Better Living Through Well Being
As Fukushima radiation makes landfall on West Coast beaches, the Natural News Forensic Food Lab is testing foods for radioactive cesium-137 and other heavy metals, and in conjunction with the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center, the lab has been publishing reports for many off-the-shelf food products. Through NaturalNews.com, these heavy metals lab results are free to the public and include parts per billion (ppb) concentrations of aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, and copper, and due to concerns about food absorbing radioactive fallout from the Fukushima catastrophe, results for cesium and uranium are also included.
Toxic elements are linked to diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, kidney failure, cognitive impairment, birth defects, hardening of the arteries and more. Many people also have health conditions that are worsened by toxic heavy metals, which can stay in the body for decades. This food science project provides transparency to consumers so they can make informed decisions about what foods they wish to consume or avoid. Foods being tested include fast foods, conventional grocery products, breakfast cereals, superfoods, protein powders, infant formula, packaged meats, dairy products, sodas, teas, and dietary supplements.
The Natural News Forensic Food Lab has made a breakthrough food science discovery with its process of measuring a food’s natural ability to bind with and capture toxic heavy metals. This “capturing” means a proportion of the toxic substances pass through and are eliminated rather than being absorbed directly into the body, thus rendering them harmless. This testing revealed that nearly all foods containing natural insoluble fibers are able to bind with mercury and many other whole foods are able to bind with various other heavy metals or toxic substances. This research also provides scientific evidence for how liquid mineral supplements and vitamin/mineral powders need to be carefully looked at with additional testing to ensure they are not contaminated with toxic elements and heavy metals. Once a whole food has been altered by processing, juicing, powdering, or in some way separating out the fiber, which is the food’s natural metals retention factor, the substances it contains are more immediately accessible to absorption by the body.
A major storm is headed for the healthcare industry this year, and it is due to arrive on October 1st. The switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 medical coding has been in the works for many years. Some say this represents the biggest change in the healthcare system since the implementation of Medicare, yet a large part of the professional community has little or no awareness of the federal mandate. With the procedure codes increasing from 17,000 codes under ICD-9 to more than 141,000 codes under ICD-10, mastering the coding transition will be a Herculean task. It is time to start piecing the ICD-10 puzzle together, as there are only 8 months left, and the learning curve is steep. Consequences of this change are inevitable and the impact will be felt all throughout the industry. The top 3 challenges are the cost of lost productivity, increase in need for documentation, and the challenge of training medical staff in the new changes.
Although there has been some improvement since the problem was seriously addressed by the Federal government in 2009, a recent survey published in the “Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy” says drug shortages are still having a major impact on patient care. In addition to the more well known impacts such as medication errors and side effects related to use of alternative medications, increased institutional costs, cancelled care and delayed treatment, are the increased admissions due to drug shortage related treatment failures. The survey clearly shows that patients are aware these shortages are happening and they are upset that their care is being adversely affected by them.
A new study in the journal “Medical Care” shows that Internet-based portals, as well as the use of electronic medical records, are becoming increasingly important to health care delivery. The study provides new evidence that patient portals may help patients adhere to their medications and achieve improved health outcomes.
I hope you will also enjoy reading the other articles of interest in this Winter 2014 TMIS eNewsletter.
I am grateful to be in a collaborative business with many talented and skilled professionals. Additional feedback and recommendations for our products and services at TM Information Services are always welcome.
- Mary Michele McLaughlin
From the Front Page of TMIS News
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Whole Foods Naturally Retain Toxic Metals During Digestion, Discovers Consumer Wellness Center Lab Director Mike Adams
Research conducted at the Consumer Wellness Center labs (www.ConsumerWellness.org) and published at Labs.NaturalNews.com reveals that whole, unprocessed foods have a natural ability to retain toxic heavy metals during digestion, preventing the metals from being absorbed into the body. The discovery, made by Mike Adams, the lab director at the Consumer Wellness Center, has been named the "Metals Retention Factor" or MRF.
A mini-documentary video explaining the Metals Retention Factor in more detail is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlzJwUGmP98 .
