PinnacleCare helps you navigate the complexities of the health care system by championing your individual needs. What does PinnacleCare do? Click on the video links below to learn more.

Individual & Family

PinnacleCare offers personalized health care support for you and your family 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We understand the tremendous impact your health has on your lifestyle, and we’re committed to doing whatever it takes to help you live the life you’ve imagined.

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Groups, Employers,
Organizations

PinnacleCare produces better outcomes driven by expert medical intelligence and provider access. When employees are faced with a serious health challenge, knowing where to go, how to get in fast, and understanding all treatment options can reduce costs and save lives.

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BREAKING NEWS

PinnacleCare is Partnering with Express Scripts to Provide Patients with Rare Diseases A Faster Path to Diagnosis and Treatment

New Rare Conditions Care Value Program expands support services to facilitate second opinions that can improve health outcomes, reduce wasteful spending.

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Delivering Results

77%
Member Engagements that lead to a change in diagnosis, treatment, and/or treating physician
86
Net Promotor Score, which measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company's products or services
96%
Adoption/Treatment Adherence Rate
99%
Customer Satisfaction Rating

Member stories

How We Make it Happen

Mature businesswoman working in her new modern office. Sitting by the desk and talking on the phone with client. She is happy and cheerful. Holding papers in the hand.

Intelligence

Thoroughly-vetted relationships with world's top specialists.

skin cancer

Facilitation

From research to records, we coordinate all aspects of your care.

Access to top health care providers.

Access

We get you in the door with the best doctors and institutions, fast.

WITH PINNACLECARE, THE DIFFERENCE IS CLEAR.

With PinnacleCare

Without PinnacleCare

Health Care Champion

Your own health advisor, who is backed by a research and medical team, is there to guide you throughout the health care process and advocate.

Feeling Lost

Unanswered questions and feelings of confusion and frustration. You need someone on your side who has experience and expertise to help you navigate the complexities of the health care system.

First Class Access

Access top specialists and Medical Centers of Excellence, who have been thoroughly vetted and researched by our team.

Limited Access

Without the knowledge to identify top specialists you rely on the narrow scope of physician-to-physician referrals.

Get Seen Quickly

Preferred provider access with world-renowned doctors and institutions help us get you in the door quickly.

Waiting Game

Even if you’ve been “matched” with a practice or physician for care, you lack the connections and relationships that get you in the door when it’s needed the most.

Expert Second Opinions

We help you get expert second opinions to ensure the correct diagnosis and a customized treatment plan.

Uncertainty

Difficulty obtaining qualified second opinions from vetted physicians and hospitals, leading to second guessing that you have the correct diagnosis.

Universal Medical Records

Centralized medical records that we collect, review and store for you, which are well organized and easily accessible 24/7.

Disorganization

Your medical records may need to be tracked down, and you don’t have anyone to make sense of and organize this potentially vital information.

In the Press

Jul 19 2013

Should you get a second opinion?

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

Why is it important to get a second opinion when you’re facing a serious medical diagnosis? When you make an important decision, like buying a home, writing a will, or investing your money, you do research to gather the information you need to make an educated, informed choice. While you can gather some of that... Read More

Jul 25 2013

A new resource for personalized healthcare

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

There are literally thousands of sources for personalized healthcare and wellness advisory information available on the Internet, so why are we creating one more? When you search a health concern, like heart disease or how to reduce your cancer risk, you’re bombarded with results. Googling heart disease, for example, delivers a staggering 244,000,000 results. Some... Read More

Aug 2 2013

Do you need a routine PSA test to screen for prostate cancer?

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

At its annual meeting in May 2013, the American Urological Association (AUA) announced updated recommendations about when and for which men prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing was appropriate. The blood test measures levels of prostate specific antigen, a protein produced by cells in the prostate gland. Higher levels of PSA can indicate the presence of... Read More

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Aug 19 2013

Healthy sleep: one of five keys to health and wellness

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

On the most basic level, we all want to live a long and healthy life. While material possessions, career success and other achievements can enhance our lives, the most essential element of living well is your overall health and wellness. So, what steps do you need to take to guard and improve your health? Read More

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Aug 22 2013

Family health and wellness: Keep your kids active and safe

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

In addition to a healthy diet, one of the most effective approaches to keeping children and teens healthy is to encourage regular physical activity. For many children, that activity takes the form of organized sports. For others, it means biking, skateboarding, or a pick-up game of street hockey. Now that you have  your children out... Read More

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Sep 3 2013

Five changes that could lower your prostate cancer risk

Preventive Care  •  By Michael Scott

By proactively making changes to what you eat, your activity level and other lifestyle factors, you may be able to decrease your risk of prostate cancer, the second most common cancer in American men. The potential benefits of these lifestyle changes are supported by evidence from a range of clinical studies, an important factor to... Read More

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Sep 20 2013

Personalized therapy for cancer: New hope for patients

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

For decades, certain cancers were difficult or impossible to battle, meaning that patients frequently lived only months after diagnosis. A recent Wall Street Journal article and video  highlights the significant progress that’s being made in developing drugs that target the specific genetic mutations linked to the development of certain cancers and the impact this is... Read More

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Sep 24 2013

Health and wellness: Are you following the right exercise regimen?

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

You know that getting regular exercise is essential to your health and can help reduce your risk of a range of chronic diseases including heart disease and diabetes. Some studies have also found an association between exercise and a decreased risk of certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Is your exercise routine fine-tuned to promote better health... Read More

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Oct 2 2013

Heart smart: Why you should be eating a Mediterranean diet

Preventive Care  •  By Michael Scott

What’s the best diet for reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke? A large, randomized 5-year study conducted in Spain suggests that a traditional Mediterranean diet may be the leading contender. Read More

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Oct 8 2013

Health and wellness: How will you care for your parents as they age?

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

When we are young, we rely on our parents to provide most everything we need for a healthy life. As our parents grow older, that relationship begins to change. It becomes our job to make sure all’s well with the health and wellbeing of our parents. The foundation of healthy aging: a whole person perspective... Read More

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Minority family standing outside their new home
Oct 15 2013

Webinar: Smart ways to protect your brain health

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Join us for a free webinar to learn how you can protect the health of your brain as you grow older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 16 million Americans are living with cognitive impairment. While some of those are younger people who have experienced a traumatic brain injury,... Read More

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Rear view of a young man holding his back in pain, isolated on white background, monochrome photo with red as a symbol for the hardening
Oct 22 2013

Conquering back pain without surgery or medication

Integrative Medicine  •  By Miles Varn

Are you living with chronic back pain? You’re not alone. More than 85 percent of Americans will suffer from back or neck pain at some point in their lives and more than 26 million adults under the age of 65 live with frequent back pain. Many of those people are prescribed pain medication or undergo... Read More

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Brain disease with memory loss due to Dementia and Alzheimer's illness with the medical icon of an autumn season color tree in the shape of a human head and brain losing leaves as a concept of intelligence decline.
Nov 1 2013

Can healthy aging strategies protect your memory?

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

As we age, we expect our memory to get a bit less sharp, but a number of studies suggest that there are several fairly simple ways we can fight against memory and cognition loss. To understand what you can do to protect the health of your brain as you grow older, you need to know... Read More

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Nov 12 2013

Pre-surgery drug may help women battle aggressive breast cancer

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted fast track approval for the biologic, targeted cancer drug pertuzumab, known by the brand name PerjetaR, to treat HER2-positive breast cancer before surgery. The drug had previously been approved last year to treat late stage, HER2-positive breast cancer. Additional larger clinical trials to confirm the results... Read More

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Nov 19 2013

Webinar: Learn how exercise can transform your health

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Join us for a free webinar on the many different ways that exercise can transform your health and overall wellbeing. You’ve certainly heard that exercise provides a myriad of health benefits: improving the health of your heart helping you maintain a healthy weight combatting depression helping you lower your blood pressure lowering your cholesterol and... Read More

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The broken cigaret and word stop made of tobacco isolated on white background
Dec 2 2013

Should you get a yearly lung cancer screening?

Preventive Care  •  By Robert Conners

Lung cancer is the third most common form of cancer in the United States and it’s also the most deadly. It’s the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. and accounts for approximately 28 percent of all cancer deaths. When lung cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stages, the cure rate is 50 percent... Read More

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Dec 5 2013

Webinar: Sedentary death syndrome—Why you need to exercise now

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

You know you should exercise, but you’re busy, or it’s too cold or too hot, or you just don’t like working out. How much of a problem can not exercising regularly really be? A very big problem, more and more studies are finding. One recent study found that people who sit for more than 11... Read More

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overcoming a family history of heart disease
Dec 10 2013

Should you be taking a cholesterol-lowering statin?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Cholesterol used to be all about your number, but that’s changing. New guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association could mean that you’ll leave your next doctor’s visit with a prescription for a cholesterol-lowering statin medication.  To learn more about the new guidelines, we talked with George Rodgers, MD, FACC,... Read More

A businessman is stressed out at his work desk.  He has his glasses off and eyes closed.  Vertical shot.  Isolated on white.
Dec 17 2013

Health care cost and complexity necessitate closer attention

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

This week’s blog comes from a guest author, Derek Fitteron, CEO of Medical Cost Advocate. We invited him to share his insights on the issue of medical costs and medical billing errors. The complexity and cost of health care are on everyone’s mind. With the implementation of the Health Care Reform Act, the pace of... Read More

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Jan 6 2014

How to maintain access to health care in face of physician shortages

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

It’s getting harder to find a primary care doctor and that could have a significant impact on your health. The number of practicing physicians in the U.S. has been in decline for decades. At the same time, the total U.S. population and the number of people 65 and older, who usually use more health care... Read More

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Jan 14 2014

Are you eating the right foods to protect the health of your brain?

Preventive Care  •  By Michael Scott

Diet is one of the top items on most people’s list of New Year’s resolutions, but the foods you choose can affect more than your weight. According to a growing number of studies, diet can play a key role in protecting your brain against Alzheimer’s disease and other types of age-related cognitive decline. What should... Read More

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Jan 21 2014

Is stress making you sick?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Robert Conners

The phone is ringing. Your father is ill. Your children need help with their homework. You’re on an impossible work deadline.  Just reading this litany is enough to make anyone’s blood pressure rise. While it’s not possible to avoid all stressors, it is possible to learn to manage stress better. Why is stress management important?... Read More

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Jan 28 2014

How will the Affordable Care Act change Medicare?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Bruce Spector

Since it was passed in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), informally known as Obamacare, has been the source of much discussion regarding the future of our healthcare system.  To keep you informed, this is the first in a series of articles that will highlight the potential areas of impact on future healthcare planning for... Read More

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Feb 4 2014

Feeling depressed? You could have seasonal affective disorder.

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

It’s been a particularly tough winter across most of the country and the long, dark days can dampen anyone’s mood. For between 14 million and nearly 19 million people according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness and other experts, however, it’s more than a passing depressed mood. It could be a serious condition known... Read More

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heart shape by various vegetables and fruits
Feb 11 2014

Why are top CEOs integrating naturopathic medicine in their health strategy?

