Filipinos to now pay 3% of salary for health insurance

Under the universal healthcare law, overseas Filipinos are classified as ‘direct contributors’.

Starting this year, Filipinos in the UAE and across the world are required to pay three per cent of their income to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), the authority reiterated in its latest circular.

The increase in PhilHealth premiums was rolled out late last year and, on April 22, the corporation published a detailed circular elaborating on the contribution and collection of payment from overseas Filipino members.

Also read: FAQs on Philippine health insurance contribution

PhilHealth said expats’ three per cent premium rate will be computed based on their monthly pay, with the range set at P10,000 (Dh730) to P60,000 (Dh4,385).

If one’s monthly salary is higher than Dh4,385, the individual will still pay P1,800 (Dh132)  every month, or the three per cent of the income ceiling.

For an entire year, an expat earning Dh4,385 or more will have to shell out P21,600 (Dh1,579).

“While the premium is computed based on the monthly income, payment shall be made every three-month, six-month or full 12-month period,” the circular said.

It added that 2020 will serve as the transition year, so an initial payment of P2,400 (Dh175) can be made to meet the new policy requirements. The remaining balance, however, shall be settled within the year.

“A member who fails to pay the premium after the due date set by the corporation shall be required to pay all missed contributions with monthly compounded interest,” it said.

“By January 1, 2021, the minimum acceptable initial payment is a three-month premium based on the prescribed rate at the time of payment,” it added. “Still, the member has the option to pay the balance in full or in quarterly payments.”
 
Membership must be updated

Under the Philippines’ universal healthcare law, overseas Filipinos are classified as ‘direct contributors’, therefore, “payment and remittance of premium contributions is mandatory”, as stated in the circular.
 
Expats should update their PhilHealth membership and submit a proof of income, which shall serve as the basis for the mandatory contribution.

The new policy covers even those who are not employed. “This circular covers all overseas Filipinos living and working abroad, including those on vacation and those waiting for documentation, whether registered or unregistered to the National Health Insurance Program,” the circular said.
 
Coverage includes hospitalisation abroad

A PhilHealth representative – whom Khaleej Times spoke to through the agency’s hotline – confirmed that members and their dependents can avail of the insurance’s benefits even if they are outside the country.

“Should a member be hospitalised abroad, he or she will just have to submit the bills, medical abstract and filled-out Claim Form 1 and Claim Form 2,” he said in Filipino. Claim forms can be downloaded from the PhilHealth’s website. 

“Documents should be submitted within 180 days after the patient has been discharged,” he added.

Premium  to increase yearly till 2024-25

Filipino expats’ PhilHealth contributions shall also increase every year until 2024-25, according to the circular.

From three per cent this year, the premium will be at 3.5 per cent in 2021; 4 per cent in 2022; 4.5 per cent in 2023; and 5 per cent in 2024 and 2025.

The income ceiling will also increase to P70,000 (Dh5116) in 2021, 80,000 (Dh5,847) in 2022, 90,000 (Dh6,578) in 2023, and 100,000 (Dh7,309) from 2024 to 2025.

kirstin@khaleejtimes.com

This content was originally published here.

Cranston orthodontist fears a burglary, but finds a turkey

John Hill Journal Staff Writer jghilliii

CRANSTON, R.I. — It was Columbus Day and Joseph E. Pezza and his wife had gotten back from a weekend in Nashville. The Pontiac Avenue orthodontist decided to stop by the office to check the mail and make sure everything was set for Tuesday morning.

But someone was already waiting in the office. He’d come through the office window, a fully grown wild turkey.

The waiting area was strewn with broken glass, Pezza said, and at first he thought he been the victim of a burglary. He went into his office to leave a message for the building manager and while he was wondering if he should call the police, the reason for the carnage became apparent.

“I went back into the room and all of a sudden this bird flies over my head,” Pezza said.

Pezza said he immediately headed back to his office, closed the door and waited for the building crew.

Pezza and his son Gregory are Pezza Orthodontics, located in a four-story office building off Pontiac Avenue near the interchange with Pontiac Avenue and Route 37. Birds sometimes bump into the back windows of the building, some of the office staff said, but the turkey was a first.

“It was double-pane glass, “ Pezza said, in wonder that the bird could fly high enough and fast enough to smash through the window. And survive

The maintenance crew worked to get the bird into a large bucket to get the bird out of the building, Pezza said, but it collapsed and died, possibly of shock or injuries suffered in the crash.

