Medical Office Assistant And Pharmacy Technician Courses For Fast Healthcare Careers

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Becoming a pharmacist or a doctor is a serious educational commitment that takes several years. Especially in light of the almost decade long, immensely expensive process of becoming a doctor, healthcare careers can feel out of reach for many people. But becoming a physician is not the only option for healthcare hopefuls. Aside from nursing, two other prominent healthcare professions are medical office assistant and pharmacy technician. Lets have a closer look.

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technician training has to prepare the student for the crucial role of assisting pharmacists conduct their duties. Most people know about the drug dispensaries found in commercial stores and hospitals, but theres also a role for pharmacy technicians in medical research, third party insurers and drug manufacturing. Regardless of where the technician takes a job, your training will focus on a strict and accurate understanding of measurement, dispensing systems and drug effects. Though you will have the supervision of a pharmacist, patient safety depends on your ability to provide exactly the dose prescribed, and youll also have a chance to make sure theyre receiving the right medication and get to work directly with clients, including calling them to ensure medications are being taken as directed.

Programs are usually provided through vocational schools and colleges, with a length averaging around a year, but some programs allowing completion in less time. Like any healthcare professional, you will have liability insurance and accredited programs are offered in most provinces in Canada. 43% are employed in hospitals or similar facilities, and pharmacist shortages have seen a recent boom in the demand for people with pharmacy technician training, making it a reliable choice for steady and rewarding work.

Medical Office Assistant

In Canada, the role of the medical office assistant is somewhat more abbreviated than your American cousins, because of provincially regulated Medicare instead of a byzantine network of private insurers, but theres still a strong demand for people with medical office assistant training. As well as clerical work, including working with sensitive and confidential medical records and calling patients to remind them of scheduled appointments, medical office assistants receive some front line medical training to help them understand the ins and outs of their patients needs.

One part secretarial and receptionist training, and one part anatomy and health lessons, medical office assistant training is also mostly found through career or vocational schools and community colleges. Like pharmacy technician programs the study time is short. Particular to the program the administrative side of the training also makes graduates flexible, with options to work outside the healthcare industry. If you do decide to stick with healthcare you could find yourself at the front desk of a private practice or part of a team in the medical record archives of a large hospital.

Tax Implications of the Affordable Health Care for America Act

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The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR3962: the Affordable Health Care for America Act of 2009. The legislation is thousands of pages long, making it difficult for regular taxpayers to understand how the bill will affect them.

Tax Penalties

The new legislation is very expensive, and Congress has come up with a number of ways to pay for it. First of all, there will be a shared responsibility provision that basically forces taxpayers who cannot establish acceptable health care coverage to pay an additional 2.5% tax. There will be a hardship exception though, for taxpayers who cannot afford to pay the tax.

Payroll Penalty

In addition to a penalty on taxpayers who cannot afford coverage, the government will also assess an 8% payroll tax on businesses that do not offer health insurance to their employees. However, it is widely expected that the penalty will be reduced to 5% when the Senate revises the bill.

Millionaire Surtax

One of the largest sources of funding for the reform bill is a new surtax on individuals making more than $500,000 per year, of couples making over $1 million. In the House’s bill, beginning in 2010 all taxpayers making a qualifying amount will be subject to a massive 5.4% tax increase.

Inflation Increases

In addition to adding heft tax increases, the bill also partially repeals tax indexing for inflation. This will result in more money for the Federal government as the years go by. According to the Joint Tax Committee the surcharge is only expected to generate $30.9 billion in 2011, but nearly $70 billion in 2019.

Passage into Law?

The present version of this bill is not likely to get passed into law. Despite President Obama’s optimistic stance, some Senators are already pronouncing the bill dead on arrival. Although there has been a lot of discussion about this health care reform bill, it could be months before even a highly amended version of it becomes law. The Senate is not going to vote on the bill until at least 2010, and since they are expected to make numerous modifications it will likely need to return to the House for another vote. It could be six months from now before a health care bill goes to President Obama’s desk for a signature.

