Occupational Health – What Is the BIG Picture of OH?

The rapid development of workplace health protective and preventive services has been driven by government strategies and recommendations, as well as by the European Union legislation in the areas of health and safety at work and by the European Commission programme in public health. This was also largely due to the new demands and expectations from employers, employees and their representative bodies as they recognize the economic, social and health benefits achieved by providing these services at the workplace, thus providing the available knowledge and evidence necessary for the continuous improvement of workplace health management. Comprehensive workplace health management is a process involving all stakeholders inside and outside any business. It aims at empowering them to take control over their own health and their family’s health considering environmental, lifestyle, occupational and social health determinants and quality of health care. It is based on health promotion principles and it creates a great challenge to health, environment and safety professionals providing services, advice, information and education to social partners at work. It involves also taking care of considerable socioeconomic interest of all involved stakeholders. It has been shown in several instances that the business utilizing a well managed research based occupational health service can gain a competitive advantage by:

Protecting human health against health and safety hazards occurring in the work environment.
Promoting human health workplaces for all ages and healthy aging by appropriate work culture, work organization and support to social cohesion.
Promoting mental health, healthy lifestyle and preventing major non-communicable diseases using specific workplace health policies and management tools.
Maintaining work ability thus also employability throughout working life.
Reducing health care costs caused by employees’ and employers’ injuries, diseases, illnesses and premature retirement resulting from or influenced by occupational, environmental, life style and social health determinants
Using resources effectively, protecting the natural environment and creating a health supportive environment.
Improving social communication and literacy on health, environment and ethics.

This article series describes the author’s observations of various roles undertaken by the occupational health nurse. Whilst recognizing the wide variation that exists in occupational health nursing practice between different industrial and blue collar environments this series reflects the standards that have already been achieved where occupational health nursing is at its most advanced. However it has to be recognized that the level of education, professional skills and the exiting national legislation determines what role can be actually undertaken by occupational health nurses. Even more important is to remember that no one professional out of the exiting workplace health professions is now capable to meeting all health needs of the working population. A multi-disciplinary approach is needed to effectively manage the growing workplace health and safety demands in business today.

The workplace health services use the skills of many professionals such as specialist occupational physicians, safety engineers, occupational hygienists, occupational health nurses, ergonomists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, laboratory technicians, psychologists and other specialists. The role and tasks actually performed for the companies by representatives of different health and safety professions vary greatly depending upon legislative needs, scope of the workplace health concept perceived by directors, enforcement practice, the level of their education, position in the occupational health infrastructure, actions undertaken by insurance institutions and many other factors. Occupational health nurses are the largest single group of health professionals involved in delivering health services at the workplace and have the most important role to play in the workplace health management. They are at the frontline in helping to protect and promote the health of the nations working population.

The role of the occupational health nurse in workplace health management is a new and exciting concept that is designed to improve the management of health and health related problems in the workplace. Specialist occupational health nurses can play a major role in protecting and improving the health of the working population as part of this strategy. Occupational health nurses can also make a major contribution to the sustainable development, improved competitiveness, job security and increased profitability of businesses and communities by addressing those factors which are related to the health of the working population. By helping to reduce ill health occupational health nurses can contribute to the increased profitability and performance of organizations and reduce health care costs. Occupational health nurses can also help to reduce the externalization of costs onto the taxpayer, by preventing disability and social exclusion, and by improving rehabilitation services at work. By protecting and promoting the health of the working population, and by promoting social inclusion, occupational health nurses can also make a significant contribution towards building a caring social ethos within the UK. This article provides guidance to employers and employees on establishing workplace health management systems within their own organizations. On how to determine and develop the role and functions of the occupational health nursing specialist within each enterprise and where to go for additional help and advice in relation to occupational health nursing.

Changing nature of working life and the new challenges

The world of work has undergone enormous change in the last hundred years. To a large extent the very heavy, dirty and dangerous industries have gone, and the burden of disease, which came with them, in most European countries, has declined. However, the new working environments and conditions of work that have replaced them have given rise to new and different concerns about the health of the working population. Exposure to physical, chemical, biological and psychosocial risk factors at work are now much more clearly linked to health outcomes in the mind of the general public. Expectations of society in regard to health at work have also changed, with increasing demands for better standards of protection at work and for the improvement of the quality of working life. Employers are also recognizing that health-related issues, such as sickness absence, litigation and compensation costs, increasing insurance premiums, are expensive; ignoring them can lead to serious economic consequences. The best employers’ emphasize the important message that good health is good business, and that much can be achieved in this field simply by introducing good management practices (HSE 1998).

The Need for Workplace Management

There are approximately 400 million people who work in the EU Member States. The majority of whom spend more than one half of their waking life at work. However, fatal accidents at work are still common. The standardized incident rates per 100,000 workers in the European Union (Eurostat 1997) show that the fatal accident rate varies between 1.6 in the UK to 13.9 in Spain, with Austria, Greece, France, Italy and Portugal all above 5.0%. In the entire European region there are approximately 200 to 7500 non-fatal accidents per 100,000 employees per year, of which around 10% are severe leading to over 60 days absence from work, and up to 5%, per year, lead to permanent disability (WHO 1995). It has been estimated that the total cost to society of work related injuries and ill health in the European Union is between 185 billion and 270 billion ECU per year, which represents between 2.6% to 3.8% of Gross National Product (GNP) in member states. The cost of workplace accidents and ill health, in both financial and human terms, remains an enormous, largely unrecognized burden in UK. The majority of those accidents and diseases could have been prevented if appropriate action had been taken at the workplace. Many responsible employers have consistently demonstrated that by paying attention to these issues this type of harm and the subsequent costs can be avoided, to the benefit of everyone concerned. Increasing concern is the growing awareness of occupational stress. Up to 42% of workers in a recent survey complained about the high pace of work. Job insecurity, fear of unemployment, lack of a regular salary and the potential loss of work ability are all additional sources of stress, even for those in employment.

The wide ranging social and health effects of occupational stress on the health of the working population are well documented, for example 23% of workers surveyed claimed that they had been absent from work for work related health reasons in the previous twelve months. The resulting cost of sickness absence in United Kingdom is considered to be substantial. In the UK 177 million working days were lost in 1994 as a result of sickness absence; this has been assessed at over 11 billion in lost productivity. HSE statistics are encouraging given in 2009; only 29.3 million days were lost overall, 24.6 million due to work-related ill health and 4.7 million due to workplace injury. Much of this burden of ill health and the resulting sickness absence is caused, or is made worse by working conditions. Even where ill health is not directly caused by work, but by other non-occupational factors such as smoking, lifestyle, diet etc. Interventions designed to improve the health of the working population, delivered at the workplace, may help to reduce still further the burden of ill health. At present the socioeconomic impact of environmental pollution caused by industrial processes on the working population is uncertain, but it is likely to contribute further to the burden of ill health in some communities.

