Patient Assistance Programs In Place of Medicare

Some of the large pharmaceutical companies offer an assistance program to those who can not afford the cost of medication and have no insurance or government help. This is truly a blessing for those who receive this help. This is an alternative to medicare part d

The process requires filling out forms, proving your income (or lack there of) and your doctor signing the form and submitting a prescription. The process can take several months for your medication to be approved and shipped to you. You will also have to reapply periodically; how often you must reapply depends on the policies of that medication company. There is a group in Utah who specializes in filling out the paperwork for you for a small fee.

Find Out If You Qualify

Some PAPs require those with a slightly larger income to make a co-payment for a portion of the cost of their medications. Others charge no co-payment to anyone. Each drug company is free to set their own guidelines on whom and how much they will help low-income and uninsured patients. This is similar to the medicare part d “Extra Help” program.

Because it can take quite a bit of time to be approved for these programs, what can be done in the meantime to obtain affordable medication? If your doctor happens to have samples, you may be able to obtain some or all of the medication you need until your PAP medications arrive. However, this is not usually the case.

If you find yourself un-insured while awaiting approval of a PAP, you will need to find the very lowest prices available while making certain you are obtaining top-quality medications. The new medicare part d government plan can be helpful, but has monthly fees and an annual deductible.

A Good Alternative

Canadian mail order sources are probably a better alternative. To ensure that you are dealing with a legal and reputable source, select a company that requires confirmation of your prescription by your U.S. doctor as well as sign off by a Canadian doctor.

Just be careful though, any company that advertises “no prescription required” is operating illegally as well as without standard pharmacy ethics. Most of these companies have been shut down, but beware if you locate a company offering this type of service.

Paperless Medical Offices – Implementation Considerations

The concept of a paperless office has been something workers in such paperwork heavy industries like insurance, banking and healthcare have been craving for some time. While the idea of a paperless office may seem great, implementing it can be a challenge. The main thing to remember is, when put into practice, “paperless” doesn’t mean no paper, it means less paper.

Even without going completely paperless, converting your medical office to a paperless one can have some benefits including decreasing costs of paperwork – supplies, postage, labor and freeing up office space from file cabinets. The biggest benefit of going paperless is saving time finding files and charts. Some studies suggest physicians lose 30% of their time searching for files. Losing a superbill or claim rejection has a real dollar cost.

Yet with these benefits and pressure from insurance companies and governments for doctors to adopt electronic medical systems, those actually converting only account for 7% of practicing physicians. While there are many reasons electronic billing and medical records have not been adopted, training and startup costs usually top the list. Implementing the EMR system is especially challenging since the doctor can’t delegate those entries to office staff.

The rest of this article will discuss the considerations to be made when creating a paperless medical office as well as which computer hardware and software will be required for the best chance at success.

What to consider when implementing a paperless medical office.

It helps to approach converting to an electronic model as an investment instead of an expense since improved productivity, decreased costs and a faster collections process will result.

* Remember that your office won’t be completely paperless; it will just have less paper.
* If you have to convert existing paper records, be sure to choose a scanner that can handle high speed imaging and non-standard paper sizes.
* Everyone in the office should be properly trained and sold on the paperless concept. The paperless office will fall apart if someone doesn’t participate.
* Choose software based on usability, not price. Cheap software that doesn’t suit your office will be hard to sell to the staff and will make conversion difficult.
* Decide upfront if you want software that has medical billing and EMR functionality together or separately. Medical office software has a tendency to be proprietary, so not all functions may work together if you buy EMR software after your billing software and vice versa.

Hardware requirements for medical billing software.

Computers
These days you can tell a lot about your computer by the operating system installed on it. (Windows 2000, Windows XP, etc.) We’ll skip a bunch of technical specifications here and just say you’ll need a computer that runs Windows XP and works well with your office Internet access.

Your software choice will also help determine required hardware. Web-based medical office software will be more open to your existing configurations.