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Medicare Advantage Will Get Hit With Health Care Reform

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Since even before Medicare was passed in 1965 its been a source of frustration and intense debate from The Hill to Main Street. From concierge doctors to family physicians, politicians and family gatherings, health care reform is still a tough subject to grasp.

While Andy Griffith is currently appearing in television ads explaining Medicare changes to seniors, and the White House is praising its upcoming health care overhaul, the facts of how Medicare will change still remain a bit fuzzy.

1965. A lot of good things came out that year, like Medicare. This year, like always, we’ll have our guaranteed benefits and, with the new health care law, more good things are coming. Free checkups. Lower prescription costs and better ways to protect us and Medicare from fraud. See what else is new. I think you’re gonna like it, says Andy Griffith in his new TV ad. (Time.com) Seems to be pretty simply and explanatory, right? In reality, its a little more complicated.

Time.com states that Medicare Advantage, will in fact be greatly affected by health care reform, causing many seniors who have Medicare Advantage plans to lose fringe benefits that are not required by law. According to the Wall Street Journal, dozens of Medicare Advantage providers plan to cut back vision, dental and prescription benefits. Some plans are eliminating free teeth cleanings and gym memberships, and raising fees for hearing aids, eye glasses and emergency-room visits.

Medicare Advantage plans will take the biggest hit when the health care overhaul starts to take effect next month, mainly because Medicare Advantage plans are privately run plans that offer additional benefits beyond traditional Medicare. Obamas health care overhaul cuts to Medicare Advantage will open up the doors for 30 million Americans who currently dont have health insurance c overage. By taking some funding away from Medicare Advantage, money can be put towards those 30 million uninsured.

Democrats say the payment cuts are fair because Medicare overpays private insurers to run the plans. The government now pays private insurance companies an average of 9% more to operate the plans than it costs the government to run traditional Medicare, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an independent congressional agency. That allows insurers to offer richer benefits to enrollees. (Wall Street Journal Online)

As for standard Medicare plans, they will not change, a common misconception among seniors according to Time.com. In a July poll, 50% of seniors believed health care reform would cut benefits that were previously provided to all people on Medicare, and that Medicare patients will have to spend more out of their own pocket. The reality is that while Medicare Advantage will change dramatically, standard Medicare will not, according to Time.com.

The law requires Medicare to pay 100% of preventive care, which includes checkups. The law will also gradually close the Medicare prescription drug gap known as the doughnut hole.

Curtain Tracks From Cube Care Support Efficient Health Care Services

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When you set out to change the decor of a health care facility, you may not know what it entails. You want products that are affordable yet professional, stylish but appropriate, durable and easy to install. At Cube Care, they know the difficulties involved and have the products you need. From cubicle curtains to curtain tracks, Cube Care has the most innovative products in the industry. Their business centers provide first class solutions that directly meet the needs and budget of modern healthcare facilities.

As a provider of elite interior decorating services to healthcare facilities across North America since 1999, Cube Care’s expertise has helped streamline every process from planning through to the installation of their health care decor products. In a culture of asking “what if” they have been driven to reinvent what they have to offer to their clients, while ensuring the highest calibre of services and top quality at low prices.

Cube Care offers health care facilities products such as bed spreads, cart covers, cubicle curtains, disposable cubicle curtains, health care furniture, IV systems, shower curtains and rods, window treatments and cubicle curtain tracks. The cubicle curtains and tracks are a main product from Cube Care due to their high quality and the variety of tracks available to customers.

Consider Cube Care’s Classic curtain track system, one of the most popular products in Cube Care’s catalogue. This leading system is known for its tangle free carriers, which glide effortlessly through the tracks without any moving parts. Therefore, these stylish curtain tracks not only provide your facility with extended lifetime usage, but also a high standard of performance.

For use in mental health facilities, Cube Care offers their Psychiatric Track. This enhanced safety product is manufactured without the use of any hooks or pins for premium levels of safety in the administration of first-class quality mental health care.

Along with the abundance of tracking systems offered by Cube Care, there are also accessories for the tracks available. If you are in search of items such as an Economy Carrier, Wheel Carrier, Deluxe Spool Carrier, Pop-Out Carrier, Splices, End Caps, Pull Outs, and Tie backs for tracks, Cube Care has your bases covered.