Integrative Medicine  •  By Michael Scott

Maybe the last person you would expect to champion the integration of naturopathic medicine approaches into an overall strategy for wellness, prevention, and health is the CEO of one of the country’s top health insurers. But that is precisely what Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, has done. Dr. Doni Wilson, ND, author of The Stress... Read More

Feb 25 2014

Protect yourself from the wrong medical diagnosis and treatment

Second Opinion  •  By Robert Conners

While there have been a number of studies that focus on the grave toll that errors made during hospitalization take, fewer researchers have studied an equally important subject—the frequency of and harm caused by incorrect or missed diagnoses. Over the past few years, however, several studies have highlighted the ongoing problem of misdiagnosis and their... Read More

Mar 5 2014

Five tips for safer travel abroad

Travel Health  •  By Miles Varn

Whether you’re planning a family trip to Costa Rica or a business trip to Japan, it’s smart to do some simple preparation well before you start packing your bags. Staying safe and healthy is always important and it’s even more so when traveling abroad because dealing with an illness or injury while outside the country... Read More

Mar 12 2014

Will the Affordable Care Act mean changes to your private insurance?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Bruce Spector

To keep you informed about the impact of Affordable Care Act (ACA), this is the second in a series of articles highlighting the ACA’s potential effect on healthcare planning for you and your family. In this post, we focus on the law’s impact on people who had individual or employer-sponsored health insurance before the passage... Read More

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Mar 18 2014

How to care for your aging parents when you don’t live nearby

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

Making sure that your parents are getting the healthcare and support they need as they get older can be a tough job. But living at a distance from your parents makes that tough job even more complex. When you don’t see your parents regularly, it can be harder to tell if something is amiss. They... Read More

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Mar 28 2014

Personalized healthcare: How biomarkers lead to more effective drugs

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

Even though pharmaceutical companies spend several years and billions of dollars developing their products, there is no guarantee that a mass-produced drug will work for every patient. For patients with certain illnesses, a personalized medicine approach to treatment that includes drugs that target aspects of their specific genetic makeup can lead to more effective treatments. Read More

complications after surgery
Apr 9 2014

Parents of infants with heart problems seek second opinions

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

One of the most stressful moments in a parent’s life is when you find out that your child has a serious illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 40,000 children are born each year with some form of a congenital heart condition, making it the most common birth defect in the U.S.... Read More

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Man comfortably sleeping in his bed at night
Apr 15 2014

Medication-free strategies for dealing with insomnia

Integrative Medicine  •  By Miles Varn

Difficulty falling asleep at night can negatively affect your mood, productivity at work and ability to interact with coworkers and family. To help combat this problem, a health care provider may prescribe medications, some of which may cause adverse reactions. Fortunately, there are several medication-free strategies for dealing with insomnia that can promote a full and restful night’s sleep. Read More

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doctor talking to his female patient at office
Apr 22 2014

Most women don’t know their stroke risk. Do you?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Every year, stroke kills more women than men. In fact, stroke kills twice as many women per year as breast cancer does, but 70 percent of women in a recent study published in the journal Stroke didn’t know that stroke was a significant health risk for them, weren’t aware of what factors increased their risk... Read More

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Apr 29 2014

Don’t just rely on brain games to delay dementia

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Brain games are getting a lot of publicity in the news. Major brain game programs, like Luminosity and Fit Brains by Rosetta Stone, provide daily exercises to members across the world. Luminosity itself boasts more than 50 million in 182 different countries. However, these brain game programs are not just about amusement. Many are bringing... Read More

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Woman doing weight training with female fitness coach
May 6 2014

Are you doing all you can to preserve your bone health?

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) estimates that more than 40 million people in the U.S. either have or are at high risk of osteoporosis. Although this bone-weakening disease can develop at any time in a person’s life, it becomes more likely as you age. Once you have osteoporosis, you have... Read More

Inappropriate antibiotic use is driving the evolution of bacteria that are resistant to the drugs.
May 15 2014

More prudent antibiotic use helps fight resistant bacteria

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Since the 1940s, antibiotics have been one of the most powerful weapons that doctors have at their disposal to fight bacterial illnesses, such as infections of the bloodstream, urinary tract and lower respiratory tract. However, because of the overuse of antibiotics, bacteria have evolved. Both patients and health care providers need to be concerned about... Read More

New approaches can help you manage seasonal allergies.
May 16 2014

Got allergies? Try these new approaches for allergy relief

Integrative Medicine  •  By Miles Varn

With spring well underway and summer around the corner, people with hay fever may feel desperate for relief, and their numbers continue to grow. Experts from the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) estimated that about 50 million people live with hay fever, which are also known as nasal allergies or allergic rhinitis. Nearly 30... Read More

It's not wise to rely on the Internet for important health information.
May 19 2014

Do you self-diagnose? Research shows you shouldn’t

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

When you experience physical symptoms – a cough, a headache, some muscle pain – you might try to diagnose yourself by turning to the Internet. Experts from the Pew Research Internet Project reported on a survey that indicated 72 percent of Internet users had gone online to search for health-related information during the previous year. Within this group,... Read More

Personalized medicine delivers more effective cancer treatment
May 21 2014

Personalized medicine delivers more effective cancer treatment

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

Cancer research is advancing with each passing year, and though no cure has been found yet, the odds of survival increase as more efficient and accurate treatment options are developed. Determining which treatment is most likely to be effective for an individual patient, however, can prove difficult. Read More

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There is a strong link between oral health and general physical health.
May 22 2014

What can your teeth and gums tell you about your overall health?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

A federal health survey revealed that 12 percent of adults in the U.S. ages 20 to 64 had not seen a dentist in the prior five years. For older adults, that rate jumped to 23 percent. This is problematic because, while it is true that a physician can help keep you healthy and monitor your... Read More

Virtual consultations: facilitating important second medical opinions
May 23 2014

Virtual consultations: facilitating important second medical opinions

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

When it comes to getting a medical second opinion, remote consultations can facilitate a more personalized healthcare experience focused on a patient’s individual needs. A study recently published in the journal Health Affairs reported that 42 percent of hospitals in the U.S. are equipped with devices that could make telemedicine and remote consultations even more... Read More

Health experts in the U.S. are prepared to deal with MERS.
May 27 2014

What you need to know about MERS

Travel Health  •  By Miles Varn

If you follow health stories in the news, you’ve probably heard about Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and may be wondering if you should be concerned. This infectious disease – a coronavirus that is similar to but distinct from the virus that caused the international severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, outbreak about a decade ago –... Read More

There are different treatment options for teens who have anxiety disorders.
May 28 2014

Recognize anxiety disorders in your teen, and learn to help

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimated that, during any given 12-month period, 40 million American adults – or 18 percent of people at least 18 years of age – live with an anxiety disorder. According to the NIMH, 8 percent of young people aged 13 to 18 years have an anxiety disorder. These disorders can... Read More

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Make sure your aging relatives get the care they need
May 29 2014

Make sure your aging relatives get the care they need

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

As your parents or relatives get older, it can be difficult to determine the best course of care. One key to developing a plan of action is to include your parents or relatives in the discussion about what type of support they need. Though many are open to this discussion, it’s not uncommon to face... Read More

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Second opinions for biopsies may help patients find more effective disease treatment.
May 30 2014

Second opinions on biopsy results could save lives

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

While biopsies provide important information that helps diagnose cancer and other diseases, several studies have found that there can be errors in the interpretation of the results. Seeking a second opinion can make a difference in both your diagnosis and your treatment options. Read More

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Parents of children who have food allergies need to know how to protect them.
Jun 5 2014

Food allergies and your child: What parents need to know

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted a worrisome trend in the U.S.: the prevalence of food allergies among children 17 years and younger increased from 3.4 percent in 1997 to 5.1 percent in 2011. This prompted Food Allergy Research & Education to call the condition a rising epidemic. It isn’t entirely clear... Read More

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Lyme disease may be under-diagnosed in certain regions of the U.S.
Jun 6 2014

What you don’t know about Lyme disease

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the agency every year. In 2012, 95 percent of cases came from only 13 states, concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest. Traditionally, healthcare experts believed Lyme disease was virtually nonexistent in southern states such as Florida and Georgia. However,... Read More

assisted living
Jun 11 2014

Tips for helping your parents manage doctor’s appointments and medications

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

As the average lifespan increases, so does the risk of chronic illnesses. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 80 percent of adults ages 65 and older live with at least one of these chronic conditions. For 50 percent of these people, it is at least two. More complex health conditions... Read More

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Cardiovascular risks may be particularly high among female caregivers.
Jun 12 2014

Female caregivers shouldn’t overlook their own heart health

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re a woman caring for an ailing loved one, you can count yourself among the 44 million American adults who play this role. Caring for an ailing loved one can be a difficult and time-consuming job, and include a wide range of tasks, from helping them dress, eat and use the bathroom, to taking... Read More

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Insomnia can raise the risk of stroke among young adults.
Jun 13 2014

Stroke risk under 40: Why sleep is key to your health

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

The risk factors for stroke can generally be divided into two groups—those you can control and those you can’t. Within the latter group is age, with the risk of stroke particularly pronounced for those older than 55. Stroke is usually not observed among younger people, but according to a new study published in the American Heart... Read More

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The dietary fiber in cereal foods
Jun 16 2014

Survived a heart attack? Eat more fiber

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women in the U.S., which underscores the importance of cardiovascular research. Recently, a study published in the journal BMJ suggested that the mortality risk among heart attack survivors was lower for those who ate more fiber-rich cereal and grain sources after their heart attacks. Read More

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Children who play outdoors need to be careful to avoid heat-related illnesses.
Jun 17 2014

Heat-related illness: 5 tips for staying safe as temperatures rise

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

The warm summer months are a time for your children to enjoy the outdoors. They may participate in summer camp, off-season athletic training, family hikes or days at the park with their friends. But while the warm weather is inviting, it also increases the risk of heat-related illnesses. Read More

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Starting an exercise regimen as early as possible will protect your brain as you age.
Jun 19 2014

Want to keep your mind young? Start exercising now

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

There are many reasons to work out: to lose excess weight, to keep your heart strong or to maintain good muscle tone. However, there is a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests exercise is also good for your brain, and the earlier you take up an exercise regimen, the more benefits your brain will reap in the... Read More

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Travelers to foreign countries need to make sure they have medical coverage.
Jun 24 2014

Traveling outside the U.S.? Make sure you have health coverage

Travel Health  •  By Miles Varn

When planning your vacation, you probably focus on your daily itineraries: activities, places to eat, where to shop and so on. However, it is also important to be prepared for medical emergencies. One fundamental question to ask is whether your insurance policy covers care outside the U.S. While it is unpleasant to think about, you need... Read More

Injury prevention is pivotal in youth sports.
Jun 30 2014

How to prevent 5 of the most common kids’ sports injuries

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Every year, more than 38 million children and adolescents in the U.S. play organized sports, as estimated by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). If you’re the parent of one of these children, you know the positive effects that these activities can have on a kid’s physical health and self-esteem.... Read More

Talk to your doctor before taking aspirin for heart attack prevention.
Jul 1 2014

Aspirin to prevent heart attacks? Ask your doctor first

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

For people who have suffered a heart attack or stroke, a daily aspirin regimen may be prescribed by their physician to help lower the risk of a second heart attack or stroke. For about 10 years, drug maker Bayer Healthcare has been trying to get the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow the company... Read More

People may have questions about news reports that measles vaccines are treating cancer.
Jul 2 2014

Connecting the dots between measles and cancer treatment

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

If you or someone you love is living with a malignant disease, you may follow the news about emerging innovative treatments. For example, researchers recently reported that special formulations of measles and polio viruses are powerful enough to kill cancer cells. Does that mean these are the cures we’ve been waiting for? Read More

skin cancer
Jul 3 2014

When is a ‘senior moment’ a sign of something more serious?

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

When people in your family age, they may become more forgetful, misplacing car keys or missing scheduled appointments. However, at some point, you and your loved ones may start to wonder: Are these “senior moments” a natural part of aging or a sign of something more serious? Read More

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Age-related cognitive decline can be halted with proper care.
Jul 10 2014

5 tips for early prevention of age-related cognitive decline

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Conventional wisdom has lulled us into thinking that some parts of the aging process are inevitable, such as declining mental sharpness and fading memory. However, the truth is that modern medicine can treat – if not cure – age-related cognitive decline. In recent years, this has been an active area of research – including a... Read More

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Innovative diagnostics are pivotal to personalized healthcare.
Jul 15 2014

Innovative diagnostic tests: The key to personalized healthcare?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

Personalized medicine that is tailored to individuals based on their genetic or metabolic profiles rather than disease group, is the next logical step in the evolution of healthcare. Not only does personalizing therapy in this way treat disease more effectively than traditional approaches, it also reduces the likelihood of side effects and wasteful spending. The... Read More

Accurately diagnosing dementia can involve working with several different medical specialists.
Jul 16 2014

Parents and dementia: Getting the right diagnosis and treatment

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

As adults age, it can become more common to forget simple things. When the memory loss is severe enough to interfere with daily living, however, this can be a sign of more progressive forms of dementia. To ensure that your parents get the care they need, it is important to have them see a physician... Read More

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An accurate EMR can be the key to better healthcare.
Jul 17 2014

How proactive reviews and updates to your medical record can protect your health

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Cindy Piazza

In recent years, the healthcare community has been promoting the benefits of collecting and storing your personal and medical information in electronic medical record systems (EMRs). While you may assume that records your doctor has gathered are accurate and up to date, take note: A recent University of Chicago study indicates that 95 percent of... Read More

Medical evacuation insurance pays for transport during medical emergencies abroad.
Jul 22 2014

Does your travel medical insurance cover evacuations?

