%PM, %02 %578 %2018 %12:%Jul

Help Prevent Diabetes, July 2018

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Did you know that according to the American Diabetes Association, “the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2017 is $327 billion, including $237 billion in direct medical costs and $90 billion in reduced productivity?”  And that 1 in 3 adults have prediabetes in the USA? 

Prediabetes is when an individual’s blood glucose (sugar) level is elevated more than normal, yet not high enough for it to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.  This precursor can lead to diabetes.  The population of adults aged 65 years and older with prediabetes is now over 23 million. To view the National Diabetes Statistics report click now.

July is a great month to focus on educating patients on how they can begin making strides to implement necessary lifestyle changes in order to prevent the onset of diabetes.  Physicians can initiate dialogue with their prediabetes patients on recommended lifestyle changes such as:

  • Getting physically active (150 minutes per week recommended)
  • Managing body weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Incorporating healthier foods/meals into daily regimen

The Physician Alliance and the practice resource team are partnering with physician practices to bring awareness to prediabetic and diabetic patients on how to implement positive changes and address barriers that may impact actions.

Diabetes depends on individual self-care.  With this in mind, The Physician Alliance created self-management forms along with action plans to help diabetic patients monitor their daily activities and commit to following recommended steps.

Physicians and their practice staffs can download these forms to hand out to patients by clicking here

Getting a head start educating patients to implement healthier activities to be proactive in preventing diabetes can help lead to less healthcare dollars spent on this disease in the long run. Download the Staggering Costs of diabetes PDF.

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.

Sources: American Diabetes Association, Centers for Disease Control

To read additional blog articles, please visit our Blog archives page.

%PM, %11 %720 %2018 %16:%Jun

Scheduling WELLNESS visits, June 2018

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The WELLNESS visit is a “no hands” on visit. This visit is not the same as a traditional physical exam which is a hands-on exam.  A patient wellness visit is a visit to identify high risk behaviors, provide advice on lifestyle and preventative screenings, and to build a relationship with the patient.

Frequently, there is no copay or deductible required for the patient… it is a “free” visit for the patient. Medicare plans pay for 100% of an annual visit with reimbursement codes G0438 and G0439.  Many other plans cover the wellness visit with a variety of codes.  (Physician practices need to confirm with plan providers.)

Consider reaching out to patients who are overdue for preventative measures and schedule them for a yearly wellness visit.  Many physicians find open times in their schedules in the first several months of the year because of the reset of plan deductibles.  Since this evaluation does NOT involve a deductible or copay in most plans, it’s a great opportunity to complete preventative measures that benefit the patient and help physicians provide quality care to their patient population.

This is a great time for primary care physicians to review preventative measures (which are included in pay for performance programs) as well as provide personalized preventative health advice.  An updated health information form could be sent to patients ahead of scheduled appointment times to be filled out prior to the visit.

The Physician Alliance continues to work with physician members and their practice staffs to help close gaps in care. If you have not ordered Wellness exam reminder posters yet for your practice, these forms are complimentary for The Physician Alliance members.  To place an order, go to The Physician Alliance website, click on Learning Center tab, and then click patient education materials.  Or click here.

In addition to the wellness exam posters, The Physician Alliance has created healthy lifestyle self- management forms for both adults and pediatric patients that can be given out to patients during these visits.

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor for more information or if you have a medical concern.

To read additional blog articles, please visit our Blog archives page.

%PM, %30 %816 %2018 %18:%May

Barefoot Running, June 2018

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Barefoot running is becoming a more and more popular running trend throughout the running and jogging communities. However, running without shoes also affects the motions of your stride. When barefoot running, choosing to run without shoes is not the only adjustment you will have to make.

Whenever you run normally with shoes, your heel strikes the ground first as you land while you roll over the ball of your foot and push off with the front part and toes. Barefoot runners land on the front part of their feet and not their heels. This shifts the impact from the back to the front of the foot. In order to do this safely and without much injury, runners need to reduce their stride to create softer landings.

