• Six Things You Should Know about Rashes

    child rashes.shutterstock_123958123Chances are that your child will develop at least one mysterious bump, welt or break-out in his or her childhood. While common, rashes may not be always benign. It’s a good idea to ask your child’s pediatrician to look at a rash and determine whether treatment (or just observation) is necessary.

    Usually, nothing is better than seeing the rash up close and in person; however, I can get clues over the phone to help me determine the possible cause and significance of a rash. Below, I’ve listed 6 questions I ask about a rash, which I hope can help you be better prepared when you call the doctor’s office.

    1.  Is there a fever?

    Fevers that accompany rashes may indicate an infection. The most common causes of rashes associated with fevers are viral infections. Viral illnesses such as Hand-Foot-Mouth disease or Fifth disease have a characteristic appearance and usually do not require any specific treatment (besides fever reducers as needed). Bacterial infections, such as cellulitis or strep throat, are less common but generally require some form of treatment, such as antibiotics.

    2.  Is the rash only on one area or in multiple places?

    Localized rashes are more consistent with direct irritants like diaper rash or contact dermatitis from poison ivy. A head-to-toe rash is more likely to occur from a systemic exposure like a virus or an allergic reaction to foods or oral medications.

    3.  Is it itchy, painful or “just there”? 

    For rashes without symptoms like itchiness or pain, my recommendation is usually to leave them alone. I discourage parents from putting lotions or other topical forms of treatment on them.

    An asymptomatic, all-over rash can follow a viral infection. For example, roseola is a red rash that shows up after a fever is gone. While generalized and impressive-looking, roseola is not contagious or a cause of concern once the rash appears.

    An example of a symptomatic, itchy rash is eczema or atopic dermatitis. Eczema looks like red, blotchy, scaly patches on the cheeks, neck, crook of the elbows and back of the knees.

    An example of a local, “just-there” rash is ringworm. This rash presents as round lesions with a raised, red border and a lighter, scaly center.

    4.  If it’s a red rash, is it “blanchable”?

    “Blanchable” means “turns white when pressing on it.” If you push on a red rash and the skin turns lighter momentarily, then it’s blanchable. This feature distinguishes a rash from a bruise because a bruise will not blanch. Non-blanchable rashes can be associated with bleeding underneath the skin either from injury or a clotting deficiency and can be more serious.

    5.  Are the eyes, mouth or joints also involved?

    The rash might be a clue to an issue beyond the skin, such as an inflammatory or allergic condition. I always ask if the white part of the eyes is red or if the inside of the mouth has swelling, blisters or bumps.

    6.  Is the rash new or has it been there for a while?

    If it started a few days ago, it’s acute. Chronic rashes have been there or have come and gone over some time frame. Chronic rashes may have evolved – by scratching, treatment or other means. In that case, I would want to know how it looked in the very beginning and how its appearance has changed over time.

  • Find free care, fast: New website will create national index of safety net clinics

    A fragile medical safety net stretches across America, made up of thousands of clinics offering free and low-cost health care to those with no other place to turn.

    Run by a wide range of nonprofit groups, religious organizations, communities and educational institutions, they serve a vital role — and will continue to do so even as more Americans get access to health insurance.

    But finding a clinic, and figuring out what it offers, can pose a challenge.

    Enter a group of University of Michigan Medical School students and their colleagues from health and information technology schools at U-M.

    Together, they’ve launched findcare.org, a nonprofit website that aims to make it easy to find free or sliding-scale clinics near you, learn who they assist, what services they offer, understand where and when they’re open, and how to contact them.

    The site’s database already includes information on over 500 clinics in Michigan and approximately 2,000 in the Midwest; the Michigan clinics are already available on the website. The Findcare team aims to expand the website into a nationwide resource with information provided by clinics themselves, and by other groups of community-minded health professions students.

    With funding from the U-M Medical School and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, the students built findcare.org and added clinic information to its database relying primarily on volunteer labor. They used an interactive Google Maps API interface to make searching and navigation easier.

    More than two dozen students helped pull together the information on the site from a wide range of sources, and build an interface that works well on mobile devices and desktop computers. You might call them community service entrepreneurs.

    Together, they created a system for adding and updating clinic information that relies on a form of crowdsourcing, though with added measures to ensure the validity of information. Individuals who submit valid information can become “trusted users” over time. This will make findcare.org a dynamic and essentially self-updating site, unlike previous sites with similar aims.

    Although the Affordable Care Act has allowed millions of people to get health insurance coverage, millions more still lack it — including those living in states that have chosen not to accept federal dollars to expand eligibility for Medicaid.

    In all, 13.4 percent of those living in the U.S. are uninsured, according to the latest poll by the Gallup organization. Federal projections show that as many as 30 million people living in the U.S. could still be uninsured in the year 2023.

    That reality makes findcare.org an important resource, says one of the U-M leaders who helped fund the project.

