EZDoctor and April Partner to Offer Virtual Doctor Visits to International Travelers


EZDoctor, the leader in healthcare transparency and April, a global travel insurance provider have recently partnered to offer telemedicine services to patients traveling abroad that are in need of medical assistance.
The alliance between EZDoctor and April, allows patients to remotely consult with a U.S. board certified physician while traveling abroad.

With EZDoctor's support, April will be connecting their travelers from around the world with doctors anytime, anywhere needing only a webcam enabled device and a reliable internet connection.

These virtual physician consultations are not intended to treat emergency medical conditions/situations. Patients will receive primary care services, treatment for common ailments like the flu, allergies, rashes etc. and educational and informative medical advice from a trained and thoroughly screened professional.

EZDoctor and April are working together to improve the doctor-patient experience by providing on demand consultations and with doctors readily available to treat patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To serve the needs of April's global travelers patients are connected with U.S. physicians within 15 minutes and can currently request doctors that are fluent in English, Spanish, French, or Portuguese.

According to the American Telemedicine Association, approximately 10 million patients benefited from using telemedicine last year. The telemedicine industry is developing quickly and becoming more prominent in societies around the world. EZDoctor and April are two leaders expanding quality telemedicine services worldwide.

"We're very excited about this partnership, we believe patients should have access to a board certified physician anywhere and anytime. As telemedicine continues to be a rapidly growing component of healthcare in the United States, we want to provide patients an accessible way to treat their healthcare needs when they are away from home," said David Marsidi, EZDoctor's founder and CEO.

"April & EZDoctor are both convenient, progressive thought leaders in the way we prioritize the patient's needs and that is what we want to deliver through this new service by offering a fast, easy, reliable and secure doctor consultations," continued Marsidi. "Together we will deliver the world-class healthcare service that patients deserve."        

EZDoctor and April patients will:

  • Have access to telemedicine services 24/7.
  • Resolve unexpected medical problems when traveling.
  • Receive virtual physicians consultations from any location worldwide.
  • Connect with a physician within 15 minutes of their request.
  • Have better outcomes because of timelier access to a physician.
  • Reduce unnecessary admissions, save time and money.
  • Receive primary care services on the go.

About EZDoctor
EZDoctor, healthcare technology business located in Florida, provides healthcare services nationwide. As an advocate for healthcare information transparency, EZDoctor developed a Carfax type of report but for doctors called EZDoctor Reports, to help patients make better decisions when it comes to choosing a doctor. With their rapid growth in the healthcare technology industry and over 1.5M+ doctor profiles, EZDoctor has radically transformed the industry by connecting healthcare consumers with the best doctors and equipping them with accurate information to make an informed healthcare decision.

About April
April has been a leading brand providing quality Travel and other Specialty Insurance programs providing services in Europe, Latin America and the U.S.
April offers comprehensive travel insurance & assistance plans covering multiple trips for frequent travelers. 

Processed Meat and Cancer


Processed meats - such as bacon, sausages and ham - do cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Its report said 50g of processed meat a day - less than two slices of bacon - increased the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18%.

Meanwhile, it said red meats were "probably carcinogenic" but there was limited evidence. The WHO did stress that meat also had health benefits.

Cancer Research UK said this was a reason to cut down rather than give up red and processed meats.

And added that an occasional bacon sandwich would do little harm.

What is processed meat?

Processed meat has been modified to either extend its shelf life or change the taste and the main methods are smoking, curing, or adding salt or preservatives.

Simply putting beef through a mincer does not mean the resulting mince is "processed" unless it is modified further.

Processed meat includes bacon, sausages, hot dogs, salami, corned beef, beef jerky and ham as well as canned meat and meat-based sauces.

It is the chemicals involved in the processing which could be increasing the risk of cancer. High temperature cooking, such as on a barbeque, can also create carcinogenic chemicals.

In the UK, around six out of every 100 people get bowel cancer at some point in their lives.

If they were all had an extra 50g of bacon a day for the rest of their lives then the risk would increase by 18% to around seven in 100 people getting bowel cancer.

"So that's one extra case of bowel cancer in all those 100 lifetime bacon-eaters," argued Sir David Spiegelhalter, a risk professor from the University of Cambridge.

How bad?

The WHO has come to the conclusion on the advice of its International Agency for Research on Cancer, which assesses the best available scientific evidence.