Which Health Insurance Plan Is Best for Me?

Health insurance has proven itself of great help and financial aid in certain cases when events turn out unexpectedly. In times when you are ill and when your health is in grave jeopardy and when finances seem to be incapable to sustain for your care, health insurance is here to the rescue. A good health insurance plan will definitely make things better for you.

Basically, there are two types of health insurance plans. Your first option is the indemnity plans, which includes the fee-for-services and the second is the managed care plans. The differences between these two include the choice offered by the providers, the amount of bills the policy holder has to pay and the services covered by the policy. As you can always hear there is no ultimate or best plan for anyone.

As you can see, there are some plans which may be way better than the others. Some may be good for you and your family’s health and medical care needs. However, amidst the sweet health insurance plan terms presented, there are always certain drawbacks that you may come to consider. The key is, you will have to wisely weigh the benefits. Especially that not among these plans will pay for all the financial damages associated with your care.

The following are a brief description about the health insurance plans that might be fitting for you and your family’s case.

Indemnity Plans

Flexible Spending Plans – These are the types of health insurance plans that are sponsored when you are working for a company, or any employer. These are the care plans inclusive in your employee benefit package. Some of the specific types of benefits included in this plan are the multiple options pre-tax conversion plan, medical plans plus flexible spending accounts, tax conversion plan, and employer credit cafeteria plans. You can always ask your employer of the benefits included in your health care/insurance plans.

Indemnity Health Plans – This type of health insurance plan allows you to choose your own health care providers. You are given the freedom to go to any doctor, medical institution, or other health care providers for a set monthly premium. The insurance plan will reimburse you and your health care provider according to the services rendered. Depending on the health insurance plan policy, there are those that offers limit on individual expenses, and when that expense is reached, the health insurance will cover for the remaining expenses in full. Sometimes, indemnity health insurance plans impose restrictions on services covered and may require prior authorization for hospital care and other expensive services.

Basic and Essential Health Plans – It provides a limited health insurance benefit at a considerably low insurance cost. In opting for this kind of health insurance plan, it is necessary that one should read the policy description giving special focus on covered services. There are plans which may not cover on some basic treatments, certain medical services such as chemotherapy, maternity care or certain prescriptions. Also, rates vary considerably since unlike other plans, premiums consider age, gender, health status, occupation, geographic location, and community rated.

Health Savings Accounts – You own and control the money in your HSA. This is the recent alternative to the old fashioned health insurance plans. These are savings product designed to offer policy holders different way to pay for their health care. This type of insurance plan allows the individual to pay for the current health expenses and also save for untoward future qualified medical and retiree health costs on a tax-free basis. With this health care plan, you decide on how your money is spent. You make all the decisions without relying on any third party or a health insurer. You decide on which investment will help your money grow. However, if you sign up for an HSA, High Deductible Health Plans are required in adjunct to this type of insurance plan.

High Deductible Health Plans – Also called Catastrophic Health Insurance Coverage. It is an inexpensive health insurance plan which is enabled only after a high deductible is met of at least $1,000 for an individual expense and $2,000 for family-related medical expense.

Managed Care Options

Preferred Provider Organizations – This is charged in a fee-for-service basis. The involved health care providers are paid by the insurer on a negotiated fee and schedule. The cost of services are likely lower if the policy holder chooses an out-of-network provider ad generally required to pay the difference between what the provider charges and what the health insurance plan has to pay.

Point of Service – POS health insurance plans are one of the indemnity type options in which the primary health care providers usually make referrals to other providers within the plan. In the event the doctors make referrals which are out of the plan, that plan pays all or most of the bill. However, if you refer yourself to an outside provider, the service charges may also be covered by the plan but the individual may be required to pay the coinsurance.

Health Maintenance Organizations – It offers access to a network of physicians, health care institutions, health care providers, and a variety of health care facilities. You have the freedom to choose for your personal primary care doctor from a list which may be provided by the HMO and this chosen doctor may coordinate with all the other aspects of your health care. You may speak with your chosen primary doctor for further referrals to a specialist. Generally, you are paying fewer out-of-pocket fees with this type of health insurance plan. However, there are certain instances that you may be often charged of the fees or co-payment for services such as doctor visits or prescriptions.

Government-Sponsored Health Insurance

Indian Health Services – This is part of the Department of Health and Human Services Program offering all American Indians the medical assistance at HIS facilities. Also, HIS helps in paying the cost of the health care services utilized at non-HIS facilities.

Medicaid – This is a federal or s state public assistance program created in the year 1965. These are available for the people who may have insufficient resources to pay for the health care services or for private insurance policies. Medicaid is available in all states. Eligibility levels and coverage benefits may vary though.

Medicare – This is a health care program for people aging 65 and older, with certain disabilities that pays part of the cost associated with hospitalization, surgery, home health care, doctor’s bills, and skilled nursing care.

Military Health Care – This type includes the TRICARE or the CHAMPUS (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services) and CHAMPVA (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affair). The Department of Veterans Affair (VA) may also provide this service.

State Children’s Health Insurance Program – This is available to children whose low-income parents were not able to qualify for the Medicaid.
State-Specific Plans – This type of plan is available for low income uninsured individuals.

There are many different types of insurance plans that you may have the prerogative to know about. By learning which health care insurance fits your situation, you can avail of the many options that will likely be of great assistance to you in times when you will need it most. Insurance costs have typically become one of the common draw backs in choosing for an insurance quote. However, weighing the benefits will really matter. Make sure that you always read the benefits, terms and conditions before landing to whichever type of health insurance you choose.

Florida Senate Candidate Vows to Repeal Florida Health Insurance Reforms

Amid widespread health care reform in Florida and a heated national health care debate, both Republicans and Democrats worry about potential changes to the Florida health care system. Florida Democrats, who are in favor of health care reform efforts, worry that an up-and-coming GOP Senate candidate may pose a serious threat to the quality of the Florida health care system.

Republican Marco Rubio has, until now, not appeared to pose a serious threat to health care reform in Florida. However, as the Republican candidate continues to build support for his nomination to the GOP Senate seat, Democrats are growing increasingly concerned about what Rubio might do if elected to office. Most importantly, Democrats worry that Rubio will repeal Florida health reforms if he is elected.

