June 2007


Redefining Healthcare: Is the American System Broken?

Is the American healthcare system broken? Elizabeth Teisberg thinks so. In fact, it is estimated that over 400,000 Americans die each year … all as a result of the poor treatment they receive in hospitals. Teisberg is the co-author of the new book Redefining Healthcare. Not only does Teisberg think the system is broken, she thinks it can be fixed and ultimately cost less money than it does now while delivering much better results. Join “Books of Our Time” host Dean Lawrence R. Velvel as he sits down for one hour with Teisberg to discuss these vital issues. Teisberg is Associate Professor at the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. Join us as the program explores the disconnect between patient value and healthcare competition. Which doctors are the best? Which are the worst? How does the public find out? What steps can be taken to assure that you are receiving the best healthcare possible? All of these topics and more will be explored. The Massachusetts School of Law, located in Andover, Massachusetts, makes high quality, affordable legal education available to less privileged persons who are traditionally excluded from the legal profession. As part of its mission of providing high quality education and information for both law students and the general public, the Massachusetts School of Law also presents information on important current affairs to the general public via television and radio broadcasts, an intellectual journal, conferences, author appearances, blogs and books.

Please click here to view the google video.

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Solution to problems listed in Michael Moore’s SiCKO

 

As Mialka Bonadonna writes in laist.com – SiCKO Dissects US Health Care System:
Moores most recent film is not just an inoculative needle prick about the ills of the American health-care system, it is a far more invasive undertaking that delicately picks apart all of the wrongs and injustices predicated by the inherent greed and capitalistic lust that underlies social policy in the United States. Using average American citizens as his surgical tools, he dissects the systematic political artifice to find insurance companies that rob the sick and dying, politicians that cheat the elderly, a lack of social concern for future generations, blatant imperialism, murder, and disrespect for those who have sacrificed when the United States government failed to care for other people.
Michael Moore - SiCKO
Most notably, Moore does not only travel around the United States for his documentary. He also travels to England, France, Canada, and Cuba. What he found in those places were people who felt profoundly sorry for Americans, people who asked how a country as powerful as the United States could abandon its most vulnerable citizens at their time of need. The highlight of the film is undoubtedly Moores surprise trip to Cuba with three boat-loads of sick people in need of treatment. Moore does an excellent job of destroying the myths and stereotypes that are often perpetrated by the American media about these countries and the people who live there.

Unfortunately, SiCKO does not offer any solutions to the problems posed in the film. But, what it does do is make you feel angry and confrontational enough to go out and demand some answers and solutions from the powers-that-be.

Healthbase‘s medical tourism can provide solution to the problems listed in Michael Moore’s SiCKO

 


Healthbase is the trusted source for global medical choices, connecting patients to leading healthcare facilities overseas. Healthbase’s state-of-the-art, easy to use, information rich web-based system helps you research and arrange your medical care including necessary travel and accommodation, all at one place. We arrange first class services for patients at major internationally accredited hospitals in Singapore, Thailand, India, Mexico, Panama and expanding to Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia and Turkey. The cost of surgical care at our ever growing network of affiliated institutions is typically a fraction of the cost of care in the U.S. with equal or superior outcomes.Our primary concern at Healthbase has always been quality of care. We have sent experts onsite to carefully screen overseas hospitals based on the quality of care, procedural availability, pricing, and overall patient experience. We only work with the hospitals that maintain best practice standards of care, such as ISO, JCI/JCAHO accreditation and provide direct access to elite US, UK and internationally trained physicians, docotors and surgeons. Click here to access our hospitals page.Over two hundred medical, dental and cosmetic procedures are available in various categories: Orthopedic procedures such as hip replacement, Birmingham hip resurfacing, artificial knee replacement, knee surgery, cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentation, face lift, rhinoplasty (nose surgery), liposuction, dental procedures such as bridges, implants, crowns, and procedures in categories such as cardiac, vascular, spinal, obesity, eye, LASIK, urology, general surgery, plastic surgery, weight-loss surgery, wellness and much more. The savings are up to 80% from typical USA prices.Medical Tourism is the act of traveling abroad to receive medical, dental and cosmetic care. Medical Tourism is also called as Medical Travel, Health Tourism, Health Travel and Medical Value Travel. Significantly lower costs for best practice care is usually the primary motivation although some medical tourists go abroad for immediate availability of procedures and unavailable treatments. Patients frequently take advantage of the opportunity to vacation and tour inexpensively in the country they are visiting. Click here to hear more about medical or dental tourism.

