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Date: Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 14:08

Marc Serchia, 56, is waiting on a miracle, and if the doctors are correct he doesn’t have much more time. At the age of 39, Marc suffered a massive heart attack, faced a 5-hour surgery to repair blocked arteries, and died on the surgical table six separate times. Unbelievably, he survived, but with a severely damaged heart. Doctors wouldn’t put him near the top of the heart transplant list because they didn’t think he’d live to find a match. Defying the odds, Marc has lived 17 years by eating healthy, making daily changes, and his sheer will to survive.

Marc Serchia

The damage to his heart is extensive. A normal, healthy heart has an ejection fraction — how much the heart compresses to circulate oxygenated blood to the body — between 50-70%. In September 2013, Marc’s ejection fraction was 13%, and doctors were — and still are — amazed he is still standing.

After applying to the Cell Surgical Network (CSN), he was accepted into the program, with one large roadblock in the way — insurance does not cover stem cell therapy as it is seen as experimental, and Marc is unable to work per his doctors’ orders. Marc’s daughters rallied his friends, neighbors, even strangers, and after raising $7,000 of the $35,000 needed for treatment, Marc received a stem cell therapy treatment at the Silicon Valley Stem Cell Treatment Center in January 2014. The process entails doctors harvesting Marc’s own stem cells from his body fat, which are then spun in a centrifuge where the stem cells are separated, then mixed in a saline IV drip, and returned to Marc. After three months, his ejection fraction rose to 16-18%. Doctors say Marc can have stem cell therapies every 3-4 months, but he has been unable to have another due to lack of funding.

Ideally, Marc would like to have his next treatment at the Stem Cell Rejuvenation Center in Phoenix, Ariz. Doctors take more of his fat cells during a single treatment, thus returning even more stem cells to Marc’s body.

Marc’s goal is to not only see his grandchildren grow up, but to help doctors in their research of stem cell therapy. With high-profile athletes like NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and MLB pitcher Bartolo Colon completing stem cell therapies, Marc hopes to join them in spreading the message of stem cell therapy and proving its benefits so patients can demand insurance companies cover the procedures. Marc may not be a famous sports hero with the salary to match, but he is a hero to his family.

This release was previously published on the Mountain Democrat.

Fundraisers are ongoing at the following links:

Important information on stem cell treatments and therapies can be found at:
International Cellular Medicine Society — www.cellmedicinesociety.org
Silicon Valley Stem Cell Treatment Center — www.svstemcell.com
Patients for Stem Cells — www.patientsforstemcells.org
Stem Cell Rejuvenation Center — www.the-stem-cell-center.com

Donna Palen/Marc Serchia

SOURCE Marc Serchia

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 14:04

US News & World Report is out with their rankings of the best hospitals according to their own survey. For the first time, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, claimed the No. 1 spot, followed by Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is No. 1 in cancer and the Cleveland Clinic is 1st in cardiology & heart surgery.

The 2014-15 Honor Roll

1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
2. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
4. Cleveland Clinic
5. UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
6. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, New York
7. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia
8. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco
9. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
10. Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago
11. University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle
12. (tie) Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
12. (tie) UPMC-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
14. Duke University Hospital, Durham, North Carolina ?
15. NYU Langone Medical Center, New York
16. Mount Sinai Hospital, New York
17. Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis

Here are the full rankings:

U.S. News 2014-15 Best Hospitals Rankings

For the full list of national rankings by specialty, visit www.usnews.com/best-hospitals.

Top-Ranked Hospitals in Cancer

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Boston
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco
UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford, California

Top-Ranked Hospitals in Cardiology & Heart Surgery

Cleveland Clinic
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, New York
Duke University Hospital, Durham, North Carolina
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn, New York
Mount Sinai Hospital, New York

Top-Ranked Hospitals in Orthopedics

1. Hospital for Special Surgery, New York
2. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
3. Cleveland Clinic
4. Hospital for Joint Diseases, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York
5. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
6. Rush University Medical Center, Chicago
7. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
8. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia
9. (tie) Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan
9. (tie) Duke University Hospital, Durham, North Carolina

Author: "health" Tags: "Hospitals"
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Date: Monday, 12 May 2014 21:30

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is confirming that a man is being treated for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orlando, Florida. This is the second case that has been confirmed in the United States, another case has been confirmed in Indiana.

