So Many People Are Using a Diabetes Drug for Weight Loss That Actual Diabetics Are Having Trouble Getting It

Ozempic, the viral TikTok weight loss drug, is so popular that its creator has declared a shortage — wreaking havoc on the lives of actual diabetics.

At this point, it's likely that Ozempic has somehow come into your personal zeitgeist. The expensive, name-brand version of semaglutide — which, importantly, was originally developed to manage type 2 diabetes — has been in high demand after going viral on TikTok, where it's picking up a reputation as an effective weight loss aid.

"It's the most common medication that I get asked about," Dr. Sudeep Singh, a medical director at a concierge medical practice in Miami, told The Cut. "Everybody knows. Everyone's asking about it. My mom's asking. My neighbors are asking about it. The news is out."

Per a number of reports, Ozempic has been a celeb-guarded secret for some time now, oft-used by starlets who might feel the need to fit into a certain dress for a red carpet. Now the drug is becoming so popular that Novo Nordisk, its creator, has declared a shortage. Tragically, this is all starting to wreak havoc on the lives of actual diabetics, who don't just need the drug to lose a few pounds. They need it to live, and doctors are saying that they're starting to see panic from diabetic patients.

"We're getting calls from our patients who can't find it," Dr. Jonathan Fialkow, chief of cardiology at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, told the Sun Sentinel. Per the paper, Fialkow works with a number of diabetic patients with heart conditions.

"People need it for medical conditions, and pharmacies are out of it," he continued. "The manufacturers aren't able to keep up."

Ozempic, which first went to market in 2017, is what's called a "GLP-1 receptor agonist," which means that it stimulates insulin production and inhibits excess glucose from entering the bloodstream. In other words, it manages blood sugar. And while it's certainly a necessary medication for a lot of type 2 diabetics, there are a lot of very not fun side effects including diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.

But shedding a few pounds is one of those side effects too, and for a lot of consumers out there, it seems that the lure of drug-assisted pound-shedding is enough to outweigh the diarrhea and vomiting of it all — not to mention the reality that the drug, and now others like it, is in short supply for those with the illnesses that Ozempic actually intended to treat. (Last year, Novo Nordisk also started selling a version of semaglutide known as WeGovy that's specifically intended for weight loss, but that one is experiencing shortages as well.)

"Ozempic is not a weight-loss medication," Fialkow continued, adding that "these medications need to be monitored by your doctor."

To that note, while it's possible for weight loss hopefuls to buy Ozempic out-of-pocket, the long term effects still aren't known because nobody has been taking it for very long.

"These medications have been studied in certain populations of people with certain medical conditions," Fialkow additionally told Axios. "When we start using medications and other populations that haven't been studied, while they may be safe, we don't know."

Diet culture is insidious, and it creates immense pressure to slim down. But clearly, the price tag on Ozempic isn't just its extremely high literal price tag, or even the potential "puking your brains out" thing. If you're trying to get your hands on it for the sake of a few pounds gone, maybe, for the sake of those who need it to manage their chronic illness, consider putting it back on the shelf.

READ MORE: Florida diabetics scramble to find drugs suddenly popular for non-intended use: weight loss [Sun Sentinel]

The post So Many People Are Using a Diabetes Drug for Weight Loss That Actual Diabetics Are Having Trouble Getting It appeared first on Futurism.

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So Many People Are Using a Diabetes Drug for Weight Loss That Actual Diabetics Are Having Trouble Getting It

Bahir Dar University Researchers Detail Findings in Health Insurance (Perceived quality of care among households ever enrolled in a community-based…

Bahir Dar University Researchers Detail Findings in Health Insurance (Perceived quality of care among households ever enrolled in a community-based health insurance scheme in two districts of northeast Ethiopia: a community-based, ): Health Insurance  Insurance News Net

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Bahir Dar University Researchers Detail Findings in Health Insurance (Perceived quality of care among households ever enrolled in a community-based...

Telehealth could improve access to health care for pregnant mothers, their infants – OHSU News

Research lead byAmy Cantor, M.D., M.P.H, associate professor of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology, family medicine and obstetrics and gynecology in the OHSU School of Medicine, shows telehealth had similar and sometimes better health outcomes for maternal care. (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks)

Replacing or supplementing in-person maternal care with telehealth generally results in similar, and sometimes better, outcomes compared with in-person care, Oregon Health & Science University researchers found.

The study, published last week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, follows the widespread, rapid implementation of telehealth during the coronavirus pandemic, when physicians suddenly relied on video or phone calls for many types of routine appointments.

Amy Cantor, M.D., M.P.H. (OHSU)

The COVID-19 pandemic and the heightened demand for telehealth services we have seen over the past several years puts us in a unique position as clinicians, where we are now able to reevaluate and reimagine how we deliver care, said lead author Amy Cantor, M.D., M.P.H, associate professor of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology, family medicine and obstetrics and gynecology in the OHSU School of Medicine. The results of this study are encouraging because they indicate that telehealth could improve and expand health care options, especially for underserved communities and those who may face barriers to accessing traditional care.

The health of mothers and their infants is reliant on access to high-quality maternal health care. Attentive care throughout pregnancy allows providers to identify health conditions that may increase the risk for poor outcomes, and provides an opportunity for prevention and treatment of any complications.

There is little evidence to support the idea that the traditional approach to maternal care relying on in-person visits alone is best. When the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly limited access to in-person care, physicians turned to telehealth services, providing the opportunity to rethink how care could successfully be delivered. Considering the disproportionately high rates of maternal morbidity and mortality in the United States, as well as extreme health disparities, researchers are now considering the use of telehealth as a strategy to expand and improve the delivery of maternal health care.

Cantors team conducted a rapid review that included 28 randomized controlled trials and 14 observational studies of nearly 45,000 women. The aim was to understand the effect of telehealth as a supplement to or replacement of in-person maternal health care, compared with in-person care alone, on important health outcomes for pregnant adults and adolescents and their infants.

Researchers found that when telehealth-delivered care was used to supplement or replace in-person maternal care services, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction were similar to in-person care and sometimes better.

In particular, the study found telehealth strategies were especially promising for certain health services, such as the treatment of postpartum depression and remote monitoring of conditions like diabetes and hypertension during pregnancy. And for low-risk pregnancies, telehealth could replace some general in-person maternity care.

Despite the studys promising findings, Cantor said the effect of telehealth on mothers access to care remains unclear, highlighting an ongoing need to evaluate and improve health equity. Looking ahead, Cantor said future research should focus on larger studies that examine effects of telehealth on vulnerable populations, such as those living in rural areas, and evaluate outcomes based on population characteristics in order to better understand the effect of telehealth on health disparities.

Funding for this study was provided by Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PROSPERO: CRD42021276347).

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Democratic lawmakers introduce bill to make reproductive health care more accessible to women with disabilities – The Hill

Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation on Thursday to assist Americans with disabilities seeking reproductive health services, hoping to reduce the barriers they may face after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion.

