Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of HealthBeat, Chiropractic OnLine Today’s Health, News and Informational Podcast, and Proud to be the #1 Search Result for Chiropractic Podcasts in the iTunes Podcast Directory.
In this week’s news: We’ll Be Looking At –
- Health Care Reform Law Will Let States Tailor Their Benefits
- US House Moves to Delay Medicare Physician Payment Cuts
- And Finally, a Story about the Effects of dynamic loading on the intervertebral disc
For HealthBeat, This is Dr. Todd Eglow!
Welcome to HealthBeat Podcast #337, recorded December 23, 2011.
HealthBeat is Chiropractic OnLine Today’s radio program, providing current news and commentary about Chiropractic and Health.
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And Now for some news ….
Health Care Reform Law Will Late States Tailor Benefits
In a major surprise on the politically charged new health care law, the Obama administration said Friday that it would not define a single uniform set of “essential health benefits” that must be provided by insurers for tens of millions of Americans. Instead, it will allow each state to specify the benefits within broad categories.
The move would allow significant variations in benefits from state to state, much like the current differences in state Medicaid programs and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
By giving states the discretion to specify essential benefits, the Obama administration sought to deflect one of the most powerful arguments made by Republican critics of President Obama’s health care overhaul — that it was imposing a rigid, bureaucrat-controlled health system on Americans and threatening the quality of care. Opponents say that the federal government is forcing a one-size-fits-all standard for health insurance and usurping state authority to regulate the industry.
This criticism has inspired legal challenges to the new law — with the Supreme Court set to decide next year whether the government can require Americans to buy health insurance — and helps explain why public opinion of the law remains deeply divided.
Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, had been expected to provide details of what services and benefits must be provided in each category. Instead, in an insurance bulletin issued Friday, Ms. Sebelius said the federal government would respect the states’ role, giving them “the flexibility to design coverage options that meet their unique needs.”
Under this approach, each state would designate an existing health insurance plan as a benchmark. The benefits provided by that plan would be deemed essential, and all insurers would have to provide benefits of the same or greater value. Plans could modify coverage within a benefit category so long as they did not reduce the value of coverage.
Surf to our Show Notes for more details – http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/health/policy/health-care-law-to-allow-states-to-pick-benefits.html?hp
US House Moves to Delay Medicare Physician Payment Cuts
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill that forestalls for 2 years a 27.4% physician payment decrease scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
The bill passed by a vote of 234-193. According to the House website, 224 Republicans and 10 Democrats voted in favor of the bill. The measure will now proceed to the Democratic-controlled Senate for consideration. It is not expected to pass.
The physician payment cut stems in part from the sustainable growth rate (SGR), a key factor in annual Medicare payment updates. Numerous medical societies have called for the SGR to be changed or eliminated.
“It is our expectation that in the eleventh hour Congressional Republicans and Democrats will come to an agreement to protect the middle class and finish their budget work for the year,” White House officials stated in a news release.
According to Dr. Douglas W. Jackson, Chief Medical Editor of Orthopedics Today, ““This action just represents another of the many attempted and previously successful congressional postponement efforts in lieu of actually dealing with the underlying sustained growth rate in a meaningful way.
This approach continues to generate concerns and future decisions by physicians on their fiscal ability to continue to see Medicare patients. In addition, it contributes to fears and uncertainties for the Medicare patients that will be affected.”
Surf to our Show Notes for Links – http://www.orthosupersite.com/view.aspx?rid=90485
Effects of dynamic loading on the intervertebral disc
Loading is important to maintain the balance of matrix turnover in the intervertebral disc (IVD).
Daily cyclic diurnal assists in the transport of large soluble factors across the IVD and its surrounding circulation and applies direct and indirect stimulus to disc cells.
Acute mechanical injury and accumulated overloading, however, could induce disc degeneration. Recently, there is more information available on how cyclic loading, especially axial compression and hydrostatic pressure, affects IVD cell biology.
A recent review in the Euro Spine Journal summarizes recent studies on the response of the IVD and stem cells to applied cyclic compression and hydrostatic pressure. These studies investigate the possible role of loading in the initiation and progression of disc degeneration as well as quantifying a physiological loading condition for the study of disc degeneration biological therapy.
Subsequently, a possible physiological/beneficial loading range is proposed. This physiological/beneficial loading could provide insight into how to design loading regimes in specific system for the testing of various biological therapies such as cell therapy, chemical therapy or tissue engineering constructs to achieve a better final outcome.
In addition, the parameter space of ‘physiological’ loading may also be an important factor for the differentiation of stem cells towards most ideally ‘discogenic’ cells for tissue engineering purpose.
Surf to our Show Notes for Links – http://www.springerlink.com/content/uj69w10565126825/
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Finally, I leave you with the following quote:
“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me!”
– Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
For Chiropractic OnLine Today’s HealthBeat, This is Dr. Todd Eglow.