Pandemic Exercise

By |2021-01-31T22:41:12+00:00February 26th, 2021|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|

During this pandemic, we are all at home most of the time. There has been a huge influx in people turning to exercise as a means of keeping themselves busy and sane. Now we’ll discuss the benefits of pandemic exercise – not only for your health, but to buy time until you leave the house again.

Why Exercise Is Important

Although it might be tempting to skip your workout during these challenging times, public health officials say that exercise — while undoubtedly crucial under normal circumstances — is essential to your physical health and mental well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s why you should stay active and how you can exercise safely during the pandemic.

How To Get Pandemic Exercise

Consider engaging in physical activity once or twice daily that includes brief periods (30-90 seconds) of greater intensity. For some, this might be accomplished through exercise in their homes including jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and sequencing strength training exercises (i.e. standing squats, push-ups, sit-ups). For others, the use of home exercise equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes may be helpful. Regular exercise is essential for everyone under normal circumstances. However, here are a few reasons why exercise is especially crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Boosts the immune system. Research shows that regular, moderate-intensity exercise has immune-boosting benefits that may help your body fight off infections, including COVID-19.
  • Prevent weight gain. Exercise can help you burn extra calories caused by dietary changes and offset the effects of sedentary activities.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety. Exercise is a proven mood-booster and can help adults reduce stress levels and build emotional resilience.
  • Improves sleep. There is evidence that suggests regular exercise helps you fall asleep faster and improves sleep quality. Getting a good night’s sleep has also been found to boost your immune system.

Where You Can Get It

Many companies are offering free use of their on-line platforms that may help to identify a variety of in-home activities (indoor cycling, treadmill running, dance cardio, yoga, strength training, and more) to help make exercise more enjoyable during this critical period. We strongly support the idea of ongoing vigilance regarding physical-distancing and limitations on in-person contacts as guided by the CDC.

It is important for family members to take a supportive role in the promotion of physical activity and exercise. Allowing individuals to maintain their autonomy and choice in their activities will be important for ongoing engagement.

Here are a few suggestions to help you get moving:

Exercise with family

Exercise is an excellent opportunity for family fun. Walks, bike rides, dance parties, living-room yoga sessions, or backyard soccer games are just a few examples of how you and your household members can exercise together.

Get outdoors

Walking, cycling, jogging, and hiking can help you get some much-needed fresh air while staying safely away from others. Don’t have time for a full-length outdoor exercise session? Consider breaking your workout up into several 10-minute sessions. You’ll be surprised at how quickly a few brisk walks around the block can add up to a full workout.

Follow along with online exercise videos

Whether you enjoy yoga, cardio kickboxing, Pilates, strength training, barre, dance, or another type of workout, chances are you can find a service that offers online videos. Additionally, many exercise studios and other community organizations are now providing on-demand virtual fitness content.

Take a virtual class

If you have the financial resources, consider supporting your local fitness studio or personal trainer by signing up for online fitness classes or training sessions. Some personal trainers are even offering private virtual sessions for your needs, schedule, and preferences. Plus, having a class or training session on your calendar allows you to interact with other people in a fun way, which may be just the motivation you need to keep up with your fitness regime.

Although it may take some effort to create and adjust to new fitness routines, regular physical activity can help you optimize your health and well-being during the coronavirus pandemic. We may even look back on this difficult time as the turning point when we learned new ways to build our emotional resilience and our physical health.

Insurance Incentives

By |2021-01-31T22:33:47+00:00February 19th, 2021|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|

Among states, there is growing interest in offering insurance incentives to those enrolled in public health plans. The insurance incentives should promote healthy behaviors. Many states are developing programs to motivate enrollees to curtail smoking, lose weight, and access vaccines and prenatal care. By providing rewards for healthy behaviors, these states are giving members a greater stake in improving their health status. The goal is for the incentives to help enhance prevention and health outcomes, and reduce program costs.

