Thursday, November 12, 2015

Upcharge for appointments after 5pm

Recently, I had the occasion to be in a pediatrician's office. The waiting room was kid friendly with a TV playing children's programs, small tables and chairs, and fun pictures on the wall. The one thing that caught my attention though was the sign at the check in desk notifying patients that if they book an appointment after 5pm that there will be an additional $25 charge that may not be covered by their insurance.

I was shocked to see this penalty. (They are only open until 6pm)

It just doesn't seem right. Consider this. It would take a mom/dad working in a minimum wage job over 3 hours to pay for that later appointment. It doesn't seem fair.

What are your thoughts?
Have you encountered an upcharge at a healthcare providers office?
Do you think it's fair?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What a Pet Checkup Is All About

If you’ve never taken Spot for his annual veterinary checkup, you’re probably wondering what to expect. And even if you do take him in once a year, do you really remember what goes on?

Knowing what your vet and their assistants will do for your dog—or cat, or rabbit, or whatever animal you love—keeps you calm in the waiting room, among other things. You need to keep up the annual pet checkups, and not just for Spot’s sake.

Why go every year?
For some of us, the idea of seeing a doctor every year is second nature, which transfers to our pets; you don’t question it, you just go. But for others, the hassle of making appointments is too easy to procrastinate on so we push them back indefinitely—for ourselves and our pets.

But if you’re going to neglect your own health, don’t do that to your pet. Why should you take Spot in every year?
·        Animals age faster than humans—checkups keep them around as long as possible
·        Keeps animals healthy—some maladies aren’t symptomatic, so you’d never know without a checkup
·        Prevents serious diseases—shots expire after about a year for dogs and cats
·        Reduces the impact of serious diseases—if a serious disease is detected at a checkup, medication can be administered
·        Keeps humans safe—some diseases can be transferred to humans, so preventing is key
·        Updates shots—shots prevent serious diseases
·        Ensures dental health—healthy teeth mean a longer life
Check out this annual vet visit checklist for dogs. Even if you don’t have a dog, the experience is similar across the board—checking for diseases, getting shot updates, making sure the owner is taking proper care. As you can see, an annual checkup is a lot more than an inconvenience to you!

In the Exam Room
You’ve been convinced that a checkup for your pet is good, so you make an appointment. But what will happen while you’re there? It’s good to practice a little waiting room etiquette, for starters. Make sure you have a leash for mobile pets (think: dogs and cats) and treats or toys for frisky pets to distract them. Keep a tight hold on the leash to prevent your animal interacting with other waiting pets.

Once you get called back, you’ll be ushered into a room with a stainless steel tables. Once you’re in the back, a veterinary assistant (the pet version of a nurse) will take vitals like temperature and weight, as well as ask you questions about your concerns. Have a list with your questions handy—you only get a shot at this once a year! The vet will come in later and check major things like ears, skin, and teeth, followed by shots. This is a great time to ask the vet your questions.
Let’s Play 20 Questions
Since you only do this once a year, you need to make the most of your visit by getting all your questions answered. Make a list: has your pet acted strange at all since your last visit? Tell the vet, even if the behavior has ceased. Is your your pet too heavy? Are you giving them the right food? While you may not ask 20 questions, you can at least start with the ten in this PetMD post—including if your pet needs a dental cleaning and if they’re up to date on shots. You can even ask the vet if your pet needs a rectal exam to screen for cancer. Vets like the ones at Nippers Corner Pet Medical Center will encourage you to ask as many questions as you can. Again, you might as get your moneys worth!

How was your last pet checkup?
You may be an old pro at veterinary well visits, but if you’re not, knowing their value and what to expect are key for keeping your pet around as long as possible. Next time you get a reminder postcard in the mail, don’t toss it out—make the appointment right away.

How was your pet checkup last year? Did you learn anything new about your pet or the checkup process? We want to know about your experience; we all learn from each other. Just leave us a comment!

