Who are the 5%?

The Foundation for Complex Healthcare Solutions (FCHS) focuses its resources on the 5% of the population which generates 57% of healthcare costs. But who exactly are the 5%? What health and medical issues cause their costs to be so extraordinary?

Who make up the 5%? Young, old, male or female, insured or uninsured? They are, not surprisingly, mostly older patients with multiple chronic conditions. Their conditions include diabetes, heart disease, obstructive lung disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, arthritis, and H.I.V., among others. The majority is white and female (60%), and most have private insurance. The most expensive 1% accounted for 22% of health care costs in 2009 or about $90,000 per person according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. “An individual in this costliest bracket receives much of his or her care in hospitals – sometimes in multiple hospitals in the same city” according to the American Medical News. Lack of care coordination is, therefore, a significant cost driver. According to Ira Klein, MD, chief of staff to the chief medical officer at Aetna, these missed connections between multiple care providers are “probably the primary reason why we cannot manage costs of people who have multiple morbidities.”

To learn more about the programs we support or if you have an innovative program for a complex healthcare condition and are looking for support, contact us at www.foundation-chs.org.

 

When the doctor isn’t enough

There are times, when it comes to our health, we need help and the Doctor isn’t enough. At such times as these, often what we need is the help of a personal health coach or healthcare facilitator to guide our steps. At the Foundation for Complex Healthcare Solutions, we understand. The Foundation’s experience in developing award winning coaching programs for some of the most difficult to manage health conditions has even been cited before Congress by Secretary Sebelius. At the foundation, we offer some of these same powerful techniques and methods to those suffering from chronic low back pain, fatigue, stress related depression and food allergies. Follow us to learn more about our collaborative approaches which are providing relief to people just like you.

What is the single greatest cause of disability across the globe?

According to the World Health Organization, low back pain is responsible for more disability across the globe than any other health condition. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders reports that, “About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. In a large survey, more than a quarter of adults reported experiencing low back pain during the past 3 months.”

If you are one of the many who suffer from chronic low back pain, the Foundation’s Healthy Balance pain management program might be exactly what you are looking for; relief from back pain without costly surgical intervention or drugs.

Breaking the Cycle: Pain, Anxiety, Depression

One of the most effective methods of breaking or interrupting the cycle of chronic pain, anxiety, and depression is the practice of various relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, and mindfulness training. Researchers once thought that pain, anxiety, and depression were related due to psychological factors. Researchers now know that pain shares certain biological mechanisms with anxiety and depression and these biological mechanisms are impacted by the same progressive relaxation techniques practiced by the Foundation’s Healthy Balance program. To learn more, contact us at the Foundation.

In the Grip of Pain – Anxiety Cycle

When we are in pain, it can lead to anxiety. The anxiety derives from several concerns: When will the pain end? What is causing the pain? Will the pain get worse before it gets better? This pain/anxiety cycle causes specific reactions in the body leading to further exacerbation of already sensitized pain receptors. This can cause overstimulation of surrounding muscle tissues in order to protect what the body senses as the site of injury. This reflex reaction can cause more damage to the surrounding muscle tissue than the original injury. Learning the techniques of breaking this cycle is key to effective pain management. Learn how at the Foundation.

Getting the most out of your doctor visits

In a contemporary twist on the ancient dictum, “physician, heal thyself,” it is sometimes restated as “patient, heal thyself.” So how to apply this to your next doctor visit? It is well established that patients who are engaged with their health and healthcare are better off than those who are “detached” or passive in the doctor’s office. Having a basic knowledge and understanding of one’s health status and ailments can have a significantly positive impact on treatment outcomes. Patient engagement is encouraged by many enlightened doctors. For an array of conditions, patient engagement is often practiced in the form of “shared decision making” where the doctor discusses treatment options and potential outcomes with the patient and encourages patient involvement in the decision making process. Research has established that patients who are fully engaged in this manner actually have an enhanced potential for more rapid recovery than patients not involved and engaged in the treatment discussion and decision process. To learn more about overall optimal health functioning, visit us at www.foundation-chs.org.

In an Alpha State of Mind

Gamma Beta Alpha Theta Delta is not a fraternity or sorority with which you might be familiar because it is neither. Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta, and Delta are the five major categories of brain waves corresponding to different mental activities or states of being. This is important to know because it underlies the scientific verification of the effects of various meditative states. Meditation enables a person to move from higher frequency brain waves to lower frequency, which in turn activates different centers in the brain and corresponds to various states of being. The Alpha state, or relaxation, is what one feels themselves in after a Yoga class, a walk in the woods, or listening to soothing sounds of music or nature. The important point is the absolute scientific verification of the impact of meditation on the brain by measuring EEG patterns of brain activity. To learn more about how to achieve these states of bliss, contact us at www.foundation-chs.org

Yoga

The origins of Yoga are Eastern and ancient, dating to several millennia BCE. Yoga, as practiced in the Eastern traditions, is more than a physical exercise. It has at its heart a meditative and spiritual core. Yoga as a technique is used to control the body and the mind. The physical postures of Yoga are used to alleviate health problems, reduce stress and make the spine supple. It is an integrative therapy in that it utilizes a meditative component to alleviate stress, thereby allowing the physical aspect of the exercises to be more impactful. To learn more about the benefits of Yoga, contact us at www.foundation-chs.org

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Mindfulness & Meditation – What are the Differences?

Mindfulness and meditation are often used interchangeably. But are they synonymous? Not exactly. Meditation is often associated with Yoga, Buddhism and Eastern spirituality because this is its basis of origin. Mindfulness is related to psychology, education, scientific research, and the rational thought of everyday language. Meditation focuses inwardly on the body whereas mindfulness is more inclusive, focusing on actions, thoughts, emotions and states of mind. Meditation requires stillness, whereas mindfulness may be practiced in any daily activity. Both meditation and mindfulness offer the potential to yield significant health benefits. To learn more about the practice of meditation and mindfulness, contact us at www.foundation-chs.org.

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Empty Calorie Foods vs. Nutrient Dense Foods

So what exactly are Empty calories? Calories that contribute to your total caloric intake but supply little or no nutritional value are defined as “empty.” Unlike nutrient-dense foods, which are foods that provide more nutrients than calories, empty-calorie foods contain more calories than nutrients. Nutrients are the components of food that we need to survive. There are six essential nutrients: carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. Most empty-calorie foods are highly processed foods that typically contain solid fats, or fats that are solid at room temperature, such as butter and animal fat. Examples include baked products such as cakes, cookies, pies and pastries as well as puddings, doughnuts, fries, jams, syrups, jelly, sweetened fruit drinks, breaded fried burgers and ice cream. Many processed foods also contain added sugars, like high fructose corn syrup or white sugar that has been added to beverages or food. A high intake of empty-calorie foods may cause weight gain, especially if you are sedentary and consume more than is recommended. The major disadvantage of frequently consuming empty-calorie foods is that energy intake can easily exceed energy requirements. If not used for physical activity, the extra calories are stored in the body as fat, and over time, result in weight gain and obesity. To learn more about how nutrition contributes to healthy active living, read about our programs at www.foundation-chs.org.

 

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