    “Our medical students who took the initiative on this project, and their partners from other U-M schools and at other institutions, should take real pride in achieving something that will serve the community in an entirely new way,” says Rajesh Mangrulkar, M.D., Associate Dean for medical student education at the U-M Medical School. “I hope their colleagues at universities across the country will join this movement and make the directory as robust as it can be.”

    Michael Gao, who will graduate this month from the U-M Medical School, and Elizabeth Haworth-Hoeppner, a rising fourth-year medical student, lead the organization along with first-year medical students Michael Huarng and Sanjana Malviya. Findcare now includes students from the U-M Medical School, the schools of Information, Public Health, Social Work, the colleges of Engineering and Pharmacy, and the Ross Business School.

    They received support and guidance from Sanjay Saint, M.D., MPH, the George Dock Collegiate Professor of Internal Medicine at U-M and associate chief of medicine at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Joel Howell, M.D., the Victor Vaughn Collegiate Professor of the History of Mdicine, also contributed.

    The idea grew out of the frustration experienced by U-M medical students who several years ago sought to create what has now become the U-M Student-Run Free Clinic, with help from faculty physicians. Just finding information on free clinics in the Ann Arbor area was difficult.

    The idea of building a website aimed at people without insurance, or experiencing financial hardship, may seem strange, Gao acknowledges.

    But studies have shown that 70 percent of low-income people access the Internet for health information, and that inexpensive smartphones have leveled the playing field for Internet access among people of different backgrounds.

    The students will continue to add clinics in the Midwest and hope that others will add more. As many as 15,000 free and sliding scale clinics, and clinics that accept uninsured patients, may exist across the nation.

    They als

  • Free Pain Assessment and Injury Screen Available at Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers

    Company Logo, Putting Patients First.  (PRNewsFoto/Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers)Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers—the largest physical therapist owned and managed practice in the U.S—is kicking off the New Year by offering free pain assessment and injury screens from licensed professionals trained in treating musculoskeletal conditions.  All Accelerated locations throughout Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin and Arizona are providing complimentary pain and injury screens.

    The 30-minute assessment is performed by a highly trained physical or occupational therapist. It encompasses a hands-on, musculoskeletal assessment of the patient’s injury or pain and includes tests for muscle strength, joint stability and flexibility.  During the exam, these licensed professionals will also test for range of motion and mobility.

    Depending on the results, Accelerated therapists will recommend next steps, which may include an appointment with a board-certified physician who best meets the needs of the patient.  Additionally, Accelerated may offer the patient advice on strengthening exercises and non-surgical options for treatment.

    Accelerated’s free injury screen offers:

    – Complimentary assessment by a licensed physical or occupational therapist
    – Convenient, easy scheduling
    – Advice about exercises for health and wellness
    – Recommended treatment options and course of care
    – Physician referral, if necessary

    “Instead of seeking a solution, people with pain often postpone treatment,” explains Sarah Jensen, Chief Clinical Officer for Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers.  “Ignoring an injury or pain for too long can cause more harm.  By offering patients a free screening, we can detect problems and send patients to appropriate professionals for proper treatment.”

    To schedule a free injury screen, call 877-97-REHAB or log on to www.acceleratedrehab.com.  Patients will receive an appointment within 48 hours at their nearest Accelerated location.

    *Free injury screenings are not available for federally funded payers

    About Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers, Ltd.

    Chicago-based Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers is a premier provider of a wide array of comprehensive patient services and specialized physical therapy programs.  Since 1989, Accelerated has grown to over 300 outpatient locations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin, Ohio and Arizona, becoming the top choice for many professional athletes, large employers, and busy professionals.  For more information, call 877-97-REHAB, or visit www.acceleratedrehab.com.

    Contact: Kim Rosenlund, Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers, 708-539-9446

    SOURCE Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers, Ltd.

  • Fighting the Bronx’s Obesity Epidemic by Creating a World of Possibilities Where Health and Wellness Allow You to Soar

    Urban Health Plan (UHP) will celebrate the official opening of its most recent health center, the Simpson Pavilion on Friday, April 25, 2014 at 9:00AM. The new, state-of-the-art, 54,000-square-foot facility will enable UHP to care for an additional 20,000 South Bronx residents. It will house UHP’s adult medicine, walk-in pediatrics, behavioral health and OB/GYN departments, as well as a fitness center for patients and a demonstration kitchen designed by UHP partner Canyon Ranch Institute and the chefs of the world-renowned Canyon Ranch Health Resort.

    Included in this major expansion, the new demonstration kitchen is part of a long-standing partnership between the nonprofit Canyon Ranch Institute (CRI), which brings life-enhancing programs to underserved communities, and Urban Health Plan, a network of community hospitals in the Bronx and Queens. The Simpson Pavilion demonstration kitchen will be the pilot site of the CRI Healthy Table program. A UHP nutritionist was trained to lead the program through a culinary internship with the Canyon Ranch culinary department led by Corporate Chef Scott Uehlein in Tucson, Arizona.

