6 Important Qualities of CQC Registered Social Care Providers

Like every other sector, the healthcare system is also evolving and becoming complex. In this respect, care planning and management are necessary for leading a smooth present and a better future. Healthcare planning is important not only because it assures a safe future but because these kinds of services are getting expensive. Also, a good health sector is a part of nation’s development that resembles the government’s approach to keep its citizens happy and healthy. The Care Quality Commission (The CQC) is an initiative with a vision to provide the best health services to the users of the healthcare system. The CQC regulated healthcare and management units assure that their services meet the essential standards in terms of safety and quality.

Availing domiciliary or residential health care services is not a difficult thing to get if there are planning and finance. However, with this sector growing with pace, choosing a reliable service provider can be a daunting task. Be it adult care, child care or care for the people with disabilities, there are certain fundamental standards that the care providers must fulfill, in order to successfully complete registration with CQC registration form.

The following are some basic factors the social care providers must consider to become a CQC approved body:

Personalized Care:

The care provider must ensure that people using their service must receive quality treatment. Other than superior quality services, the care provider must provide care or treatment that is person-centered or personalized for specific individuals. According to CQC regulation, the service body must assure that each person availing the service must receive proper attention based on their needs and preferences.

Respect the Concerned People:

One of the key considerations of any social care service provider is that it must treat the concerned people with dignity and respect. People who have approached the service provider are in need of special care. Therefore, it is the duty and responsibility o the caregivers that they must treat the persons with dignity without hearting their sentiments and gives them the privacy they desire.

Should Not Function without Consent:

Another very important attribute of a good care provider depends on their work ethics. Consent is important in every phase of care providing. The provider who does not communicate well with the people receiving the care or any person on their behalf is not their sign of professionalism.

Safety and Security:

Safety is one of the most critical concerns of a social care provider. Only promising high-quality service cannot make a service provider reliable. Keeping the people safe and secured from every aspect is important. Safety doesn’t only mean life risk but safety in different phases. It may be in terms of using safe equipment for care or providing healthy nutrition. Any decision taken by the providers must assure the welfare of the people.

Protection from Abuse:

Care services are for people who need special treatment. Provides must have a robust set of rules to prevent people using the service. They must take necessary step incase abused by staff, visitor and even any expert offering the service. Be it a threat, physical abuse or anything that restrains the liberty provides must take such things on a serious note.

The Room for Complaints:

The sign of a trustable care provider is one who considers the complaints in an optimistic way and takes all the necessary steps to rectify their flaws. There must be a special set of ruler where people availing the service get a chance to complain about the differences, problems they are facing in the care home or by the care provider. All complaints must undergo thorough investigation and productively come with solutions.

The above factors are some of the basic activities that a reputable care provider with CQC registration will perform. They ensure that the person availing the service will receive the best treatment.

Varicosities: What They Are And What You Need To Know About Them

“I’m sorry, sir, but you’ve got varicosities. They’re not dangerous, but they will impact your life in different ways.” Now, if you didn’t know that a varicosity was another term for varicose veins, would that just absolutely scare the living daylights out of you?

Herein lies one of the more difficult issues plaguing the healthcare system in this country – it’s the lack of straightforwardness. Then again, how many times have you looked at your doctor make a note and not been able to read one word? Maybe being a bit in the dark is just a thing to work through.

But when it comes to varicosities, you don’t really have a lot to worry about, which is kind of nice. They may not be the worst thing in the world, but it really does become a drag when you think about how they look. Most of us remember older female relatives walking around with striations on their legs that just looked painful. Now, you’re older, and the notion of dealing with varicose veins makes you want to crawl under a rock. However, you should fight that urge and talk to your doctor about them and what options you have to get rid of them.

Here’s some good information to have:

Varicosities & Varicose Veins Are The Same Thing – Between varicosity, vascular, and varicose, it’s hard to keep it all straight.

Your Entire Body is Fair Game – You’ll usually notice them most in the legs, but varicose veins can be all over the body. If you thought some lines on your legs could be a little embarrassed about, keep in mind that some women develop vulvar varicosities.