That’s no wonder; Rubio has said himself that he plans to repeal Florida health insurance reforms if he wins the Senate seat. That repeal, he said, could mean decreasing health costs for Florida residents and improving health care accessibility for all. The Democrats, however, don’t see it the same way, and are calling Rubio “nothing more than a typical politician who is in the hands of the health industry,” said Eric Jotkoff, Florida Democratic Party spokesman.

According to Jotkoff and a press release issued by the Florida Democratic party, if Rubio does indeed have an alliance with Florida insurance companies, as the Democrats suspect, Florida residents will have to pay more for their healthcare than ever before. Moreover, such an alliance would increase the federal budget, reduce health care access, and create financial difficulties for many Florida residents participating in the Medicare program.

“By pledging today to repeal health insurance reforms Marco Rubio not only promised to add to the federal budget deficit and deny Florida’s families access to health care, but Rubio’s repeal would also force senior citizens to continue paying for the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs out of their pockets by re-opening the Medicare Part D donut hole,” said the Florida Democratic Party in a press release issued earlier this month. Rubio’s repeal also means that he wants allow insurance companies to deny coverage when you get sick because of a pre-existing condition.”

As health care costs continue to increase, including the costs of health insurance plans, one of the best things that Florida residents can do to help protect their health and their wallets is to enroll in a health insurance plan now to lock in the monthly premium rates before they increase.

There are many different types of health plans and health providers. In order to find the right health plan for their specific needs, lifestyles, and budgets, Florida residents should consult with a qualified health insurance plan broker who can help compare health insurance plan offerings and rates to find the best one for each individual applicant. For example, Florida residents may be able to receive health insurance plans through their employers in addition to health insurance plans that they qualify for on their own. Even if a Florida resident is able to get a health insurance plan through an employer, he or she may be able to get a better rate on a plan he or she gets independently of the employer.

One of the most popular health options is a Health Savings Account plan, which allows participants to save money into a high-interest yielding savings account that they can earmark to pay for health insurance expenses. With a Health Savings Account, participants will also receive a tax deduction for the funds they deposit into their Health Savings Account and use on qualifying medical expenses. Also, Health Savings Account options come with high deductible health plans that have low monthly premiums, significantly reducing participants’ monthly health care expenses.

Health Care Reform is Not Healthy

Health insurance premiums are driven by the success or failure of actual health recovery maintenance and the costs required to deliver of service. Harris L. Coulter, Ph.D., of Washington, DC, and editor of the 8th edition of the HPUS,is an internationally renowned medical historian and author of over 30 books and essays, which include: THE DIVIDED LEGACY, a four volume epochal history of medicine, which covers its origins to present day.

“Society today is paying a heavy price in disease and death for the monopoly granted the medical profession in the 1920’s. In fact, the situation peculiarly resembles that of the 1830s when physicians relied on bloodletting, mercurial medicines, and quinine, even though knowing them to be intrinsically harmful. And precisely the same arguments were made in defense of these medicines as are employed today, namely, that the benefits outweigh the risks. In truth, the benefits accrue to the physician, while the patient runs the risks.”-Harris Coulter, Ph.D., (Divided Legacy Vol 3)

There is no question we need reform in the areas of disease elimination improvements in Health, better delivery of health care when it is needed and health insurance parity. Personally, am all for reform, but let those reforms ring with the clarity of Truth and illuminate our way through the fog obfuscation.

Overall chemo-therapy and radiation are documented to be an absolute failure in the so-called war against cancer. The long-term survival rate of cancer patients using orthodox therapies remains abysmal and the statistical reportage is obfuscated.

Refer to: New England Journal of Medicine, “Progress Against Cancer,” May 8, 1986 by John C. Bailar, III and Elaine M. Smith, and a ten-year follow-up “The War on Cancer” which appeared in Lancet, May 18th, 1996, by Michael B. Spoorn. Therein is published in leading medical journals, but they remain as the only therapies and pharmaceutical companies enjoy federal mandate.
Stated simply you cannot poison a sick person well.

HEALTH CARE REFORM is a meme used to numb the mind and sway political process but has little or nothing to do with health and certainly is neither, reform in the ways the public perceives, nor what they dearly need.

Merely by changing who and how much they profit for health services is only a small fraction of the underlying problem and ultimately it’s you who pay. Current Congressional debates will not offer true reform of our systemic disease CARE, but strengthen insurance profits and control.

The fruit of the healthcare tree, while certainly abundant, is altogether rotten, because the roots are corrupted by disease. If the Food and Drug Administration which regulates both FOOD and drugs while having far reaching powers that are beyond the Constitution of the United States of America, is powerless to effectuate the genuine change required to modify the so-called health industry.

Nor can the FDA provide the reforms by its far reaching power and control, then how can we expect it to come from mandates from an under educated over lobbied congress?

Give credit where due, the FDA has been effective in causing millions of tones of ground meat and spinach. A little too late perhaps as the FDA has done nothing to stop chemical companies from pouring oceans of deadly toxic, and known carcinogens on our crops.

“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans” ~ Jacques Cousteau

HOW CAN YOU HAVE HEALTH IF WE DON’T HAVE CLEAN WATER AND AIR?

We must stop poisoning our earth with unnecessary toxic chemicals, which leaches out the elements and minerals building blocks of the cells of our bodies, and support and teach the farmers on bio-dynamic farming.

Why is there no respect for and replication of how the Hunzas and several other tribes on earth, wholive to be well over 120, and disease free.

These tribes drink the water which comes off of the slow grinding of the glacier across mountain terrain and gives minute quantities of every element and every mineral. Their cells have
access to all the natural building blocks of life and therefore remain impervious to invasion and disease.

Health and Old Age Places with High Longevity: Hunza Pakistan the area of Hunza in Pakistan which has a high level of longevity. A Guide to Shangri-La: The Leading Longevity Sites on Earth

For Americans and the world at large where the crop land is awash in chemicals the minerals and elements are leached out of the soil and the roots of our food crops are have no way to chelate them so that we can digest them into our bodies.

What follows is a well known symptom called pica, and we are constantly looking for something to eat to satisfy the hunger of the cells and this leads to obesity and disease on a national scale.

There are solutions, but the FOOD administration, has done nothing to listen to, study, implement, nor promote the use of Bio-Dynamic Farming, which is proven to produce greater volumes of crops far healthier and do not poison our water aquifers.

One fairly recent proactive move; the FDA and the FTC have enforced the little known Federal Law under USC Title 21 Part 56, INFORMED CONSENT. This activity is evidenced by the too frequent drug commercials and advertisements. To name one example the anti depressant drug, ABILIFY, is known to cause death and suicide.

