6 Trends That May Be in the Future of Public Health Policy

Now that a new presidential administration has taken power in the White House, and there is a Republican controlled Senate and House of Representatives, expect to see many changes in public policy. Public health policy also stands to see many new adjustments as new, more conservative lawmakers have the power to deliver big promises to their constituents. What the people of this country want are more affordable care options and easier access to medical providers. Here are six trends that the new administration may bring into the arena of public health policy.

  1. Obamacare Replacement

The first order of business for the current administration is to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. At first, this administration was determined to take quick action and rid the country of this piece of legislation. More recently, people around the nation have been advocating more for changes to the law instead of an outright repeal. The result has been that lawmakers have decided to take some more time to think about what they will do to replace Obamacare. It’s expected that Obamacare will be repaired more than repealed.

  1. Prescription Drug Competition

Another possible trend that may start happening with the new administration is an increase in prescription drug competition. Many people in this country continue to be frustrated by paying outrageous prices for life-saving medications. Expect to see more regulations loosened over the next four years, which could open up the prescription drug industry to newer innovations and more competition. This way, prices could be lowered by the competitive market conditions.

  1. Insurance Sales Across State Lines

The Trump administration and the Republican congress is also considering an idea that would allow insurance companies to sell policies across state lines. This way, instead of having to rely solely on your employer for health insurance or choose a plan from a limited number of options offered by the state you live in, you could access more of a nationwide network. At USC Online, students studying for an advanced degree in public administration examine these potential policy decisions that could benefit public health.

  1. Health Savings Accounts

There’s also the possibility that the administration will expand the power of the health savings account. Health savings accounts allow workers to allocate funds to health expenses each year. The benefit of these accounts is that you don’t have to pay taxes on the income you designate as going into your health savings account. The new administration may take on companies that offer these accounts and see how to bring more of the benefits to consumers.

  1. High-Risk Insurance Pools

The new administration has aimed to repeal the pre-existing conditions clause of the Affordable Care Act. This would mean that consumers with some sort of health condition could struggle to get health insurance coverage. To deal with this, expect to see the introduction of a new type of insurance product, a high-risk insurance pool. Those who are studying for public health degrees at USC Online right now can influence how these policies are implemented.

  1. More Telemedicine Options

The final big trend that could be seen more often in the near future is an increase in the accessibility of telemedicine. Telemedicine companies offer medical care over the phone or through video chat services. Public policy leaders want to see more of this type of service to help lower the overall cost of healthcare across the nation and make it easier to get care.

In today’s world of evolving public health policy, expect to see some changes that could impact the cost of services and medications. Eventually, the hope is that care will be more affordable and the nation will experience better care and have a healthier outlook.

5 Ways Wearable Technology Is Going to Change Healthcare

Wearable technology is moving rapidly from the research lab to practical applications. It is incorporating biometrics, voice recognition and messaging. Very soon, wearable technology will be part of the uniform of most medical, nursing and pharmaceutical personnel. For nurses, the possibilities offered by wearable technology are ever increasing and here are some of the major uses identified for it.

1. Tracking Fatigue Levels

The fatigue level of the nurse and other medical officers taking care of a patient is a major determinant of patient safety. Sensors placed in wristbands or embedded into the uniform of nurses can be used to track the level of sleep or alertness of all the nurses on duty. This information can be transmitted to the nursing administrator, who will use it to track the health status of the entire nursing crew. If a nurse is exhausted then he or she will be given a day or two to rest.

2. Faster and More Efficient Communication

Smart wristwatches and similar gadgets can enable nurses to give voice commands or use gestures to send instant updates on a patient’s condition. They could also be used to send alerts through email or text messages to other medical officers on duty. Wearable devices can make this possible without the need to pick up and use a smartphone. They can be extremely useful when medical teams need to be mobilized instantly during an emergency. Wearables will also help to maintain a more serene hospital environment that will promote faster patient recovery.

