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5 Ways You Should Be Using Technology To Lower Your Medical Expenses

5 Ways You Should Be Using Technology To Lower Your Medical Expenses

Healthcare transparency is not a new term, but the plethora of useful tools quickly becoming available to patients are. Healthcare transparency, in short, is the action of allowing patients to make value-based healthcare decisions by providing meaningful cost and quality information.

1. Healthcare Transparency Tools

In its most basic sense, healthcare transparency is comparison shopping for healthcare on an online platform. Think Google Shopping or Shopzilla, but for everything health related. These comparison shopping tools are typically provided by your insurance provider to help you determine how much you will have to pay out of pocket for your healthcare services before services are rendered.

These comparison shopping tools are typically provided by your insurance provider to help you determine how much you will have to pay out of pocket for your healthcare services before services are rendered. Case studies show that healthcare transparency tools can save on average up to $74 per month per patient in health care costs in some states.

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2. Remote Monitoring Systems

Remote patient monitoring systems allow real-time data to be quickly accessed by patients, caregivers, and doctors. They can also record critical information and patterns related to the patient’s physical state, mental state, vital signs, and even medication adherence. That information is quickly uploaded and made available to members of a healthcare team including nurses, doctors and family members.

Remote monitoring systems can save money in a number of ways, and those may end up even becoming more numerous with new technologies. For instance, by focusing on clinical vital signs with pre-set triggers, physicians can ensure that small problems don’t become big ones by addressing problems in real time. Not only can this directly save a life, it can also save thousands of dollars by potentially preventing emergency healthcare services.

Remote monitoring systems don’t only save money at home, they save money in the hospital as well. One study shows continuous remote monitoring of inpatients from their beds could save $224 to $710 per patient per year.

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3. Telehealth

Telehealth and telemedicine typically refer to “virtual doctor visits”, which are two-way interactions between a patient and a physician via live video conferencing technology. Live video can be used for both consultative/diagnostic as well as treatment services. It’s not hard to imagine how virtual doctor visits can cost less and save time.

While telehealth should never be considered a substitute for emergency care, it is an easy way to increase convenience and significantly reduce healthcare costs. Some telehealth services like Doc on Call 24-7 and Call a Doctor Plus offer monthly plans that cost less than $20 a month. Other services like MD Live offer a per-session cost of around $50.

4. Online Health Condition Management Programs

Online health condition management programs are online tools that help you manage your medical condition from home, hopefully reducing any time you have to spend in a doctor’s office. While these programs may not be for everyone, and they may not eliminate the need to visit your doctor, they can save you a ton of money!

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For example, let’s assume I have a painful back condition called sciatica that requires me to visit my chiropractor on a weekly basis or at least every time I have a painful flare-up. Believe it or not, there is an online management program that will help me manage this condition from home.

This is just one of many online programs developed to help you stay out of the doctor’s office through at home education and action. There are a number of other great online programs that exist for a variety of different ailments including arthritis, and even headaches.

5. Medical Billing Management Apps

Medical billing management apps help patients better understand and manage health costs from their phone, utilising technology that makes aggregating and viewing health claims, insurance information, and medical data easier than ever before.

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Simplee and Inbox Health both offer billing apps that make paying for health services fast and simple. These apps have proven to increase self-payments and decrease collections.

Even though it’s easy to overlook the savings one might have in not being sent to collections, the mere fact that these apps have decreased the number of bills sent to collections makes it is hard to deny the savings these apps are responsible for.

Featured photo credit: ehealth.eletsonline.com via ehealth.eletsonline.com

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Breslin Borland

Part time blogger, full time space pirate

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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