find the codes.


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The Healthcare Standard

Fairview Hospital donating Stop the Bleed kits to Lakewood, Fairview Park and Olmsted Falls school buildings

FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio — The national initiative to put Stop the Bleed kits in all school buildings came out of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Doing its part regionally is Fairview Hospital, which using a $26,000 Community West Foundation grant recently purchased 62 kit to be donated to Lakewood, Fairview Park and Olmsted Falls school districts. A ceremony commemorating the donation is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at Fairview Hospital.

“We’ve always partnered closely with local EMS services in our west region suburbs,” Fairview Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Timothy Barnett said. “A few months ago we talked to them about how we can help them further. What came out of this was a discussion about Stop the Bleed kits, which haven’t gained traction in every local community.

“After the 2012 shooting, where 20 students and teachers died, it was recognized a lot of those lives could have been saved if there were local efforts available to stop the bleeding.”

Stop the Bleed is a national program intended to empower people to help in a bleeding emergency before professionals arrive. The kits feature items to help stop hemorrhages, including a tourniquet, bandages and gauze and trauma scissors.


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The Healthcare Standard

How to Wait Out a Blue Mood

Studies done at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that acknowledging a blue mood — and not berating yourself for it — can help you work through it more easily.

It turns out that accepting negative emotions is better for your long-term mental health than constantly passing judgment on yourself, which can cause your feelings of negativity to snowball.

Putting pressure on yourself to feel upbeat can make you feel even more downbeat, according to the research. It turns out that the people who let feelings like sadness, disappointment and even resentment run their course had fewer mood disorder symptoms than people who judged themselves for having them or who tried to bury them. Accepting negative emotions seems to help you better cope with your stressors.

There’s one important caveat, however. While it helps to acknowledge the normalness of negative emotions and not think you can — or need — to feel happy 24/7, it’s also important not to ignore a persistent and deep blue mood, and other signs that could signal depression.


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The Healthcare Standard

Federal Government Must Address Youth Homelessness As Public Health Problem: Chapin Hall

To end youth homelessness, the federal government must go beyond a crisis response to the problem and take a comprehensive approach that addresses its underlying causes and supports long-term housing stability.

That’s the conclusion of a new report released today by Chapin Hall, an independent research center at the University of Chicago that studies youth homelessness and other issues related to children and families.

“A public health approach is critical to ensuring we are addressing current needs and preventing future experiences of youth homelessness,” the report says.

Though targeted at the federal government, the report is also intended as a guide for state and local officials, funders, advocates and activists.

“It’s a road map for action,” said Matthew Morton, a research fellow at Chapin Hall. “We know that ending youth homelessness is not something the federal government can do alone.”

The report lays out 63 steps the federal legislative and executive branches can take to make youth homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring. The recommendations are aimed at Congress and federal agencies, including the U.S. departments of Education, Labor, Justice, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services.


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The Healthcare Standard

Amerigroup Expands Benefits in 2020 Medicare Advantage Plans to Address Whole-Person Health

NASHVILLE, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Amerigroup in Tennessee announced today enhancements to its wellness services offered in many of the company’s 2020 Medicare Advantage plans. As part of its commitment to helping consumers improve their health and well-being, Amerigroup is giving its members the option of 10 wellness services to choose from – adding four new services compared to its 2019 health plans: nutritional support, a fitness device and member engagement programs, service animal support, and pest control. Amerigroup recognizes that these types of social and support services can be drivers of good health, are important to Medicare-eligible consumers, and can be key factors when individuals make enrollment choices in this year’s Medicare annual election period.

“When we looked at the underlying medical, behavioral, and environmental obstacles our members face, we designed an expanded menu of wellness services”


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The Healthcare Standard

The Biotech Scorecard For Q4: 13 Stock-Moving Events to Watch

STAT Plus is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.


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