One of barefoot running’s biggest advantages is the reduced risk of injury. Landing on the front of your foot with a reduced stride lessens the stress placed on the back of the foot, heels, and ankles. It also works out many muscles in the feet, ankles, and lower legs that you do not normally get to strengthen because of the different motions.  Your posture and balance are also improved with barefoot running, as is your sensory input from your feet to the rest of your body. Studies have shown that countries that have large populations of people who do not wear shoes every day are at lower risk for foot and ankle injuries and complications.

However, there is still some skepticism behind barefoot running because of some disadvantages it brings. One of these is the complete lack of protection for your feet while running. Bruises, scrapes, cuts, and even blisters can easily form when you have no protection from sharp or rough objects on the ground. Landing on the front of your feet can also cause Achilles tendonitis because of the overuse of the Achilles tendon.

Despite this, barefoot running can be made safe and enjoyable if you make a slow transition from your normal running routine into barefoot running. Rather than jumping straight into barefoot running, gradually work your way from walking to jogging to running, increasing the distance each time. It is also recommended to start off on flat, even surfaces that do not contain sharp or dangerous objects because your feet are unprotected. Minimalist running shoes are a great middle ground to start with because they combine the protection of shoes with the fit and feel of barefoot running.

 

Contributed by:  Harvey Lefkowitz, D.P.M., P.C. of Michigan Foot and Ankle located on 641 West Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, MI 48220. He is also a member of The Physician Alliance, one of Michigan’s largest physician organizations representing more than 2,100 physicians in metro Detroit.

 

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor for more information or if you have a medical concern.

%PM, %30 %794 %2018 %18:%Apr

Managing Asthma, May 2018

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According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, asthma affects close to 25 million Americans. Asthma is a chronic disease that causes airway obstruction in the lungs. The Physician Alliance is working with our physician practices to better manage and close gaps with asthma patients.

It is a chronic disease that causes your airways to become inflamed, making it hard to breathe. Asthma can be managed by avoiding triggers, taking medications to prevent symptoms and being prepared to treat asthma episodes should they take place.

Common asthma symptoms include:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness

Click here for information on the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management on asthma report.  To date, there is no cure for asthma. 

Different ways of testing for asthma include:

  • Taking a detailed medical history
  • A physical exam
  • Lung function tests
  • Chest or sinus X-ray

Asthma triggers include: mold, outdoor air pollution, tobacco smoke, and colds and flu. Asthma can lead to a potential medical emergency, so it’s key to know the signs of a severe asthma episode/attack.  Medications can help to control asthma, but it is important to note that patient action plans along with regular healthcare can be valuable components of treatment.

Asthma Action Plan Stages1

Green Zone: Doing Well

No cough, shortness of breath, wheeze, or chest tightness; can do all usual activities. Take prescribed long-term control medicine such as inhaled corticosteroids.

Yellow Zone: Getting Worse

Cough, wheeze, chest tightness, or shortness of breath; waking at night; can do some, but not all, usual activities. Add quick-relief medicine.

Red Zone: Medical Alert!

Very short of breath; quick-relief medicines don't help; cannot do usual activities; symptoms no better after 24 hours in Yellow Zone. Get medical help NOW.  Full Action Plan1  

Physicians can help patients better manage asthma through initiating and educating patients on how to avoid triggers along with implementing personal asthma action plans.  Did you know that patient asthma self-management forms are available on The Physician Alliance website?  Click now to download forms.   

Sources: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Centers for Disease Control, American Lung Association

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor for more information or if you have a medical concern.

To read additional blog articles, please visit our Blog archives page.

 

%PM, %02 %778 %2018 %17:%Apr

Childhood obesity epidemic, April 2018

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are close to 13 million obese children and adolescents in the United States.  Over the last 15 years, childhood obesity has been on the rise and is a growing health issue.  Click here to view the data on the prevalence of obesity in children and adults.

In Michigan alone, 32% of children between the ages of 10-17 years old were considered overweight/obese in 2016. Michigan ranks 10th in the nation for adult obesity at 32.5%. Early evidence-based interventions can help move the mark to lower this percentage of children that go into adulthood overweight.