The Concept

To reduce payer claim costs, would you pay members to go see their doctor once a year?  That’s the premise for a wave of patient incentive programs currently being offered by health insurance companies. For healthcare insurance payers, it’s just good business to have a healthy member base.  This starts with annual preventive care visits.

Minuteman Health

Minuteman Health is a non-profit HMO which serves the Massachusetts and New Hampshire individual and small business marketplace. Cook, as CMO, has been a strong proponent of the MinuteMember Wellness Rewards program.

Members who establish PCP relationships have overall lower healthcare costs. Preventive care allows physicians to monitor and manage chronic diseases and proactively identify emerging health issues. The subsequent decrease in ER visits and specialty referrals also reduces payer expenses.

According to Cook, three main objectives of a wellness incentive program are to get members to establish a close relationship with their in-network PCP, to receive recommended screenings and immunizations, and to offer providers the opportunity to intervene with any health issues before they advance to chronic or life threatening levels. “Having members establish a relationship with an in-plan PCP is a good first step in identifying chronic medical issues,” said Cook.

States are using a variety of incentives to encourage healthy behaviors, primarily among Medicaid populations but also in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and state-funded programs. Incentives can take the form of reduced cost-sharing, or vouchers or coupons for health-related products such as over-the-counter medications, as in Florida.

Wisconsin

In addition to the individual incentive programs, Wisconsin has developed a voluntary member pledge. By signing the pledge, families will promise to practice healthy behaviors; in turn, health plans will promise to support members in these efforts, in part through the incentive programs. The state is currently conducting focus groups with approximately 100 current BadgerCare members to learn what types of incentives might be effective, how they should be structured, and, perhaps even more important, what it would take to get people to participate in voluntary programs.

Michigan

While Wisconsin is on track to embark on its incentive program next April, other states are in the planning stages. Some states are considering incentive programs as part of larger Medicaid reform efforts.

For example, in Michigan, both the executive and legislative branches are planning to incorporate incentives into the state’s Medicaid program. Governor Granholm has introduced the Michigan First Health Care Plan, which would require Medicaid health plans to offer education, support, and financial incentives for lifestyle changes. Features of this plan include:

  • Asking enrollees to complete a health risk appraisal within 90 days of enrollment and having them follow up with a primary care physician;
  • Waiving copayments on important maintenance drugs for chronic diseases;
  • Offering incentives to members to use behavior change/wellness programs; and
  • Setting performance measures for participating health plans.

Do Insurance Incentives Work?

It remains to be seen whether incentives for promoting healthy behaviors among Medicaid and other public program populations will have a significant effect on health outcomes and costs. A review of the literature by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) found that no rigorous studies have been conducted to determine whether incentive programs achieved their goals, and the few existing studies did not look specifically at the Medicaid population.

What’s more, environmental factors play a role in unhealthy behaviors—an issue that incentives or other efforts cannot address. Low-income individuals face considerable barriers to obtaining healthy foods and getting sufficient exercise and activity. Creating programs targeted not just at individuals’ behavior but also at the unhealthy environments in which they reside will require enormous creativity and energy from states hoping to promote healthy lifestyles.

COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Should Know

By |2021-01-31T22:26:47+00:00February 12th, 2021|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|

As COVID-19 cases surge in the United States and elsewhere, the world has received good news recently. There is finally a COVID-19 vaccine. However, one thing remained clear: the COVID-19 vaccine won’t come in time to rescue the world from the next several months. The virus will take many more lives unless the public takes more stringent public health measures. The CDC has released a list of thing you should know about this vaccine.

Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines is a Top Priority

The United States safety system ensures the safety of every vaccine and makes sure they are as safe as possible. The CDC has also released a new tool, V-Safe. V-Safe is an app that checks on post vaccination health. It is an additional layer of safety monitoring to increase our ability to rapidly detect and issues with the vaccine.

Two Rounds of Vaccine May Be Necessary

Depending on which vaccine you get you might have to go receive another vaccine three to four weeks after the initial shot. This will provide the most protection we have to offer against this very serious virus.

