The main objective of this study is to determine the relationship between physical activity (PA) level prior to hospitalization and the pulmonary symptomatology, functionality, exercise capacity, and strength of acute exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. In this observational study, all data were taken during the patient’s first day in hospital. Patients were divided into two groups (a PA group, and a physical inactivity (PI) group), according to the PA level evaluated by the Baecke questionnaire. Cough status was evaluated by the Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ), and dyspnea was assessed using the modified Medical Research Council dyspnea scale (mMRC). Functionality was measured by the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and the London Chest Activity of Daily Living scale (LCADL). Exercise capacity was evaluated by the two-minute step-in-place (2MSP) test, and strength assessed by dynamometry. A total of 151 patients were included in this observational study. Patients in the PI group obtained worse results compared to the PA group, and significant differences (p < 0.05) were found in all of the variables. Those COPD patients who regularly perform PA have less dyspnea and cough, as well as better functionality, exercise capacity and strength during an exacerbation, without relationship to the severity of the pathology. Full article
The Commonwealth Fund completed its thirteenth annual health policy survey in 2010. A study of the survey "found significant differences in access, cost burdens, and problems with health insurance that are associated with insurance design". Of the countries surveyed, the results indicated that people in the United States had more out-of-pocket expenses, more disputes with insurance companies than other countries, and more insurance payments denied; paperwork was also higher although Germany had similarly high levels of paperwork.
From an entire population perspective, the individual market risk pool is harmed when healthy people are given a lower-cost alternative. Short-term plans are generally only available to healthy people because they can simply reject applicants based on medical history. Association health plans cannot reject applicants or charge them higher prices based on medical history, but the plans can be designed in a way that they don't really appeal to people with pre-existing conditions.
Medicare Levy Surcharge: People whose taxable income is greater than a specified amount (in the 2011/12 financial year $80,000 for singles and $168,000 for couples) and who do not have an adequate level of private hospital cover must pay a 1% surcharge on top of the standard 1.5% Medicare Levy. The rationale is that if the people in this income group are forced to pay more money one way or another, most would choose to purchase hospital insurance with it, with the possibility of a benefit in the event that they need private hospital treatment – rather than pay it in the form of extra tax as well as having to meet their own private hospital costs.
Background: With the recent increase use of observation care, it is important to understand the characteristics of patients that utilize this care and either have a prolonged observation care stay or require admission. Methods: We a conducted a retrospective cohort study utilizing 5% sample data from Medicare patients age ≥65 years that was nationally representative in the year 2013. We performed a generalized estimating equation (GEE) logistic regression analysis to evaluate the relationship between an unsuccessful observation stay (defined as either requiring an inpatient admission from observation or having a prolonged observation stay) compared to having successful observation care. Observation cut offs of “successful” vs. “unsuccessful” were based on the CMS 2 midnight rule. Results: Of 154,756 observation stays in 2013, 19 percent (n = 29,604) were admitted to the inpatient service and 34,275 (22.2%) had a prolonged observation stay. The two diagnoses most likely to have an unsuccessful observation stay were intestinal infections (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.32–1.83) and pneumonia (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.13–1.41). Conclusion: We found patients placed in observation care with intestinal infections and pneumonia to have the highest odds of either being admitted from observation or having a prolonged observation stay. Full article
Do your homework, but be aware that network agreements are never set in stone. New providers can enter networks, and existing ones can leave (this can happen mid-year, despite the fact that enrollees are not allowed to switch plans mid-year without a qualifying event). This has caused confusion in the past, but new rules that were implemented in 2016 require carriers in the federally facilitated marketplace (HealthCare.gov) to maintain easily accessible, regularly updated provider directories.
Many consumers face unaffordable premiums – perhaps because they’re in the coverage gap or because their incomes make them ineligible for subsidies. Even consumers planning to buy an ACA-compliant plan during open enrollment may have to wait up to two months for the new plan to take effect. If they’re currently uninsured, a short-term plan can bridge that gap.