Scanners
Perhaps the most important hardware choice you can make for a paperless medical office is the scanner. There are many scanners available that serve as printers, faxes and copiers so you can consolidate space with one machine. If you have a lot of paper records sitting in files, be sure you choose a scanner with fast scan times. Getting one that will scan multiple documents at a time is a necessity. Converting to a paperless office is certainly a challenge, but you can reduce problems by getting a good scanner.

Printers
A high quality laser printer is recommended for going paperless. Make sure you get one with high output capability so you’re not letting your hardware decrease productivity. You may also want to get a laser printer or inkjet that is color capable for printing patient photos.

Cameras
You’ll want a digital camera to take patients photos to match their records. You can also scan ID cards, but a color digital photo will provide the best look and decrease the chance for errors.

Portable computing devices
Using a tablet PC or PDA allows physicians to chart while the patient is in the room. It reduces forgetting to record treatments and allows fast, accurate documentation. Utilizing one of these devices is a great way to get the doctor to adopt the paperless process.

Software requirements for medical billing software.

EMR / Billing / Practice Management
Most important in choosing your medical office software is which components you feel are necessary. Some software packages only cover medical billing and practice management. Others only have electronic medical record capability. Some have all of these features combined and they work together. If you decide to purchase separate billing and EMR software, find out from the vendor which programs they’re compatible with in case you decide to implement the missing component in the future.

The most efficient paperless medical office system is one that has full integrated medical billing and EMR capability.

Web based / Client Server
Your next choice is between a web based system that is completely accessed over the Internet, or one installed on your office computer and networked through the office. Web based systems offer the most amount of flexibility since records can be accessed anywhere – much like online banking. Web based medical software meets HIPAA security requirements while removing concerns about backing up or losing data.

Client/server systems present a feeling of security because they are housed in office, but present a number of issues including uptime, upgrades, security and cost. A web based system removes a number of operational headaches and places those responsibilities on your software provider.

Paperless Printing
The ability to print or manipulate digital documents, while maintaining security, requires the use of PDF creation software. The industry standard is Adobe Acrobat, which has a free reader. Acrobat 7.0 is the latest PDF creator.

Flexibility / Training
Many medical office software programs use template based functionality which is counter intuitive to a standard medical work flow. When these programs are implemented, not only is new software needed to be trained on, but the whole flow of the office visit.

There are flexible medical software programs available that are easier to implement and flow well with a typical medical office visit. Make sure you get a full demo of the medical software you’re investigating before you try to implement it.

All the benefits of a paperless office will go out the window if not properly implemented. Make sure you know what kind of setup training is required of your staff as well as ongoing education.

Relieving Dry Skin And Winter Itch

The winter air can leave a chill in the air and on our skin that chaps and chafes our skin. And, the additional heat, can warm our hearts and our home, but dry out the air and again, our skin, leaving it dehydrated and dry. And, in both cases we can experience a common condition known as winter itch.

According to experts dry skin is a direct by-product of a loss of moisture. They note, that depending on which layer (dermis or epidermis) the water content of the skin can vary, but is estimated at 80% for the epidermis, but much dry for the dermis, or surface layer of skin. In fact, according to the experts the dermis is comprised of dead skin cells and has a water content of about 10-30 percent.

When the outer layer, the stratum corneum dries out, it loses its luster and results in dry skin. And, skin that is low on water and dry will fissure, making it more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections.

Moisturizers can help rehydrate the skin preventing further water loss and dryness. While some may result in skin swelling slightly re ducting fine line and wrinkles and making pores appear smaller, they do not repair sun damage. However, they can also help skin feel softer and smoother. And experts notes the four target areas moisturizers generally address.

1. Skin barrier repairs
2. Increasing water content
3. Diminishing amount of water loss
4. Restoring skin’s capacity to attract, hold and redistribute water.

And, experts offer the following suggestions for dealing with dry skin and winter itch.

· Refrain from hot tubs and hot baths. While the heat may feel soothing, it’s actually serves to strip your skin of essential oils and depletes it of water, making skin drier and matters worse.

· Lather you ligaments while still wet. Applying moisturizer to damp skin helps seal in the moisture.