Travel Health  •  By Nuran Saydam

To be prepared for a medical emergency abroad, it is a good idea to have travel medical insurance to make sure that the cost of any emergency care you need while you are traveling is covered. However, when picking a policy, it is also important to know whether it will cover the cost of transport... Read More

Ineffective methods for coping with stress may lead to insomnia.
Jul 24 2014

Can’t sleep? Rethink how you cope with stress

Integrative Medicine  •  By Michael Scott

Studies show that 15 to 20 percent of adults struggle with short-term insomnia that lasts less than three months. Any deficits in sleep can cause a variety of health problems, and researchers have recently discovered one likely contributor to short-term insomnia: poor coping mechanisms for stress. It is not unusual to feel stressed by major changes... Read More

Jul 25 2014

Are you a caregiver? How to lower your risk of injury and illness

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

Every year, about 42 million Americans provide unpaid caregiving services to ailing loved ones. Caregivers often neglect their own health and wellbeing and are at risk for developing chronic pain, heart disease and other serious health problems. But there are steps caregivers can take to protect their health so that they’re still able to help care for... Read More

Universal medical records can facilitate medical care for travelers when they are abroad.
Jul 29 2014

A universal medical record can save your life abroad

Travel Health  •  By Nuran Saydam

Before you travel, you want to make sure you are as healthy as you can be. This means visiting a travel medicine specialist to determine disease-preventive measures specific to your travel destination, ensuring you are up to date on routine immunizations such as measles, which is still endemic to many international destinations, and confirming you have... Read More

Alzheimer's disease patients can have complex care needs.
Jul 30 2014

If your parent has Alzheimer’s, these tips can help you cope

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

If your parent has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, while the initial news may seem overwhelming, it is important to know that the disease is manageable, and there are resources that can help your ensure your parents gets the care and support he or she needs. These resources are becoming increasingly important as the prevalence... Read More

Jul 31 2014

The six key questions to ask before you choose a hospital

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

When an illness or injury means you need inpatient or outpatient care at a hospital, how can you choose the most appropriate medical center? What factors should you consider and what resources can you turn to for help making your decision? Your choice of doctors and hospitals can make a difference in the quality of... Read More

Doctor injecting vaccine to senior woman
Aug 7 2014

Adult immunizations: What vaccines do you need to protect your family?

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

Everyone’s familiar with childhood immunizations. What you may not be aware of is that vaccine science is continually evolving, with new immunizations being developed and approved almost yearly. A few years ago, who would have imagined there would be a vaccine that can help prevent cervical cancer, the number two cancer killer of women in... Read More

Are you prepared for medical emergencies and managing chronic conditions while travelling abroad.
Aug 7 2014

Going abroad? Medical contingency planning to protect your health

Travel Health  •  By Nuran Saydam

When you travel, health problems are probably the last thing on your mind, but illness and injury can strike anywhere. Between 2009 and 2011, more than 2,700 Americans died from accidents and illnesses while they were abroad. Overall, 23 percent of deaths abroad are injury-related, and 2 percent are caused by infectious disease. Read More

Treating social anxiety disorder
Aug 8 2014

3 treatment options for social anxiety disorder – The last one may surprise you

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

About 15 million people in the U.S. live with social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia. Research into treatment for this type of anxiety disorder is ongoing, but one team of scientists from Queen’s University in Ontario suggested that physical activity and relaxation exercises may be beneficial. Given how social anxiety disorder can disrupt everyday... Read More

Lifestyle adjustments
Aug 14 2014

Lifestyle changes can lower your risk of mild cognitive impairment

Preventive Care  •  By Michael Scott

Health care providers estimate that between 2.4 million and 5.5 million individuals in the U.S. are living with dementia. As you or your parents get older, you may be worried about the risk of dementia and wonder if you or they need to be screened for cognitive impairment, a risk factor for dementia that affects... Read More

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Venom immunotherapy can reduce the risk of anaphylaxis from insect stings.
Aug 15 2014

Allergic to bugs? Immunotherapy can decrease likelihood of a reaction

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Five percent of people in the U.S. are allergic to insect bites and stings, and the proportion continues to grow. If you have these allergies, you may be bracing for the late summer months, when insects are particularly active, but did you know that there are treatments that can make you less reactive? While August... Read More

Researchers discovered a new way in which sleep apnea can impact your health.
Aug 20 2014

Live with sleep apnea? Researchers discovered another way it can impact you

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Up to 18 million people in the U.S. are living with sleep apnea, a condition that negatively impacts metabolism, cardiovascular function and neurological well-being. Recently, new research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggested there is one more part of the body that sleep apnea can damage: your bones. Typically, as people... Read More

Can you tell the difference between a summer allergy and a summer bout of the flu?
Aug 21 2014

Summer flu or allergies? What’s making you look and feel so sick?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

The summer is generally a time when people enjoy the outdoors, but some individuals may be taken by surprise when they start developing symptoms of allergies they never experienced before, particularly symptoms that go beyond the usual sneezing and stuffy noses. If you’re experiencing allergies for the first time, you may mistake them for another... Read More

Different treatments for deep vein thrombosis in the legs come with both risks and benefits.
Aug 22 2014

Which therapy for blood clots in the legs is best suited for you?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Every year in the U.S., between 300,000 and 600,000 people are diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or blood clots in their legs, which can be fatal. Although there are several treatments available, you may be unclear as to which one is best suited for you. Currently, doctors usually treat blood clots with one of... Read More

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Inadequate amounts of sleep may accelerate the aging process in the brain.
Sep 3 2014

Worried about your brain health? Make sure you get enough sleep

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are growing more prominent in the U.S., underscoring the importance of preventive strategies. New research published in the journal Sleep suggests that adequate amounts of sleep are important for healthy aging within the brain. It’s important to find solutions to your sleep problems now, because researchers have found that changes in... Read More

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Prostate cancer patients should discuss the various treatment options with their doctors.
Sep 4 2014

Prostate cancer treatments: Making the tough choice

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

Every year, about 300,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with prostate cancer. A man has a 1 in 6 chance of developing this disease in his lifetime. Although most cases of prostate cancer are non-aggressive, there is always a chance that the malignancy can spread to other organs, which makes ongoing surveillance and appropriate... Read More

Consuming food rich in vitamin D may help prevent dementia.
Sep 11 2014

Are you getting enough vitamin D? Research uncovered a new health risk

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

A growing number of studies are suggesting that a significant proportion of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. While it’s known that low levels of vitamin D can hurt bone health, new research reveals that this deficiency may also increase the risk of dementia. Given that dementia significantly decreases both quality of life and your... Read More

Certain breast cancer medications may put women ages 65 years and older at risk for heart problems.
Sep 12 2014

Undergoing breast cancer treatment? Protect your heart health

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Although chemotherapy is one of the most powerful, appropriate and effective approaches for treating breast cancer, new research shows that about 12 percent of patients older than 65 develop heart problems as an unintended side effect within three years of starting chemotherapy. Seeing a cardiologist is important, but only about one-third of breast cancer patients will... Read More

The number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 70 has increased sixfold.
Sep 16 2014

More prostate cancer patients diagnosed at younger age: Are you at risk?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

During the past 20 years, the number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer before their 70s and 80s, the typical age for diagnosis of this disease, increased nearly sixfold, according to new research published in the journal Nature Reviews: Urology. The study explores the risk factors associated with these earlier diagnoses. Although prostate cancer can... Read More

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If you know someone who's living with cognitive impairment, you're aware that the condition can pose new challenges in everyday life. However, recent research suggests that people with cognitive impairment may also have a risk of stroke <a href=39 percent higher than that of people who have normal cognitive function. Ultimately, this study reminds us that, while it's important to help people who have cognitive impairment with everyday tasks, we cannot forget potential long-term health problems. Unhealthy blood vessels may underlie both issues Previously, health experts were aware that people who survive a stroke may develop cognitive problems, but it wasn't known if the relationship worked the other way around as well. Past studies were inconsistent, leading an international team of scientists to take a fresh look at the issue. To do so, the study authors reviewed 18 previously published research papers that covered the topic. In total, the review encompassed nearly 122,000 people who were diagnosed with cognitive impairment. Most of these individuals were from Europe or North America. Eventually, nearly 7,800 of these study participants experienced a stroke. Based on the data, the researchers estimated that people with cognitive impairment were 39 percent more likely to have a stroke than neurologically healthy individuals. The scientists explained the relationship by pointing out that both cognitive impairment and stroke can be results of blood vessels in the brain that are impacted by blockages, inflammation or other problems. They also asserted that symptoms of cognitive impairment may serve as an early warning sign that vascular problems in the brain may lead to a stroke. Start with the heart If you're taking care of someone with cognitive impairment, it's understandable that most of your attention would be on helping him or her remember things. Does he or she need help keeping track of medical appointments? Is the medication schedule easy to follow? Is there anyone around to remind him or her to keep the stove off and lock the doors? Still, it's important to help these individuals maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle, which may help prevent a stroke as well as further degradation of the brain. This means eating healthy food, exercising, giving up cigarettes and controlling one's weight - all of which contribute to healthy blood vessels. For further advice on how to prevent a stroke in someone with cognitive impairment, consult a health advisor, who can refer you to experts in neurology and cardiovascular health." draggable="false">
Sep 18 2014

Know someone with cognitive impairment? Beware of stroke

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

If you know someone who’s living with cognitive impairment, you’re aware that the condition can pose new challenges in everyday life. However, recent research suggests that people with cognitive impairment may also have a risk of stroke 39 percent higher than that of people who have normal cognitive function. Ultimately, this study reminds us that, while it’s important... Read More

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The HPV vaccine can help prevent various forms of cancer.
Sep 23 2014

Why is the HPV vaccine important for your adolescent child?

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

About 79 million people in the U.S. are currently infected with HPV. In the long term, this virus increases the risk of several serious diseases, including cancers of the cervix, genitals and throat. Although a series of vaccines will help prevent infection, health experts are worried that immunization rates are too low. Currently, there are... Read More

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The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $113 million for The ALS Association.
Sep 25 2014

What’s the Ice Bucket Challenge? Learn about ALS and new research into the disease

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you spent any time on social media this summer, you’ve probably seen videos of people taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Participants have included everyday people to celebrities ranging from Jennifer Lopez to Anna Wintour to a surprisingly classy contribution from Sir Patrick Stewart. While it’s entertaining to watch people dump buckets of ice water... Read More

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Sun overexposure remains a health hazard during the autumn and winter.
Sep 30 2014

Risk of skin cancer doesn’t disappear with summer

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Every year, doctors diagnose about 2.8 million cases of basal cell carcinoma, which is the most common form of skin cancer. Additionally, there are about 70,000 cases each of squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Fortunately, most cases of skin cancer are preventable. These malignancies are typically associated with sun exposure. In the U.S., people usually... Read More

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Specialists can help children with learning disabilities succeed in school.
Oct 2 2014

Do you suspect your child has a learning disability?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

After a month or two of school, you’ve probably developed a routine with your kids. If you help your children with their homework, you also have an idea of what their curriculum looks like and how they should be progressing. Many children have trouble when they’re learning to read and write. If your child is in his or... Read More

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Type 2 diabetes
Oct 7 2014

Do you have Type 2 diabetes? You may be at risk for mild cognitive impairment

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

Between 90 and 95 percent of cases of diabetes in the U.S. are Type 2. In the long term, this condition, if not properly managed, increases the risk for several health complications, including heart disease, blindness, kidney problems and limb amputations. Now, research suggests that Type 2 diabetes may also be linked to mild cognitive... Read More

Infectious disease outbreaks on campus
Oct 9 2014

Infectious disease outbreaks on campus: Is your child vaccinated?