Weaker Elasticity in Veins Comes with Age – Once a blood vessel starts feeling the effects of age, varicosities are likely to follow.

Pregnancy & Varicose Veins Are A Package Deal – Changes in blood flow occur during pregnancy, which means that a woman’s body will go through more than just having a baby. Varicose veins can start developing in the legs and vulvar area. Talk with your doctor about these possibilities.

Sitting, Standing, and Carrying Extra Weight Exacerbate the Issue – Because of the sedentary lifestyle we have in the U.S., more cases of varicose veins have kicked up in recent years. The rub comes when you find out that standing for long periods of time can exert extra pressure on blood vessels in your legs, leading to varicose veins. Finally, it’s important to note that while you can’t always avoid how much you sit or stand, you can almost always be mindful of your weight.

Varicosities are nothing to be actually frightened about mainly because they don’t pose much of a threat to your health. However, every case is different, so be sure to talk with your doctor about possible treatment options if they’re applicable. And just so you can be one the same page, have him or her use terms that you’ll understand. It’ll benefit both of you.

Corporate Behemoths in Healthcare: Will the Patient Win?

The past several weeks have been abuzz with the mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare arena. CVS has purchased Aetna for a cool 69 billion dollars and went through the regulatory process with flying colors. Amazon (on their quest for world domination) has teamed up with Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and financial powerhouse J.P. Morgan to use their resources, influence and power to, according to Buffett, “tackle healthcare costs in our nation.” Buffet also said that because the U.S., at 18% of our gross domestic product, the U.S. is at a competitive disadvantage, at 3.3 trillion dollars annually. He believes the private sector can handle healthcare better than the government.

Albertson’s, a grocery company, is ready to acquire retail pharmacy giant Rite Aid. And now, Cigna, the insurance behemoth, is buying Express Scripts in a deal for upwards of 50 billion. Software giant Apple is dipping their toe into employee health, while things are starting to rumble at Wal-Mart, the retail monster.

After all of that information, you need a breather. But will a disruption by these companies be the thing that makes healthcare better in the U.S.?

Yet, as a patient advocate and caregiver supporter, my main concern is this: Will all of this be a win for patients, caregivers and families? You know – the healthcare customers?

While the shake-up in healthcare is oh-so-long overdue, is the combination of behemoths the right way?

First, this healthcare shake-up won’t be the last of the behemoths to combine. I would be willing to bet on that. We have yet to hear from the likes of Microsoft, Walgreens, Google or any of the Generals (Electric, Motors, Mills). What about other insurers? Where is Humana or United Healthcare in this game?

Many companies will follow suit. It’s just a matter of time. I liken it to the most popular girl in high school getting into a relationship with the most popular boy and becoming a force to be reckoned with. Everyone will see the trend, its benefits and potential, and jump into it. Sorry for the high school analogy.

The point is everyone sees that it is time for change in healthcare.

So what’s in it for patients/customers?

Something we must question is this: Are these corporations in it for the billions of dollars that healthcare is worth or do they really want better conditions, cost and efficiency for patients? Will the combination of all these behemoths reach past their employees and meet the needs of all patients in our nation? What are their motives?

My mission is to empower patients and caregivers to navigate healthcare confidently and correctly, to save them and all parties involved time, money and frustration. I show them that they have rights and responsibilities in their Healthcare journey and must take a strong and active role in their care. Patients are the lifeblood of the healthcare system.

None of these behemoth combinations will be successful without patient/customer buy-in. They’d better put all of their goals into a nice and helpful package for patients so they feel supported and empowered. If these corporations can show how the patient will be helped and how their alliances can save money for all parties involved, they should have no trouble in the regulatory processes they face.

But I implore all of you behemoths… DO SOMETHING.

Do something for the 64% of Americans who avoid getting care because they are afraid of the costs.

Do something for the working poor who make too much for Medicaid and not enough to afford skyrocketing healthcare premiums.

Do something that shows how healthcare can actually be affordable and where service prices do not have to be excessive.

Do something to empower patients and establish real healthcare cost transparency.