Looking for FREE cost estimate? Register here.

Like to look at our extensive hospital profiles and doctor profiles? Register now.

Like to learn more about traveling abroad for treatment? About Medical Tourism.

 

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Spinal Fusion Surgery

Anatomy of the human spine
The spinal column (or vertebral column) extends from the skull to the pelvis and is made up of 33 individual bones termed vertebrae. The following figure shows the lateral and posterior views of the spinal column:
Anatomy of the Human Spine

Between each vertebra are strong connective tissues which hold one vertebra to the next, and acts as a cushion between the vertebrae. The disc allows for movements of the vertebrae and lets people bend and rotate their neck and back. The type and degree of motion varies between the different levels of the spine: cervical (neck), thoracic (chest) or lumbar (low back). The cervical spine is a highly mobile region that permits movement in all directions. The thoracic spine is much more rigid due to the presence of ribs and is designed to protect the heart and lungs. The lumbar spine allows mostly forward and backward bending movements (flexion and extension).

What is a spinal fusion surgery?
Fusion is a surgical technique in which one or more of the vertebrae of the spine are united together (“fused”) so that motion no longer occurs between them. Bone grafts are placed around the spine during surgery. The body then heals the grafts over several months – similar to healing a fracture – which joins, or “welds,” the vertebrae together.

When is a spinal fusion surgery necessary?
Spinal fusion surgery is used to treat:
• a fractured (broken) vertebra e.g. spondylolisthesis
• deformity e.g. scoliosis or kyphosis (spinal curves or slippages)
• pain from painful motion
• instability
• some cervical disc herniations (fusion together with discectomy)
• weak or unstable spine caused by infections or tumors

Details of the procedure

What do I need to do before the surgery?
• Follow your health care provider’s instructions about not smoking before and after the procedure. Smokers heal more slowly after surgery. They are also more likely to have breathing problems during surgery. For this reason, if you are a smoker, you should quit at least 2 weeks before the procedure. It is best to quit 6 to 8 weeks before surgery. Also, your wounds will heal much better if you do not smoke after the surgery.
• Take a shower and wash your hair the night before surgery.
• Eat a light meal, such as soup or salad, the night before the procedure. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight and the m morning before the procedure. Do not even drink coffee, tea, or water.
• Follow any instructions your health care provider may give you.

What type of anesthesia will be used?
You will be given a regional or general anesthetic. A regional anesthetic numbs part of your body while you remain awake. It should keep you from feeling pain during the operation. A general anesthetic relaxes your muscles, puts you to sleep, and also prevents you from feeling pain.

What happens during the surgery?
The surgical procedure involves placement of a bone graft between the vertebrae. The surgery can be done either from the front or back of the body. The surgeon will decide which approach is the best depending on the problem. In the neck, the anterior approach is more common; lumbar and thoracic fusion is usually performed posteriorly.

The vertebrae are joined together by adding bone in the space between the vertebrae. The soft discs between the bones are sometimes removed if they are causing pain. The pieces of bone are usually taken from the outer pelvic bone (autograft). Bone from a bone bank (allograft) may also be used. There is research being done with synthetic (man-made) bone rather than using real bone.

With some of the newer “minimally invasive” surgical techniques currently available, fusion may sometimes be done through smaller incisions. The indications for minimally invasive surgery (MIS) are identical to those for traditional large incision surgery; however, it is important to realize that a smaller incision does not necessarily mean less risk involved in the surgery.

After surgery the bone heals and fuses together with the vertebrae. The bone will heal better if the spine does not move. Spinal instrumentation, such as rods, plates, wires, or screws, may be put in the back at the same time as the spinal fusion to keep the spine from moving while it heals.