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

When your children enter college, you may worry about how well they are taking care of themselves. Is the dining hall food nutritious? Is there time for the gym? Does school-life balance allow for adequate amounts of sleep? Are drugs and alcohol a problem on campus? Part of empowering your children to take care of... Read More

Lyme disease
Oct 14 2014

Is there such a thing as chronic Lyme disease?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Every year, public health workers record about 30,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the U.S., and that figure may actually underestimate the number of true cases. Lyme disease is caused by an infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, a species of bacteria transmitted through tick bites. The early signs of the disease, which appear within three to 30... Read More

Conquer leukemia
Oct 17 2014

Mother joins son’s fight to conquer leukemia

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Cindy Piazza

All any parent ever wants is for his or her child to be happy and healthy. When a little boy or girl is diagnosed with cancer, the news can leave parents feeling angry, sad or in shock. Making the situation even more difficult is the fact that much of the news – the diagnosis, the... Read More

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back surgery
Oct 21 2014

How do you know if back surgery is appropriate? Get a second opinion

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

During any three-month period, about 25 percent of adults in the U.S. experience at least one day of back pain, making this ailment one of the most commonly reported health problems. If you experience back pain, getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step. For most conditions that cause back pain, your doctor is likely... Read More

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What supplements do you need
Oct 23 2014

Beyond vitamins and minerals – Do you know what supplements you need?

Integrative Medicine  •  By Michael Scott

Years ago, when you perused the drugstore shelves for vitamins and minerals, you probably came across what looked like alphabet soup. There were vitamins A, C, D, E and several types of vitamin B, in addition to minerals like iron and calcium. However, the more research scientists have performed through the years, the more we... Read More

Facts about ebola
Oct 28 2014

Answers to your questions about Ebola

Preventive Care  •  By Robert Conners

We know that the media outlets have been saturated by news of the recent devastating Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and we have received a number of concerned inquiries from members. We wanted to provide you with basic information about this virus and suggest, as always, that if you have any questions, you reach out... Read More

breast cancer diagnosis
Oct 30 2014

Were you diagnosed with breast cancer? Genetic testing may be crucial

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

By the end of 2014, doctors in the U.S. will have diagnosed more than 232,000 women and 2,300 men in the U.S. with breast cancer. Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this is an opportune time to discuss how pivotal genetic testing can be if you’ve been newly diagnosed with the malignancy. After you’re diagnosed, you... Read More

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oncologist - second opinion
Nov 4 2014

4 tips on how to tell your oncologist you want a second opinion

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, the effectiveness of your treatment depends on two factors: the accuracy of your diagnosis and the design of your treatment plan. This is why you should seek a second opinion, which will either affirm the first opinion and treatment plan or provide additional information to consider. It’s normal to... Read More

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best dietary supplements
Nov 6 2014

Are you buying the right dietary supplements?

Integrative Medicine  •  By Michael Scott

Fifty-six percent of adults in the U.S. make dietary supplements a part of their daily regimen for healthy living. Ideally, you’d be able to get all the nutrients you need from the food you eat. Unfortunately, the choice of foods available where you live and how much time you have to shop and prepare your... Read More

Qualified medical specialist
Nov 11 2014

How do you know your specialist is qualified to treat you?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

Typically, you can rely on your primary care doctor to attend to most of your medical needs, whether you have the flu, need to monitor cholesterol levels or have to manage a chronic disease such as asthma or osteoarthritis. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with a serious or complex medical condition, such as cancer, or you... Read More

Protect aging relatives from falls
Nov 13 2014

5 tips to help protect your aging relatives from accidental falls

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

If you have older relatives, you want to make sure that they can live as independently as possible. This can mean helping them keep track of their medications, staying on top of household chores and shopping for groceries or home supplies. However, one thing that may be easily overlooked is encouraging them to stay physically active... Read More

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Cancer patients and fertility
Nov 18 2014

5 questions cancer patients should ask about freezing their eggs or embryos

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re a women who’s about to undergo radiation or chemotherapy cancer treatment and you’re thinking about getting pregnant in the future, it’s important to talk to a doctor about options that can help protect your fertility before treatment starts. Two of the most common options are the freezing or banking of eggs or embryos.... Read More

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neurological symptoms of rheumatic disease
Nov 20 2014

Are your neurological symptoms really rheumatic disease? Find out with a second opinion

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

About 46 million people in the U.S. are living with rheumatic diseases. This class of illnesses – which include lupus, systemic vasculitis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout and various forms of arthritis – impacts the joints, soft tissues and immune system. Some of these diseases may also cause neurological symptoms, such as headache or seizures. If these neurological... Read More

antioxidants
Nov 25 2014

5 ways to load up on antioxidants this Thanksgiving

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Every Thanksgiving, conscientious eaters worry about foods that they should avoid. They may pass on the butter, opt for white meat or skip dessert altogether. However, healthy eating isn’t just about knowing what to skip. It’s also about picking out the things that are actually good for you. Given the variety of foods brought to... Read More

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5 common infections among college students
Dec 2 2014

5 common infections among college students

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

With the Thanksgiving holiday over, many children have returned to college and are preparing for finals. You had a chance to catch up with them, ask them about their studies and campus life, and send them back with a truckload of leftovers. While it’s always good for students to take a break from school and... Read More

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Chemotherapy-induced hair loss
Dec 4 2014

Tips for managing hair loss during chemotherapy

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

While chemotherapy may be the most appropriate and effective treatment option for many breast cancer patients, like most treatments, it can cause side effects. Because chemotherapy drugs kill cells that quickly divide, which is how most tumor and cancer cells grow, they can also affect other healthy cells in the body that divide and grow... Read More

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caregiving
Dec 9 2014

How can you make the transition to a new home smoother for aging relatives?

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

Most people prefer to live as independently as possible for as long as they can. If you’re taking care of an older relative, you’d like to help them achieve that goal, too. However, certain health issues can become obstacles to independent living, and sometimes your only option is to help your relative move somewhere else,... Read More

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make the most of doctor's appointment
Dec 11 2014

6 ways to make the most of your doctor’s appointment

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

One of the most common concerns you’ll hear about healthcare is that people feel that their doctor’s appointments are rushed and they don’t get enough time to ask questions. With the addition of millions of newly insured Americans, doctors’ schedules are getting even tighter, with appointments lasting an average of just seven to 12 minutes.... Read More

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Preventing dangerous blood clots when traveling
Dec 17 2014

3 tips for preventing dangerous blood clots during travel

Travel Health  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re traveling this holiday season, you should know what steps to take to lower your risk of developing blood clots in your legs that can cause serious, sometimes fatal, health problems. Long flights or travel by car can keep you from moving around, which increases the risk that these abnormal clots will form. However,... Read More

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Surgery or Physical Therapy
Dec 18 2014

Do you need surgery or physical therapy? A second opinion can help you decide

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re living with a musculoskeletal problem, simple movements like walking up the stairs, washing your hair or typing an email can cause pain in your muscles and joints. Once the pain caused by an illness or injury makes movement difficult, you’ll want to see a physician who can treat the root cause of your... Read More

Happy holidays from PinnacleCare
Dec 23 2014

Happy Holidays from PinnacleCare

Blog  •  By Miles Varn

All of us at PinnacleCare wish you and your family the healthiest and happiest of holiday seasons. We hope you have the time to relax and enjoy good times, good conversation, and good cheer with the people in your life who mean the most to you. We are here to help and guide you whenever... Read More

Genetic link to breast cancer
Dec 30 2014

Scientists uncover new genetic link to breast cancer. Are you at risk?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

By the end of 2014, doctors in the U.S. will have diagnosed more than 232,000 new cases of breast cancer. For some women, this disease has a strong link to mutations in the BRCA genes. Now, a study published a few months ago in the New England Journal of Medicine uncovered a possible new relationship between... Read More

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coping with stress in college
Jan 6 2015

5 tips for coping with stress in college

Family Caregiving  •  By Cindy Piazza

Now that college has been in session for a semester, you may be wondering how your child is faring: Is he getting all of his assignments done? Can she keep her grades up? Is he making good friends with people who can be a positive influence? Is she becoming active with activities on campus? As... Read More

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organized support for caregivers and increased productivity
Jan 8 2015

Organized support for caregivers can increase productivity in the workplace

Family Caregiving  •  By Cindy Piazza

PinnacleCare Business Insights As a leading provider of health advisory services to businesses, we’re committed to sharing our insights on innovative approaches to helping employees protect their health and stay healthy and productive. This post explores the effects of informal caregiving on businesses and employees. Employers understand that there are both mental and physical aspects... Read More

Are you doing all you can to have a healthier 2015?
Jan 8 2015

The essential 2015 health-planning checklist

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Cindy Piazza

The start of the new year is a good time to take stock and make plans for the coming year. One area many people don’t include in their planning is health. To proactively protect your family’s health and be better prepared for any health issues that arise in 2015, take steps to ensure you have... Read More

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myths and the flu shot
Jan 13 2015

Are these myths keeping you from getting a flu shot?

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

According to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2014-15 flu season may be worse than average. If you haven’t gotten a flu shot yet, there’s still time to get vaccinated. And that recommendation is valid even acknowledging that this year’s vaccine is not as effective as past years’ vaccines.... Read More

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Jan 15 2015

6 questions to ask your oncologist after a cancer diagnosis

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed with cancer, you’re likely to have questions. To understand your diagnosis and treatment options, it’s helpful to sit down with your oncologist and get answers to these six questions before choosing what treatment approach to follow. Also, keep in mind that you should seek a... Read More

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new vaccine slows breast cancer
Jan 20 2015

New vaccine slows the progression of breast cancer in initial trial

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

For several decades, researchers have been working to develop vaccines that help the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. Recently, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine tested a breast cancer vaccine they developed and the results were encouraging, which may open a new avenue for women facing this disease. The new vaccine causes... Read More

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Medical records and patients rights
Jan 22 2015

Need copies of your health records? Know your rights

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re moving to another state or simply want to change doctors, receiving the best care from your new provider depends in part on whether he or she has a complete record of your medical history. To make sure your new physician has this information, you first need to obtain copies of the medical records... Read More

How to choose a new doctor
Jan 27 2015

5 questions to ask when selecting a doctor

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

Whether you’re moving and need to find a primary care physician or pediatrician near your new home, have a new insurance plan that your old physician doesn’t accept or need to find a specialist or surgeon, there are some basic questions you should ask before choosing which physician to work with. What are the doctor’s... Read More

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Do you really need knee replacement surgery?
Jan 29 2015

Why you shouldn’t rush into knee replacement surgery

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

In the past decade and a half, there’s been a marked increase in the number of people who undergo knee replacement surgery. Fifteen years ago, approximately 250,000 Americans had the procedure. By 2012, the number of knee replacements grew to more than 600,000 per year. There are several factors that may be contributing to this... Read More

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bacteria in intestines
Feb 3 2015

Can the bacteria in your intestines affect your health?

Integrative Medicine  •  By Michael Scott

In recent years, researchers have become increasingly interested in exploring the link between the more than 100 trillion bacteria that live on and in the human body, known as the human microbiome, and a variety of health issues. Several recent studies have found connections between the type and number of bacteria in the intestines and... Read More

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Choosing a pediatrician
Feb 5 2015

How to find the right pediatrician for your family

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

As a parent, your pediatrician is an essential member of your family’s healthcare team. Finding a pediatrician who not only has medical expertise, but who is also someone you feel comfortable working with can take some time and research. But where do you start to find a physician who’s the right fit for you and... Read More

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Measles outbreak
Feb 10 2015

What you need to know about the U.S. measles outbreak

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

You’ve heard about the ongoing measles outbreak in the U.S. that has now spread to 14 states, but what you may not know is that more than 62 percent of the cases that have been confirmed in California, where the outbreak started, have been adults. How do you know if you’re protected against this highly... Read More

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Improve thinking skills
Feb 12 2015

Get your kids moving to improve their thinking skills

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

There’s been a good deal of recent research on the positive effect of exercise to help improve brain health and ward off dementia in adults, but does exercise help the still-developing brains of kids? A recent study showed that it could. While researchers have conducted several short-term associational studies that suggested that taking a walk... Read More

take control of health
Feb 17 2015

Are you an empowered patient? How to take control of your health

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

A generation ago, most people’s approach to healthcare was to follow “doctor’s orders.” The physician controlled the relationship and all decisions about testing, treatments and medications. That passive model of healthcare is no longer the norm. Today, most people want to be informed, active partners in their care. So, what steps do you need to... Read More

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Feb 19 2015

Could your GI problems be caused by Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

One of the most difficult gastrointestinal conditions to diagnose accurately is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Although studies estimate that approximately 10 to 15 percent of adults are affected by IBS, only five to seven percent of the population has been diagnosed with the condition. So, what steps do you need to take to get an... Read More

Women and heart disease
Feb 24 2015

Women and heart disease : An interview with cardiologist and author Nieca Goldberg, MD

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

February is American Heart Month, so we talked with respected cardiologist and author Nieca Goldberg, MD. She shared her expert advice on the steps every woman should take to lower her risk of developing heart disease, the number one cause of death for women in the U.S. Dr. Goldberg is a nationally recognized pioneer in... Read More

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Informed medical decisions
Feb 26 2015

The three keys to making an informed medical decision

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

Every year, there are new options for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and health issues. Having a variety of choices, however, can make the process of making medical decisions more complex and confusing. But three simple steps can guide you through the decision-making process to more informed medical decisions. Start by gathering information... Read More

second opinion protects from incorrect diagnosis
Mar 3 2015

Five situations when second opinions matter most

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

A second opinion can be one of the most valuable tools you have to ensure that you’re getting the most accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Misdiagnosis is more common than most people realize. One study found that delayed, missed and incorrect diagnoses occur in 10 to 20 percent of cases. And these errors don’t only... Read More

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protect against diseases
Mar 5 2015

Are you protected against diseases common at these spring break destinations?