Cube Care has gained their reputable image by creating products that turn stale facilities into state-of-the art health centers of top quality patient care. Speak to one of their experts today and see how much your company has to gain by selecting from their first-class product catalogue. Cube Care’s commitment to customer satisfaction ensures that clients receive the highest quality and most stylish product at an affordable price. For more information about Cube Care products, visit cubecare.

Healthcare Reform Key Issues Unresolved

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The healthcare reform bill has passed in the US Senate. However both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate bills have yet to address important details affecting patient care. Oversight concerning the determination of medical necessity as well as provider network inclusion issues have greatly affected medical reimbursement and patient access to care. Many insurance companies reimburse medical expenses based upon a determination of medical necessity by the carriers claims department. In the absence of external oversight or regulation, the insurance carrier is free to deny care solely based upon their on private internal review.

Another key issue not addressed is how provider networks create financial barriers to care. Many insurance carriers reimburse medical expenses at lower rates or refuse reimbursements for out-of-network providers. Medical practitioners may also be excluded from insurance company networks for a variety of reasons. Practitioners may be required to limit medical procedures for patients and the number of office visits as a precondition for inclusion in the insurance network. Medical practitioners may also be required to accept lower rates of reimbursement for services provided to patients as another precondition to network inclusion. Some medical networks charge medical practitioners a fee for inclusion in networks.

The patients right to choose their own medical practitioner is not federally guaranteed by law. Additionally, there is no guarantee an insurance company will pay for medical services and patients often have no way to determine what will be paid until after a claim is submitted and a response is generated the insurance companys claims department. The federal government seeks to mandate health insurance coverage for all US citizens yet has not stipulated that insurance companies must reimburse patients for medical expenses nor is there language to address oversight of the determination of medical necessity.

The determination of reimbursements is often based on what is termed as usual and customary. Insurance companies have sole discretion over this aspect of reimbursement for general health insurance policies and may choose to exclude many procedures, office visits, and medical tests whether or not teams of doctors agree that such medical services are vital to the patients survival, recovery, or comfort.

The US House of Representatives and the US Senate have not addressed these details which represent core issues affecting healthcare outcomes for patients. Until these unresolved issues are rectified, it is unclear whether or not US citizens with health insurance coverage will have adequate access to medical care.

Health Care Reform And Depression On The 4th Of July

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We are in the middle of 2010 gearing up for fireworks; waiting for the new health care reform law to take effect. Eleven state attorneys general said they wanted to challenge the law as being unconstitutional and the Democrats are still talking about passing amendments. Moreover, there are many questions that remain unanswered; the biggest of which is, Will it make health care more effective? The obvious answer is no. This entire scenario is one big shell game. There are thousands of pages of new law and most of the law makers are clueless.

The reality check is that the Congress has passed this bill with a three year delay in implementation, so it was designed to change nothing for the immediate future with the hope that after three years, with no one paying attention anymore, the administration can sneak a few changes in to implement its socialist agenda. Meanwhile, we as a society still have the same health issues in a system that continues to thrive on treatment rather than prevention. One prime example is depression and anxiety. People naturally become depressed in the kind of severe economic downturn that we are experiencing with increased anxiety about a future that looks bleak. Medical insurance, health insurance or some type of managed care health plan seems irrelevant when facing unemployment. In a depressed economy, with massive anxiety and depression plaguing the population there is a serious public health problem. This kind of insidious upheaval leads to other chronic diseases like, diabete3s, high blood pressure, heart attack and the like.

The generally accepted treatment however, is for the pharmaceutical companies to make billions of dollars selling anti-depressants and tranquilizers. Moreover, aside from monetizing human responses to stressful stimuli, there is a political benefit to having massive numbers of citizens living in chemically induced altered realities. People on Prozac are less likely to protest against nefarious political agendas. Therefore, what motivation does the government have to reform health care to the extent that people will have better access to professional counseling for coping with and resolving their struggles?