How long will I be in the hospital?
Patients generally stay in the hospital for three or four days, but a longer stay after more extensive surgery is not uncommon. A short stay in a rehabilitation unit after release from the hospital is often recommended for patients who had extensive surgery, or for elderly or debilitated patients.

What are the risks associated with spinal fusion?
Risks for any surgery include bleeding and infection. Additional risks for spinal fusion surgery include urinary difficulties (retention) and temporary decreased or absent intestinal function.

How long will it take to recover?
The immediate discomfort following spinal fusion is generally greater than with other types of spinal surgeries. Postoperative pain control methods including oral pain medications and intravenous injections help control pain. Another method is a patient-controlled postoperative pain control pump that delivers a predetermined amount of narcotic pain medication through an intravenous line.

What should I watch out for?
Call your provider right away if:
• The wound is bleeding or oozing fluid.
• You develop a fever.
• You become short of breath.
• You are in a lot of pain.
• You develop numbness or weakness.

What rehabilitation program is recommended after the procedure?
Following spinal fusion surgery, a postoperative rehabilitation program may be recommended by your surgeon. The rehabilitation program may include back strengthening exercises and possibly a cardiovascular (aerobic) conditioning program, and a comprehensive program custom-designed for the patient’s work environment in order to safely get the patient back to work. The decision to proceed with a postoperative rehabilitation program depends upon many factors. These include factors related to the surgery (such as the type and extent of the surgery) as well as factors related to the patient (age, health and anticipated activity level.) Active rehabilitation may begin as early as 4 weeks postoperatively for a young patient with a single level fusion.

When can I expect to return to work and/or resume normal activities?
Recovery following fusion surgery is generally longer than for other types of spinal surgery. It also takes longer to return to a normal active lifestyle after spinal fusion than many other types of surgery. This is because you must wait until your surgeon sees evidence of bone healing. The fusion process varies in each patient as the body heals and incorporates the bone graft to solidly fuse the vertebrae together. The healing process after fusion surgery is very similar to that after a bone fracture. In general, the earliest evidence of bone healing is not apparent on X-ray until at least six weeks following surgery. During this time, the patient’s activity is generally restricted. Substantial bone healing does not usually take place until three or four months after surgery. At that time activities may be increased, although continued evidence of bone healing and remodeling may continue for up to a year after surgery.

In addition to some restrictions in activity, a brace is sometimes used for the early post-operative period. There are many types of braces that might be used. Some are very restrictive and are designed to severely limit motion, while others are intended mainly for comfort and to provide some support. The decision to use a brace or not, and the optimal type of brace, depends upon your surgeon’s preference and other factors related to the type of surgery.

What can I expect in the long run?
Although fusion can be a very good treatment for some spinal conditions, it does not return your spine to “normal.” The normal spine has some degree of motion between vertebrae. Fusion surgery eliminates the ability to move between the fused vertebrae, which can put added strain on the vertebrae above and below the fusion. Fortunately, once a fusion has healed, it rarely, if ever, breaks down. However, it does place more stress on the vertebrae next to the fusion. This has some potential to accelerate degeneration of those segments, but this risk varies between individuals. Many surgeons therefore recommend that spinal fusion patients avoid repetitive strenuous activities that involve combined lifting and twisting maneuvers to minimize the stress on the areas around the fusion.

Cost and availability

How much does it cost?
Click here for details.

Which countries/hospitals is it available in?
Click here to check the availability of spinal fusion surgery with our partner hospitals.

Healthbase is a medical and dental tourism facilitator that connects patients to leading JCI/JCAHO/ISO accredited hospitals and dental offices overseas through a secure, high-tech, information-rich web portal. Healthbase provides a wide range of medical procedures through its partner hospital network. Over two hundred medical procedures are available in various categories: cosmetic and plastic, orthopedic, dental, cardiac, and many more. The savings are up to 80 percent from typical US prices even after adding up the travel costs, hospital stay and other related expenses. Healthbase offers more than just procedural availability; we also provide customers with extensive information on medical treatments, hospital and doctor profiles to help them make an educated decision regarding their treatment; travel planning and booking; applying for medical/dental loan and much more.

