YOUR HEALTH & FINANCES“A NEW AILMENT: MEDICAL ID THEFT”Excerpt from article in New York Times by Walecia Konrad; June13, 2009.
This 37 year old manager at an oil and gas company in Houston, has never had any real health problems and, luckily, he has never set foot in an emergency room. So imagine his surprise a few years ago when he learned he owed thousands of dollars worth of emergency-service medical bills.As it turned out this man was a victim of a fast growing crime known as medical identity theft. At the time the 37 year old was about to get married and buy his first home. Before applying for a mortgage he requested a copy of his credit report. That is when he found he had several collection notices under his name for emergency room visits throughout the country. There was even a $19, 0000 bill for a Life Flight air ambulance service in some remote location he’d never heard of. The last time federal data on crime was collected, for a 2007 report, more than 250,000 Americans a year were victims of medical identity theft. That number has almost certainly increased since the, because of the increased use of electronic medical records (EMR) built without extensive safeguards, said Pam Dixon, executive director of the nonprofit World Privacy Forum and author of a report on medical identity theft. Medical theft takes many guises in this case someone got a hold of the name and social security number and used them to receive emergency services which many hospitals are obliged to provide whether or not the person has insurance. In another variant one can use stolen insurance information, like the basic member ID and group policy number found on the insurance cards to impersonate you-and receive everything from a routine physical to major surgery under your coverage. Even more common is the stealing of medical information from inside the medical office itself. Records may be downloaded by a staff member or clerk and sold on the black market. Tips for Avoiding, or Recovering From, Insurance ID Theft Here are steps you need to take to avoid medical identity theft-and what to do if you suspect you’re a victim: 1. Keep track of insurance cards - treat your insurance card no differently than a bank card. This is especially true for MEDICARE recipient whose social security number is printed right on the card. Report lost or missing cards to the insurance company. 2. Scrutinize those statements- every time a medical claim is made you receive an “explanation of benefits” from the insurance company. Check it carefully and if you do not recognize the claim or do not recall the date of the visit, call the insurance company. 3. Get an annual statement –sophisticated thieves know how to redirect your explanation of benefits to a fake address. To counter this, ask your insurer for an itemized list of all claims billed to you. Fraudulent claims should show up on this list. 4. Check Your Credit Report – Do it regularly. You can get a free annual report from all three credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com. 5. Get copies of Medical Records – Do it routinely. Each time you go to the doctor or hospital request a copy of your medical records and keep them in a safe place at home. 6. Avoid offers of Free Services- This is a common ruse for fraudsters. Better to have routine screenings like blood pressure and blood sugar tests done through your physician’s office. If you think you are a victim… 1. Call your insurance company immediately-most companies have antifraud units that specialize in medical identity theft problems. 2. Check suspicious medical records –contact the provider in question and ask for a copy of the medical records in your name. EAT FAST, GET FAT By Roberta Yared, British Medical Journal, Oct 18, 2008 Want to lose some weight? Then slow down at mealtime and don’t stuff yourself. People who “wolf” down their food and eat until they feel full are three times more likely to be overweight than those who eat at a leisurely pace or stop before they feel full. The findings come from a three year survey of 3,000 men, women, ages 30-69 in Japan. Researchers at Osaka University found that women are more likely than men (58 to 51 percent) to chow down until they feel full, while more men than women (46 to 36 percent) say they’re speedy eaters.
PEARLS OF WISDOMBy John Wooden, NCAA Basketball Hall of Famer At a recent visit to the Mariners Elementary School, Mr. Wooden revealed some true pearls of sport wisdom.· “Sports do not build character, They reveal it”· “Be Quick, but don’t hurry”· “Success is piece of mind which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best you are capable”· “ Nothing will work unless you do”· “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are” The Wonder of WatermelonJuly 2006 Body Beautiful Watermelon is a pretty fruit but also is a vegetable related to the cucumber, squash and pumpkin. Did you know it contains more lycopene than anything else in the produce section? Even more than tomatoes! Its cholesterol free and low in sodiumSo how do you pick one?· Choose a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free of bruises, cuts and dents. · Lift it up – it should be heavy for its size · On the underside, there should be a creamy yellow spot where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun. Whole watermelons will keep for seven to 10 days at room temperature. And they are 92% water. So grab a wedge and drink up! Or take a wedge without any dips or sauces. TRAVEL AND SECURITY On Holiday or vacation? Be wary – identity thieves could be lurking! Reprint from the Los Angeles Times Travel Section June 18, 2006 by James Gilden. With summer upon us, America goes on the road. We know what we must do to protect or identities at home but what about when we are on the road, at sea or in the air? Here are three tips to protect you and your family. 1) Clean out your wallet before a trip. Remove unnecessary credit cards, your Social Security Cards and other unneeded documents that could compromise your identity if lost. Photocopy a list of the contents of your wallet and keep a copy in a secure area and with a trusted friend or relative you can contact in case your wallet is stolen. 2) Do not leave your wallet or documents containing personal information in your hotel room. Always use the hotel safe. 3) Don’t discard your e - boarding passes. Not only may they contain identifying information, but you’ll also need them if a mistake is made in crediting frequent flier miles to your account. Once miles have been credited, shred the passes. RESTAURANT CORNERTry their new menu or for a great steak dinner, try Corona Del Mars’ favorite, The Bungalow. For a reservation, Telephone 949 673 6585. Note: This is not a paid advertisement but a recommendation based on personal experience.
