Fight Medicare Fraud and Protect Your Identity

Great Medicare resources!!

Medicare offers numerous tips through its Web site.  And it offers good advice to help you fight Medicare fraud and protect your identity.

In a recent E-mail, Medicare offered three specific tips:

    1. Protect your identity. “Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes. Guard your Medicare Number and card, and keep your Social Security Number safe.”
    2. Help fight Medicare fraud. “Use your MyMedicare account to stay on top of your claims. If you find errors or fraud, report it to us. Don’t have a MyMedicare account yet? Sign up for free at MyMedicare.gov today.”
    3. Know your rights. “You have certain rights and protections designed to make sure you get the health care services the law says you can get.”

Click the Medicare logo to learn more about its resources.


 

Be Careful with OTC Drugs

OTC drugs are not risk-free!

For many people, there is a misconception that over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are always safer than prescription drugs. And that simply is not true.

Consider these observations from AARP:

“If the good news is that over-the-counter pain killers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen won’t put you at risk for addiction issues like prescription opioids or narcotics can, the less good news is that no pain pill comes without the potential for problems, says Nitin Sekhri, medical director of pain management at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y.”

“Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is considered the safest option by many, and yet, Sekhri notes, it’s still to blame for about 50 percent of acute liver failures in the U.S. Acetaminophen also is the leading reason behind calls to poison control and to blame for more than 50,000 emergency room visits a year.”

“Often problems arise from people not realizing they’ve taken as much acetaminophen as they have. The over-the-counter painkiller isn’t just in Tylenol: It shows up in remedies meant to fight allergies, colds, flu, coughs, and sleeplessness. It’s also an ingredient in prescription painkillers such as Vicodin and Percocet.”

Click the image to read a lot more.

Be Careful with OTC Drugs

 

Is U.S. Food Safe?

Be sure to visit FoodSafety.gov

Over the years, there have been many food recalls in the United States. Click the image to see recent U.S. food recalls and to access the links on the Web site. Then, read below.

Is U.S. Food Safe?

Is U.S. Food Safe?

Consider the infographic below. And read the comments from Niall McCarthy, writing for Statista:

“In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. It was supposed to regulate how foods are grown, harvested, and processed. Furthermore, it gave the FDA mandatory recall authority, something it had been trying to get for years. Despite passing that law, the U.S. is still experiencing hundreds of food recalls every year, many of which are extremely serious. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 6 Americans contracts a foodborne illness every year.” 

“The volume of food recalls can provide an insight into food safety standards in different countries. A recent analysis by U.S. PIRG shows that the total number of recalls in the U.S. fell between 2017 and 2018. Even though that might seem like good news, the long term trends are far less positive. Recalls of meat and poultry rose 66 percent between 2013 and 2018. In an even more troubling development, the most hazardous Class I recalls of meat and poultry are up 83 percent since 2013. Class I refers to food that presents serious health risks such as containing botulinal toxins or undeclared allergens.” 

Is U.S. Food Safe?
 

Please Be Careful in the Cold

Here are two weather-related infographics.

The current cold wave can have a dramatic effect on our health. PLEASE be smart. And best wishes to those dealing with sub-zero temperatures today.

In this post, we present two infographics: one for handling the current cold wave and the other for being prepared for a future cold weather event.

From BabaMail: “As the cold weather begins to set in, our bodies must prepare themselves for the harsh winter ahead. Here are a few of the reasons that we are more prone to illness during the colder months, and tips on how to protect our bodies in lieu of these changes. Read on to find out how to keep your immune system strong against the winter chill.”

Please Be Careful in the Cold

From VNA Health Group: “Every year, winter weather takes its toll on our homes, puts people’s lives at risk, and causes delays in travel. Getting ready for winter will ensure that you’re one step ahead of Old Man Winter’s fury. Prepare yourself and your loved ones by sharing these winter safety tips with your friends and family.”

Please Be Careful in the Cold

 

Too Many Americans Putting Off Medical Care

54% delaying medical care due to costs.

Unfortunately, a large number of Americans put off getting proper medical care. Why? Often, because they cannot afford it.

Consider the results of recent research by Earnin, as reported by Peter Griffin:

“Health care is an essential part of many Americans lives. Yet, money can be a factor in whether or not they’re getting the medical attention they need. Earnin looked at the impact money has on taking care of oneself in a pair of September 2018 surveys. The dire financial wellness of most adults is bleeding into their actual wellness.”

“Over half of Americans (54 percent) say they’ve delayed medical care for themselves in the last 12 months because they couldn’t afford it. And almost a quarter of Americans (23 percent) have delayed medical care for over one year due to financial issues. Among people who delayed care in the past year, 55 percent delayed dental/orthodontic work, 43 percent delayed eye care, and 30 percent delayed annual exams.”

Overall, “Nearly half of Americans (49 percent) say their health tends to take a back seat to other financial obligations.”

Take a look at this chart from Earnin. Then, read more about the study results.

Too Many Americans Putting Off Medical Care
 

Sometimes Overlooked Cancer Causes

Be more aware of the causes of cancer.

It is imperative that we understand as much as possible about cancer. That is why we published these earlier posts: Being Smart About Your Health. Interesting Cancer Facts. And Where Cancer Rates Are Highest. Today, we look at sometimes overlooked cancer causes.

Click on the image below to see a slide show from Sharecare that focuses on nine sometimes overlooked causes of cancer:

“Symptoms may not be so obvious. Some can be dangerously deceptive even. Seemingly minor changes, like a nagging cough or persistent backache, can sometimes signal cancer. Too often, these are not taken seriously until the disease has progressed.”

“So, how can you distinguish between an innocent ache and a pain you should report to your doctor? ‘I tell patients that if there are symptoms that are out of the ordinary or persistent or frequent in nature or extreme in intensity, they should seek attention from their primary provider,” says oncologist Elwyn Cabebe, MD, of Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, California.”

“Signs and symptoms vary widely, so don’t hesitate to talk to your health-care provider about anything that seems out of the ordinary—especially if you notice one of these nine cancer indicators.”

Sometimes Overlooked Cancer Causes

 

Spotting Skin Cancer to Stop It

During the summer, we blogged about what to do to avoid getting cancer. Today, we focus on self-examination as a way to avoid skin cancer.

As the Skin Cancer Foundation notes: 

“Coupled with yearly skin exams by a doctor, self-examination is the best way to ensure that you don’t become another skin cancer statistic. If you can spot it, you can stop it.”

Here are some tips.

Spotting Skin Cancer to Stop It