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 –
- Neuromuscular Exercise and Low Back Pain
- Inactivity and Mortality
- And Finally, a Story about Medicare Coverage for Chronic Illnesses
For HealthBeat, Podcasting from Hurricane Savaged New York City, This is Dr. Todd Eglow!
Welcome to HealthBeat Podcast #382, recorded November 2, 2012.
HealthBeat is Chiropractic OnLine Today’s radio program, providing current news and commentary about Chiropractic and Health.
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Neuromuscular Exercise and Low Back Pain
A study published in the September 2012 issue of the journal Spine was presented to investigate the effectiveness of a 6-month neuromuscular exercise (NME) and counseling program for reducing the incidence of low back pain (LBP) and disability in young conscripts with a healthy back at the beginning of their compulsory military service.
Basic military training is physically demanding on the back and requires adequate physical fitness. LBP causes significant morbidity and absence from military service.
The intervention program aimed to improve conscripts’ control of their lumbar neutral zone (NZ), and specifically to avoid full lumbar flexion in all daily tasks.
The study concluded that these findings provide evidence that exercise and education to improve control of the lumbar neutral zone have a prophylactic effect on LPB-related off-duty service days in the military environment when implemented as part of military service among young healthy men.
Surf to our Show Notes for Links – http://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/publishahead/Neuromuscular_Exercise_and_Counseling_Decrease.98112.aspx
Inactivity and Mortality
A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine looked at inactivity and life expectancy.
Prolonged television (TV) viewing time is unfavorably associated with mortality outcomes, particularly for cardiovascular disease, but the impact on life expectancy has not been quantified. The authors estimate the extent to which TV viewing time reduces life expectancy in Australia, 2008.
The authors constructed a life table model that incorporates a previously reported mortality risk associated with TV time. Data were from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study, a national population-based observational survey that started in 1999–2000.
The authors modeled impacts of changes in population average TV viewing time on life expectancy at birth.
This study is limited by the low precision with which the relationship between TV viewing time and mortality is currently known.
The study concluded that TV viewing time may be associated with a loss of life that is comparable to other major chronic disease risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity.
Surf to our Show Notes for details – http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/46/13/927.abstract
Medicare Coverage for Chronic Illnesses
Tens of thousands of people with chronic conditions and disabilities may find it easier to qualify for Medicare coverage of potentially costly home health care, skilled nursing home stays and outpatient therapy under policy changes planned by the Obama administration.
In a proposed settlement of a nationwide class-action lawsuit, the administration has agreed to scrap a decades-old practice that required many beneficiaries to show a likelihood of medical or functional improvement before Medicare would pay for skilled nursing and therapy services.
Under the agreement, which amounts to a significant change in Medicare coverage rules, Medicare will pay for such services if they are needed to “maintain the patient’s current condition or prevent or slow further deterioration,” regardless of whether the patient’s condition is expected to improve.
Federal officials agreed to rewrite the Medicare manual to make clear that Medicare coverage of nursing and therapy services “does not turn on the presence or absence of an individual’s potential for improvement,” but is based on the beneficiary’s need for skilled care.
Dr. Lynn Gerber, director of the Center for Study of Chronic Illness and Disability at George Mason University in Virginia, called the settlement “a landmark decision for Medicare recipients with chronic illness and especially those with disability.”
While the settlement is likely to generate additional costs for the government, it might save money too. For example, physical therapy and home health care might allow some people to avoid more expensive care in hospitals and nursing homes.
The settlement does not guarantee coverage for any particular individual. Beneficiaries will still have to meet other criteria. For example, they must be homebound to receive coverage of home health services, and they generally need a three-day hospital stay before Medicare will pay for skilled nursing home care.
Surf to our Show Notes for Links – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/us/politics/settlement-eases-rules-for-some-medicare-patients.html?hp&_r=0
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“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”
– Stanley Horowitz
For Chiropractic OnLine Today’s HealthBeat, This is Dr. Todd Eglow.