CDC officials told Click Orlando that the patient was working in a facility in Saudi Arabia that was caring for another MERS patient. Apparently he contracted the disease while caring for another Middle East Respiratory Syndrome patient in Saudi Arabia.

In a USA Today article, “CDC officials cautioned that while the patient felt the symptoms of the MERS virus while traveling from Saudi Arabia, it was not known if the patient was infectious at that time.”

There have been 538 lab-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV worldwide, including 145 deaths attributed to it; the majority of those cases occurred in Saudi Arabia according to the CDC.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. More than 30% of these people died.

Image of map showing countries in Arabian Penninsula with and without confirmed MERs as detailed on this page.So far, all the cases have been linked to countries in the Arabian Peninsula. This virus has spread from ill people to others through close contact, such as caring for or living with an infected person. However, there is no evidence of sustained spreading in community settings.

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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Date: Sunday, 11 May 2014 17:14


Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) and AstraZeneca recently announced that the Phase 3 AMAGINE-1TM study evaluating brodalumab in patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis met all primary and secondary endpoints for both evaluated doses. Brodalumab is the only investigational treatment in development that binds to the interleukin-17 (IL-17) receptor and inhibits inflammatory signaling by blocking the binding of several IL-17 ligands to the receptor. Primary endpoints were patients achieving at least a 75 percent improvement from baseline in disease severity at week 12, as measured by the Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI 75), and patients achieving clear or almost clear skin at week 12 according to the static Physician Global Assessment (sPGA 0 or 1).

A significantly higher proportion of patients treated with brodalumab achieved a PASI 75 response (primary endpoint), as well as PASI 90 and PASI 100 responses at week 12 (secondary endpoints) compared to placebo. Results showed that 83.3 percent of patients in the 210 mg group and 60.3 percent of patients in the 140 mg group achieved PASI 75 responses compared to placebo (2.7 percent). Results also showed that 70.3 percent of patients in the 210 mg group and 42.5 percent of patients in the 140 mg group achieved PASI 90 responses compared to placebo (0.9 percent). Further, 41.9 percent of patients in the 210 mg group and 23.3 percent of patients in the 140 mg group achieved PASI 100 responses compared to placebo (0.5 percent). Of the 661 patients enrolled in this study, 46 percent reported prior biologic use and 28.7 percent weighed more than 100 kilograms (kg) at baseline (mean weight for the study population was 90.8 kg).

A PASI score is a measure of psoriatic plaque redness, scaling and thickness and the extent of involvement in each region of the body. Treatment efficacy is often measured by the reduction of PASI from baseline (i.e., a 75 percent reduction is known as PASI 75, a 90 percent reduction is known as PASI 90 and PASI 100 is total clearance of skin disease).

The most common adverse events that occurred during the placebo-controlled period in the brodalumab group (more than 5 percent of participants) were nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection and headache. Serious adverse events occurred in 1.8 percent of patients in the 210 mg group and 2.7 percent of patients in the 140 mg group compared to 1.4 percent for placebo during the placebo-controlled period.

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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Date: Sunday, 11 May 2014 17:13

Eisai Inc. will add more than 200 new contract sales representatives to its Metabolic Business Unit, bringing the total sales force for BELVIQ® to approximately 600, triple the size from when the FDA-approved prescription therapy for chronic weight management became available in June 2013. This expansion, which becomes effective on July 1, 2014, will allow Eisai to reach approximately 90,000 physicians.

The increase in sales representatives follows Eisai’s recent launch of a national television advertising campaign which encourages those who continue to struggle with their weight to speak to their doctor about the potential of BELVIQ, when combined with diet and increased activity, to help them lose weight and keep it off. (To view the advertisement for BELVIQ, visit http://www.multivu.com/mnr/7161051-eisai-launches-national-television-campaign-belviq-lorcaserin-hcl-civ)

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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Date: Sunday, 11 May 2014 17:12

In honor of National Women’s Health Week (May 11-17), Women’s Health Magazine, the fastest-growing international women’s lifestyle and wellness magazine, is teaming up with the Emmy®-winning daytime syndicated series, The Doctors (check local listings), to encourage women across the country to make their health a priority and bring vital information to the masses during this important week.