Travel Health  •  By Michael Scott

If spring break travel is in your plans, it’s important to know what health problems you could be exposed to and how you can protect yourself. There are a number of diseases, some you’re probably aware of and some that may be unfamiliar, that are common at popular spring break destinations. Know what steps you... Read More

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protect against medical errors
Mar 10 2015

The 6 keys to preventing dangerous medical errors

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

When you think about the top causes of death in the U.S., what likely springs to mind are diseases like cancer and heart disease and car accidents. While heart disease and cancer are the first and second leading causes of death, the third is actually preventable medical errors. But there are steps you can take... Read More

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Spring Allergies
Mar 12 2015

Spring allergies? These naturopathic treatments can help

Integrative Medicine  •  By Michael Scott

It’s finally getting warmer and spring is on the way. While it’s great to be able to spend time enjoying the outdoors, for the more than 40 million Americans who have seasonal allergies, spring can mean the return of allergy symptoms. To help control the sneezing, congestion and itchy eyes, consider trying these naturopathic approaches... Read More

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What questions should you ask when cancer treatment ends?
Mar 17 2015

What 8 questions should you ask after cancer treatment ends?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you or a member of your family has undergone treatment for cancer, you’ve spent a lot of time with specialists who have carefully monitored your response to treatment, helped you cope with any side effects you experienced, and tracked your overall health and well-being. But what should you do after your treatment is completed... Read More

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doctor and patient communication information
Mar 19 2015

How to talk to your doctor to get the information you need

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

An appointment with your physician is an opportunity to raise questions and gather information that can help you better manage any diseases or chronic conditions you live with and learn what steps you can take to protect and improve your health. Unfortunately, doctor’s visits can be rushed or you could be distracted by concerns about... Read More

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precision medicine
Mar 24 2015

What is precision medicine and how can it affect your health?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

With the president’s recent announcement of $215 million in funding for a new precision medicine initiative, you may have questions about what precision medicine is and wonder what effect this approach to healthcare may mean for you and your family. Here are the basics you should know. Traditionally, medical treatment has been primarily reactive. A... Read More

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naturopathic treatments for insomnia
Mar 26 2015

Trouble sleeping? These naturopathic approaches may help

Integrative Medicine  •  By Michael Scott

One of the cornerstones of good health is adequate sleep. But more than 30 percent of people suffer from insomnia and that number rises to 40 to 60 percent for people over 60. If you’re one of these people, there are lifestyle changes and naturopathic approaches that may help you get the sleep you need.... Read More

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clot remover saves stroke patients
Mar 31 2015

New hope for stroke patients

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Every year, more than 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke. During the most common type of stroke, ischemic stroke, a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain, which can cause disability or death. But several recent studies have found that a new device that removes these blood clots can significantly improve stroke... Read More

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New treatments help infertile couples become parents
Apr 2 2015

Overcoming infertility: An interview with fertility specialist Hal C. Danzer, MD

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

We recently talked with Hal C. Danzer, MD, a board-certified gynecologist and obstetrician and co-founder of the Southern California Reproductive Center, about advances in the treatment of infertility. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Danzer serves on UCLA’s Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellowship Program, and is also Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of... Read More

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replacing lost medication
Apr 7 2015

If you lost your medicine while travelling, what would you do?

Travel Health  •  By Miles Varn

Whether you’re travelling across the country to visit family or across the globe for business, it’s smart to have a plan in place in case you need medical care. That’s especially true if you use medication to help manage a chronic health condition such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, or chronic obstructive... Read More

Importance of second opinions
Apr 9 2015

Data shows second opinions can change the course of your healthcare

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

According to a survey conducted by Gallup, only about 30 percent of Americans feel the need to seek a medical second opinion or gather additional information about their health problem or proposed treatment. But second opinions are crucial, especially for people who are diagnosed with complex or serious health conditions, because medicine is an art... Read More

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considering a clinical trial
Apr 14 2015

Considering a clinical trial? Get the answers to these questions first

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a serious illness, you may have the option of taking part in a clinical trial of new medication, surgical approach, or medical device. Before you decide to be part of a clinical trial, however, it’s important for you to understand the possible benefits and risks.... Read More

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Back Surgery
Apr 16 2015

What questions should you ask before back surgery?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve been living with back pain and a physician has recommended surgery, how do you know if undergoing surgery is the most appropriate treatment? Start gathering the information you need to make an informed decision by asking your physician these key questions. Are there non-surgical treatments that I could try first? For some types... Read More

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healthcare plan
Apr 21 2015

What’s your plan for getting the best healthcare?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

For many people, healthcare is something they only think about when they’re sick, but that approach can leave you scrambling if you do develop a health problem. A wiser strategy is to take a proactive approach to healthcare planning, managing your health risks and taking steps to be as healthy as possible. One valuable resource... Read More

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treatments for dementia
Apr 23 2015

Study finds non-drug treatments more effective for dementia symptoms

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

If a family member or friend is living with dementia, you know that beyond the most well-known symptoms of memory loss and confusion, there are other common behavioral and psychological symptoms that can be very challenging to manage, such as aggressive behavior, wandering, anxiety, agitation and insomnia. Many people are prescribed anti-psychotic medications to lessen... Read More

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Apr 28 2015

Why it’s important to understand that prescription drugs aren’t one-size-fits-all

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

A man and a woman each visit their doctor and leave with a prescription for the tricyclic antidepressant Elavil. The prescriptions are for the same dosage of the drug, but what many people don’t know is that the drug may not work as well for the female patient as the male. This is one of... Read More

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resiliency and heath
Apr 30 2015

How building resilience can improve your health

Integrative Medicine  •  By Michael Scott

We recently spoke with Sheva Carr, author, speaker and Doctor of Oriental Medicine, about the importance of becoming a resilient person to overcome the physical and psychological effects of stress. Ms. Carr is an expert HeartMath® trainer and coach, as well as founding CEO of Fyera! / Heart Ambassadors, and a delegate to the United Nations... Read More

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travel and pregnancy
May 5 2015

5 tips for safer travel while pregnant

Family Caregiving, Travel Health  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re pregnant and planning a vacation or have to travel for work, there are several steps you can take to make travel safer and healthier. It’s best to start your planning and preparations at least several weeks before your departure. But before booking that trip, it’s essential that you talk to your OB/GYN and... Read More

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Risks of testosterone therapy
May 7 2015

Testosterone therapy: Weigh the benefits and risks

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Recently, the FDA began requiring manufacturers to change the labelling on products that treat low testosterone to include a warning about the possibility of an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. But there’s been a good deal of controversy and conflicting study results surrounding prescription treatments to boost low testosterone levels, so do the... Read More

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clinical trial
May 12 2015

What do the phases of a clinical trial mean?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious, complex or rare health problem, you may consider taking part in a clinical trial of a new treatment, especially if standard treatments haven’t worked for you. What occurs during a clinical trial depends on what phase the trial is in. That’s why it’s important for you to understand... Read More

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summer camp safety
May 14 2015

Tips for summer camp safety

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

Is your child is heading to camp this summer? Whether it’s a sleepaway sports camp, nearby day camp or wilderness adventure camp, there are steps you can take before camp starts to help keep your children healthy and safe. Ask the right questions The first step in the process of finding a camp where your... Read More

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Second Opinion Thyroid Cancer
May 19 2015

Thyroid cancer: Why second opinions are so important

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Thyroid cancer is one of the fastest growing cancer diagnoses in the U.S., with nearly 63,000 new cases expected to be diagnosed this year. Recently, researchers have been exploring whether this rapid growth in the number of new cases is the result of increased screening and over diagnosis. If you’ve received a thyroid cancer diagnosis,... Read More

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patient physician communication
May 21 2015

Is your doctor a good communicator? The answer could affect your health

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

One of the keys to getting the healthcare you need is open, honest communication. You need to share all pertinent information with you doctor to ensure you receive the correct diagnosis and treatment. But communication is a two-way street. Your doctor also needs to be a good communicator. So how can you determine if your... Read More

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Cancer Treatment decisions
May 28 2015

How to make an informed cancer treatment decision

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with cancer, there are several decisions you need to make about what treatment plan to follow and what physician and hospital you’d prefer to provide your care. To help you understand what information you need to make these important decisions, we talked with Robert G.... Read More

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Diagnosing Lyme disease
Jun 2 2015

Study finds another reason why Lyme disease may be difficult to diagnose

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

According to recent statistics from studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 300,000 people are infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease each year in the United States, though only about 30,000 cases are reported to the CDC. The disease can be difficult to diagnose because many of its... Read More

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Get the most out of your health insurance
Jun 4 2015

What you need to know to get the most out of your health insurance

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Cindy Piazza

To get the full benefit out of your health insurance plan, you need to understand how your plan works, what it pays, what you’re responsible for paying, and what services, doctors and hospitals are included in your plan. This primer on health insurance basics will help you get the information you need to get the... Read More

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Are hospital ratings reliable
Jun 9 2015

Are hospital ratings reliable?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

There are a growing number of websites and publications that rate hospitals, from the annual U.S. News and World Report list of best hospitals and Medicare’s Hospital Compare site to HealthGrades, Hospital Safety Score and Consumer Reports. But is it wise to base your decision on where to receive medical care or undergo surgery on... Read More

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advanced care plan
Jun 11 2015

Why you shouldn’t wait to make an advanced care plan

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

When you’re healthy, it’s natural not to think about what might happen if you experienced a serious illness or injury. But this is actually the best time to consider the many complex issues that surround a life-threatening health issue. What steps should you take now to ensure you receive the care you want if you’re... Read More

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Children's health while traveling
Jun 16 2015

6 ways to protect your children’s health while traveling

Travel Health  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re planning to travel with your children this summer, you’re probably ready to deal with car or air sickness, scraped knees, and sunburn on the one spot where you didn’t get the sunscreen. There are, however, several other steps you should take, especially if you’re travelling overseas, to help make the trip safer and... Read More

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preventing skin cancer
Jun 18 2015

Could a simple vitamin pill help prevent skin cancer?

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Every year, more new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed than the number of new cases of breast, colon, prostate and lung cancer combined. New research may have found a safe, inexpensive way to lower the risk of people who are at a higher risk of developing the most common types of skin cancer—basal cell... Read More

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liquid biopsy
Jun 23 2015

“Liquid biopsy” may help monitor cancer treatment effectiveness

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

Biopsies are frequently used as a tool to monitor whether cancer treatment is working and whether the disease has developed resistance to current treatment. But researchers have been looking for a less invasive way to achieve the same end. A new study, led by physicians at the National Cancer Institute, found that a blood test... Read More

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Annual physical
Jun 25 2015

Do you need an annual physical?

