Wellness Events for the Week of March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011

Good afternoon! Below is a list of free/low-cost health & wellness events, for this week of March 21, 2011. Each city links to the specific details of each event.

Cincinnati, OH – This upcoming Wednesday, 3/23, Christ Hospital will offer a seminar-support group for heart failure; as well as educational seminars on arthritis and colorectal cancer. All events are FREE, but be sure to call and RSVP to ensure your spot.

Detroit, MI – Free Support Groups for Alcholism, overeating; A free class on how to naturally beat heartburn and other digestive problems.

Macomb, IL (Western Illinois U) – When detected early, the survival rate for colorectal cancer is 90%. You can get a free test kit here, between 3/1-4/15, M-F, 8:00-4:30. Free analyses can be conducted in the privacy of your own home; 3/23 – Free blood pressure screenings.

Poughkeepsie, NY – Meditation and breathing techniques – click for details, classes and admission fees (if any) vary.

Jackson, MS – Check link for specifics; some classes/events are recurring. Free: cancer rehab classes, art therapy for cancer patients; educational seminar for families who have a member who suffers from a mental illness.

Pennsylvania (All) – See last week’s entry. Check the link regularly, as many of the events listed on last week’s post are recurring.

That’s it for now, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as we research. For health tips, news, and other wellness events like these, follow us on Twitter @HealthSurvival. Have a great week!

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Wellness Events – Week of March 14, 2011

March 14, 2011

In our effort to help you keep health costs low while staying healthy, we have researched free and low-cost health & wellness events for this week of March 14, 2011.

(Click link for full details)

Pennsylvania: Pregnancy & Parenting (Mom & Baby Groups; Postpartum Adjustment Support Group), Free & Low Cost Health Screenings (Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg) Colon Cancer Seminars (Prevention, Detection, Treatment), Teen Health, Support Groups

Detroit, MI: Free vision screening, tonight, from 3pm-5pm. Henry Ford Health System-Self Health Center, 23400 Allen, Woodhaven.

Deer Park, NY: Free hearing screenings, this upcoming Saturday, March 19th. In addition to the screenings, there will be a seminar on hearing health. RSVP by 3/17

We will keep you updated as we find more events. For daily updates on wellness events, health news and tips, follow us at twitter.com/healthsurvival.


The Dangers of Inactivity

January 14, 2011

The health dangers associated with prolonged periods of inactivity have long been known to the medical community and the general public. Parking yourself in front of the television and avoiding exercise, the common wisdom goes, can lead to weight gain and deteriorated health.

However, a new study from the University of Queensland, Australia, brings to light more details regarding the dangers of sitting. According to the study, prolonged periods of sitting — even among those who exercise regularly — lead to a bigger waistline and increased levels of blood fats.

This data comes on the heels of a University College London study  that found that the risk of heart disease doubled among those who spent more than four hours a day on the computer. Furthermore, the risk of a cardiovascular event increased 125 percent for people who spent at least two hours in front of a television or computer screen after work.

What’s shocking about these findings is that regular exercise alone isn’t enough to combat several hours’ worth of sitting — something millions of Americans do everyday at their desk jobs. Genevieve Healy, the lead author of the Queensland study, suggests that regular exercise mixed with frequent breaks during the workday to stand or walk around is the most effective way to offset the negative effects of sitting.

For many of us, spending over four hours a day in front of a computer is unavoidable. Based on these findings, what do you plan to do to offset the negative effects of sitting? Let us know in the comments!


Looking for ways to cut your medical costs? Start by talking to your doctor

January 12, 2011

As out-of-pocket costs continue to rise, paying for care can seem overwhelming. It may be easy to overlook the simplest – and most direct – means of accomplishing this difficult task: negotiating with your doctor. Although this may sound daunting, doctors are aware that out-of-pocket costs are rising and that many people are uninsured, and fully expect questions about costs. In fact, according to one survey, a surprising 61 percent of patients who asked their providers for a discount received one, so don’t be afraid to ask!