    Urban Health Plan and Canyon Ranch Institute experts co-developed the CRI Healthy Table program to pilot in the Bronx, which was also the first pilot site for the award-winning CRI Life Enhancement Program. The goal of CRI Healthy Table is to create a healthier community through food and cooking education delivered in an evidence-based, integrative, high-quality, culturally proficient, and health literate manner through programs that are accessible to all community members.

    “We have been a partner with Canyon Ranch Institute since 2007. Together, we have taken Canyon Ranch’s Life Enhancement Program, which is offered at the world’s premier health and wellness resort in Tucson, Arizona, and created our own version for use with our patients in the Bronx,” said Paloma Hernandez, M.P.H., M.S., president and CEO of Urban Health Plan. “As a result of this partnership, we have seen improvements in our patients’ health, including weight loss, less depression, and decreases in HG A1C levels,” she added.

    “The Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement Program has many components, and nutrition is one of them. Our new demonstration kitchen and CRI Healthy Table program allow us to provide hands-on cooking classes to enable patients and community residents to learn how to cook healthy meals. This is particularly important in the Bronx, a borough that has once again been identified in the County Health Rankings as one of the unhealthiest counties in New York State,” said Elvira Rella, R.D., director of Nutrition at Urban Health Plan.

    Through the CRI Healthy Table program, community residents will have access to lunch-and-learn sessions, cooking demonstrations, and hands-on cooking classes that feature delicious, affordable, and nutritious meals and recipes. The program also includes a visit to a local farmer’s market and grocery store tours to help guide participants in making healthy food choices, including understanding nutrition and ingredient labels.

    “Urban Health Plan is a model for health care delivery of the future,” said Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, 17th Surgeon General of the United States and president of Canyon Ranch Institute. “Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, and heart disease, are the most costly health problems facing our nation. Together with Canyon Ranch Institute, Urban Health Plan is providing integrative health and wellness programs and services to the community where I was raised, and I am so grateful for the significant health improvements that all residents have access to and can appreciate.”

    “CRI Healthy Table combines nutrition science with the opportunity for people to personally experience shopping for, cooking, and eating healthy foods in a welcoming, beautiful setting within their own community,” said Jennifer Cabe, M.A., executive director and board member of Canyon Ranch Institute. “We are proud to work in partnership with Urban Health Plan to demonstrate that the best practices of health and wellness pioneered at Canyon Ranch are replicable and sustainable and continue to make a positive difference for people in low-income communities.”

    The Simpson Pavilion is Urban Health Plan’s ninth clinic site. It was financed through a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the New York City Council, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., State Senator Ruben Diaz and new market tax credits (NMTC). The combined $37.8 million NMTC transaction was structured with funds from Enterprise, a national leader in community development and one of the largest allocates of NMTC, the Nonprofit Finance Fund and Stonehenge Community Development. Goldman Sachs provided NMTC equity to the project as well as debt financing.


    Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of Urban Health Plan’s Simpson Pavilion


    Friday, April 25, 2014 at 9:00AM


    1054 Simpson Street, Bronx, NY 10459


    Staff and patients of Urban Health Plan, elected officials, community residents, community organizations

    About Urban Health Plan:  Urban Health Plan is a network of federally qualified community health centers based in the South Bronx and Queens. Its mission is to improve the health status of underserved communities. In 2013, UHP served more than 60,000 patients through more than 300,000 patient visits at eight clinic sites, eight school-based clinics and four part-time sites. It has served the Hunts Point, Mott Haven, Morrisania and other surrounding communities since 1974. UHP is Joint Commission accredited and has been awarded Level 3 recognition as a Physician Practice Connections-Patient Centered Medical Home (PPC-PCMH) from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) since 2009. Level 3 is the highest recognition awarded by the NCQA. It has been named one of the top 25 not-for-profits in the country by Hispanic Business Magazine for the past four years.

    About Canyon Ranch Institute®: Canyon Ranch Institute catalyzes the possibility of optimal health for all people by translating the best practices of Canyon Ranch and our partners to help educate, inspire, and empower every person to prevent disease and embrace a life of wellness. Canyon Ranch Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity. More information is available at www.canyonranchinstitute.org. On Twitter @CRIhealthyworld

  • The rewards for reporting gross instances of healthcare fraud can be substantial if the proof is very well-documented

    The Corporate Whistleblower Center believes Medicare fraud, or overbilling in the healthcare industry is completely out of control, mainly because of little to no oversight. The group is especially interested in talking to physicians, or employees of companies providing diagnostic testing, imaging, dialysis, or hospice, provided they have very well documented proof of substantial Medicare fraud, or overbilling that is in the hundreds of thousands, or in the millions of dollars. The rewards for this kind of information can be significant. For more information, potential whistleblowers are urged to contact the Corporate Whistleblower Center at 866-714-6466. http://CorporateWhistleblowerCenter.Com

    As an example according to a February 2014 Justice Department press release, Diagnostic Imaging Group (DIG) has agreed to pay a total of $15.5 million to resolve allegations that its diagnostic testing facility falsely billed federal and state health care programs for tests that were not performed or not medically necessary as well as paying kickbacks to physicians.