It has now placed processed meat in the same category as plutonium, but also alcohol as they definitely do cause cancer.

However, this does not mean they are equally dangerous. A bacon sandwich is not as bad as smoking.

"For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal (bowel) cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed," Dr Kurt Straif from the WHO said.

Estimates suggest 34,000 deaths from cancer every year could be down to diets high in processed meat.

That is in contrast to one million deaths from cancer caused by smoking and 600,000 attributed to alcohol each year.

Red meat does have nutritional value too and is a major source of iron, zinc and vitamin B12.

However, the WHO said there was limited evidence that 100g of red meat a day increased the risk of cancer by 17%.

The WHO said its findings were important for helping countries give balanced dietary advice.

Prof Tim Key, from the Cancer Research UK and the University of Oxford, said: "This decision doesn't mean you need to stop eating any red and processed meat, but if you eat lots of it you may want to think about cutting down.

"Eating a bacon bap every once in a while isn't going to do much harm - having a healthy diet is all about moderation."

Dr. Teresa Norat, one of the advisors to the WHO report and from Imperial College London, said there were many factors causing bowel cancer.

She told BBC News website: "People should limit consumption of red meat and avoid consuming processed meat, but they should also have a diet rich in fibre, from fruit and vegetables and maintain an adequate body weight throughout life and limit the consumption of alcohol and be physically active."

The industry body the Meat Advisory Panel said "avoiding red meat in the diet is not a protective strategy against cancer" and said the focus should be alcohol, smoking and body weight.

Source: BBC.com



Health benefits of Quinoa.

Quinoa, often described as a "superfood" or a "supergrain," has become popular among the health conscious, with good reason. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah or ke-NO-ah) is packed with protein, fiber and various vitamins and minerals. It is also gluten-free and is recommended for people who are on a gluten-free diet.

Often used as a substitute for rice, quinoa is commonly considered to be a grain and is usually referred to as such, but is actually a seed. "The yellowish pods are the seed of a plant called Chenopodium quinoa, native to Peru and related to beets, chard and spinach," wrote Nicole Spiridakis in a story for NPR. When cooked, quinoa is soft and fluffy, with a slightly nutty taste. It can also be made into flour, flakes and various foods like pasta and bread, according to the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council.

Quinoa comes from Peru, Bolivia and Chile. It grows in the Andes Mountains, and for millennia it has been a food staple for the native people there. According to a field crops article by the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota, quinoa means "mother grain" in the Incan language. 

Quinoa health benefits

A complete protein

Quinoa is most famous for being one of the only plant foods that supplies complete proteins, offering all essential amino acids in a healthy balance. Essential amino acids are ones that the body cannot produce on its own, and complete proteins contain all of them in roughly equal measure. 

Anti-inflammatory benefits

Scientists are still working to understand all the implications of chronic inflammation on the body’s health. The Mayo Clinic lists autoimmune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and Chrohn’s disease as problems in which chronic inflammation plays a role. Less obvious disorders influenced by chronic inflammation may include cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Quinoa and other whole grains may help decrease the risk of this dangerous inflammation, according to Toups. They "help promote healthy gut microbes (the friendly bacteria in the gut), which is important for preventing obesity, inflammation and disease." World’s Healthiest Foods notes that quinoa is known to contain many anti-inflammatory nutrients, including phenolic acids, cell wall polysaccharides and vitamin E family nutrients such as gamma-tocopherol. 

Gluten free

Gluten-free diets are recommended for people with Celiac disease, a severe gluten intolerance. Though the scientific community is still debating the benefits of gluten-free diets for people who do not have Celiac disease, plenty of Americans have jumped on the bandwagon. Medical News Today estimates that approximately 1.6 million follow a gluten-free diet without having been diagnosed with the disease. 

People who follow gluten-free diets can have a hard time getting all of their essential nutrients. The Mayo Clinic lists iron, calcium, fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate as nutrients especially lacking in gluten-free diets. 

Because quinoa is naturally gluten-free, this nutritionally dense grain is the perfect pick for gluten-free diets.

Lowering cholesterol 

Quinoa’s good fiber content can aid in lowering cholesterol levels, according to Toups. Fiber aids in digestion, which requires bile acids, which are made partly with cholesterol. As your digestion improves, the liver pulls cholesterol from the blood to create more bile acid, thereby reducing the amount of LDL, the bad cholesterol. A study published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition found that rats that had consumed a high level of fructose and were then fed a quinoa diet reduced their LDL cholesterol by 57 percent. 