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

There have been a number of articles recently that explore the value of getting a physical each year to screen for potential health problems. We talked with a member of our Medical Advisory Board, George H. Sack, MD, PhD, to discuss the topic. Dr. Sack, who is board certified in Medical Genetics, is currently the... Read More

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protect your vision from macular degeneration
Jun 30 2015

How to protect your vision against macular degeneration

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Are you taking all the steps you can to protect your vision as you get older? While macular degeneration may not be as well-known as cataracts and glaucoma, it is the leading cause of significant vision loss for people 50 and older. Because the early stages of this disease often don’t have noticeable symptoms, the... Read More

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Depression and Parkinson's
Jul 7 2015

Is there a link between depression and developing Parkinson’s disease?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Up to 60 percent of people who are living with Parkinson’s disease experience mild to moderate symptoms of depression and anxiety. But a new study has found data that may suggest another connection between the diseases that could link being diagnosed with depression with an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Understanding the research The... Read More

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chronic health problems
Jul 9 2015

Chronic health problems don’t have to limit travel

Travel Health  •  By Miles Varn

Just because you’re living with a chronic health problem doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy travelling for vacation or join your co-workers on a business trip. To make sure you’re prepared to manage your condition while you’re away and safely handle any issues that arise, follow these recommendations. See your doctor first. Before you start planning... Read More

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managing migrains
Jul 14 2015

What you need to know to manage migraine better

Disease Management  •  By Susan Walker

If you’re among the 36 million people in the U.S. who have migraines, you know that it’s important to learn what you can do to manage these often debilitating headaches. Working with your doctor, you can develop a personalized plan to manage migraine triggers, reduce the frequency of these attacks and find treatments that provide... Read More

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health screenings
Jul 16 2015

What screenings do you need to protect your health?

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Preventive health screenings can help you catch conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer in the earlier stages when they are more treatable. But a number of studies have found that many Americans skip these screenings. According to a survey by the American Academy of Family Physicians, 55 percent of men are skipping health screenings.... Read More

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Jul 21 2015

New treatment approaches could improve ovarian cancer outcomes

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Because the symptoms of ovarian cancer can be subtle and can also be caused by other, less serious health issues such as gastrointestinal problems, chronic back pain and urinary tract conditions, the disease is often diagnosed at a later stage when it is more difficult to treat. But researchers have found several new approaches to... Read More

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emergency room safety
Jul 23 2015

Is your child at risk for medical errors in your local emergency room?

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

If your child was seriously injured or ill, you’d most likely take him or her to the closest emergency room. But not all emergency departments (EDs) are adequately staffed and equipped to provide safe, appropriate care to children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 20 percent of ED visits are for children, but only... Read More

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choosing the right organ transplant program
Jul 28 2015

Do you need a transplant? How to choose the right program

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If your physician told you that you needed an organ transplant, would you know how to navigate the complex process of choosing a transplant program and surgeon? Fortunately, there are several resources you can turn to for help. One good place to start exploring and evaluating transplant programs is the non-profit United Network for Organ... Read More

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surgical second opinion
Jul 30 2015

Three important reasons why you should get a second opinion

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious, complex, or rare medical condition or your physician has told you that you need surgery, the next step you take should be to seek a second opinion. What difference can a second opinion make? A very significant one in many cases. Reason #1: To protect yourself against misdiagnosis... Read More

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transfats affect on memory
Aug 4 2015

Eating trans fats may harm your memory in the prime of life

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

You probably know that eating foods high in trans fats can raise your “bad” cholesterol level, lower your “good” cholesterol numbers, and increase inflammation in the body. But a recent study uncovered another reason to cut trans fats from your diet—they could have a negative impact on your memory. The study, led by Beatrice Golomb,... Read More

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Infectious diseases
Aug 6 2015

When infectious disease strikes, time is of the essence

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

There are some infectious diseases, such as chicken pox, that can usually be treated by your primary care physician. But other, more serious infections can be difficult to diagnose correctly and require the care of a specialist to ensure you receive the most appropriate and effective treatment. With many infectious diseases, getting the right diagnosis... Read More

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detecting colon cancer
Aug 11 2015

Higher quality colonoscopies can lower your cancer risk

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Getting a screening colonoscopy can detect cancer early when it’s more treatable. That’s why colonoscopies are considered the gold standard for detection. But a new study discovered that the experience and skill of the gastroenterologist who performs the procedure can affect your risk of being diagnosed with colon cancer or dying from the disease. The... Read More

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Birth control pill Injection Medication and Injection devices made vintage style
Aug 13 2015

What you need to know before you buy prescription medications online

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

The attraction of buying prescription medications online is that prices can be lower than your local pharmacy, but those savings can come with some risk. Some websites deliver illegal, counterfeit or incorrect medications and medical devices, which can put your health at risk. So what do you need to know before buying prescription medications online?... Read More

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What's your plan for optimal health?
Aug 18 2015

How do you build a personalized health strategy?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Cindy Piazza

This is the first in a series of posts designed to help you plan your strategy for optimal health throughout all the phases of your life. Having a well thought out plan is an important foundation for reaching all kinds of significant life goals, from choosing a college to buying a home, making an investment,... Read More

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learning disability
Aug 20 2015

Does your child have a learning disability? Getting help early can make a big difference

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

Nearly 2.4 million students in the U.S. are currently receiving special education services for learning disabilities. That number is growing as parents, educators and physicians become more attuned to the signs of learning problems. Evidence has been uncovered that confirms what specialists have always believed—early intervention for learning disabilities can significantly improve a child’s outcome.... Read More

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Are you taking over the counter drugs too often?
Aug 25 2015

Are you taking over-the-counter drugs too often or for too long?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

You might think that because a medication is available over the counter, there are no serious risks from using it. But even over-the-counter drugs can cause problems if you don’t take the correct dose or take the medications too frequently or for too long a period of time. Here’s what you should know about the... Read More

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What should a young athlete eat
Aug 27 2015

What should your young athletes eat for a healthier season?

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

Back to school also means back to sports for many children and teens. If your children take part in an after-school sport or play on a rec league team, you can help fuel their performance and keep them healthier by providing them with a nutritious diet tailored for their higher activity level. So what should... Read More

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setting health goals
Sep 1 2015

Have you set goals to help you live healthier at every life stage?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Cindy Piazza

This is the second post in our series on building a personalized health plan for optimum health. In the first post, we looked at gathering the information you need to build a health strategy. Here, we’ll talk about how to set goals to put your strategy into action. Researchers have found that when people set... Read More

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Keep college students healthy
Sep 3 2015

How can you help your child be healthier at college?

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

Whether you’re sending your child to college for the first time or you’re a veteran college parent, you probably have some questions about what you and your children can do to help them stay healthier while they’re away from home. Discussing these strategies with your children and their physician is a good first step. Get... Read More

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Diabetes risk
Sep 10 2015

Sugary drinks increase your diabetes risk even if you’re a healthy weight

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

One sugar-sweetened soda, flavored water, or iced tea a day isn’t a going to cause any health problems if you’re slim or at a healthy weight, right? That assumption was recently found to be inaccurate by researchers in Britain. In fact, drinking just one sugar-sweetened beverage a day increased the risk of developing type 2... Read More

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Choosing a health insurance plan
Sep 15 2015

What you need to know before you choose a health plan

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

It will soon be time for annual enrollment in your health plan. Choosing the right healthcare plan for you and your family can be confusing. How can you figure out which plan meets your needs best? What should you consider when choosing a plan for you and your family? Start by answering these key questions.... Read More

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New doctor checklist
Sep 17 2015

Shopping for a new doctor? Start with this checklist

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

There are many reasons why you may be in the market for a new doctor. Perhaps you’ve moved to new area or have a new insurance plan. Maybe your primary care physician is retiring or you feel like your relationship with your current doctor isn’t a good fit. But where should you start? Use this... Read More

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lower your risk of osteoporosis
Sep 22 2015

Take these steps to lower your osteoporosis risk

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Osteoporosis will affect one in three women and one in five men in their lifetime. That’s why it’s never too early to start making the lifestyle changes that can help protect your bones from this disease. The first step is to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and what you can do... Read More

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adult ADHD
Sep 24 2015

Could you have adult ADHD?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

When you think of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the first image that probably springs to mind is a young child squirming in his seat or racing from activity to activity. But that’s not the only face of ADHD. Experts estimate that approximately 8 million American adults also live with ADHD, though very few of... Read More

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cancer rehab
Sep 29 2015

What is cancer prehab and how could it help you fight cancer?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

A growing number of people preparing to undergo cancer treatment are choosing to take part in “prehab” before treatment begins. But what is prehab and what benefits can it offer? The term was first used to describe specially designed, structured exercise programs for people who were scheduled for orthopedic joint replacement or heart surgery. In... Read More

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treatment for early stage breast cancer
Oct 6 2015

Study raises questions about how to treat the earliest stage of breast cancer

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Each year, about 60,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with an early stage of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Many of them undergo surgery, radiation and hormonal therapy to combat the cancer. A recent study, however, raised questions about what the most appropriate and effective treatment approach is for DCIS. What... Read More

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healthy sleep
Oct 13 2015

Build a healthy sleep strategy

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

How often do you get a good, sound night of sleep? If you’re having problems falling asleep, staying asleep or frequently feel tired during the day, pinpointing the causes and building a strategy to help you get the sleep you need can have a positive impact on many different, important aspects of your health and... Read More

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9 factors that may increase Alzheimer's risk
Oct 20 2015

How to combat the 9 factors that could raise your risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

There are about 5.3 million people in the U.S. living with Alzheimer’s disease and more than 33 million worldwide. As the U.S. population ages, the number is projected to increase 40 percent and reach 7.1 million people in just 10 years. But the findings of a recent study suggest there are steps you can take... Read More

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Oct 27 2015

Diagnosed with cancer? Get a second opinion on your pathology

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, one of the first steps you should take is to seek a second opinion on the pathology used to make the diagnosis. Why is a second opinion so important in this situation? A growing number of studies have found that a second opinion on pathology can help you avoid... Read More

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parents have access to the doctors they need
Nov 3 2015

How to make sure the doctor shortage doesn’t impact your aging parents

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

As the number of older Americans continues to grow significantly, many are facing problems finding physicians who are trained and experienced in treating the health problems that become more common with age. But there are steps you can take to help ensure that your parents have access to the physicians they need. Why can’t I... Read More

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A second opinion could change your diagnosis
Nov 10 2015

Get the right diagnosis with a second opinion

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

Misdiagnosis is a significant problem in the U.S. Studies have found that between 10 and 20 percent of cases are misdiagnosed and approximately 12 million people who seek outpatient care for a health problem experience a diagnostic error such as an incorrect, late, or missed diagnosis. The best way to protect yourself from these errors... Read More

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How to protect yourself from misdiagnosis
Nov 17 2015

The growing risk of misdiagnosis and how to protect yourself

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

A recent report issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) included an alarming statistic: 12 million adults in the U.S. who seek outpatient medical care experience a diagnostic error each year in the form of an incorrect, missed or late diagnosis. The report’s authors conclude that most people will experience at least one diagnostic error... Read More

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stem cell
Dec 1 2015

Treatments you may want to try before surgery

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If your physician has told you that you need surgery, you may want to explore your non-surgical treatment options first. There are a number of conditions, from back pain to clogged arteries in the heart, for which there may be effective, non-surgical treatments. Questions to ask when surgery is recommended The first step is to... Read More

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Will your health insurance cover you while traveling?
Dec 8 2015

What does your health insurance cover when you travel?