To our detriment and demise, the FDA has a tunnel vision partisan perspective and always reactive, rarely proactive when a patient actually dies from using an FDA approved drug, they routinely avoid any blame and state “there is no conclusive evidence to prove it was because of the drug.” No drug company is ever charged with a crime and no executives, nor doctors, are criminally charged for manufacturing, nor for prescribing the drugs.

WHY? Because the drugs are FDA approved so it would mean they are culpable.

However, when a substance derived and used by another Healing Art, i.e. Homeopathy, is found to be highly effective in combating and eliminating a disease such as cancer, or reversing the side effects of AIDS, a stroke, or Cystic Fibrosis, to name a few, the FDA routinely states there is no scientific evidence to support the claims moves swiftly to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

We must continue to strengthen the education of the public on sound fundamentals of health maintenance.

We must allow for access and coverage to all branches of the Healing Arts. This is known as the ECLECTIC. The allopathic cartel are not the arbiters of truth, nor have they proven to be honorable stewards, nor have they provided viable solutions where other forms of healing arts have been successful, in some cases thousands of years.

THE PROBLEM

The problem is that over the past 67 years, a Federal Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, created in 1938 as an agency to ensure that Food, Drugs and Cosmetics moving in interstate commerce, were pure, unadulterated, contained what was stated on the label and safe for human consumption.

Over the years the FDA has undergone a metamorphosis and has become a threat to the civil liberties and public health of Americans, as well as added incredibly to the cost of the products it regulates.

The FDA has a long history of using the resources of the agency to conduct Gestapo type raids on medical clinics, terrorizing patients, staff and practitioners, seizing quantities of vitamins, manuals and harmless natural products, issues completely inaccurate, indeed, deliberately mendacious publicity releases slandering practitioners, nutritional products and innovative drugs and has so far departed from the purposes for which it was created as to become a menace to both the public’s health and their civil liberties.

Under 80 or more years of Allopathic domination, the standardized American health care system is unable to:

(1)Control the resurgence of Tuberculosis in the country;
(2)Control the rising rate of Cancer deaths;
(3)Control the rising rate of coronary artery deaths;
(4)Lower the infant mortality rate;
(5)Find an effective cure for AIDS.

There are available answers to all these deficiencies, but none of them are embraced in Allopathic Doctrine.

The question presented is, if there is any legal control over this vast agency and any way citizens can take legal action to cause the agency to be brought under control and be forced to comport itself in accordance with the intent of Congress in creating it, and the additional question of whether or not citizens who have been harassed by its Ultra Vires activities may sue for damages or other relief.

If such legal action is possible, is such legal action the best, or the sole means which can or should be employed to bring the agency under control.

A further question may be what or who is responsible for the agency getting out of control and what, if anything, can be done to ensure that the agency does not get out of control in the future and once again become a menace to society.

ANALYSIS

The agency in question, the Food and Drug Administration, is an out of control bureaucracy, undertaking to perform some proper regulatory functions but devoting many of its resources to illicit functions not contained in its enabling legislation and not permissible under the constitution.

The agency [which was] directed by Commissioner David Kessler, M.D, JD, who assumed the position after the enforced resignation of Joe Young, PhD, has done little to change its behavior except put on a fresh face from time to time.

An investigation revealed widespread corruption with many officials, taking large bribes, not to mention every member of Congress who are heavily lobbied by industries it was supposed to regulate, and the entire agency was demoralized and ineffective.

The agency has openly and notoriously formed “partnership” with private trade associations and special interest groups for the purpose of aiding and abetting non-price predation in the health care market.

The agency has lawful jurisdiction over some Foods, Drugs and medical devices which are in interstate commerce and has no jurisdiction over the practice of medicine or other healing professions.

Despite this rather clear distinction, the agency repeatedly attempts to interfere with health care practitioners by means of its enforcement powers and by liaison with state regulatory agencies, and by conducting Gestapo type raids on the offices and clinics of health care practitioners who practice in Schools of Practice other than the Allopathic School and by attempting to suppress the use of techniques of healing and of products for use in health care which are not within its regulatory jurisdiction.

Health Care Reform Made Simple

My name is John Ross and I have spent my entire 40 + year career in health care. Specifically, my background and experience is in developing and managing evidence planning, reimbursement applications, and health economics strategies for a number of fortune 500 health care technology businesses. In short, my job was to help the companies that I worked for to understand the health care market place from three important perspectives. The first was to answer the question; “What can we expect to be paid for the medical technologies we are developing and planning to market? The second question; “will the results and/or lower costs associated with the use of these medical technologies justify the payment level we think they deserve? Finally, what product development, marketing and sales strategies do we need to employ to insure that our future medical technologies are quickly accepted by hospitals, physicians, payers and patients? Obviously with such a focus I had to deal with Medicare (health insurance for folks over age 65 and the disabled), Medicaid (state-run insurance programs for the less fortunate) and commercial health insurance companies (the companies that insure and administer employer-based health insurance plans). I also spent a lot of time assessing the needs of physicians, hospitals and large integrated health care delivery networks that purchase and use a wide array of medical technologies.

From a funding standpoint I have seen America’s health care system go from almost “anything goes” to today’s increasing focus on cost and outcomes. Outcomes, is just another way of asking the question; “for the dollars we are spending nationally or on a particular patient’s disease or injury are we getting a good value in return? In other words, is the price of the drug, medical device, procedure, diagnostic or surgical intervention worth the cost in terms of better results and lower costs compared to how we would traditionally manage this patient’s condition?

This blog is a forum for talking “honestly” about:

1. Where health care in America is going?

2. Why it is going there?

3. What can we expect from tomorrow’s health care system compared to what we have become used to?

4. What we can do to the best of our ability to use less of it (think preventive health strategies)?

5. How we should think about and help those unfortunate individuals, young and old, who need more of it than we do?

6. How can we help to make sure those who need health care get access to good health care when they need it?

7. What can we do to increase the chances that state of the art health care will be there when we need it and at a price we can afford?

I will also provide education as to how the health care system works from the various perspectives of the stakeholders. It is vital that we understand these perspectives, what drives them and the many conflicts that exist. Areas to cover will be:

1. What is happening to hospitals and physicians in this changing health care landscape?

2. What is happening to the development of innovative future medical technologies and pharmaceuticals?

3. Where is Medicare policy going with regard to payments to physicians and hospitals and other care settings?

4. What is the future of employer-sponsored health insurance plans?

5. Where is changing with regard to private health care insurance companies?

6. What will happen to patient costs?

7. What can I do to avoid premature, unnecessary or unproven health care interventions?

8. What role will “evidence and data” play in the future in giving us more information from which to make personal or family member health care decisions?