The Pediatric Childhood Weight Management program (PWMP) at St. John Providence can help to provide overweight children with structured and multi-disciplinary approaches to achieve healthier body weights while increasing knowledge on healthy living.

This program was designed for children ages 7 - 17 years with body masses greater than 85th percentile for their age/gender. It can help to motivate children through nutrition education, along with education on exercise programs.

PWMP includes:

  • Initial evaluation
  • 12 group sessions (weekly)
  • Post evaluation
  • Follow-up evaluations (long term)

Physicians can help improve the quality of life for their overweight pediatric patients by referring these patients to the weight management program.  This process involves completion of an initial evaluation form. Click here to download form.  Patients must be referred by their physician/pediatrician.

Since childhood obesity can lead to increased risk for diabetes type 2 and hypertension, it is important to educate patients and the community on preventing obesity through improved nutrition and increased physical activity.  For questions regarding Pediatric Childhood Weight Management program, please contact St. John Providence Children’s Hospital office at 313-343-7047.

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor for more information or if you have a medical concern.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control, St John Providence Children’s Hospital, State of Obesity

To read previous blog articles, visit our Blog Archives page.

 

 

%PM, %08 %885 %2018 %20:%Mar

Preventive screenings can save lives, March 2018

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Colorectal cancer screenings for individuals 50 years of age and older is the most effective way to prevent and detect colorectal cancer. Yet, only 25% of patients aged 50-64 years old are up to date with their colorectal cancer screenings, equating to 75% of this patient population not in compliance with getting this important health screening.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, up to 60% of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented if individuals 50 years and older got the recommended screening for colorectal cancer.

Preventative and routine screenings, along with scheduled immunizations, are vital to reducing death and disability while improving the health of Americans. These services both prevent and detect illnesses and diseases—from flu to cancer—in their earlier, more treatable stages leading to significantly reduced risks for illness, disability, early death, and medical care costs.

Yet, despite the fact that many of these services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and many private insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, millions of children, adolescents, and adults go without clinical preventive services.  Preventative health screenings can save lives through early diagnosing, intervention, and treatment.

Now is a great time to connect with your patient population by initiating conversations around recommended preventive health screenings.  Physician practices can reach out to patients to remind patients of important health screenings and to schedule appointments for follow up on:

  1. Breast cancer screening
  2. Cervical cancer screening
  3. Colorectal cancer screening for adults over 50
  4. Obesity screening and counseling

Physicians and their staff can help motivate patients to be proactive and compliant in the disease prevention arena and to make positive and lasting healthy lifestyle changes by making sure that patients are keeping up with recommended screenings. 

Regular patient outreach coordination can also help to monitor whether patients are up to date on their immunization vaccines.  To order preventive screening posters along with valuable patient education materials through The Physician Alliance website, click here now.

Sources:  Healthfinder.gov, Centers for Disease Control, Choosing Wisely

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.

To read additional blog articles, please visit our Blog archives page. 

%PM, %21 %669 %2018 %15:%Feb

Diabetic Measures Updates, February 2018

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Did you know that someone is diagnosed with diabetes every 21 seconds?  In 2015, 9.4 percent of the American population had diabetes, equaling out to over 30 million Americans1.  The Physician Alliance is working with physician practices to improve quality measures including diabetes.

The Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures performance on specific care and service dimensions.  It is a tool that is utilized by over 90% of America's health plans in collecting data.  The following are highlights of the 2018 HEDIS measurement for effectiveness of care for comprehensive adult diabetes care:

  • Bilateral eye enucleation has been added to the Eye Exam (Retinal) Performed indicator
  • Revised language in step 1 of the BP Control <140/90 mm Hg numerator and added notes clarifying the intent when excluding BP readings from the numerator.
  • Clarified medical record requirements for evidence of ACE inhibitor/ARB therapy (for the Medical Attention for Nephropathy indicator).
  • Replaced medication table references with references to medication lists
  • Added “sacubitril-valsartan” to description of Antihypertensive combinations in the ACE Inhibitor/ARB Medications List

To view the full table of summary table of HEDIS measure changes, click here or you can download condition specific care directly from The Physician Alliance website. Now is the time to reach out to diabetic patients to help improve the health of your patient population. Also available on The Physician Alliance website are diabetes self-management forms that can be downloaded and given to patients to help in managing diabetes along with several other patient self-management forms. Posters on diabetic care management are also available on the website.