Travel Health  •  By Miles Varn

Whether you’re traveling to visit friends and family for the holidays or for business, it’s wise to know what your health insurance will cover if you fall ill or are injured away from home. There are several questions you should ask your insurer well before your trip so you’ll be prepared if you get sick... Read More

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Treatment for heart disease
Dec 15 2015

Men and women may need different treatment for heart failure

Disease Management, Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

If you have heart failure, you receive essentially the same treatment whether you’re a man or a woman. But a new study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that men’s and women’s hearts age differently. That raises the question—should treatment for heart failure be different for a man than... Read More

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Happy holidays from PinnacleCare
Dec 22 2015

Happy Holidays from PinnacleCare

Blog  •  By Miles Varn

All of us at PinnacleCare wish you and your family the healthiest and happiest of holiday seasons. We hope you have the time to relax and enjoy quality time with family and friends. We are here to help and guide you whenever you need us. Whether you’re working on a strategy to make 2016 your... Read More

Could you handle a medical emergency while traveling?
Dec 29 2015

How to handle a medical emergency while you’re traveling

Travel Health  •  By Miles Varn

With all the planning that goes into travel, people usually spend very little time thinking about how they would deal with a medical emergency if faced with one while away from home. But having a plan and resources in place can help ensure you get the right care from experienced physicians in a timely manner.... Read More

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What you can do to treat seasonal affective disorder
Jan 5 2016

Diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder? Learn about your treatment options

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of the condition and what each type of treatment entails so you can make an informed decision. This Q&A provides answers to some common questions. Q: What is seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? A: SAD is a form of major... Read More

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What is off label drug use?
Jan 12 2016

The benefits and risks of “off label” drug use

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

Why would a physician prescribe an antidepressant to treat migraines? That type of prescribing is known as off label use. Off label means prescribing a drug for uses that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The practice is legal and fairly common, but why do physicians do it and what... Read More

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How women can make sure they get the best care after a heart attack
Jan 19 2016

The questions women should ask to make sure they get the best care after a heart attack

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in the U.S., with more women than men dying of the disease each year. A recent presentation of study findings at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting noted that women are less likely to leave the hospital after a heart attack with recommendations for... Read More

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How to choose a healthcare proxy or power of attorney
Jan 26 2016

What questions should you ask when choosing a healthcare proxy?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

What would happen if you weren’t able to make healthcare decisions for yourself? Who would you want to make these important decisions for you? It’s a topic you should consider and plan for well before you face a serious illness or medical emergency by creating an advanced care plan. As part of your advanced care... Read More

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What you can do to be healthier during cancer treatment
Feb 2 2016

Proactive steps you can take to improve your health during cancer treatment

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you or a loved one is undergoing cancer treatment, there are a number of things you can do to take good care of yourself and improve your overall wellness. Eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, and effectively managing stress all offer a number of benefits. What to eat Cancer treatment can affect your appetite... Read More

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Why evidence-based diets work better
Feb 9 2016

Want to lose weight? Try an evidence-based plan

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

There are many different ways to lose weight, but how do you know which ones will help you achieve healthy weight loss and maintain your weight for the long term? Rather than chasing the latest fad, the best approach is to find an eating strategy that’s backed by scientific evidence. When is a diet not... Read More

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Patient medical history form with pen isolated on white background
Feb 16 2016

Is your medical privacy at risk? How to protect your medical information

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

Last year, more than 2 million Americans were victims of medical identity theft. This type of identity theft can be just as serious as when your financial information is stolen. But there are several important steps you can take to protect your medical privacy. How can medical identity theft impact you? Your medical records can... Read More

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healthcare and gene editing
Feb 23 2016

Gene editing: The next frontier of personalized healthcare?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

The promise of personalized healthcare is that treatments have the potential to be more effective because they’re tailored to each individual’s genetic makeup and personal risk factors. Now, recent advances in gene editing may open the door to new treatments for a range of life-threatening diseases and genetic disorders. What is gene editing? For many... Read More

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Protect your family from mosquito-borne illnesses
Mar 1 2016

How to protect yourself from Zika virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses

Travel Health  •  By Miles Varn

Zika virus is the focus of a great deal of attention in the media and from researchers around the world. While the virus is a concern for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the near future, there are also several other mosquito-borne illnesses that you should also be aware of. We... Read More

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How to protect yourself from inappropriate medical treatment
Mar 8 2016

How to protect yourself from inappropriate medical treatment

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

In medical treatment, more is not always better. Each year, thousands of people receive inappropriate medical treatment for their health problems or too much treatment for a problem that doesn’t pose a serious threat to their health. But there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself from the problem of inappropriate... Read More

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Travel health tips
Mar 15 2016

Travel health: Getting quality care on the road

Travel Health  •  By Miles Varn

A recent poll asked people who travel around the world for work what their top travel health concerns were. Thirty-five percent of those surveyed said the most serious health threat facing travelers in 2016 is access to quality care. What steps you can take to ensure you can quickly access high quality care when you’re... Read More

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Are there health risks from heartburn medications?
Mar 22 2016

Are there health risks linked to heartburn medications?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Over-the-counter and prescription proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of heartburn medications used to treat gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), are taken regularly by an estimated 15 million people in the U.S. These medications block the production of stomach acid to prevent acid reflux and heartburn. While the drugs are effective at reducing the symptoms of GERD,... Read More

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How you can live healthier with heart disease
Mar 29 2016

Living with heart disease? How to be healthier

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re one of the more than 85 million Americans who are living with heart disease, there are several proactive steps you can take to improve your overall health and lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and other heart problems. The best advice is not to try to make all these changes at... Read More

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Questions to ask before joint replacement
Apr 5 2016

Questions you should ask before joint replacement

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If your doctor has recommended joint replacement, there’s some information you should gather before setting a date for surgery. Whether your surgery is to replace your hip or knee, you should first get a second opinion from an experienced, fellowship trained joint replacement surgeon to help you determine if surgery is the most appropriate option.... Read More

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Help your child manage a chronic health problem away from home
Apr 12 2016

Help your child manage a chronic health problem away from home

Disease Management, Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

If your children are living with a chronic health problem like diabetes, asthma, depression or anxiety, or epilepsy, it’s important they know how to get the care they need when they’re away from home. Whether they’re headed to summer camp or going away to school, there are steps you should take well before they leave... Read More

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Why you should take acid reflux seriously
Apr 19 2016

Why you should take acid reflux seriously

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re one of the 25 million Americans who has symptoms of acid reflux every day, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Persistent, untreated acid reflux can not only be very uncomfortable, but it can also lead to more serious health problems, including an increased risk of esophageal cancer. Early diagnosis and treatment... Read More

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Protect your child from the wrong diagnosis
Apr 26 2016

Is your child at risk for the wrong diagnosis?

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

An Institute of Medicine (IOM) study found that 12 million Americans receive the wrong diagnosis each year and that nearly every American will experience at least one misdiagnosis in his or her lifetime. The IOM study focused on adults who received the wrong diagnosis, but some researchers believe the problem could be just as significant... Read More

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Dr. Dan Rubin on naturopathic oncology
May 3 2016

Naturopathic oncology: An expert interview with Dr. Daniel Rubin

Disease Management  •  By Michael Scott

We recently talked with Daniel Rubin, ND, FABNO, a nationally recognized naturopathic oncologist and member of PinnacleCare’s Medical Advisory Board, about the benefits of naturopathic oncology and combining this specialized care with conventional cancer treatments. He is Co-Founder and Medical Director of Naturopathic Specialists, LLC, in Scottsdale, AZ and treats patients in all 50 states... Read More

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Safer transitions from hospital to home
May 10 2016

Hospital to home: Making the transition safer

Disease Management  •  By Susan Walker

There’s a great deal of information you need to understand when you or a loved one makes the transition from the hospital to home after inpatient treatment. Unfortunately, being discharged from the hospital can be a very confusing time and that confusion can lead to problems once you’re home or even readmission to the hospital.... Read More

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Is spinal fusion the right choice for you?
May 17 2016

Questions you should ask before spinal fusion surgery

Disease Management  •  By Susan Walker

There has been a significant increase in the number of people who undergo spinal fusion surgery to treat back and leg pain, but a new study suggests that spinal fusion may not be the most appropriate treatment for many of these people. The goal of the study was to compare pain relief and the ability... Read More

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End of life care questions
May 24 2016

End of life care: Questions you should ask

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

End of life care can be a difficult topic to discuss, but it’s an important discussion to have. One study found that 80% of people said that if they were seriously ill, they would want to talk with their doctor about end of life care, but that only 7% had done so. There are a... Read More

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Live healthier with arthritis
Jun 7 2016

Tips to help you live healthier with arthritis

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re one of the more than 52 million adults in the U.S. living with arthritis, there are lifestyle changes you can make to help manage your symptoms better and maintain your mobility. Many of these changes not only help your joints, they can also have a positive effect on your heart, brain, and overall... Read More

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Questions to ask about your new prescription
Jun 14 2016

Ask these questions when you get a new prescription

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Every day in the U.S., at least one person dies due to a prescription drug error and more than 1.3 million people are injured as a result of these medical errors each year according to the Food and Drug Administration. The best way to protect yourself and your family from prescription errors, drug interactions, and... Read More

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Healthy travel for young children and older adults
Jun 21 2016

Healthy travel tips for children and older adults

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re planning a trip with your whole family, there are some important healthy travel tips that can help make your vacation a safer and healthier one for the youngest and oldest members of your family. By planning ahead, you can lower the risk of some health issues and make sure you’re prepared to handle... Read More

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Dealing with chronic health problems at work
Jun 28 2016

Are chronic health problems making you miss work?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re one of the more than 117 million Americans living with chronic health problems, your health may be causing you to miss work or may make it more difficult to do your job. There are a number of steps you can take to better manage chronic health problems, which can improve your overall wellbeing,... Read More

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Health roadmap
Jun 30 2016

Do you have a roadmap to a healthier and more secure future?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

In a busy life it’s hard to know what next week will bring, much less next year or the next decade. But having a roadmap that focuses on both health and financial security through every stage of your family’s life is an important tool that can help you stay on track and achieve your goals.... Read More

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Why you shouldn't make decisions based on healthcare costs alone
Jul 12 2016

Why you shouldn’t make choices on healthcare costs alone

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

As healthcare costs and the average deductible and copay continue to rise, you may be looking for ways to lower the amount you’re paying for the care you receive. A recent report from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) found that the cost of common services, from surgery to diagnostic tests and X-rays, can vary... Read More

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Advanced cancer questions
Jul 19 2016

What you need to know when making advanced cancer treatment decisions

Disease Management  •  By Susan Walker

If you have been diagnosed with advanced cancer, you need information to decide what treatment options are the most appropriate for your specific situation. One of the key pieces of information that you’ll want to factor into your decision is your prognosis (the predicted course of the disease). A recent study by researchers at the... Read More

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How attitude affects healthy aging
Jul 26 2016

Healthy aging: Studies identify a new link to longevity

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Healthy aging depends on many different factors, from your genetic makeup to lifestyle choices, such as exercise, weight, and stress management, and health problems and illnesses you develop over your lifetime. There is, however, another factor that researchers have found may have a significant impact on your health and how long you live—your attitude about... Read More

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Aug 2 2016

How will you deal with the ongoing physician shortage?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

For a number of years, experts have been warning that the current physician shortage is projected to become more severe. Not only will there be too few primary care physicians to meet the needs of the aging U.S. population, there will also be shortages in a range of medical specialties. What steps can you take... Read More

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What is clean eating?
Aug 9 2016

What is clean eating?

Preventive Care  •  By Michael Scott

Clean eating has been the focus of a lot of attention lately, with celebrities and authors touting the health benefits of this approach to diet and nutrition. But what does it mean to eat clean? The answer to that question can vary, depending on who you ask. Some versions of clean eating require you to... Read More

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Lower your risk of cognitive impairment
Aug 16 2016

Lifestyle changes may reduce your risk of cognitive impairment

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Cognitive impairment—problems with memory, focus, language, and the ability to multitask—affects millions of older people in the U.S. Many assume that these problems are a natural result of aging, but several studies have found that there are a number of lifestyle changes you can make that may lower your risk of cognitive impairment or slow... Read More

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Lifestyle changes to reduce ADHD symptoms
Aug 23 2016

Lifestyle changes can help lessen the impact of ADHD symptoms

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

If your child has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), your doctor will recommend treatment approaches to help manage ADHD symptoms so that your child can focus on school work and building positive social relationships. In addition to your doctor’s recommended treatment, a recent study found that there are also simple lifestyle changes... Read More

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What steps should you take after a second opinion?
Aug 30 2016

What are the next steps after a second opinion?

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious or complex health condition or if you’ve received a recommendation for surgery, your next step should be to consider seeking a second opinion from a physician who has experience diagnosing and treating your condition. A second opinion is an important tool that can help you avoid an incorrect... Read More

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care away from home for children with complex conditions
Sep 15 2016

Away from home: Transitioning care for young adults

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

During this time of year, many young adults are transitioning outside of their local area to attend college, travel abroad, or start a new job. Having access to professional healthcare support is critical in managing their ongoing healthcare needs. Quick access to experienced physicians and high-quality care can be especially important if your child should... Read More

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healthy sleep for children
Sep 20 2016

Healthy sleep: Are your children getting enough?

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

With the school year underway, making sure your children get enough healthy sleep each night is a priority. Inadequate or poor quality sleep can affect your child’s mood, ability to learn, and overall health and well-being. Building a healthy sleep routine can help make sure your child gets the right amount of good quality rest... Read More

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lifestyle changes to lower cancer risk
Sep 27 2016

Can lifestyle changes lower your cancer risk?

