Posts Tagged ‘national’
Bellevue Tea Party Patriots is proud to host Dr. Roger Stark of the Washington Policy, who explains, in laymen’s terms, how the policies of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act adversely impact and severely restrict the choices for virtually everyone in Washington state. The act allows the gov to take over one sixth of the US economy and dictate a top-down, one-size-fits-all health care system. Never in the history of the US has a bill, “we have to pass… so you can find out what’s in it” with such broad, wide-sweeping social legislation became law by such a slim political margin.
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Boise, ID (PRWEB) September 12, 2012
Dr. Jack Stephens, the veterinarian who founded the first U.S. pet insurance agency and issued the first pet insurance policy to celebrity TV dog Lassie in the 1980s, said the companys 7-year anniversary on Sept. 17 is particularly special to him because it also falls within National Pet Health Insurance Month and within the same year as the 30th anniversary of U.S. pet insurance as a whole.
It amazes me to reflect on the introduction of the countrys cat and dog insurance industry, Dr. Stephens recalled. As a veterinarian, a client once brought her dog into my practice and decided to euthanize her instead of providing treatment because of the cost alone.
Dr. Stephens said he ran into the family a few weeks later, and the clients young daughter remembered him as the man who killed her dog.
This encounter is what ignited my decision to find a better solution than euthanasia for pet owners who cannot afford to treat their sick animals, Dr. Stephens said. And so, U.S. pet insurance was born.
After pioneering the nations pet health insurance industry, Dr. Stephens was an integral part in the formation of NAPHIA, which is a comprised of pet health insurance companies and industry professionals who aim to set and keep industry transparency and standards high.
Dr. Stephens said the pet insurance agency plans to celebrate its anniversary during NAPHIAs National Pet Health Insurance month with a veterinarian Yappy Hour open house event in September at the Pets Best Insurance headquarters.
Were overjoyed to be celebrating another successful year at Pets Best Insurance, Dr. Stephens said. And as the human-animal bond continues to grow stronger, well be here to help owners and their beloved animals afford the best health care they can get.
About Pets Best Insurance
With the goal of reducing economic euthanasia and his commitment to the health and well-being of all pets, Pets Best Insurance president Dr. Jack Stephens founded pet insurance in the United States in 1981. A true industry visionary, Dr. Stephens presented the first pet insurance policy to famous television dog Lassie. Dr. Stephens leads the Pets Best Insurance team with his passion for quality pet health care and his expert veterinary knowledge. The Pets Best Insurance team is comprised of pet lovers who strive to deliver quality customer service and value.
Pet insurance plans offered and administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware Insurance company. Independence American Insurance Company is a member of The IHC Group, an insurance organization composed of Independence Holding Company, a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and its operating subsidiaries. The IHC Group has been providing life, health and stop loss insurance solutions for nearly 30 years. For information on The IHC Group, visit ihcgroup.com. In states in which Independence American Insurance Companys new policy form has not yet received regulatory approval, Aetna Insurance Company of Connecticut will underwrite policies. Each insurer has sole responsibility for its own products. To determine the applicable underwriter in your state visit petsbest.com/underwriter or call Pets Best at 1-877-738-7237.
For more information, visit Pets Best Insurance at http://www.petsbest.com or call 877-PetsBest (738-7237). You may also follow Pets Best Insurance on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/petsbestinsurance.
Dr. Jack Stephens is available for interviews.
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UK politicians gain from privatising National Health Service
As this year's Health and Social Care Bill was being debated and voted on in both houses, more than 200 parliamentarians held financial interests in businesses involved in private health care. Hedge fund boss John Nash, chairman of Care UK, has over …
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Ernst & Young LLP health care report explores collaboration as key to a …
Federal health care policy – Even with the Supreme Court's recent decision to uphold the health care reform law, the Court's ruling did not end political debate over health care, which looks to be a central issue in the 2012 elections and beyond …
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Unions challenge state effort to revamp retirement
In a separate complaint, the association argued the law illegally halts pension and retiree health benefits that employees have planned their retirements on for years. A portion of the suit claims the law requires employees to pay toward retiree health …
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Albuquerque, NM (PRWEB) July 31, 2012
National Family Voices is a non-profit that supports Family-to-Family Health Information Centers (F2F HICs, or F2Fs) in each of the 50 states and DC. To shed light on Eva Camerons dramatic actions and the complexities of the situation, Family Voices interviewed several people within the organizations network of affiliated, family-run agencies. F2Fs are dedicated to helping families of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and disabilities.