IN THE NEWSCharging Up for Electric Cars Hawaii is about to embark on an electric car experiment that, if successful, could consign gas stations to a bygone era.” We want to get off oil” Hawaii energy official Ted Peck says of his states partnership with Better Place LLC, a California company aiming to reduce the country’s addiction to petroleum through a network of auto charging stations. Better Place, which has agreements with automaker Nissan, as well as with Denmark and Israel, is to install thousands of stations throughout Hawaii this year, laying the groundwork for large scale electric cars by 2012. Hawaii’s access to renewable energy resources like solar and wind makes it ideal location to serve as a blueprint for reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, says Shai Agassi, Better Place founder and CEO. Better Place will also swap old car batteries for fresh ones, and subscribers will pay a predetermined fee.
YOU SAY IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!Excerpt of an article published by May-June 2006 edition of AARP written by Anthony DeCurtis What could Paul McCartney possibly have known about being 60 when, as a teenager, he wrote one of his most famous songs, “When I’m Sixty Four”? The song was originally written for his father. Paul turns 64 June 18. The song appears on the album entitled Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band released in 1967 Just for fun take the “A Hard Days Night Quiz”. 1. Paul McCartney does not own the rights to which of the following songs? a) I Love Lucy Theme; b) Love Me Do; c) The Christmas Song d) Get Back. 2. What is Paul’s nickname? a) El Guapo. b) Big P; c) Macca; d) The Walrus.3. The original title of Yesterday was? A) Scrambled Eggs. B) Far Away. C) Come and Gone. D) Something Dumb. 4. Paul’s first musical instrument was a) Guitar. b) Violin. C) Piano. D) Trumpet. 5. Which of his songs does Paul most frequently list as his favorite? a) Hey Jude b) Here There, and Everywhere. c) Yesterday. d) Let It Be. 6. A young Paul failed his audition to join which of the following? a) Liverpool Cathedral Choir. b) Gin Mill Skiffle Group. c) Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. d) Royal Academy of Music.7. After getting his first serious girlfriend pregnant in 1962, Paul a) offered to marry her. B) Neglected her as he threw himself more into his work with the Beatles. C) Broke up with her when she miscarried. D) All of the above. 8. Which of the following pseudonyms has Paul not used? a) Paul Ramon. b) Apollo C. vermouth. c) Dr. Winston O’Boogie. d) Bernard Webb. 9. Having originally hoped to play lead guitar for the Beatles, Paul realized his wish on which of the following songs a) Sexy Sadie. b) Taxman. c) You Can’t Do That. d) Let It Be. 10. Paul wrote the title music for which of the following movies? a) Vanilla Sky. b) Spies Like Us. c) Live and Let Die. d) All of the above. Answers: 1). d. 2). c. 3). a. 4). d.5) b. 6) a. 7) d. 8) c. 9) b. 10) d
SUMMER GOLF TIPTo score a preferred start time on vacation or business pay two dollars a player and go to TeeTimesLive.com to confirm a start time for more than a thousand public or semi private golf courses in North America and the United Kingdom. Book 30 minutes to 365 days in advance depending on the course.
SEASONAL MAINTENANCE AND SAFTEY TIPS As spring turns into summer, please consider these tips for home maintenance and safety: SUMMER· Make certain you have the correct light bulb wattage in your fixtures.· Review fire escape plans with your family.· Protect all your electrical appliances from power surges.· Check your water heater.· Check all shutoff valves at each plumbing fixture to make certain they function.· Clean clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper and space under the dryer· Protect your home while on vacation.· Check exterior siding.· Socialize your dog to help reduce dog bites.· Check home for water leaks.· Check all door locks for proper operation. FOR ASSISTED LIVING INFOFor questions or a free in-home assessment, please contact Lescoulie Nurses Registry, 3848 Campus Drivel, and Suite 221. Telephone Number: (949)-852-9284 or use our website: lescoulie.com
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT FEES Lescoulies’ believes you have a right to know what you will pay for services therefore, we list the price for each service on our website at lescoulie.com. Please note all services are paid at time and a half on major holidays: New Years, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and Christmas. EDITIORIAL STAFF Gerhard Hahn, BA, MBAMary Evans Hahn, RN BSN, CPHQ This Publication is for Entertainment Purposes only and is not a Substitute for Professional Advise/Counsel. Medical Office Checklist Before the visitq Identify current symptoms q Write down your questionsq Write down all medications, including vitamins & herbal remedies q Call to confirm your appointment During the visitq Describe all your symptoms accurately q Ask questionsq Write down physician’s instructions q Verify any follow up actions/tests After the visitq Read your notes q Check any new medications & take as prescribedq Call for test results q Update your calendar with the next visit EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS Fire* Police* Ambulance* 911American Red Cross (800) 540-2000California Highway Patrol (949) 559-7888California Poison Control (800) 222-1222Cal Trans Highway Info Network(800) 427-7623Orange County Emergency Bureau(714) 628-7055 TELEPHONE REPAIR SERVICE AT & T 800 288-2747Cox Business 949 546-2020 Residential 888 222-7743ICG Telecom 888 424-4611MCI Worldcom 888 624-5622SBC 611SPRINT 800 877-4646 Volunteering (949) 380-0115, ext. 12Adult Day Services, “Meals on Wheels”, Fundraising, Clerical Services, Senior Centers.