40 IS THE NEW 50… FOR EARLY MAMMOGRAM SCREENING

 

By Elizabeth Meier

As reported by ABC News, Doctors are encouraging their female patients to get annual and bi-annual mammograms as early as, and sometimes earlier than, the age of 40. Their article highlights the statistics of women with breast cancer, and the rapid change in those statistics amongst women who got early screenings.

In a study performed by Massachusetts General Hospital at two Boston hospitals, of 609 confirmed breast cancer deaths that occurred between 1990 and 1999, over half of the women had never had a mammogram before their diagnosis. Early screenings cannot be stressed enough when it comes to breast cancer detection and prevention. It is now commonly being recommended that women begin getting regular annual mammograms at the age of 40. “For women without risk factors, consider self breast examinations at home and see your physician for a clinical breast exam every two to three years starting in your 20s.”

Dr. Cady, of Massachusetts General Hospital even stated “I have watched the mortality rate from breast cancer fall from 50 percent in the 1960s to 9.2 percent today with the advent of early detection with mammography,”

For those patients without health insurance, or who are unable to afford the co-pays, deductibles and/or premiums on their health insurance, please visit MRI Scan Group’s website at http://mriscangroup.com. MRI Scan Group has a network of trusted facilities that offer steeply-reduced pricing on diagnostic imaging scans for uninsured and under insured patients. Contact them today to schedule your diagnostic imaging scan at a facility near you.

 

RESOURCES:

http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/mammograms-50-could-save-lives-researchers-100043523–abc-news-health.html

http://mriscangroup.com

 

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OBESITY RECOGNIZED BY THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

By: Norman McPhail

The American Medical Association (AMA) has taken a giant step recently, in which they now recognize obesity as a disease. The AMA’s change of heart will help expand health coverage and get more help for overweight people. “The American Medical Associations’ recognition that obesity is a disease carries a lot of clout,” says Samuel Klein, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis. “Their opinion can influence policy makers who are in a position to do more to support interventions and research to prevent and treat obesity.”

In the United States today, obesity has risen to alarming numbers. We are seeing 35% of adults as being overweight and 17% of children. In 1962, obesity was at a rock bottom of 13%. Obesity has gotten out of control and something needs to be done. The cause has been blamed on fast food, sodas, school lunch programs, you name it. Bottom line is, we all need to take control of our lives. I’m not talking about limiting the size of a soda at McDonald’s; I am talking about something that will make a difference in the lives of people that really need the help.

“I think you will probably see physicians taking obesity more seriously, counseling their patients about it,” said Morgan Downey, publisher of the online Downey Obesity Report. “Companies marketing the products will be able to take this to physicians and point to it and say, ‘Look, the mother ship has now recognized obesity as a disease”.

A number of medical issues caused by being overweight include high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, & cancer, to name just a few. However, getting the medical help you need if you have had any of these issues caused by being overweight, has always been a challenge.
Being overweight can also hinder the availability of certain medical help you might need. MRI’s have weight and size limitations on patients. Imaging quality, including ultrasounds, are affected by obesity. For a CT scan, an obese patient may need longer exposure to radiation, which can place you at risk for overexposure. This is in addition to the high cost of diagnostic imaging, even with insurance.

One downside to the AMA change is that it might encourage more people to rely on medications and drugs to combat their obesity, rather than change their lifestyle and eating habits. Exercise and healthy eating is the best defense against obesity, and we need to spread the word.

For those in need of affordable diagnostic imaging scans, there are services like MRI Scan Group, whose network of contracted imaging facilities offer reduced rates for uninsured and underinsured patients. Contact them at http://mriscangroup.com/, or call them at 1.866.674.8840.

 

SAFETY FIRST: Diagnostic Imaging in the U.S.

by Elizabeth Meier

Though MRI scans are generally low-risk, three patients in Brazil recently suffered cardio-respiratory arrests and died after routine MRI scans. This occurred at a private hospital near Sao Paulo, Brazil, during which each was supposedly injected with a contrast agent to improve the visibility in the MRI images. MRI scans were suspended by Brazilian authorities until the outcome of a full investigation was completed. It turned out that a nurse technician, operating without the supervision of the head nurse, injected the chemical perfluorocarbon in the patients’ veins, instead of contrast used regularly during an MRI. The chemical turned into a deadly gas when mixed with the patient’s blood, leading swiftly to a cardiac arrest. A tragedy such as this enforces the need for rigorous safety guidelines with regards to diagnostic imaging.

