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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New exercise guidelines: Move more, sit less, start younger

Let them play! Updated federal exercise guidelines now include guidelines for preschoolers. Remember when you were a kid and your parents would kick you out of the house and you were expected to stay outdoors all day? Indeed, it was an oddity for a child to remain indoors; really, only those suffering some ailment were house confined and the rest of us stood outside their windows and tried to coax them out to play anyway. Much has changed societally since then, but mother nature hasn't. If kids don't expend this natural abundance of energy through play, they may do so within the confines of the four walls of the home which may be perceived by adults as "hyper"-active, but which is a natural amount of energy seeking release. Kids need aerobic activity and lots of it!
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Hospitals soon required to post all prices online

Hospitals will be required to post standard prices online starting January 1, 2019. While this is a step in the right direction of enabling free market consumer choice, it is important to note the federal rule will only require standard rates be posted online. Standard rates are similar to list prices, meaning it is the sticker price before insurance contractual adjustments and patient copay obligations. Let's take a coloring marker as an example. The hospital standard rate for the marker may be $100. The contracted insurance price may say the marker is actually worth $55. The patient's insurance contract may indicate the insurance will pay $45 and the patient $10. So, ultimately for you, the patient, the crux of the matter is $10. But, what you will see online when shopping for a marker is a price of $100 (your personal financial obligation remains hidden). Some facilities, like the Mayo Clinic, have made an effort to give patient-side estimates by accounting for your method of payment with an online "cost estimator" ( Other facilities are rolling out similar cost estimators which is a more meaningful step than the minimum required "standard rate" posting. Personal Thanks: Thank you all for supporting my humble blog in our quest to improve health literacy in the Brazos Valley. Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. This means one needs to have a comprehensive understanding which includes medical information, health systems management, behavioral economics and so much more. I hope this blog has made some inroads in this regard since its inception. Let's looking forward to making the Brazos Valley the most health literate community in Texas in 2019. Happy New Year!
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

How to increase lung capacity: 3 simple exercises

These strategies and more to reduce your shortness of breath, improve exercise capacity and improve your quality of life are offered in a structured outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program. Pulmonary rehabilitation can do what pills, potions, and inhalers may not. Pulmonary rehabilitation is covered by Medicare and most private insurers. Talk to your doctor about a referral to a pulmonary rehabilitation program.
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Enrollment Deadline: Saturday, December 15, 2018. The deadline to enroll in health insurance via is in two days, December 15, 2018. As much as healthcare insurance is for health, it is a financial safety net as the US is the only developed country where medical bills may lead to financial ruination even bankruptcy. If you balk at the insurance premium, consider that the average hospital bill is over $10,000. That's easy to achieve as a fracture requiring hospitalization averages $14,149. A hospitalization for a cardiac issue requiring a procedural intervention may range from $20,000 to $63,000. See photos for a list of services which are included in all health insurances without added costs or copays. Source: Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD

Monday, December 10, 2018

Published Recommendations - US Preventive Services Task Force

What's the official recommendation, Doc? This is a tricky question to answer as there are multiple recommending entities in the US and they do not always agree. For instance, recommendations for starting colorectal cancer screening for those at average risk varies: -USPSTF, ACG, and others: at age 50 -American Cancer Association: at age 45 Two of the member organizations of a Multi-Society Task Force (MSTF) endorsed beginning average-risk screening in African Americans at age 45. Speak with your doctor about what's appropriate for you.
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD

Saturday, December 8, 2018

An Eye-Opening New Harvard Study Reveals 5 Brutal Truths About People Who Live the Longest

Live a decade longer. Based on the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health data, -Exercise at least thirty minutes a day -Maintain a "low" BMI of between 18.5 and 24.9 -Drink no more than two glasses of wine (men) or one glass (women) per day -Don't smoke -Eat a healthy diet Do those things and compared to people who do not and women get 14 additional years; men get 12 more years.
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD

Monday, December 3, 2018

Z pack for cold: Is it safe, and does it work?

Taking a Z pack for a cold will have no effect. This is because a Z pack is a type of antibiotic that works for bacterial infections, not viral infections such as the cold. There are also some safety concerns about taking a Z pack for viral infections, so doing so should only occur under the supervision of a doctor.
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD