Apr 14

Doctor’s Inbox by Health Power – Physician Payment Information Released for Increased Transparency

 

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By Valentine J. Burroughs, MD, MBA, Editor-In-Chief, Medical Practice Issues and Senior Medical Advisor, Health Power        
In part of the broad move to make the nation’s health care system more transparent, information about physician payments was released for the first time by the  the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 9, 2014. Now the public, researchers, policymakers, watchdog agencies and insurance companies will be able to obtain data on services and procedures provided to Medicare patients by physicians and other health care professionals. The new data will allow comparisons by physician, specialty, location, types of medical service and procedures delivered, Medicare payment, and submitted charges.
Making public the amount of Medicare reimbursement for individual physicians is another step in the direction of health care price transparency. Along these lines, in May 2013 CMS published the average charges for over 100 common inpatient services performed at hospitals across the country , and in June 2013, CMS published similar information for over 30 common outpatient procedures including cardiac and pulmonary testing. Last May, hospital charge information was released which allows comparison of what hospitals charge for common inpatient and outpatient services throughout the country.
The intended use of data about physician pay is to create better outcomes and lower costs for patients.  In addition to health care price transparency,  other benefits of this new policy include allowing providers to collaborate on better care management, giving consumers  more reliable measures of quality and performance, and allowing journalists and researchers to identify Medicare waste, fraud and abuse.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), also known as the Sunshine Act, is a portion of the Affordable Care Act which has the stated goal of making health care prices more transparent. Under the FOIA, drug and medical device manufacturers are already required to report any payments made to physicians. Information on how much these companies pay to physicians is available on the CMS Open Payment website and a mobile App operated by CMS.
In response to many concerns about possible uses and misuses of the release of physician payment information to the public, Jonathan Blum CMS Principal Deputy Administrator, said “As CMS makes a determination about how and when to disclose any information on individual physician Medicare payment, we intend to consider the importance of protecting physician’s privacy and ensuring the accuracy of any data released as well as appropriate protections to limit potential misuse or the information.”
Medical Associations are pushing for the option of allowing physicians to review the requests for information about physicians pay before being released by Medicare.
The movement by government agencies toward more transparency and the access to physician data by various categories through the Internet gives a clear signal that physicians will have less privacy from now on.  This transparent approach may also have some impact on the public in choosing their physicians, as consumers look at a physician’s profile showing from whom he or she has accepted payments, the amounts and what their Medicare quality performance has been.
Good quality individual physician and group practice performance, well care population health care  strategies and careful resource management will be increasingly important going forward. For more information about physician payments, visit CMS.gov.

 

Doctor’s Inbox by Health Powerprimarily provides current medical practice information for physicians whose clientele is significantly multicultural, in order to help keep them updated on key medical practice issues. However, some Inbox information, such as this, is also shared with non-physician members of the Health Power Network because we feel that it will also be useful for them.

Remember the Health Power motto:  Knowledge + Action= Power! ™Best wishes for your physical, mental and spiritual health

Norma J. Goodwin, M.D., Founder, President & CEO
njgoodwin@healthpowerformnorities.com
Health Power
www.healthpowerforminorities.com

 

 

Apr 06

30 Ways to Help the Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health of Children

APRIL IS NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH . 

A key way to help prevent abuse is to promote the well-being of yourself, your children, and  your grandchildren.

By well-being  we mean helping children to be both healthy AND happy.  Experts with the federal Administration on Children, Youth and Families have identified 30 ways to help connect with the children you care for, and to help promote their well-being, and

                            Health Power supports these recommendations:

1.    Write down questions for your next appointment with your child’s doctor.

2.    Share your personal accomplishments with others via Facebook or Twitter.

3.    Talk to friends about organizing a babysitting co-op.

4.    Establish a daily routine so your child knows what to expect.

5.    Get outside! Start a parent/child walking or biking club with neighbors.

6.    Talk to your faith community about starting a parent-support ministry.

7.    Have a family game night! Even young children can play board games on an adult’s “team.”

8.    Explore the world from your child’s point of view.

9.    Set goals for yourself and list the steps you will need to take to accomplish them.

10.  Find out what classes your library or community center offers. Sign up for one that interests you.

11.  “Catch” your children being good. Praise them often.

12.  Make a play date with friends who have children the same ages as yours.

13.  Plant a pinwheel garden with your child in your front yard, near your mail box, or on your front porch.

14.  Ask your children who is important to them.

15.  Reflect on the parenting you received as a child and how that impacts how you parent today.

16.  Make time to do something YOU enjoy.

17.  Dial “2-1-1” to find out about organizations that support families in your area.

18.  Role play emotions with your child—what do you do when you’re happy, sad, or frustrated?

19.  Find and join a local parent or community café, like Circle of Parents®. http://www.circleofparents.org/

20.  Hold, cuddle, and hug your children often.

21.  Make something with your child. Arts and crafts are fun for adults, too!

22.  Find a local parenting group (e.g., MOPS). http://www.mops.org/

23.  Talk to a trusted friend when you feel stressed, overwhelmed, or sad.

24.  Ask your school principal or PTA to host a community resource night.

25.  Teach your child to resolve conflicts peacefully.

26.  Join a Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop with your children.

27.  Host a potluck dinner with neighborhood families to swap parenting stories.

28.  Volunteer at your child’s school.

29.  Spend time observing what your child can and cannot do. Discuss any concerns with your child’s teacher.

30.  Treat yourself to a spa day at home: Take a bubble bath, try a facial mask, and paint your nails a new color.

Taken from: 30 Ways to Promote Child Well-Being During National Child Abuse Prevention Month

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/guide2014/guide.pdf#page=17

For more information:

https://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/

Remember the Health Power motto:  Knowledge + Action= Power! ™Best wishes for your physical, mental and spiritual health

Norma J. Goodwin, M.D., Founder, President & CEO
njgoodwin@healthpowerformnorities.com
Health Power
www.healthpowerforminorities.com

 

 

 

Mar 31

Black Girls and Women Find Healing through GirlTrek Movement

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 By A.K. Collier, Health Power Editor, Freelance Journalist and Author, www.andrea king collier.com 

Although it was still winter in much of the country, 20,000 Black women and girls  took it to the streets, the parks and their neighborhoods, to walk as a part of GirlTrek, a national movement to get them walking and moving.