To promote the week-long initiative, the May issue of Women’s Health, on sale now, features a four-page spread highlighting instant health upgrades with exclusive advice from The Doctors co-hosts Travis Stork, M.D., Rachael Ross, M.D., Ph,D., Jennifer Berman, M.D., Jennifer Ashton, M.D. and Ian Smith, M.D. In the “45 Instant Health Upgrades” article, the experts discuss ways to improve one’s physical and mental health in all aspects of their life, including sexual health, relationships, nutrition, sleep, oral care, stress and fitness.

In conjunction with the May issue feature, The Doctors will include daily segments from May 12-16, during which the show hosts and Women’s Health editors will reveal health and wellness upgrades to showcase more ways to take advantage of National Women’s Health Week.

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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Date: Sunday, 11 May 2014 17:12

CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), parent company of CSL Behring which is based in King of Prussia, PA, recently opened the CSL Behring Biotechnology Manufacturing Facility in Melbourne, Australia. The new facility, located adjacent to the site’s manufacturing plant for plasma products, is the centerpiece of CSL’s $250 million expansion at its Broadmeadows site and will play an increasingly important role in the company’s global operations, particularly in the late-stage development of new types of hemophilia products. It is one of the largest and most advanced facilities of its kind in the world and will produce novel recombinant therapies on a large scale for international clinical trials.

The company’s recombinant factor development programs, which comprise the AFFINITY trial and the PROLONG trial for the study of therapies to treat hemophilia A and B, respectively, are central to its long-term growth plans. Several candidates in these trials are showing promise, including rVIII-SingleChain, rIX-FP, and rVIIa-FP.

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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Date: Sunday, 23 Feb 2014 20:21

More than 15 million American adults and five million children over the age of five suffer from high discomfort or exhibit needle-phobic behavior when faced with getting a blood draw or injection, according to results from a new study, with the overwhelming majority of those studied – 75 percent adults and 91 percent children – naming “pain” as the component they most feared.

Clinically known as blenophobia, the condition is defined as a fear of needles, and includes the fear of pain felt during injections and blood draws. Pain associated with needle sticks leads directly to fear and anxiety, according to the study. The phobia presents a widespread public health challenge since a patient’s behavior is often influenced by their fears – and in extreme cases – affects their ability to receive necessary medical care.

“Blood tests are one of the most important diagnostic tools modern medicine has at its disposal, but if patients are reluctant, or even actively avoid blood draws, then we need to find ways to alleviate the pain and discomfort or other causes keeping them from getting these procedures,” said Mark Dursztman, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and Assistant Attending Physician, The New York Presbyterian Hospital, Cornell Campus. “The fear of needles and needle stick pain is a real and significant health problem, one that needs to be addressed.”

The survey, sponsored by Vyteris Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: VYHN), a leading developer of drug delivery products, was conducted to learn more about the incidence and prevalence of high discomfort and needle phobic behavior around routine blood draws and injections. It found that slightly more than half the general population either had or were requested to have a blood draw or injection in the past six months. Fourteen percent, or approximately 15 million adults, identified themselves as being either needle phobic or having high discomfort around getting their blood drawn.

Of those 15 million needle-phobic adults, approximately 3.5 million indicated they had refused a blood draw or chose not to receive a recommended injection at some point in their life. Twenty five percent indicated that the consequences of these refusals were varied and serious, both from a health and economic standpoint, and directly impacted the patient’s quality of life. Over half of the respondents indicated that they did not receive necessary medical care because of the refusal, or made a change in the kind of care they were receiving. Some lost job offers, others did not receive insurance coverage and some were denied admission to school because of the refusal to get blood work done.

“Needle phobia has a direct impact on my ability to deliver necessary healthcare services, and is an important public health issue,” said Dursztman. “The findings underscore how widespread the issue is, and directly correlate to my personal experience as a physician dealing with patients. Needle phobia can be a significant impediment to understanding a patient’s complete health profile. The healthcare community needs to advance more solutions to deal with needle stick pain.”

The survey also found approximately five million children between the ages of five and 19 were characterized as being needle phobic or having high discomfort around blood draws and injections. Additionally, 26 percent of these needle-phobic children experienced extreme discomfort, the highest level of discomfort, at their last blood draw or injection.

The prevalence of blood draws and injections are high with physician offices and diagnostic laboratories estimated to take more than 900,000 blood draws daily in the U.S.