Sources: (12/12/2018, diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics1), American Diabetes Association, Centers for Disease Control, National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA.org).

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with your doctor for more information or if you have a medical concern.

To read additional blog articles, please visit our Blog archives page.

%PM, %31 %856 %2018 %19:%Jan

What are Achilles Tendon Injuries? January 2018

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The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the human body. Its purpose is to connect the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. This tendon is responsible for facilitating all types of movement, like walking and running. This tendon provides an enormous amount of mobility for the body. Any injuries inflicted to this tissue should be immediately brought up with a physician to prevent further damage.

The most common injuries that can trouble the Achilles tendon are tendon ruptures and Achilles tendinitis. Achilles tendinitis is the milder of the two injuries. It can be recognized by the following symptoms: inflammation, dull to severe pain, an increased flow of blood to the tendon, thickening of the tendon, and slower movement time. Tendinitis can be treated via several methods and is often diagnosed by an MRI.

An Achilles tendon rupture is trickier to heal, and is by far the most painful injury. It is caused by the tendon ripping or completely snapping. The results are immediate and absolutely devastating, and will render the patient immobile. If a rupture or tear occurs, operative and non-operative methods are available. Once the treatment begins, depending on the severity of the injury, recovery time for these types of issues can take up to a year. 

Simple preventative measures can be taken as a means to avoid both injuries. Prior to any movement, taking a few minutes to stretch out the tendon is a great way to stimulate the tissue. Calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses are all suggested ways to help strengthen the lower legs and promote Achilles tendon health.

Many problems arise among athletes and people who overexert themselves while exercising. Problems can also happen among those who do not properly warm up before beginning an activity. Proper, comfortable shoes that fit correctly can also decrease tendon injuries. Some professionals also suggest that when exercising, you should make sure that the floor you are on is cushioned or has a mat. This will relieve pressure on the heels. A healthy diet will also increase tendon health.

It is important to seek out a podiatrist if you believe you have an injury in the Achilles region. Further damage could result in severe complications that would make being mobile difficult, if not impossible.

Lefkowitz--30-final-H.jpg - 58.75 kB

Contributed by:  Harvey Lefkowitz, D.P.M., P.C. with Michigan Foot and Ankle located at 641 West Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, MI 48220. Dr. Lefkowitz is also a member of The Physician Alliance, one of Michigan’s largest physician organizations representing more than 2,200 physicians in metro Detroit.

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor for more information or if you have a medical concern. To read additional blog articles, please visit our Blog archives.

Did you know every physician practice is required to have a compliance plan?

Healthcare fraud is rampant in Michigan and the federal government is cracking down on healthcare practices.  An Oakland County physician practice biller was recently ordered to pay $3,252,107 in restitution and sentenced to 50 months in prison. The biller was convicted of mail fraud and of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud.

These convictions were passed down as the biller knowingly submitted fraudulent bills on behalf of a physician, for services she knew were not rendered. The physician paid her 6% of the total billings from Medicare. The case was investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Office of Inspector General (“HHS-OIG”). 

How can you protect your practice from fraud and fines? There are many things you can do to make sure that you don’t share this fate.

  1. One essential thing to do to for your practice is to perform an external audit to catch potential billing errors. Audits serve many functions and can help to catch mistakes before it’s too late.
  2. It is also critical that you train your staff on both HIPAA and compliance regulations, as well as on the potential sanctions that come with violations of regulations.
  3. Your staff and all physicians must also be trained on billing and coding, to make sure that physicians in your practice are not upcoding or billing for services not rendered. Physician billing and coding is under constant scrutiny from the government and insurance companies.
  4. Ensure that your practice has open lines of communication so that physicians, staff, and billers feel free to communicate their compliance concerns and questions. Make sure to have a way for all staff to anonymously report their concerns.
  5. Finally, follow through. Make sure to take all potential compliance concerns seriously. Investigate allegations and make the necessary changes to prevent further issues fr3m arising. Let your staff know that you take their compliance concerns seriously.