Heart health

Lowering LDL cholesterol is good for your heart, but quinoa can benefit your ticker in other ways as well. A study published in the Journal of Food Lipids noted that quinoa seeds possess many of the dietary flavonoids "shown to inversely correlate with mortality from heart disease." 

Furthermore, quinoa can provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fat via its oleic acid content, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acids, according to World’s Healthiest Foods. Most foods lose their healthy fatty acids when oxidized, but quinoa’s nutrients hold up to boiling, simmering and steaming.

Digestion

One cup of cooked quinoa contains 21 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber, which is great news for your gut. Quinoa is also more easily digestible than many other grains, according to World’s Healthiest Foods. Furthermore, a study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that participants reported feeling fuller after eating quinoa, buckwheat or oats than after eating wheat or rice. 

Diabetes and hypertension

Quinoa has also been studied for its role in diabetes management and hypertension. Brazilian scientists researched 10 traditional Peruvian grains and legumes for their potential in managing the early stages of Type 2 diabetes. They found that quinoa was especially rich in an antioxidant called quercetin and that quinoa had the highest overall antioxidant activity (86 percent) of all 10 foods studied. The study led researchers to conclude that quinoa, kañiwa (quinoa’s cousin) and other traditional crops from the Peruvian Andes have potential in helping researchers to develop effective dietary strategies for managing Type 2 diabetes and associated hypertension.

Longevity

According to some scientists, the fiber in quinoa could actually help people live longer. A meta-analysis of relevant studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology concluded, "high dietary fiber intake may reduce the risk of total mortality." 

Two additional recent studies linked whole-grain consumption with longevity. One large-scale study published in BioMed Central found positive results when researchers looked at whole-grain consumption and death from chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and more. They noted the fiber as being particularly beneficial. Another study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that whole-grain consumption was associated with a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease in American men and women.

Quinoa risks

There are a few health risks associated with eating quinoa. Quinoa seeds are coated with saponins, which are chemicals designed to protect plants from diseases caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.  Saponins can have a bitter, soapy taste, so quinoa should be rinsed thoroughly in cold water before it is cooked. 

For some, saponins can do more than leave a bad taste in the mouth: They can cause stomach irritation and, according to the horticultural department at Purdue University, possibly damage the small intestine. The high fiber content in quinoa may also result in upset stomachs, according to Livestrong.com. 

 Quinoa cooks faster than most whole grains, taking only 12 to 15 minutes. This makes quinoa an easy grain for busy families and individuals to add to their weekly rotation. Furthermore, unlike some grains that tend to dry out when cooled, quinoa maintains a pleasant, chewy texture when served warm, chilled or at room temperature.

This all means that quinoa can be incorporated into your diet in a variety of ways, from being prepared as a breakfast porridge to being an addition to salads or prepared like a pilaf. Quinoa can also be used to thicken up soups or stews, and quinoa flour can be used in gluten-free baking.

Source: livescience.com 

Quick Tips for Choosing a Doctor

When you choose a primary care doctor for yourself or a loved one, make sure to choose a doctor you can trust. A primary care doctor can help you make important decisions, like which screening tests and shots to get, treat many health problems, refer you to a specialist when you need more help with a specific health issue.

Here are some things you should know before selecting a physician

  • Listens to your opinions and concerns
  • Encourages you to ask questions
  • Explains things in ways you can understand

When you and your doctor work together as a team, you’ll get better health care. Try the following tips to find a doctor who’s right for you.

Research your doctor.

If you have health insurance, you may need to choose a doctor in their network. Some insurance plans may let you choose a doctor outside the network if you pay more of the cost.