U.S. Sens. Patty Murray(D-Wash.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) announced the Reproductive Health Care Accessibility Act in a press release, explaining the bill would authorize the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a study to survey the landscape of reproductive health services for the mentally and physically disabled.

The bill would also fund grants for training and education programs for health care professionals who provide reproductive care for the disabled; pour additional grant funding into programs aimed at recruiting and educating people with disabilities in the reproductive health care field; and create a new technical assistance centerto assist with related educational needs for the disabled.

Duckworth, who lost her legs and partial use of her right arm in Iraq in 2004, said the bill would ensure 61 million disabled American women are not left behind in getting the care we need, when we need it.

For too long, Americans with disabilities have faced persistent barriers to healthcare services, equipment and providers, the senator said in a statement. With right-wing efforts underway to go even further to undermine these rights in the wake of the overturning of Roe, many are rightfully worried about having an even harder time accessing the reproductive care they need.

The Supreme Courts decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion cleared the way for about half of all states to ban or severely restrict abortion access.

The senators estimate that because of that ruling, 1 in 4 adults with a disability will face barriers to contraception counseling and prenatal care in a society where they already face consistent obstacles.

While the legislation is co-sponsored by several other Democratic senators and has the backing of more than a dozen disability rights groups and reproductive rights organizations, abortion access legislation is unlikely to pass in the evenly divided Senate, where 60 votes are needed to overcome a filibuster.

Murray, however, said every single American deserves to have control over their own body, life, and future.

But people with disabilities have long faced discrimination and truly unacceptable roadblocks to getting the reproductive care they needand Republicans nonstop attacks on our rights have made matters so much worse, the senator said in a statement.

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Democratic lawmakers introduce bill to make reproductive health care more accessible to women with disabilities - The Hill

Health care spending hit $3.07 trillion in 2019 – Medical Economics

Health care spending increased from $2.69 trillion to $3.07 trillion between 2016 and 2019 an increase of 14.3%, according to a report from ValuePenguin. The biggest increases were on mental illness (29.4%), neoplasms (22.8%), infectious & parasitic diseases (19%) and endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases and immunity disorders (18.3%).

While spending on most medical conditions are increasing, influenza is seeing particularly large increases. Flu treatment costs and the number of diagnoses increased by 120.4% and 121.3% respectively, according to the report.

Spending on administrative and social admission increased 24.2% between 2016 and 2019 and 15.8% on a per-case basis. Non-prescription pharmaceutical products grew 12.7%.

"Salary growth isnt keeping up with rising health care expenses, and many Americans accrue medical debt as a result, said Robin Townsend, a health care analyst with ValuePenguin, in a statement. The financial burden of health care is causing many Americans to delay or skip medical treatment, which can raise health care expenses further. While52.9% of Americans opted for high-deductible health plansto keep their insurance rates down, policy holders end up sharing a larger portion of the cost of their care adding to the problem."

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Health care spending hit $3.07 trillion in 2019 - Medical Economics

CVS Health Looking To Enhance Capabilities Through Home Health Care – Home Health Care News

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is one of many large corporations that have expressed a desire to revolutionize the consumer experience in health care.

To do so, the company will continue to try to enhance its health service offerings in three categories: primary care, provider enablement and home health care.

CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch reiterated that plan Wednesday.

We are expecting to enhance our health services in three categories: primary care, provider enablement and home health, Lynch said during the companys Q2 earnings call. There are multiple pathways for us to make a mark on community health care and our ability to achieve our strategic goals. We have very specific criteria that we look at as were evaluating our many options. We look to see if theres a strong management team, a very strong tech stack, the ability to scale and a pathway to profitability.

Despite losing out to Amazon Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) on a bid for primary care player One Medical, Lynch said CVS Health plans to acquire or take a stake in a primary care company by the end of 2022.

We cant be in primary care without M&A, Lynch said. We are being very disciplined, both strategically and financially, as we pursue our M&A strategy. M&A can be very fluid. You dont necessarily design exactly how these deals get done. We are committed to extending our health services and we are very encouraged and confident that well take the next step on this journey by the end of this year.

Other public primary care players that could be potential targets: CareMax, Cano, Agilon and Oak Street Health, among others.

CVS Healths focus falls in line with other companies, like Amazon and Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA), that are becoming nontraditional primary care providers.

Nontraditional primary care providers could capture around 30% of the U.S. market in the next 10 years, according to a new report from Bain & Company.

New primary care models from nontraditional players such as advanced primary care providers, retailers and payers aim to deliver more efficient care, improve patient outcomes, and lower costs, the report read. Payers, health systems and investors will need to make strategic choices to determine where to play and how to win over the next decade.

CVS reported net income of $2.95 billion in Q2 of 2022, up from $2.78 billion year over year, a 6% increase.

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CVS Health Looking To Enhance Capabilities Through Home Health Care - Home Health Care News

Executive Order on Securing Access to Reproductive and Other Healthcare Services – The White House

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, itishereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. On July 8, 2022, following a decision by the Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), I signed Executive Order 14076 (Protecting Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services). As that order recognized, eliminating the right recognized in Roe has had and will continue to have devastating implications for womens health and public health more broadly.

Following that order, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has taken critical steps to address those effects. These steps include clarifying the obligation of hospitals and providers under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, 42 U.S.C. 1395dd, to provide to patients presenting at an emergency department with an emergency medical condition stabilizing care, including an abortion, if that care is necessary to stabilize their emergency medical condition, and issuing guidance to the Nations retail pharmacies on their obligations under Federal civil rights laws including section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 28 U.S.C. 794, and section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, 42 U.S.C. 18116 to ensure equal access to comprehensive reproductive and other healthcare services, including for women who are experiencing miscarriages.

However, the continued advancement of restrictive abortion laws in States across the country has created legal uncertainty and disparate access to reproductive healthcare services depending on where a person lives, putting patients, providers, and third parties at risk and fueling confusion for hospitals and healthcare providers, including pharmacies. There have been numerous reports of women denied health- and life-saving emergency care, as providers fearful of legal reprisal delay necessary treatment for patients until their conditions worsen to dangerous levels. There are also reports of women of reproductive age being denied prescription medication at pharmacies including medication that is used to treat stomach ulcers, lupus, arthritis, and cancer due to concerns that these medications, some of which can be used in medication abortions, could be used to terminate a pregnancy. Reportedly, a healthcare provider, citing a State law restricting abortion, even temporarily stopped providing emergency contraception.

As it remains the policy of my Administration to support womens access to reproductive healthcare services, including their ability to travel to seek abortion care in States where itis legal, I am directing my Administration to take further action to protect access to reproductive healthcare services and to address the crisis facing womens health and public health more broadly.

Sec. 2. Definition. The term reproductive healthcare services means medical, surgical, counseling, or referral services relating to the human reproductive system, including services relating to pregnancy or the termination of a pregnancy.