Do something about actual care and system processes to show that it doesn’t have to be as difficult or time-consuming as it is currently.

You behemoths have the power to change healthcare for the better for the foreseeable future and possibly, forever. Please don’t look down from your Ivory Towers upon us mere mortals and pity us or hope for the best. Do something.

Make it a win for patients, and we all will win.

Knee Replacement Cost Guide

Knee replacement surgery has become quite common and more affordable in the last few years. It is now considered as a safe option for people with severe osteoarthritis of the knee joint. This is especially a boon for patients who have end-stage arthritis of the knee.

The constant increase in the number of patients undergoing knee surgery surgery can be attributed to a number of reasons, including the following:

Increased affordability: Now a greater number of patients prefer to opt for knee replacement surgery because the cost of implants has decreased significantly in the recent past.

Range of implants available: Thanks to advancements in medical technology, there are a number of knee implants available today to fulfill the individual needs of the patients. From implants with 180 and 360 degrees motion to 3D-printed knee implants, there is nothing that isn’t available to benefit patients with different severity of osteoarthritis.

Improved surgical outcomes: Open knee replacement is a thing of the past. Now, several new technologies are available that offer greater benefits and ensures positive outcomes. Thanks to minimally invasive technology, surgery is not that painful anymore. Nor does it take weeks of hospitalization for the patient to recover.

But still, the cost of knee surgery in the Western countries continues to remain on the higher side. For patients in such countries who wish to undergo affordable knee surgery, flying to the top medical tourism destination is an option. Some of these medical tourism hotspots for knee replacement include India, Thailand, and Turkey.

The Average Cost of Knee Replacement: Top Countries

The average cost of knee surgery in the Western countries may start from $30000. Further, it is seen that the cost of knee replacement surgery varies not only from country to country but within a country or a city as well. This is especially true about the US.

For example, the knee surgery cost in Dallas, US, may vary between $16,772 and $61,585, depending on the hospital. Paying a higher price for a procedure does not necessarily mean that the quality that the hospital offers to the patient is any better than the hospital that is less expensive.

There are several factors that can be attributed to the disparity between the pricing of the same procedure within the same city. Competition, state taxes, location, and the level of free care provided by the hospital are some of them.

The cost of knee replacement in India, Turkey, Mexico, Thailand, and Taiwan, on the other hand, is much more reasonable than in the Western countries. The cost drops by as much as 50 to 80 percent in these countries. This explains the patient mindset when they decide to travel to the overseas to get knee implants.

Type, Material, and Manufacturer of Implant

There are different types and material of knee implants available today to choose from. Each implant has a specific purpose and is most suitable for a specific patient group. For example, older adults can manage everyday activities with an implant that allows flexion of 110 degrees. However, younger adults may need a high-flex knee implant because of an excessive activity level.

Cobalt chromium alloy, titanium alloy, oxidized zirconium, and polyethylene implants are commonly available nowadays. Each implant material has specific pros and cons associated with them. They vary in terms of pricing, use, availability, and longevity.

Type of Surgery

An individual is either recommended to undergo (TKR) or partial knee replacement. The difference lies in the portion of the knee joint replaced during the procedure. The duration of hospitalization and the recovery period in the case of TKR is greater than that of partial replacement. Therefore, there is a direct impact on the total cost that the patient has to shell out of his pocket for the procedure.

Type of Hospital

Hospitals with the most advanced infrastructure and state-of-the-art technologies tend to charge higher than other hospitals. This is despite the fact that the experience and the qualifications of the surgeon handling the case could be the same. The cost also depends on the location of the hospital. Centrally-located and easily accessible hospitals are expensive than remotely located ones.

Experience of the Surgeon

The cost of knee surgery also depends on how experienced the surgeon is. Surgeons with vast experience are the most sought after. In fact, it has been scientifically proved that surgeons who perform more than 50 TKR a year have less than one-third complications rate as compared to those who perform less than 50 TKR per year.

Most patients prefer to be treated by a surgeon who is experienced. But there is an extra price that they must pay for it.

