Patient Responsibilities in United States

Provision of information: Patients are responsible for providing complete information about their present complaints, past illness, hospitalizations, medications and other related to their matters.

Pain management: Patients should report pain to their nurse or doctor, discuss pain relief options with physicians to help develop a plan for pain management and tell their nurse or doctor if their pain is not relieved.

Compliance with instructions: Patients are responsible for abiding by the treatment plan recommended by the doctor responsible for their care. They are responsible for following the instructions of nurses and doctors.

Hospital Rules and regulations:

Patients and their families are responsible for following hospital rules and regulations.

Respect and consideration: Patients are responsible for being considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel and for abiding by all hospital’s rules in that respect, for example, rules that control noise and smoking.

Financial Transactions: Patients and/or their designated decision-makers are responsible for fulfilling the financial obligations of the healthcare provided by DSFH.

Insurance: Patients who are under the cover of health insurance should bring their current insurance identification card with them to verify the insurance plan information as well as ID numbers and other information. Co-payments which are determined by patients’ insurance plans are requested at the time of requesting the service.…

Wearable Gadgets Keep You Healthy and Safe

There are certain objects in our day-to-day lives that we hate despite their necessity, practicality, and occasionally life saving ability.

Take bike helmets for example. They overheat your head in the summer, offer no warmth in the winter, and they give you a bad hair day to boot. But if you cycle in a big city like New York then you’d need a death wish to forgo one.

Fortunately for us there’s a new breed of innovators out there who are cashing in on the wearable tech trend and the solutions it could present. There are more stylish answers to the boring problems that once haunted us than ever before.

The Invisible Bike Helmet

Two Swedish design students, Anna and Terese, came up with a revolutionary concept, which they hope destroys the notion that women don’t have technical minds. It’s called the invisible bike helmet, which is slightly misleading. It’s actually more of a scarf-like item of clothing that clips into place around the cyclist’s neck. In this scarf is an airbag waiting to encase and protect the head should a collision occur. There are sensors peppered throughout the device, which constantly keep tabs on the rider.

When there are a number of jerks and jitters that specifically indicate an accident is in progress, the head hugging air bag deploys. No more ruffled hair, no sacrificing safety, no more discomfort – so long as you’re willing to accept its princely price tag of $535.

Thermoelectric Bracelet

A common symptom of many different illnesses is temperature fluctuation. To keep a hospital or home at comfortable and constant warmth is a challenge when different patients need to warmed up whilst others ought to be cooled down.

This invention could help to solve the problem and lower energy costs in the process. The bracelet uses a thermoelectric element to induce thermal pulses in the wrist, which go on to either heat up or cool the rest of the body. It’s being touted as a way to eliminate — or at least reduce — the need for climate control in entire buildings and rooms.

Smart jewelry

This invention provides a discrete way to continuously monitor heart rate. This device aims to take big data beyond the glorified pedometers of Nike+ Fuelband and the like. It’s called “Pulse” by Electricfoxy and it’s worn around the finger, this device looks just like a regular ring at first glance, but it glows in three different colors to indicate if the wearer is above or below their desired heart rate. It also vibrates to let you know if you’re working too hard.

Easy Vaccines

Ok, these specs aren’t exactly a stylish solution to anything, but they are a pioneering way to simplify and expedite an experience universally recognized as unpleasant: the shot. The healthcare professional wears the “Eyes-on” glasses, which use real-time vascular imaging to reveal the best location for an injection or blood test.

The idea is to make the process more accurate, eliminate guesswork, and reduce multiple attempts at finding a vein.…

Insights on the ACA: Cautious Expectations

Note: ACA Watch is an ongoing, bi-weekly series with aggregated stories and insights on the latest developments regarding the Affordable Care Act. Look out for it every other Thursday.

Earlier this week, officials from the White House said the technical team working to repair the federal health insurance website remains on track to have most issues resolved by Nov. 30, while acknowledging that some users will continue to experience delays and outages in December. They also stated that there has been steady improvement in the speed of the website, and it should be able to handle 50,000 users at one time. In addition, the administration announced that on days when website traffic exceeds a benchmark of 800,000 visitors, users will be added to a new “queuing system” where they can see educational materials until they are able to access the system.

