Posts Tagged ‘Medicaid Services’

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last week released its annual report on national health care expenditures, for 2008, and at a glance the news looked good. Health care spending in 2008 increased 4.4 percent while health insurance premiums grew just 3.1 percent, the slowest rate of increase found in many years. Despite the declining growth in spending, the rate of increase was nearly double growth in the GDP, a key measure of the overall economy.

The results show that the growth rate in health care spending is not sustainable. While Congress wrestles with how to combine the Senate and House health care reform bills into one single bill that can pass both chambers, the business community and others continue to try to persuade Congress that health care reform needs to include a long-term strategy, currently missing, to reduce the growth of health care costs.

If you have one of these health conditionsasthma, arthritis or lupus, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and heart or kidney disease — and you develop flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider or seek medical care.

  • Serious complications from the flu include pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, dehydration, or even death.
  • If you have a chronic medical condition, during a flu outbreak you should:
    Get a written record of the kind of chronic disease(s) you have and the treatment you are receiving. Keep this information with you at all times.
    Prepare a typed or printed list of all medications usually taken and the times of day they are taken. Also include necessary medical supplies or equipment such as syringes, strips, lancets if you have diabetes, or oxygen if you have COPD
    Keep the name, phone number, and office address of your doctor or health care provider with you at all times.
    If you use medications for your condition, continue taking those medications even if you become sick with the flu, unless your doctor or health care provider says otherwise
    Be alert to changes in your breathing, especially if you have heart failure, congestive heart disease or COPD. Promptly report changes to your doctor or health care provider
    Inform family members or close friends of your medical condition.

If you have a chronic medical condition, do the following to prevent from getting sick:

Take time to get vaccinated.

  • Get the Seasonal Flu Vaccine: The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the three most common flu viruses. The Seasonal Flu Vaccine can protect you from getting sick from these three viruses or it can make your illness milder if you get a flu virus that is related to those in the vaccine.
  • Get the H1N1 (Swine) Flu Vaccine: Use our Flu Shot Locator to get vaccinated where you live.
Take everyday preventive actions.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.

If you do get the flu:

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze to keep from spreading flu viruses to others. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
Stay home if you are sick until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100°F or 37.8°C) or signs of a fever (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®). Read detailed information about how long to stay away from others.
Take antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends them. Antiviral drugs may be especially important for people who are sick and have a health condition that places them at greater risk of flu complications. For maximum effectiveness, antiviral drugs should be taken as soon as possible after symptoms begin.



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