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Judge Rules United Behavioral Health Guidelines Led to Denial of Claims Violations Print E-mail
Written by Vitale Health Law   
Tuesday, 12 March 2019 16:59
 
A California federal judge has issued a landmark ruling that could impact the way insurance companies cover mental health and substance use treatment. Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero of the District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that United  Behavioral Health (UBH) used "flawed" internal guidelines resulting in the unlawful denial of mental health and substance use treatment for those it insured across the country, all in an effort to save money. UBH, which is owned by UnitedHealth, serves more than 60 million members. The case grew out of two consolidated class-action lawsuits (Wit, et. al. v. UnitedHealthcare et. al. and Alexander, et al. v. United Behavioral Health), filed in 2014 and heard by Judge Spero in 2017 during a 10-day bench trial.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 March 2019 17:03
 
FL Senate Signs Off On Smokable Marijuana Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 11 March 2019 18:33
 
Dara Kam reports for News Service of Florida via Health News Florida on  Mar 8, 2019:
Bowing to a demand by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Senate on Thursday <3.7.19> overwhelmingly approved a measure that would allow patients to smoke medical marijuana if doctors deem it the proper treatment. Under the proposal, patients could buy up to 2.5 ounces of medical pot during a 35-day period and would be able to possess up to 4 ounces of cannabis at any given time. Smoking of medical cannabis --- which would have to be purchased from state-authorized operators --- would be banned in public places. The Senate's 34-4 vote in favor of the measure (SB 182) came two days after the start of the 2019 legislative session, and the House is expected to take up the measure Wednesday <3.13.19>.
Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> https://conta.cc/2EW0kdt
 
Last Updated on Monday, 08 April 2019 11:18
 
‘Elbow grease’ may get the job done but could prove painful Print E-mail
Written by FHInews   
Monday, 11 March 2019 00:00
Hand and Upper Limb Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Alejandro Badia offers tips to reduce arm strain, avoid tennis elbow

Adding a little “elbow grease” helps get the job done but repetitively using too much “grease” can eventually lead to disabling elbow pain. So, says Florida-based orthopedic surgeon Alejandro Badia MD, who calls the medical condition “lateral epicondylitis” or “tennis elbow,” a persistent, debilitating injury that may develop in anyone who repeatedly overtaxes tendons and muscles in the forearm and elbow.  Forearm muscles control the extension and bending of the wrist; tendons connect muscles to bones. 

Tennis elbow primarily affects the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) muscle and tendon, resulting in often excruciating pain on the outside (lateral side) of the arm near the elbow.  Besides tennis players and other athletes, including Anglers (avid fishermen), factory workers and tradesmen, including carpenters, plumbers and painters, are prone to the injury. 

“Even do-it-yourselfers who decide to tackle a long-term project such as painting the house – a job that they are unaccustomed to doing -- may develop tennis elbow,” says Dr. Badia, noted expert in diseases and injuries of the upper limbs and founder and chief medical officer of the Badia Hand to Shoulder Center and OrthoNOW®.

“Repetitive bending and straightening of the elbow can stress, and eventually weaken and damage, the ERCB muscle, causing microscopic tears to develop in the tendon that connects the muscle to the elbow’s lateral epicondyle bone,” Dr. Badia explains. Dr. Badia adds that hard work doesn’t cause tennis elbow, but it does make it become more symptomatic in people who are predisposed due to minor tendon injury which reduce the blood flow to the tendons and joints.

An estimated 200,000 Americans are diagnosed each year as having the problem, which can significantly impact a person’s lifestyle, sometimes making it almost too painful to lift a mug of coffee with the affected arm or shake someone’s hand.

Scientists’ overall conclusion that a “wait-and-see” approach may be the best therapy for tennis elbow because the condition usually resolves on its own over time “is not an option for many patients,” Dr. Badia says. “It can take 12-18 months for tennis elbow to clear up without treatment. For athletes eager to get back into competition or workers whose jobs require constant use of arms, hands and wrists, time is of the essence.  They cannot afford to wait months,” says Dr. Badia.

In fact, Dr. Badia has successfully treated resistant tennis elbow in professional athletes, including former world’s top-10 tennis champion Marcelo Rios, whom he recently returned to competition within about a month after using an advanced therapy – ultrasonic percutaneous tenotomy with Tenex Health’s minimally invasive technology.
 
Developed by Tenex Health in collaboration with the Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic, the minimally-invasive outpatient procedure is an option for patients whose tennis elbow has not responded to initial, nonsurgical therapies.

More conservative treatments include rest, application of ice to the affected elbow area, arm-wrist stretch exercises to enhance blood supply to the ECRB tendon, anti-inflammatory medications, growth factors found in platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections   and even use of radiofrequency and corticosteroid injections, Dr. Badia says.

