Showing posts relating to: The Newsroom: Medical Bites

Medicaid Expansion: What's Your Take?

By MidlevelU Team Member Leonel Cabrera

One of the top issues bearing weight on the medical community today is Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.  Typically, medical providers take two stances in this debate: to support Medicaid expansion and therefore encourage providers to provide charitable care or to claim that it is unacceptable to continue seeing more patients with government plans and corresponding low reimbursement rates- after all, healthcare is a business.  

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What Exactly are Health Insurance Exchanges?

You would think that as nurse practitioners we would know a lot about healthcare reform.  Unfortunately, between seeing patients and managing other work and home related  activities most of us probably don't have time to educate ourselves on the issue.  Regardless, our patients will view us as a resource to help understand the changes happening in healthcare.  It's important that we take some time to familiarize ourselves with the basics of healthcare reform.  So, today I have invited a guest to answer the question "What exactly are health insurance exchanges?".

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Medical Week in Review 7.19.13

Whew!  It's been a hot one out there.  I hope you are are surviving this mid-summer heat wave.  I've said farewell to jeans and waistlines in general bringing out warm weather frocks in full force.  The AC in our house is cranked up to the max.  Remind me that it's so hot I don't care when the next power bill arrives.  If the thought of sweating it out outdoors makes you cringe, say in, flip open your laptop and check out this week's noteworthy medical news stories. 

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What Does the Research Really Say? 5 Tips for Analyzing Clinical Trials

Do you ever get disillusioned with medicine?  I do.  Some days it seems I just hand out tablets and pills to people who probably don't need them but ask for them by name based on TV ads.  Pharmaceutical reps present costly new medications that treat problems already covered by cheaper generics.  Then, there is the growing buzz about the dangers of unreported and skewed results of clinical trials, both surgical and pharmaceutical.  

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Just How Dangerous is Radiation from CT Scans?

Coming to the ER with a headache and no prior migraine history?  You can probably expect a head CT.  Belly pain?  That'll probably warrant imaging as well.  Just how much radiation are our patients getting with an average CT scan?  What effect will this have on their future health?  

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Forget Detention...Kids Sent Home from School with 'Fat' Notes

While listening to the news this morning and slurping down my coffee, I overheard an interesting story.  Apparently papers sent home with students labeled with the letter 'F' no longer just represent poor academic performance.  Some schools are now sending notes home informing parents their children are too fat.  Of course, parents everywhere are offended.  PTA moms are putting down their Starbucks cups just long enough to knock down the doors of their principal's offices demanding apologies.  I say, however, this might not be such a bad practice.

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Super Bowl Sunday: A Medical Perspective

I am not an avid football follower, nor do I pretend to be.  I pay for ESPN only so my friends still want to attend my dinner parties in the fall, and so I am not embarrassed when I can't provide a viewing of the 'big game'.  But, I love Super Bowl Sunday. It is the one chance I have during the year to unashamedly stuff my face with beer and nachos.  Developing an annual case of heartburn helps me sympathize with my patients.  Based on my behavior today, I will not guilt you with a post describing how many calories you are about to consume.  Instead, let's look at the health risks of playing football.

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Quitting Smoking by 40 Restores Life Expectancy- How Do We Help People Quit?

More than 43 million Americans (including our president) smoke cigarettes.  Nurse practitioners undoubtedly treat multiple smokers each day, often for tobacco-related illness.  With new research indicating that quitting smoking before the age of 40 may restore life expectancy to that of non-smokers, it is more important than ever that we emphasize smoking cessation with our patients.  What are the most effective smoking cessation methods?

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Birth Control Available Over the Counter? Providers Say 'Yes'

Hooray!  'They' (some nebulous collaboration of physician's organizations and government officials) are considering making birth control pills available over-the-counter.  It seems providers and physician's organizations would naturally be against the movement as it will result in decreased health care revenue (goodbye yearly GYN visit?) but they are not.  Maybe as medical providers we have all seen one too many 14 year old girls with a child...or two.  

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Fasting No Longer Necessary for Cholesterol Testing?

Until now, nurse practitioners have been taught that patients must fast before cholesterol testing to obtain accurate results.  New research debunks this teaching showing fasting before cholesterol testing may not be as important as once thought- great news for patients who come to your clinic disgruntled and famished as a result of skipping breakfast.

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Could Metformin Be Key to Fighting Ovarian Cancer?

Researchers have suspected metformin to hold anti-cancer properties for years.  They noticed that cancer patients taking the commonly prescribed diabetes drug live longer than their counterparts.  Most nurse practitioners have probably written hundreds of prescriptions for metformin throughout their careers unaware of it's cancer-fighting properties. 

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Holiday Season Brings Cheer...and Chest Pain

Despite the unnaturally warm, sunny weather we are experiencing today in Tennessee, the Holiday season has arrived.  It is officially December so bring on the hot cocoa, christmas lights and peppermint laced delicacies. For most of us, the Holiday season brings a sense of coziness, comfort and community to our homes.  But for others December presents the culmination of chronic health issues.  On December 25th, the number of deaths from heart attack is higher than any other day of the year.

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