This article was provided by guest blogger: Sally Baggett. Sally holds a master's degree in literature and has been a copy editor and blog writer since 2009. Not only does she hold a master's in literature and teach writing at the college level, she is also a busy mom to two precious little girls.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Why a Pain Management Center Is for You

Do you have chronic pain? The National Institute of Health (NIH) defines chronic pain as any pain lasting longer than 12 weeks. Has any part of your body been hurting for more than 3 months?

If so, you’re suffering not from the normal pain associated with an injury or sudden illness—called acute pain. You’ve got long-term pain that is best dealt with in the setting of a pain management clinic. Never heard of that? Let’s find out what it is and how it may help you or a loved one suffering from chronic pain.

The Beauty of Pain Management
If you don't have chronic pain, you may not be aware that such places as pain management centers, or pain centers, exist. If you do have chronic pain but didn’t know about such places, welcome to the first day of the rest of your pain-free life.

Pain centers, according to WebMD, are all about solving the pain at its source. And not all pain centers are alike. In fact, most of them specialize in different parts of the body. Take the Center for Spine Joint and Neuromuscular Rehabilitation in Nashville, TN for example. This pain center focuses on chronic pain relating to the spine—so anything to do with muscles, nerves, and bones.

But it’s more than just about what part of the body your pain originates from. Pain centers employ a variety of health care providers to provide patients with several strategies to manage pain. For example, you might find that your physical therapist shares an office with a chiropractor and massage therapist. If your chiropractor refers you to physical therapy and prescribes some massage sessions and they’re all under the same roof, you know you’ve got a team of medical professionals at a pain center dedicated to getting rid of your pain. It’s not about medication or surgery or even one type of treatment at these facilities. The fact that different kinds of medical professionals are willing to work together—and that they realize not just one person has all the answers—should be a relief to most patients.
How a Pain Management Center Can Help Me
This rounded approach to pain management should mean a breath of fresh air to most chronic pain sufferers. Why? Because if you don’t learn how to manage your pain, you become susceptible to things like depression and constant irritability. Untreated chronic pain wears patients out, draining their energy and stealing their joy. Read more about what untreated chronic pain does here.

But pain centers can change all that. The holistic approach of many pain centers allows health care providers to tailor treatment to individuals. What does that mean for you? In most cases, that means you won’t see a doctor you don’t need; you won’t take medications that you don’t need; and you won’t suffer as much or as long. If you have arthritis, for example, a pain center can provide you with a team of medical providers, such as the ones on this list. In your visit, you might see two or three different providers in order to ensure that your pain is being properly managed.

Have you ever gone to a pain management center?
As you can see, pain management means pain relief, which means mental relief to most chronic pain sufferers. If you’re dealing with long term pain, get over to a pain management center as soon as you can. Your quality of life is worth getting real pain management.

Have you ever been to a main management center? What was it like? Did you see different health care providers in the same visit? Leave your story in the comments!

This article was provided by guest blogger: Sally Baggett. Sally holds a master's degree in literature and has been a copy editor and blog writer since 2009. Not only does she hold a master's in literature and teach writing at the college level, she is also a busy mom to two precious little girls.

Friday, October 9, 2015

What’s So Great About Weight Loss Programs?

There are so many perks to joining a weight loss program (not just a gym) that we just had to write about it. Ever wondered what goes on at a weight loss center? Or if they really work?

Weight loss programs work because, for one thing, they keep you accountable. But what are the other benefits of joining a weight loss program? Let’s take a look.

What is a weight loss center?
You’ve heard of the weight loss fads—Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, the Atkins diet, and many more. In fact, our culture is saturated with weight loss options, and we see them everywhere from the grocery store to billboards to internet ads. They seem to work for a lot of people—and not to work for just as many. Enter the weight loss center.

According to this magazine article, places like Medi-Weightloss (a medical weight loss center) are nothing new. But they work like the fad diets don’t. Doctors and nutritional experts work with you to help you truly lose weight. In the article we’ve mentioned in this paragraph, the author was told to begin eating a primarily protein diet limited to about 700 calories per day. She balked at the idea, but it works for most patients. This is because the high protein content fills you up yet puts your body into a state of “ketosis,” or burning stored fat for fuel. And if that doesn’t work, these doctors will put patients on appetite-suppression meds under close supervision. So in weight loss centers, yes you have to pay (the author of the above article paid about $280 to get started), but you get a lot of perks in exchange, including actual weight loss—a patient in the above article lost 70 pounds in 6 months!