    The settlement also resolves allegations that DIG paid kickbacks to physicians for the referral of diagnostic tests. According to the government, the kickbacks allegedly were in the form of payments that DIG made to physicians to supervise patients who underwent nuclear stress testing. These payments allegedly exceeded fair market value and were, in fact, intended to reward physicians for their referrals.

    The three whistleblowers in this case will receive $ 1.5 million , $ 1.07 million and $ 209,250 , respectively, as part of this settlement.

    The Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “If you are a medical doctor, or an employee at a diagnostic imaging center, a dialysis center, a rehab center, or any type of healthcare company that is involved in substantial Medicare fraud or overbilling, we definitely want to talk to you, provided you have well detailed proof such as e-mails, accounting records, or documents detailing the fraud. Unlike any group in the US, we will help you package your information, and we will get you to one of the nation’s top whistleblower attorneys.” For more information potential whistleblowers can call the Corporate Whistleblower Center anytime at 866-714-6466. http://CorporateWhistleblowerCenter.Com

    Simple rules for a whistleblower from the Corporate Whistleblower Center:

    • Do not go to the government first if you are a major whistleblower. The Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “Major whistleblowers frequently go to the federal government thinking they will help. It’s a huge mistake.”
    • Do not go to the news media with your whistleblower information. Any public revelation of a whistleblower’s information could destroy any prospect for a whistleblower reward with the DOJ.
    • Do not try to force a government contractor, or corporation to come clean to the government about their wrongdoing. The Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “Fraud is so rampant among federal contractors that any suggestion of exposure might result in an instant job termination, or harassment of the whistleblower. Come to us first, tell us what type of information you have, and if we think it’s sufficient, we will help find the right law firms to assist in advancing your information.”

    Any type of insider or employee who possesses significant proof of their employer or a government contractor defrauding the federal government is encouraged to contact to Corporate Whistleblower Center anytime at 866-714-6466 or via their web site at http://CorporateWhistleBlowerCenter.Com

    For attribution purposes please refer the Justice Department February 2014 press release: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/February/14-civ-200.html

    Case Numbers:  The three cases are captioned United States ex rel. Mark Novick, M.D. v. Doshi Diagnostic Imaging Services P.C. , Civil Action No. 09-4992 (D.N.J.), United States ex rel. Rey Solano v. Diagnostic Imaging Group et al., Civil Action No. 10-267 (D.N.J.) and United States ex rel. Richard Steinman, M.D. v. Diagnostic Imaging Group, et al., Civil Action No. 10-4161 (E.D.N.Y.).

    Media Contact:

    M. Thomas Martin, 866-714-6466

    Read more news from the Corporate Whistleblower Center.

    SOURCE Corporate Whistleblower Center

  • CVS Caremark Charitable Trust Invests Millions of Dollars in Access to Health Care for Underserved Populations

    CVS Caremark Charitable Trust logo.  (PRNewsFoto/CVS Caremark Charitable Trust)The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, a private foundation created by CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), today announced the recipients of nearly 70 grants awarded to free and charitable clinics, school-based health centers (SBHCs) and community health centers as part of a $5 million commitment to increase access to health care in communities nationwide through partnerships with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC), the School-Based Health Alliance and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). The grant recipients will help increase access to health care and coordinated care to improve health outcomes for people of all ages across the country.

    CVS Caremark also commits to data sharing and providing insight into community health by launching a Community Health Barometer that will unveil the state of health care for underserved populations nationwide. The barometer will survey grant recipients and their patients on a quarterly basis to identify challenges in patient care, to monitor progress and the impact of health care services, uncover best practices in smoking cessation, to discover key trends in health care access and to develop an understanding of the evolving health care needs in local communities.

    “As the delivery of health care services evolves with an emphasis on better health outcomes, reducing chronic disease and controlling costs, it’s essential that we work closely with our community health partners, including free and charitable clinics, school-based health centers and community health centers, to help ensure that thousands of adults and children have access to health services right in their local communities,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for CVS Caremark. “As a pharmacy innovation company that is committed to helping people on their path to better health, we are reinforcing our commitment to understand the state of community health and to identify where support is needed most and share insights on community health innovations that are creating positive health outcomes.”