Recent news articles in the Chicago Tribune* report that Eva Cameron, whose daughter has the developmental understanding of a two- or three-year old, explained that due to her daughters situation, her family owes $ 12,000 in bills, she lost her nursing job, and her husband’s business has suffered. She indicated she has been rebuffed for more than ten years in her efforts to have her daughter placed in a group home in Illinois. In an interview aired on CNN’s HLN Evening Express***, Cameron stated, When I didnt get the help I needed from Illinois, someone at the church said, Why dont you go down to Tennessee? They have a good healthcare system. HLN Evening Express reported that Cameron told police Tennessee has the number one healthcare system in the United States, especially for disabled teens and adults.
However, Camerons belief is apparently incorrect. When asked whether this perception of Tennessee is accurate, Belinda Hotchkiss, Director of Family Voices of Tennessee, (which is home to the F2F HIC that provides information about available services to Tennessee parents of CYSHCN and disabilities), commented:
No, not by a long shot. In Tennessee, the Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities Program actually has a very long waiting list of 7,000 people. I work with parents whose children have been on that waiting list for five, ten, twelve years. If we had spoken with Mrs. Cameron, we could have provided her with more correct information about the services Tennessee does and does not have to offer.
This story of a desperate and hopeless mother from Illinois, who took her daughter to another state in search of care, illuminates two critical needs and a strange fact:
the need for an adequate system of services to support children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and disabilities to support children at home and in their communities;
the need for easy-to-find, accurate information for parents about the local resources that are available to them, and to their children; and
the strange fact that each state has its own complex set of laws, regulations, and services for CYSHCN and disabilities and their families.
Another family expert reiterates the need for these family-to-family linkages of relevant and accurate information. Faye Manaster, Project Director of Family Voices of Illinois, The Arc of Illinois Family to Family Health Information Center, commented:
Perhaps if this mother had contacted us and told us about her familys situation, we could have guided and supported her in working with programs and services in Illinois. If she had expressed interest seeking services in Tennessee or any other state, we would have been able to connect her with Family-to-Family staff members in those states, as we do for many families each year. We often advise families seeking to move to another state in order to access better services for their children with special needs to first travel there on a fact-finding mission, using contact information from us, before making their decision.
Manaster went on to explain that many F2Fs lack sufficient staff resources to do as much outreach as theyd like so that the people who need F2F services can find them. She also said that F2Fs often work together to share information that is needed by parents in one state about resources that might be available to them in another. Federal funding for these centers is currently scheduled to expire in May of 2013.
Camerons actions are difficult for many people to understand because it seems impossible to imagine or condone abandoning a child. This extreme choice by an overwhelmed, at-the-end-of-her-rope mother can be better understood by appreciating how difficult it can be for parents to find the critical information they need to access appropriate services and make the most helpful choices for their children. Janis Guerney, Public Policy Co-Director for National Family Voices, is working to secure funding for the F2Fs going forward. She explained:
When parents dont have the information they need about where they can go for services, the children suffer. The Camerons story is a good example. And when the parents dont get accurate information about available services, typically the Medicaid system in the state ends up spending more money in emergency room costs and other interventions that are required when conditions become critical. Again, in some ways this is a good example. Tennessee, and perhaps Illinois as well, has just spent a lot of time and resources to rectify this situation with Eva Camerons daughter, which might have been better spent helping the family find services that met their needs.