I would like this to be the place that you can visit when you hear politicians or anyone else for that matter promising something from health care that just doesn’t make sense. We all know the feeling we get when we hear an “it’s too good to be true” story. When we hear such fantastic promises, we better check it out and this will be a place where you can do that. So, bring your concerns and questions and I will do my best to help you to check them out!

Have you heard this one; “under my health plan, you need not to worry. Your costs will remain reasonable, you can keep your doctor and you will have access to state of the art health care”. Or, “it is every ones right to access the very best in health care, young and old, rich and poor no matter your ability to pay.” This would be nice but it is simply not reality and it is time that we talk about these things and deal with them with our rose-colored glasses removed. So, no matter what your point of view on this subject I encourage you to visit ask and comment. We need a grass-roots effort aimed at understanding health care and in particular we need to talk about its funding limits and what we can do to assure that those who need it – get it, and at a level of quality and at a manageable cost such that we can afford it as a nation. If we don’t do this it is highly likely that health care as we have known it America will not be available when we face our own or a family members serious and costly illness.

The fundamental flaw in our individual approach to health care is the notion that we have no responsibility for it except to expect it to be there, with no delay, and at state of the art levels of care. And that for the most part it should be paid for by someone else. Most politicians right now are not leveling with us. They don’t want to address the areas that I have addressed even in this my first edition health care blog. Well, I think that we are better than that! I think with the right information we can manage through the changes that are coming. We want to do the right thing but to do so we have to be informed as to how stretched the health care system is and what we can do to unburden this precious resource.

First, we can stretch health care dollars and resources by taking better care of ourselves. The goal is to do what “we” can do in terms of learning about and practicing preventive disease strategies, thereby reducing the amount and cost of health care interventions we need. By behaving this way we free up our local health care systems funding and limited physical capacity to treat those who are truly in need. Every one of us that invests in preventive disease strategies will find that the beneficiary is you, your family, and your finances. Pretty tangible benefits wouldn’t you say? Perhaps bigger than that is what this behavior and better health for yourself and the avoidance of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, pulmonary (breathing) conditions, diabetes and a host of other conditions can do to unburden the nation’s health care system. We need to preserve it, both in terms of resources and dollars, for those who are less fortunate and have to access the system for serious health problems. How good would that feel?

Some would say that America is a scary place to be these days. The events of 9/11, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, continued threats from terrorism, the housing and subsequent financial meltdowns, the political infighting that gets us nowhere, and yes the health care crisis. These all create the tendency to make us want to “wring our hands” instead of “wringing the necks of politicians” that refuse to provide the leadership that we need.

I have come to a conclusion. I have seen enough to know that the leadership we need has to come from us, the individuals who make up the electorate. Waiting around for politicians to act means we don’t understand the world of politics. Politicians only move in one direction or another when an exercised and voting electorate (that’s us) frames the issues and leads the way to a solution. It is almost never the other way around.

Bringing it back to health care and the question of what one individual can do to improve things, it starts with one individual and another until we have millions pulling in the same direction. If we manage our health to the best of our ability (and I want to emphasize, truly to the best of our ability) and access the health care system only when we need it, paying a little more out-of-pocket for the incidental and non-life threatening ills and spills we all experience, the system could accommodate us all when we really need it.

So there it is in a nut shell – I have spelled out what I believe is our responsibility; that if we all pulled in the same direction as described above (think of disease prevention and what this can do for you and those who do need to access the health care system) we would dramatically and permanently free up this precious and finite resource and it would be there for others in need and, when we need it and in most cases at far less cost. We are all in this together folks, rich and poor, the older among us and the younger and if we just act responsibly and for the good of others in this matter, we would solve the problem. And then, we could work on the next challenge and the next one after that until we see clearly the power of teamwork – “all for one and one for all”. That kind of thinking and behavior can work wonders. We all know it deep down – so let’s just do it!

Look for a weekly newsletter and articles that will deal with everything about health care in America. Look for weekly newsletters that discuss changes coming to employer sponsored health care benefits, changes coming to Medicare and Medicaid plans, new technologies that should be of interest, and articles and commentary with regard to state and national healthcare policies as they develop in the months and years to come. Any kind of question you have about health care I can help to point you to resources that will answer these questions. The specifics about your employer sponsored insurance plan, Medicare, Medicaid and how you can incorporate disease prevention strategies into your life with their big benefits. Ask away and if I don’t know or can’t find the answer, maybe one of this blogs participant’s will know. We are all in this together and as long as we believe that and look out for each other – everything will be alright!

Occupational Health: Core Areas of Knowledge and Competence, Part 2

OHA’s can contribute by helping managers to manage sickness absence more effectively. The nurse may be involved in helping to train line managers and supervisors in how to best use the OH service, in how to refer staff, what type of information will be required, what to expect from occupational health. By developing transparent referral procedures, ensuring that medical confidentiality is maintained and that the workers’ rights are respected the OHA can do much to ensure that employees referred for assessment due to sickness absence are comfortable with the process.

OH nurses, with their close relationship with workers, knowledge of the working environment and trends in ill-health in the company are often in a good position to advise management on preventing sickness absence. In my experience referral to General Practitioners have a limited use for work related issues, and gain best results by as well as keeping the GP aware, referring to a specialist occupational physician.

Planned rehabilitation strategies, can help to ensure safe return to work for employees who have been absent from work due to ill-health or injury. The nurse is often the key person in the rehabilitation programme who will, with the manager and individual employee, complete a risk assessment, devise the rehabilitation programme, monitor progress and communicate with the individual, the OH physician and the line manager. Nurses have also become involved in introducing proactive rehabilitation strategies that aim to detect early changes in health before such conditions result in absence from work. Improving and sustaining working ability benefits many groups, the individual, the organization and society, as costly absence and other health care costs are avoided.

In many cases the OH nurse has to work within the organization as the clients advocate in order ensuring that managers appreciate fully the value of improving the health of the workforce. OH nurses have the skills necessary to undertake this work and may develop areas of special interest.

The occupational health nurse may develop pro-active strategies to help the workforce maintain or restore their work ability. New workers, older workers, women returning to work following pregnancy or workers who have been unemployed for a prolonged period of time may all benefit from health advice or a planned programme of work hardening exercises to help maintain or restore their work ability even before any health problems arise. Increasingly the problems faced by industry are of a psychosocial nature and these can be even more complex and costly to deal with. OH nurses, working at the company level, are in a good position to give advice to management on strategies that can be adopted to improve the psycho-social health and wellbeing of workers.