    In alignment with CVS Caremark’s commitment to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy locations by October 1 as part of an effort to support the health and well-being of its patients and customers, the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust is supporting organizations that are providing cessation and anti-tobacco programs, including the following:

    • Centre Volunteers in Medicine (State College, PA)
    • Cherry Street Health Services (Grand Rapids, MI)
    • Faith Family Clinic (San Antonio, TX)
    • Project Vida Health Center (El Paso, TX)
    • Queens Care Health Centers (Los Angeles, CA)
    • St. Thomas Clinic (Franklin, IN)

    “Now more than ever, pharmacies are on the front lines of health care, becoming more involved in chronic disease management. All of these conditions are made worse by smoking which is the leading cause of illness and death in the United States with more than 480,000 deaths annually,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy for CVS Caremark and President of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. “We are proud to be the first national pharmacy chain to take this step in support of the health and well-being of our patients and customers and are committed to working with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, the School-Based Health Alliance and the National Association of Community Health Centers that all share our commitment to help people who smoke to stop, and those who don’t to never start.”

    The funding from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust in partnership with NAFC will enhance coordinated care models at free and charitable clinics to help improve the quality of care and health outcomes.

    The funding to school-based health centers will help ensure that kindergarteners through high school students can receive routine medical care, such as a flu shot, annual physical, eye exams, dental screenings, or speak to a mental health counselor.

    The second year of the “Innovations in Community Health” grant program in partnership with NACHC will support the development of innovative, community-based programs and initiatives that focus on the treatment and management of chronic illnesses, specifically heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and asthma as well as programs that are helping patients who have a co-morbidity of depression.

    National Association of Free & Charitable Clinic Grantees
    Free and charitable clinics receiving grants through the partnership with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics include:

    • Arlington Free Clinic (Arlington, VA), in support of a program focused on measurement of health outcomes and patient compliance
    • The Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry’s Doctors’ Medical Clinic (Asheville, NC), in support of a program focused on a student teaching model and expanded patient care
    • Cape Fear Clinic (Wilmington, NC), in support of a program focused on expanded mental health services
    • Centre for Volunteers in Medicine (State College, PA), in support of a program focused on chronic disease management and medication compliance
    • Charlotte Community Health Clinic (Charlotte, NC), in support of a program focused on care coordination
    • Clinic by the Bay (San Francisco, CA), in support of a program focused on chronic disease management
    • CommunityHealth Chicago (Chicago, IL), in support of a program focused on diabetes management
    • Community Health Services of Union County (Monroe, NC), in support of a program focused on electronic medical record services and improved patient communication
    • Community Volunteers in Medicine (West Chester, PA), in support of a program focused on chronic disease management
    • Faith Family Clinic (San Antonio, TX), in support of a program focused on chronic disease management and education
    • Family Health Partnership Clinic (Crystal Lake, IL), in support of a program focused on chronic disease management
    • Fan Free Clinic (Richmond, VA), in support of a program focused on diabetes management and wellness
    • Free Medical Clinic of DuBois (DuBois, PA), in support of a program focused on expanded patient care
    • Gloucester-Matthews Free Clinic (Hayes, VA), in support of a program focused on chronic disease management
    • Good Samaritan Clinic (Morganton, NC), in support of a program focused on chronic disease management
    • Grace Medical Home (Orlando, FL), in support of a program focused on care coordination
    • Greenville Free Medical Clinic (Greenville, SC), in support of a program focused on comprehensive health care
    • Harrisonburg Rockingham Free Clinic (Harrisonburg, VA) in support of a program focused on expanded patient care
    • Healing Hands Ministries (Dallas, TX), in support of a program focused on care coordination
    • Health and Hope Clinics (Pensacola, FL), in support of a program focused on care coordination
    • Health Care Clinic at Eva’s Village (Paterson, NJ), in support of a program focused on expanded patient care
    • Health Intervention Services (Grand Rapids, MI), in support of a program focused on expanded bilingual patient services
    • Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center (Columbus, OH), in support of a program focused on expanded electronic health record services
    • Lackey Free Clinic (Yorktown, VA), in support of a program focused on diabetes management and education
    • Lake County Free Clinic (Painesville, OH), in support of a program focused on expanded patient care
    • Mercy Community Services Outreach Center (Rochester, NY), in support of a program focused on care coordination
    • Metro West Free Medical Program (Sudbury, MA), in support of a program focused on expanded patient care
    • North Coast Health Ministry (Lakewood, OH), in support of a program focused on chronic disease management
    • PediPlace (Lewisville, TX), in support of a program focused on access to health care for children
    • Reach Out Montgomery (Dayton, OH), in support of a program focused on care coordination
    • San Jose Clinic (Houston, TX), in support of a program focused on weight management and wellness
    • St. Petersburg Free Clinic (St. Petersburg, FL), in support of a program focused on diabetes management and education
    • St. Thomas Clinic (Franklin, IN), in support of a program focused on diabetes, tobacco-use and asthma care coordination
    • St. Vincent Clinic/St. Vincent De Paul Community Pharmacy (Cincinnati, OH), in support of a program focused on expanded pharmacy services
    • Volunteers in Medicine in Pennsylvania (Wilkes-Barre, PA), in support of a program focused on care coordination
    • Volunteers in Medicine in Southern Nevada (Las Vegas, NV), in support of a program focused on innovative pulmonary health services
    • Volunteers in Medicine San Diego (El Cajon, CA), in support of a program focused on obesity management