The existence of MRF means that many previous assumptions about foods and food toxicity are false. Previously, the assumption was the foods are fully broken down during digestion to release 100% of their elemental composition, but Adams' research shows that foods, herbs and even dietary supplements actually retain a percentage of each toxic element found in their composition.
For example, one Traditional Chinese Medicine product tested by Adams retains around 70% of the lead it contains. Kelp granules tested by Adams retain 7% of the arsenic and 79% of the uranium they contain (http://labs.naturalnews.com/Kelp_Granules_Maine_Coast_34_heavy_metals_lab_tests_at_Natural_News_Labs.html). Wheat flour retains nearly 12% of the aluminum it contains (http://labs.naturalnews.com/Wheat_Flour_Hodgson_Mill_23_heavy_metals_lab_tests_at_Natural_News_Labs.html), and dried squid retains almost one-third of the toxic cadmium it contains (http://labs.naturalnews.com/Saki_Ika_Squid_Wel-Pac_47_heavy_metals_lab_tests_at_Natural_News_Labs.html).
In general, whole, raw, unprocessed foods have been found by Adams to retain much higher quantities of toxic elements, while cooked, processed or refined foods have been found to retain very low quantities of toxic elements and heavy metals. The retention of toxic elements is aided by insoluble fibers as well as natural "ionic affinities" for certain elements. For example, most seafood products (fish, shrimp, scallops, etc.) have a natural affinity for binding with cesium. This actually creates an increased risk for seafood in the Pacific Ocean to absorb radioactive cesium-137 being washed into the ocean from the Fukushima catastrophe.
Natural Foods Possess Remarkable Ability to Selectively Bind with Toxic Heavy Metals, Says New Research from Natural News Forensic Food Lab
The Natural News Forensic Food Lab has announced a breakthrough food science discovery that measures the ability of natural foods to bind with and "capture" toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, arsenic, mercury, lead, copper and aluminum.
The discovery was dubbed the Metals Capturing Capacity by its discoverer Mike Adams, and it measures the number of micrograms of each toxic element (heavy metal) which can be bound or "captured" by one gram of the food substance being tested. A video explaining the discovery is available now at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvC4Mxoa0Sc&feature=youtu.be .
A more technical, scientific explanation of the MCC process is found at: http://labs.naturalnews.com/What-is-the-Metals-Capturing-Capacity.html.
MCC laboratory test results for many foods and superfoods are published now at: http://labs.naturalnews.com .
Until scientifically documented by Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger"), the binding ability of foods has only been understood and described in vague terms with statements like, "Cilantro absorbs heavy metals" or "Zeolites can help detox heavy metals." Adams' research is now able to fully test these claims and document the actual micrograms per gram of toxic elements which are bound or "captured" by foods, superfoods, herbs and dietary substances. Adams has already documented that cilantro's reputation is vastly overstated: it actually performs very poorly in terms of metals affinity and binding.
ICD-10 Storm - The Challenges and Its Solutions
Durham, North Carolina
October 1, 2014 is the deadline for implementing the ICD-10 coding, according to the U.S Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS). The transition from ICD 9 to ICD-10 is likely to impact almost every part of healthcare industry, right from the providers to payers. According to ICD-10 readiness survey conducted by the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), a large part of the professional community has little or no awareness of the federal mandate. Merely half of the providers and about 60 percent of health plans have completed an impact assessment, and just one of three payers is currently conducting external testing. The dismal findings show the lack of preparedness in the healthcare industry as it continues to struggle with the requirements of the switch.
WEDI Chairman Jim Daley in a letter addressed to CMS, wrote, "Based on the survey results, it is clear the industry continues to make slow progress, but not the amount of progress that is needed for a smooth transition. People are finding this is bigger than they expect. They're finding that more time is needed"
Here are what is seen as the top 3 ICD-10 Challenges:
The Cost of Lost Productivity
Decrease in productivity (at least for a short span of time) is inevitable in any profession when workers are in training or learning a new skill. Same goes for coders, especially for inpatient coders, as they have to learn two new code sets: ICD-10-CM for diagnosis coding and ICD-10-PCS for procedure reporting. As a result, accurately documenting and coding each patient encounter will take longer by the coders, resulting in cost of lost productivity.
