To sell us more goods and services, companies of all types really want a hold of our health date. Some firms will even pay us for data. But should you do this? Is the exchange worthwhile? Our data in trade for a fee.
“Each program works similarly, offering some type of discount or financial incentive in exchange for reaching goals, usually verified by requesting health data collected by a phone or fitness tracker. Insurance companies offer these programs to encourage people to begin or maintain healthy habits, like eating well and exercising, thus reducing health care costs. Employers offer them as a way to provide financial rewards you can use toward the cost of insurance or gift cards.”
But, should you sell your health data?
“The health information you share with insurance companies, HMOs, health care providers, or company health plans is protected by theHealth Insurance Portability and Accountability Act(HIPAA), which helps keep your data private. But not all workplace wellness programs are covered by HIPAA.”
“Being lonely hurts. It can evennegatively impact your health.But the mere act of being alone doesn’t have to be bad. In fact, experts say it can even benefit your social relationships, improve your creativity and confidence, and help you regulate your emotions so that you can better deal with adverse situations.”
“An online survey calledThe Rest Testshowed that the majority of activities people defined as most restful are things that are done solo.”
“Despite the social stigma and apprehension about spending time alone, it’s something our bodies crave. Similar to how loneliness describes being alone and wanting company, ‘aloneliness’ can be used to describe the natural desire for solitude, Dr. Robert Coplan [a developmental psychologist and professor of psychology at Carleton University] said. Since we’re not used to labeling that feeling, it can easily be confused for, and feed into, other feelings like anxiety, exhaustion, and stress, especially since ‘we might not know that time alone is what we need to make ourselves feel better,’ Dr. Coplan added.”
“Roughly 11 million Americans older than 12-years old need vision correction, but glasses or contacts are just one reason to see an eye doctor. Comprehensive eye exams are essential for the early detection of health issues that can affect your vision.”
“As you age, your risk for diseases that can affect your sight, like glaucoma and macular degeneration, increases. During a comprehensive, dilated eye exam, doctors specializing in the eyes and vision, called ophthalmologists, or licensed health care professionals, known as optometrists, can not only pick up eye diseases that could lead to blindness or other complications, but also detect certain underlying health issues that can affect your eyes—even before you develop symptoms or realize that something is going on.”
“Nonetheless,survey data suggest they’re underutilized. A 2016 Harris Poll, commissioned by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, found that 64 percent of U.S. adults reported having at least one vision problem, such as blurry vision, double vision, or difficulty seeing at night. Yet, only 13 percent of these people reported seeing an eye doctor about it.”
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reports that up to 45 percent of adults in the United States haven’t had a dilated eye exam within the last two years. And only about half of the estimated 61 million adults at high risk for vision loss visited an eye doctor during the past year. (Keep in mind, there are free or low-cost options available, particularly for older people and those at higher risk for eye diseases.)”
“People with chronic pain have heard it all – over and over. Acquaintances say, ‘You look fine to me,’ or ask, ‘Why aren’t you better yet?’ Doctors and nurses advise, ‘There comes a point when you must accept a new normal.'”
“For someone coping with continual pain, possibly for years, none of this is necessarily original or helpful. You may know someone with chronic pain and just not be sure what to say. Read on as people living with pain share their biggest pet peeve remarks from family, friends, and health care providers – and suggest more thoughtful, supportive comments.”
Click the image to learn FIFTEEN things not to say.
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.
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.