CDC Recommends Those to Receive it First

The CDC has released a list of recommendations on who or what groups should be vaccinated first. Prioritization is due to the limited initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

Limited Vaccines With More to Come

The goal is for everyone to easily get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as a large enough quantity is available. Once they have enough vaccines, they then want to then have several thousand providers such as doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers start offering COVID-19 vaccines.

Side Effects May Occur

The side effects from COVID-19 vaccines may feel flu like. They might even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away within a few days. There are several different types of vaccines in development. All of them teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

Cost Shouldn’t be an Obstacle

Vaccine doses are purchased with United States Tax-payer money so it can be given to American citizens for free. However, vaccination providers have the right to charge administration fees for giving the shot. Vaccination providers can get this fee reimbursed to those vaccinated by the patient’s public or private health insurance companies or, for those who are uninsured, by the Health Resources and Services Administration Provider Relief Fund.

Emergency Vaccines

The vaccines being given out right now are under the Emergency Use Authorizations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There are still many vaccines being developed and tested. Once more COVID-19 vaccines are authorized or approved by the FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will soon after hold public meetings to review all available data about each vaccine.

All ACIP-recommended vaccines will be included in the United States COVID-19 Vaccination Program. The CDC continues to work at all levels with partners including healthcare associates, on a flexible COVID-19 vaccination program that will accommodate different vaccines and adjust to different scenarios. State, tribal, local, and territorial health departments have developed plans on how they want to distribute to make sure all recommended vaccines are available to their communities.

Put a Stop to this Pandemic

The CDC wants everyone to know how important it is to continue using all the tools that have been made available to stop this pandemic as we learn more about how these COVID-19 vaccines work in the real world. They suggest covering your mouth and nose with a mask when out around others, staying at least six feet away from others, avoiding crowds or crowded areas, and you should be washing your hands often.

Valentine’s Day Without a COVID-19 Disruption

By |2021-01-31T22:16:55+00:00February 5th, 2021|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|

As Valentine’s Day reaches us, a big thing to keep in mind is how to stay safe during these trying times. There are so many ways you can have a wonderful Valentine’s day without leaving the house or gathering in a crowded area. The following article will help give some ideas about how to protect yourself and still enjoy those you love.

Gift of Wine

If you and your loved one enjoy a nice wine to top off that romantic dinner, make it just a little bit better by signing up for a wine subscription. There are so many wonderful companies that are providing things like this. A few of the ones voted the best for 2021 are Tasting room, Wine Awesomeness, First Leaf, The Sip, and Harry and David and Cheese Pairing Club.

Now some of these can be a little pricey, but they give you anywhere from two to six bottles of wine a month. The Sip sends you two bottles of wine and a new wine glass each month. First Leaf lets you take a fun little quiz to determine which wines are best for your taste. Harry and David and Cheese Pairing Club doesn’t only send you wine. They change it each month so that you get a taste of all their exclusive cheeses.

At-Home Spa

A massage is, arguably, one of the greatest things in the world. Especially with how hard we have all worked this past year. Now this doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. It can be as easy as buying your significant other’s favorite lotion, a couple candles, and put on some relaxing music. But there are now companies that offer in home, private massages. You can schedule it online for a certain time slot, some as late as ten o’clock. You can enjoy a relaxing spa experience with your partner and don’t have to worry about going out and mingling with others.

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunts have been such a fun activity for such a long time. That’s why it belongs on the list for romantic things to do at home for Valentine’s day. You can hide personal items, sentimental mementos, or little love-filled gifts. These can be as intimate as you want and that’s the perk of being at home. You can write little clues to help your significant other find them and what they mean to you or remind you of. It’s such a fun thing that can be done while the kids are awake and continue after they go to bed.

Murder Mystery Anyone?

One thing that has been popular for a while and has really become an interest during the pandemic is true crime. Whether it is a show, a podcast or a social media page, this can be so much fun if you and your partner want to be investigators together. Now you have the choice of choosing a case and doing by yourself or there are now places you can get subscriptions personalized for your own interests. Pour a glass of wine and dive in to a different case each month.