What you should know about your doctor:

  • Contact information, Locations and Gender. 
  • License Information. It is important to know if your doctor is licensed to provide the care that you need.
  • Education. To learn more about your physician’s background EZDoctor Reports contain information regarding where they studied, graduation date, board certifications, as well as their internship, residency and fellowship. This will help you make an educated decision regarding your doctor’s training and ability.
  • Hospital Affiliations/Privileges.  Its common practice for a doctor to have their office in one location and perform treatment in a separate location. For example, you could go to a doctor’s office for a consultation regarding your knee and that doctor might provide treatment and/or surgery at a hospital that he is affiliated with or has privileges. By having this information before hand, it can help you in deciding whether this doctor would be the most convenient for you.
  • Procedure Pricing Information. When taking care of any health concern, one of the main things we consider is the cost associated with any procedures that might be necessary. An EZDoctor report will display an average charge for procedures performed by the physician you are reviewing.
  • Patient Referral Summary.  Primary care physicians, when needed, refer patients to a specialist. Especially when they face a diagnosis that is beyond their Scope of Practice. With an EZDoctor report you will see the  physicians referral pattern.
  • Pricing/Prescribing Habits. Is your  doctor more likely to prescribe a name brand versus a generic drug? Despite your preference, by seeing a breakdown of the most common prescriptions a physician orders you can get a clear view of his prescribing tendencies and average price per prescription.
  • Disciplinary Actions. Finding out if a physician has been sanctioned or not by a state medical board can be very useful when it comes to selecting a doctor to visit. Equally important is to know  what those infractions were related to.
  • Criminal Offenses. While federal criminal records are not available to the public, EZDoctor reports include state government records that indicate whether a physician has ever been charged or convicted of a crime. Allowing you to have this information prior to any consultation and/or treatment.
  • Malpractice Claims. You have the right to know if your physician has been involved in any incidents regarding his medical care. From surgical and medication errors to misdiagnoses, EZDoctor will provide the information you need.
  • Patient Reviews. It’s always good to know what other patients are saying about a physician. EZDoctor reports collect patient reviews from multiple sources.

Other important questions to ask about the doctor:

  • Is the doctor taking new patients?
  • Is the doctor part of a group practice? Who are the other doctors?
  • Who will see you if your doctor isn’t available?
  • Which hospital does the doctor use?
  • If you have a medical condition, does the doctor have experience treating it?
  • What languages does the doctor speak? 

You can find all the information you need on a physician by obtaining an EZDoctor Report. Go to ezdoctor.com now to get started! 

Source: healthfinder.gov

Flu Vaccination

Flu Vaccination

  • Why should people get vaccinated against the flu?

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Over a period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. During recent flu seasons, between 80% and 90% of flu related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May.

During this time, flu viruses are circulating at higher levels in the U.S. population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

  • Who should get vaccinated this season?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 when CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for “universal” flu vaccination in the United States to expand protection against the flu to more people.

Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza.

  • Who Should Not Be Vaccinated?

Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people. Factors that can determine a person's suitability for vaccination, or vaccination with a particular vaccine, include a person's age, health (current and past) and any relevant allergies, including an egg allergy.

  • Where can I get a flu vaccine?

Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers, and even in some schools.

Even if you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else, like a health department, pharmacy, urgent care clinic, and often your school, college health center, or workplace.

Schedule an appointment with your primary doctor and get vaccinated. Go to ezdoctor.com to schedule your appointment, free of charge! 

  • Vaccine Benefits

What are the benefits of flu vaccination?

While how well the flu vaccine works can vary, there are a lot of reasons to get a flu vaccine each year.

Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick from flu. Protecting yourself from flu also protects the people around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness.

Flu vaccination can help protect people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, like older adults, people with chronic health conditions and young children (especially infants younger than 6 months old who are too young to get vaccinated).

Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick.

Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of more serious flu outcomes, like hospitalizations.

A recent study showed that flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74% during flu seasons from 2010-2012.

One study showed that flu vaccination was associated with a 71% reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among adults of all ages and a 77% reduction among adults 50 years of age and older during the 2011-2012 flu season.

Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. Vaccination was associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year. Flu vaccination also has been shown to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%) and chronic lung disease (52%).

Vaccination helps protect women during pregnancy and their babies for up to 6 months after they are born. One study showed that giving flu vaccine to pregnant women was 92% effective in preventing hospitalization of infants for flu.

Other studies have shown that vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-related hospitalizations in older adults. A study that looked at flu vaccine effectiveness over the course of three flu seasons estimated that flu vaccination lowered the risk of hospitalizations by 61% in people 50 years of age and older.

Source: CDC

Warning Signs of Breast Cancer

Due to the use of regular mammography screening, most breast cancers in the U.S. are found at an early stage, before signs appear. However, not all breast cancers are found through mammography. 