While most state-run health insurance exchange websites have been running smoothly since Oct. 1, some state sites still are facing significant issues.  However, comparing the operation of the federal health insurance exchange with those of the state-run exchanges is not an apples-to-apples equation. Continue reading for more news about the differences of the two.

Implementation

Most State Insurance Exchanges Ward Off  Woes of HealthCare.gov

With millions of dollars in federal funding and the benefit of early planning, most of the state-run health insurance marketplaces are outperforming the glitch-prone federal website that serves the other 36 states. Federal figures show that nearly 3 of 4 Americans who enrolled in insurance coverage through online marketplaces in October did so through the exchanges run by 14 states and the District of Columbia. Read more here on the enrollment success stories are states such as California, Washington, Kentucky, New York and Connecticut.

State Watch

Missouri Governor Names New Medicaid Director

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon named Dr. Joe Parks as the state’s new Director of the Missouri HealthNet Division of the Department of Social Services, which oversees the Medicaid program. Parks will leave his post as the Chief Medical Officer of the Mental Health department to assume his post as Medicaid Director on December 16, 2013. Read more here.

Industry Watch

ACA Reflections from the Field

NAMD “ACA Snapshot” series provided an overarching perspective on the atmosphere in state Medicaid agencies as they work to comply with ACA requirements and new policy options. The document was informed by the discussions during NAMD’s annual Fall Meeting. It varies from the previous NAMD Snapshots, in that the intended focus is not toward specific policy issues or operational updates. The report is an overview and reflection of states’ work during the open enrollment period and discusses the progress of state implementation activities as a qualitative summary, focusing on states’ work to provide reliable systems, functional programs and quality consumer experience. The reflection can be found here.…

Welcome to the First U.S. Inpatient Treatment Program for Internet Addiction

Can you be addicted to oxygen? Water? Something as ubiquitous as… the Internet?

Turns out, yes. Because the Internet contains just about everything, you can become addicted to it in limitless ways. Some are obvious, like online porn, gambling or gaming addictions. But others come out of left field, like addiction to “social networking” or information overload addiction.

“There are many similarities to gambling or substance addictions.”

And yes, some people have needed medical attention for compulsively playing Solitaire or Minesweeper.

Whatever you do online, if it interferes with your daily life, work or relationships, you might have a problem – and medical science is here to help.

The first hospital inpatient treatment program in the U.S. opened in Bradford, Pennsylvania this fall.

Some may scoff at paying $14,000 for a 10-day “Internet detox,” but it’s really no laughing matter. Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and other East Asian countries have been home to “deaths from Internet overuse.”

The founder of the program, Dr. Kimberly Young, has opened several such centers in other countries over her 20 years of practice.

In her experience, net addicts get a high just like they would from actual drugs, Young said.

“It is clearly unfeasible for most people to fully ‘give up’ the Internet.”

“The crux of treatment is to change or restructure their thinking on these issues,” she said, adding that she is trying to change the public opinion that the Internet can’t be addictive.

This may seem like a new field, seeing as the Internet itself is only a couple of decades old, but there are thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles on the subject already. 

“In actual fact, there is a vast range of high-quality research now being done, all over the world, with at least four major journals solely dedicated to the field of ‘Internet psychology’,” Dr. Philip Tam said. Tam is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in Sydney, Australia and has extensively studied the issue. “Important new developments emerge every month, and it is actually hard to keep abreast of everything,” he said.

For the inpatient program, patients are treated for ten days in a secure and locked unit in the hospital, separated from phones, computers and any Internet-enabled device. Young calls this “Digital Device Detoxification.”

Patients are treated by a multidisciplinary team including psychiatrists, licensed psychologists, certified addiction counselors, psychiatric nurses, social workers, mental health therapists, case managers and support staff.

Therapy takes place in seven to nine structured group sessions daily. Patients are gradually “re-integrated” with electronic media over the course of their stay.

“Am I in charge of what I do on the Internet, or is it actually in charge of me?”

After an initial 24-hour blackout period, patients have access to a landline courtesy phone for contacting loved ones for ten-minute intervals between 8 and 8:45 AM.