F2Fs actually save the state money by providing parents with relevant, timely information and support that prevents crises. If the Federal government does not fund F2Fs beyond fiscal year 2012, more parents like Eva Cameron will likely be unable to find the information or services they need to prevent critical situations.
Please be on the lookout for the second part of this two-part story, also released by National Family Voices on July 31, 2012
Articles located at ChicagoTribune.com:
1. “Chicago-area mother says desperation led her to abandon disabled daughter in Tennessee: Algonquin woman says she couldn’t cope with 19-year-old’s disabilities or mounting cost of caring for her. But not everyone is sympathetic to her plight.” By Lisa Black , Chicago Tribune reporter, July 23, 2012
2. “Algonquin woman left in Tennessee bar headed back to Illinois: Severely disabled 19-year-old abandoned by mother to be placed in residential facility.” By Lisa Black, Chicago Tribune reporter
July 27, 2012
** News Report on CNN’s HLN Evening Express
“Cops: Mom Leaves Mentally Disabled Teen at Bar,” July 12, 2012, http://www.hlntv.com/video/2012/07/11/mentally-disabled-teen-abandoned-bar
Bill Clinton speech at Democratic National Convention in North Carolina (Sept 5th 2012) (Pt 4) Bill Clinton speaks at Democratic National Convention in North Carolina (Sept 5th 2012) Published on Sep 4, 2012 by RawFootageJA Michelle Obama: ‘Barack knows the American dream because he’s lived it’ Michelle Obama makes case for another term The first lady draws a dramatic line between the candidates without saying Mitt Romney’s name. Teary-eyed CHARLOTTE—First Lady Michelle Obama never once mentioned Mitt Romney’s name. But in her speech before the Democratic National Convention speech Monday night, she offered a dramatic contrast between her husband, Barack Obama, and his Republican opponent, insisting he understands the struggles of average Americans because he’s lived through those tough times, too. “Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it, and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love,” Michelle Obama said. “He believes that when you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.” It was a speech meant to bolster her husband’s legislative accomplishments — and it did, as the first lady touted the president’s push for health care reform, the auto industry bailout and efforts to keep down student loan interest …
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) August 22, 2012
The L.A. Mid-City Integrated Care Collaborative, a partnership led by Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS) to provide coordinated community-based services that will reduce avoidable hospital readmissions for Medicare patients, was selected on Friday, August 17 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as one of 17 additional sites across the nation to participate in the Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP).
CCTP reflects a new, innovative approach to health care delivery. The program identifies community-based organizations such as JFS that can provide care transitions services across the continuum of care and partner with one or more acute care hospitals and other community providers. The L.A. Mid-City Integrated Care Collaborative includes hospitals, medical personnel, social workers, mental health professionals, and senior care specialists that will be able to provide better, more sustainable health care services all at a lower cost to the health care system.
Recent reports show that $ 12 billion is being spent annually on hospital readmissions for Medicare patients that might be preventable, said Paul S. Castro, CEO of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles. By bringing together providers from across the care spectrum, older adults with complex medical and social service needs will receive the follow-up care and resources they need and will spend less time hospitalized unnecessarily.
Congressman Henry Waxman stated: I am delighted that the Los Angeles Mid-City Integrated Care Collaborative has been selected as a Community-based Care Transitions Program (CCTP) by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This partnership, led by Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, will take a new approach to reducing hospital readmissions, improving care and reducing costs. The partnership is the only collaborative selected in Los Angeles County and is among just a handful of collaboratives selected nationwide. I am particularly proud of this remarkable grouping of partners for the highly innovative and effective services they provide the residents of LA County.
With new tools provided by the Affordable Care Act, we can aggressively implement programs that will help hospitals reduce preventable errors, said Herb K. Schultz, Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The L.A. Mid-City Integrated Care Collaborative, through this initiative, will improve the quality of health care, and provide real assistance to medical professionals and hospitals to support their efforts to reduce harm.
