2016/01 - The key takeaway from a new book on how to eat and live like "the world's healthiest
people" is that longevity is not just about food. Read more by Eliza Barclay at Eating To Break
100: Longevity Diet Tips From The Blue Zones.
2016/02 - Has the Federal Government's push to automate patient care gone too far? We need to
recognize where efficiency and standardization efforts are appropriate and where they are not.
Good medical care takes time, and there is no one best way to treat many disorders. Read more at
2016/02 - Health Care Cost Sharing Ministries - The advantage of health care sharing ministries
is a cost that's less than traditional insurance. However, they do come with restrictions not found
in traditional insurance plans.
2016/02 - What Position Have the Candidates Taken? - Healthcare will be on the minds of most
voters this presidential election season. The big question, “What are the candidates saying in
2016/03 - Indoor Swimming pools in the Huntsville, Alabama area - Looking for an exercise
alternative. Perhaps indoor water exercise/therapy is right for you.
2016/03- Dr. Neighbors receives national recognition - Doctors who achieve National Committee
for Quality Assurance (NCQA) diabetes recognition have demonstrated they are part of an elite
group that provides the highest-level diabetes care.
2016/03 - Patient Satisfaction. Over 98% of patients tell us they would recommend our family
practice to a family member or friend. While we aren't going to brag (well, maybe just a little) you
can peek at a recent certificate that made us smile. Comments from you help us know how to
improve. Let us know how we met your needs with a comment card in the lobby, the message link
on the home page of this website or from an after visit emailed questionnaire. We love to hear
how we can improve and especially when your needs were meet.
2016/04 - Top 10 Medicare Mistakes - Medicare is uncharted territory for most of the 10,000
people a day who currently come into the program. It’s not a minefield exactly, but lurking in the
undergrowth are pitfalls and traps that can be costly unless you take care to avoid them. Click
here to read more about the top 10 Medicare mistakes to be aware of.
2016/04 - America’s million-doctor shortage is right around the corner - Primary-care shortage is
growing especially acute in rural areas and in parts of some cities. The doctor is disappearing in
America. And by most projections, it’s only going to get worse — the U.S. could lose as many as
one million doctors by 2025, according to an Association of American Medical Colleges report.
Primary-care physicians will account for as much as one-third of that shortage, meaning the doctor
you likely interact with most often is also becoming much more difficult to see.
2016/04 - Confessions of a Health Plan CEO A knowledgeable industry observer explains the
history of health insurance in America and what must be done to fix it. In the article Jim Purcell
explains, "Health insurance today is not really insurance. It has morphed to something different.
Traditional insurance spreads a risk of the cost of a large unpredictable loss among a group of
people who each share such a risk. Fire insurance is a good example, where insureds each pay a
small amount (premium) to cover a small risk of a fire loss, and the insurer spreads that risk over
hundreds of premium paying insureds. Health insurance turns this on its head. With the exception
of hospitalizations and a few other items, health insurance is not about paying a relatively small
premium to cover the risk of a very large loss. In health insurance, we pay a very large premium to
cover mostly predictable and indeed inevitable smaller expenses."
2016/04 - The Mess That is MACRA - MACRA (the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization
Act) is a mess. As Kip Sullivan explains, "It is extremely difficult to comprehend, it is based on
assumptions that defy commonsense and research, and it may raise costs."
2016/05 - Doctors and patients: too many degrees of separation - The federal government has
been trying to control the health of citizens for nearly a century, increasingly separating patients
and their physicians. The first degree of separation: World War II wage controls firmly established
health insurance as an employee “benefit” in lieu of salary. This gave the employer power to
choose coverage based on its needs, not the employee’s. Since World War II, government has
imposed a multitude of programs that add degrees of separation: Medicare, Medicaid, Nixon’s
HMO Act, ACA and MACRA are only a few examples.
2016/06 - In passing the new MACRA legislation, Congress put The Center for Medicare Services
(CMS) in a difficult position by mandating that CMS fix the nation’s healthcare cost issues by
measuring physician performance. The idea sounds great. The problem is how to do it? To date,
attempts to find a solution have failed. When we as a society finally get around to agreeing
MACRA failed, we should blame Congress first, not CMS. Details of what is happening behind the
scenes is complex and hence remains mostly unnoticed by the public. Granted it’s a difficult issue
to fully understand but well worth digging into if you hope to vote wisely for representatives that will
get behind intelligent changes. Read more in Kip Sullivan’s three part series ( part-1, part-2, part-
2016/06 - The Insurer Fee Disconnect - The cost of primary health care is not the cause of
ever higher healtcare cost. It’s the lack of office visits which exacerbate already existing chronic
situations that result in hospitalizations and specialist involvement over extended periods that
drives up cost. Read more about Jim Purcell's insights in his article, "The Insurer Fee Disconnect"
2016/07 - Should I get the flu vaccine this year? In general, CDC recommends everyone 6
months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Vaccination to prevent influenza is
particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. This
flu season, CDC recommends use of the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine or IIV) and the
recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine
or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-2017. To learn more about what's expected during the
2016-2017 flu season click here.