What You Get Out of It
As we already know, one of the most important benefits of paying for a program at a weight loss center is the accountability. Health magazine points out that while there are many things weight loss centers do, there are two benchmarks that all centers share: methods backed by solid scientific proof, and close monitoring of patients by MDs. So by accountability, we mean that a medical doctor will be personally responsible for your weight loss—and you’ll be talking to him or her a lot about your progress. Knowing that a medical professional will check on you is enough to keep you on track with your prescribed diet, we think!

But medical accountability isn’t the only positive side effect of a weight loss center. For example, weight loss centers such as True Weightloss Solutions out of Chattanooga, TN offers patients a relatable eating plan, vitamin supplements to boost weight loss, and a local social network with their other clients. You can’t beat weight loss centers for their ability to give you close attention to your diet and access to the accountability you need to stay on track.

Have you ever joined a weight loss program?
So what’s so great about a weight loss program? If the program is at a weight loss center and not just something you pick up at home (like a fad diet), then you know it’s because you will actually lose the weight you want. Looking to lose weight but have hit a bunch of dead ends? Use the questions in this post to help you find the weight loss center that’s right for you!

Have you ever been a client at a weight loss center? We want to know your story! Leave a comment now and our readers will be encouraged to leave their stories too and who knows, you may start a conversation.

This article was provided by guest blogger: Sally Baggett. Sally holds a master's degree in literature and has been a copy editor and blog writer since 2009. Not only does she hold a master's in literature and teach writing at the college level, she is also a busy mom to two precious little girls.

Friday, October 2, 2015

What in the World is Holistic Medicine?

If you’ve ever been to a chiropractor, or gotten a massage, or even seen an acupuncturist, you’ve experienced holistic medicine. The recent popularity of such practices doesn’t make them fads; in fact, some holistic practices (like acupuncture) are older than our civilization.

So what is holistic medicine? We’re glad you asked! Let’s take a look at what holistic medicine is, what it treats, and how to find a specialist who fits your needs.

What is holistic medicine?
Don’t let the word “holistic” trip you up—it’s not something new age-y or intimidating. It simply means that it’s a form of healing that considers the entire person (mind, body, and emotions) in treatment. In other words, a holistic doctor does not ignore the stress you’re under at work when you come in because of a sore back. WebMD tells us that for holistic practitioners, it’s all about balance; when one part of the body is out of whack, it affects all parts. The goal of holistic medicine, then, is to balance the entire body in order to bring healing.

While there are doctors specifically trained to treat patients in this holistic manner (like naturopaths), practitioners like chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists are also considered sources of holistic medicine. Chiropractors for one believe that the body has an innate ability to heal itself, and once the spine is in alignment, the spinal cord allows the Central Nervous System to communicate better throughout the entire body. For example, Dr. Gil of the Dr. Gil Center, a chiropractor out of Franklin, TN, seeks to treat patients in the way they need it most—which means referring patients to acupuncture or other holistic medicine practices if needed.

What does holistic medicine treat?
Ideally, holistic medicine can treat a host of bodily ailments. In fact, according to this CNN article, holistic medicine—specifically acupuncture—is great for dealing with pain as well as nausea. There are many vitamins (often a recommendation of holistic treatment) that can treat common ailments, such as vitamin B6 for menstrual cramps and glucosamine for joint pain. Chiropractors are known for treating musculoskeletal ailments such as headaches, back pain, and pain caused by injuries. Massage therapy takes care of muscle pain and relaxes the body. The list goes on.
How do I find a holistic doctor?
There are many ways to go about finding a holistic doctor or practitioner. For example, if you’re concerned that the practitioner is on your insurance, you can simply search your insurance provider’s website to see if they offer coverage for different types of treatment. Chiropractic is becoming more and more mainstream, so most insurance companies will cover chiropractic treatment. Some plans even cover acupuncture and massage therapy.