“But in cases when the elbow tendon fails to heal because of poor blood supply, we have to remove the necrotic tissue.  With the Tenex Health technology, we use ultrasonic energy ablation to literally melt away the dead material and aspirate it through a small puncture wound with an instrument approximately the size of a syringe,” Dr. Badia says.  “The procedure requires less than 30 minutes to perform with the patient lightly sedated and since there are no stitches there is no scarring. “Unlike traditional surgery, which often requires months of healing, recovery from the ultrasonic procedure is “almost immediate,” with the affected elbow returning to full mobility right away and back to playing tennis within a few weeks, he says.

Of course, the best treatment for tennis elbow is prevention.  That’s why Dr. Badia offers these tips to workers and recreational sports players alike:
  • Warm up and do arm, wrist and even finger stretch exercises, especially prior to activities like tennis that require repetitive movements.
  • Engage in exercise regiments designed to strengthen the upper limbs, including wrist and elbow.
  • Learn to rely more on shoulder and upper arms to take some of the work off the elbow.
  • Avoid repetitive hand and arm movements; rotate work tasks.  If this is not possible, take breaks and even consider wearing an elbow brace.
  • Use on-the-job tools and sports equipment that are right for your grip and help take strain off the forearm muscles.  For example, a lighter-weight tennis racquet with string tension of 55 pounds or less can reduce stress on both arm and elbow.  Gloves or padding can absorb some of the shock when using tools. Dr. Badia also advises patients about the Xtensor reverse grip hand exerciser as a tool for recovering strength.
Dr. Badia concludes that this very popular condition can’t be avoided but early recognition and treatment are key to the best outcome and opportunity to get back to playing tennis and other sports or work activities.

Bio: Alejandro Badia, MD, FACS, internationally renowned hand and upper-limb surgeon and founder of Badia Hand to Shoulder Center and OrthoNOW®, a walk-in orthopedic care clinic.  He is a member the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, American Association for Hand Surgery and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He is a specialist in treating all problems related to the hand and upper extremity including trauma, sports injury, joint reconstruction, nerve injuries and arthroscopic surgeries. Dr. Badia is co-chairing the upcoming STMS Tennis Medicine Meeting in Miami: https://www.tennismedicine.org/page/MiamiConference). To learn more about Dr. Badia, visit: www.drbadia.com.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 March 2019 16:03
 
Florida House Experience Announces Rebrand to FHEHealth Print E-mail
Written by FHInews   
Friday, 08 March 2019 10:44

DEERFIELD BEACH, FLFlorida House Experience, a JCAHO/CARF accredited healthcare institution delivering high quality, medically integrated personalized treatment for those suffering with behavioral health and addiction disorders, announced that it is rebranding with the new name of FHEHealth. This new name better represents their services and the fact that they are at the forefront of rehabilitative care.

Along with the new name comes a new logo. Each element carries an important meaning. The heart symbolizes compassion, the waves of movement represents the company’s constant innovation, the fhehealth-1200circle is for community and the leaf is for the patients who are able to grow under FHEHealth’s care. The company’s new tag line is Where hope becomes healing.

“For many years we have felt like our name did not accurately represent all that we do here,” said Sherief Moustafa, CEO of FHEHealth.  “While our addiction treatment program is still among our highest priorities, we have grown to offer so much more. From depression to anxiety and even trauma, our goal is to get to the root of the problem, and we felt like ‘Health’ really needed to be a bigger part of our name and brand.”

Florida House, now known as FHEHealth, started in 2003 as a men’s halfway house and has grown to be a leader in cutting edge therapy for addiction and mental health. The facility offers a number of innovative treatments to provide patients with a full interpretation of their condition. They are on the forefront of neuro-rehabilitative research. FHEHealth is leading the way in research and development of the effective use of neurotherapies to treat behavioral health disorders.

For more information about FHEHealth and the variety of services they provide call 888-408-0210.
 

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About the Florida House Experience: The Florida House Experience is a healthcare institution that delivers quality, medically integrated personalized treatment for those suffering with behavioral health disorders. The organization specializes in addictive disorders and other behavioral health diagnoses such as mood disorders, depression, anxiety, and traumatic disorders. FHE is a facility licensed by the both the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA). They are accredited by both the JOINT Commission and the Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and are members of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).

Last Updated on Friday, 08 March 2019 11:08
 
Medicare Trims Payments to 800 Hospitals, Citing Patient Safety Incidents Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 04 March 2019 18:30
 
Jordan Rau reports for Kaiser Health News on 3/1/19:

Eight hundred hospitals will be paid less by Medicare this year because of high rates of infections and patient injuries, federal records show. The penalties pit hospitals against one another in a race to prevent the most infections, blood clots, cases of sepsis, bedsores, hip fractures and other complications. Each year, the quarter of general hospitals with the highest rates are punished, even if their records have improved from the previous year. The number is the highest since the federal government five years ago launched the Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC) Reduction Program, created by the Affordable Care Act.
 
Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> https://conta.cc/2EvlUpa
 
Last Updated on Monday, 04 March 2019 18:32
 
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