In Conclusion

Now I know staying at home isn’t the ideal thing for Valentine’s day, but in these hard times we need to embrace our intermediate family and grateful for those who love us.

Special Enrollment Period 101

By |2021-01-01T18:57:58+00:00January 29th, 2021|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|

Special enrollment periods are any time outside of the open enrollment period when you can sign up for health insurance. In this article, we cover the basics of what a special enrollment period is. Additionally, we look at why and how you can get a special enrollment period.

The Basics

Depending on your special enrollment period type, you may have sixty days before or sixty days after the event to enroll in a plan. If you miss the deadline, you may have to wait until the next open enrollment period to apply. You can enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance program (CHIP) any time of year. That is, only if you are eligible. Whether you qualify for a special enrollment period or not does not matter. Job based plans must provide a special enrollment period of at least thirty days.

Types of Special Enrollment Periods

There are two types of special enrollment – upon loss of eligibility for other coverage and upon certain life events.

Declined at First

Under the first, employees and dependents who decline coverage due to other health coverage and then lose eligibility or lose employer contributions have special enrollment rights. For instance, an employee turns down health benefits for her family because they already have coverage through her spouse. Coverage under the spouse’s plan ceases. That employee than can request enrollment in her own company’s plan for herself and her dependents.

Life Changes

Under the second, employees, spouses, and new dependents are permitted to special enroll because of marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption. For both types, the employee must request enrollment within thirty days of the loss of coverage or life event triggering the special enrollment. A special enrollment right also arises for employees and their dependents who lose coverage under state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicaid or who are eligible to receive premium assistance under those programs. The employee or dependent must request enrollment with in sixty days of the loss of coverage or the determination of eligibility for premium assistance.

Events That Cause a Loss of Eligibility For Coverage

Loss of eligibility for coverage may occur when:

  • Divorce or legal separation results in you losing coverage under your spouse’s health insurance
  • A parent’s plan no longer covers a dependent.
  • Your spouse’s death leaves you without coverage under his or her plan
  • Your spouse’s employment ends, as does coverage under his employer’s health plan
  • An employer reduces your work hours to the point where you are no longer covered by the health plan
  • You plan decides it will no longer offer coverage to a certain group of individuals (for example, those who work part time)
  • You longer live or work in the HMO’s service area

These should give you some idea of the types of situations that may entitle you to a special enrollment right.

How To Request

Requesting a special enrollment period might be necessary depending on what triggers your need for one. The employee or dependent must request enrollment within thirty days of losing eligibility for coverage after marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption.

Mental Health Misconceptions

By |2021-01-01T18:46:05+00:00January 22nd, 2021|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|

Each year one in five Americans suffer from a mental illness. The stigma associated with mental illness is now called “sanism”. Just like racism or sexism, is a form of oppression and discrimination. There is a lot of sanism and misinformation surrounding mental illness still present within our society today. Learn some of the most common mental health misconceptions.

Mental Health Misconceptions

You Are Either Fine Or Totally Insane.

Health (both physical and mental) exist on a spectrum. Even people you would consider healthy are not always “totally sane”. Think about in terms of physical health. You can be an overall healthy person who still experiences joint pain or high cholesterol. In the same way you can have some anxiety or bipolar disorder and still be (in most cases) mentally healthy. While some people require comprehensive mental health programs, others can go through daily life more or less just like everyone else.

It’s plain and simple, having a mental illness does not mean you are “crazy”. It means you are vulnerable. It means you have an illness with challenging symptoms – the same as someone with an illness like Crohn’s disease or diabetes. While mental illness can alter your thinking, weaken your control on moods, or alter your perception of reality, it does not mean you are crazy. This just means you are battling an ongoing disease like thousands of other people.

People With Mental Illness Are Violent

Despite misconceptions that people with mental illness are likely to be violent, research has shown that this is not the case. In fact, people living with mental illness are at a higher risk of being victims of violence rather than perpetrators.