You can also search websites like the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine to find a reliable holistic doctor in your area. Don’t forget that you can ask your friends and family if they have ever seen a holistic practitioner. Their experiences will convince you of the merit of this kind of treatment more than any articles we could write!

Have you ever been to a holistic practitioner?
Even though the idea of holistic medicine is a little bit under the radar in our mainstream culture, that doesn’t mean it’s not a viable option for you. Holistic practitioners like chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists all exist to bring your body into balance and out of pain. Isn’t that worth looking into?

Have you ever seen a naturopath, or maybe one of the other types of practitioners we’ve listed? We want to hear your story, and so do our readers! Just click the “Comments” link at the bottom of this post and tell us about your experience. 

This article was provided by guest blogger: Sally Baggett. Sally holds a master's degree in literature and has been a copy editor and blog writer since 2009. Not only does she hold a master's in literature and teach writing at the college level, she is also a busy mom to two precious little girls.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

17 States allow Breastfeeding moms to postpone jury duty

Did you know that breastfeeding moms can postpone or be exempt from jury duty in seventeen states?  They are: California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia.
There are nuances such as in California they ask on their jury summons if you are a breastfeeding mom and allow up to year with the opportunity to further postpone. In Illinois, the mother only need request exemption however in Iowa she also has to attests that she is responsible for the daily care of that infant to the courts satisfaction.  Three states require certification from a physician, midwife, or lactation consultant verifying she is a lactating mom. They are Michigan, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Cal. Code of Civil Procedure § 210.5 (2000) requires the Judicial Court to adopt a standardized jury summons for use, which must include a specific reference to the rules for breastfeeding mothers. 2000 Cal. Stats., Chap. 266 (AB 1814) created the law and directs the Judicial Council to adopt a rule of court to allow the mother of a breastfed child to postpone jury duty for a period of up to one year and that after one year, jury duty may be further postponed upon written request by the mother.  See California Rules of Court, Trial Court Rules, Rule 2.1006.

2012 Conn. Acts, P.A. 51 allows a jury administrator to grant a postponement of jury duty for no more than 12 months to any mother who is breastfeeding her child or expressing breast milk for her child. The law requires the judicial branch to maintain information regarding jury services, including information for breastfeeding women about their ability to postpone jury service or request a reasonable accommodation be made, on its website. (SB 194)

Idaho Code § 2-212 (2002) provides that a person who is not disqualified for jury service under § 2-209 may have jury service postponed by the court or the jury commissioner only upon a showing of undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, or public necessity, or upon a showing that the juror is a mother breastfeeding her child. (2002 HB 497)

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 705 § 305/10.3 amends the Jury Act; provides that any mother nursing her child shall, upon her request, be excused from jury duty. (Ill. Laws, P.A. 094-0391, 2005 SB 517)
Iowa Code § 607A.5 (1994) allows a woman to be excused from jury service if she submits written documentation verifying, to the court's satisfaction, that she is the mother of a breastfed child and is responsible for the daily care of the child.

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 43-158 allows a mother breastfeeding her child to be excused from jury service and allows jury service to be postponed until the mother is no longer breastfeeding the child. (2006 HB 2284)

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 29A.100 (2007) directs judges at all levels of the court to excuse women who are breastfeeding or expressing breast milk from jury service until the child is no longer nursing. (SB 111)

2012 Mich. Pub. Acts, Act 69 provides an exemption for nursing mothers from jury service for the period during which she is nursing her child. The mother is exempt upon making the request if she provides a letter from a physician, lactation consultant, or a certified nurse midwife verifying that she is a nursing mother. (HB 4691)

Miss. Code Ann. § 13-5-23 (2006) provides that breastfeeding mothers may be excused from serving as jurors. (SB 2419)

2014 Mo. House Bill 1320 allows a nursing mother, upon her request, and with a completed written statement from her physician to the court certifying she is a nursing mother, to be excused from service as a petit or grand juror.