Sec. 3. Advancing the Ability to Obtain Reproductive Healthcare Services. In furtherance of the policy set forth in section 1 of this order, the Secretary of HHS shall consider actions to advance access to reproductive healthcare services, including, to the extent permitted by Federal law, through Medicaid for patients traveling across State lines for medical care.

Sec. 4. Promoting Compliance with Non-Discrimination Law in Obtaining Medical Care. In furtherance of the policy set forth in section 1 of this order, and to ensure that individuals are not denied necessary healthcare on the basis of any ground protected by Federal law, including current pregnancy, past pregnancy, potential or intended pregnancy, or other medical conditions, the Secretary of HHS shall consider all appropriate actions to advance the prompt understanding of and compliance with Federal non-discrimination laws by healthcare providers that receive Federal financial assistance. Such actions may include:

(a) providing technical assistance for healthcare providers that have questions concerning their obligations under Federal non-discrimination laws;

(b) convening healthcare providers to provide information on their obligations under Federal non-discrimination laws and the potential consequences of non-compliance; and

(c) issuing additional guidance, or taking other action as appropriate, in response to any complaints or other reports of non-compliance with Federal non-discrimination laws.

Sec. 5. Data Collection. The Secretary of HHS shall evaluate the adequacy of research, data collection, and data analysis and interpretation efforts at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other relevant HHS components in accurately measuring the effect of access to reproductive healthcare on maternal health outcomes and other health outcomes. Following that evaluation, the Secretary shall take appropriate actions to improve those efforts.

Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

THE WHITE HOUSE,

August 3, 2022.

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Executive Order on Securing Access to Reproductive and Other Healthcare Services - The White House

Meet the Woman Bringing Health Care to the Doorsteps of Low-Income Kenyan Communities – Global Citizen

It took a pandemic for the conversation about the urgent need to strengthen health systems to top global agendas. Meanwhile, citizens in low-income areas across the African continent have known for a long while that health care, although a human right, is an issue of inequality the wealthier you are, the better and easier it is to access crucial health care services.

Kenyan social health innovator Naom Monari, however, didnt need a pandemic to know that more needed to be done to support low-income communities and help them access health care easily and affordably. Through her social enterprise, Bena Care, she has stepped up to help bridge the inequality gap that has made managing and curing illnesses a burden on low-income communities.

Thats why Monari is this years winner of the Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award, a $50,000 prize given to an applicant who has created measurable impact in an innovative way that disrupts the existing systems that allow for extreme poverty to persist.

Monari and her two fellow award winners will receive networking support to accelerate and scale their impact in addition to their cash prizes. The award presented by the Waislitz Foundation and Global Citizen is supported by the leading US and Australian-based cellular medicines company, Mesoblast.

Bena Care is not just a social enterprise, we are a movement aimed at creating awareness on the health care injustices that low-income families face, and the role this plays in pushing them further into poverty, Monari told Global Citizen.

The social enterprise was founded in 2016, and with a slogan that reads, Health care at your doorstep its beyond fitting that Bena Cares main aim is making health care both more affordable and accessible for people with chronic and life-threatening illnesses right from the comfort of their homes.

How did she get started? Well, her eyes were opened to what inequality in Kenya looks like when she attended public school.

[It] opened my eyes to what abject poverty was with more than half of my classmates attending school barefoot and on empty stomachs. It was unsettling, she explained. There was clearly a great divide among people from the growing middle class, and lower class that were pushed to the side.

The Bena Care Team at work. Image supplied with permission.Image: Bena Care

Monari realized that something urgently needed to be done on health access particularly when she was at nursing school and saw how inadequate access to health care could fuel the poverty shed first recognised as a child; and how that poverty could continue to drive inadequate access to health care creating a vicious cycle of inequality.

Working as a student nurse on clinicals in a local hospital, I came face to face with the harsh realities of extreme chronic illnesses, long term hospitalization, and the emotional and economic effects these had on patients and their families, she told Global Citizen.

On taking a deeper look at how the problem really looked like in other parts of the country, I realized that more than one million people get pushed below the poverty line each year in Kenya by health care-related costs, she continued. A shocking statistic that led to the birth of Bena Care.

Bena Care is a social enterprise in Kenya, and this year's winner of the 2022 Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award.Image: Bena Care

Bena Care works to provide preventative, rehabilitative, and therapeutic care, to citizens who need it most. Part of this work is an online platform that allows for access to used homecare equipment such as hospital beds and oxygen concentrators, which Monari noted helps to improve the quality of life for patients and their families, and cuts their health care costs significantly.

Since inception, Bena Care has successfully tackled the emotional and economic effects of long term hospital stays, Monari told us, explaining the impact that Bena Care has had so far. She highlighted too that the social enterprises services are also designed to benefit those working in the health care system.

By building a network of health care workers spread across Kenya, we are able to deploy nurses to patients in need of care nearest to them. Hence, the health care workers benefit from full-time, part-time, and flexible hour jobs to supplement their incomes, she said.

At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bena Care team were able to obtain a grant from the Making More Health Accelerator, which allowed them to engage in extensive outreach, boosting their capacity to provide at-home care services throughout the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a long overdue spotlight on the field of home care, leading to an inevitable shift from hospital to home, as it presents more value in palliative care, she said.

Now that Monari and Bena Care have won this years Waislitz Global Citizen Disruptor Award, the priority, Monari says, is to get even more ambitious in the mission to end health care inequalities..

The award is a clean slate for Bena Care to set new goals and better structures to achieve a world with no health care injustices, she said.

She added: My appeal for every Global Citizen is to understand that our backgrounds and circumstances may have influenced who we are today, but it is our responsibility to create sustainable change for better and healthier communities.

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Meet the Woman Bringing Health Care to the Doorsteps of Low-Income Kenyan Communities - Global Citizen

Covid-19 has damaged the reputation of Cuban health care – The Economist

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For a long time Cubans were proud of their health-care system, and justifiably so. Between 2000 and 2020 the small communist-run island outspent most other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Life expectancy is higher than in the United States. Cuba has qualified doctors and nurses to spare. When covid-19 first struck, Cuba sent some of its medics to countries struggling with their initial wave of patients. An impressive 89% of Cubas population is now fully vaccinated with its homegrown covid jabswhich boast efficacy rates of up to 92.4% after three doses. But according to The Economists excess mortality tracker, Cuba has one of the highest estimated death tolls from the pandemic, relative to its size. Where did it go wrong?

Officially, by August 2022 covid had killed 8,529 of Cubas 11m people. But our model estimates that the true toll could be far higher. Excess mortalitythe gap between how many people have died in a given period, regardless of cause, and how many deaths would normally have been expectedsuggests that up to 62,000 Cubans may have died as a result of the pandemic. That 600% increase over the official toll is probably the result of inadequate testing and other problems. It is possible that officials underreported the deaths, too.