GirlTrekkers who have signed the pledge have agreed to walk five days a week, but this particular weekend’s festivities were tied around the March 10th birthday of freedom fighter and former slave, Harriet Tubman. The participants had a lofty goal: to log in 100 minutes of walking. But the founders saw a deeper goal as one that would help Black girls and women reclaim their power, lives and neighborhoods. “Harriet Tubman weekend is important, but the commitment that comes after, day after day, week after week can change lives.” “We like to say if Harriet Tubman can walk thousands of slaves to freedom, we can walk to health and healing,” Vanessa Garrison, GirlTrek co-founder says. “We know that this walking movement has caught on because the healing has been inspirational and contagious.”

GirlTrek co-founder, T. Morgan Dixon, got inspired when she found her stride through walking. “I suffered from depression, like many of the women in my family,” Dixon says.“Mine was made worse by pushing myself too hard, and working too hard in my professional life.” It was the depression that made Dixon isolate herself from friends, community and shy away from intimacy, she says. “But it was when I started walking, one step at a time, that I noticed that my world started to slow down. I started to feel transported,” Dixon says. “I felt that I could finally just let my shoulders down and heal.”

Garrison and Dixon say that as more Black women sign on and start walking they keep hearing inspirational personal stories of healing and health all around the country. “It is true that there are many health disparities that stem from the lack of physical activity among Black women in our communities.  We do have the highest rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and overweight and obesity. And yes walking a minimum of 30 minutes at least five days a week will help reduce our risks,” Garrison says. “We have many GirlTrekkers who have lost significant amounts of weight and some who report being able to manage their high blood pressure and diabetes better through that commitment to physical exercise.” But, Dixon says that the power of the movement goes beyond the long running story of Black women and girls weight issues. “We are all real women with real needs that are both physical, emotional and social that coming together to walk is helping us meet,” Dixon says.

The GirlTrekkers have also found synergy and inspiration through linking up on social media. “It’s exciting to learn more about what your peers are doing in Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, all over the place by signing in to Facebook or Twitter.” Garrison says. “You may be walking with your best friend in Los Angeles, but it is powerful to know that at that same time, there are women walking on their jobs, around the block at their churches, and out on the high school tracks—following the lessons set by Harriet Tubman.”

More information about GirlTrekkers can be found at www.girltrek.org, or by contacting vanessa@girltrek.org or morgan@girltrek.org.

____________________

By Andrea King Collier, Health Power Editor, Freelance Journalist and Author, www.andrea king collier.com

 

Special Note: Visit the Health Power Food and Fitness Channel, and Spiritual Health Channel  for helpful Tip Sheets and Cultural Specialty Recipes to try and discuss as you Trek Along.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 28

Infographic–If You Quit Smoking Right Now

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If you quit smoking right now, your health will begin to improve right away!  Here is an infographic showing the effects of stopping smoking as time goes on.  It’s never too late, stop smoking today!

smoking infographic

Mar 28

Women’s History Month and National Nutrition Month Highlights

Our 2014 Women’s History Salute   

      

Saluting the Achievements and Contributions of Women of Color

With great pleasure, Health Power has honored 18 outstanding women of color, ranging from Soledad O’Brien to Patti LaBelle. They were recognized for their contributions to the physical, mental and/or spiritual health of people of color, and each has contributed much to the history of minority/multicultural women. We proudly introduce them in our website

titles are those at the time we honored them.   

 
Click here to see these 18 women, and you will recognize with us why they were singled out for special recognition.
We also appreciate and salute women of color as a group – both professional and unprofessional, especially for the valuable and diverse contributions they make, in spite of the physical, mental and spiritual challenges they often experience, and almost always overcome.
That includes their being:  
  • Successful in their family lives;
  • Successful in their workplaces; and 
  • Successful in their communities.
Special Thoughts:
- Unfortunately, for too many women, the challenges of daily or nightly     living include experiencing physical,verbal, or mental/psychological abuse.
 
They must know that they don’t have to accept it, and others and others who are aware of it must not be silent observers. 
 
See our website Section on Violence for Tip Sheets and other helpful information.
    

It’s also National Nutrition Month, so 

 

Visit our website’s Food and Fitness Channel 

 

and try a Celebrity or Cultural Specialty Recipe

Our Special Gift 
for Black History Month:
________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

We are very pleased to share the Awesome infographic,
“Celebrating Black History  365 24/7″ by

Dr. Alice Tyler Milton,whose sub-title is: ‘Understanding Wisdom and FOREVER Appreciating the Past’. It has loads of photos, bio-sketches and other ‘good stuff’. So click away (See link at bottom of this page).

 

Also, be sure to “Pass It On” to all supporters of ‘Black Heritage’ in your Network, tell them you got it from Health Power, and that they should : 

-  Give us a Facebook Like
-  Follow us on Twitter
-  Sign up in our website “Stay Connected” window on any website page, and
-  Visit us often – both our website, atwww.healthpowerforminorities.com, and our Blog 
    (you can also click on the Blog button on any website page to get there).
  The Black History Month infographic link is at:
 

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