Health and safety

The OHA can have a role to play in developing health and safety strategies. Where large, or high risk, organizations have their own in-house health and safety specialists the OHA can work closely with these specialists to ensure that the nurses expertise in health, risk assessment, health surveillance and environmental health management is fully utilized into the health and safety strategy. Occupational health nurses are trained in health and safety legislation, risk management and the control of workplace health hazards and can therefore make a useful contribution to the overall management of health and safety at work, with particular emphasis on ‘health’ risk assessment.

Hazard identification

The nurse often has close contact with the workers and is aware of changes to the working environment. Because of the nurses expertise in the effects of work on health they are in a good position to be involved in hazard identification. Hazards may arise due to new processes or working practices or may arise out of informal changes to existing processes and working practices that the nurse can readily identify and assess the likely risk from. This activity requires and pre-supposed regular and frequent work place visits by the occupational health nurse to maintain an up to date knowledge and awareness of working processes and practices.

Risk assessment

Legislation in Europe is increasingly being driven by a risk management approach. OHA’s are trained in risk assessment and risk management strategies and, depending upon their level of expertise and the level of complexity involved in the risk assessment, the nurse can undertake risk assessments or contribute towards the risk assessment working closely with other specialists.

Advice on control strategies

Having been involved in the hazard identification and risk assessment the occupational health nurse can, within the limits of their education and training, provide advice and information on appropriate control strategies, including health surveillance, risk communication, monitoring and on the evaluation of control strategies.

Research and the use of evidence based practice

Specialist OHA’s utilize research findings from a wide range of disciplines, including nursing, toxicology, psychology, environmental health and public health in their daily practice. The principal requirement for an occupational health nurse in practice is that they have the skills to read and critically assess research findings from these different disciplines and to be able to incorporate the findings into evidence based approach to their practice. Research in nursing is already well established and there is a small, but growing, body of evidence being created by occupational health nursing researchers who investigate occupational health nursing practices. OHA’s should ensure that they have access to and the skills necessary to base their practice on the best available evidence. At the company level occupational health nurses may be involved in producing management reports on for example sickness absence trends, accident statistics, assessment of health promotion needs and in evaluating the delivery of services, the effectiveness of occupational health interventions. Research skills and the ability to transfer knowledge and information from published research to practice is an important aspect of the role.

Ethics

OHA’s, along with other health, environment and safety professionals in the workplace health team, are in a privileged position in society. They have access to personal and medical information relating to employees in the company that would not be available to any other group. Society has imposed, by law, additional responsibilities on clinical professionals to protect and safeguard the interest of patients. The ethical standards for each discipline are set and enforced by each of the professional bodies. Breaches of these codes of conduct can result in the professional being removed from the register and prevented for practicing. Nurses have a long and well-respected tradition in society of upholding the trust placed in them by patients. This level of trust in the occupational health nurse’s professional integrity means that employees feel that they can be open, honest and share information with the nurse in the confidence that the information will not be used for other purposes. This allows the nurse to practice much more effectively than would ever be possible if that trust was not there. The protection of personal information enables a trusted relationship between employees and the nurse to be developed and facilitates optimum working relationships and partnership. The International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) has published useful guidance on ethics for occupational health professionals’. This guidance is summarized below “Occupational Health Practice must be performed according to the highest professional standards and ethical principles. Occupational health professionals must serve the health and social wellbeing of the workers, individually and collectively. They also contribute to environmental and community health the obligations of occupational health professionals include protecting the life and the health of the worker, respecting human dignity and promoting the highest ethical principles in occupational health policies and programs. Integrity in professional conduct, impartiality and the protection of confidentiality of health data and the privacy of workers are part of these obligations. Occupational health professionals are experts who must enjoy full professional independence in the execution of their functions. They must acquire and maintain the competence necessary for their duties and require conditions which allow them to carry out their tasks according to good practice and professional ethics.”

Occupational Health: Core Areas of Knowledge and Competence, Part 1

It is not possible to describe a highly complex and dynamic process such as occupational health nursing simply in terms of core activities or tasks. Occupational Health Nurse (OHA) are constantly learning new skills, adapting current practices to meet new needs and developing new approaches to solving problems and therefore their practice is not static but is constantly improving based upon a core range of skills.

However, within this limitation it is possible to describe those core areas of knowledge and competence that occupational health nurses use. The following list is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to give an indication of the wide range of competencies that occupational health nurses demonstrate in practice.

The Clinician

Primary prevention

The OHA is skilled in primary prevention of injury or disease. The nurse may identify the need for, assess and plan interventions to, for example modify working environments, systems of work or change working practices in order to reduce the risk of hazardous exposure. Occupational health nurses are skilled in considering factors, such as human behavior and habits in relation to actual working practices. The nurse can also collaborate in the identification, conception and correction of work factors, choice of individual protective equipment, prevention of industrial injuries and diseases, as well as providing advice in matters concerning protection of the environment. Because of the occupational health nurses close association with the workers, and knowledge and experience in the working environment, they are in a good position to identify early changes in working practices, identify workers concerns over health and safety, and by presenting these to management in an independent objective manner can be the catalyst for changes in the workplace that lead to primary prevention.

Emergency care

The OHA is a Registered Nurse with a great deal of clinical experience and expertise in dealing with sick or injured people. The nurse may, where such duties form part of their job, provide initial emergency care of workers injured at work prior to transfer of the injured worker to hospital or the arrival of the emergency services. In many instances, where hazardous conditions exist at work, or where the workplace is far removed from other health care facilities, this role will form a major part of an occupational health nurse’s job. Occupational health nurses employed in mines, on oil rigs, in the desert regions or in areas where the health care systems are not yet fully developed will be familiar with a wide range of emergency care techniques and may have developed additional skills in order to fulfill this role. For others, who are working in situations where the emergency services are on hand, they may simply provide an additional level of support beyond that provided by the industrial first aider.

Nursing diagnosis

Occupational health nurses are skilled in assessing client’s health care needs, establish a nursing diagnosis and formulating appropriate nursing care plans, in conjunction with the patient or client groups, to meet those needs. Nurses can then implement and evaluate nursing interventions designed to achieve the care objectives. The nurse has a prominent role in assessing the needs of individuals and groups, and has the ability to analyze, interpret, plan and implement strategies to achieve specific goals. By using the nursing process the nurse contributes to workplace health management and by so doing helps to improve the health of the working population at the shop floor level. Nursing diagnosis is a holistic concept that does not focus solely on the treatment of a specific disease, but rather considers the whole person and their health care needs in the broadest context. It is a health based model rather than a disease based model and nurses have the skills to apply this approach with the working populations they serve.