The warning signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women. The most common signs are a change in the look or feel of the breast, a change in the look or feel of the nipple and nipple discharge. 

If you have any of the warning signs described below, see a health care provider. If you do not have a provider, one of the best ways to find a good one is to get a referral from a trusted family member or friend. If that is not an option, call your health department, a clinic or a nearby hospital. 

Learn more about choosing the right doctor. 

In most cases, these changes are not cancer. For example, breast pain is more common with benign breast conditions than with breast cancer. However, the only way to know for sure is to see a provider. If you have breast cancer, it is best to find it at an early stage, when the chances of survival are highest. 

Breast lumps or lumpiness 

Many women may find that their breasts feel lumpy. Breast tissue naturally has a bumpy texture. Some women have more lumpiness in their breasts than others. In most cases, this lumpiness is no cause to worry. 

If the lumpiness can be felt throughout the breast and feels like your other breast, then it is probably normal breast tissue. 

Lumps that feel harder or different from the rest of the breast (or the other breast) or that feel like a change are a concern and should be checked. This type of lump may be a sign of breast cancer or a benign breast condition (such as a cyst or fibroadenoma). Learn more about benign breast conditions

See a health care provider if you: 

  • Find a new lump (or any change) that feels different from the rest of your breast 
  • Find a new lump (or any change) that feels different from your other breast 
  • Feel something that is different from what you felt before 

It is best to see a provider if you are unsure about a new lump (or any change). Although a lump (or any change) may be nothing to worry about, you will have the peace of mind that it was checked. 

If you have had a benign lump in the past, don’t assume a new lump will be the same. The new lump may not be breast cancer, but it is best to make sure. 

Nipple discharge 

Liquid leaking from your nipple (nipple discharge) can be troubling, but it is rarely a sign of breast cancer. Discharge can be your body's natural reaction when the nipple is squeezed. 

Signs of a more serious condition (such as breast cancer) include discharge that: 

  • Occurs without squeezing the nipple 
  • Occurs in only one breast 
  • Is bloody or clear (not milky) 

Nipple discharge can also be caused by an infection or other condition that needs treatment. If you have any nipple discharge, see a health care provider.


Source: Susan G. Komen Foundation

Obstetrician or Certified Nurse- Midwife: Which one is right for you?

Obstetrician: also commonly called an OB/GYN, usually offers a variety of women’s health services, such as annual Pap smears. Obstetricians are also trained to help manage complications during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

An OB-GYN might be right for you if... you have a high-risk pregnancy, an awesome relationship with your current OB-GYN, or you don’t want to give birth without an epidural.

But keep this in mind: OB-GYNs are more likely than midwives to use surgical or technological interventions during labor. 

If you’re considering one but aren’t sure you want to spend your pregnancy with the OB-GYN you're already seeing, now’s a good time to start shopping around

Certified Nurse- Midwife: Is a professional in midwifery. In addition to providing care to women during pregnancy and birth, midwives also provide primary care related to reproductive health, including annual gynecological exams, family planning, and menopausal care. Many developing countries are investing money and training for midwives and other community health workers so that they can provide well-woman primary care services that are currently lacking.

A certified nurse-midwife might be right for you if... you’re concerned about your physical and emotional wellbeing during pregnancy; having a natural childbirth is your number one priority (or you’re really opposed to cesarean delivery — CNMs tend to have much lower cesarean delivery rates and higher rates of vaginal birth after cesarean than physicians); or you’re on a tight budget (the cost of prenatal care with a CNM tends to be lower than that of an OB-GYN). Find a certified nurse-midwife.

But keep this in mind: You might need a doctor in a high-risk or complicated pregnancy (most CNMs use a physician as a backup in case of complications, because they cannot perform C-sections themselves.) 

If you’re considering one, be sure to select a midwife who is both certified and licensed

Also, make sure to always get an EZDoctor Report before choosing any healthcare provider. 


10 Most Expensive Common Medical Conditions to Treat

1. Heart Disease

Heart disease ranks as the nation’s top costly medical condition with a cost of just over $100 billion per year. More than 1 in 3 adults currently lives with one or more types of cardiovascular disease. Hospitalization, surgery, diagnostic tests, monitoring, specialist doctor visits and medicines all contribute to the cost. As the elderly population grows, so will more costs. To reduce your risk of heart disease, you may need to adjust your lifestyle by maintaining a normal weight, eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and getting regular exercise. Preventing and controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol also play a significant role in heart health.