Cubas estimated tally of excess deaths per 100,000 people is 550. This revised death toll would place it among the 20 worst countries in the world. It would also make Cuba an outlier in the region: the average across the Americas is 368.

Its ageing populationalmost 20% of Cubans are over 60, more than anywhere else in the regionmade Cuba especially vulnerable to covid. But other factors were avoidable. Budget cuts and a shortage of essential supplies were taking a toll even before the pandemic. After the outbreak hospitals quickly became overwhelmed; oxygen, personal protective equipment and medicines ran short. And although plenty of Cubans are now vaccinated, the country was slow off the mark. Deaths peaked as late as August 2021, during the Delta wave. In that month only around 35% of Cubans had received a full course of covid vaccinations, compared with 64% of Britons and 54% of Americans. The pandemic has brought to light something Cubans have known for some time, but that officials wanted to keep under wraps: the countrys health-care system is not what it used to be.

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Covid-19 has damaged the reputation of Cuban health care - The Economist

Navigating health care as a young adult | News, Sports, Jobs – The Express – Lock Haven Express

Michelle Cavanaugh, M.D.

Our teenage years and early twenties are a pivotal time of change in our lives. Young adults are simultaneously transitioning educationally or vocationally, legally, socially, and emotionally. Young adults take on the responsibilities of becoming an adult and navigating life, and managing health and wellness are a big piece of the life puzzle. From updating your health insurance plan to finding in-network doctors and scheduling appointments, staying healthy can feel overwhelming. However, young adults do not have to go it alone and theres support available to help you find your way.

Owning Your Health

Once you turn 18, you are legally responsible for your own care and, unless you agree, your parents cannot access medical information or attend doctors visits. As parents, encouraging your childs involvement early on in their own care helps them be more comfortable making their own decisions when the time comes.

Transition is a process that begins in early adolescence by partnering with patients and families to prepare them for adult care. Throughout these years good communication between patients and providers is key. This isnt all on the patient and their family either. Pediatric providers also play a role in ensuring a smooth handoff to their successors and helping their patients through the change.

Primary Care Provider Key to Managing Wellness

Your biggest partner in your journey is your primary care provider. Finding a new primary care physician as a young adult can be overwhelming. Thats especially the case if you recently left your parents insurance plan and need a health professional you can trust. After years of relying on a pediatrician with intimate knowledge of your medical history, it can be hard to navigate the many options of new doctors.

There are lots of primary care doctors around, and it can seem like an overwhelming task to find the right one. The best way to start is to ask friends and family for referrals. You might find the same name or practice keeps coming up. If you already have a family physician you trust, ask them for a referral.

Once you have some names, its important to verify which doctors are in your health insurance network or who accepts your insurance plan. To do this, you often can call the office and ask. You also can use online directories to begin your search.

Scheduling a Visit

The best way to confirm whether a new physician is right for you is to schedule a face-to-face visit. When you make the appointment, either via phone or through an online portal, let the office staff know youre looking for a new provider and would like to sit down and discuss your expectations. During the appointment, get a feel for the office atmosphere and confirm youre comfortable with the entire staff. Talk about your medical history, medications, and worries moving forward and confirm the provider meets your requirements.

This first appointment is a great opportunity for a well visit. Just like it sounds, the well visit is your chance to talk to your provider when you are not sick. You can feel just fine while having underlying conditions, like high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, pre-diabetes, or suspicious moles. These conditions, if discovered early, can be managed before they turn into larger chronic health concerns.

Once youre confident in your provider choice, talk to them about recommended screenings and tests. Many screenings happen every year, such as blood pressure, heart and lung function, and gynecological exams, or at other regular intervals, like cholesterol and blood sugar. Your provider may also have recommendations for vaccinations including influenza, tetanus, measles, mumps, HPV, and hepatitis A and B, ensuring youre up to date and protected.

As a young adult your health may be the last thing on your mind. However, the time you spend today can put you on the path to a happier, healthier lifetime. Your primary care provider is your partner in any health goal and were here to offer suggestions to improve your overall health and give you resources to help you start and maintain healthy habits, now and through all of lifes milestones ahead.

Michelle Cavanaugh, M.D., is a physician with UPMC Family Medicine and sees patients at UPMC Primary Care, 175 Pine St., Williamsport. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cavanaugh, call 570-326-2447. For more information, visit UPMC.com/PrimaryCareNCPA.

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Tampa General Hospital’s Vice President of Innovation Chosen Among Top Leaders In Keeping American Health Care on the Cutting Edge – PR Newswire

Rachel Feinman is among 30 leaders around the country chosen by Becker's Healthcare for creating a culture of innovation.

TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Rachel Feinman, vice president of Innovation at Tampa General Hospitaland managing director of TGH Innoventures, has been named one of the nation's top innovation leaders by Becker's Healthcare.

Feinman is among the list of "30 Great Chief Innovation Officers to Know,'' leaders who are vital to digital transformation efforts and initiatives to keep health systems on the cutting edge of delivering patient care.Feinman was chosen for her work in creating a culture of innovation across the Tampa General system, accelerating research and development, and managing venture capital funds.

Feinman also was selected for her efforts to harness the ingenuity and creativity of the academic medical center's team members to improve operations and clinical care.

"Innovation is critically important to our organization as it is the engine that propels us forward in developing real-world solutions for some of the most complex issues in health care," said John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General. "Rachel has done an outstanding job in realizing our plan to find and leverage partnerships and perspectives that amplify next-generation ideas."

"This is an incredible honor, and it reflects the dedication of the team to move innovation forward,'' Feinman said. "It's another sign that our organization continues to strive to be a national leader in delivering world-class care.''

Feinman became vice president of Innovation at Tampa General in 2021 afterserving as executive director of Florida-Israel Business Accelerator (FIBA) for three years. With a passion for influencing the strategy for impactful innovation, she currently leads innovation and oversees Tampa General's venture investment strategy.

At Tampa General, innovation and health care are inseparable. Part of the hospital's objective is to significantly advance the future of health care in the Tampa Bay region, state of Florida and nationally. Launched in early 2021, Innoventures provides a coordinated mechanism for Tampa General to develop innovative solutions to improve quality and access to care. Innoventures also provides the hospital with a platform to invest resources and funds into emerging companies that share the academic medical center's vision and can help develop immediate solutions for health care access, quality and delivery.