Within the last few years, the United States has had an increase in mass violence. Whenever these tragedies take place, the media is quick to judge the suspects and bring up they could be mental illness sufferers. In reality, hate is not a mental illness. Only five percent of violent crimes in the United States are committed by people with serious mental illness.

The unfortunate truth is that individuals with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. There is no reason to fear a person with a mental illness just because of a diagnosis.

People With Mental Illness Cannot Function In Society

The perception that people with mental illnesses cannot complete work leads to systemic hiring discrimination. While it is true that those with mental illnesses have additional hurdles to overcome, most can still function as well as those without mental illnesses.

People with mental health problems are just as productive as other employees. Employers who hire people with mental health problems report good attendance, punctuality, motivation, good work, and job tenure. Most of these employees are on par with or greater than the other employees.

When employees with mental health problems receive effective treatment, it can result in:

  • Lower total medical costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Decreased disability costs

Life Insurance Basics

By |2021-01-01T18:39:58+00:00January 15th, 2021|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|

Up until the late 1970s, you could buy life insurance policies from kiosks at airports. You were essentially buying a term life policy that lasted as long as your trip. Unfortunately, death is a part of life. Life insurance is there to protect and provide for your family after you’re gone. For many people, one policy is enough. But for some reasons, two or more make sense. Your needs should drive the number and type of policies you buy. Read on to learn about life insurance basics.

You can own multiple policies from different companies, but when you apply, insurers will ask about current coverage to make sure the amount you want is reasonable and doable.

You can buy a lot without raising eyebrows. Insurers typically will ask for justification if the total would exceed your income by twenty to thirty times.

Multiple Policies

The most common way to buy coverage is to replace income in case a breadwinner dies prematurely. Having multiple life policies offers consumers more flexibility and more opportunities to save on overall costs. This is possible because multiple policies don’t cancel each other out. Rather, they work together to better meet your individual needs.

The solution: term life insurance, which covers you for a certain period, such as ten, twenty, or thirty years. Ideally, by the time the term expires, you don’t need life insurance. You have paid off debt, and the kids are grown.

Instead of buying one large policy, you could buy multiple policies of different lengths and amounts to match needs over time. For example, rather than a 30-year $1million policy, you could buy three policies:

  • 10-year, $500,000
  • 20-year, $300,000
  • 30-year, $200,000

This “laddering” strategy can save money. It can work if coverage needs diminish and you can accurately predict them, but unfortunately life doesn’t always go as planned.

If you decide to buy just one policy and later find out you don’t need as much coverage, most insurers will let you decrease the coverage and pay less.

Different Goals

You may have other reasons to buy coverage, besides replacing income. Here are some examples:

  • Small business owners may need a term policy to take care of the family and other business loans or fund a buy-sell agreement
  • Long term care: a hybrid life insurance policy can be used to pay for long term care if you need it. If you don’t max out the benefits for care, it pays lout at death. You might own traditional life to take care of financial dependents and a hybrid policy to cover long term care.
  • Estate planning: If you want to leave life insurance money to someone no matter when you die, you’ll need a permanent policy, such as whole life. Financial advisers advise buying term life for finite needs – the period when others depend on your income – and choosing a permanent policy for estate planning.

In Conclusion

If  you aren’t sure what you will need down the line—and who does?—you can buy a term policy now and a whole life with universal or variable options in the future. You’ll get tax-deferred savings that you can use for premiums, investments, or emergency living expenses. You can even borrow funds from some whole life policies, using the death benefits as collateral. If you have any questions about life insurance basics, consult online resources , as well as your local life insurance providers.

Prescription Drug Coverage: Five Common Questions

By |2021-01-01T18:34:52+00:00January 8th, 2021|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|

Figuring out your healthcare coverage can be very confusing sometimes, especially if you just enrolled into a new plan. Getting the correct medication is a large part of that. You probably have questions about your plan’s prescription benefits and want to make sure the plan covers your medicine. Here are the five most common questions about prescription drug coverage.