Always remember that compliance is an ongoing process and compliance education should be ongoing at your practice.

Contributed by: Lori-Ann Rickard of Rickard & Associates, P.C. a multi-specialty law firm serving corporate and individual clients. Rickard & Associates is a member of TPA’s Affiliate Partners program. With over 30 years of experience, Rickard & Associates has specialty practices in healthcare law, corporate transactional law, litigation, and employee relations. Rickard & Associates has certified coders who can assist in audits and/or training your staff. Contact Rickard & Associates, P.C. at (586) 498-0600. TPA members get discounts on rates!

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor for more information or if you have a medical concern.

%PM, %11 %727 %2017 %16:%Dec

5 Tips for Healthy Holiday Feet, December 2017

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Don’t let sore, achy feet ruin your holiday season. Here are five tips for healthy holiday feet:

  1. IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT 
    • When hitting the dance floor and shopping malls this season, don’t compromise comfort and safety. Protect your feet from blisters, calluses and ankle injuries with the right shoes for the occasion.
  2. WATCH FOR ICE & SNOW
    • Holiday winter wonderlands can be beautiful but also dangerous for ankles. Use caution when traveling outdoors and watch for ice or snow patches along your trail.  There is often an increase in ankle injuries during the winter months so be careful.
  3. DON’T OVERINDULGE IN HOLIDAY CHEER
    • Your feet can feel the effects of too much holiday cheer—overindulging in certain foods high in uric acid can cause painful gout attacks in your feet.  If you suffer from a gout attack, call your doctor.
  4. LISTEN TO YOUR FEET...THEN LOOK AT THEM
    • Don’t let foot pain ruin your holiday fun; inspect your feet regularly for any evidence of ingrown toenails, bruising, swelling, blisters or calluses. If you are a diabetic, the need for regular inspections increases tenfold, as the loss of sensation can mask problems that can become very serious very quickly.  
  5. BE PEDICURE SAFETY CONSCIOUS
    • Reduce your risk of bacterial infections, including MRSA, during your holiday pedicure by choosing a salon that follows proper sanitation practices and is licensed by the state.

             Contributed by: Dr. Stephano Militello and Dr. Anthony Lalama of Premier Foot and Ankle located at 17900 23 Mile Rd #204 in Macomb, Michigan. They are members of The Physician Alliance, one of Michigan’s largest physician organizations                   representing more than 2,200 physicians in metro Detroit. For more health information and tips, visit www.premierfootandanklemi.com.

 

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor for more information or if you have a medical concern.

To read additional blog articles, please visit our Blog archives page.

The Cambridge dictionary defines gratitude as "a strong feeling of appreciation to someone or something for what the person has done to help you".  Being grateful does not cost money and, according to Forbes magazine there are seven scientific benefits of gratitude that can motivate you to be thankful all year- not just throughout the holidays. 

Seven reasons to be grateful:

1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Showing appreciation can help you win new friends, according to a 2104 study published in Emotion. The study found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship.

2. Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer pains and body aches and have also reported feeling healthier, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. 

3. Gratitude improves psychological health. According to Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, conducted several studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research demonstrates how gratitude can effectively increase happiness and reduce depression.

4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people are more likely to act in a prosocial way, even when others are less kind, a 2012 study by University of Kentucky found. Participants in this study who ranked higher on gratitude measures were less likely to retaliate against other people, even when given negative feedback. They experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.

5. Grateful people sleep better.  Consider taking 15 minutes before you go to bed and write down what you are grateful for.  You just may sleep better and even longer.

6. Gratitude improves self-esteem. Some studies have shown that gratitude can help reduce social comparisons.  Instead of being resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs (a major factor in lower self-esteem), grateful people tend to appreciate other’s accomplishments.

7. Gratitude increases mental strength. Research shows that gratitude can play a role in overcoming trauma besides reducing stress. In fact, a 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War Veterans who had higher levels of gratitude experienced lesser rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found gratitude to be a contributor to resilience after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Recognizing what you are thankful for fosters resilience.

