The Best Way for Businesses to Address Employee Health Care Benefits

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Employee benefits are a key component to recruiting and retaining the best employees.Employee health benefits are usually treated as a necessary evil and while it may take a huge chunk out of your revenue, the benefits often attract better employees and help retain existing workers. Satisfied, healthy employees are more likely to help your business grow. Instead of eliminating employee benefits, businesses can provide health-care coverage on a budget with a few adjustments. With costs of medical plans escalating and new regulations looming due to health-care reform, businesses of all sizes are scrambling to manage the impact to their bottom lines, while still trying to provide attractive options.

What is the best way for employers to address their health benefits issues?

It is most important for employers to think about health care in terms of value, not cost. Value is the health outcomes achieved for the money spent. Cost includes not only the immediate, short-term costs of treatment but the long-term costs of ongoing care as well as the indirect cost of poor health. Every employer should work with an employee benefits consultant to offer the best possible employee benefits-particularly healthcare benefits.

Employers can also address employee healthcare benefits by sharing information about the benefits in a credible and personal way. They must provide employees a clear picture of what options their companies offer and the reasons why. These communications should include facts such as what percentage of costs the company and employees cover, how costs are growing and affecting the company’s finances, and which plans best support each individual’s situation.

Encouraging wellness is another successful way of addressing health benefit issues.Not only can a successful wellness program keep people away from the doctor and costs down, strong programs build camaraderie and show employees their employer cares. Some companies cover the costs of smoking cessation and weight loss programs, or reward participation in health and risk assessment screenings. To encourage healthy lifestyle choices, employers offer fitness programs and healthy menu choices in company cafeterias, sometimes at lower prices than the less healthy alternatives.

Choosing the partner to help provide excellent employee benefits services for your organization can be tricky. Partner with an expert who can support the company and employees globally through its consulting services. You need a firm that can tailor a benefits package that aligns with your budget amidst a compensation landscape where costs continue to rise.

Know more on : Tax compliance services, ERISA compliance, employee onboarding

Assurant Names Healthcare Solutions Team Americas #1 Health Insurance Agency

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Lombard, Ill.Healthcare Solutions Team has been named Americas #1 Health Insurance Agency for a second straight year by Assurant Health.

The award was given to the Lombard, Illinois-based insurance agency based on the companys annual sales with Assurant Health. Overall in 2012, Healthcare Solutions Team had an annual sales volume of more than $83 million, which was a nearly 20% jump over the prior year.

Working with valued partners such as Assurant Health makes growth a realistic opportunity for our company, said Grant Born, principal at Healthcare Solutions Team. Our goal has always been to find the best health insurance coverage for families, individuals and groups while staying within their budgets. With the changes in healthcare reform, having a variety of plans to choose from has taken on even greater importance.

Its easy to succeed when given the right tools, said Joe Eichman, principal at Healthcare Solutions Team. Our agents really can find a plan for everyone.

He added that Healthcare Solutions Team is continually listening to top producers, looking for ways to help them improve their performance. The companys LeadMaster system is one such innovation that drives results.

Healthcare Solutions Teams LeadMaster is the most advanced lead and client management system the industry has ever seen, said Born. With fully integrated auto dialing, bulk texting and email functions, it has never been easier to manage and organize our clients and prospects while keeping them informed.

Eichman agreed: We have added to an already dynamic technology, which allows Healthcare Solutions Team agents to out produce any other agents in the industry.

When they excel, the whole company thrives, he continued. We nurture all of our agents so that they become true partners and our advocates in bringing consumers the best, most affordable health plans available.

Grant Born and Joe Eichman created Healthcare Solutions Team in 2007 and since then the company has grown into one of the countrys premier health and dental insurance agencies. Based in Lombard, Ill., Healthcare Solutions Team has agents across the country who provide personalized solutions and optimized plans to fit each individuals budget and needs. The companys goal is to make affordable healthcare accessible to everyone.

Assurant Health, part of Assurant (AIZ), a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, is the brand name for a family of health insurance products focused on providing a variety of affordable plan choices to consumers. The companys portfolio of health care products includes major medical, supplemental and fixed-benefit plans for individuals, families and small employers.