Increase in Documentation
With ICD-10 approaching, the industry focus is turning more towards Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI). The ICD-10 code set requires a higher level of specificity as compared to the current ICD-9 standard. ICD-10 will restructure the clinical documentation practices that have been widely accepted for more than three decades. Clinical documentation is needed to select the appropriate ICD-10 code, and new terminology must be used to document patient care information and support both the diagnosis reporting and the medical necessity for the service provided. Taking steps to improve documentation will be foundational in helping the practice get paid faster, experience fewer delays and denials during the changeover.
Training is a Challenge
For a practice to understand how ICD-10 is structured and applied, a lot depends on the size and the experience of the staff in medical coding, which in return will decide the hours of training required. Canada embraced ICD-10 between 2001 and 2006. The data indicates, post ICD-10 implementation, there was a decline in productivity by 10 percent in the year before and the year after the implementation. It took an average of 6 months for most healthcare practices to return to an acceptable productivity level. Training, slower processing time, increased inquiries from coders, and billing inquiries from payers, all contributed to hours of lost productivity. To ensure that the same does not happen to the folks here AudioEducator has come up with specialty specific ICD-10 training to cover most of the grey areas.
Newly Published Survey Shows Drug Shortages Still Have Major Impact on Patient Care
According to newly published results from a survey of pharmacy directors, drug shortages remain a serious problem for patient safety. Nearly half of the responding directors reported adverse events at their facilities due to drug shortages, including patient deaths.
The survey was conducted by Northwestern Medicine researchers in partnership with MedAssets, as part of the MedAssets Pharmacy Coalition to better understand how drug shortages affect patient outcomes. The survey asked pharmacy directors from a variety of health care settings to supply information on drug shortage related patient complaints, adverse events, medication errors, patient outcomes, demographics and institutional costs. The survey's findings were detailed in, "Effects on Patient Care Caused by Drug Shortages: A Survey," a research article published in the November/December issue of the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy (JMCP).
"Drug shortages are the first thing I think about when I get up in the morning and it is the last thing on my mind when I go to bed at night," said Gary Fennessy, MBA, vice president of Operations for Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and co-author of the JMCP article. "This is not a problem that is going to go away on its own. Healthcare leaders must not lose sight of it as a major contributor to patient harm or consider its adverse effects inevitable."
In 2009, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists put drug shortage management guidelines in place for health care providers to try and minimize negative impacts patient care, and in 2011, following an Executive Order from President Barack Obama on reducing drug shortages, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) increased its efforts to prevent and resolve drugs shortages. While the FDA recently reported that the number of new shortages in 2012 was down to 117, from 251 in 2011, drug shortages are still having a major impact on patient care.
A common practice to help mitigate the problems caused by a drug shortage is to use an alternative medication when possible. Even when alternate medication can be used, there can be many unintended consequences and additional side effects. In general, drug shortages have been known to cause, or contribute to a variety of issues, which were also represented in the newly published survey responses including: Medication errors (such as wrong dose, wrong drug, wrong frequency), Increased institutional costs, Cancelled care, and Delayed treatment.
Personal Health Record Associated with Improved Medication Adherence and Improved Cholesterol Levels
Patients with diabetes who used an online patient portal to refill medications increased their medication adherence and improved their cholesterol levels, according to a new study in the journal Medical Care.
Online patient portals allow users to perform tasks such as scheduling appointments, accessing their health records, viewing their lab test results and emailing their care providers in addition to ordering prescription refills.
The National Institutes of Health funded researchers from Kaiser Permanente and the University of California, San Francisco Medical School to follow 17,760 patients with diabetes who received care from Kaiser Permanente in Northern California between January 2006 and December 2010.
Medication non-adherence and poorly controlled cholesterol declined by 6 percent among exclusive users of the online refill function, compared to occasional users or non-users.
In this large sample of diabetes patients, the average age was 62, and 40 percent were non-white minorities. The diabetes patients studied had an average of more than six chronically used medications and 11 outpatient visits per year.