3. Virtual Personal Assistant

Gradually, wearable devices will become personal digital assistants. They will remind healthcare practitioners about their scheduled meetings, and help students of bachelor of science in nursing programs in ultra-modern institutions like Rutgers Online University to take notes with the help of speech to text applications. Wearables will also help nurses to view data quickly using gestures. As a virtual assistant, these devices will improve patient safety by alerting nurses about specific steps to take, or warning them to avoid certain pitfalls during a particular procedure.

4. Real-time Access to Patient Information

Nurses and doctors need to have up-to-date information on a patient’s health, especially when the he or she is a critical condition. Experts propose that in future, nurses can wear something like Google Glass that is designed to show patient records, along with vital signs or symptoms on the lens, shortly after coming into the patient’s room. The wearable device will be connected to the diagnostic devices in the patient’s room so that it can receive real-time information after the nurse comes in. Such use of technology will be a vital asset to people studying to obtain an online nursing degree. They will be able to receive information about a patient’s health remotely, but in real-time.

5. Tracking of Patient’s Response to Treatment

As the use of these wearable technologies becomes widespread, some tech-savvy medical personnel could start to teach patients how to use them to monitor their health and improve their well-being. Wearables can help patients to monitor their response to the doctor’s treatment and to receive reminders to take medication. These devices can also help diabetic patients calculate a dose of a frequently taken drug like insulin and to make good choices about their diet and physical exercise.

Although it will take a while to overcome issues associated with health information, such as privacy, the use of wearable devices will definitely increase in healthcare, making it more efficient.

 

Tips on How to Choose the Most Appropriate Health Care Course

Would you like to enhance your health care knowledge and skills? Some people return to health care education to progress in their careers, while others simply have a keen interest in health care and want to learn more about how to keep themselves and their family safe and healthy. A wide range of health care courses are available, but you should consider each of the points below before you decide which course to take.

Your Ambitions

You should ask yourself why you want to enroll in a particular health course. For instance, some students decide to start a master of science in nursing program so that they can apply for more senior roles in the health care organization they are working in.

Once you have completed an online masters in nursing course from a college or university like Norwich University, or a similar course, you will have the skills required to make this progression and your current employers will view you in a different way.

A qualification like this also creates other opportunities. You could find that other health care organizations are willing to improve your current work conditions or you could even decide to start your own health care business.

Course Content

Before you make your final decision about what course to do, you should carry out extensive research on the content of the course you are interested in completing. Some students assume that important topics will be covered and later find out that this is not the case.

You may want your career to take a certain direction when you graduate, but if your course does not cover relevant material related to this type of career, it may affect your chances of working in that area until you do obtain this knowledge.

Course Recognition

All types of health care workers are needed locally and in faraway places. However, if you don’t complete an accredited health care course that’s recognized by most employers, you could be at a severe disadvantage and you may not be eligible to apply for positions that you are really interested in. Once again, some simple research will provide you with this important information and prevent you from making this mistake.

Cost of the Health Care Course

The cost of completing a health care course varies from one type of course to another. As well as factoring in the cost of the course itself, you need to be aware of other study-related costs such as travel, personal expenses, accommodation and the cost of buying study materials.

Once you know how much a course will cost to complete you can make a more informed decision about whether or not to pursue it and how to budget for these study costs if you do decide to start a particular course.

Completing a health care course has the potential to advance your career or simply expand your health care knowledge. However, you need to research the options available first, so that you make a more informed decision.

How to Start a Career in Healthcare

A career in healthcare can be very rewarding, especially if you already love healthy lifestyles and health-related activities. As one of the fastest growing industries today, our healthcare landscape is growing at a steady rate and is currently looking for more professionals to fill key positions.

A career in healthcare doesn’t always mean assuming the role of doctor or physician. There are actually plenty of interesting and exciting jobs you can pursue if you want to have a career in this field. Getting started with developing your own career path in the industry is also very easy to do.

Choosing a Role

As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of roles you can assume in healthcare. Nursing is a particularly popular field to enter for two reasons. First, there are a lot of nursing schools and courses that can help you become a registered nurse – or even a master in nursing – quickly. Second of all, a career in nursing allows you to be involved and help people directly.