In addition to being named Americas #1 Health Insurance Agency by Assurant Health for two years in a row, Healthcare Solutions Team was listed in 2012s Inc. 500|5000 and has been named Americas #1 Career Health Insurance Agency and Top Key Broker by UnitedHealthOne, as well.

For more information on Healthcare Solutions Teamincluding career opportunitiescontact Jackie at (630) 261-3000 or . Or, visit the companys website at www.HealthcareSolutionsTeam.com.

Medicare Advantage Will Get Hit With Health Care Reform

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Since even before Medicare was passed in 1965 its been a source of frustration and intense debate from The Hill to Main Street. From concierge doctors to family physicians, politicians and family gatherings, health care reform is still a tough subject to grasp.

While Andy Griffith is currently appearing in television ads explaining Medicare changes to seniors, and the White House is praising its upcoming health care overhaul, the facts of how Medicare will change still remain a bit fuzzy.

1965. A lot of good things came out that year, like Medicare. This year, like always, we’ll have our guaranteed benefits and, with the new health care law, more good things are coming. Free checkups. Lower prescription costs and better ways to protect us and Medicare from fraud. See what else is new. I think you’re gonna like it, says Andy Griffith in his new TV ad. (Time.com) Seems to be pretty simply and explanatory, right? In reality, its a little more complicated.

Time.com states that Medicare Advantage, will in fact be greatly affected by health care reform, causing many seniors who have Medicare Advantage plans to lose fringe benefits that are not required by law. According to the Wall Street Journal, dozens of Medicare Advantage providers plan to cut back vision, dental and prescription benefits. Some plans are eliminating free teeth cleanings and gym memberships, and raising fees for hearing aids, eye glasses and emergency-room visits.

Medicare Advantage plans will take the biggest hit when the health care overhaul starts to take effect next month, mainly because Medicare Advantage plans are privately run plans that offer additional benefits beyond traditional Medicare. Obamas health care overhaul cuts to Medicare Advantage will open up the doors for 30 million Americans who currently dont have health insurance c overage. By taking some funding away from Medicare Advantage, money can be put towards those 30 million uninsured.

Democrats say the payment cuts are fair because Medicare overpays private insurers to run the plans. The government now pays private insurance companies an average of 9% more to operate the plans than it costs the government to run traditional Medicare, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an independent congressional agency. That allows insurers to offer richer benefits to enrollees. (Wall Street Journal Online)

As for standard Medicare plans, they will not change, a common misconception among seniors according to Time.com. In a July poll, 50% of seniors believed health care reform would cut benefits that were previously provided to all people on Medicare, and that Medicare patients will have to spend more out of their own pocket. The reality is that while Medicare Advantage will change dramatically, standard Medicare will not, according to Time.com.

The law requires Medicare to pay 100% of preventive care, which includes checkups. The law will also gradually close the Medicare prescription drug gap known as the doughnut hole.

Boosting Health Care Efforts

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Health care is not one-dimensional. There’s more to it than what takes place inside a hospital. Recognizing the need for a more holistic approach to health and well-being, community hospitals have come up with supplementary services for their patients, primarily in terms of education and training.

General Health Education

Taking care of yourself all boils down to knowing the basics of health. Every now and then, a person needs a refresher course on what needs to be done to keep the body in good shape. Community hospitals offer general health education classes, as well as lessons on alternative lifestyle methods that can boost one’s efforts to stay healthy.

First Aid Training

Knowing how to handle emergencies is a valuable skill, which is why community hospitals have first aid training sessions that their patrons can enroll in. Both children and adults can benefit from a few courses so they will know what to do when faced with a medical emergency.

Maternity and Neo-Natal Care Education

One of the most popular courses offered by community health care facilities like the San Joaquin hospital in Bakersfield, California is about mother and child care during pregnancy and after birth. The issues of maternity and neo-natal care are discussed in the hospitals’ regular sessions on the topics.

Disease Management

People who suffer from conditions such as diabetes can go about their routines normally as long as they manage their diseases well. To help them with this, San Joaquin hospital, CA and its counterpart facilities spread all over the country offer disease management courses. These courses cover diet requirements, lifestyle adjustments, therapies, and other related topics.