We know that providing medical care for our patients does not end at our front door, said Andrew B. Leeka, president and CEO of Good Samaritan Hospital. The L.A. Mid-City Collaborative will bring additional resources to Medicare patients with chronic conditions, to help them receive the care they need.
Cathy Fickes, CEO of St Vincent Medical Center, said SVMC is delighted to be part of the Collaborative. The program will help reduce readmissions rates and provide continuity of care for our patients into their homes.
The L.A. Mid-City Integrated Care Collaborative was formed by Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles in partnership with Good Samaritan Hospital, St. Vincent Medical Center and Olympia Medical Center. In addition, the L.A. Mid-City Integrated Care Collaborative includes 14 skilled nursing facilities and rehabilitation centers affiliated with Skilled Healthcare LLC and Country Villa Health Services, along with community-based organizations serving older adults in the Mid-City area (the Alzheimers Association, Hollywood Senior Multipurpose Center, St. Barnabas Senior Services, the KHEIR Center, and St. Vincent Meals on Wheels) and the Los Angeles City Department of Aging, and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. The organizations chosen for the L.A. Mid-City Integrated Care Collaborative have a long history of providing a continuum of home, community and institutional based care to older adults in Los Angeles in a contiguous section of the diverse metropolitan area.
The L.A. Mid-City Integrated Care Collaborative will begin providing transition services in Fall 2012, serving Medicare beneficiaries living in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles, stretching from downtown west to the 405 Freeway and from Hollywood south to the 10 Freeway. Geographically spanning the most dynamic, multicultural and densely-populated districts of Los Angeles, services will be provided in English, Spanish, Russian, Korean, and Farsi in a community that struggles with issues of poverty, immigrant integration and high hospital readmission rates.
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Albuquerque, New Mexico (PRWEB) July 31, 2012
Christina Andrews is the mother of three children in Memphis, Tennessee. Her three-year-old daughter Kayla has a rare disease called Moebius Syndrome. This condition requires 24-hour skilled nursing care because of a tracheostomy, which allows her to breathe with the aid of a ventilator machine. In Tennessee, the only option for the Andrews family to get this care at home has been to choose to live in poverty in order to qualify for 24-hour nursing paid by Medicaid. Andrews said about Camerons situation:
I cant imagine ever being so frustrated that Id send my child away. But I can understand the level of desperation and frustration a mother can have, where you dont know what to do and where to go.
Cameron and Andrews situations both point out the critical need for more services in both Illinois and Tennessee. Andrews quest has been to find the resources that will allow her to care for her daughter at home rather than placing her in an institution. Some states have opted to allow Medicaid to pay for in-home care for children who need hospital-level care or skilled nursing rather than covering these services only if they are provided in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. This option is known as a Katie Beckett benefit and is nicknamed for a child whose situation paved the way for this type of provision in many places. However, Tennessee does not have a Katie Beckett-type benefit. As a result, when Kayla was born, Christina said she and her husband were faced with five agonizing options to secure Kaylas care:
Institutionalize Kayla. Give her custody to the state. Try to provide 24-hour one-on-one care ourselves (even though we have two other small children and my husband has a life-threatening medical condition himself), and risk criminal charges if something happens to Kayla, God forbid, and she dies. Get a divorce, so our income would be considered separately by Tenncare (Tennessees Medicaid). Or have me stop working, limit my husbands income, step into poverty, and not have enough money to pay our bills. We chose the last option, and now Tenncare is paying for Kaylas nursing care at home. The irony is that caring for Kayla in our home costs the state much less money than it would to care for her in an institution. A recent week-long stay at a hospital was cost over $ 32,000, compared to 24/7 skilled, private-duty nursing at just over $ 7,000 per week. But we live hand to mouth, with a steady stream of creditors calling us, whom we cant pay, and our credit is not even in the toilet, its below in the sewer. I adore my children and the stress sometimes feels unbearable. Still, I can only handle this situation by taking it one day at a time and fighting for change.