Despite the high rate of anxiety surrounding procedures, the options for dealing with needle stick pain are limited. The survey found the majority of both adults and children used distraction techniques — such as looking away, humming or focusing on an object — to deal with their discomfort. They found these techniques only moderately effective at best in minimizing their discomfort.

The American Pain Society (APS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) set forth guidelines for adequately addressing acute – or short-lived – pain. These guidelines, which apply to the treatment of children and adults, call for healthcare practitioners to eliminate or reduce pain caused by medical treatments whenever possible. In fact, the APS and AAP agree that acute pain experienced with medical procedures can, in most cases, be substantially reduced and even prevented.

About the Survey
On behalf of Vyteris, the survey was conducted by TVG in October and November of 2006. Overall, 11,460 consumers were screened to identify patients with high discomfort levels with venipuncture or injection. A total of 1,010 respondents completed on-line surveys focused on this subject. The national panel from which these consumers were recruited is aligned with the general population across multiple metrics. The overall sampling error for this survey is +/- 3.5%.

About Vyteris, Inc.
Vyteris, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Vyteris Holdings (Nevada), Inc. (OTCBB: VYHN.OB), are the makers of the first active drug delivery patch to receive marketing clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Vyteris’ proprietary active transdermal drug delivery (iontophoresis) technology delivers drugs comfortably through the skin using low-level electrical energy. This active patch technology allows precise dosing, giving physicians and patients control in the rate, dosage and pattern of drug delivery that can result in considerable therapeutic, economical, and lifestyle advantages over existing methods of drug administration. Vyteris’ first product, LidoSite(R), which provides dermal analgesia prior to venipuncture (IV catheter insertions, blood draws, etc.) and superficial dermatological procedures, was the first FDA approved active patch. Vyteris has also successfully demonstrated in-vivo, either in animals or in humans, the ability of their active patch technology to deliver drugs transdermally for the following applications: smoking cessation, anti-aging cosmeceuticals, treatments for Parkinson’s disease, and peptides for various indications.

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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Date: Friday, 03 Jan 2014 14:21

There are several companies who will have their representatives present at the 32nd annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. J.P. Morgan’s 32nd Annual Healthcare Conference will be held January 13-16, 2014 in San Francisco, California.

Endo Health Solutions (Nasdaq: ENDP) announced that Rajiv De Silva, President and Chief Executive Officer, will present a corporate overview at the 32nd Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

Express Scripts Holding Company (Nasdaq: ESRX) announced that it will present at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on January 15, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time (11:00 a.m. Eastern Time) at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, CA.

Concord Medical Services Holdings Limited (“Concord Medical” or the “Company”) (NYSE: CCM), a leading specialty hospital management solution provider and operator of the largest network of radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging centers in China and the parent of Chang’an Hospital, announced that the Company will present at the 32nd Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, to be held January 13-16, 2014 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Management is scheduled to present at 11:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, and is available to meet with institutional investors at the conference.

Haemonetics Corporation (NYSE: HAE) announced that Brian Concannon, President & CEO, will present at the 32nd Annual J.P. Morgan Health Care Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 10:00 am Pacific time / 1:00 pm Eastern time.

Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL), one of the world’s leading generic and specialty pharmaceutical companies, announced that the Company will present at the J.P. Morgan 32nd Annual Healthcare Conference on Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, in San Francisco.

Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX) is scheduled to participate in the 32nd Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 in San Francisco. Mike Mahoney, president and chief executive officer, will make a presentation about the company beginning at approximately 9:00 a.m. PT. Following the presentation, Dan Brennan, executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Keith Dawkins, M.D., executive vice president and global chief medical officer, will join Mr. Mahoney in a question and answer session.

Author: "health" Tags: "J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference"
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 20:37

WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD), the leading source of health information, has acquired Avado, Inc., a developer of cloud-based patient relationship management (PRM) tools and technologies that enable better communication between consumers and health care professionals.

WebMD’s connectivity platform is enabling physicians that use its Medscape mobile app to securely send health education and instructions on thousands of conditions, procedures and drugs to their patients who use WebMD’s mobile app.

“Avado’s innovative technology and tools will complement, and further accelerate WebMD’s efforts to connect patients with their healthcare providers, which is an important first step toward making connected care a reality,” said Bill Pence, WebMD’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer.