For now, the window is covered with a square of wood, with a felt turkey hanging from the center.

He declined to say if the incident was going to affect his plans for Thanksgiving.

This content was originally published here.

We Didn’t ‘Flatten The Curve,’ We Flattened The U.S. Health Care System

When the lockdowns began last month, we were told that if we didn’t stay home our hospitals would be overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, intensive care wards would be overrun, there wouldn’t be enough ventilators, and some people would probably die in their homes for lack of care. To maintain capacity in the health-care system, we all had to go on lockdown—not just the big cities, but everywhere.

So we stayed home, businesses closed, and tens of millions of Americans lost their jobs. But with the exception of New York City, the overwhelming surge of coronavirus patients never really appeared—at least not in the predicted numbers, which have been off by hundreds of thousands.

During a press conference Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis noted that health experts initially projected 465,000 Floridians would be hospitalized because of coronavirus by April 24. But as of April 22, the number is slightly more than 2,000.

Even in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last month he would need 30,000 ventilators, hospitals never came close to needing that many. The projected peak need was about 5,000, and actual usage may have been even lower.

Other overflow measures have also proven unnecessary. On Tuesday, President Trump said the USNS Comfort, the Navy hospital ship that had been deployed to New York to provide emergency care for coronavirus patients, will be leaving New York. The ship had been prepared to treat 500 patients. As of Friday, only 71 beds were occupied. An Army field hospital set up in Seattle’s pro football stadium shut down earlier this month without ever having seen a single patient.

It’s the same story in much of the country. In Texas, where this week Gov. Greg Abbott began gradually loosening lockdown measures, including a prohibition on most medical procedures, hospitals aren’t overwhelmed. In Dallas and Houston, where coronavirus cases are concentrated in the state, makeshift overflow centers that had been under construction might not be used at all.

In Illinois, where hospitals across the state scrambled to stock up on ventilators last month, fewer than half of them have been put to use—and as of Sunday, only 757 of 1,345 ventilators were being used by COVID-19 patients. In Virginia, only about 22 percent of the ventilator supply is being used.

Meanwhile, hospitals and health care systems nationwide have had to furlough or lay off thousands of employees. Why? Because the vast major of most hospitals’ revenue comes from elective or “non-essential” procedures. We’re not talking about LASIK eye surgery but things like coronary angioplasty and stents, procedures that are necessary but maybe not emergencies—yet. If hospitals can’t perform these procedures because governors have banned them, then they can’t pay their bills, or their employees.

To take just one example, a friend who works in a cardiac intensive care unit (ICU) in rural Virginia called recently and told me about how they had reorganized their entire system around caring for coronavirus patients. They had cancelled most “non-essential” procedures, imposed furloughs and pay cuts, and created a special ICU ward for patients with COVID-19. So far, they have had only one patient. One. The nurses assigned to the COVID-19 ward have very little to do. In the entire area covered by this hospital system, only about 30 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

If Hospitals Can Handle The Load, End The Lockdowns

I’m sure the governors and health officials who ordered these lockdowns meant well. They based their decisions on deeply flawed and woefully inaccurate models, and they should have been less panicky and more skeptical, but they were facing a completely new disease about which, thanks to China, they had almost no reliable information.

However, in hindsight it seems clear that treating the entire country as if it were New York City was a huge mistake that has cost millions of American jobs and destroyed untold amounts of wealth. Now that we know our hospitals aren’t going to be overrun by COVID-19 cases, governors and mayors should immediately reverse course and begin opening their states and communities for business.

Of course, some already are—and in a phased, cautious manner, as they should. But the overarching narrative that we all bought into, that unless we stayed home and “flattened the curve” our hospitals would be inundated, and if your kids got sick there would be no beds available to treat them, has turned out to be false. It hasn’t happened, and it most likely won’t happen, especially now that new evidence is emerging that suggests many more people have already contracted COVID-19 than previously thought, which means the disease might be far less lethal than we feared.

Public officials responsible for the lockdowns will no doubt claim that without these draconian measures, our hospitals surely would have been overwhelmed. And who knows? Maybe they would have. It’s an unfalsifiable assertion.

But at this point we should all be able to agree that the predictions were way off, and not just because they didn’t take into account stay-at-home orders or business closures, because they did. The experts, in this case, were wrong. The best thing governors and mayors can do now is admit as much, and start lifting their lockdown orders so people—including doctors and nurses—can get back to work.