· Creamy, rich moisturizers are the best kind. Consider putting some petroleum jelly on your hands covered with cotton gloves while you sleep at night to keep hands supple and smooth.

· Note that moisturizers containing lactic acid or urea can draw water into the skin.

· Moisturize hands after each washing or when coming in from the cold.

Purpose And Aspects Of Chair Lifts

The chairlift is a kind of aerial lift. This consists of a loop of steel cable, which is strung between two end terminals usually over intermediate towers and is constantly moving. The seats of the chairlift are hung from the cable. These are associated with ski areas. The riders are usually skiers or sightseers. They are seated on these lifts and are carried up and down a mountainside. These lifts are also to be found in amusement parks and places of tourist attraction.

Such chair lifts can also come to the help of and facilitate mobility for people with handicaps. You can also conveniently use them if you have developed trouble getting around. There are many types of chair lifts available in the market some of which will definitely suit your purpose. These range from those that raise a chair to another level for stairs or vehicles to those that raise a person to a level that allows them to stand.

The most helpful of the chair lifts are the ones that help the people in wheelchairs, get up the stairs. Different brands and models of such types of chair lifts are there. While buying these chair lifts you need to examine the weight capacity of these. The extra equipment associated with the lifts that might be necessary also needs to be taken care of. There are some chair lifts that require the person to be able to move from one seat to another on his/her own. Again, there are others that do not require this. So, this is also a factor worth considering. The best thing to do to choose chair lifts properly is to talk to a professional. These professional chair lift experts can highlight you all the aspects of chair lifts and help you incorporate all the useful features. Though this may be a little expensive yet it is worthwhile.

The chair lift helps people who are not confined to a wheelchair and have trouble sitting down and then standing up. The chair lifts are especially adjustable to meet this purpose. These lifts may also be used to help get into and out of vehicles. It has even been found that chair lifts are enabling handicapped persons to go for hunting in tree stands. So, the chair lifts are an immensely beneficial offering.

Palliative Care : Nurses Speak Hope When Hope Seems Lost

Any Family dealing with the loss of a loved one is usually involved in the Medical Community. The ones wit the most frequent and closest care are the nurses. The nurse is there working closely with the client assess their needs as well as the families needs. Family and dear friends are coping with the many physical and emotional demands of the dying or palliative patient. It is a heavy burden to bear and bearing it can cause a deep feeling of hopelessness that blurs all vision of hope for help and improving the situation for both the Patient and the Family.

A Nurse is a listening ear and not only for the client but for the family. There are a lot of fears that can be put to rest when they are voiced and appropriate and helpful solutions are presented. A nurse is A Client Advocate who will speak up and seek out help that the client or family may not know how to or be unable to themselves.

When many fears have been put to rest by being able to talk them out with the Nurse and Other members of the Palliative team then the client and family will have a better sense of being in control of the process a little better and are then able to make healthier and more beneficial decisions for their care.

A Client who is unable to speak for themselves is often spoken for by the family member. They may not be reading the signs that the patient may be giving non-verbally.The Nurse can come along side the Family member and help them become more aware of how to assess the needs and manage comfort levels in a safe and healthy way.

Speaking the truth in kindness is a difficult thing to do. But as the Patient is priority the nurse takes this responsibility and does her best to respectfully bring to awareness the needs. She helps set up a Plan with the Doctors, Case managers and many other valued members of the health team.

Often a Spouse will try to take a lot of the load on themselves and they often get burnt out and put themselves at risk of physical and emotional exhaustion. There are many Palliative resources that can alleviate the stress and help improve both client and Family members safety. For example and older woman trying to help her palliative husband to the bathroom is unable to support him if he would fall and the risk of them both ending up with a detrimental injury is high! The care giver in this case the wife would be of no further help if she ended up in hospital with a broken hip for example. This can be avoided with getting a helper in for transferring the client or for daily care like getting bathed etc.

Helping the Client and Family become aware of the help they can get and being positive with them as much as possible Speaks Hope were things seem Hopeless!
It Is always good to talk and ask as many questions as you need to. You can only get more information to help relieve your overwhelmed feelings if You are in this situation.