Health Coaches Needed For Health Care Reform

Most of the Congressional debate for health care reform revolves around ways to extend reimbursement for sick care. However, paying for more of the same fragmented, costly care isn’t reform, it’s madness.

The $2.2 trillion health care system, the costliest in the world, requires a new top-to-bottom vision, and although the 600 doctors and health professionals gathered at the Institute of Medicine’s Summit on Integrative Medicine last month didn’t agree on everything, they reached a resounding consensus about the need for Americans to change their health habits. Yet how can that best be accomplished?

With a primary shift toward health promotion, disease prevention and wellness, a revamped health care system could put the brakes on the disastrous trajectory predicted for 2012, in which total health care costs would equal 20% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Providers, employers, and even insurance companies finally concede that the US would fall behind the world’s nations in every imaginable sector if one out of every dollar of our productivity went toward health care costs.

For over 30 years, the National Wellness Institute has been reporting that 8 out of 10 Americans suffer from chronic ailments derived from unhealthy lifestyles: poor diet, inadequate physical activity and unmanaged stress. Yet the difficult task of behavior change has always fallen on individuals, without much support from the medical system or their doctors.

In addition, cultural support has been lacking for the most at-risk populations, often minorities with higher rates of diabetes and obesity. At present, there are more obese Americans than overweight ones-an almost unthinkable statistic.

Cultural support for healthy lifestyles starts with community activists demanding bike paths, public parks, safe streets, farmers’ markets, fresh food options and more from their local governments. Together with cooperation from industry, government, health care, and public health officials, pressure can be placed on developers to build environments that provide opportunities for physical activity. Teachers, parents and consumers can demand that Big Food stop advertising cheap, non-nutritious, calorie-dense, processed foods to kids and young adults. Schools can offer nutrition and PE classes again, and lunch programs can teach kids about healthy choices-and provide them!

Should Your MD Get Paid to Teach Wellness?

“Lose weight, stop smoking, start exercising, and cut down on your stress-and I’ll see you next year for your physical.” Everybody knows that the once-a-year admonition from your doctor rarely translates into new health habits.

A new tier of health coaches can supply the support and encouragement needed for Americans to begin their journey towards maximizing personal health. Health coaches should be part of every public clinic, medical office and hospital wellness center. They should be reimbursed by insurance companies, or be part of the first-access tier of Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance companies and corporate wellness programs. Even Dr. Mehmet Oz suggested that health coaches should be considered a central part of health care reform to CNN’s medical reporter Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Instead of medical doctors expecting to be reimbursed for providing health promotion and wellness services (at rates exceeding $200/ hour), health coaches could easily provide this service at one-fifth the cost. They would also present a more friendly, accessible, peer-support approach to individuals. The specialized training of medical doctors is best directed to complex cases, whether acute or chronic.

The entire continuum of care needs to be re-examined and opened up to include reimbursement for health professionals that investigate the foundational causes of chronic illness, and who understand and have specialized skills in countering the ill effects of unhealthy lifestyles-professionals such as Nurse Practitioners, Naturopathic Doctors, and Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors, Homeopathic doctors, and Chiropractors.

For too long, there has been an active collusion barring the advancement of these professions by certain medical organizations with insurance companies, and the public has suffered as a result.

When these allied health professionals spoke up, demanding inclusion at the reimbursement table at the Summit on Integrative Medicine, a few medical doctors such as Dean Ornish, MD, championed this democratizing of the medical landscape, but others kept insisting that their own practices could accomplish wellness services, if only they were properly reimbursed.

However, reimbursement for lifestyle counseling should not have to include the major overhead encountered by medical doctors, including their clinical offices, costly tuition loans, high-tech equipment, numerous staff and billing clerks.

It’s been said that the US health care system is neither healthy nor much of a system. I believe it’s always darkest before the dawn of a new era, and these dark days of an ailing system must mean the light is about to break over the horizon.

