Category: Health and Wellness - Part 2

REACH: Save your teeth and your health on Halloween

By Wyatt Hornsby Did you know tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease of early childhood in Colorado? Tooth decay is five times more common than asthma and can lead to painful cavities, missed schools days and many other problems affecting a childs development and self-esteem. The good news is that cavities are preventable in nearly every case. With Halloween and a season of sweet treats upon us, its important for parents to know how they can help protect their kids teeth from sugar bugs, which can lead to decay and painful cavities. Here are some tips for families…

Under ACA, wellness dropouts could feel the burn

By Elise Oberliesen For decades, corporations have experimented with wellness programs in an attempt to improve their employees health and reduce the cost of health insurance. Lunch-hour yoga classes, free flu shots, smoking cessation programs and other offerings have often been provided, occasionally with incentives for participants. Now, as additional elements of the Affordable Care Act are implemented, organizations and their employees will have new encouragement to get in the game. Starting with health insurance policies effective Jan. 1, 2014, losing weight, controlling cholesterol, quitting smoking or even just attempting to achieve better health could be profitable. In some states,…

Opinion: Despite good intentions, women not achieving good health

By Sarah Mapes Over many decades and centuries, many things have changed about American families. One thing that hasnt is that when it comes to health and health care, women are in the drivers seat. In two-thirds of American households, women are the primary health care decision-makers. We are more likely to choose our familys health insurance plan. We ensure that our children get vaccines and regular check-ups, that our husbands take their heart pills and that our aging parents get appropriate long term care. We account for 80 cents of every dollar spent at drugstores and do most of the scheduling of medical…

Opinion: It’s worth paying doctors bonuses to improve quality

By Donna Marshall As of today, we have mailed checks totaling $79,240 to 201 physicians across Colorado for their care of patients in 2012. Its our way of thanking them for delivering optimal care, and it bodes well for their patients with chronic conditions. Traditional fee-for-service medicine rewards doctors and hospitals for providing more services. But for patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or cardiovascular problems, the point is to avoid costly services related to bad outcomes, such as emergency department visits or long hospital stays. Instead, the best approach is to keep patients as healthy as possible through…

Useless, costly medical procedures targeted by Choosing Wisely campaign

By Diane Carman Just say no. Thats what the Colorado Medical Society and a growing number of other health care organizations nationwide want patients to start doing. No to useless antibiotics. No to unnecessary scans. No to diagnostic tests at too-frequent intervals. The list goes on and on. Its a baby step toward sanity in a health care system that some say has become an irrational market of questionable procedures, exorbitant costs and mediocre outcomes. About one-third of the interventions we do are really unnecessary, said Dr. Jan Kief, who just finished her term as president of the Colorado Medical Society. That costs…

Useless, costly medical procedures targeted by Choosing Wisely campaign

By Diane Carman Just say no. Thats what the Colorado Medical Society and a growing number of other health care organizations nationwide want patients to start doing. No to useless antibiotics. No to unnecessary scans. No to diagnostic tests at too-frequent intervals. The list goes on and on. Its a baby step toward sanity in a health care system that some say has become an irrational market of questionable procedures, exorbitant costs and mediocre outcomes. About one-third of the interventions we do are really unnecessary, said Dr. Jan Kief, who just finished her term as president of the Colorado Medical Society. That costs…

Young and not so invincible

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon BOULDER The hottest targets for health insurance this fall are the so-called young invincibles. Its no coincidence that an upstart selling some of the lowest-priced plans that might appeal to young people in Colorado, the Colorado HealthOP, deployed beautiful young models to try to make the decidedly unalluring topic of health insurance sexy. Buff, shirtless men and nearly naked young women prowled downtown Denvers 16th Street Mall last week as Colorados health exchange opened. They wore little more than signs reading: Without health insurance, youre exposed: #GetCoveredCO. Less sexy street teams working directly for the states health exchange, Connect for Health Colorado,

REACH: Healthy eating at school

Its not enough for schools around Colorado to serve nutritious food in breakfast and lunch programs. To reap the benefits, students have to eat it as well. The LiveWell@School Food Initiative strives to ensure all children in Colorado have access to and choose healthy food at school by 2022. We know these are critical elements to reversing our childhood obesity trends. As the place where our children spend the majority of their time during their formative years, schools can act as our natural ally in ensuring our children have access to healthy food necessary for their growing minds and bodies. Among the programs…

Ads target young invincibles for ‘CYA’ insurance

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon Minnesota went for humor. Its ads promoting the states new health exchange show a klutzy Paul Bunyan, crashing while water skiing, nailing his thigh with an axe and tumbling off his roof. The tag line: Minnesota: Land of 10,000 reasons to get health insurance. (Click here to see the water skiing ad.) Oregon could have spoofed the hilarity of Portlandia, but instead, went oddly locavore and featured Oregon musicians in ads critics have panned as trippy. Cover Oregons tag line: Long Live Oregonians. (Click here to see Live Long in Oregon). California focuses on its beautiful scenery. Covered…

Opinion: Obesity, lack of preventive care a threat to Hispanics, Latinos

By Gretchen Hammer Infographic by Sarah Mapes The beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month creates the opportunity to reflect on the history and experiences of Hispanic and Latino Coloradans. Colorado has a rich Hispanic heritage with early settlers from Spain and Mexico establishing strong roots and thriving communities across the state in our early history . Today, according to the U.S. Census, over 1 million Hispanic and Latino residents live in Colorado, comprising our largest racial or ethnic group. Hispanic and Latino are ethnicities, referring to persons of Spanish or Latin culture or origin, regardless of race. The 2010 U.S. Census accounts for the diverse backgrounds…