    School-Based Health Alliance Grantees
    School-based health centers receiving grants through the New Directions for School-Based Health Care partnership with the School-Based Health Alliance include:

    • Erie Family Health Center (Chicago, IL), in support of a program focused on care coordination and patient-centered medical home recognition
    • Family Health Centers of San Diego (San Diego, CA), in support of a program focused on  youth and adult health education
    • Health Choice Network of Florida, Inc. (Miami, FL), in support of a program focused on shared data strategies regarding serving at-risk children
    • Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing in partnership with a health facility Loyola University Health System (LUHS)-Trinity CHE (Chicago, IL), in support of a mental health outreach and intervention program
    • New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Center for Community Health and Education (New York, NY), in support of a program focused on care coordination and patient-centered medical home
    • Project Vida Health Center (El Paso, TX), in support of smoking cessation programs for youth and adults
    • Sisters of Charity Hospital (Buffalo, NY), in support of a program focused on school-based health center financial analysis
    • Thundermist Health Center (Woonsocket, RI), in support of a program focused on absenteeism,  high-risk and disciplinary action
    • Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation School Health Initiative of the University of Miami (Miami, FL), in support of a program focused on financial analysis and coordinated care

    National Association of Community Health Centers Grantees
    Community health centers receiving grants through the partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers include:

    • Adelante Healthcare (Phoenix, AZ), in support of a program focused on diabetes care coordination
    • The Dimock Center (Roxbury, MA), in support of a program focused on hypertension management and care coordination
    • Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc. (Ridgeland, SC), in support of a program focused on diabetes and hypertension management and education
    • Berks Community Health Center (Reading, PA), in support of a program focused on hypertension and diabetes management and medication adherence
    • Brockton Neighborhood Health Center (Brockton, MA), in support of a program focused on diabetes management
    • Cherry Street Health Services (Grand Rapids, MI), in support of a program focused on electronic health records services and care coordination
    • Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton (Dayton, OH), in support of a program focused on the use of technology in the treatment of chronic disease management
    • East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (East Boston, MA), in support of a program focused on hypertension management
    • Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center (Worcester, MA), in support of a program focused on diabetes management
    • Family Care Health Center (St. Louis, MO), in support of a program focused on hypertension, diabetes and depression management
    • Lana’i Community Health Center (Lanai City, HI), in support of a program focused on telemedicine
    • Legacy Community Health Centers, Inc. (Houston, TX), in support of a program focused on diabetes and depression care coordination
    • Lifelong Medical Center (Berkeley, CA), in support of a program focused on diabetes management
    • Near North Health Service Corporation (Chicago, IL), in support of a program focused on diabetes, depression, tobacco-use and HIV/AIDS care coordination
    • Neighborhood Healthcare (Escondido, CA), in support of a program focused on diabetes management
    • North County Health Project, Inc. (San Marcos, CA), in support of a program focused on diabetes management communication
    • ODA Primary Health Care Network (Brooklyn, NY), in support of a program focused on diabetes management
    • Open Door Family Medical Centers (Ossining, NY), in support of a program focused on behavioral health services for asthma, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease management
    • QueensCare Health Care (Los Angeles, CA), in support of a program focused on pediatric asthma management
    • St. James Santee Family Health Center, Inc. (McClellanville, SC), in support of a program focused on hypertension management
    • Su Clinica (Harlingen, TX), in support of a program focused on diabetes medication therapy management
    • Sunset Community Health Center, Inc. (Yuma, AZ), in support of a program focused on diabetes management
    • West County Health Centers (Guerneville, CA), in support of a program focused on a social networking platform for obesity and diabetes management and education

    For more information, please visit www.cvscaremark.com/healthinaction.

    About CVS Caremark
    CVS Caremark is dedicated to helping people on their path to better health as the largest integrated pharmacy company in the United States. Through the company’s more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores; its leading pharmacy benefit manager serving more than 60 million plan members; and its retail health clinic system, the largest in the nation with more than 800 MinuteClinic locations, it is a market leader in mail order, retail and specialty pharmacy, retail clinics, and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As a pharmacy innovation company with an unmatched breadth of capabilities, CVS Caremark continually strives to improve health and lower costs by developing new approaches such as its unique Pharmacy Advisor program that helps people with chronic diseases such as diabetes obtain and stay on their medications. Find more information about how CVS Caremark is reinventing pharmacy for better health at http://info.cvscaremark.com/.