To learn more, visit http://www.healthbase.com and login to view our extensive hospital profiles including pictures of operating rooms, patient rooms, doctor qualifications, and lots more. Get a FREE quote now!!

Note: All information presented here has been obtained from publicly available medical resources and is here for reference purposes only. Healthbase does not claim to be a medical professional and does not provide any advice on any issues relating to medical treatment.

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Healthbase is the trusted source for global medical choices, connecting patients to leading hospitals around the world, through secure and information-rich web portal. To learn more, visit: http://www.healthbase.com Login to get FREE quote. Access is free.Healthbase Logo

Medical Tourism – Avoid Years of Unnecessary Debt

Americans – uninsured, underinsured and even insured – are taking advantage of the low cost, high quality healthcare overseas and saving tons

A Hip Resurfacing Surgery for only $7,500! When Kathie Thornton’s medical tourism facilitator, Healthbase, informed her she could get her hip replaced for only $7,500 she wondered if it was too good to be true. The only catch was she would have to travel to India for her treatment – a move which eventually saved her over 80% off the price tag in the US.

Aware of the potential benefits of medical tourism – quality as well as savings – Americans are traveling increasingly to countries like India, Thailand, Singapore and next door, to Mexico for medical care. Surgeries in the US that can lead to years of debt and even bankruptcy are available at a fraction of cost outside the US. But some questions still remain – “How can it be so much cheaper there?” and “Is the quality as good as at home?”

The high administrative and labor costs in the US help explain the high cost of medicine in the country. Other countries like India and Thailand that are on Healthbase’s network have much lower cost of labor and so are able to offer a cheaper price.

Quality is of utmost concern when it comes to healthcare. But when you log on to Healthbase.com, you see that the international hospitals on its network are internationally accredited with JCI, JCAHO or ISO certifications. This essentially means that the same organization that monitors service quality and care in US hospitals also watches over those that are abroad. So the quality of care delivered is either the same or superior when compared with that back home.

According to Kathie Thornton, a 53-year old Indiana-based medical tourist, “The quality of care is beyond excellence. On every level, from the first thing in the morning till bedtime, it’s personal and excellent.”

Medical tourism is the solution for those who have been waiting for a health miracle and for those who think good quality care is not affordable. For Kathie, it meant the beginning of a new life. Healthbase gave her hope when she had lost all hope. She exclaimed after her successful rehab, “I feel like this is the first day of the rest of my life. I went from having no quality of life back to a 100% life. The overall experience – I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Medical tourism with Healthbase – It is your gateway to affordable healthcare.

Contact:
Healthbase Online Inc.
287 Auburn Street
Newton, MA 02466, USA
Phone: 1-888-MY1-HLTH
Phone: 1-888-691-4584 (Toll Free)
Phone: 1-617-418-3436 (International)
Fax: 1-800-986-9230
Email: media.hb@healthbase.com
Website: http://www.healthbase.com

Healthbase is a medical and dental tourism facilitator that connects patients to leading JCI/JCAHO/ISO accredited hospitals and dental offices overseas through a secure, high-tech, information-rich web portal. Healthbase provides a wide range of medical procedures through its partner hospital network. Over two hundred medical procedures are available in various categories: cosmetic and plastic, orthopedic, dental, cardiac, and many more. The savings are up to 80 percent from typical US prices even after adding up the travel costs, hospital stay and other related expenses. Healthbase offers more than just procedural availability; we also provide customers with extensive information on medical treatments, hospital and doctor profiles to help them make an educated decision regarding their treatment; travel planning and booking; applying for medical/dental loan and much more.

To learn more, visit http://www.healthbase.com and login to view our extensive hospital profiles including pictures of operating rooms, patient rooms, doctor qualifications, and lots more. Get a FREE quote now!!

Note: All information presented here has been obtained from publicly available medical resources and is here for reference purposes only. Healthbase does not claim to be a medical professional and does not provide any advice on any issues relating to medical treatment.

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