2. Injuries & Trauma

Each year, trauma accounts for 37 million emergency department visits and 2.6 million hospital admissions so it's no surprise this comes in as our second largest annual cost at $92 billion. Injuries from motor vehicle crashes, falls, assault, burns, and other accidents occur every day across the country. Men have a higher incidence than women and the elderly consume a larger share of medical resources. More than two‐thirds of all costs are attributable to traffic accidents and falls. Keep safe by wearing a seat belt, staying off your mobile phone and making sure your driver is sober.

3. Cancer

Cancer costs $87 billion and based on the growth and aging U.S. population are predicted to increase. The U.S. has the seventh highest cancer rate in the world, about 300 of every 100,000 Americans will develop cancer each year. New tools for cancer diagnosis, treatment and follow up continue to be more expensive. Highest costs are associated with breast, colorectal, lung, prostate cancers and lymphoma. It’s not all bad news though - the cancer death rate has significantly decreased over the last decade. Factors driving this drop include less tobacco use, sun protection, eating well, regular exercise, earlier detection and better treatments.

4. Mental Illness

Annual U.S. medical cost for mental health care is roughly $83 billion. Around one in four adults, or approximately 61.5 million Americans, experiences mental illness in a given year. One in 17, or about 13.6 million, live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder. Medicines are expensive and doctors’ visits frequent. Noncompliance can be high in this group of patients, too, adding to the total healthcare dollar.

5. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Asthma

Long term breathing problems including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema make up this group with costs of care totaling almost $76 billion per year. Just over 6% of American adults are living with some form of COPD. Smoking tobacco is the main cause but air pollutants and genetics can also cause COPD. There is no cure for this group and costs incurred are from medications, frequent doctor visits, and in severe cases, hospitalization. For current smokers, smoking cessation is essential for preventing and managing COPD. To control asthma attacks, avoid your triggers, like tobacco smoke, dust mites, and pollution. Take medications as instructed and exercise regularly.

6. Osteoarthritis & Joint Problems

It is estimated that 1 in 2 people will get some form of osteoarthritis (OA) in their lifetime.Estimated annual cost of $74 billion. OA is caused from the gradual wear and tear of the cartilage between the bone causing pain, stiffness and inflammation. This chronic condition is more common as we age and the main reason why patients require a knee or hip replacement. Medications, physical therapy, and hospitalization for surgery all contribute to the cost. Maintaining a healthy body weight and non-weight bearing exercise like swimming or cycling may help to keep the joints mobile without pain.

7. Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes affects just over 8% of Americans with medical expenses totaling around $60 billion per year. In all forms of diabetes there is too much sugar in the blood which can lead to serious health complications including heart and kidney disease, eye problems and nerve damage. Hospital care, anti-diabetic medications and supplies, prescription medicines to treat complications and regular doctor visits all contribute to the burden of cost. Healthy lifestyle choices such as eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly and managing your weight may lower your chance of getting diabetes.

8. High Blood Pressure

With 1 in every 3 American adults diagnosed with high blood pressure it’s no wonder the cost for treating patients with this condition totals around $47 billion yearly. Blood pressure is the force of blood against your artery walls as it circulates through your body. It can greatly increase your risk of certain health problems like heart disease and stroke if it remains high for long periods of time. High blood pressure often goes undetected because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms so it is important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.

9. Back Pain & Back Problems

Healthcare costs for this group comes in at around $41 billion annually. This is probably because almost everyone experiences some form of back pain during their lifetime. Back pain usually originates in the spine and the muscles that support it. You could get back pain or a back injury through being out of shape and under stress, or if you have poor posture or strain your back in exercise or activity. To prevent back problems it’s important to keep your back strong and flexible. Exercise regularly, watch posture, lose weight if needed and use caution when lifting heavy items.

10. Childbirth

Childbirth with an estimated cost of around $39 billion per year. Normal vaginal deliveries account for about 7 in 10 deliveries and cesarean sections account for 3 in 10. Cesarean sections are more expensive because they are a major operation that involves anesthesia and longer hospital stays. Frequent doctor visits to monitor mother and baby, hospitalizations and medicines all contribute to the burden of cost.

 EZDoctor Reports can help you find the right doctor for any illness or condition. Go to www.ezdoctor.com today! 