“A key point here is that there are many similarities to gambling addictions, and also substance addictions, so aspects can be ‘borrowed’ from these treatment domains,” Tam said.

Young believes emphatically that her program works. But long-term treatment effectiveness for alcohol and gambling addiction is generally poor, Tam said. Being so new, the Internet addiction center may or may not be effective or cost-efficient, he said.

“It certainly appears, from the research emerging from North America and internationally, that there is a growing problem with Internet overuse in young people, and that centers such as this are needed,” he said.

“In only a few cases could we call it a true ‘addiction’ and for most it is a highly enjoyable, engrossing activity that is simply better (and easier) than ‘real world’ activities.”

But what if you’re married to your smartphone and you don’t have a cool $14,000 to drop on a padded cell? The Internet is such a pervasive aspect of life, is it possible to escape? Would you want to?

“It is clearly unfeasible for most people to fully ‘give up’ the Internet. The key is to tease out what might be ‘beneficial’ Internet usage,” Tam said.

“A key question that all problem users need to firmly put to themselves is: “am I in charge of what I do on the Internet, or is it actually in charge of me?”

Skilled Internet-savvy therapists, he says, can assist a client in their exploration of their ‘Internet inventory’ and help them achieve what industry insiders call a ‘healthy digital diet’.

“In only a few cases could we call it a true ‘addiction’ and for most it is a highly enjoyable, engrossing activity that is simply better (and easier) than ‘real world’ activities,” Tam said.

24/7 Advice From Nurses Reduces Emergency Room Visits in Wyoming

Emergency rooms in rural areas are a different animal than their urban counterparts: serious illnesses and injuries happen less often, but when they happen, specialists tend to be far away.

According to a new study, linking in pediatric critical care specialists by videoconference could help prevent errors treating sick and injured kids.

In rural ERs, generalist doctors made medication errors with kids, administering the wrong drug or the wrong dose of a drug, about 13 percent of the time when they didn’t consult with a specialist, according to the study.

When they called a specialist on the phone, the error rate dropped to 11 percent, and with videoconferencing dropped to 3 percent.

“We know that we make a difference by being able to see the patient,” senior author Dr. James Marcin told Reuters.

“It’s the difference between the doctor coming in to do an office visit with you with his or her eyes closed, versus with his or her eyes open,” Marcin said, comparing telemedicine to a phone consultation.

Wyoming

Some states, like Wyoming, are already trying out rural telemedicine programs, even linking doctors to patients before they get to the ER. In addition to reducing medication errors, telemedicine can reduce overall ER visits. Here, Nurse Jennie Echols introduces us to the system making a difference in Wyoming:

“Imagine this: It’s Thursday night at 10 p.m., and you’ve been experiencing nausea and dizziness for an hour. As a Medicaid patient, you’re not sure what your options are. Should you wait until the morning, or should you head to the emergency room?

Xerox and Wyoming Medicaid, part of the Wyoming Department of Health, are working together to help answer that question. Medicaid members can call the Xerox “24/7 Nurseline” at any time – day or night – to help them determine if they need to go to the ER. Xerox also analyzes data to identify individual patients who were going to the ER more than 10 times per year and help put preventive measures in place. These efforts improve quality of care and outcomes while ensuring members receive care in a healthcare setting best suited to their level of need and reducing costs for the state program thanks to fewer ER visits.

This shift from Medicaid as healthcare-financing program to healthcare-delivery system is among the conversations I had with my colleagues at this year’s Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference. This meeting of the Medicaid minds is where state healthcare business and technology leaders gather to share ideas and re-imagine solutions for serving the health needs of millions. Xerox and the state of Wyoming participated in a session focused on using data analytics to improve quality of care.

In addition to using data to help Medicaid members make smarter choices about the healthcare facilities they visit, we’re helping Wyoming tap into data that is already available for its Medicaid members via electronic health records. When doctors and nurses have up-to-date information on lab results, ER visits and medication prescriptions, they can provide better quality care.

In an effort to focus on quality of care, Wyoming’s innovations set an example for all states, especially as many modernize their Medicaid technology platforms and seek to keep up with the rapid evolution in our healthcare environment.”…