Legal Agreement Moves Tobacco Companies Closer to Finally Telling the Truth to the American People
As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health, the major cigarette companies are nearing the day when they must finally come clean to the American people and end decades of deception that have resulted in the addiction, illness and death of millions.
The U.S. Department of Justice and lawyers for the tobacco companies told a federal court that they have reached agreement on the details of how they would implement the "corrective statements" ordered by U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in 2006, when she found the companies guilty of violating civil racketeering laws and lying to the public about the dangers of smoking and their marketing to children.
While this agreement is an important step forward, it is not the end of the long legal battle to hold the tobacco industry accountable for its unconscionable behavior and prevent that behavior from continuing. The tobacco companies have filed time-consuming appeals at every stage of this 15-year lawsuit and reserved the right to appeal the specific language of the corrective statements ordered by Judge Kessler. We urge them to end their delay tactics and finally tell the truth to the American people.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has rejected two previous industry appeals of Judge Kessler's landmark 2006 decision, and we expect the appellate court would do so again. This agreement ensures that when all potential appeals are exhausted, the corrective statements will be ready to run without further delay.
Five Key Mega Trends in Nature Inspired Innovation: A Thought Leadership Video
There is a growing movement across a wide range of industries to innovate new products developed from engineering and design principles seen in Nature. Adhesives, medical devices, mechanical parts, and drugs are just a few examples of products being developed that utilize principles found in Nature with the larger goal to create a more sustainable world.
It is from this perspective that Dr.Sanjay Mazumdar, Lucintel CEO, has developed a video title "God's Intelligence: Drivers for Innovations and Business Growth" providing thought leadership on God / Nature inspired innovation and the related business opportunities and challenges. The video provides an overview of 5 innovation mega trends that are grounded in sustainable, environment friendly practices. At the center of Dr. Mazumdar's presentation is a focus on how nature inspired trends will provide dynamic opportunities for companies across a wide variety of industries. In two of innovation trends, composite materials industry will play a significant role whereas in another two innovation trends, sensors and sensing devices will play a big role.
The five Nature inspired innovation areas presented by Dr. Sanjay Mazumdar include Monolithic Design, Bio-degradable Materials, Green Energy Sources, Smart/Intelligent Materials, and Continuous Monitoring.
Nature inspired innovation is a new concept that has yet to be fully integrated across industries, which means huge potential for growth. Industries that will significantly benefit from the above trends include automotive, aerospace, bio-technology, chemical, construction, consumer goods, energy, and oil-gas.
To identify emerging mega trends in nature inspired innovations, watch this 12 minute video titled "God's Intelligence: Drivers for Innovations and Business Growth" by clicking http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m62F_zzQzXc. This video offers thought leadership on how Nature inspired innovations and technologies are growth platforms for companies to develop sustainable and transformational products and services.
Prevent Alzheimer's With These 3 Foods
The number of Americans with Alzheimer's is projected to triple by 2050. While there isn't a cure for Alzheimer's, certain lifestyle changes can help prevent cognitive decline. MySilverAge.com recommends three foods that can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's by enhancing brain function and keeping the mind sharp.
You can practice preventive care with a diet rich in these Alzheimer's foods to help slow the progression of the most common form of dementia.
1. Oil-based Salad Dressings - Drizzling oil-based dressing on salads can help support healthy brain function. The vitamin E found in oil-based salad dressings is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are thought to guard neurons, the nerve cells that relay information between the brain and the rest of the body, from oxidation, thus preventing or slowing brain damage. Vitamin E has even been credited with delaying the advancement of memory loss in moderate to severe cases of Alzheimer's disease.
2. Beet Juice - It may not be the first thirst-quencher that comes to mind, but recent studies show that beet juice could help fend off Alzheimer's. Nitrates found in beet roots help blood and oxygen flow within the body by dilating blood vessels. In particular, they boost blood flow to the frontal lobes, which helps to prevent dementia. Other nitrate-packed foods include spinach, celery and cabbage.
3. Chicken Giblets - Think twice before tossing out chicken giblets (the neck, heart, gizzards, kidneys or liver). Chicken giblets are actually powerful tools for battling Alzheimer's. The vitamin B-12 found in giblets could keep the brain sharp, according to a 2010 study published in the journal Neurology. And it only takes one cup of giblets to get 228 percent of the recommended daily dose of the vitamin.