    About the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics
    The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) is the only nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is solely focused on the issues and needs of more than 1,200 Free and Charitable Clinics and the people they serve in the United States.  Founded in 2001 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., the NAFC is an effective advocate for the issues and concerns of Free and Charitable Clinics, their volunteer workforce of doctors, dentists, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, technicians and other health care professionals, as well as the patients served by Free and Charitable Clinics in communities throughout the nation. For more information, go to www.nafcclinics.org.

    About the School-Based Health Alliance
    The School-Based Health Alliance was founded in 1995 and is the national voice for school-based health centers (SBHCs). Built from the grassroots up by individuals from state and federal government agencies, national and regional foundations, child health and education organizations, and SBHCs, we are a true reflection of the field we support. The School-Based Health Alliance advocates for national policies, programs, and funding to expand and strengthen SBHCs, while also supporting the movement with training and technical assistance. For more information, please visit www.sbh4all.org.

    About the National Association of Community Health Centers
    Founded in 1970, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance and expand access to quality, community-responsive health care for America’s medically underserved and uninsured.  NACHC represents the nation’s network of over 1,200 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) which serve over 22 million people through over 9,000 sites located in all of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. For more information on the National Association of Community Health Centers, please visit http://www.nachc.com/.

  • Florida: New Legislation Will Empower Independent Drugstores to Charge Employers and Consumers Higher Prices for Prescription Drugs

    PCMALegislation that (SB 1014) passed out of the Florida Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government would create new powers for independent drugstores to charge employers, seniors and unions higher prices for generic drugs, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said today.

    The new legislation, along with a similar bill (HB 765), undermines the use of Maximum Allowable Cost (MAC) generic drug lists that employers and public programs use to prevent them from overpaying for generic drugs and could increase Florida’s prescription drug costs by $422.5 million annually.  MACs are necessary because generics — unlike brands — often have inflated manufacturer “list” prices that don’t reflect what a pharmacy actually spent to buy the drug. These MAC lists are widely used by large and small employers, unions, state employee health plans, Medicaid and other health plans.

    “Unfortunately for Florida’s employers, unions, government agencies, and consumers, this legislation will only increase what they pay for generic drugs,” said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. “This increases independent drugstore profits at the expense of employers and consumers.”

    A recent analysis from the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) demonstrated “the significant value MAC programs have in containing Medicaid drug costs.” The OIG recommended that states strengthen MAC programs, not weaken them.

    The Florida legislature is also considering separate bills that undermine proven tools used by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to lower prescription drug costs.  Restricting these tools could increase prescription drug costs by $12 billion over 10 years for the state’s employers, seniors, unions, and consumers.

    With the help of PBMs, Florida consumers, employers, unions, and the state government will save $97.5 billion in prescription drug costs over the next decade. PBMs accomplish this by:

    • Negotiating discounts from drugstores and drug manufacturers.
    • Offering home delivery of medicines.
    • Encouraging the use of generics and less expensive brands.
    • Using cutting-edge tools to improve medication adherence.
    • Improving quality and safety.

    PCMA represents the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which improve affordability and quality of care through the use of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), generic alternatives, mail-service pharmacies, and other innovative tools for 216 million Americans.

    Follow PCMA on Twitter

    SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association

    CONTACT: Charles Coté, 202-207-3605; or Greg Lopes, 202-207-3614

  • Medicare Advantage Cheapest Option for New Medicare Enrollee

     Americans are turning 65 at a pace of 10,000 per day and they face a confusing array of insurance decisions regarding Medicare. To help this age group understand their insurance choices, HealthPocket evaluated the expenses associated with their three main coverage options:

    • Original Medicare with a Medicare drug plan
    • Medigap Plan F with Original Medicare and a Medicare drug plan
    • Medicare Advantage

    Using government data on healthcare and medication use among Medicare-aged individuals, HealthPocket compared the premium and out-of-pocket expenses for each of the three Medicare insurance options. Medicare Advantage proved to be the lowest cost option. Its annualized cost estimate was 19% less than Original Medicare Parts A & B combined with a Medicare drug plan and it was 45% less than Medigap Plan F combined with Medicare Parts A & B and a Medicare drug plan. While the Plan F option left the Medicare enrollee with no medical out-of-pocket costs, this option still had out-of-pocket costs associated with drug coverage. Additionally, the Plan F option’s lower out-of-pocket costs did not compensate for its higher overall premium expenses.

    Due to its current government funding structure, many Medicare Advantage plans do not charge a monthly premium. These plans also include an annual limit on out-of-pocket costs. Original Medicare has no such limit on out-of-pocket costs.

    Premiums and out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Advantage plans may be affected in the future by changes in government funding but these changes are difficult to predict. Medicare Advantage plans have been at the center of highly politicized debates over the program given that the government often spends more for medical services delivered by Medicare Advantage plans as compared to the same services received in Original Medicare.