With the holidays fast approaching, now is a great time to take a moment and reflect on what you have and are thankful for every day.  This is also a wonderful time to create and find opportunities to acknowledge others for what you appreciate about them.

Source: Forbes.com, Cambridge dictionary

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor for more information or if you have a medical concern.

Contributed by The Physician Alliance. To read previous blog articles, visit our Blog Archives page.

Healing arts encompass health sciences and forms of complementary and alternative medicine to promote healing, coping, and wellness. More cancer patients are beginning to utilize complementary therapies which in turn has had significant increase in the past several years. Complementary therapies do not replace standard therapies. Complimentary programs can be started during treatment that would not conflict with direct cancer therapy as these programs focus on the psychosocial aspect. An example of complimentary therapy would be utilizing music for patients in the oncology unit or touch therapy in radiation oncology.

Complimentary therapies can continue long after cancer treatments end, signifying a new way of living even after treatment.  These therapies can help with keeping one’s body healthy as a patient recovers and moves forward.  According to Kathy Latour co-founder of cure magazine, “our complementary approach is to help in the more subjective area of having cancer and getting through it day-to-day.” 

The use of acupuncture, touch therapies, yoga and music along with other complementary therapies can be a valuable addition to patients’ conventional cancer treatments as the medical community recognizes and focuses on the whole person and their quality of life.  Mind/body therapies can include meditation, yoga, Tai Chi to aid with movement, relaxation and overall wellness. 

Massage therapy is another aspect of integrative and holistic healing that can help improve a patient’s overall health and wellbeing. Studies on massage have shown that weekly treatments may also have an impact on one’s body’s ability to fight and contribute to a range of positive outcomes: better quality of life, improved sleep, along with mental alertness and clarity.  Massage has also been shown to help relieve pain, anxiety, depression and nausea.

Acupuncture is a complimentary treatment that is growing. With acupuncture, some side effects of the cancer treatment may be lessened.  Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.

Adding complementary therapies is about centering one’s self.  Also included in complimentary therapies are counseling and nutrition, along with support groups.  As with any type of complimentary therapies, patients should research to determine the benefits and risks of such therapies.

 

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for more information or if you have a medical concern.

 

Source: Mayo Clinic, American Cancer Society, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Cure Magazine

Contributed by The Physician Alliance.

To read additional blog articles, please visit our Blog archives page.

 

 

%PM, %13 %756 %2017 %17:%Sep

Good Health Reminders, September 2017

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Have you had your annual wellness visit this year?  With the end of the year approaching now is a good time to schedule a follow up wellness check if you have not already done so with your healthcare provider.  Annual Wellness Visits (AWV) include a health risk assessment that can help to identify risky behaviors, make recommendations for preventive screenings and referrals.

September is a great time to make your health a priority and to set aside time for recommended health screenings.  Are you up to date on the following age-appropriate preventive services?  Below are some recommended screening schedules:

  • Annual flu vaccine (recommended for 6 months of age and up)
  • Breast cancer screening-mammograms can detect breast cancer (recommended for women 40 years and older).
  • Pap tests can find abnormal cells in the cervix which may turn into cancer. Pap tests also can detect cervical cancer early, when the chance of being cured is high (recommended for women 21 years and older).
  • Colorectal cancer screening- identifies/finds precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer (recommended for men and women aged 50–75 years old).

According to the Centers for Disease Control, if individuals 50 years and older were screened for colorectal cancer as recommended, up to 60% of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented.  Treatment works best when colorectal cancer is detected early.  Regarding breast cancer screenings, early detection can save lives.  Individuals can also help reduce risks for certain cancers by making healthy life choices.  Avoid tobacco use, protect your skin from the sun, maintain a healthy body weight and limit alcohol consumption.

Your healthcare provider can advise you on a recommended schedule for applicable screenings.  It is important to share your personal health history with your provider in order to ensure proper testing.

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor for more information or if you have a medical concern.

Contributed by The Physician Alliance.

Source: Centers for Disease Control

To read additional blog articles, please visit our Blog archives page.

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