General Health advice and health assessment

The OHA will be able to give advice on a wide range of health issues, and particularly on their relationship to working ability, health and safety at work or where modifications to the job or working environment can be made to take account of the changing health status of employees.

In many respects employers are not solely concerned with only those conditions that are directly caused by work, but do want their occupational health staff to help address any health related problems that may arise that might influence the employees attendance or performance at work, and many employees appreciate this level of help being provided to them at the workplace because it is so convenient for them. In particular the development of health care services to men at work, younger populations and those from ethnic groups can be most effective in reaching these sometimes difficult to reach populations.

Research and the use of evidence based practice

In addition to utilizing information and knowledge produced by research in various fields to support activities that relate to the occupational health component of their role, occupational health nurses will also utilize fully research information available from many fields to help support the general health of the working population.

Specialist

Occupational health policy, and practice development, implementation and evaluation

The specialist occupational health nurse may be involved, with senior management in the company, in developing the workplace health policy and strategy including aspects of occupational health, workplace health promotion and environmental health management. The OH nurse is in a good position to advise management on the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of workplace health management strategies and to participate fully in each of these stages. Possibility to perform that role will depend upon level of nurse education, skills and experience.

Occupational health assessment

OHA’s can play an essential role in health assessment for fitness to work, pre-employment or pre-placement examinations, periodic health examinations and individual health assessments for lifestyle risk factors.

Collaboration with occupational physician may be necessary in many instances, depending upon exiting legislation and accepted practice. The nurse can also play an important role in the workplace where informal requests for information, advice on health care matters and health related problems come to light. The nurse is able to observe the individual or group of workers in relation to exposure to a particular hazard and initiate appropriate targeted health assessment where necessary. These activities are often, but not exclusively, undertaken in conjunction with the medical adviser so that where problems are identified a safe system for onward referral exists.

Health surveillance

Where workers are exposed to a degree of residual risk of exposure and health surveillance is required by law the OHA will be involved in undertaking routine health surveillance procedures, periodic health assessment and in evaluating the results from such screening processes. The nurse will need a high degree of clinical skill when undertaking health surveillance and maintain a high degree of alertness to any abnormal findings. Early referral to an occupational health physician or other appropriate specialist will be the responsibility of the occupational health nurse where any abnormality is detected. The nurse will be involved in supporting the worker throughout any further examination or investigation, and may help to monitor their health on return to work. Once alerted to the possibility of an adverse health effect the occupational health nurse is in a good position to co-ordinate efforts to re-evaluate working practices in order to help protect others who may be similarly affected.

Occupational Health – Workplace Health Management

Workplace Health Management (WHM) There are four key components of workplace health management:

Occupational Health and Safety
Workplace Health Promotion
Social and lifestyle determinants of health
Environmental Health Management

In the past policy was frequently driven solely by compliance with legislation. In the new approach to workplace health management, policy development is driven by both legislative requirements and by health targets set on a voluntary basis by the working community within each industry. In order to be effective Workplace Health Management needs to be based on knowledge, experience and practice accumulated in three disciplines: occupational health, workplace health promotion and environmental health. It is important to see WHM as a process not only for continuous improvement and health gain within the company, but also as framework for involvement between various agencies in the community. It offers a platform for co-operation between the local authorities and business leaders on community development through the improvement of public and environmental health.

The Healthy Workplace setting – a cornerstone of the Community Action Plan.

The Luxembourg Declaration of the European Union Network for Workplace Health Promotion defined WHP as the combined effort of employers, employees and society to improve the health and well-being of people at work

This can be achieved through a combination of:

Improving the work organization and the working environment
Promoting active participation of employees in health activities
Encouraging personal development

Workplace health promotion is seen in the EU network Luxembourg Declaration as a modern corporate strategy which aims at preventing ill-health at work and enhancing health promoting potential and well-being in the workforce. Documented benefits for workplace programs include decreased absenteeism, reduced cardiovascular risk, reduced health care claims, decreased staff turnover, decreased musculoskeletal injuries, increased productivity, increased organizational effectiveness and the potential of a return on investment (Mossinik, Licher1998 – Oxenburgh 1991).

However, many of these improvements require the sustained involvement of employees, employers and society in the activities required to make a difference. This is achieved through the empowerment of employees enabling them to make decisions about their own health. Occupational Health Advisors (OHA) are well placed to carry out needs assessment for health promotion initiatives with the working populations they serve, to prioritize these initiatives alongside other occupational health and safety initiatives which may be underway, and to coordinate the activities at the enterprise level to ensure that initiatives which are planned are delivered. In the past occupational health services have been involved in the assessment of fitness to work and in assessing levels of disability for insurance purposes for many years.

The concept of maintaining working ability, in the otherwise healthy working population, has been developed by some innovative occupational health services. In some cases these efforts have been developed in response to the growing challenge caused by the aging workforce and the ever-increasing cost of social security. OHA’s have often been at the forefront of these developments.

There is a need to develop further the focus of all occupational health services to include efforts to maintain work ability and to prevent non-occupational workplace preventable conditions by interventions at the workplace. This will require some occupational health services to become more pro-actively involved in workplace health promotion, without reducing the attention paid to preventing occupational accidents and diseases. OHA’s, with their close contact with employees, sometimes over many years, are in a good position to plan, deliver and evaluate health promotion and maintenance of work ability interventions at the workplace.

Health promotion at work has grown in importance over the last decade as employers and employees recognize the respective benefits. Working people spend about half of their non-sleeping day at work and this provides an ideal opportunity for employees to share and receive various health messages and for employers to create healthy working environments. The scope of health promotion depends upon the needs of each group.

Some of the most common health promotion activities are smoking reducing activities, healthy nutrition or physical exercise programs, prevention and abatement of drug and alcohol abuse.

However, health promotion may also be directed towards other social, cultural and environmental health determinants, if the people within the company consider that these factors are important for the improvement of their health, well-being and quality of life. In this case factors such as improving work organization, motivation, reducing stress and burnout, introducing flexible working hours, personal development plans and career enhancement may also help to contribute to overall health and well-being of the working community.

The Healthy Community setting In addition to occupational health and workplace health promotion there is also another important aspect to Workplace Health Management. It is related to the impact that each company may have on the surrounding ambient environment, and through pollutants or products or services provided to others, its impact on distant environments. Remember how far the effects of the Chernobyl Nuclear accident in 1986 affected whole neighbouring countries.