  • DaVita to Screen Hundreds for Kidney Disease in India on World Kidney Day

    PR Newswire India - DaVita India LogoDaVita, a division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (NYSE: DVA) and a global provider of kidney care services, will host more than 20 screening events in Bangalore and Pune, India to raise awareness for chronic kidney disease (CKD) on World Kidney Day.

    Families and individuals are encouraged to visit their nearest Modern Family Doctor Centre on March 13, 2014, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to receive health screenings that can detect CKD. Screenings may include a follow-up consultation with a DaVita nephrologist.

    “Because early stages of kidney disease often have no symptoms, the first step in managing its progression is knowing your risk,” said Dr. Suresh Sankar, group medical director of DaVita in India. “For those at increased risk, a simple blood test from a doctor can confirm the disease.”

    People at risk for developing kidney disease include those with diabetes or high blood pressure. Other risk factors include cardiovascular disease, obesity, high cholesterol and a family history of the disease.

    “DaVita’s vision is to build the greatest health care community the world has ever seen and creating awareness of kidney disease is an important component of our vision,” said Shriram Vijayakumar, head of DaVita in India. “When caught early enough, kidney disease can be slowed down and even prevented in some cases.”

    When CKD progresses to end stage renal disease, (ESRD) dialysis and transplant are the only options for survival. According to the World Health Organization, roughly 1.4 million people worldwide are on dialysis, and that number continues to grow each year. In India, less than 10 percent of affected ESRD patients receive any form of renal replacement therapy.

    DaVita in India operates dialysis centers in Bangalore, Chennai, Pondicherry, Hyderabad, New Delhi and Pune.

    DaVita, DaVita HealthCare Partners and Kidney Smart are trademarks or registered trademarks of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.

    About DaVita

    DaVita is the dialysis division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., a Fortune 500® company that, through its operating divisions, provides a variety of health care services to patient populations throughout the United States and abroad. A leading provider of kidney care in the United States, DaVita delivers dialysis services to patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. DaVita strives to improve patients’ quality of life by innovating clinical care, and by offering integrated treatment plans, personalized care teams and convenient health-management services. As of Dec. 31, 2013, DaVita operated or provided administrative services at 2,074 outpatient dialysis centers located in the United States serving approximately 163,000 patients. The company also operated 73 outpatient dialysis centers located in ten countries outside the United States. DaVita supports numerous programs dedicated to creating positive, sustainable change in communities around the world. The company’s leadership development initiatives and social responsibility efforts have been recognized by Fortune, Modern Healthcare, Newsweek and WorldBlu. For more information, please visit DaVita.com.

    Primary Media Contact: Kunal Ashok, kunal.ashok@davita.com, 91-7760968341

    Secondary Media Contact: Kartik Sahoo, kartik.sahoo@davita.com, 91-8095420095

    SOURCE DaVita India


  • Young Adults Can Face 41% Narrower Income Range for Obamacare Subsidies

    HealthPocket examined health plan premium subsidies for 18 to 34 year-olds in eight major cities across the country and found this age group could not obtain subsidies for health plans within the complete income range specified by the Affordable Care Act.

    The Affordable Care Act subsidies are designed to lower premiums for people with incomes between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. However, for the eight cities studied, the average maximum income at which young adults qualified for a premium subsidy was $31,744, which is less than 277% of the Federal Poverty Level. This “Obamacare subsidy gap” occurs because the exchange benchmark premiums of younger people can fall short of the percentage of income necessary to trigger a subsidy.

    Moreover, HealthPocket found that the maximum income that qualified for a premium subsidy varied by $7,709 among the 8 cities examined. The table below ranks the cities by the highest income where 18 to 34 year-olds were eligible for a subsidy.

    Rank City
    1 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ($36,013)
    2 Miami, Florida ($33,323)
    3 Los Angeles, California ($32,858)
    4 Atlanta, Georgia ($32,085)
    5 Houston, Texas ($31,732)
    6 Detroit, Michigan ($30,266)
    7 Chicago, Illinois ($29,374)
    8 Phoenix, Arizona ($28,304)

    HealthPocket’s analysis suggests that the premium subsidy design may be an important factor contributing to the under-enrollment of the young adult population, a population targeted for enrollment both for their typically good health as well as their propensity to be uninsured.

    The full results of the study, “18-34 Year-Olds Can Face 41% Narrower Income Bracket to Qualify for Obamacare Subsidies,” can be found at HealthPocket.com.

    HealthPocket.com is a free website that compares and ranks all health insurance plans available to an individual, family, or small business to allow consumers to make their best health plan decision and reduce their out of pocket costs. HealthPocket uses only objective data from government, non-profit, and private sources that carry no conditions that might restrict the site from serving as an unbiased resource. Learn more at www.HealthPocket.com.

    SOURCE HealthPocket