Rehabilitation Cost

Rehabilitation after surgery includes physiotherapy, which is conducted at an extra cost. The doctors usually advise the candidate to undergo physiotherapy for at least 6 to 12 weeks for better outcomes and pain relief. Each session of physical therapy may cost anywhere between $20 and $350, depending on the country where you are getting treated. Rehabilitation is an important aspect of recovery after knee replacement. Therefore, patients must take into consideration these expenses while planning for the surgery.

Incidental Costs

The patient may have to incur incidental costs in case of any complication. Additionally, the costs may increase when the duration of stay inside the ICU post surgery is extended. Like any other surgery, there are certain complications associated as well. Post-surgical infection delayed wound healing, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism are some of the examples. The management of such conditions has an impact on the overall cost.

Other Costs

  • Unanticipated care and management of a pre-existing condition may add to the total bill amount.
  • The greater the number of days you spend at the hospital, the bigger is the billing amount.
  • Cost of private or single accommodation is greater than shared or multi-bedded accommodation.
  • Follow-up visits after discharge from the hospital cost extra.
  • Loss of earning resulting out of hospital stay and impact of surgery may add to the financial burden.

Tips To Choose A Hospital Overseas For Knee Surgery

Choose the country wisely. Countries that offer cheaper treatment do not necessarily compromise with the quality of medical services.

Choose the surgeon wisely. Do not choose someone who is experienced but charges a whopping amount.

  • Choose a surgeon whose clinic is less crowded. Surgeons who are hugely popular tend to remain busy and spend less time per patient. This may hinder personalized care that you may desire to have.
  • Seek help from a hospital or a medical tourism facilitator to arrange for additional needs. This may include accommodation, local travel, translator services, and hospital transfer.
  • Check the credibility of the hospital online before selecting one. Look for patient testimonials and Google reviews.
  • Check the accreditation of the hospital. Prefer to choose a hospital that is certified by Joint Commission International (JCI).
  • Ask for all the information beforehand about the type of implants that will be used. Also, ask for a detailed profile of the surgeon who will conduct the surgery.
  • Seek an estimate for potential costs associated with airline tickets, hotel, food, and other expenses.

How to Make 200k By Staying Healthy

Staying healthy seems like a punishment to many until it is accompanied by the opportunity to earn you 200k.

Given that both cost savings and staying healthy are desirable but challenging aspects with an impact on your financial wellbeing, several approaches can be employed to ensure that both are achieved seamlessly without discarding the other.

Here are some of the approaches to staying healthy and earn 200k in cost savings and as extra income from various incentivized wellness programs.

  1. Insurance discount

Insurance premiums are periodically deducted in your income to facilitate payment of medical bills in case you fall ill. Some insurance providers encourage healthy living among their clients so as to reduce the cost of claims. Customers who stay healthy benefit from discounts on premium payable or cashback refunds. Some insurance providers give up to 15% as a refund to customers who exhibit healthy living in their activities and medical records.

  1. Paid wellness challenges

Several wellness challenge applications that encourages healthy living by incentivising the entire process using financial rewards exist on the market. Subscribers commit to a programme and set a goal which upon being met will be paid with cash and cash equivalents. However, if the subscriber fails to meet the target, for example losing 500 calories in a week, the application deducts an agreed amount from their committed funds. This approach provides both positive and negative motivation aimed at encouraging healthy living.

  1. Alternative workout

The average gym membership cost is approximated at $58 a month, exclusive of the extra charges such as the registration/initiation fee and other fringe costs. It translates to roughly as high as $1000 a year depending on the location. Earn this $1000 by using alternative workout regimes with equipment that are freely available in your house or engage in outdoor activities and freely access public facilities.

  1. Cycling to work

The average commuting cost and time in America is $10 and 25 minutes respectively. This translates to an annual cost of $2600. Cycling to work not only eliminates this cost but it also provides you with an ample 50 minute mental and physical workout to and from work.

  1. Go veggie

You can save up to $25 a week or $1200 annually by omitting meat and meat products in your meals. Increased intake of vegetables not only helps you to stay healthy but stopping meat consumption also boost the ‘health’ of your wallet through cost savings.