This content was originally published here.

More Local Hospitals Report Children With Possible COVID-19 Health Consequences – NBC New York

Amid new concerns about the possible impact of COVID-19 on children, one Long Island hospital tells NBC New York they have seen about a dozen critically ill pediatric patients in the past two weeks with similar inflammatory symptoms. 

“We now have at least about 12 patients in our hospital that are presenting in a similar fashion, that we think have some relation to a COVID infection,” said Dr. James Schneider, Director of Pediatric Critical Care at Cohen Children’s Hospital in Nassau. “It’s something we’re starting to see around the country.”  

Cohen is one of several local hospitals where pediatricians say they are concerned about recent hospitalizations of previously healthy children who have become critically ill with the same features, resembling Toxic Shock Syndrome and Kawasaki disease. Kawasaki is an autoimmune sickness that can be triggered by a viral infection and if not treated quickly, can cause life-threatening damage to the arteries and the heart.  

Top news stories in the tri-state area, in America and around the world

“They are scattered. Each center has one or two cases,” said Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Nadine Choueiter of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.

While Dr. Choueiter noted the cases are still rare, she added, “Yes, we are seeing them and it’s important to talk about it to raise awareness so as pediatricians we look for these symptoms and treat them.”

Symptoms can include fever for more than five days, rash, gastrointestinal symptoms, red eyes and swollen hands and feet. In addition to a dozen cases at Cohen Children’s Hospital, a source at Mount Sinai Hospital says the number of cases in their pediatric ICU grew by several this week, up from two cases on April 28. 

A Mount Sinai spokesman declined to comment. 

NBC New York has also confirmed at least one case at Montefiore Medical Center and another case of a toddler at NYU Langone, who was released in recent days after being treated for Kawasaki disease.  

At Columbia Presbyterian, a spokesperson did not respond to repeated requests from NBC New York about a published report of three cases in their hospital. 

Pediatricians say besides the serious inflammatory symptoms, what many of these children have in common is that they test positive for COVID-19 or the antibodies. They also say some of the children test negative for COVID-19, but are believed to have been exposed to the virus by immediate family members.

Now doctors are comparing notes, trying to figure out if COVID-19 is triggering an overreaction of the immune system in some previously healthy children, perhaps even weeks after they were exposed. 

“The interesting part is only now are we seeing these patients show up,” Dr. Schneider said, adding that the question remains “Is this a typical surge in Kawasaki disease or is this the typical post-infectious response to a COVID infection?” 

Doctors say it is also possible that these cases are unrelated to COVID-19, but it is hard to know, since health officials do not require such symptoms in children to be tracked. It is still unclear if local public health officials have started counting these cases to determine if there is an uptick.

The New York City Health Department seemed unaware of the local cases when NBC New York first inquired about doctors’ concerns at a news conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 29.

“We have not seen this to date,” said Commissioner Oxiris Barbot of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Two days later on May 1, when NBC New York asked for an update, Commissioner Barbot said she is trying to learn more about any potential health threat to children.

“We are looking closely at this, “ Barbot said. “My team has reached out to the pediatric hospitals to get more information about specific cases that they have concerns are indicating an inflammatory cardiovascular response in children that had not been previously observed.” 

Barbot said she had also personally communicated with the NYC Medical Examiner who is attempting to compile any information on children abroad who may have died after developing these symptoms. British pediatricians and health officials also issued a warning on April 26 about a possible COVID-Kawasaki link in young children. 

“It just goes to show that COVID does not spare any age group and can lead to very serious illness, even in kids,” said Dr. Schneider.

This content was originally published here.

NYC health commissioner wouldn’t supply NYPD with masks

New York City’s health commissioner blew off an urgent NYPD request for 500,000 surgical masks as the coronavirus crisis mounted — telling a high-ranking police official that “I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops,” The Post has learned.

Dr. Oxiris Barbot made the heartless remark during a brief phone conversation in late March with NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

Monahan asked Barbot for 500,000 masks but she said she could only provide 50,000, the sources said.

“I don’t give two rats’ asses about your cops,” Barbot said, according to sources.

“I need them for others.”

The conversation took place as increasing numbers of cops were calling out sick with symptoms of COVID-19 but before the department suffered its first casualties from the deadly respiratory disease, sources said.

Although surgical masks don’t necessarily prevent wearers from being infected with the coronavirus, they can prevent people from spreading it to others.