Avado is a StartUp Health Company founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneurs Dave Chase, Bassam Saliba and John Yii. Avado’s investors include The Partnership Fund for New York City and several health tech entrepreneurs and investors. The Avado technology has been tested in physician offices and medical centers and this technology will become an important building block of WebMD’s patient-provider connectivity offering.

Avado’s founders Dave Chase and Bassam Saliba will continue with the company and report to Pence. Chase, Saliba and Avado’s engineering talent will remain based in Seattle, WA, and work closely with WebMD’s New York-based connectivity product team.

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 20:30

InspireMD, Inc. (“InspireMD” or the “Company”) (NYSE MKT: NSPR), a leader in embolic protection stents, recently announced new 12-month results from the MASTER (MGuard for Acute ST Elevation Reperfusion) trial demonstrating that the MGuard outperformed bare metal and drug eluting stents in all-cause mortality in ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients. Results from the trial were presented at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) Conference in San Francisco earlier.

Additionally, the Company will be holding an evening symposium tomorrow, October 30 th, starting at 6:30 pm PT. Dr. Gregg Stone, Dr. Ori Ben-Yehuda and Dr. Jose Henriques will lead the symposium and will be joined by a panel of medical experts.

The MGuard utilizes the Company’s proprietary MicroNet™ technology, which is a circular knitted mesh that wraps around the stent to protect patients from plaque debris flowing downstream upon deployment. This advanced technology allows the MGuard to specifically address the unmet need for STEMI patients, and save the life of those who suffer from heart attacks.

“It is very reassuring to see that the 12-month follow up data is consistent with the acute results presented at TCT last year, especially the data that shows the mortality benefit trend of using this unique technology,” stated Prof. Dariusz Dudek, Physician-in-Chief, 2nd Department of Clinical Cardiology and Cardiovascular Interventions at the University Hospital in Krakow. “These positive results should give clinicians the confidence to use MGuard technology as a first line of defense against distal embolization for their STEMI patients.”

The MASTER trial enrolled a total of 433 patients with STEMI presenting within 12 hours of symptom onset undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention were randomized at 50 sites in 9 countries to the MGuard EPS (n = 217) or commercially available bare metal or drug-eluting stents (n = 216).

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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Date: Thursday, 10 Oct 2013 18:40

Morgan & Morgan is investigating whether or not Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. (“Ariad” or the “Company”) (ARIA) and certain of its officers violated the federal securities laws when making statements to investors regarding its experimental drug Iclusig.

On October 9, 2013, the Company updated the data from its PACE trial of Iclusig and revealed that the drug was shown to cause a higher rate of blood clots and heart-related side effects than previously disclosed. As a result, the FDA placed a hold on new patient enrollment for Iclusig testing, and the Company advised patients currently receiving the drug to lower their dosage.

Following this news, shares of Ariad fell $11.31, almost 66%, to close at $5.83 per share on October 9, 2013.

Health Plan News will post updates to this story if warranted.

Author: "health" Tags: "Pharmaceutical Companies"
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Date: Thursday, 10 Oct 2013 18:38

ICU Eyewear, a pioneer in sustainable and fashionable eyewear, is now a corporate sponsor of the Seva Foundation in concordance with World Sight Day on Oct. 10 th, 2013. ICU’s support of the Seva Foundation will provide aid to two programs, including the SIPI Program and Seva’s Eye Care Initiative, furthering the Seva Foundation’s mission to eliminate preventable blindness and visual impairment.

As part of the SIPI program domestically, ICU is providing 600 pairs of eyeglasses and sunglasses to impoverished Native American communities in New Mexico. The SIPI, or Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, works with Seva and will train 25 American Indians, most of which are women, to be top tier vision technicians and licensed opticians. This training is at no cost to the participants and benefits the high demand in impoverished American Indian communities in or near the Albuquerque area.

ICU Eyewear, founded by Patricia Kesten in 1997, has become a globally recognized leader in reading eyewear and sunglasses. ICU Eyewear designs have revolutionized the reading glass industry with fun styles, bright colors and unique patterns at affordable prices for the everyday customer.