Innoventures began as a$15 million, innovation-focused investment fund to support entrepreneurs, scientists and administrators addressing real-world problems. Some of its early successes include:

The full list of honorees can be read at: https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/lists/30-great-chief-innovation-officers-to-know-2022.html

ABOUT TAMPA GENERAL HOSPITAL

Tampa General Hospital, a 1,040-bed, not-for-profit, academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region's only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in U.S. News & World Report's2022-23 Best Hospitals, and is tied as the third highest-ranked hospital in Florida, with seven specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. Tampa General Hospital has been designated as a model of excellence by the 2022 Fortune/Merative 100 Top Hospitals list.The academic medical center's commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious Forbes magazine rankings first nationally in the 2022 America's Best Employers for Women and third out of 100 Florida companies in the 2021 America's Best Employers by State.Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal year 2020, provided a net community benefit worth more than $182.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education, and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation's busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With six medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center, and its 32-bed Neuroscience, Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of Florida.It also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital's footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health, and 21 TGH Imaging powered by Toweroutpatient radiology centers throughout Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Palm Beach counties. Tampa Bay area residents also receive world-class care from theTGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Tracknetwork of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas throughTGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track.As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is the first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost.For more information, go towww.tgh.org.

Media Contact: Karen BarreraAssistant Director of Communications & Partnerships(813) 844-8725 (direct)(813) 928-1603 (cell)[emailprotected]

SOURCE Tampa General Hospital

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Tampa General Hospital's Vice President of Innovation Chosen Among Top Leaders In Keeping American Health Care on the Cutting Edge - PR Newswire

Energy and Health Care bill faces opposition in Congress – WWLP.com

WASHINGTON DC (WWLP) After a year of negotiations, Democrats have finally reached an agreement for an energy and health care bill. The next step is to get the bill passed by Congress but it faces GOP opposition.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 addresses prescription drug prices, climate change, and inflation. Heres what you can expect from the bill.

The American Council on Renewable Energy CEO Gregory Wetstone says this bill will provide needed stability for renewable energy companies, For the first time with this bill, the renewable energy business, wind and solar and other swill have the benefit of knowing there is a long term tax platform.

The proposed new minimum tax on big corporations worries Republicans. They say the increase will hit millions of Americans because the corporations will pass on costs to consumers.

Wyoming Senator John Barraso says this will send Americans over a cliff, In terms of wanting to raise taxes and increase spending. Those are things that are going to make the economy even worse.

In the face of Republican opposition, the proposal needs the vote of every Senate Democrat to become law. With August recess starting next week, there is a scramble to nail down support for the bill.

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Energy and Health Care bill faces opposition in Congress - WWLP.com

Is abortion health care? Court to hear trigger ban case – Wyoming Tribune

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Is abortion health care? Court to hear trigger ban case - Wyoming Tribune

Warnock tweak would further expand health insurance in inflation deal – Business Insider

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia wants to see his party's latest $740 billion inflation deal go further on healthcare.

He'll be introducing an amendment that would offer government-funded health insurance to 4 million people with earnings below roughly the federal poverty level, his office confirmed to Insider.

Warnock will introduce the amendment when the Inflation Reduction Act undergoes "vote-a-rama," a marathon session of amendment votes that could end up changing the final draft of legislation. Initial votes on the legislation will begin Saturday.

The news about the amendment comes after a coalition of advocates in southern states sent a letter to senators Wednesday urging them to support Warnock's Medicaid amendment.

Without it, they warned, "the proposed bill would leave behind the poorest Americans at a time when growing abortion restrictions make access to comprehensive health care even more urgent."

"Closing the Medicaid coverage gap is the most racially equitable health policy this Congress could enact," the coalition said.

It's not clear how many senators will vote in favor of the amendment, and Warnock's office didn't specify how precisely it would be designed.

Depending on how the amendment is written, it could cost the federal government $125 billion through 2025, according to projections from the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government's nonpartisan scorekeeping agency.

States already have the option to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as "Obamacare." In the majority of states that have done so, people earning $13,590 or less for a single person or $27,750 for a family of four pay nothing or very little for healthcare.

States that didn't expand Medicaid, however, have higher rates of uninsured people. An estimated 4 million more people would be able to join Medicaid if all states expanded the program, according to a federal government report compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Several Republican-led states refuse to expand Medicaid, largely out of ideological opposition but also saying they don't want to pick up 10% of medical costs they'd be on the hook for under Obamacare. Under the law, the federal government picks up the remaining 90% of costs.

Today, 12 states still haven't moved to expand Medicaid, including Georgia, Florida, and Texas.

Warnock is up for reelection in Georgia. In November he'll face off against Republican Herschel Walker, a former star athlete who has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

The senator has called Medicaid expansion an equity issue. At least 275,000 people in Georgia are uninsured because they can't access the program, he said during a hearing in October 2021.

So far, the Inflation Reduction Act contains provisions to allow the federal government to set prices of some prescription drugs for seniors and would funnel billions of dollars to Obamacare "marketplace" health insurance. These plans are sold by private insurers to middle- and higher-income people, but the federal government helps to pay the costs of premiums.

Provisions for Medicaid were in the Build Back Better Act, the $2 trillion legislation that passed the US House but failed to gain support in the Senate. Republicans, who hold 50 seats in the Senate, opposed the plan as did Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

Under that bill, people with incomes below the poverty level would have been able to access private insurance in the Obamacare "marketplaces." The federal government would pay the full cost of healthcare premiums and would contribute to extra healthcare expenses incurred at the doctor's office or in a hospital.

It's not clear whether Warnock is pursuing the same approach with his amendment. Paying for private insurance is more expensive than paying for Medicaid.

The federal government already offers to defray state costs of Medicaid for two years under the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill President Joe Biden signed into law in March 2021.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Thursday that initial votes will begin Saturday on the Inflation Reduction Act. The parliamentarian, who is the referee for the Senate, still has to finish reviewing the bill to make sure it fits the Senate's arcane rules for reconciliation, which would allow Democrats to pass the bill with 50 senators as well as a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.

But the legislation is not a done deal since Sinema has not yet taken a position on it.

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Bassett Healthcare Network Invests Nearly $50 Million in Compensation Increases for Its Workforce – Bassett Healthcare Network

Bassett Healthcare Network has undertaken a full compensation analysis for its caregivers and practitioners across eight counties, investing nearly $50 million into pay increases for its workforce. The analysis, accomplished in partnership with outside firms called Gallagher and Sullivan Cotter, has resulted in wage adjustments across the organization that are competitive across New York State. The project represents Bassett leaderships intensified dedication to its caregivers and practitioners, recruitment and retention, and the health systems surrounding communities.

Bassett Healthcare Network is incredibly pleased to complete this important compensation analysis, a massive collaborative effort in support of our thousands of employees across the region, says Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, President and CEO.

Bassett partnered with Gallagher to engage in comprehensive position reviews for every caregiver across the organization, examining job descriptions, years of service, education, experience, and market data among other details to put in place a new pay grade structure and harmonize job titles. More than 1,200 caregiver positions have been analyzed individually as part of the analysis. Meanwhile, a parallel assessment conducted by Sullivan Cotter will boost pay structures for Bassetts practitioner population with a focus on improving incentivized compensation and rewarding quality.

Our overall goal has been to make sure Bassetts wages are in line with comparable job positions in our industry and region, explains Christine Pirri, senior vice president and chief people and diversity officer at Bassett Healthcare Network.

