26
Jul

Shriner's Ends Free Health Care

As of July 31, 2011, Shriner's Hospitals for Children will start collecting copays and billing insurance companies for the health care they offer at their hospitals. They have an agreement with the Federal government to waive copayments for those on Medicare and Medicaid.

Sadly, Shriner's is no longer able to provide free medical care for all. This is a great health care institution consisting of 20 hospitals in the United States. Their services have included orthopedic, burn, cleft lip and palate, and spinal cord injury care. For the past 89 years, they have provided free health care to over 1 million children under the age of 18.  However, due to the economy, decreased donations, and less return on their endowment's investments in the stock market, Shriner's has decided to change their billing practices. 

Shriner's hospitals for Children is based in Tampa.  Hence, I have had several patients benefit from their care throughout the years.  It is sad that this noble institution has fell on hard times.  They should be lauded for all of their good works.  Change is necessary for this institution to not only survive, but to thrive, and offer more health care to those needy children.

For more information about or to donate to Shriner's Hospitals for Children, please visit http://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/.

4
Oct

Health Care Personnel & the Flu Vaccine

This September, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a statement that they support all healthcare personnel receiving a mandatory annual flu vaccination. The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and The Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) are other organizations that are also are in favor of such a measure.

Does your provider receive the Flu vaccine annually? You may be interested in knowing that bit of information. After all, if an unprotected health care provider becomes ill with the disease, that provider is now a source of the illness and can infect patients and other office staff members without having any intention of doing so.
Currently, the Flu vaccine is a voluntary vaccine for all health care personnel. However, the risks are different for the health care provider versus the patient. If a health care provider gets infected with the Flu, he/she will most likely infect many other patients before he/she is even aware that he/she has the illness. In my case, this could have devastating effects for the children I examine, especially those with chronic diseases such as asthma. Hence, very year I make sure to get the Flu vaccine. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect myself, my patients, my family, and friends from contracting the Flu.
There is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that stated that last January, approximately 35% of health care workers get Flu vaccinations. Nurses have some of the lowest rates of Flu vaccination.
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