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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Date: Thursday, 10 Oct 2013 18:36

B. Braun Medical Inc. (B.Braun) will launch Contiplex® C, its revolutionary, one-step, echogenic catheter-over-needle system and unveil Contiplex Echo, its echogenic, styleted catheter, both designed for Continuous Peripheral Nerve Blocks (CPNB) at the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) annual meeting in San Francisco, California, October 12 th-14th. As the market leader in regional anesthesia, B.Braun is committed to providing products and services to meet the changing needs within the acute pain management field.


Contiplex C is an innovative catheter-over-needle system for CPNB and practitioners seeking to transition from single shot to continuous techniques. The catheter tip can be purposely directed to an exact location, without the need to thread. Once the catheter tip is in the desired location, the needle is removed in one easy step, and the catheter is already placed. Its catheter-over-needle design helps reduce leakage because the catheter sits tightly within the puncture site.

Contiplex Echo is a new styleted catheter, featuring flat coil technology to enhance echogenicity. Its rigid body is designed to facilitate controlled threading with the aid of a stylet. Contiplex Echo will be available in both open and closed tip (multi-port) configurations along with the Contiplex Tuohy Ultra needle to provide echogenicity from both needle and catheter during CPNB placement.

Attendees are encouraged to visit B.Braun’s booth #1917 at ASA to experience hands-on demonstrations of these and other exciting regional anesthesia products, infusion pumps, CAPS® pre-filled sterile admixtures, and anesthesia IV administration sets from B.Braun. Visit www.bbraunASA.com for videos and further information.

Author: "health" Tags: "Medical Devices"
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Apr 2013 17:56

Akeso Care Management®, Inc. (ACM®), announced today that it has been awarded Health Utilization Management Accreditation by URAC, a Washington, DC-based health care accrediting organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry.

This accreditation assures the adequacy and quality of ACM’s health utilization management program through evaluation against broadly recognized standards and measures. ACM provides medical management services to domestic and international insurance carriers, self-insured employers and third party administrators. These services include utilization review, large case management, emergency medical evacuations, discharge planning and medical bill review, all designed to provide appropriate, cost-effective patient care.

URAC’s Health Utilization Management Standards establish consistency in UM processes. The standards ensure that appropriately trained clinical personnel conduct and oversee the utilization review process, that a reasonable and timely appeals process is in place, and that medical decisions are based on valid clinical criteria.

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Apr 2013 17:55

America’s changing healthcare industry is beginning to reshape the non-physician healthcare work force, with certain jobs evaporating while others are blooming, according to results of the 2013 Staff Salary Survey by Physicians Practice , America’s Leading Practice Management Magazine.

As practices automate their billing processes with outside service providers, and digitize their recordkeeping with electronic health records systems, they reported big drops in their employment of medical billers, billing managers, and medical records clerks. Those positions declined by 25 percent, 23 percent, and 37 percent, respectively, since 2011.

As practices adapt to wrenching changes in their industry by retooling their staffs, they’re challenged to find ways to keep the staff they do have motivated.

But new jobs are being created as healthcare providers become increasingly accountable to drive positive patient outcomes. More than one in five practices now employ care coordinators—professionals whose role is to help patients access diverse services needed to maintain their health, from nutrition counselors to social workers and more. This is the first year that Physicians Practice asked about care coordinators, a position that had previously been almost unheard-of outside of large institutions or health insurance companies. Another employment trend: when it comes to non-physician healthcare providers, critical private practices are increasingly employing nurse practitioners over physician assistants, with employment of the latter declining by 26 percent in the last two years. However, that may be driven by labor shortages among PAs.

Staff salaries, meanwhile, have remained flat or declined in most areas, with one important exception: nurse managers are earning 10 percent on average more than they were two years, even as their ranks swelled at practices by 25 percent during the same period.

Physicians Practice surveyed nearly 1,000 practices during the fourth quarter of 2012 for its fourth annual Staff Salary Survey.

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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Date: Friday, 05 Apr 2013 14:53

GlaxoSmithKline is set to open its new double LEED® platinum certified facility in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard Corporate Center this Saturday, ushering in a new era of how people work in Philadelphia.


The 208,000 square foot building at Five Crescent Drive represents an $80 million investment by Liberty Property/Synterra, and an investment of approximately $70 million by GSK. GSK has signed a 15.5-year lease at the building, which includes a four-story central atrium, a monumental stairway, a coffee shop, cafeteria, fitness center, meeting centers and a large multi-purpose room.