The full sweep compensation evaluation and adjustment comes on the heels of Bassett recently increasing its minimum wage to $16 an hour. One year ago, in July 2021, the network increased its minimum wage to $15. Other initiatives are being prioritized by the organizations leadership to boost retention and recruitment. Bassett, which is celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year, recently launched a new series of ads that underscore the institutions legacy and more than century-long commitment to building healthy rural communities.

When Dr. Mary Imogene Bassett one of the first female medical directors in the history of the United States founded our hospital in Cooperstown, she had a vision to pioneer advanced health care to our rural communities, says Dr. Ibrahim. I know she would be proud to see how weve carried out this tremendous legacy and continue to build upon it every day. What was originally a state-of-the-art research hospital nestled in Cooperstown is now a large health care system that spans eight counties and 5,600 miles throughout Central New York roughly the size of the state of Connecticut.

Bassett Healthcare Network includes five hospitals (three of which are designated critical access hospitals), over two dozen community-based health centers, more than 20 school-based health centers, two skilled nursing facilities, a durable medical equipment company, a home health agency, and other partners in related fields. The institution is affiliated with Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and has established innovative relationships with companies like Optum.

Bassett Healthcare Network is hiring in all locations. Visit our careers pageto explore opportunities across the region and apply today.

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Biden’s Year of Underachievement on Health Care – The Dispatch

President Biden came into office in a strong position on health care, but broader strategic mistakes and limited ambitions are restricting what is possible even at this early stage of his term. Two consequential changesexpanded Affordable Care Act subsidies and prescription drug price controlsmight still get approved by Congress, but even their enactment would fall short of the hopes and expectations of his partys most active supporters. Disappointment over a missed opportunity now seems likely.

Underachievement was not inevitable. Biden delivered a surprisingly able performance on health care during his partys 2020 primaries. He was the most vocal opponent of Medicare for All, which was championed by many of his rivals, including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Staking out a more moderate positionwith convictionwas central to his victory. It turns out that many Democratic primary voters are no more eager than independents or Republicans to pay higher taxes, or lose their private insurance, in return for a single-payer plan.

In retrospect, Bidens views on a Canadian-style health system should be seen as an extension of a more general political instinct, which is to play it relatively safe on health care. It is not so much that he opposes Medicare for All on principle as that he sees it as an impossibly dangerous political project. His main argument against it was its cost, and the immense tax increase it would require, not that the government would deliver inferior care. He has seen firsthand the political damage big reform plans can inflict. He was vice president during the bruising battle over the Affordable Care Act in 2009 and 2010, which helped flip control of the House, and he saw Bill Clintons presidency nearly collapse over an epic health-care failure in 1994, which led to a GOP House for the first time in four decades. He has no interest in repeating those episodes, which means he instinctively steers away from controversial schemes.

The one exception in his campaign platforma public optionproves the rule. Biden pushed this idea as the main alternative to Medicare for All, and it is certainly popular among Democratic voters. A public option would give consumers the choice between staying with private insurance or opting for a government-run alternative. There would be no coercion. And yet it is one thing to debate this idea during a campaign, and quite another to try to get it through Congress. Needless to say, the insurance industry is not eager to see the federal government become a competitor. After the close results of the 2020 election, the Biden team quietly set aside the plan, and he has rarely mentioned it since.

What is left of the Biden health agenda is really two prominent proposals: an expansion of public subsidies for enrollment in ACA coverage and price controls on prescription drugs. Both are still in play, but their prospects have dimmed with the collapse of the administrations legislative strategy.

The expansion of the ACA got a running start in the $1.8 trillion COVID response plan Biden signed into law in March. Among its provisions was an increase in premium credits for households purchasing private insurance through the ACAs system of state-based exchanges. Under the original ACA law, households with incomes below 400 percent of the federal poverty line (FPL) are eligible for discounted premiums based on a schedule tied to annual incomes. Families with incomes between 100 and 133 percent of the FPL were required to pay about 2 percent of their incomes to secure coverage; the government would pay the balance. At 200 percent of the FPL, the required premium payment was capped at 6.5 percent of income. Above 400 percent of the FPL, there was no subsidization.

The 2021 law increased the subsidization of premiums for all income levels through 2022. Families with incomes below 150 percent of the FPL can now get a benchmark ACA plan for free. Further, even households over 400 percent of the FPL$111,000 for a family of four in 2022are now eligible for support, with their premiums capped at 8.5 percent of their incomes.

The Biden administration, along with almost every House and Senate Democrat, wants to extend the higher level of premium support beyond this year, and eventually permanently. That certainly remains the most likely scenario, given the history of entitlements. It is rare for Congress, even when Republicans are in control, to let benefits lapse after households become accustomed to them. The House version of the administrations Build Back Better plan includes an extension through 2025, at a cost of $74 billion. Permanent extension would add another $220 billion to the federal budget through 2031.

But this year may see a break from the usual pattern. The apparent collapse of Build Back Better in the Senate has created uncertainty over the fate of the ACA subsidies. If Congress fails to pass any version of BBB, it is possible that Democrats will have no pathway for enacting an extension given the likely opposition of most Republicans. The real possibility of a GOP takeover of the House, Senate, or both in the midterms further complicates the outlook.

The other major reform that is still standingpricing limits for a subset of prescription drugsis caught up in the same turmoil. The president has embraced the long-standing Democratic goal of direct negotiations between the federal government and the pharmaceutical industry over prices, which would then apply both within Medicare and private insurance. Divisions within the Democratic Party already have scaled back the reach of the emerging plan, but it could fall away entirely if the BBB is not resuscitated in some form. Sen. Joe Manchin is not the obstacle to these specific reforms (in fact, he has expressed unqualified support for them), but his opposition to the overall BBB construct imperils them nonetheless, because without BBB they cannot pass in the Senate.

Even without legislation, however, the Biden administration still has options to advance its partys goals in health careif it chooses to use them. The administration has substantial regulatory authority in the health sector that could be directed toward solving obvious problems, such as high prices for certain services. Most Democrats would like to see the federal government exert more control over costs, but embracing an aggressive plan carries risks too: The affected industries will resist and have some allies within the party. The presidents caution, not surprisingly, is influencing his top health officials, who are limiting what they will implement independently of legislation from Congress. Among other things, the administration has no clear plan for slowing rising costs, which is the principal defect of the current system and a major complaint of consumers. Price controls for prescription drugs will not solve that problem, as they account for just 10 percent of overall spending. The administration has yet to describe how it will check expenses for hospitalizations, physician services, or other types of care.

The alternatives to tighter price controls are stronger competitive forces and better management practices. The administration seems indifferent to both. It is pursuing stricter antitrust enforcement among hospitals and other providers of services, which is long overdue but unlikely to produce tangible results anytime soon. Meanwhile, it says it supports a signature initiative of the ACA yearsaccountable care organizations, which are provider-led managed care entitiesbut it has yet to offer a plan to improve upon their modest results.

