Archive | News You Can Use

Preventing Injuries at An Amusement Park

Amusement parks can be a great source of fun for people of all ages. Millions of people every year attend local county fairs, church homecomings, school festivals and large commercial amusement parks where roller coasters and thrill rides are plentiful. Most people climb aboard these rides and do not question the safety.

However, thousands are injured every year most commonly seeking medical attention for head injuries, broken bones, and back injuries.

When you and your family plan a fun outing to an amusement park, you are most likely not anticipating anyone getting hurt. You simply trust that the rides are in good working order and the staff is properly trained in operating the rides and providing for your safety. However, stories like this show that accidents can and do happen.
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Scientists rename thyroid tumor, say cancer is overdiagnosed

All About Papillary Thyroid Cancer Remedy And Treatments

The overdiagnosis of thyroid cancer has been an ongoing and steadily escalating issue over the past few decades. In 1992, six out of every 100,000 Americans were diagnosed with thyroid cancer. In 2012, that number was two-and-a-half times higher, at 15. Despite the increase in diagnoses, however, the rate of people who have died of thyroid… Continue Reading →

Should you check procedure rates before going to the hospital?

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This is about Maryland hospitals, but the information applies everywhere. For instance, hospitals now break a lot of costs out separately that used to be bundled and covered by your insurance:

Despite having state-wide cost-control measures in place, not all medical procedures at Maryland hospitals are treated equally. With the increase cost of deductibles and co-pays, people have started to shop around for hospitals that offer cheaper procedures.

Unfortunately for many of those in Maryland, hospitals do not make it easy for people to obtain answers regarding the cost of certain procedures. Even though the State of Maryland has control over how much hospitals can charge, people still find it difficult to get information about the cost of treatment. This lack of information makes it difficult for people who need to comparison shop for cheaper hospitals because of the rising deductibles.

The rise in comparison shopping begs the question of why prices vary so greatly at different Maryland hospitals. In some Maryland hospitals, the price of certain procedures is more than twice as much than at other Maryland hospitals. For instance, at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, the price of having a baby is $4,895, while at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the cost averages at about $11,752.

However, when hospitals cite these averages, they often do not take into account the cost of complications, as well as certain lab tests. Since every patient is different and every procedure is different, can a person really shop around when considering different procedures?

Maryland officials who help determine the price of procedures at different hospitals insist that the differing prices are not based on the quality of service, but on the types of procedures offered and the number of patients who can afford to pay for the procedures.

Thus, a procedure at one hospital may be greater because Maryland allows the hospitals to increase the price of procedures to make up for the inability of certain patients to pay. This often means that hospitals in wealthier communities generally have lower prices.
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I must be getting old…

Common probate issues which a probate attorney can rescue you from

Because I find myself reading estate tax articles I used to skip:

As another generation of Americans begin aging into their golden years, the realities of passing along what they have earned throughout their lives to their children becomes a high priority. For a large number of people, that means making annual contributions to an IRA. But what many fail to realize is that when it comes to estate taxes, a person’s IRA is viewed as a part of the person’s taxable estate.

In a case where a taxable estate is greater than the federal and state exclusion amount, a person will have to pay estate taxes. For instance, if the taxable estate was greater than $5.43 million in 2015, the federal rate could be up to 40%. Since estates are set up on a per-person basis, a married couple may be able to plan to maximize the use of the exemption, providing coverage for over $10 million of the couple’s assets.

However, when a person is aware that they are in poor health and have an IRA with a great deal of money, an estate attorney may suggest a “deathbed Roth conversion.” A Roth IRA is a retirement account that allows people to pay taxes on the money going into the account rather than when they take the money out of the account. A conversion allows a person with an IRA to convert it to a Roth IRA before death as a means to pay the income taxes up front and to reduce the size of their estate.