– 4-story, 208,000 rentable square feet, inclusive of over 53,000 square feet of amenity space

– The first double LEED®® Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council in Philadelphia
(Core & Shell™ and Commercial Interiors™).

– Project developed on a rehabilitated brownfield site within The Navy Yard Corporate Center fronting the beautifully landscaped 3.5-acre Crescent Park and Rouse Boulevard.

– 80-foot high central atrium with dramatic architectural lighting and a 4-story monumental stained maple veneer stair

– Amenities include cafeteria, coffee bar, central pantries, fitness center, health clinic, virtual bank teller, conference center, quiet rooms, production studio, a help lounge, roof garden, and a company store.

– 10,300-square-foot cafeteria with fresh offerings from a salad bar, deli, grille, chef’s table and a coffee kiosk 900 parking spaces on site and additional on-street parking.

– Five Standards (Dazzle), a dynamic exterior sculpture by Philadelphia native Virgil Marti commissioned by the Mural Arts Program

– Timeline: Construction commenced June 2011; initial occupancy February 2013; grand opening April 6, 2013

The four-story, glass-encased building with an open floor plan and grand central staircase has been awarded both Core & Shell™ and Commercial Interiors™ LEED® Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first double LEED® Platinum building in Philadelphia. It is anticipated that the innovative building systems will save as much as 30% of energy use when compared to a traditional building.

These substantial energy savings are the result of the state-of-the-art building facade and high-performance glass which maximize daylight in winter while reducing heat gain and providing shading in summer. ENERGY STAR®-rated lighting and equipment, as well as an astronomical time clock and cloud sensor program, activate the automatic shades on windows to control glare. In addition smart meters track and monitor the building’s energy and water use and provide ongoing accountability for utility consumption and performance.

Author: "health" Tags: "GlaxoSmithKline"
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Date: Thursday, 07 Mar 2013 16:10

Human beings have been laughing for as long as we have been human. In fact, recent evidence suggests that apes and other animals also laugh in their own way. And although humor is experienced across all ages and cultures, scientists are still not in agreement about the root causes of humor and laughter. For more in-depth information about humor and laughter, please check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humor_(positive_psychology)#Humor_and_Health


Health and laughter
There is widespread agreement among scientists that humor in general, and laughter in particular, are very good for us. In fact, laughter provides a number of very powerful physical and emotional health benefits.

Ten powerful physical and emotional benefits of laughter:
1. Reduces pain and allows us to put up with discomfort
2. Improves oxygen flow to the brain and heart
3. Reduced blood sugar levels
4. Helps blood vessels work better
5. Helps bereaving people deal with grief
6. Dampens negative emotions like anger
7. Serves as a distancing mechanism in coping with adversity
8. Helps to achieve a sense of satisfaction with life
9. Provides higher self-esteem and lower levels of depression
10. Releases stress and anxiety

Laughter, work and relationships
In addition to these wonderful physical and emotional health benefits, laughter also improves your job performance, especially if you are called on to be creative or solve complex problems. It also strengthens marriages and other relationships between people. It literally synchronizes the brains of two people talking so that they are emotionally tuned in to each other. For more information on the benefits of laughter, check out this link: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200504/laughter-the-best-medicine

Laughter does a body good
Scientists are just beginning to understand how laughter affects us physically, but studies have already shown that laughter does as much good to arteries as strong aerobic activity. This doesn’t mean that you should laugh instead of exercise, but it does suggest that you try to laugh regularly. One of the more amazing recent findings is that laughing helps to regulate blood flow and assists the blood’s ability to form clots and coagulate. In addition, it causes our bodies to secrete healthy chemicals in response to infection. Finally, studies have shown that laughter can help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases.

Researchers don’t clearly understand how laughter generates these heart benefits. It’s possible that they come from the forceful movement of the diaphragm as you laugh. In addition, laughter might activate the brain’s release of hormones like endorphins, which have a positive effect on blood vessels, organs and other body parts.

Prescription for health
Medical experts studying the health benefits of laughter suggest a simple prescription to improve your health: thirty minutes of exercise three times a week, coupled with fifteen minutes of daily laughter.