In conclusion, as we throw a few slabs of meat on the barbecue grill and sip some beer on this 4th of July we need to realize that there are a few avenues toward seizing power and control that the founding fathers could not anticipate. The constitution is a wonderful document and has saved our republic from despotism enumerable times in our 214 year history. However, it is subject to interpretation and we know from experience that Supreme Court justices take opposite views of what is or is not constitutional depending upon whether they are liberal or conservative. Therefore, we need to be diligent in letting our political leaders know that we are not as stupid as they think. We need to consistently remind them that they work for us. That is why freedom of speech is still the most important constitutional amendment.

Natural Health Care Products Best To Buy Health Food Online

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Maintaining a sound health can now be achieved by using natural health care products like organic food and natural skin care products. These products were used as a regular practice in the olden times. Natural health supplements are also used widely in place of usual medicines. At present, lots of people from different corners of the world are using alternative medicines than allopathic medicines. It is true that allopathic medicines have various side effects and treat symptoms and mask them, rather than treating the root causes of diseases.

Certainly, commercial products work faster than natural health products, or that what it appears to be, but in the long run it is best for your health to switch to natural health care products – organic food and natural skincare. Doctors are also opening up to the power of natural products and recommend them to patients who are looking for a permanent remedy. A lot of times, people complain that its not easy to get quality natural and organic products in the stores near them. But today, purchasing these natural, healthy and organic products is becoming easier. The rise of the online medium and ecommerce has been a boon and people can now buy health food online, right from the comfort of their home. All they need is a credit card or a debit card. Some websites are providing cash on delivery through which buyers can purchase natural health products online.

Some of the most extensive health care practices that anyone can profit from are deep breathing, using reflexology and acupuncture and of course yoga. All of these have zero side effects. Moreover, they require minimal investment. With a bit of sustained efforts, one can definitely heal from their health issues. These days, if you buy health food online from a reputed website keeping reputed brands, you can be quite sure that you are buying quality products that will be free from any unsafe, synthetic chemicals. In fact, if you are serious about your health and have a desire to buy natural health products, you dont even need to step out of your house – just buy health food online because it is fast, 100% reliable and exactly what a lot of Indians are doing already.

Seniors Using Webinars To Learn More About Health Care

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For many companies, the decision to use webinars is based on enhancing workflow and cutting cost. It is clear, however, that video conferencing services has many real world applications as well. The most obvious benefits of utilizing these tools are really just the tip of the iceberg. One recent example of this is an undertaking by the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) in Suffolk with using webcast to disperse information.

In November, the NFCA in collaboration with Home Instead Senior Care put on free web conferencing. The aim was to help families coping with caring for elderly parents to make decisions and understand potential problems. The 45-minute online conference addressed vital issues and featured well known professionals in the field of senior care.

Senior care is a growing concern in the US. Using webinar software to enhance care and making decisions is a giant step in the right direction. The facilities of a good video conferencing software can also be applied to other areas. These include:

Distance education
Sales team mobilization
Product promotion
Customer service
Staff training
Technical support

Other areas of the health care sector can also be improved by the use of a video conferencing system. Todays web conference systems are pricey as earlier. Providers like RHUB Communications have created products that give any company or organization the ability to be flexible.

The web conference systems today are based on speed, reliability, and enhanced communication. Some of the features of the best web conference services are:

Remote desktop control
Multi-tiered tech support
Recording of conferences or webinars
File transfer and remote printing

A web conference like the one put on by the NFCA creates opportunities for others facing similar situations. Not surprisingly, the decision to have the web conference was largely influenced by the current economic climate.

Users today have the option of hosted services, downloadable software or self hosted, in house solutions. RHUB appliance is an example which many companies find to be preferable to hosted solutions. However, even the most basic web conference systems have helped companies streamline their operations and improve productivity.

This will no doubt set a new trend for other cash strapped communities looking to provide care for the elderly. Special needs organizations, private health care facilities and similar groups could also explore the use of online conferencing for delivery of information.