In many cases, this deathbed conversion strategy is generally unnecessary since IRD exists which is meant to get rid of any need for an IRA conversion. IRD or Income in Respect of a Decedent tax allows for IRA beneficiaries a tax deduction for estate taxes paid by the original owner of the IRA. While IRD deductions are meant to protect beneficiaries from federal estate taxes, deathbed conversions can be beneficial for state estate taxes.

According to Trust and Estates Attorney Kerri Castellini, “Many people are surprised when a loved one dies as to how much of their estate is subject to taxes and it can be quite a shock. It is important that they understand all the options open to them, so that planning for estate taxes can occur prior to death.”

A person will need to consider the best timing and strategy to ensure that the person is able to achieve the lowest tax rate. When planning an estate, it is essential that a person do what is legally necessary to pay as many taxes before his or her death to minimize the size of the estate.

I don’t really have any money, and I doubt I ever will. But you never know!

More news you can use

The last will and testament for this year... Hopefully next year's chapter would better than this year. Regardless the way they underestimate me for the sake of my pupils... I gulp. Next year, I'll show my true colours...   #sklmaxx

If I were the kind of person who actually had an IRA, this would be useful. You might be someone who does find it useful:

As another generation of Americans begin aging into their golden years, the realities of passing along what they have earned throughout their lives to their children becomes a high priority. For a large number of people, that means making annual contributions to an IRA. But what many fail to realize is that when it comes to estate taxes, a person’s IRA is viewed as a part of the person’s taxable estate.

In a case where a taxable estate is greater than the federal and state exclusion amount, a person will have to pay estate taxes. For instance, if the taxable estate was greater than $5.43 million in 2015, the federal rate could be up to 40%. Since estates are set up on a per-person basis, a married couple may be able to plan to maximize the use of the exemption, providing coverage for over $10 million of the couple’s assets.

However, when a person is aware that they are in poor health and have an IRA with a great deal of money, an estate attorney may suggest a “deathbed Roth conversion.” A Roth IRA is a retirement account that allows people to pay taxes on the money going into the account rather than when they take the money out of the account. A conversion allows a person with an IRA to convert it to a Roth IRA before death as a means to pay the income taxes up front and to reduce the size of their estate.

In many cases, this deathbed conversion strategy is generally unnecessary since IRD exists which is meant to get rid of any need for an IRA conversion. IRD or Income in Respect of a Decedent tax allows for IRA beneficiaries a tax deduction for estate taxes paid by the original owner of the IRA. While IRD deductions are meant to protect beneficiaries from federal estate taxes, deathbed conversions can be beneficial for state estate taxes.

According to Trust and Estates Attorney Kerri Castellini, “Many people are surprised when a loved one dies as to how much of their estate is subject to taxes and it can be quite a shock. It is important that they understand all the options open to them, so that planning for estate taxes can occur prior to death.”

A person will need to consider the best timing and strategy to ensure that the person is able to achieve the lowest tax rate. When planning an estate, it is essential that a person do what is legally necessary to pay as many taxes before his or her death to minimize the size of the estate.

If you’re shopping for a foodie

ISH

I got to taste this incredible citrus horseradish this weekend, and it’s better than crack. They only sell it by the 6-pack (I found one place that sells singles but they’re out of stock), no way can I justify the expense. But if you know someone who would really, really like something like this, I highly recommend it!

News you can use

Prilosec OTC, Walmart 8/2014 by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube. #Prilosec

I stopped taking these a couple of years ago, when I read about what they do to your intestinal bionome:

A novel data-mining project reveals evidence that a common group of heartburn medications taken by more than 100 million people every year is associated with a greater risk of heart attacks, Stanford University researchers reported Wednesday.

After combing through 16 million electronic records of 2.9 million patients in two separate databases, the researchers found that people who take the medication to suppress the release of stomach acid are 16 percent to 21 percent more likely to suffer myocardial infarction, commonly known as heart attack.

Because of its design, the study could not show cause and effect, but the researchers did claim that if their technology had been available, “such pharmacovigilance algorithms could have flagged this risk as early as the year 2000.”