Moving forward
It’s clear that laughter is very good for the body as well as the soul. So what should we do with this newfound information about the benefits of laughter? Well, we suggest you start by checking out local comedy venues. To find comedy events near you, please visit: http://www.comedyworld.com

About the author
Bill Hartzer is a freelance writer based in Texas, and writes for Health Plan News.

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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Date: Thursday, 07 Mar 2013 15:56

Most people think of a treadmill as an exercise device. In reality treadmills were invented over 4,000 years ago and used animal and human power to perform labor intensive tasks like drawing water and grinding grain. For an overview of the history of treadmills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treadmill

treadmill reviews

Strangely enough, treadmills were also used in prisons as punishment. Inmates were made to walk on a large vertical wheel like a paddle wheel. They’d walk in drudgery for up to eight hours per day, which equated to climbing 10,000 vertical feet or more. To learn more: http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi374.htm

Treadmill health benefits
Running or walking on a treadmill is one of the healthiest activities anyone can do, especially if it’s done consistently. Some people prefer to run or walk outside because they’re in the fresh air and they might soak up some sunshine. But when all is said and done there are more good reasons for running or walking on a treadmill than doing the same thing outside.

Here are eight good reasons for using a treadmill:
1. Less dangerous. The user isn’t exposed to cars and other obstacles, making running safer.
2. Smooth surface. Running on a consistent surface is easier than running on trails or streets.
3. Weather no obstacle. The user can exercise regularly regardless of the weather.
4. More control. Settings on a treadmill allow for more controlled pacing than running outside.
5. Easier to focus when running on a treadmill because you’re not worried about traffic, obstacles, etc.
6. More fun. Treadmill users can watch TV or read, making walking or running more fun.
7. Lower impact. Treadmills are cushioned, providing lower impact than streets or trails.
8. It’s all uphill. Treadmills can be adjusted for all uphill running, providing a more beneficial run.

In fact, the advantages of using a treadmill are so great that once people start using one they are more inclined to stick with it, meaning they’ll get more consistent health benefits from this very aerobic exercise.

Common health benefits of using a treadmill:

Cardiovascular Benefits
Using a treadmill strengthens your cardiovascular system, making your lungs and heart stronger. Working out on the treadmill three to five times each week for at least 30 minutes each time, can lower your risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease, and other health problems.

Bone Density Benefits
Weight bearing exercise is best for strengthening bones and preventing and managing osteoporosis. A treadmill is a wonderful way to get this much needed weight bearing exercise on a very consistent basis, without being put off by the weather.

Weight Loss
Working out on a treadmill at the right intensity will burn calories as fast as or faster than the same workout outside, especially if you have the treadmill on more difficult settings.

Improves Range of Motion
A mild walking or light jogging program on a treadmill will assist in loosening joints and regaining flexibility.

Combats Depression and Insomnia
The aerobics gained from using a treadmill helps combat depression and insomnia.
With so many positives, it’s hard to ignore the benefits of using a treadmill. Being able to run and walk in any weather while staying out of traffic is a huge plus. And when you couple this with the excellent cardiovascular and other health benefits, it makes treadmills the obvious choice of active, healthy people.

About the author
Bill Hartzer is a freelance writer based in Texas, and writes for Health Plan News.

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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Date: Thursday, 28 Feb 2013 15:32

MetroHealth System has signed a multi-year agreement with Press Ganey to provide improvement solutions for its medical center, rehabilitation hospital, outpatient surgery center and network of 16 health centers.

More than 500 primary care and specialty care physicians practice within MetroHealth. Each year, MetroHealth provides nearly one million inpatient and outpatient visits, with revenue of more than $700 million. MetroHealth’s network of health centers incorporates a patient-centered medical home team-care approach to optimize patient outcomes through chronic disease management. The system’s major medical center is a leader in trauma, emergency and critical care; women’s and children’s services, including high-risk obstetrical care and neonatal intensive care; comprehensive medical and surgical subspecialties; heart and vascular care; cancer care; senior health; stroke and rehabilitative health care services.

Press Ganey and MetroHealth will be able to identify areas of opportunity and implement targeted action plans to enhance the patient experience. MetroHealth is one of the largest, most comprehensive providers in Northeast Ohio, serving the greater Cleveland community for more than 175 years.

Author: "health" Tags: "Healthcare Plan News"
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