How would the AHCA affect employer-sponsored plans?

The American Health Care Act’s provision allowing states to define essential health benefits has the potential to affect people covered through employer-sponsored insurance, because large employers would have flexibility to adhere to state standards, including any that scale back benefits under a waiver. The Trump administration has promised lower premiums, but as less generous benefit plans are designed by employers, out-of-pocket spending caps that are tied to any eliminated essential benefits would vanish and lifetime limits could be revived. Read more at https://goo.gl/pMyowV


AHCA provides no answers on market stability for 2018

The passage of the American Health Care Act by the House did not resolve insurers’ most pressing concerns for the coming plan year, so AHIP and health plan leaders once again issued a call for measures to stabilize exchange markets for 2018. With rate filings underway, insurers need clarity on federal funding for cost-sharing reduction payments and enforcement of the individual mandate under the existing law. Read more at https://goo.gl/ezSgs7


Health Care Vote Viewed Positively By Agent Groups

The American Health Care Act had a tough time passing the House of Representatives. Now it faces an even tougher test at it moves to a Senate that appears likely to want to start over with their own version of the health care bill. But although the battle to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is far from over, spokespeople for two organizations representing health insurance agents and brokers said that Thursday’s House vote is a positive step for the agent community. Read more at https://goo.gl/Fu3lRl


Douching doubles risk of ovarian cancer

Researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences were the first to link douching with nearly double the increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. Other related problems associated with regular douching include yeast infections, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, reduced fertility, HIV, and other STDs. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly advise against douching. Interventions advising women not to douche are needed. According to the CDC, as of 2016, 20,000 American women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer annually and of those, 14,500 die from it. This is an approximate 72% fatality rate. It should be explained to patients that douching products don’t fall under the same kind of safety regulations as drugs. Douche products are considered ‘cosmetics’ which means these products don’t have to be tested for safety.

Integrative providers should discuss feminine hygiene with all patients who report chronic vaginal infections, or those young patients entering the adult population who may not have vital health education on this topic.


The Effectiveness of Complementary Therapies on Voice Disorders

The literature regarding the effectiveness of complementary therapies was good in both quality and results, indicating that massage and acupuncture seem to be effective treatments to reduce voice complaints and improve voice quality, supporting the inclusion of complementary therapies in the treatment of patients with voice disorders. Read more at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28484700


Texting in the Age of HIPAA

Your patients do it.
Your parents and your kids do it.
You do it.

What is it? Texting.

If you’re an integrative healthcare provider, you probably even use it in relation to your practice and patients. A study reported on in a recent a JAMA article indicated that more than half of physicians surveyed had used text messaging for clinical communication. But, as with all technology in the healthcare arena, the risks of usage must reviewed in light of HIPAA regulations. For the full article discussing text messaging, HIPAA, and the protection of PHI visit http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2626665.


Vitamin D assists in managing asthma

In a study published in Allergy, patients medical records from 2008 – 2012 were analyzed by Isreal’s largest healthcare provider. The vitamin D levels of 307,900 people were measured. Asthma patients with a vitamin D deficiency were 25% more likely than other asthmatics to have had at least one flare-up in the recent past. Asking all patients about asthma and Vitamin D intake could assist patients who have frequent emergencies related to asthma. Further it could assist all patient with asthma, by having a potential to add Vitamin D to lower asthma flare-up severity.


GOP Senators Likely to Pass ACA Repeal Bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell faces a seemingly herculean task in getting at least 50 Republican senators with sharply diverse views to reach consensus on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. After that, he and his lieutenants will have to forge an agreement on the legislation with the generally more conservative House Republicans, who passed their widely panned replacement bill earlier this month. Senate Republicans intend to move the bill through the budget reconciliation process with no Democratic support. No committee hearings are planned. Read more: https://goo.gl/OKZkCn