Mont. Code Ann. § 3-15-313 (2009) specifies that the court may excuse a person from jury service upon finding that it would entail undue hardship for the person; an excuse may be granted if the prospective juror is a breastfeeding mother. (2009 Mont. Laws, Chap. 167, HB 372)

Neb. Rev. Stat. §25-1601-4 (2003) states that a nursing mother is excused from jury duty until she is no longer breastfeeding and that the nursing mother must file a qualification form supported by a certificate from her physician requesting exemption. (LB 19)

Okla. Stat. tit. 38, § 28 (2004) exempts mothers who are breastfeeding a baby from jury duty, upon their request. (2004 HB 2102)


Or. Rev. Stat. § 10.050 (1999) excuses a woman from acting as a juror if the woman is breastfeeding a child. A request from the woman must be made in writing. (SB 1304)
South Dakota
2012 S.D. Sess. Laws, Chap. 114 provides for an exemption from jury duty for a mother who is breastfeeding a baby younger than one year. A written notice requesting an exemption must be submitted to the clerk of court within ten days of receiving the summons for jury duty. (HB 1177)

78B-1-109  provides that a mother who is breastfeeding a child may be excused from jury

Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-341.1 (2005) provides that a mother who is breastfeeding a child may be exempted from jury duty upon her request. (2005 Chap. 195, HB 2708)

For more information on this law and other breastfeeding laws check out :

Saturday, September 5, 2015

When Do You See a Chiropractor?

Even though thousands of Americans see a chiropractor for the first time every year, there are plenty of questions out there about why and when to go to a chiropractor. Just when I have back pain? Only when I don’t want to take medications?

You may not realize it, but chiropractors don’t just treat back pain. And they do indeed offer treatment that resolves pain without using drugs. Let’s look at some of the most common reasons that people become chiropractic patients—you might find out that you should join in!

1.    Back pain—Yes, the majority of chiropractic patients make appointments because their backs hurt. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) claims that 31 million Americans are suffering from lower back pain at any moment. And the reason so many of these Americans turn to chiropractic instead of their primary care physicians? True Wellness Chiropractic out of Chattanooga, TN says that it’s because chiropractic offers alternatives to medications and even surgeries. Who doesn’t want to avoid a tissue-damaging surgery?

2.    Neck pain—Since the neck is technically part of the spine, it’s no wonder that the second most common reason patients seek out chiropractic is for neck pain relief. Have you ever awakened with a crick in your neck (which is a muscle spasm, by the way), making movement painful? A trip to the chiropractor may reduce your healing time so that you’re able to function better in our fast-paced world.

3.    Pain in an arm or leg—Patients often see chiropractors complaining of pain, numbness, or tingling in one of their extremities. What you may not realize about such sensations is that they usually originate as part of a pinched nerve in the spine. This can be true for any nerve interference—sciatica, for one. Spinal adjustments will align the vertebrae of the spine, taking pressure off nerves, as this New Jersey chiropractor explains.

4.    Headaches and migraines—Have you been searching for a cure for pesky tension headaches or more serious migraines? This 2005 trial proves that chiropractic can help. 123 migraine sufferers took part, and 72 percent of them experienced improvement in their symptoms after receiving chiropractic treatment. Such results are why so many chiropractic patients are headache sufferers.

5.    Improved athletic performance—Are you surprised to see this one on here? Don’t be. Every NFL and NBL team has a chiropractor on staff, and not only to treat injuries. Many athletes—including Tiger Woods—seek out chiropractic to keep their range of motion fluid and to prevent injuries. This chiropractor’s journey to treating Tiger Woods shows how much athletes rely on chiropractic to keep them going.

6.    Overall health—And finally, one of the most common reasons patients seek out chiropractic is their desire to stay healthy. And this makes sense when you realize that the goal of every chiropractor is to treat the whole body (not just the spine). This type of office visit is performed when you’re feeling fine, just like a checkup at the doctor. They perform x-rays and ask diagnostic questions to determine your current musculoskeletal health, then tailor their treatment according to your needs. Most patients enjoy this type of holistic approach.