Andrews recently spoke at a forum organized by Family Voices of Tennessee and the Tennessee Justice Center, advocating for the passage of a Katie Beckett-type benefit in their state. Family Voices of Tennessee is the Family-to-Family Health Information Center for Tennessee, and the state affiliate of National Family Voices. Such a provision, Andrews said, would allow Kayla continued care at home, while making it possible for Christina to go back to work, pay taxes, and begin digging her family out of the financial hole theyve fallen into over the last three years.
This was the first contact Andrews had ever had with an F2F HIC. She commented:
I wish I had known about this organization when I gave birth to Kayla. Its not easy to find information here about the options for parents of children with special health care needs and disabilities. If the hospital where Kayla was born had connected me with Family Voices, it could have saved me time, worry, and heartache because they would have hooked me up with other parents to talk to right away. Thats what I needed most at that time to talk to someone who would really understand. The hospital cant give out other parents contact information because that would be a privacy violation.
In Indiana, Jennifer Akers 14-year old daughter Grace has the same rare condition as Kayla. Jennifer and Christina met on Facebook through a forum for parents of children with Moebius Syndrome. Jennifer and her family, however, had more options to choose from than the Andrews family because Indiana does offer a Katie Beckett-type benefit to families who qualify. Jennifer said:
At the time of Grace’s birth, both my husband and I were teachers. I was able to leave my job for a while when Grace was an infant. However, my husbands teachers salary was too much to allow us to qualify for the Medicaid services we need for Grace. So we were very fortunate that Indiana has a Katie Beckett benefit that allows us to provide this type of care at home.
Jennifer went on to say that her family is not trying to take unfair advantage of scarce resources.
We just want to provide Grace with the supports she needs to thrive and become a contributing member of society. Allowing us to continue to work also means we can continue to pay taxes.
When Grace was born, I felt very lucky to have a great social worker who told us about the services available and helped me get connected to them right away. At the time, there was no waiting list. As budgets tighten, thats no longer the case in Indiana.
Wanting to give back, and help other parents find the information they need, Jennifer and her friend Rylin Rodgers approached Family Voices Indiana in 2005 and began volunteering. She said:
Why should another parent struggle through an unfamiliar system when I can explain it to them in a way they can understand, parent to parent?
In 2011 Family Voices Indiana became the Family-to-Family Health Information Center for that state, and Jennifer was hired as the Project Coordinator, training parents throughout Indiana to help other parents. She commented:
We need an F2F HIC in each state to help local parents because the services are often different in each state. The Katie Beckett benefit is one example.
Ironically, in the location where Eva Camerons story began, Illinois, the Katie Beckett benefit is currently in jeopardy. The state government is considering changes that would drastically reduce the number of parents and children who are eligible. Faye Manaster, Project Director of Family Voices of Illinois, The Arc of Illinois Family to Family Health Information Center, commented:
If the current proposals get put into place many more medically fragile, technology-dependent children will be forced out of their parents homes and into institutions. This will actually cost the state more money, rather than save money, and break up families. So its a no-win situation all the way around. We are working on both a national and a state level to advocate for maintaining the Katie Beckett benefit in Illinois as it currently exists. We also continue to advocate for the more than 10,000 children with developmental disabilities who remain on a waiting list for waiver services.
National Family Voices Board Chair, Ruth Walden summed up these issues in this way:
The Family-to-Family Health Information Centers are critical in giving parents the information they need to make the best choices for their children with special health care needs and disabilities. Making this information available to parents actually saves state and federal dollars. The F2F HICs need to stay funded at current funding levels and ideally receive more funding for outreach so they can connect with more parents who need their services. Likewise, provisions like the Katie Beckett benefit need to be supported at a state and federal level because this offers better services for children, and saves precious state and federal dollars. The federal and state governments are trying to save money but cutting information services for parents and in-home care
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Bill Moyers Journal: Profits or Patients? / America's Healthcare System
End Date: Tuesday May-28-2013 16:46:05 PDT
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Bill Moyers Journal: Healthcare Reform / Single-Payer Healthcare / Memorial Day
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