Online Therapy: Healing Your Memories Doesn't Have to Be Painful
Woodbine, New Jersey
Who said that therapy had to be painful? "Heal Your Memories, Change Your Life," a new book, is written with humor, inspirational stories, and exercises that will leave readers feeling free to enjoy their lives and move on to happy and successful futures.
"Are there memories that keep popping into your head?" said author Frank Healy, a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of New Jersey who counsels people with depression and anxiety. He is also a medical miracle who remembers every day of his life since he was six years old. "Maybe you suffer from depression or anxiety because there is a traumatic memory that you can't seem to recover from. Or you may wish that you remember more of a happy memory."
"Heal Your Memories, Change Your Life" takes readers on an adventurous journey through their own memories, and gives them tools to heal from past hurts. The book uses exercises to help readers remember more of the good times, and let go of the pain from past hurts, said Healy, who is known as the "Memory Healer." Readers also will be able to join a memory support group on his website.
Alternative Medicine Psychotherapist Launches Groundbreaking Alternative Guide for Mental Health
The year 2014 is poised to bring a sigh of relief to the 450 million people around the world with mental and emotional issues and diagnoses, thanks to Amelia Kemp, Ph.D., LMHC. Dr. Kemp, a licensed psychotherapist, metaphysician and board certified alternative medical practitioner, has released a groundbreaking self-help book, "From Psychotherapy to Sacretherapy - Alternative Holistic Descriptions & Healing Processes for 170 Mental & Emotional Diagnoses Worldwide." The book is the first to offer alternative holistic ways to describe, interpret and treat all 170 mental and emotional diagnoses in an attempt to remove the stigma and pathology associated with mental and emotional issues and restore sufferers' sense of value and worth, while bringing them back into alignment with their inherent wellness.
Dr. Kemp, a psychotherapist for 18 years, believes traditional interventions are "fragmented" and they label people with "disorders" the label itself causing them to feel sick and defective. She boldly breaks the mold, exchanging the stigmatized word "disorder" with "reaction" and prescribes holistic treatments that honor the whole person - mind, body and spirit. Dr. Kemp tells sufferers, "You're not sick, you're sacred." The book addresses mental health through universal spiritual principles that are metaphysical in nature in order to get to the essence of the matter. It offers eight steps to mental and emotional well-being, along with a chapter specifically devoted to healing suicidal thoughts and behaviors since hopelessness is often the result of stigma and reduced self esteem. The book also honors other alternative healing modalities including herbal remedies, which are usually minimized in the American mental health community.
Passion for Cooking and Living an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Leads to the Launching of Dosha Pops
New York, New York
Dosha Pops, Inc. has announced the launch of their ecommerce website that sells unique, tea-based lollipops that appeal to those who want to find balance in their lives through Ayurveda and satisfy their sweet tooth. Ayurveda is a form of holistic healing that has been practiced in India for more than 5,000 years. Incorporating all aspects of life - including diet, exercise, sleeping, and eating times - Ayurveda aims to keep the body well-balanced. According to Ayurvedic beliefs, each person also has a unique pattern of energies like a fingerprint called "doshas," of which, there are three distinct types: vata, pitta, and kapha. While multiple doshic energies may be present within a given person, usually one is more dominant than the others. Ayurvedic practitioners believe disease can occur when these energies are out of balance.
With her recently discovered love of Ayurvedic living and an already entrenched passion for cooking, Peggy Andrews, Founder & CEO of Dosha Pops, worked for two years to find the perfect balance of natural ingredients and great taste for when she wanted to snack on something sweet. Andrews stated, "Through the process of sharing my healthier candy indulgence with friends and colleagues, I soon realized that I might be onto something - I could potentially make this a social enterprise. Through the use of herb mixtures, plants, teas, common oils, and spices, Ayurveda's key mission is simple: to bring the dosha back into balance. This, too, is the mission of Dosha Pops but with the addition of confection and a portion of the proceeds donated to charities that address human well-being."
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