Americans crossing the border into Mexico to receive discounted diagnostic imaging scans has become a common practice in recent years. This is largely due to the fact that most Americans don’t know that the same scan can be found in the United States for the same price or less! Unfortunately, not all countries have the stringent health and safety guidelines that facilities in America operate under. There is no need to take that kind of chance with your health and safety. One of the most well known organizations in America, who works to ensure these guidelines are met, is the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR’s MRI Accreditation Program evaluates staff qualifications, quality control, MR safety policies and image quality to ensure the health and safety of the patient and facility staff. Each piece of diagnostic imaging equipment must pass a strict evaluation process in order to be ACR accredited. The question is, how should you go about finding an ACR accredited facility near you, that you can actually afford?

Thankfully, there are services, like MRI Scan Group, who offer patients access to their network of over 400 ACR accredited facilities across the United States. They have a “SAFETY FIRST” approach, and only accept ACR-accredited, quality imaging facilities into their network of nationwide imaging centers that accept cash paying patients. For those in need of affordable diagnostic imaging in an uncertain economy, the MRI Scan Group offers safe, quality, reliable options for uninsured and underinsured patients. MRI Scan Group has a team of patient representatives available to assist patients in finding an ACR accredited facility nearest them at a price they can afford. They will help schedule the scan you need quickly, and are happy to answer any questions you might have. MRI Scan Group’s network of centers is growing everyday to meet the demands of patients in need. They do the legwork for you, and have compiled their network of ACR accredited centers who can offer the scan you need at the price you want.

http://www.estadao.com.br/noticias/geral,composto-quimico-matou-pacientes-diz-policia,1025593,0.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21253019

http://www.acr.org/Quality-Safety/Accreditation

http://www.mriscangroup.com/

YOU BETTER SHOP AROUND… FOR AN MRI!

By Norman McPhail

Being uninsured and needing an MRI in the United States can be an overwhelming experience. The health care/diagnostic imaging business is a tangled web of confusion. Prices for a scan can set you back upwards of $2,000 per scan (Ouch)! The question is: How can you find a competitive priced scan to fit the uninsured budget?

In an emergency, you might not have the option to choose a facility for imaging services. Uninsured diagnostic imaging patients usually don’t need to have the scan done same day and thus have time to shop. The problem is that most people without insurance don’t realize that they CAN shop around. But YOU do! The best way to fight back is to do your homework. Just like when you are buying a car or new TV; shop around! You can search by price or location & scan type. If you do your research right, you could save THOUSANDS of dollars.

Imaging rates are negotiated between insurance companies, physicians, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. The negotiated rates are normally shielded and not made available to the public. These shielded rates make it a muddy mess for uninsured patients to research and compare prices. The good news is that negotiated rates only apply to insurance companies. You do have options being uninsured and needing to pay for your health care out of your pocket.

My go-to tool for diagnostic image shopping is the internet! The internet will help you find the imaging services you need, for a price that won’t break the bank. Price comparison websites such as Healthcare Blue Book, New Choice Health and MRI Scan Group can assist you in making an informed decision that won’t break the bank. Affordable imaging is available at your fingertips, so get those piggies moving!

What Happens to the Uninsured?

By Caleb Burch

In the past several years, the US has been going through a healthcare crisis. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and for many of them, their health insurance. If you have recently lost your health insurance for any reason, do not be discouraged. There are several resources that you can draw from in order to help yourself get the treatment you need, without having to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket. An article posted in September of 2011, suggests, “Doctors are dispensing advice over the phone to save patients the cost of an office visit. Some ask pharmaceutical sales representatives to increase drug samples they can distribute to needy patients. Others provide care for free, or at a discount.” This is encouraging to hear. Although millions of Americans have lost their jobs since the start of the recession, and many of them have lost their insurance right along with it, they are not all going untreated.

Doctor offices are not the only places doing their part to assist uninsured patients. Most metropolitan areas around the country have clinics that specialize in helping uninsured patients. These clinics are normally run by the city, and charge patients based on their income and family size. Also, a handful of patient referral services have started up. Referral services are companies that find uninsured patients a place where they can go to get the medical attention they require. MRI Scan Group specializes in diagnostic imaging and helps uninsured patients across the country get discounted MRI’s, CT’s, etc..

If you have recently lost your health insurance for any reason, there is hope. Before giving up, see if your personal care doctor will help you, find a public health clinic, or give MRI Scan Group a call at 1.866.674.8840. Good luck!