It might have been possible to explain the administrations reticence to the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is understandably its primary focus in health care. But, even as cases spike once again, the administration is still pushing for child tax credits, universal pre-K subsidies, expanded childcare support, and new subsidies for a less carbon-intensive energy industry. There would be room for a serious plan to control health costs if the administration had one it was eager to execute. Some combination of lack of conviction and fear of a tough fight seems to have held it back.

The real risk for President Biden is that he will go into 2024 without much to show for his time in office. Within the Democratic party, health care is never far from the surface. Four years of drift would embolden the advocates of a more radical agenda. These progressives were trounced by Biden in 2020, but his hand would be considerably weaker if he (or a successor) enters the next battle emptyhanded.

James C. Capretta is a senior fellow and holds the Milton Friedman Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.

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Steward Health Care Week 24 high school star athletes of the week – Deseret News

Boys Basketball

Carson Jones, Bonneville (Sr.)

Bonneville is off to an impressive 4-0 start in Region 5 and the steady play of senior Carson Jones is a big reason why.

Jones is averaging 14.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists this season for the Lakers.

Last week he scored 14 points in a 55-48 win over Box Elder and then two nights later scored 16 points in Bonnevilles 67-65 overtime win over Viewmont.

Carson Jones has been a 4-year contributor for Bonneville High School, and has continued to improve his game to the point here he is a double-double threat night after night for the Lakers. Carson has expanded his game and is now just as comfortable posting up as he is catching and facing behind the 3-point line, said Bonneville coach Kyle Bullinger.

Carson embodies everything that a high school program wants in its players: He is a tough, competitive, high character individual who excels off of the court as well as on the court.

Natalie Newton, Corner Canyon (Sr.)

Natalie Newton has a regular contributor for Corner Canyon the past three years and her consistency year and year and game after game has landed her in the school record books.

Newton knocked down three 3-pointers against Westlake last week and then two more against Skyridge giving 23 for the season and 107 for her career.

In the process she passed Corner Canyon alum, and current University of Utah player, Kemery Martin for most career 3-pointers in school history.

Nat is a cold-blooded shooter. Shes dealt with two full coaching staff changes, plenty of other adversity and continues to knock em down. I love her confidence in her shot, even right after a miss. She works tirelessly on her shot and it shows, said Corner Canyon coach Craig Morris.

Yan Dvorteskiy, West (Sr.)

With less than a month left in the season, freestyle specialist Yan Dvorteskiy heads into the home stretch of the season ready to end his career with a bang.

He ranks in the top 10 in 6A in all four individual freestyle events, including owning the second-best time in the state this season in the 200 freestyle with a 1:44.19. He owns the fifth-best time in Utah in the 100 and 500 freestyle.

Yan is mentally strong, competitive, and knows how to race. In practices he pushes himself to the maximum limit, said West coach Casey Jackson.

Dvorteskiy finished second at last years 6A state meet with a time of 4:46.57 and hell be the slight favorite in that even heading into this years state tournament.

Lauryn Hall, Davis (Sr.)

Lauryn Hall is the heart and soul of Davis swim team and she figures to be a regular on the podium as the season hits the home stretch.

Hall ranks in the top three in four different events in 6A this season, including a 6A-best 1:10.15 in the 100 breaststroke a stroke she only recently began focusing on.

Shes ranked second in 6A in the 50 freestyle, third in the freestyle and third in the 100 butterfly. She is the defending state champ in the 50 free.

We absolutely love having Lauryn on the Davis High swim team. She is one of our captains and is invested in every aspect of leading the team including working hard in practice, picking out classy apparel, motivating swimmers to be better and reaching out to those who need a friend, said Davis coach Kit Barker.

She has only lost twice in 20 individual races this year.

Josh Millward, Skyridge (Sr.)

A defending state champion, Josh Millward has re-established himself as the clear favorite to repeat at next months 6A state tournament.

Millward is undefeated in Utah this year, with his only three loses coming at the Reno Tournament of Champions where he placed eighth. He sits at 41-3 this season with 35 pins. He won the Layton Invite, Richardson Invite, Wasatch Duals and 6A Duals.

Off the mat, Millard maintains a 4.0 GPA and has a 35 ACT score. He has offers to wrestle in college at Stanford, Duke and UVU.

He is one of the best technical wrestlers in the state and is on the constant attack. He is a joy to watch wrestle. He has overcome a lot of trials and is always positive in everything he does. He truly represents the phrase Student-Athlete, said Skyridge coach Lyle Mangum.

Kaianne Sabagala, Timpview (Sr.)

A newcomer to Utah high school wrestling, she previously wrestled in Hawaii, Kaianne Sabagala is making a name for herself at 130 pounds.

She went 4-0 at the Bruin Round Robin tournament last week winning all four of her matches with a pin in the first period. Three of the four pins occurred in less than a minute.

Earlier this month at the Ross Brunson All-Star Duals at UVU, Sabagala beat Richs Nya Jolley with a first-period pin.

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Steward Health Care Week 24 high school star athletes of the week - Deseret News

Texas is now offering up to $5,000 hiring bonuses for these healthcare jobs – WFAA.com

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission on Monday announced it will offer up to $5,000 in hiring bonuses for certain positions at state healthcare facilities.

DALLAS Texas is offering new incentives for people who get hired at state-run hospitals and living centers.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced on Monday that it will offer hiring bonuses of up to $5,000 for certain positions at state healthcare facilities.

The maximum bonuses will be for registered nurses, who can qualify for up to $5,000. Meanwhile, licensed vocational nurses can qualify for up to $3,500 in bonuses, and direct support professionals and psychiatric nursing assistants can receive up to $2,500.

The state is hoping the bonuses can help "recruit qualified, motivated health care professionals to help support residents" at state-run living center and hospitals, said Scott Schalchlin, deputy executive commissioner of the state health commission.

"Many people right now are looking for a new career or taking that next step in their current career," Schalchlin said in a news release. "We have some great opportunities for people who are interested in working in an environment where they can make a true difference in the lives of others every single day."

State healthcare positions are currently open across the state in such cities as Abilene, Austin, Denton, San Antonio, Wichita Falls, Terrell and Lubbock.

State-run living centers provide support for people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. State-run hospitals provide inpatient psychiatric care for adults and children.

While it's not clear if state-run facilities have been hit by staffing shortages specifically resulting from the pandemic, the issue has been a problem across the country over since the COVID-19 outbreak began.

In September, health leaders reported a nurse staffing crisis, pointing to pandemic burnout and traveling-nurse positions that offer more lucrative pay as likely culprits.

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Caribou grabs $3M to remove the unexpected from healthcare cost planning – TechCrunch

With almost 4,000 Medicare Advantage plans to choose from, it not only makes choosing one a complex decision, but making a wrong decision could affect the wallet if something unexpected should happen.