Another popular position in healthcare is healthcare communication. This is a position that can be very suitable for those working in communications. If you are a communications professional looking to specialize, a career in healthcare communication may just be what you need.

Naturally, jobs are just as widely available. A career in health insurance, healthcare management or even research and development are all waiting to be explored. To get started, choose a role you are interested in the most.

Getting the Right Skills and Knowledge

There are plenty of options through which you can acquire the necessary qualifications and skills to work in healthcare. If you’re interested in making that career shift and becoming a healthcare communications professional, for example, universities such as Boston University now have a health communication degree you can pursue. Taking the masters in health communication course means learning more about the basics of the industry and how communications can be used across the field.

The same can be said for other health-care related educations. You can now take the course of your choice online and get the degree you are after in as little as 12 months. You don’t even have to quit your existing job, since online courses are very flexible and can be completed at your own pace.

Making the Career Shift

The last part of the process is actually the easy one. There are thousands of new jobs in healthcare being advertised every day. Once you have the degree and qualifications to work in this field, all you have to do is apply for a position that suits you – and the dream future you have in mind – best.

You can also choose different healthcare institutions to work for. Big hospitals to small practices are all expanding to keep up with the increasing demand for healthcare services. This growth will continue for the next several years. If you start your journey towards a career in healthcare today, there will be plenty of job to choose from by the time you’re finished with your bachelor’s or master’s degree in this field.

4 Healthy Lifestyle Tips That Can Actually Lower Your Insurance Premium

There are a lot of factors that health insurance companies take into consideration when calculating your risk factor. This risk factor will then be used to determine the amount of insurance premium you have to pay to get the health coverage you need.

It is also not a secret that you can lower your risk factor or rating by living a healthier life. We’ve covered a lot of great tips and tricks that will help you get started, but in this part we are going to focus on the five tips that will actually lower your insurance premium almost immediately.

Quit Smoking!

If you are a smoker – either a casual smoker or a heavy one – one of the absolute best ways to lower your insurance premium is by quitting smoking. The act of quitting alone will help lower your insurance premium by as much as 10%.

The longer you stay smoke-free, the lower your risk factor will be. Your body is simply recovering from exposure to nicotine, tar and other toxic materials. The next time you go in for a medical check-up for the insurance renewal, don’t be surprised to see a drop in insurance premium.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

You don’t have to go through a heavy diet just to lose weight for the purpose of reducing your insurance premium. There are other factors the insurance companies review when determining your risk factor, namely your height, your BMI (Body Mass Index) and the overall health of your body.

Instead of taking the risk of getting ill due to an incorrect diet, it is much more important to maintain one that is actually good for your body. Regular consumption of fruits and vegetables, for instance, can help meet your daily nutrients requirements, which will result in a lower BMI and a healthier body.

The Outside Matters

You need to look healthy as much as you need to feel healthy. Don’t just focus on the inside. You need to work on diets and exercises that will also help you improve on the outside. Apples and other fruits with high antioxidants, for instance, can help your skin appear healthier and remove signs of aging in just a few weeks.

Regular consumption of certain supplements and vitamins can also help you keep up with the daily nutrients requirement. Whichever nutrients you can consume naturally, you will also get from the supplements.

Assume an Active Lifestyle

According to a study by the masters in health law department of Hofstra Law, people who have an active lifestyle actually pay less in health insurance premium. Having a good career or being in the process of pursuing a higher degree are all great signs of a good life. These seemingly simple activities will help you lower your risk factor further.

There are even online courses that will help you pursue a master’s degree and lower your insurance premium at the same time. You can enroll into that healthcare law school you’ve been reading about for a while and get a master’s degree while working a full-time job.

These are some of the best ways to get started if you want to reduce your health insurance premium by assuming a healthier lifestyle. For more tips and tricks, be sure to stay tuned right here on Green Medical Group.