An NYPD detective died after contracting coronavirus — the first…

The NYPD has recorded 5,490 cases of coronavirus among its 55,000 cops and civilian workers, with 41 deaths, according to figures released Wednesday evening.

Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, called for Barbot to be fired over her “Despicable and unforgivable” comments.

“Dr. Barbot should be forced to look in the eye of every police family who lost a hero to this virus. Look them in the eye and tell them they aren’t worth a rat’s ass,” Lynch fumed.

In the wake of Barbot’s crass rebuff of Monahan, NYPD officials learned that the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene had a large stash of masks, ventilators and other equipment stored in a New Jersey warehouse, sources said.

The department appealed to City Hall, which arranged for the NYPD to get 250,000 surgical masks, sources said.

The federal Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency also learned about the situation, leading FEMA to supply the NYPD with Tyvek suits and disinfectant, sources said.

A source who was present during a tabletop exercise at the city Office of Emergency Management headquarters in Brooklyn in March recalled witnessing a “very tense moment” when Monahan complained to Mayor de Blasio in front of Barbot about the NYPD’s need for personal protective equipment, saying, “For weeks, we haven’t gotten an answer.”

De Blasio, who was seated between Monahan and Barbot, asked her, “Oxiris what is he talking about?” the source said.

She was not on the conference call Friday as de…

When Monahan said the gear was vital to keeping cops safe, de Blasio said, “You definitely need it,” and told Barbot, “Oxiris, you’re going to fix this right now,” the source said.

Last week, Barbot — who’s been a routine participant in de Blasio’s daily coronavirus briefings — was noticeably absent when Blasio announced that the city’s public hospital system would oversee a major testing and tracing program, even though the DOH has previously run similar programs.

Hizzoner also heaped praise on the head of NYC Health + Hospitals, Dr. Mitchell Katz, saying, “When you have an inspired operational leader, you know, pass the ball to them is my attitude.”

De Blasio named Barbot the city’s health commissioner in 2018 following the resignation of Dr. Mary Bassett, who took a job at Harvard University’s School of Public Health amid an investigation into the DOH’s failure to alert federal officials to elevated levels of lead in the blood of children living in city housing projects.

“During the height of COVID, while our hospitals were battling to keep patients alive, there was a heated exchange between the two where things were said out of frustration but no harm was wished on anyone,” Department of Health press secretary Patrick Gallahue said, noting that Barbot “apologized for her contribution to the exchange.”

The NYPD declined to comment.

City Councilman Joe Borelli and Congressman Max Rose on Wednesday night joined Lynch in calling for Barbot’s outster.

“I judged the mayor incorrectly for shifting duties away from her if this is how she feels about her job,” Borelli said, referencing de Blasio’s decision to transfer the city’s testing in trace program from the Dept. of Health to Health + Hospitals.

Rose tweeted: “This kind of attitude explains so much about City Hall’s overall response to this crisis. Dr. Barbot shouldn’t resign, she should be fired.”

Additional reporting by Craig McCarthy

This content was originally published here.

Coronavirus in Minnehaha County: Health emergency, Smithfield\u00a0cases

State to declare public health emergency in Minnehaha County; 190 cases connected to Smithfield

Trevor J. Mitchell
Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Published 4:56 PM EDT Apr 10, 2020

The South Dakota secretary of health will declare a public health emergency in Minnehaha County at the guidance of Gov. Kristi Noem.

Noem announced the declaration Friday after the state released the latest COVID-19 data showing a one-day increase of 83 confirmed cases in the county. 

The decision comes as state officials confirmed that 190 confirmed cases — “primarily” employees — have been connected to Smithfield Foods, a hot spot in Sioux Falls. That’s more than double the number of cases confirmed two days prior. 

The state is working to identify people who were in contact with those confirmed to have the disease. The state’s contact tracing — a process where those who may have been in close contact with an infected individual are monitored for signs of infection — across all positive cases has shown an average of 10 people in close contact to a positive case, said State Epidemiologist Josh Clayton.

If that holds true for the positive cases connected to Smithfield, that’s nearly 2,000 people the state would need to identify and work with to quarantine to slow the spread of the virus.

More: Sioux Falls Health Department tours Smithfield facility, offers recommendations

Noem said the second component of addressing the situation was what was happening outside the facility, noting they were “dealing with a very diverse workforce there.” The state health department was working with interpreters to ensure that social distancing measures and CDC recommendations were clearly understood by all employees.