  1. Befriend technology

Wearable gadgets and smart watches have inbuilt healthy living applications that tracks physical activities such as walking, the heart rate, calories burned or added, etc. This data can be synchronized to other stakeholders such as retail stores and businesses that encourage healthy living, and the user earns points that are converted into cash discount redeemable at the store.

It pays, literally, when you stay active and healthy, and within 1-2 years of staying healthy you can make up to 200k. Staying healthy and being physical active saves you money in the in the long run (pun intended).

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9912986

You Need Patient Advocacy

Healthcare in the U.S. is broken and only getting worse. Here are just a few examples of why:

  • Of the $3 trillion spent on healthcare annually, $1 trillion is wasted;
  • Many doctors are providing too much unnecessary treatment;
  • Providers are paid for quantity of care vs. quality of care;
  • Healthcare costs are through the roof for everyone; and
  • Many patients are not aware of their rights and responsibilities within their healthcare.

Many people settle for the care they get from their healthcare providers when they should not. If you ordered a cheeseburger and got a hamburger, wouldn’t you take it back? Do you use that same tactic in your healthcare? Maybe not. You’re not alone, most don’t.

Have you ever had an experience at a doctor or hospital that was uncomfortable or frustrating? Had errors on your bills? Left a doctor’s appointment feeling puzzled? Many experience this every day. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to deal with poor treatment.

Advocacy is a patient-centered method that can address many of the ills of America’s healthcare delivery, spending waste and inefficiencies.

Being a social worker for 20 years in many areas of healthcare, I’ve seen plenty happen to people who were uninformed or didn’t know what to say, do, or ask. Many times, negative outcomes were preventable.

What is patient advocacy?

This means championing the cause of meeting a patient’s needs and desires during their healthcare journey. This could mean speaking with doctors on a patient’s behalf, facilitating communication between healthcare providers, supporting a patient’s end-of-life wishes, correcting an erroneous bill, helping with insurance claims and so many other things.

Advocates also have focuses such as billing, insurance claims and appeals, specific diseases (cancer, Alzheimer’s, stroke), or getting and keeping good care (like me). There are professionals such as hospital advocates, patient navigators and nurse navigators in healthcare facilities to assist patients with their needs while they are in the hospital.

If you hire a private advocate (one with no corporate/non-profit interests) and pay them directly, their job is to go to the mat for your best interests. If you want to know where the loyalty of any advocate is, find out where their paycheck comes from, and you will have your answer. It’s not always with the patient, unfortunately.

Insurance does not cover advocacy (so private advocates must be paid out-of-pocket), as the government has not regulated our profession. Anyone can say they are an advocate because of this, even my sixth-grader, no matter what their level of experience is. Make sure to check their education, skills and experience before hiring them. Ensure that they are the right fit for your specific needs.

In advocacy, intelligence is not a substitute for experience. Many very sharp people have called on my services because they didn’t know how to handle their healthcare situations, some after making matters worse. They alienated the healthcare providers or they were labeled as “troublemakers.” Communication shuts down between families and providers – which is an awful scenario that does not help the patient’s interests. Advocates can assist you in a situation such as this, and many others depending on their specialty.

Healthcare is a business and you are a consumer. Further, you are responsible for your own healthcare. Patients have to take care of themselves and yield to a provider’s orders, as they are the experts on healthcare. Yet, patients have the right to question any medication, test or procedure proposed to them. Patients must do their part to have good health, as they are the experts on themselves. One cannot drink and smoke heavily and expect a miracle cure for their body after abusing it.

Healthcare spending can decrease once patients learn to use the healthcare system correctly, and a good private advocate can show you how to do that while saving you time, money and frustration.

Not only individuals and families can benefit, but corporations and non-profits can save by enlisting an advocate’s services. It will show their employees (especially those that are caregivers or have chronic illnesses) that there is a more efficient way to experience healthcare treatment, and possibly solve problems which can increase productivity!