The link between the drugs, known as proton pump inhibitors, and heart attacks is strong enough that “we do think patients should think about their risks and benefits and should discuss their risk with their doctors,” said Nicholas J. Leeper, an assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine and vascular surgery at Stanford, and one of the authors of the study. The danger extends to people outside high-risk groups, such as the elderly.

Stunning news

new-lymphatic-system-map
Maps of the lymphatic system: old (left) and updated to reflect UVA’s discovery. Image credit: University of Virginia Health System.

This is really, really big news:

In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. That such vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own, but the true significance of the discovery lies in the effects it could have on the study and treatment of neurological diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer’s disease to multiple sclerosis.

“Instead of asking, ‘How do we study the immune response of the brain?’ ‘Why do multiple sclerosis patients have the immune attacks?’ now we can approach this mechanistically. Because the brain is like every other tissue connected to the peripheral immune system through meningeal lymphatic vessels,” said Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, professor in the UVA Department of Neuroscience and director of UVA’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG). “It changes entirely the way we perceive the neuro-immune interaction. We always perceived it before as something esoteric that can’t be studied. But now we can ask mechanistic questions.”

“We believe that for every neurological disease that has an immune component to it, these vessels may play a major role,” Kipnis said. “Hard to imagine that these vessels would not be involved in a [neurological] disease with an immune component.”

Kevin Lee, PhD, chairman of the UVA Department of Neuroscience, described his reaction to the discovery by Kipnis’ lab: “The first time these guys showed me the basic result, I just said one sentence: ‘They’ll have to change the textbooks.’ There has never been a lymphatic system for the central nervous system, and it was very clear from that first singular observation – and they’ve done many studies since then to bolster the finding – that it will fundamentally change the way people look at the central nervous system’s relationship with the immune system.”

Even Kipnis was skeptical initially. “I really did not believe there are structures in the body that we are not aware of. I thought the body was mapped,” he said. “I thought that these discoveries ended somewhere around the middle of the last century. But apparently they have not.”

So cranial sacral therapists aren’t crazy.

About your sunscreen …

It is outdoor and beach time, again, and sunscreen season, too. While, I do not “sunbathe” anymore like when I was in my 20’s, I do stay exposed to the Sun’s rays doing outdoor activities. At the start of the season I get my sun gear out of the closet: wide brimmed hats, sun protective clothing, my beach umbrella and prescription sunglasses. I do use sunscreen as well, because without it in the brutal Southern Sun, I’d get pretty crispy quick.

I thought I knew how to use sunscreen, but, I came across this and there were a few things I didn’t know.

You’ve been using the same bottle for the past three summers.

When it comes to sunscreen, expiration dates really do matter. The active ingredients in sunscreen can deteriorate over time, Garner says, which means the protection won’t be as effective. What’s more, an open bottle is more likely to become contaminated with germs over time, as the preservatives meant to prevent that can also lose their efficacy.

I guess I need to check the dates on the collection of bottles I have. I am sure a few need to get tossed out.

You count on the SPF in your makeup to do the trick.

A two-in-one foundation/sunscreen certainly seems handy, but that doesn’t mean it works. Part of the problem is quantity: a dab of foundation isn’t the same as the amount of sunscreen you’d slather on your face.

I don’t wear makeup that often, but, this is good to know and pass along to others.

You count on waterproof sunscreen when you’re swimming.

Turns out, there isn’t such a thing as “waterproof” sunscreen. In fact, a relatively recent iteration of FDA rules no longer even allows the word to be used on sunscreen bottles (along with “sweat-proof” or “sunblock”). Instead, based on testing, they can claim to be “water resistant” for either 40 or 80 minutes. After that? Reapply, reapply, reapply. “I can’t tell you how many patients come in and say, ‘But I put my sunscreen on,'” Garner says. “[But] did you put it back on?”

I did know, this, but, for many this is not known. This especially important for the kids.

If you are heading out this summer, do check out the tips on sunscreen. Nothing is more of a recreational or vacation downer than a sunburn.

 

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