Noem said the reason for calling the public health emergency in Minnehaha County today is because the number of confirmed cases have doubled in three days.

Noem also asked citizens again to consider downloading Care19, an app made available through a partnership with North Dakota that tracks the user’s location in order to make contact tracing easier should the user later become infected with the new coronavirus. Ideally, it could eventually be used to notify people who may have come in contact with someone who was infected.

The app is voluntary, Noem said, and users would remain anonymous. As of Friday morning, nearly 3,000 people were using the South Dakota functionality of the app.

A protest in solidarity with Smithfield Food, Inc. employees is carried out in front of the food packaging facility after many workers complained of unsafe working conditions due to the COVID-19 outbreak on Thursday, April 9, in Sioux Falls. This week, over 80 Smithfield employees tested positive for the virus, and the plant is closing for just three days before expecting workers back.
Erin Bormett / Argus Leader

Public health emergency could allow judicial action if quarantine efforts not followed

Noem said the public health emergency would act as “an additional enforcement tool,” a proactive step that would “set forth the parameters in which we could use authorities to incorporate judicial action against someone that may not comply with quarantine efforts.”

Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon spoke about the declaration as well, saying the first step in the process would be issuing a public health intervention order, a personalized directive from her to an individual as to the actions they need to take.

Would the person continue to ignore that directive, judicial action could be taken.

Malsam-Rysdon said one public health intervention order had been issued since the beginning of the pandemic, against an individual from Lyman County.

S.D. confirms 89 new cases, 78 in Minnehaha County

The South Dakota Department of Health announced Friday that 89 more cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, have been confirmed in the state.

The new cases bring the state’s total to 536, a number that does not include pending tests in private labs and people who have the virus but have not been tested.

No new deaths were attributed to the disease. Six people have died from COVID-19 in South Dakota to date.

The number of people who have recovered from the disease increased to 177.

In Minnehaha County, 78 new cases were confirmed for a total of 352, while Lincoln County’s confirmed case total rose by 5 to 38. The two counties combined account for 72% of the state’s total cases.

The story continues below. 

Noem pushes back on reports of unsafe work conditions at Smithfield

Noem’s comments also come a day after Smithfield Foods announced it will close its Sioux Falls plant for three days starting April 11 after Malsam-Rysdon confirmed on April 8 that more than 80 of the plant’s employees had tested positive for COVID-19.

Noem said on Thursday that Smithfield “have been real leaders,” and was impressed that “their number one concern is they care and they love their employees.”

But not all of Smithfield’s employees agree. The Argus Leader spoke with more than a dozen employees from Smithfield who described working conditions where social distancing was not being implemented, protective gear being provided that was more like a hairnet than a CDC-recommended mask and a $500 bonus for not missing work in April that one worker said felt “like they’re bribing us with money to come to work sick.”

Asked on Friday whether she was contemplating any enforcement actions against the company, Noem said “I think we all read the news stories last night, watched our TV stations, watched some stories that have come out. I think that the concerns of those workers need to be looked at and considered by everybody, and I encourage Smithfield to do that as well.”

More: Smithfield workers asked for safety from COVID-19. Their company offered cash.

But Noem also said that “when the media doesn’t cover all the facts of the situation, you’re doing a disservice to the public,” accusing some media organizations of leaving out facts “to make sure it was a story that grabbed headlines.”

Asked for specifics, Noem said Smithfield had shared photos and documentation with the state outlining various measures they’d implemented to increase safety and keep employees safe, and when they’d put them in place. Those photos and documents have not been shared with reporters or the public.

Clayton also spoke about the state’s discussions with Smithfield, saying “it’s important to note that Smithfield has followed CDC guidance” aimed at keeping their plant and its place in the food supply chain operating.

Noem said she “had gotten documentation and letters, communications with the union,” but didn’t know who on her staff had visited with them, although she said the South Dakota Department of Health “probably has.”

Whitney: Smithfield outbreak sheds light on state’s COVID-19 response

This content was originally published here.

Health Expert: Concerts Will Return in Fall 2021 At the Earliest

The coronavirus pandemic has already put a hurting on the live events industry. In a feature in New York Times Magazine, they polled five public health experts about when reopening businesses and it’s a grim forecast for concerts, which one expert predicts won’t return before fall 2021 “at the earliest.”