Getting access to these classes and trainings isn’t that difficult. Most of these sessions are offered for free, and participants only need to register for the programs. It is important to regularly check a community hospital’s schedule of events to know whether there are courses that one is interested in. In addition, a person can also request for a particular class that isn’t in the current list. Community health centers like San Joaquin hospital, CA are open to suggestions from their patients.

The Future Of Video Conferencing And Health Care Professionals

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A large growth area that is emerging for audio-visual systems is in health care, hospitals and medical field. More and more doctors and other health care professionals are using the interactive nature of videoconferencing to work with more patients, and saving time and travel for both patients and doctors at the same time. Additionally, videoconferencing equipment allows health care professionals to work more efficiently within their own health care systems and regional facilities and allow for faster coordination.

The videoconferencing market in health care facilities is increasing as a result of better videoconferencing equipment, lower costs and increased demand by health care professionals. This is a combination of sharper uses of technology in all aspects of our work lives, and finding better ways to create advantages.

Today, more and more health care agencies and hospitals can use video conferencing equipment and accompanying technology to overcome some hurdles in health care education, management and patient diagnoses.

As the baby boomers of our generation reach their 60s and 70s, there is expected to be a greater demand for health care and health care facilities over the next 10-30 years. And the last few years have helped our older citizens become more comfortable with new technology tools, like laser cameras, internal xrays and more. Adding video conferencing to the mix isnt as great a tech hurdle today as it may have been 5-10 years ago.

Some of the benefits of increased videoconferencing in health care is outlined by research firm Ovum, which talks about the different ways that the technology can be used. Its researcher writes:

Video conferencing solutions must be tailored to a range of different usage scenarios, ranging from disease-specific diagnosis and treatment between a care provider and patient to consultation between professionals. The equipment and networks required will also vary significantly, ranging from high-end telepresence that is reliant on a high-speed broadband connection to simple desktop and laptop services.

Ovum writes that the emotional connection in video conferencing enables physicians to see nuances in patient behavior. Not only that, but video conferencing can connect doctors in remote locations with their colleagues to share knowledge and bring about greater collaboration between physicians with different specializations. All of these benefits can occur in health care as a result of connectivity via video conferencing.

While the researchers maintain that, for patients, face-to-face communications is still a much better overall experience, having video conferencing capabilities can be the next best thing. And were inclined to agree.

Using video conferencing and other means to provide real-time visual collaboration can be a great boon to communications between doctors and patients, as well as between health care professionals.

CCS Presentation Systems is among the largest U.S. audio-visual system integration firms, and one of the leading providers of audio-video products and solutions in the nation. For more information on how CCS can consult with your health care organization on how to bring videoconferencing into the mix of your operations, please contact us at www.ccsprojects.com.

Health Care Reform-What It Means For Americans

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We all, in recent months, have heard all the pros and cons of the health care reform debate, but as expected, most people are still confused about what to expect. While it is very clear that the U.S. health care system is in dire need of change, reform is hardly the best descriptive word, unless you are referring to who is gonna pay and who will be covered.

If you are a person who is currently uninsured due to your financial situation, unemployment, or because of a major health issue then health care reform is probably something that you will welcome. The plan is to make sure that everyone can receive coverage even if they can’t afford it or are currently ineligible due to pre-existing health issues.

This new plan will not deny health care coverage to anyone, including those who have pre-existing conditions or life threatening illnesses; everyone will be covered. Every American citizen, regardless of personal status, will be equally eligibility and no one will be turned down or turned away for health care.

As great as this idea is for everyone to have health insurance, there are very real concerns raised about this new plan. Added everyone to the health care system will have a huge impact on the cost of such a system, especially those with health issues of a serious nature and anyone who doesn’t follow a regular check up schedule. This new proposed plan is based on the balancing out theory between those who have no insurance and are less than healthy and the healthy insured and employed individuals. The concerns center around the effectiveness and extra cost associated with such a new health care plan.

Using a misleading term or name such as The Health Care Reform to describe what it really is: a Nationalized Health Plan and will bring with it, its own unique set of problems. It is very misleading, no matter how you look at it. Other nations who have adapted this type of health care, have experienced a hugh imbalance between care that is needed and the ability of the health care professional to keep up with the demand. Long waits to see specialists and a less than adequate number of doctors to see patients seems to be a uniform problem with this type of health care. Why U.S. law makers cannot see the trend of other nations who are moving away from a nationalized health care system, because of the inefficiencies it creates and caters to, is beyond belief to many voting citizens. Why would an advanced nation such as the United States be taking a step backwards concerning health care?

