Avoid Genetic Testing Scams

Not every testing company is legit!!

Genetic testing has become an enormous business, with millions of people wanting to learn more about their backgrounds. BUT, not all genetic testing firms are legitimate.

For that reason, Health and Human Services recently issued a fraud alert:

Avoid Genetic Testing Scams

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about a fraud scheme involving genetic testing. Genetic testing fraud occurs when Medicare is billed for a test or screening that was not medically necessary and/or was not ordered by a Medicare beneficiary’s treating physician.

Scammers are offering Medicare beneficiaries “free” screenings or cheek swabs for genetic testing to obtain their Medicare information for identity theft or fraudulent billing purposes. Fraudsters are targeting beneficiaries through telemarketing calls, booths at public events, health fairs, and door-to-door visits.

Beneficiaries who agree to genetic testing or verify personal or Medicare information may receive a cheek swab, an in-person screening or a testing kit in the mail, even if it is not ordered by a physician or medically necessary. If Medicare denies the claim, the beneficiary could be responsible for the entire cost of the test, which could be thousands of dollars.

Protect Yourself

  • If a genetic testing kit is mailed to you, don’t accept it unless it was ordered by your physician. Refuse the delivery or return it to the sender. Keep a record of the sender’s name and the date you returned the items.
  • Be suspicious of anyone who offers you “free” genetic testing and then requests your Medicare number. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
  • A physician that you know and trust should assess your condition and approve any requests for genetic testing.
  • Medicare beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare numbers. If anyone other than your physician’s office requests your Medicare information, do not provide it.

 

Small Calorie Cuts Can Yield Big Benefits

Interesting new findings.

Many of us have worked hard to reduce our caloric intake and improve our health. Both short-run and long-run. BUT, how many calories must we cut to see benefits? It depends on our weight at the time that we diet.

As reported by Samiha Khanna-Duke for Futurity.org:

“Adults already at a healthy weight or carrying just a few extra pounds, can benefit from cutting around 300 calories a day, new research shows.”

Click this image to read her article.

Small Calorie Cuts Can Yield Big Benefits
(Credit: Chasing Donguri/Flickr)

 

Influences on Happiness

What really makes us happy?

As we have noted before, happiness is a key goal for all of us. Regardless of our stage in life or physical condition. In fact, happiness can affect our  physical feelings by reducing our angst (anxiety). For example, see Living Better and Being Happier and Life Is Too Short to Hold Grudges. Today, we consider influences on happiness.

What Are the Key Influences on Happiness?

Thomas Oppong, founder of AllTopStartups,expresses some interesting insights on this topic for Medium:

“Humans spend billions of dollars every year looking for happiness. Many of us seek happiness in all sorts of places, hoping it might be bought or found. Others expect people close to them to make them happy.”

“Yet, there is  lots of research that proves this is a waste of time (not to mention money). True contentment is closer than you think. We often think it’s our life circumstances — problems, issues, setbacks, tragedies, and misfortunes that make us unhappy. And that if we could change those obstacles, our circumstances would be different, and we will finally be happy. We easily assign the cause of our unhappiness to these external factors.”

“It turns out, it’s not our circumstances that make us happy or unhappy. According to research, we’re happiest when thought and action are aligned, even if they’re only aligned to do the simplest of tasks.”

“Your happiness is not dependent on where you live, what you can afford, a better career or relationship but from your cultivating a healthy and balanced state of mind.”

Click the image to read more.

Influences on Happiness
Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash

 

Making Apple Juice from Sour Apples

Make alternate plans and still live well!

As I have noted before, I am a very fortunate pancreatic cancer survivor. With such self-mottoes as: Live Life Every Day. And Live as Long Well as You Can as Long as You can. To me, that means striving to have a positive and upbeat attitude. We can only control our own actions.

Sometimes, life can be more challenging than others. But we still need to fight our way through those challenges. And assume the best about tomorrow and the days thereafter. Read about my difficult adventures last summer. Sometimes the Road Is More Bumpy.

Now that I recognize more fully what my travel limitations are, my wife Linda and I plan for quieter time. But we have managed to do THREE great trips this year: Costa Rica, Bermuda, and Antigua. We had a blast on each of these trips. Here is a fun picture from Antigua.

 

And a couple of weeks ago, we got to see the Rolling Stones in concert. This was a makeup date due to 76-year-old lead singer Mick Jagger having a heart procedure just a few months ago. He and the rest of the band were GREAT. And Mick was energetic and fully engaged in the show.

Life is fantastic!

 

Living a Longer Life with Sleep

Tips to sleep better.

Earlier, we presented two posts about sleep. Getting a Better Night’s Sleep. And Are YOU Sleeping Well Enough. Now, we look at an infographic about living a longer life with sleep.

A Bestow Team Infographic on Living a Longer Life with Sleep

Thank you to John Shieldsmith of Siege Media for guest authoring today’s post. And to the Bestow Team for the infographic.

When was the last time you had a whole week filled with great sleep? While the occasional night of poor sleep won’t hurt you in the long run, failure to sleep the recommended seven to eight hours every night can do a number on your body. 

So, why are one in three adults still not getting the proper amount of sleep? Many will say they’re too busy or that the late hours of the night are the only time they can get any leisure in. This mindset is only hurting you in the long run, so, let’s fix it. 

The Perks of Sleep

Here are a few of the more powerful perks of sleep. 

    • Sleep curbs weight gain: When you’re up all night, you can snack on up to an entire meal’s worth of calories. 
    • Sleep helps you heal: The U.S. Army did a study and found that when two nutritionally-similar people were physically injured, those with a full night’s rest actually healed more quickly than those without.
    • Sleep makes it easier to learn: When your brain is rested, you have an easier time storing new memories. This translates into an easier time learning new things. This can also help with your memory in general, meaning you can hold onto those precious moments for even longer if you let your brain get the sleep it needs. 

These perks only scratch the surface. Beyond this, sleep can help with personality disorders, make you less prone to engage in risky behavior, and more. In short: sleep’s great and we can all use it. So, how do you go about getting this precious sleep? 

Getting the Sleep You Need

It’s easy to say you’ll get a good night’s rest, but actually getting it is another matter entirely. Fortunately there are some changes you can make to your life that will get you on the right path as early as tonight. 

Bestow has created a visual on how sleep can extend your life. It includes tips on getting a higher quality sleep, too, so you can rest easy knowing your brain and body are getting the break they crave. 

Now, read on and go get some shut eye! 


 

Let’s Win! Pancreatic Cancer

Re: An article I wrote on my pancreatic cancer journey.

As noted several times on this blog, it has been quite a personal journey for me since learning in January 2015 that I had pancreatic cancer. And undergoing Whipple surgery in February 2015. I count my blessings every single day!! 🙂

Yesterday, it was my honor to be featured on the Let’s Win! Pancreatic Cancer page, an affiliate of the Lustgarten Foundation. Click on the photo of my terrific family to read the article.

And, if you are able, please donate to Team Joel. We are raising money for the October 2019 Lustgarten Foundation Walk. You can donate as little as a few dollars by filling in the amount on the team page. Thanks.

From the left: son-in-law Adam, daughter Stacey, wife Linda, me, daughter Jennifer, and son-in-law Phil.

Another Habit We Have to Relearn

Move around more!!

Did you know that too much sitting can be rather harmful? This observation is from someone (ME) who sits at a computer for hours at a time.

As Sharecare notes:

“Sitting may seem harmless, but it can shorten your life. In this Health Smarts video, Vonda Wright, MD, shares a simple anti-aging tip to boost your longevity: Spend more time standing and add more activity throughout your day.”