7 Factors to Poor Posture and 2 Steps You Can Take Right Now To Better Your Own

Have you ever noticed a famous actor, known for their good looks, maybe Brad Pitt, standing stooped over? Of course not! Part of the appeal is their tall, proud posture, whether you consciously notice or not. Perhaps that’s why no childhood is complete without an occasional reminder to “Sit up straight!” Your mom was training you to become a Hollywood star.

While the desire for your own good posture could be due to the effect that poor posture has on your visual appearance, it may surprise you that posture has much more to do with whether you look proper or sloppy. Let’s look at another type of celebrity – a singer such as Adele, and try a little experiment on yourself. Sing your favourite song, or the national anthem with your shoulders rounded forward and head stooped down. Your whole chest caves in and prohibits your lungs from expanding and your voice from belting out those big musical notes. It’s much harder to sing properly without good posture. Remember Usain Bolt, the fastest human? Do you think he’d run as fast and place as well if he kept his head down?

If you’re concerned with your health you should know that the way you carry your body physically can have a major impact on your physical performance and mental sense of well-being. Studies are now showing the connection between poor posture and health problems ranging from weight gain, insomnia, and even depression and mental decline. Chiropractors are well aware of the significance of this connection between posture and health, which makes them a reliable authority on this and how it relies on good spinal health.

There are many causes of poor posture. In some people, unfortunately postural issues are due to other conditions or diseases that involve bone deformity or bone loss, however, in the vast majority of cases, posture is directly related to a person’s habits and daily activities. Here are some of the most common causes of poor posture:

  • Looking down a lot during activities such as using a cellphone or playing video games
  • Working at a desk or computer for long periods of time (even at a desk with good ergonomics)
  • Poor ergonomics at work (chairs, desks, keyboards)
  • Improper sleep support (mattress, pillows)
  • Obesity
  • Muscles weakness
  • Poor self-esteem (people with low self-esteem tend to have a flexed/inward posture as a way to avoid being noticed)

As noted, there can be other health conditions and diseases that can contribute to poor posture, but as you can see, most contributors to poor posture are also things that are within your control.

Chiropractors and other health experts have found that people who have a tendency to slouch while standing, sitting, and even walking also tend to experience many kinds of health conditions, which can be mild or even severe. Many health problems such as headaches, muscle stiffness, shortness of breath, susceptibility to infectious illnesses, may actually be indirectly impacted by your posture and the positioning of your spinal column.

Your spine is important because it keeps your entire body in alignment and balance. It also houses and is meant to protect your central nervous system (spinal cord and brain). Your nervous system is responsible for the communication between your body and brain. The better your spinal alignment, the easier it is for your brain and body to share information and maintain good posture. Slouching, and being in poor posture makes it harder for this to happen – signals don’t transmit as well and muscles have to work harder to try to keep you upright. This extra, more difficult work can degrade the health of the spine and nervous system over time. When your brain and body need to work harder on your posture, they work less on keeping your other systems and functions working optimally. As this happens to the nervous system, other functions of the body may begin to have trouble working correctly, leading to inflammation, digestive issues, and more.

How To Keep Good Posture All Day Every Day

If you want to avoid these health problems, you’ll want to focus on maintaining proper posture as often as you can. It may be as simple as reminding yourself throughout the day to keep your shoulders pulled back, your head held high atop your neck and torso, and your spine in a neutral position as much it can.

If you find it difficult to maintain these positions of proper posture, it is a sign you need the professional help of a chiropractor. Your poor posture can be due to a combination of factors that include poor spinal alignment, poor nervous system signal flow, and muscle weakness. In most cases, these problems can all be corrected with a properly designed and executed plan that addresses all three of these issues as needed.

Do You Have Poor Posture?

Here is a simple test than can be an indicator of poor posture:

  1. Have someone take a picture of you standing without shoes on a flat surface, looking ahead of you. Think of a side profile of a police mug shot, for your whole body, top to bottom. The person will likely have to stand 10-15 feet away.
  2. Draw a straight vertical line from the inside of your ear down to the floor. If the line doesn’t pass through the middle of your shoulder, hip, knee and ankle, it’s likely you have poor posture.