Category: Health Care Industry - Part 16

Health care enters digital age … at last

By Myung Oak Kim Most doctors in Colorado and across the United States still use a pen and paper to keep medical records. But those days are numbered. The health care industry is (finally) stepping firmly into the digital age. Spurred by new incentives and regulations from the federal government, thousands of medical providers are making the costly and arduous transition to electronic medical files, digital information sharing and computerized analysis of patient data to improve care and reduce costs. Were finally joining the rest of the world, said Michael Pramenko, president of the Colorado Medical Society, the Dr. Michael…

Opinion: Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate at heart of legal challenges

By Bob Semro The individual mandate is a fundamental part of last years national health care reform law. Under the Affordable Care Act in 2014, Americans who do not have health insurance will be required, or mandated, to purchase coverage or pay a tax penalty. Exemptions will be granted for financial hardship, religious reasons or if the price of the lowest-cost plan exceeds 8 percent of annual income. After the act was signed into law by President Obama, the individual mandate was challenged in a number of federal courts. In perhaps the most important case, 26 state attorneys general (including…

Cancer transitions: From treatment to survival

By Molly Maher Linda Parmiter has just celebrated her 57th birthday. In June 2006 doctors had given her only one year to live after being diagnosed with stage IV melanoma. This is just another day on the calendar to appreciate, she explained, every one being reason to celebrate. Still, this milestone has significance for her. Its important to me because its one step closer to living as long as my mother, the Thornton resident said. Having recently had a tumor-free scan at a follow up, Parmiter has fortunately become one of many cancer survivors today, with national mortality rates of cancer patients on…

Linda Parmiter’s story

By Molly Maher Linda Parmiter imagines different cartoon for each stage of her melanoma treatment. She said she could visualize the drug as a character, battling her cancer. One drug caused her skin to flake, so she imagined it as Pig Pen from Peanuts. Another, very powerful chemotherapy drug started with the letter T, and so she saw a cartoon capital T with muscled arms fighting. Unfortunately, it ended up fighting her healthy side a bit in the meantime. Lastly came the combination treatments that finally shrunk her cancer. That was a Pac Man, munching the tumors away as it…

Maia Rogers’ story

By Molly Maher Every Wednesday, Maia Rogers goes to her regular breakfast spot down the road from her childrens schools. Often she is joined by friends or sometimes by her son home from school with a cold, but on this day she is alone, her first day free of an oxygen tank since a bout with pneumonia. Rogers said this weekly breakfast is one way she has slowed her pace to enjoy life after being diagnosed with cancer. Though she mocks the clich in her feelings, she said cancer has changed her perspective. Youve just had a life-changing illness, she…

Opinion: Ryan plan all about budget, but also health care overhaul

By Bob Semro Many people dont realize that the budget proposal put forth by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in April, is the also the most significant piece ofhealth care legislation since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Even though the Ryan budget plan as now constructed is not likely to become law, it represents an official alternative and warrants real debate. Most of the conversation has centered on changes to Medicare, but the impact on other federal health care programs and the Affordable Care Act itself is even more profound. Heres how…

Opinion: Health care exchange key bipartisan legislative victory of 2011

By State Sen. Betty Boyd Americas health care system is good in many ways, but affordable and easy to navigate it is not, especially for Coloradans in the individual and small-group health insurance markets. Thats why Republican Rep. Amy Stephens and I set aside political differences this session to pass Senate Bill 200 creating the Colorado Health Benefits Exchange. The health exchange is a bipartisan, uniquely Colorado solution to the challenges in the health care industry in our state. In fact, it is the only exchange bill in the country to have passed through split chambers, a testament to Colorados…

Opinion: Fibromyalgia patients seek acceptance, not ignorance

By Lannette Johnson Barriers to care in the fibromyalgia population are many. Not only do we consistently deal with physicians who refuse to believe that our condition is real, and insurance companies whose drug formularies dont include FDA-approved medications for FM treatment, we also deal with the high costs of this complicated condition to our careers, family lives and our mental health. Before I wrote this article, I checked to see if there were any other references to fibromyalgia on the Health Policy Solutions website. There were none. And only two articles that specifically mentioned chronic pain patients. Is this…

Red-state Utah’s health exchange model for Colorado

By Lois M. Collins SALT LAKE CITY, Utah Sharon Opfermann wanted to provide health insurance for the handful of full-time staff members at the doggy day care and boarding business she operates in South Salt Lake, but it wasnt very easy to pull off. The one-size-fits-all plan she first picked didnt serve each employee equally well. And it was expensive. When she got a chance to enroll her business, Camp Bow Wow, in the Utah Health Exchange a couple of months ago, she jumped at it. Shes paying the same amount toward employee health benefits, but each member of her…

Five years in prison for medical marijuana grower

Christopher Bartkowicz, a Highlands Ranch man who ran a medical-marijuana-growing operation from the basement of his home, was sentenced this morning to five years in federal prison. Read the full report in the Denver Post.