To avoid upcoming hassles it is a brilliant idea to keep individual health insurance up to date. There is affordable health insurance for students available.

Definition Of Healthy Skin

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Let me explain what healthy skin in simple words. Healthy skin is smooth, soft, evenly tonedin short, beautiful! How is this logical? Let us use an analogy. Youll know when youre sick when you dont feel well, you look pale and your skin feels clammy, right? Well, just like any other form of illness, it manifests itself in irregularities in your feeling and physical appearancejust like someone with Hepatatis has a yellowish complexion. And so, unhealthy skin can be defined by its rough texture, abnormal coloration (I say abnormal because each persons tone of complexion varies), dryness and oiliness, and skin that is inappropriate for your age. For instance, youre just in your twenties and yet you have wrinkles like youre in your fourties.

So, in contrast to what an unhealthy skin is, a healthy skin is smooth, soft, evenly toned and appropriate for natural aging. It makes sense, right? And whats most important is that these external factors symbolize that your skin is functioning properly in that it protects your body from the sometimes unkind effects of the environment, prevents harmful germs and bacteria from penetrating your body, and preserves the skins natural waterproof property.

So, knowing that a beautiful skin equals a healthy skin, let me give you just one very important word of advice that is essential in keeping your skin healthy and beautiful. Regulate your skins exposure to the sun. as you all know, sunlight contains harmful, and sometimes even fatal, UV rays that causes premature skin aging and skin cancer. It is your skins number one enemy. It not only makes you sweat, which bleeds your skin of the water it needs to function normally, but too much exposure also causes the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer.

So, if you want to maintain your healthy skin, use precautions when you know youre going to be exposed to the suns hot rays for a long period of time. Make it a habit to apply sunscreen before going out. And since the US is home to Caucasians who love to tan, I recommend that you use sunless tanning lotions and indoor tanningthe spray-on ones and not the ones that use tanning beds and lamps as the World Health Organization (WHO) has already labeled these tanning equipment as carcinogenic.

Obama Rebuilds Bush Administration Health Care Conscience Clause

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In parts of the U.S., conscience clauses exist within medical care laws that permit medical care workers to decline performing procedures that violate their religious values. Experts are quick to point out that pursuing one’s conscience can very easily run afoul of the Hippocratic Oath to serve all patients in a fair manner. Based upon the Obama administration’s recent changes to the conscience terms, it appears that idea is shared. Obama’s changes to the conscience terms supersede provisions written in during the final days of the Pres. George W. Bush administration. People take out quick short term loans for health care, and do not expect their doctor’s religious beliefs to get in the way of their health care.
Started by George W. Bush was the conscience terms
During President Bush’s final days in office, a conscience clause was inserted into laws pertaining to health care workers. Concerns over providing emergency contraception, treating homosexual patients and prescribing birth control to single women were cited as reasons for the conscience terms by the Bush administration.
The rules are “unclear and potentially over-broad in scope.” This is what the Obama administration thinks of it all. The new exception in the conscience laws only states for conscience/religious grounds instead of all of the stated above. This will go into impact in 30 days. The process through which health care workers can file complaints was also retained.
The rules of federal funds dispersed
If organizations wouldn’t accommodate medical care workers that have religious and conscience problems with procedures, then the federal funds to state and local governments, hospitals, health plans and clinics would be cut off with the Bush regulation.
You will find clearer definitions of the conscience law with Obama though. Procedurally, matters of women’s health have received greater attention. Under the new rules, roadblocks to obtaining abortion, contraceptive and fertility treatments can be lessened substantially.
A statement by the United States Department of Health and Human Services speaks to the balance the Obama compromise has struck:
“The administration strongly supports provider conscience laws that protect and support the rights of health care providers, and also recognizes and supports the rights of patients. … The rule being issued today builds on these laws by providing a clear enforcement process.”
Citations
OFR
ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2011-03993_PI.pdf
Washington Post
washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/18/AR2011021803251.html?wpisrc=nl_natlalert
Wikimedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscience_clause_%28medical%29
Lou Dobbs’ story on the conscience clause
youtube.com/watch?v=Ge4k6IjERkQ

Healthcare Law Means Changes For Nurse Management Jobs

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A good example of the burdensome regulations applies directly to nurse management jobs. There is a provision in the law requiring medical facilities to allow breaks for employees who are also nursing mothers, in order to allow them time to express milk. For a nurse manager this presents a whole new set of problems.

