According to a report by the Associated Press: WASHINGTON – A requirement tucked into the massive U.S health care bill will make calorie counts impossible for thousands of restaurants to hide and difficult for consumers to ignore. More than 200,000 fast food and other chain restaurants will have to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and even drive-throughs. Read the whole article here. It may be a bit onerous for these restaurants to have to do this, but if you’ve ever seen those popular “Eat This, Not That” books and website, you know that often, seemingly “healthy” menu items can be worse than things that have a reputation for being “bad for you”. In this blogger’s opinion, this step is a positive one because it will help American’s make more informed choices about what they eat. Dietary choices are behind so many of the leading illnesses in our society from obesity to cancer. The more info we have as a society, the better off we will be as we choose what to eat.
Sweeping new U.S. breast cancer screening guidelines are calling for an end to routine mammograms for women in their 40s and for women 50 to 74 they suggest a mammogram every other year. This controversial new guideline was handed down by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a group of nongovernmental experts convened by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to review published literature and develop recommendations for the use of clinical preventive services. Coming on the heels of the controversial Stupak Amendment limiting coverage for abortions that was inserted into the House healthcare bill in the eleventh hour at the behest of Catholic Cardinals, this new guideline seems to many to be a part of a broader campaign to hack away at hard-won women’s rights. Continue reading…
OK, so this is a bit of comic relief but it is a true story and it underscores the need for QUALIFIED medical office help. Keeping track of medical records is a tough job. So many people with so many different ailments and specific requirements. It seems like an overwhelming task to keep it all straight. This is why Allen School Online students study hard. Consider the case of Les Kennington who was told that his severe abdominal pains were likely the result of his past hysterectomy! Yes, you read that right. This New Zealander’s doctor’s office insisted Les’s pain was a result of his having had his uterus removed because his medical records said he’d had one! Click here to read the story that would be hilarious if it weren’t true. Then get back to your studies because this is important stuff you’re working on!
New laptop malfunctioning? Cell phone service wrongly interrupted? Utility company make a mistake on your monthly bill? You’ll have to dial a toll-free customer service number and then navigate through level after level of recorded messages trying to find the answer to your problem. And after an hour on the phone, you’ll be no closer to a solution and about ready to kill someone. Sound familiar? We all have had to deal with customer service issues like this. Well, awesome site, Lifehacker.com recently published this great piece on how to get better customer service when you should need to. Included in the article is a link to an application called “Lucy” that does the “holding” for you so you don’t have to glue the phone to your ear while the company you’re calling is “experiencing unusually high call volumes resulting in long hold times”. That’s a godsend to be sure. And if that’s not enough, and the tips in this article still don’t get you satisfaction, the article provides a link to the Consumerist.com’s list of customer service executives from the world’s top companies so you can call a supervisor direct to lodge your complaint about the sorry state of their customer service department.
Today, September 17th is Constitution Day. This holiday, sometimes referred to as Citizenship Day recognizes the ratification of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. It is observed on September 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787. This year, although historic health care legislation has recently been passed, many of the worst abuses of the insurance industry are still in effect as providers plan a double digit rate increase. So even though major provisions of the newly passed bill won’t take effect until 2014, there is still a moral imperative to make sure all Americans have access to basic healthcare. I have heard many opponents of universal healthcare ask, “Where in the Constitution does it say that we’re entitled to universal healthcare?”. Follow me over the fold for the answer to this, and other questions about the amazing document at the core of our Democracy. Continue reading…
They say employment figures are a “lagging indicator” which is stock market speak for measurements that we look back on for perspective. That is, economic growth happens first, then employment picks up. This makes logical sense because obviously, companies don’t start hiring before new business picks up. But once new orders come rolling in for all manners of products and services, companies scramble to hire in order to accommodate the increasing demand. This is why it is so heartening to see the following chart showing the employment figures over the last two years. Follow me over the jump for analysis. Continue reading…
In what has to be among the cruelest April Fools Day pranks I have seen in years, some practical jokers dressed up as In-N-Out Burger employees appeared in Manhattan’s Union Square this morning. They had a printed banner saying that In-N-Out was preparing to open its first New York outlet. For those uninitiated, NYC-based Allen School Students, In-N-Out Burger is about the very best burger joint ever! There is no East Coast analog to speak of. (Shake Shack is good, but not in the same ballpark I am afraid.) But to give you Northeasterners a point of reference, it would be like telling a West Coaster that Famous Ray’s Pizzeria (or insert your favorite NY pizzeria here) was planning to open up outlets in Los Angeles. Did you know there is no New York style pizza to be had in California? I spent 10 years driving thousands of miles around the Golden State without finding any decent pie. Anyway, now that my burger dreams are crushed, Allen School Online students in California and Nevada: Do me a favor. Go have a Double Double animal style and animal fries for me please! Oh and chocolate shake!!!
The following was posted by Congressman John B. Larson, Democrat from Connecticut after last night’s historic passage of health insurance reform. As soon as health care passes, the American people will see immediate benefits. The legislation will:
- Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans;
- Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool;
- Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans;
- Lower seniors’ prescription drug prices by beginning to close the donut hole;
- Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;
- Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all plans;
- Require plans to cover an enrollee’s dependent children until age 26;
- Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing;
- Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;
- Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs.
The New York Times reported over the weekend on an imminent surge in new medical schools to open in the US this year. From that article:
“The proliferation of new schools is also a market response to a rare convergence of forces: a growing population; the aging of the health-conscious baby-boom generation; the impending retirement of, by some counts, as many as a third of current doctors; and the expectation that, the present political climate notwithstanding, changes in health care policy will eventually bring a tide of newly insured patients into the American health care system. If all the schools being proposed actually opened, they would amount to an 18 percent increase in the 131 medical schools across the country.”For some perspective on the significance of this development, follow me past the jump. Continue reading…
Developing time management skills, like any other worthwhile endeavor, requires planning and then lots of practice. But the benefits of mastering your own schedule can be felt in all areas of your life; personal and professional. The overall point of focusing on time management is to become more aware of how you use your time and break your days up between work, study, family, social activities and sleep. Follow me past the jump for some ideas on how to begin the process and practice of better time management. Continue reading…