To help you prepare for this conversation, The New York Times had Dr. Jeffrey Kullgren of the University of Pennsylvania to answer commonly asked questions about negotiating with your healthcare provider. The Q + A covers a number of issues, such as when to bring the topic of cost reduction up or what homework you should do prior to the appointment. There are many things that you can research, such as the average price of a service, which will give you some leverage in negotiating with providers.

One of the main points to be taken from this Q + A is that doing your own research can go a long way in saving you money. Dr. Kullgren refers to healthcarebluebook.com to help you find average costs of particular services, which you will be able to use as a tool in negotiating a reasonable price with your provider. It is also important to be aware of other opportunities, such as free/low-cost health facilities, which could be a federally-funded center or provided by a university. We post these resources as we find them, but for now, two entries, here and here can help you get started in your efforts to save money.

Here, Stephen Meyers, M.D. offers additional insight on how to approach negotiating costs with your medical providers.


Top 5 Ways to Cut Medical Costs

January 7, 2011

The cost of healthcare escalates by the day. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t find ways to cut corners on medical costs. Become a savvy health consumer with these five tips on cutting costs — without sacrificing quality of care — brought to you by The Healthcare Survival Guide: Cost-Saving Options for the Suddenly Unemployed.

1. Find a doctor who will forgo medical fees. Yes, they do exist. You can search for doctors in your area willing to forgo fees through the American Medical Association’s website.

2. Negotiate a discount with your doctor. Doctors are often far more willing to offer a discount or a payment plan for care than you might think – in a recent survey, 61 percent of adults who attempted to negotiate a discount were successful.

3. Instead of a specialist, use your primary doctor. Family doctors, general internists and pediatricians tend to charge less than specialists and can sometimes offer the same caliber of care. If you need maintenance care for a controlled chronic condition, this may be an option for you.

4. Need dental? Try a university dental clinic. Seeking care at a university dental clinic can cut your costs greatly – in some cases, patients pay only for the necessary materials – and the dental students and interns are closely supervised. Your state dental society can help you find a clinic near you.

5. Participate in a clinical trial. The U.S. National Institute of Health’s website lists current clinical trials being held across the nation. If you qualify, you could greatly reduce the costs of your care and medication – or eliminate them altogether.


Top 5 Ways to Stay on Top of Your Medical Bills

January 5, 2011

Doctor and hospital bills are routinely rife with errors and inaccuracies – costing you precious money. Save cash and peace of mind with these five tips on monitoring your medical bills, brought to you by The Healthcare Survival Guide: Cost-Saving Options for the Suddenly Unemployed.

1. Be specific when clarifying coverage with your insurer. Before receiving a medical procedure, check with your insurer to be sure what they will and will not cover. Keep detailed records of who you spoke with and when – this information will help you greatly when disputing a billing error.

2. Address billing errors quickly and aggressively. All too often, insurance companies and doctor’s offices issue incorrect bills. Don’t be a victim: insurance companies will often reprocess a claim, saving you money.

3. BYOM – Bring Your Own Medication. Don’t waste money paying for the same drugs at the hospital pharmacy.

4. Ask if you can pay in cash. Many hospitals offer a discount on bills paid in cash rather than check or credit. It never hurts to ask.

5. Opt for a non-teaching hospital, if possible. Community hospitals offer similar care as academic medical centers, and often at a lower cost. Ask your doctor.


KAZI-FM in Austin, TX interviews coauthor Martin Rosen

October 26, 2010

KAZI-FM 88.7 in Austin, TX recently spoke with Healthcare Survival Guide coauthor Martin Rosen. On the program “Economic Perspectives,” host Hopeton Hay interviewed Rosen about some of the book’s indispensable cost-saving advice, including asking your doctor for a discount and substituting generic medication for name-brands on your prescription.

To listen to the full interview, click here: http://econpers.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/discover-money-saving-tips-from-co-author-of-health-care-survival-guide/