Smoking Bans Credited with Lower Rates of Heart Attack

cigarettesI was living in California when the smoking ban went into effect there.  Smokers and barroom patrons were very upset about the law’s passage.  I recall, as a musician playing in many bars and clubs, the friction caused by this switch.  But folks got over it.  Then I moved back to New York and remember being incredulous that folks still smoked in the bars there, until the Empire State passed its own ban.  Then the wailing among bar goers began again.  And again, in time, folks got over it.  It seems all the friction was worth it in the end.  Follow me over the fold for the latest. Continue reading…

MRSA: A Day at the Beach?

beach_closedA few months ago, I wrote a post about the spread of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, an antibiotic resistant pathogen.  The probable result of over use of penicillin in humans and in factory farm animals, this devastating illness was rarely contracted outside of hospitals.  But alarming and newly released studies show the presence of MRSA on US beaches – in the water and in the sand!  Perhaps a result of offshore dumping of medical waste, this is a disturbing development.  Especially as this blogger prepares to spend a week’s vacation at the beach!  More details on this story and some positive developments too, after the jump. Continue reading…

Best Job Markets in the US – Part 1

The current economic challenges have had the unintended consequence of spurring a lot of media coverage regarding employment figures nationwide. The upside of this focus on job data is – if you’re starting a new career – you have access to a wide array of data on where you can find a good job in an area projected to enjoy continued growth. Since lately I seem to be stumbling across a lot of state-by-state lists of “Top Growth Jobs”, I have decided to write a series of posts detailing the career environments in different areas of the country for people with medical billing and coding expertise. This virtual tour of great American destinations (and their respective job markets) may be as close as this writer gets to a vacation this year, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I plan to.Today, let’s look at the data from California, a State I once called home and a great place to be if you’re working towards a career in the healthcare field. The current recession has spurred significant job losses and a lot of coverage about California’s unemployment. Yet, less reported are the thousands of new job openings filled in the Golden State every day. According to labor statistics, California’s total employment is predicted to approach 20 million or more by 2016. That’s good news! What’s even better is that the healthcare sector is number one on the list of “growth industries” and medical billing is included in the list of “25 Jobs to Increase through 2016” in California. That makes the Golden State a good place to consider living and working.This blogger lived in San Francisco during and after the Internet boom/bust and even in the dark economic days, post-bubble, I always found it a great place to find gainful and rewarding employment. It also has the added benefit of being a truly beautiful place to live. Pristine beaches, majestic mountains, acclaimed wineries, world-class golf, diverse music, innovative cuisine…***sigh***. Great place to begin your own Gold Rush. Have a look at the full report on California’s employment environment here:http://hubpages.com/hub/Top_California_Jobs