Zeke Emanuel, vice provost for global initiatives and director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania was among the experts polled on various aspects of getting daily American life back in motion. He insisted a return to normal functions would have to be “done in stages and it does have to start with more physical distancing at a work site that allows people who are at lower risk to come back.”

In Emanuel’s opinion, “Certain kinds of construction, or manufacturing or offices, in which you can maintain six-foot distances are more reasonable to start sooner.”

However, “Larger gatherings — conferences, concerts, sporting events — when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think that’s a plausible possibility.” Unfortunately, Emanuel felt these events “will be the last to return,” and he looked ahead beyond one year, noting, “Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”

Reopening public and work spaces inevitably means there will still be some sort of virus transmission between people, meaning there may be an ebb and flow in regards to the rise and fall in the number of people infected.

“In Hong Kong, Singapore and other places, we’re seeing resurgences when they open up and allow more activity. It’s going to be this roller coaster, up and down,” assessed Emanuel, who added, “The question is: When it goes up, can we do better testing and contact tracing so that we can focus on particular people and isolate them and not have to reimpose shelter-in-place for everyone as we did before?”

Read the complete story here.

In light of the absence of touring, countless artists have pursued the live stream avenue, performing concerts from their homes for fans around the globe. You can keep track of all future live streams of this nature with our Rock + Metal Virtual Performance Streaming Calendar, which is continuously updated.

The Best Metal Song of Each Year Since 1970

This content was originally published here.

Designing a Welcoming Orthodontics Office – Spear Education

With more adults being referred for orthodontic care, it’s necessary to create an office that is welcoming not only for children, but for older patients, as well.

The first thing your patients notice when they walk into your practice is the design. With that in mind, use these office design techniques to make your practice feel more welcoming for patients of all ages.

Adult-friendly amenities

Filling an orthodontics office with toys, video games and family-friendly movies may be a hit for kids. However, the approach does not provide key conveniences for adult patients, who account for one in four of the orthodontic patients in the U.S., according to the American Association of Orthodontists.

“Most ortho practices are set up to be efficient for providers, and attractive to children and adolescents, who are generally their target market,” said Spear Resident Faculty member Dr. Cheryl DeWood.

After 22 years in private practice as a general practitioner, Dr. DeWood chose to pursue an education and career in orthodontics.

Based on her experience as a practicing orthodontist since 2005, Dr. DeWood learned that an office designed around child-like elements fails to make adult patients feel welcome.

“This type of set-up emphasizes a ‘fun’ or juvenile atmosphere and is generally lacking in adult amenities, including private treatment areas,” Dr. DeWood said. “For GPs who are looking to refer adults, this isn’t very appealing.”

“I have been telling my colleagues for years that they are missing a growing part of the ortho market by limiting their ability to accommodate adult patients,” she said.

For example, the ADA Marketplace blog recommends that “stacks of magazines, books or newspapers can help keep the adults happily preoccupied.”

The ADA also encourages having soothing music playing in the office and access to refreshments like coffee and tea.

Effective use of color and light

The color scheme you pick for your practice can have a significant psychological impact on your patient. According the ADA Center for Professional Success, utilizing bright and bold colors like red and yellow can cause your patient’s anxiety to rise, whereas shades like sky blue or cool-toned purples can have more of a relaxing or cheerful effect.

Orange, the complement to blue on the color wheel, can be used for smaller touches in an orthodontics office for a bright accent. But if orange is used too much, it can be overstimulating.

Industry experts also recommend adding a few lamps with warm bulbs to your office to create a sunny, inviting space, or swapping out old light fixtures for lamps with a modern look for a fresh, new atmosphere.

Reduce stress with aquariums

It’s no accident that fish tanks are utilized in numerous dental and health care offices.

A 2015 U.K. study by the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth University and the University of Exeter found that viewing an aquarium display led to lower blood pressure, lower heart rate and an improvement of mood, and these benefits increase as the number of fish increase.

The study says that “an individual does not need to spend long in front of an (aquarium), just five minutes, to derive significant benefits.”

The ADA Marketplace blog adds that aquariums can be particularly helpful for offices that have pediatric patients but can decrease stress in patients of all ages.

According to the ADA, “not every aquarium has to have the grandeur (or price tag) of a 1,000-gallon tank. A simple tank is a great tool for keeping people calm as the colors, lights and animal life provide a healthy distraction from stress.”

This content was originally published here.

Lorain County Health & Dentistry celebrates 5-year anniversary of optometry service

Lorain County Health & Dentistry is celebrating the five-year anniversary of its optometry service.