Source: drugs.com

Choosing the Right Doctor

Choosing the right doctor is one of the most important health decisions you’ll make.It’s hard to find reliable information about specific doctors. EZDoctor.com offers the most comprehensive reports available online for doctors. 

Here are some things you should know before selecting a physician

Contact information, Locations and Gender. Having a doctor’s contact information and gender will allow you to know their location and how convenient it will be to see this doctor.

License Information. It is important to know if your doctor is licensed to provide the care that you need.

Education. To learn more about your physician’s background EZDoctor Reports contain information regarding where they studied, graduation date, board certifications, as well as their internship, residency and fellowship. This will help you make an educated decision regarding your doctor’s training and ability.

Hospital Affiliations/Privileges.  Its common practice for a doctor to have their office in one location and perform treatment in a separate location. For example, you could go to a doctor’s office for a consultation regarding your knee and that doctor might provide treatment and/or surgery at a hospital that he is affiliated with or has privileges. By having this information before hand, it can help you in deciding whether this doctor would be the most convenient for you.

Procedure Pricing Information. When taking care of any health concern, one of the main things we consider is the cost associated with any procedures that might be necessary. An EZDoctor report will display an average charge for procedures performed by the physician you are reviewing.

Patient Referral Summary.  Primary care physicians, when needed, refer patients to a specialist. Especially when they face a diagnosis that is beyond their Scope of Practice. With an EZDoctor report you will see the  physicians referral pattern.

Pricing/Prescribing Habits. Is your  doctor more likely to prescribe a name brand versus a generic drug? Despite your preference, by seeing a breakdown of the most common prescriptions a physician orders you can get a clear view of his prescribing tendencies and average price per prescription.

Disciplinary Actions. Finding out if a physician has been sanctioned or not by a state medical board can be very useful when it comes to selecting a doctor to visit. Equally important is to know  what those infractions were related to.

Criminal Offenses. While federal criminal records are not available to the public, EZDoctor reports include state government records that indicate whether a physician has ever been charged or convicted of a crime. Allowing you to have this information prior to any consultation and/or treatment.

Malpractice Claims. You have the right to know if your physician has been involved in any incidents regarding his medical care. From surgical and medication errors to misdiagnoses, EZDoctor will provide the information you need.

Patient Reviews. It’s always good to know what other patients are saying about a physician. EZDoctor reports collect patient reviews from multiple sources.

You can find all the information you need on a physician by obtaining an EZDoctor Report. Go to ezdoctor.com now to get started! 

How to reduce your wait time at the doctor's office

Imagine walking into your doctor’s office at your appointment time and being promptly escorted into the exam room, where your physician is waiting. Now snap out of it. Most Americans accept that waiting is a part of every doctor’s appointment. Recent research indicates that we’re spending slightly less time in the waiting room than in years past, but the lag still reduces patient satisfaction, according to surveys. Doctors know this, but sometimes there isn’t much they can do about it.

When patients arrive for an appointment, they frequently have to wait. Sometimes, they wait a long time.

And if this situation is not addressed, they might leave and never come back.

Here are 7 ways to reduce your wait time at the doctor’s office:

1. Ask about wait times when you’re looking for a new doctor. You can also ask if the clinic double-books or if they have additional medical staff, such as nurse practitioners, to reduce your wait time.

2. Consider using an urgent care center when you’re in a hurry. But remember: Your insurance may not cover quicker providers at the same level as your regular physician.

3. When making an appointment, ask the receptionist at what days and times the clinic is least busy.

4. Find out how long you can expect to wait when you check in. If your wait takes longer, ask the receptionist when you might get in. This will let him or her know that you’re conscious of how the doctor is valuing your time.

5. Come prepared. Print and fill out any new patient paperwork beforehand.

6. While you wait, make a list of your current medications, your symptoms and any questions you want to ask the doctor. This helps ensure your time in the exam room is used efficiently.

7. Virtual Visits. Reduce unnecessary waiting time with remote monitoring or remote consultations with physicians. Virtual visits can save you travel time and the hassle of sitting in a waiting room with other sick people. 

It can be frustrating when you’re on time and your doctor isn’t. Rather than hoping he or she will be prompt next time, plan ahead to minimize the stress (and hopefully the length) of the waiting game, and don’t be afraid to voice your concerns about significant delays.

Sources: Read full article: Foxnews.com, amednews.com