Although the environmental health impact of companies is controlled by different legislation to that which applies to Health and Safety at work, there is a strong relationship between safeguarding the working environment, improving work organization and working culture within the company, and its approach to environmental health management.

Many leading companies already combine occupational health and safety with environmental health management to optimally use the available human resources within the company and to avoid duplication of effort. Occupational health nurses can make a contribution towards environmental health management, particularly in those companies that do not employ environmental health specialists.

Tips to Buy Proper Gym Equipment

Are you planning to open a gym? Then, the first step is to buy proper gym equipment. You are going to open a fitness center where people will come for exercising regularly. You need to make sure that you provide your customers with the latest equipment because a gym having a variety of high-tech equipment will always attract customers.

Before you think of purchasing gym equipments there are some essential facts that you need to consider:

1.Types of Equipment: The first step is to know all about the needs of the customers. You should be well informed about the different types of equipment that are available in the market. It is essential to know the functions of the exercise equipments that you’re planning to buy for your gym. For example, if you have older people who come to your fitness center, you can buy cross trainers, cycles, and different kinds of treadmills that help in cardio exercises. There are different equipments for building muscles and losing weight. Having prior knowledge will help you to buy the right kind of equipment

2.Buy according to your budget: Gym equipment can be really expensive. It is very important not to exceed your budget in any way. Online stores sometimes offer lucrative discounts.

3.Consider the available space: A lot of gym equipments are big in size. They can occupy large spaces in your gym. Before purchasing them, you need to check out the available space. You also need to plan where are you going to place them and in what order. Planning a systematic approach will help you to effectively utilize the space.

4.Check out the safety standards: Before purchasing, you need to consider the safety of the equipments. Make sure that each of them has appropriate safety features that will help to avoid any kind of accidents during the time that they exercise. Read their reviews to make sure that they are being used in many other gyms. While purchasing exercise machines for your gym you need to be extra careful so that you can utilize them correctly and safely.

Do you want to purchase the best gym equipment in India? Visit http://www.trinityht.com and you will find prestigious brands like Alsetta, Vibrogym, Detecto, and Body-Solid offering you the highest quality fitness machines with an assured guarantee. Trinity Healthtech provides you with best services, best brands, and the best gym equipment in India at affordable prices.

Body Fat Analyzer – Trinity Healthtech provides you with best services, best brands, and the best exercise equipment in India at affordable prices.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Orson_Dixon/280251

It’s a Dot-Com Thing

It seems like everything is sold online these days. From cars, to food, to medical devices, almost anything you could ever dream of owning is now sold online. It’s no wonder hearing instruments have been sold online since almost the beginning of the “.com” era.

What most consumers don’t know, however, is problems that come from testing, fitting, and purchasing hearing instruments over the internet. In general hearing instruments dispensed without face-to-face in-person consultation between end-users and distributors result in a poor fit, decreased satisfaction and an overall higher cost to the consumer.

Clinical Studies

The following was a study conducted by the University of Illinois Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in which they compared the quality of care received when two patients were fit both by an online distributor and a face-to-face clinic. “In this study, two subjects were fitted with hearing aids both through an online company and by a university clinic. For the online fitting, each subject had to choose which product to purchase from among 40 to 60 aids about which the company gave little or no information. Telephone calls to the company were of little or no help in the purchasing process.

The hearing instruments bought online were poorly fitted for both patients. They provided inappropriate gain at the outset, as the levels were based on online hearing test results that were very different from those established in the university clinic.

While these subjects might eventually have been able to obtain a reasonably appropriate fit through the online process, they would likely have had to pay multiple shipping and handling costs and spent much time before getting a proper fit. (Suzanne Kimball and Susan Yopchick, Study compares hearing aids fitted online with clinical fittings on the same subjects, The Hearing Journal, March 2009, Vol 62, No 3.)

A Face-to-Face Setting

On November 15, 2007 Oticon, a leading manufacturer of digital hearing aids, decided to discontinue the selling of its products to companies other than audiologist offices and hearing aids specialists who could provide the quality of care Oticon wishes to be represented by its company.

Oticon stated, “People with hearing loss deserve to make the best choices possible for themselves that best fit their individual needs. We believe this is best accomplished through a personal relationship with a dispensing professional in a face-to-face setting.”

In response to this action the American Academy of Audiology stated, “This decision is laudable, and sets a standard for all hearing aid manufacturers to follow. Evidence shows that successful hearing aid use is predicated on careful counseling, followed by selection, fitting, verification, and validation of the fitting – activities that can only be accomplished through the direct diagnosis and treatment of by a licensed [professional].” (HealthTech Wire, Oticon’s hearing aid distribution guidelines)

Actual Cost

Most online hearing aid retailers boast that they offer the ability to cut out the middle man and reduce the customers cost significantly. These statements are simply untrue. By reviewing two simple models of how hearing aids are manufactured, fit, and sold it is easy to see that a middle man most defiantly exists when purchasing from both a hearing healthcare professional and an online dealer.

As reviewed in the previous sections of this article most hearing aid users require counseling, adjustments, and even minor repairs. These are sometimes covered by online dealers for the first year only, while most hearing healthcare professionals offer lifetime counseling, adjustments, and minor service with the original cost of the hearing aid.

Also, many online dealers will boast lower prices because of special contracts with major manufacturers. While this may be true, it is also the case with hearing healthcare professionals who hold similar contracts with major manufacturers.

Overall it is the responsibility of the consumer to check locally with hearing healthcare professionals in order to find the best value for their money.

Conclusion

In conclusion we simply wish to issue a warning to those who are seeking to purchase hearing instruments by mail order or online. “Purchasing aids through the mail or online often excludes important diagnostic audiologic evaluation, hearing aid orientation and adjustment, and rehabilitation services. These services help to ensure quality care and full benefit from the use of a hearing aid, as well as appropriate referral if medical treatment is warranted.” (Hearing Aids, http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/treatment/hearing_aids.htm, pg. 4, 5/13/2009)

Mike has been helping individuals hear better in Utah for over 30 years. Beginning in 1980 he opened a hearing aid center in Salt Lake City, Utah and later added an additional location to Provo, Utah. He is certified by the International Hearing Society and is a Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist.

Mike, along with his son Paul, continues to help individuals improve their quality of life by providing affordable hearing solutions [http://edisonstanfordheairng.blogpsot.com] in the Wasatch Valley.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_C_Lloyd/711397