2016/08 - Why am I not receiving Dr. Neighbors' Health Tip Newsletters? Health tip
newsletters are emailed and sent by text message to patients unless they have requested to be
unsubscribed. For some, email can be blocked unless the domain DocNeighbors.com is added to
their "white list" of email domains. Subscriptions for family members not receiving Dr. Neighbors'
news may be requested by contacting the office.
2016/09 - Six Things You Need to Know about Vaccines - Every year, tens of thousands of
Americans get sick from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines - some people are
hospitalized, some even die. Immunization is our best protection against these diseases.
1. We all need vaccines throughout our lives to help protect against serious diseases.
2. Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases can and do still happen in communities across the U.
3. CDC and FDA take many steps to make sure vaccines are very safe.
4. Vaccines give you the power to protect your children from getting sick.
5. You can even make sure your baby is born with protection by getting vaccinated when you are
6. Vaccines aren’t just for kids. They can help adults stay healthy too – especially if they have
The protection from some vaccines wear off over time. You may also become at risk for some
diseases due to your age, job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions. Adults with chronic conditions
like asthma/COPD, heart disease, and diabetes are more likely to get complications from certain
diseases. Take this quick quiz to find out what vaccines may be recommended for you.
2016/09 - Former Obama Advisor: “I Was Wrong About Obamacare - Bob Kocher, an adviser
brought on board to assist President Obama in passing his signature health care legislation,
admits in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that he was wrong on one critical aspect of the Affordable
Care Act (ACA) (commonly known as “ObamaCare”): bureaucracy is a problem, not a solution.
According to Kocher, one goal of the ACA was to cause consolidation between health care
companies. In 2015, 112 companies merged, about an 18% increase from 2014. These mergers
have led to a bureaucratic mess with cost escalating due to lack of competition. Kocher’s
realization was that bigger is not always better: “Small, independent practices know their patients
better than any large health system ever can. They are going up against the incumbent and thus
are driven to innovate. These small businesses can learn faster without holding weeks of
committee discussions and without permission from finance, legal and IT departments to make a
2016/10 - AlabamaAgeline.gov (800-243-5463) is the official site of the Alabama Department of
Senior Services State and local services for seniors include.
Employment Training for Seniors
Elder Abuse Prevention
Health Care Fraud
Long Term Care
Medicare and Insurance Counseling
Prescription Drug Assistance
2016/10 What's Wrong with Primary Care in America - I can recall it like yesterday. I was in the
middle of my annual physical with my long-standing primary care physician, Dr. Richard Reiter.
Dick Reiter is my age and is an old school doc. He caught my cancer before it got too serious, and
had been yelling at me about things like cholesterol, stress, and exercise for years. During a lull in
the exam, I turned to him and asked, “Dick, I’m the CEO of a major insurance company. What do I
need to know?” He paused, looking down. Then his cheek started to twitch. I actually saw him
lose his temper for the first time in 25 plus years.
2016/10 A Nail in the Coffin for Low-Fat/High-Carb Diets - Beginning in the 1970s, the US
government and major professional nutrition organizations recommended that individuals in the
United States eat a low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet, launching arguably the largest public health
experiment in history. Throughout the ensuing 40 years, the prevalence of obesity and diabetes
increased several-fold, even as the proportion of fat in the US diet decreased by 25%.
Recognizing new evidence that consumption of processed carbohydrates—white bread, white rice,
chips, crackers, cookies, and sugary drinks—but not total fat has contributed importantly to these
epidemics, the 2015 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans essentially eliminated the upper limit
on dietary fat intake. However, a comprehensive examination of this massive public health failure
has not been conducted. Consequently, significant harms persist, with the low-fat diet remaining
entrenched in public consciousness and food policy.
2016/10 - Why are rates going up on the insurance exchanges? In essence, the current
federal healthcare law (PPACA) permits people to sign up even if they are already sick. Real
insurance cannot work that way. Imagine an Accountable Fire Insurance Act that required insurers
to sell you fire insurance after your home had burned. Homeowner insurance rates would
skyrocket. Anyone who carefully read the PPACA would have seen that coming.
2016/11 - Government adds more paperwork for doctors. Whether applied to policymaking for
individuals, large populations, or administration of health services nationwide, it is imperative
regulatory decisions be anchored to empirical evidence. The newest official rule (MACRA )has now
been released. It is 2,000 pages based on the opinion of many non-practicing physicians,
Dartmouth economists, and government administrators with input from a few doctors on the front
2016/12 - Does Life Expectancy Matter? - U.S. life expectancy declined in 2015 for the first time in
more than two decades, according to a National Center for Health Statistics study released last
week. The decline of 0.1 percent was ever so slight ― life expectancy at birth was 78.8 years in
2015, compared with 78.9 years in 2014. However, this reversal of a long-time upward trend
makes these results significant.
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