Does Insurance Cover My Regular Prescriptions?

Many people take medicines every single day. It is so important to know if and how your plan handles prescription drug coverage. Each insurance provider has a formulary. A formulary is a list of prescription medications that a particular plan covers. Your insurance company might not cover a nonformulary medicine. Getting coverage for nonformulary medicine requires a lengthy process to try to gain coverage. On the other hand, you pay the full cost of the medicine. The list of medications covered is divided into tiers, these determine how much of a co-pay or coinsurance, which is a percentage of the cost of a medication, you may have to pay out of pocket.

How Much Will I Pay Out Of Pocket?

Firstly, The amount you are responsible for out of pocket before your medicines are covered will vary based on your coverage. First you’ll have to pay a premium, or an amount paid for your health coverage usually monthly, quarterly, or yearly. You pay the amount regardless of what services you use.

Secondly, you may have to meet a deductible, which is an amount a person must pay annually with their own money before most coverage kicks in. For example, if your deductible is $1,000, your plan may not cover most expenses until you’ve spent $1,000 out of pocket. Insurers increasingly require that you meet a deductible before covering most medical or pharmacy services. Be sure to check with your insurer to know if your insurer to know if your deductible combines these expenses ton know how much you’ll have to pay before medicines are covered.

How About After Paying My Premiums & Meeting My Deductible?

Even after meeting your deductible, you will likely be responsible for certain fees out of pocket. This may include co-pays or coinsurance. Check your plan’s formulary or list of covered medicines to get a sense of what you will need to pay out of pocket for the medicines you take.

Are There Any Other Steps To Get My Insurance To Cover My Medicine?

First, step therapy is when insurers require patients to test other medications first before receiving the medicine their doctor originally prescribed. Plans also may require you to get prior authorization or permission before a medication is covered. These requirements often involve additional steps for practitioners as well as patients.

How Do I Pick A Pharmacy?

Insurance plans do cover in-network services and pharmacies. However, the plan will not cover out of network services and pharmacies. This may require higher out of pocket costs. Check to see if a pharmacy that is convenient for you is included in the plan’s network.

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

By |2020-10-30T22:02:40+00:00December 26th, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|

Firstly, artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies are common in business and society. Following that trend, AI is now being applied to healthcare. These technologies have the potential to change many aspects of patient care, as well as admin processes. This includes processes within doctor, patient and pharmaceutical organizations.

Does Artificial Intelligence Belong In Healthcare?

One of the world’s highest-growth industries, the AI sector was valued at about $600 million in 2014 and is projected to reach a $150 billion by 2026. Whether it is to find new links between genetic codes or to conducts surgery-assisting robots, artificial intelligence is reinventing and reinvigorating modern health care. These machines predict, comprehend, learn, and act.

How Does AI Help?

In 2015, misdiagnosing illness and medical error accounted for ten percent of all US deaths. The promise of improving and helping the diagnostic process is one of AI’s most exciting health care  applications. Here are six examples of AI reducing error and saving lives.

PathAI

Cambridge, Massachusetts. PathAI is developing machine learning technology to assist pathologists in making more accurate diagnoses. The company’s current goals include reducing error in cancer diagnosis and developing methods for individualized medical treatment.

Buoy Health

Boston, Massachusetts. Buoy Health is an AI-based symptom and cure checker that uses algorithms to diagnose and treat illness. Here’s how it works: a chat bot listens to a patient’s symptoms and health concerns, the guides that patient to the correct care based on its diagnosis.

Enlitic

San Francisco, California. Enlitic develops learning medical tools to streamline radiology diagnosis. The company’s deep learning platform then analyzes unstructured medical data (radiology images, blood tests, EKGs, genomics, patient medical history) to give doctors better insight into a patient’s real-time needs

Freenome

San Francisco, California. Freenome uses AI in screenings, diagnostic tests, and blood work to test for cancer. By developing AI at general screenings, Freenome aims to detect cancer in its earliest stages and subsequently develop new treatments.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Boston, Massachusetts. Harvard University’s teaching hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is using artificial intelligence to diagnose potentially deadly blood diseases at a very early stage.

