The Health Care Reform Act and the Donut Hole – What Does it Mean for Pharmacists?

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The Health Care Reform Act (HCRA) has been in the news a lot lately, and everyone is wondering what it will mean for them. Patients, healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, and even pharmacists are torn between being concerned and hopeful. Most of the media attention has focused on how this bill is going to help individuals or how much money it is going to cost to implement. However, not a lot of people are talking about the job growth and boost to the economy that could result from the Health Care Reform Act and its impact on the donut hole in Medicare.

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It sounds odd to speak of donut holes and Medicare in the same sentence, but these donut holes are not like the kind you would have with your morning coffee. In regards to Medicare, the term Donut Hole refers to a gap in coverage. Specifically, for our purposes, the gap in coverage for medication. Right now, the gap begins after a patient has purchased $2,380 worth of prescription medications. Continue reading “The Health Care Reform Act and the Donut Hole – What Does it Mean for Pharmacists?”

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The Nurse as a Role Model for Health

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Guest post by Tamara Walker, R.N.

As a graduate nurse, fresh out of school and just starting my nursing career, I believed nurses were not only health promoters and educators, but should also serve as examples of healthy living. Unfortunately, it did not take long to discover that many of the nurses I worked with were not living up to my expectations of that role. Several were smokers, some were very overweight, and some drank on a regular basis. Although I was striving to be healthy in those areas, I struggled with my own non-healthy habits of sleep deprivation and poor stress management skills.

I was bothered by the dichotomy between what was being taught and what was being done by the nursing staff. There seemed to be a distinct aura of “do as I say, not as I do,” and as a new nurse, I felt that we, as nurses, should hold ourselves to a higher standard and strive harder to live out the healthy lifestyle choices we were teaching to our patients. However, not all nurses agree with this belief, and some feel it is unrealistic to hold nurses to this high standard. Continue reading “The Nurse as a Role Model for Health”

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Incentives for Changing Careers Within the Medical Profession

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According to a 2008 Physicians’ Foundation survey, nearly half the 270,000 primary care physicians in the U.S. who responded said that they would seriously consider getting out of the medical business within the next three years, if they had an alternative.

According to a 2008 Physicians’ Foundation survey, nearly half the 270,000 primary care physicians in the U.S. who responded said that they would seriously consider getting out of the medical business within the next three years, if they had an alternative.

This isn’t a new development either: A smaller Levin survey in 1998 revealed that 46 per cent of American clinicians surveyed often thought about leaving clinical practice.

Thinking of leaving a job in clinical work (or leaving another medical job for clinical work) is one thing; Actually leaving to make a go of something else is another.

Considering the big jump? Check out the following guides, resources, and assistance programs for changing healthcare professions, or getting into medicine from other fields: Continue reading “Incentives for Changing Careers Within the Medical Profession”

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Hospitals Doing More with Less

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A compelling PubMed article entitled “Retooling Without Layoffs” highlighted the great need of hospitals to intelligently cut expenses while maintaining their greatest strength: people.

What’s interesting is that the article was written in 1996, before either recession hit (the aim then was to retool in preparation for expected restrictions in the growth of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.)

What the successful hospitals in the article learned was that the pink slip usually isn’t the best way to achieve cost reductions.

With the medical industry once more in a severe crunch to reduce operating costs, hospitals are again looking to do more with less.

Hospitals doing more with less

A compelling PubMed article entitled “Retooling Without Layoffs” highlighted the great need of hospitals to intelligently cut expenses while maintaining their greatest strength: people.

What’s interesting is that the article was written in 1996, before either recession hit (the aim then was to retool in preparation for expected restrictions in the growth of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.)

What the successful hospitals in the article learned was that the pink slip usually isn’t the best way to achieve cost reductions.

With the medical industry once more in a severe crunch to reduce operating costs, hospitals are again looking to do more with less.

Here’s a look at some of those who are doing it well… Continue reading “Hospitals Doing More with Less”

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Benefits of Becoming a Per Diem Pharmacist

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Since I began writing on this blog, I’ve found much more to talk about with my local pharmacist. We discuss a variety of pharmacy topics when I go in to refill prescriptions several times a month. Before, it was the usual “how are you doing” kind of conversation, and now I use him as a source of inspiration and information. Recently, I was telling him about some of the blog posts I’d been writing and mentioned temporary nursing positions. I asked him if he knew about them, and he did. Then we started discussing about how the same type of arrangement is also available for pharmacists. He said it had never interested him much, because he likes where he lives, but that he’d known several people who enjoyed the variety. He had similar things to say about becoming a per diem pharmacist, and mentioned that their pharmacy employed them from time to time when someone was sick or was scheduled for vacation.

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Oddly, I had never noticed if someone different was busily filling my prescriptions, but then again, I hadn’t really started having conversations with my pharmacist every visit until recently. I usually deal with the pharmacy technician or cashier unless I have a specific question about the medications. I must admit I was intrigued. I asked if he could tell me why people were interested in becoming a per diem pharmacist. Some of the answers reminded me of what nurses I know have to say and others seemed more specific to the world of pharmaceuticals. Continue reading “Benefits of Becoming a Per Diem Pharmacist”

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Doctors Who Made a Difference

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More than making house calls and being there for patients, the following doctors spent the last year coming up with discoveries, techniques, treatments, and tales of bravery that changed the lives of the people under their watch and those under the care of many of their colleagues.

doctors_who_made_a_difference_soliantMore than making house calls and being there for patients, the following doctors spent the last year coming up with discoveries, techniques, treatments, and tales of bravery that changed the lives of the people under their watch and those under the care of many of their colleagues.

From coming up with a faster way to get more organs to transplant recipients to finding less painful ways of administering chemotherapy, these doctors contributions have touched their patients and thousands more they will never meet: Continue reading “Doctors Who Made a Difference”

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