Have you ever been to a chiropractor?

As you can see, chiropractic covers a range of body ailments. It’s not just for back pain, and their treatment doesn’t involve drugs or surgery. Do you have any of the common ailments we listed above—a headache or pain in your arm or leg? Perhaps chiropractic is for you after all.

Have you ever seen a chiropractor? Was it for any of the reasons we’ve listed above? We want to hear about it! Just click the “Comments” link below this post and tell us about your experience. Our readers want to know, What’s it like going to a chiropractor? Help us tell them!

This article was provided by guest blogger: Sally Baggett. Sally holds a master's degree in literature and has been a copy editor and blog writer since 2009. Not only does she hold a master's in literature and teach writing at the college level, she is also a busy mom to two precious little girls.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Trying to avoid BPA?

Just watched a segment for our local news health segment where a doctor had mentioned that the BPA free products, that we who are conscious about the dangers of BPA are seeking, could have something worse in the replacement chemical-BPS bisphenol-s.

Indeed, it's true. Check out this Washington Post article back in January talking about the danger as well as the fact that manufactures don't have to tell you what chemicals they used in making the plastic.

They have some suggestions on things to avoid in order to limit your exposure in the article.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

No such thing as an FDA approved SIDS Prevention Baby Product

Baby Safe Sleep
According to the FDA website, Some baby products are being marketed over-the-counter with claims to cure, treat, or prevent a disease or condition. Because of these claims, these baby products are medical devices, subject to FDA regulation.

A common medical claim being made is the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development defines SIDS as "the sudden death of an infant under one year of age, which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history."

The FDA has never cleared or approved a baby product to prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS. The Agency is not aware of any scientific studies showing that a medical device prevents or reduces the risk of SIDS.
Examples of common over-the-counter baby products with unproven claims to prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS include:
  • baby monitors,
  • mattresses,
  • crib tents,
  • pillows,
  • crib bedding, including bumpers and blankets, and
  • infant positioners.
Current research shows that the best way to reduce the chance of SIDS is to create a safe sleep environment for a baby: alone, in their own sleeping space with no other people in the crib or bassinet; on their backs on a firm sleep surface; and in a crib or bassinet free of pillows, blankets, bumpers, sleep positioners, and other objects.

Michigan Safe Sleep offers these tips:
  1. Baby should sleep alone in a crib, portable crib or bassinet.
  2. Always put baby on back to sleep even when he/she can roll over.
  3. No pillows, blankets, comforters, stuffed animals or other soft things should be in the sleep area.  
  4. Keep baby's face uncovered during sleep for easy breathing. Use a sleeper instead of a blanket.
  5. Don't allow anyone to smoke around the baby.
  6. Don't overheat the baby. Dress the baby in as much or as little clothing as you are wearing.
  7. Use a firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet.
  8. Place baby in the same sleep position every time.
And Michigan Safe Sleep offers these warnings:
  • Babies are not safe sleeping on a couch, pillow or anything soft. 
  • Babies are not safe sleeping with other children, adults or pets. 
  • Babies are not safe sleeping in adult beds. If you feed your baby in bed, put your baby back into his/her crib to sleep.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I live in the fabulous state of Michigan. Our Govenor, Rick Snyder, has declared April 20th as Safe Delivery Day. Please read this important message from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and share with others.

Help spread the word!

Often, the message of Safe Delivery does not get shared until it’s too late. Until a baby has been abandoned or murdered.
These stories are newsworthy and need to be covered, but proactive stories are even more important as we work together to prevent these infant abandonments and deaths from occurring.

Please take advantage of any opportunities to educate the public about the safe, legal and anonymous alternative provided by the Safe Delivery Law.
Here are a few resources to help you educate your friends, family, colleagues or clients:
Safe Delivery Communications Toolkit
Safe Delivery Proclamation from Gov. Snyder
Safe Delivery Press Release
Safe Delivery Statistics


Check out our website to learn more

Learn more about Safe Delivery in Michigan and what you can do to save the life of a newborn baby at