For instance, the law states breaks must be “reasonable” in terms of length. But who decides what “reasonable” is? If one nursing mother can express her milk in 15 minutes while another takes 30, there will be questions about fairness and equal time. Then there’s the question of workers who have babies brought to the workplace to nurse rather than expressing milk and putting it in the refrigerator.

Just this one little regulation is already causing a lot of headaches for nurse managers. It provides further evidence that the health care overhaul is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Nurse Management Jobs Still Worthwhile

Despite the changes in the healthcare regulations, don’t be discouraged if you want to get into the healthcare field. Nurse management jobs are still very attractive for a variety of reasons. They offer excellent pay, a good working environment, and room for professional advancement.

Furthermore, working as a nurse manager brings with it a measure of personal satisfaction by being able to help make the lives of patients better. By your willingness to put your best foot forward your nursing staff will be encouraged to do the same and your patients will benefit.

You and Your Staff

To excel as a nurse manager requires a way of thinking that’s slightly different from what you did as an active floor nurse. In other words, before moving into management your primary focus was your patients. As a nurse manager you’re still focused on patient care, but you’re more focused on your staff as the vehicle to provide that care.

Nurse management jobs are therefore more about encouraging the success of your staff. When you’re nurses are doing well, so will your patients. When your nurses are not performing up to standards patient care will suffer.

Nurse Managers also have the added responsibility of representing their staff before upper management and other members of the healthcare team. This requires a certain amount advocacy which some nurse managers find difficult. Nonetheless, it’s part of building a solid team.

In the United States there is currently a significant shortage of nurses and nurse managers. There are nurse management jobs available in big cities, small towns, and through temporary staffing agencies. If you’re qualified and want to work, it’s out there for the taking.

Toasted Pumpkin Seed – A Healthy Snacks

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Pumpkin is a nutritious vegetable as well as we are using it in Halloween. Most of us curve the pumpkin and throw the seeds. We never know that pumpkin seeds are also very nutritious. There are various vendors who roast and toast the pumpkin seeds and sell that with various packed options.

Americans are adopting such superfood in day-to-day life because of its high nutritious values. Toasted pumpkin seeds are easily replaceable with fried and unhealthy snacks. Peoples like us in United States want to cut down the calories without missing the tasty, crunchy snacks. So, there is no better option than roasted or toasted pumpkin seeds.

Lets check out the nutritious values of toasted pumpkin seed. It is high in fiber. If you look through vitamins side, it is having vitamin B as well vitamin E. There are various essential minerals like zinc iron and magnesium. There are some vendors who offer gluten free pumpkin seeds as packed snack food. Such kind of products can help people to maintain their healthy snacks habits even if they have celiac disease.

In pumpkin seeds, you have great option of having low calorie healthy snack. You can toast at home by shaking the pan constantly over medium heat until seeds turn golden brown. If you dont want to waste time in making toasted pumpkin seeds, there are manufacturers who made available the toasted pumpkin seeds in various sizes of packages. So, you can buy the healthy packaged snack from a grocer or manufactures outlet.

One of the said idioms precaution is better than cure is perfectly suitable to this healthy food. Toasted pumpkin seeds help you to take precaution by offering various vitamins and minerals with fiber. It is low calorie snacks, so there is no more chance to have high cholesterol level. It is also gluten free, thats why it is great healthy snack for people having celiac decease. Its special element also helps to fight against depression. A study has proven that pumpkin seeds also prevent the formation of stone.

Various families in America are adopting the concept of healthy snack on board. Are you one of them? If not, be one of the healthy families by having toasted pumpkin seeds in your daily healthy snacks diet. There are several vendors offering large variety of packaged toasted pumpkin seeds. So, grab pumpkin seeds and be the healthy family.