Zebra Medical Vision

Shefayim, Israel. Zebra Medical Vision provides radiologists with AI-enabled assistant that receives imaging scans and, most importantly, automatically analyzes them for various clinical findings it has studied. The findings are passed onto radiologists, who take the assistant’s reports into consideration when making a diagnosis.

Pharmaceuticals

The drug development industry is so busy with skyrocketing development costs and research that takes thousands of human hours. It costs just about three billion dollars to put each drug through the clinical trials, then only 10 percent of those drugs successfully get to the market. Due to breakthrough technology, biopharmaceutical companies are quickly taking notice of the efficiency and accuracy and the knowledge that AI can provide.

Research

One of the biggest AI breakthroughs in drug development came in 2007 when researchers tasked a robot named Adam with researching functions of yeast. Firstly, Adam scoured billions of data points in public databases to hypothesize about the functions of 19 genes within yeast. Then, Adam predicted nine new and accurate hypotheses. Adam’s robot friend, Eve, then discovered that triclosan, a common ingredient in toothpaste, can combat malaria-based parasites.

The Cost of Pregnancy

By |2020-10-30T21:42:28+00:00December 18th, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|

The average cost of pregnancy with insurance is more than $4,500 for labor and delivery. A study done by the University of Michigan looked at 657,061 women between 2008 and 2015. All costs were adjusted for inflation.) This study included all of the insurance claims filed the year prior to the delivery, during the delivery itself, and for three months after. This accounts for any health services that might have affected their pregnancy outcomes.

The Cost of Pregnancy

Vaginal deliveries found to cost women an average of $4,314 out of pocket in 2015, which was up $2,910 from 2008. The out-of-pocket cost for a cesarean birth, was at $5,161 which was up from $3,364 in 2008. The average birth for all deliveries in 2015 was around $4,500.

Why Is It Getting More Expensive?

It isn’t the cost of treatments that went up over the years, it is the deductibles. The lump sums that insurance requires customers to pay before the company will kick in any money. Indeed, more Americans have found that they are on plans with higher deductibles in recent years as employers have sought to start making employees pay for a higher percentage of their healthcare costs. In a new study, the percentage of women with deductibles rose from about 69 percent to about 87 percent in a seven-year time period. That made women paid about seven percent more for their childbirth expenses as a result.

Who Does This Effect?

The cost of having a baby can be especially expensive for about 45 perfect of women who weren’t trying for a baby. Because they might not have been expecting the baby when they signed up for their health insurance, they might not have chosen a plan that takes care of more delivery costs. Childbirth is the number one reason for hospitalization among women. The cost of delivery is just the first in a series of major child-bearing expenses to come. Not long after the hospital bills are paid for, now it is time to pay for daycare, baby sitters, clothes, food, and school fees.

Even though the ACA brought some order to health insurance, customers still get stuck with some very large hospital bills. The high cost of bearing children, is part of the reason we see so many women skip out on some of their prenatal or postpartum care. It helps explain why Americans having babies is at an all-time low right now. Though this baby bust has many potential and understandable explanations, including the decline and delays in marriage, it most definitely does not help that having a baby costs more than the average woman makes a month.

What If I Don’t Have Insurance?

While maternity expenses for insured moms might seem high, the numbers are far higher if you have no insurance at all. An uninsured woman could end up paying anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 for delivery. And those prices continue to rise every year. Maternity costs can even vary from state to state by 50 percent and even more within some states. A 2014 study by the University of California San Francisco found that hospital charges for an uncomplicated vaginal delivery ranged from $3,296 to $37,227, depending on the hospital. For a C-section the costs widely ranged from $8,312 to nearly $71,000.

In Conclusion

If you’re concerned you won’t have enough money saved up to handle the cost of pregnancy by the time you deliver, your hospital may offer an interest free payment plan option, so contacting the billing department is always useful.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.
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