Bringing health coaches into the US health care system can address the colossal “elephant in the middle of the room”-that the burden of disease and related health costs can be dramatically lowered through healthy behavioral change. Learning to move more, eat well and less, and de-stress often, is not only a prescription for a better life, it’s an Rx for US health care reform.

The Basics Of Long Term Health Care

With various incidences of cancer, HIV and other long terms illnesses on the rise, it is imperative that every individuals has adequate protection in place to deal with any long term care needs that they may have in the future, whether that need is to be fulfilled in the near future or in the distant future. Medical or health insurance can provide you with peace of mind just in case you ever do need long term health care. Most forms of medical insurance will cover you should the need arise to give yourself to health care providers to get well as soon as possible, but not all will have the same cover. You need good cover in order to take care of yourself when you are no longer physically able. Good insurance can make sure that professionals can look after you when your long term health care needs dictate.

These days, adverts for insurance are everywhere. There are numerous adverts on TV, radio and in magazines. There are even various ones on the Internet that you can look into further, but very few of these adverts on any medium will advertise the long term health care benefits. You have to delve a little deeper to get a good picture of them. The sheer choice will also baffle you because you will be inundated with information about products that you can neither distinguish nor effectively examine. You should note the reputable companies and make a short list, and then delve into the world of long term health care. You should actually contact the companies and ask specifically about long term health care for in depth information.

You should ideally compose a list of all of your wants and needs where long term health care is concerned before delving into conversation with any representative of insurance companies because the cover can be very basic but any good sales person can make it sound incredibly good. By having a list of wants and needs concerning your long term health care, you can compare what they have to say with that. You should always do some online research to see what elements of long term health care should, by rights, be receiving regardless of the insurance policy you take out and also what cover you should be looking for.

Do not be afraid to play companies off against one another by comparing their policy to others that offer long term health care options. You should try to get as much out of a company as you possibly can because it is your health, which is very precious after all. As long as you do your research, you can make sure that you get a great deal for your money… and your long term health care!

How to Pick the Best Online Health Care Degree

Health care is a booming industry that continuously needs skills workers and professional workforces to fulfill the job positions. If you are in the health care industry, the high demand in the industry can create a good opportunity for you to move your health care career to a high level, what you need is a good health care degree that can meet your career goal. Pursuing your health care degree online is a good option that allowed you to continue your current job while study online to earn a health care degree for a brighter future. There are many online health care degree programs available, so how you are going to pick the best online health degree program out of the list?

Before you pick the best online health care degree, you need to know what you want with the degree. Health Care industry covers a wide range of fields and each health care degree is designed to serve the need of each field. Alternative medicine, emergency management, psychology and life care planning are different careers in health care industry; there are many other fields in health care, which one is your target career? You need to make clear on your career direction before you decide which online health care to consider.

Once you have made up your mind of your preference health care career, your next step is to select an appropriate online health care degree that can meet your career goal. Although searching your preference online degree program is easy and convenient using internet, but time and efforts are needed to find the best online degree program. Besides the need to beware about the potential diploma mills, you should also aware that the same degree program offered by different accredited online universities may carry difference courses. The best thing to get a further understanding about these degrees is requesting all the detail information from the related online universities. The good thing is information requests are free of charge; hence you should fully utilize the free service to get all information you need about your preference online health care degree and compare them against your career goal.

The best online health care degree program should be offered by a reputable accredited online university. You want your degree carry the most value and well know by most employers in the health care industry because you will need it to help you in your health care career movement. In term of accreditation, you can always check your preference online universities with the accreditation database provided by CHEA.org. For reputation, you can check it against any complaints filed about your short listed universities at BBB.org.

The best online health care degree should gives you the necessary hand on practical and other on job training that are needed for you to familiar with the necessary skills to implement your knowledge and apply it to your job. If the selected online health care degree required these lab and practical works, find out from the online university about their medical partners that near your location that will allow you to perform your practical training.

In Summary

Selecting the best online health care degree out of the bests is not an easy task. The bottom line is your best online health care degree may not be the best in the market, but it is the best for you because it can fulfill your requirement to achieve your health care career goal.