Healthcare Law Means Changes For Nurse Management Jobs

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A good example of the burdensome regulations applies directly to nurse management jobs. There is a provision in the law requiring medical facilities to allow breaks for employees who are also nursing mothers, in order to allow them time to express milk. For a nurse manager this presents a whole new set of problems.

For instance, the law states breaks must be “reasonable” in terms of length. But who decides what “reasonable” is? If one nursing mother can express her milk in 15 minutes while another takes 30, there will be questions about fairness and equal time. Then there’s the question of workers who have babies brought to the workplace to nurse rather than expressing milk and putting it in the refrigerator.

Just this one little regulation is already causing a lot of headaches for nurse managers. It provides further evidence that the health care overhaul is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Nurse Management Jobs Still Worthwhile

Despite the changes in the healthcare regulations, don’t be discouraged if you want to get into the healthcare field. Nurse management jobs are still very attractive for a variety of reasons. They offer excellent pay, a good working environment, and room for professional advancement.

Furthermore, working as a nurse manager brings with it a measure of personal satisfaction by being able to help make the lives of patients better. By your willingness to put your best foot forward your nursing staff will be encouraged to do the same and your patients will benefit.

You and Your Staff

To excel as a nurse manager requires a way of thinking that’s slightly different from what you did as an active floor nurse. In other words, before moving into management your primary focus was your patients. As a nurse manager you’re still focused on patient care, but you’re more focused on your staff as the vehicle to provide that care.

Nurse management jobs are therefore more about encouraging the success of your staff. When you’re nurses are doing well, so will your patients. When your nurses are not performing up to standards patient care will suffer.

Nurse Managers also have the added responsibility of representing their staff before upper management and other members of the healthcare team. This requires a certain amount advocacy which some nurse managers find difficult. Nonetheless, it’s part of building a solid team.

In the United States there is currently a significant shortage of nurses and nurse managers. There are nurse management jobs available in big cities, small towns, and through temporary staffing agencies. If you’re qualified and want to work, it’s out there for the taking.

Obama Rebuilds Bush Administration Health Care Conscience Clause

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In parts of the U.S., conscience clauses exist within medical care laws that permit medical care workers to decline performing procedures that violate their religious values. Experts are quick to point out that pursuing one’s conscience can very easily run afoul of the Hippocratic Oath to serve all patients in a fair manner. Based upon the Obama administration’s recent changes to the conscience terms, it appears that idea is shared. Obama’s changes to the conscience terms supersede provisions written in during the final days of the Pres. George W. Bush administration. People take out quick short term loans for health care, and do not expect their doctor’s religious beliefs to get in the way of their health care.
Started by George W. Bush was the conscience terms
During President Bush’s final days in office, a conscience clause was inserted into laws pertaining to health care workers. Concerns over providing emergency contraception, treating homosexual patients and prescribing birth control to single women were cited as reasons for the conscience terms by the Bush administration.
The rules are “unclear and potentially over-broad in scope.” This is what the Obama administration thinks of it all. The new exception in the conscience laws only states for conscience/religious grounds instead of all of the stated above. This will go into impact in 30 days. The process through which health care workers can file complaints was also retained.
The rules of federal funds dispersed
If organizations wouldn’t accommodate medical care workers that have religious and conscience problems with procedures, then the federal funds to state and local governments, hospitals, health plans and clinics would be cut off with the Bush regulation.
You will find clearer definitions of the conscience law with Obama though. Procedurally, matters of women’s health have received greater attention. Under the new rules, roadblocks to obtaining abortion, contraceptive and fertility treatments can be lessened substantially.
A statement by the United States Department of Health and Human Services speaks to the balance the Obama compromise has struck:
“The administration strongly supports provider conscience laws that protect and support the rights of health care providers, and also recognizes and supports the rights of patients. … The rule being issued today builds on these laws by providing a clear enforcement process.”
Citations
OFR
ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2011-03993_PI.pdf
Washington Post
washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/18/AR2011021803251.html?wpisrc=nl_natlalert
Wikimedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscience_clause_%28medical%29
Lou Dobbs’ story on the conscience clause
youtube.com/watch?v=Ge4k6IjERkQ