Miami-based startup Caribou aims to make that decision easier through its healthcare cost prediction and optimization software packaged into a SaaS business model designed for financial planners so they can advise their clients on the best plan.

The company, led by co-founders Christine Simone and Cory Blumenfeld and founding engineer Giorgio Delgado, gathers data on factors, like utilization, health conditions and medications, and provides financial advisors with a scalable tool to evaluate a clients healthcare planning needs.

Simone explained that financial advisors dont often ask clients about their medication costs or health conditions, so some of the pillars the company helps advisors and their clients identify include health plan selection and if you may need long-term care planning which Simone estimated 70% of people usually do.

Simone and Blumenfeld started Caribou in 2020 after careers in healthcare, where they saw stakeholders not addressing the financial component of care.

And that burden unfortunately gets placed on the consumer, Simone told TechCrunch. Every day we hear about rising healthcare costs and medical bankruptcy, and Im so excited that were empowering consumers to proactively plan for the costs and make smarter decisions using data.

The company raised $575,000 in early 2021, and today, announced another $3 million in a seed round to bring its total funding to $3.1 million.

The investment was led by Jack and Max Altman, who were joined by Lightspeed Scout Fund, Dash Fund, existing investors Garage Capital and N49P, as well as a group of angel investors, including Leslie Schrock, Plaid CTOJean-Denis Greze and Tribes Arjun Sethi.

Jack Altman said in a written statement that Caribou is picking up the healthcare planning where employers leave off.

Were seeing solutions in the employer space aiming to reduce healthcare spend for employees, companies and payers, he added. What happens once people leave those companies or their HR departments no longer have access to that data? Caribous positioning through the financial system lens is a great opportunity to reach a different segment of customers and offer them something incredibly valuable.

Caribous software has only been in the market for a few months, but the company is already racking up dozens of customers, including BLB&B Advisors, CapSouth Wealth Management and Jackson Square Capital.

Though it was too early to talk about growth metrics, Simone says growth, especially off of the open enrollment season in the fourth quarter, was crazy busy in terms of adoption, and now the company is at a threshold of putting firms on a waitlist. Current customers represent tens of thousands of end clients, and the company is already able to prove that it saved consumers hundreds of thousands of dollars in healthcare costs.

The new funding will be invested in product development to be able to provide more robust financial insights and reach wider-scale distribution. The company also aims to grow its customer success team and double its overall employee headcount by the end of the year.

Caribous goal is to focus on the end consumer, so while it is distributing its software through the financial industry, its product roadmap also includes different distribution channels, including technology platforms that consumers could access directly.

Theres only 39% of Americans that work with a financial advisor, so we also need to be looking at opportunities outside of financial advisors, Simone said. We want to be able to distribute our tool like a back-end plug-in embedded into some of these other financial technology platforms to give access to more consumers.

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Caribou grabs $3M to remove the unexpected from healthcare cost planning - TechCrunch

Opinion: Crucial action on health care worker shortage is missing from ambitious legislative priorities – Des Moines Register

Jo Kline| Guest columnist

Iowa struggles with child care and workforce crises

Iowa business leaders and child care advocates join together to tackle the shortage of safe, affordable child care.

Zach Boyden-Holmes, DesMoines

The health care worker shortage is getting very real as postponed procedures, hospital bed shortages and the scarcity of specialists become the new normal. Many hope this crunch will dissipate along with COVID-19, but this perfect storm has been in the works for decades. With the goal of achieving the best health outcomes, it is essential health care consumers understand whats truly at stake and how Iowas policy makers and stakeholders are working to prepare.

Conspicuous by their absence from Iowa political leaders top priorities for 2022 are legitimate plans to address health care worker shortages. Demography is destiny, and once 79 million boomers arrived, there was bound to be an inordinate number of seniors 70 years later. The dependency ratio of a population is the number of young and old residents for every 100 persons aged 18 to 64 (the workers). Credit the boomers for a record-setting ratio of 82 in the 1960s. As the cohort of potential workers declines, Iowa's dependency ratio is slated to reach 78 by 2030. Look around: Every industry with growth over the past 50 years now finds a large portion of its workforce exiting. That includes education, law enforcement, skilled trades and the travel industry.

Say hello to the Great Health Care Resignation of 2021 and Beyond. Among affected industries, health care is served a double demographic blow: Demand for its services mounts just as the pool of employees shrinks. Furthermore, the pandemic has devastated health care workers. Burnout is reflected in a recent survey showing many plan to leave their current areas of practice by the end of 2022 (yes, this year):

Setting aside the continuing risks of rural hospital closings, is Iowa prepared for whats coming? Were ranked 45th for our provider-to-patient ratio, and Iowa Workforce Development projects we should be growing the number of doctors by 160 every year to cover exits and increased demand. That's not going too well. From 2010 to 2020, we gained an average of only 33 physicians per year, and in 2021 wait for it the total dropped by 241. Do we need to train more doctors? Perhaps, but I also know that of those who complete residencies in Iowa, less than half stay to practice here. Thats a life-altering brain drain.

The nationwide nursing sector needs to grow by 276,800 jobs before 2031. Being ranked 48th in the nation for nurses pay will not help in filling the 2,500 positions we need to add every year to offset Iowas losses and growth on top of the unanticipated vacancies we now have. At the same time, although there are enough classroom seats for those who apply, the number of RN and LPN graduates are down. Im sorry, but all this does not add up to being ahead of the curve.

The largest category, home health and personal care aides, is found in hospitals, care facilities and home settings. Nationwide, there is a projected need for an additional 1.1 million jobs by 2030. For its share, Iowa must staff 9,000 additional caregiver jobs annually to cover exits and increased demand. Just to be clear, every health-care-related profession has similar forecasts, such as dentists, physician assistants, technicians, therapists, administrators and social workers, to name just a few.

I think one has to work to overlook these unmistakable obstacles to present and future access, and the requisite systemic adjustments are solely in the hands of our policymakers and stakeholders. For constituents, whats left is to raise our expectations for long overdue leadership while becoming fully engaged health care consumers and advocates. Likewise, it will fall to Iowas towns, faith communities, advocacy groups and even neighborhoods to step forward and demand the assistance required to help residents make efficient use of available resources. Iowas aging population will swell until at least 2060, and denial is not a planning strategy.

There is much we would wish for Iowa. As important as growth is to our states future, be assured that every person or business considering Iowa as a new home will place access to quality health care as a top priority. Health care access rests on the foundation of an empowered and self-sustaining workforce, and we cannot afford to court expansion at the cost of safeguarding Iowans well being. Time is of the essence.

Jo Kline, a patients' rights advocate and attorney, is the author of "Patient or Pawn?: Epic fails in health care, the approaching perfect storm and strategies for self-preservation." http://www.JoKline.net.

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Opinion: Crucial action on health care worker shortage is missing from ambitious legislative priorities - Des Moines Register