The health center opened its first vision clinic in October 2013 at 1205 Broadway in Lorain, and has since expanded services, adding a second site at 260 S. Main in Oberlin, according to a news release.

Since opening, Health & Dentistry has logged more than 20,000 optometry visits, the release said.

“The decision to open a vision clinic five years ago, was based on our patients’ input, and an understanding of local need,” Stephanie Wiersma, CEO of the Lorain County Health & Dentistry, said in the release. “Our uninsured patients, in particular, had difficulty finding an affordable optometrist and affordable prescription eye glasses. We decided we could do something about that.”

Effective planning as well as support from Lorain Lions, Lions Clubs of Ohio District 13B and Lions International made the optometry service possible, the release said.

A service organization committed to protecting sight and preventing blindness, Lions Clubs raised significant funds to enable Health & Dentistry to purchase computerized and other eye testing equipment, the release said.

Optometry services available at the two Health & Dentistry vision clinics include comprehensive eye exams, diabetic eye testing, glaucoma screening and eye glass prescription and dispensing, according to the release.

Lorain County Health & Dentistry is a Federally Qualified Health Center designated by the Health Resources & Services Administration, and the largest safety-net provider of primary and preventive health care in Lorain County. It is one of more than 50 Federally Qualified Health Center organizations in Ohio, and the only one in Lorain County, according to the release.

November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month, and diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness and loss of vision, according to the release. Protecting eyesight and preventing eye disease is possible with regular check-ups. 

To schedule an eye exam or other health service, call 440-240-1655.

This content was originally published here.

Sanders and Jayapal Put Forth Bill to Provide No-Cost ‘Health Care for All During Pandemic’ | Common Dreams News

As the number of Americans without health insurance continues to rise rapidly due to ongoing mass layoffs across the nation, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Friday introduced emergency legislation that would empower Medicare to cover all healthcare costs for the uninsured and all out-of-pocket expenses for those with insurance for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

“Our broken healthcare system is failing to protect millions of Americans from the coronavirus pandemic,” Jayapal, a Washington Democrat and co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a statement. “Now more than ever, we need to take bold action to prevent more Americans from getting sick or dying.”

“With an estimated 35 million Americans in danger of losing their employer-provided health insurance over the coming weeks and months, this legislation is needed now more than ever.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

If passed, the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act (pdf) would take effect immediately and remain in place until the Secretary of Health and Human Services certifies to Congress that a Food and Drug Administration-approved coronavirus vaccine is widely available to the U.S. public.

The legislation to “provide health for all during the pandemic,” according to a summary (pdf) released by Sanders’ office, would “fully cover the cost of medically necessary healthcare, including prescription drugs,” for the tens of millions of Americans currently without health insurance.

An analysis by Health Management Associates earlier this month warned that the total number of uninsured Americans could rise to 40 million within the next several months if U.S. job losses continue at the current rate.

For Americans with either public or private insurance, “Medicare will cover the copays, deductibles, and other cost-sharing for all medically necessary healthcare, including for prescription drugs,” the summary of the bill states.

“When individuals go to the hospital or doctor, they will provide their insurance information as usual,” the summary explains. “The provider will use this information to bill Medicare—either for the out-of-pocket costs if the individual has another type of insurance, or for all of the care if the individual is uninsured. The patient will not be charged anything.”

“An interesting play. Give people a taste of Medicare for All during this emergency while continuing to advocate for the real thing.”
—Anand Giridharadas, TIME

Additionally, the legislation would ban surprise billing and prevent private insurance companies from limiting coverage or hiking co-pays and deductibles until a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

“During this unprecedented crisis, no one in America should delay seeking medical care because of the cost,” Sanders said in a statement. “If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we are only as safe as the least-insured among us.”

“We have got to work together to make sure that anyone in America who is sick—regardless of their income or immigration status—can seek the medical treatment they need during this national emergency,” Sanders added. “With an estimated 35 million Americans in danger of losing their employer-provided health insurance over the coming weeks and months, this legislation is needed now more than ever.”

Sanders and Jayapal are two of the leading advocates of Medicare for All in Congress, and the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act represents a short-term solution as they work to build support for a national single-payer plan.

“An interesting play,” TIME editor-at-large Anand Giridharadas tweeted in response to the new bill. “Give people a taste of Medicare for All during this emergency while continuing to advocate for the real thing.”

This content was originally published here.