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

A number of recent studies suggest a possible link between the lifestyle choices you make and your cancer risk. While these choices don’t appear to affect your risk for all types of cancer, they may have a significant impact on your risk of developing and dying from several common cancers. While the studies are observational,... Read More

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Exercise benefits for breast cancer survivors
Oct 4 2016

Why exercise is important for breast cancer survivors

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

For breast cancer survivors, getting regular exercise has several important health benefits, from lessening fatigue and the side effects that can accompany treatment to lowering the risk of the cancer returning. To achieve those health benefits, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that women who’ve had breast cancer take part in 150... Read More

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How to choose a doctor for a second opinion
Oct 11 2016

How to choose a doctor for a second opinion

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious, complex, or rare condition or if your doctor has recommended surgery, a second opinion can help you make sure you avoid being misdiagnosed and receive the most appropriate treatment for the condition you face. But what factors you should consider when choosing which doctor to consult for your... Read More

Topics:
mental health
Oct 18 2016

Why parents may not have a say in medical decisions for their young adult children

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

When your young adult children reach the age of 18 or 19, you might be surprised to learn that you no longer have access to their medical information, even if they’re still on your health insurance plan or live with you. Once your child reaches legal adulthood (18 in most states, 19 in two states),... Read More

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Proactive steps for women with a family history of breast cancer
Oct 31 2016

Family history of breast cancer? 5 proactive steps for managing your risk

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

If you have a family history of breast cancer, you may need a more proactive strategy to manage your risk. With October being breast cancer awareness month, much of the focus in the media has been around steps that all women should take to lower their risk of breast cancer and how often they should... Read More

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pricing transparency
Nov 1 2016

Choosing health insurance: What you should consider if you have a chronic health problem

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

As you think about which health insurance plan you’ll choose for next year, there are a number of different factors you should consider, including: monthly premium yearly deductible co-payments whether prescription drugs are covered whether you have coverage while traveling how the plan is rated for quality and customer service But if you’re living with... Read More

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Nov 8 2016

Strategies that can improve how older patients fare after being in the hospital

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

Being hospitalized can have a significant, ongoing impact on the health of older patients. Even when the treatment of the illness or injury that brought them to the hospital is successful, many older patients leave the hospital physically weaker, with cognitive issues like confusion, or with psychological issues like depression and anxiety that can have... Read More

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Stroke risk
Nov 15 2016

More young people are having strokes: How to protect yourself

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

While most people don’t think the young suffer strokes, a recent study found that an increasing number of people between the ages of 25 and 44 are actually having strokes. The simple fact is the rate of people 25 to 44 hospitalized for an ischemic stroke, the most common type, increased by 44% but actually... Read More

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How will the election affect my health insurance?
Nov 17 2016

How will the election affect my health insurance and healthcare?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re in the process of choosing health insurance for the coming year, you probably have questions about how proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will impact your insurance choices and your access to healthcare. To help you better understand the situation, we’ve gathered the answers to some of the questions you may... Read More

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Learn how to protect your medical privacy
Nov 29 2016

Medical privacy: How to keep your medical information safer

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

Medical privacy made front page news several times in 2015 and 2016 as hackers gained access to more than 112 million medical records from health insurers, hospitals, state health departments, a medical software company, and more. But the issue of medical privacy goes beyond information compromised in hacks. Medical records have also been inappropriately accessed... Read More

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Disability: Lower your risk with these steps
Dec 6 2016

Disability: 4 steps to lower your risk as you age

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

As you age, your risk of becoming disabled because of a chronic health problem or an injury like a fall can increase. But studies have found that there are four proactive steps you can take at any age that can help decrease your risk of disability and improve your overall health, wellbeing, and longevity. Step... Read More

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Medication errors can harm young children
Dec 13 2016

Medication errors: 4 steps to protect your children

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

As cold and flu season ramps up, parents and caregivers will be measuring out a range of liquid medicines—from pain and fever relievers to antibiotics—to give to their young children. But how sure are you that the dose you’re giving your children is accurate? A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics highlights how often... Read More

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superbugs
Dec 20 2016

How to prevent drug interactions and adverse reactions

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Drug interactions and adverse reactions send nearly 700,000 people to emergency rooms and cause 100,000 people to be hospitalized each year, according to data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. The danger of drug interactions and adverse reactions increases a great deal as you age for several different reasons: Older people are more likely... Read More

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health risk management
Jan 10 2017

Health risk management: Taking control of you

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

Most people think about planning for the future in financial terms, for example how much money they should save for retirement and how to invest that money to reach their goals. But there’s another type of planning that’s equally important—health risk management. Knowing what health risks you may face and what you can do to... Read More

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Are you at risk for prediabetes?
Jan 17 2017

Half of family doctors don’t follow prediabetes screening guidelines. Does yours?

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

The number of people with prediabetes has grown to 86 million in the U.S. That means 1 in 3 adults has blood sugar that’s higher than normal but not yet high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Of that 86 million, 9 out of 10 are not aware they have the condition. If left untreated, prediabetes... Read More

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Commonly misdiagnosed diseases
Jan 24 2017

5 commonly misdiagnosed diseases and how to get the right diagnosis

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

The risk of a medical misdiagnosis is a serious threat. Several studies have highlighted this risk, including an Institute of Medicine study that found that approximately 12 million people in the U.S. who seek outpatient medical care will experience some form of diagnostic error each year. A misdiagnosis may occur for a number of reasons:... Read More

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risk of alzheimer's disease
Jan 31 2017

5 lesser known symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

Family Caregiving  •  By Susan Walker

You’re probably familiar with the most common symptoms that may point to the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and some other types of dementia: Memory loss, especially being unable to remember newly learned information and asking the same questions over and over Trouble planning or problem solving Problems completing familiar tasks such as driving to... Read More

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managing chronic medical conditions
Feb 7 2017

Steps to help you better manage multiple chronic medical conditions

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re living with multiple chronic medical conditions, you’re not alone. A recent study found that more than 40% of Americans have at least one chronic health problem, such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, cognitive problems, mental health, or substance abuse problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cite statistics from the Department... Read More

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cancer treatment
Feb 14 2017

In heart disease, genes are not necessarily destiny

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

Researchers have discovered that a number of genetic mutations are associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease, which is one reason why knowing your family history is an important part of building a personalized health and prevention strategy. If you have a father or brother who had a heart attack before age 55... Read More

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Choosing a rehabilitation facility
Feb 21 2017

Ask these questions when choosing a rehabilitation facility after being hospitalized

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you or a loved one has been hospitalized with a serious illness or injury or undergone major surgery, your next step may be to transfer to a short-term rehabilitation facility to continue your recovery. Also known as skilled nursing facilities, a rehabilitation facility can provide you with the additional, personalized care you need to... Read More

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heart disease
Feb 28 2017

Steps women should take now to lower the risk of heart disease

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you asked most people what the leading cause of death for women in the U.S. is, you’d probably get the wrong answer. The right answer? Heart disease. In fact 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease. Surveys have unfortunately found that some women’s primary care doctors don’t discuss their... Read More

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healthy lifestyle
Mar 7 2017

How to overcome the top five roadblocks to a healthy lifestyle

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

Most people know what a healthy lifestyle looks like, but making that leap from understanding what you should do to lower your risk of health problems to actually making a healthy lifestyle a regular part of your life can be difficult. Identifying what roadblocks are preventing you from making healthy lifestyle choices is the first... Read More

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cancer treatment
Mar 14 2017

What questions should you ask when choosing a hospital for cancer treatment?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Where you go for cancer treatment can have a significant impact on your outcome. A recent study found that people who did not receive care at a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center were 20% to 50% more likely to die from the disease than those who did undergo cancer treatment at an NCI-designated... Read More

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New treatments for colorectal cancer
Mar 21 2017

Could you benefit from newer colorectal cancer treatments?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

When you exclude skin cancer, colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the U.S. The American Cancer Society projects 95,520 new cases of colon cancer and 39,910 new cases of rectal cancer in 2017. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with colorectal... Read More

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Medical emergency while traveling
Mar 28 2017

Are you prepared for a medical emergency while traveling?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

Facing a medical emergency while you’re away from home is not something most people plan for, but it should be. With some advance planning, you can be better prepared to find the care you need if you experience an illness or injury when you’re traveling inside or outside the U.S. Be sure to take these... Read More

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Calculator and stethoscope on financial statement concept for finance health check or cost of healthcare
Apr 4 2017

Can your health impact your financial wellbeing?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

You may not think about how your health and healthcare decisions affect your financial wellbeing beyond the issues of how much you pay for health insurance and what you have to pay out of your own pocket for your deductible and copays. But there are a number of other ways that your health can have... Read More

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informed medical decisions
Apr 11 2017

Tools to help you make more informed medical decisions

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

As more and more patients become active partners in the process of making medical decisions, the need for tools that provide the evidence-based information that can help them make informed medical decisions grows. An Institute of Medicine study found that majority of people facing elective surgery, receiving a new prescription, or a recommendation for cancer... Read More

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Lyme disease
Apr 18 2017

Researchers explore new treatments for Lyme disease

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Some disease ecologists are projecting that this spring and summer will bring an increased risk for Lyme disease in the Northeast U.S. Although approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by state health departments each year, those reports account for only a fraction of the... Read More

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virtual second opinion
Apr 25 2017

When should you get a virtual second opinion?

Second Opinion  •  By Susan Walker

If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious, complex, or rare health problem or received a recommendation for surgery, getting a second opinion can help you avoid misdiagnosis and choose the most appropriate treatment. In fact, some studies found that about 20% of people seek a second opinion and that percentage rises to 50% for people... Read More

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hepatitis C
May 2 2017

Should you be screened for hepatitis C?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

You may have read articles in the news or seen TV commercials about new treatments for the hepatitis C virus and wondered, “Am I at risk for this disease?” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 2.7 million to 3.9 million people in the U.S. are living with active, chronic hepatitis... Read More

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work during cancer treatment
May 9 2017

What to consider if you plan to work during cancer treatment

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

One question that people who have been diagnosed with cancer often ask their doctors is whether they will be able to continue to work during cancer treatment. The answer depends on several factors, including: what type and stage of cancer you have what types of treatment you will be undergoing what side affects you experience... Read More

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COPD
May 16 2017

COPD: Tips to lower the risk of flare-ups

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re one of the 30 million people in the U.S. living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), there are several strategies that can help you lower your risk of experiencing a disease-related flare-up or sudden worsening of your symptoms. The symptoms of a flare-up, which is also known as an exacerbation, include: increased difficulty... Read More

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new cancer treatments
May 23 2017

What questions should you ask about new cancer treatments?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

There are a growing number of new cancer treatments—from immunotherapy and hormone therapy to new chemotherapy drugs and new approaches to surgery and radiation. Some of these new cancer treatments have dramatically improved the outcomes for certain types of patients. And although the new treatments do work well for some patients, you shouldn’t assume they’ll... Read More

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health trends
Jun 6 2017

What you should know about popular health trends

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

It seems like every few weeks, there’s media coverage of new health trends that promise to help you lose weight, lower your risk of health problems, or increase your longevity. What the articles and celebrity physician interviews often don’t include is reliable scientific evidence to support these promises. In some cases, the news is based... Read More

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complications after surgery
Jun 13 2017

Take these steps to lower your risk of complications after surgery

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re scheduled to have surgery, there are proactive steps you can take that can help lower your risk of experiencing complications after surgery such as post-operative infections and blood clots. Complications due to the surgical procedure, rather than a worsening of the underlying condition that caused the need for the surgery, are the main... Read More

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skin cancer
Jun 20 2017

Are you at an increased risk for skin cancer?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

While anyone can be at risk for developing skin cancer, even people with naturally darker skin tones, some factors may put you at an increased risk for this disease. By learning what those factors are and what proactive steps you can take to protect yourself, you can lower your risk. What factors may increase the... Read More

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health insurance
Jun 27 2017

Are you getting all you can out of your health insurance benefits?

Health Risk Management  •  By Susan Walker

A growing number of health insurance plans now provide an array of benefits well beyond the traditional payments for medical care, but many people aren’t aware of these benefits or don’t take advantage of them. To get the most out of your health insurance plan, it’s wise to find out about all the services and... Read More

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rare cancer
Jul 11 2017

Ask these questions if you’re diagnosed with a rare cancer

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

A recent study found that one in five cancers diagnosed in the U.S. is a rare cancer, which means a type of cancer diagnosed in less than 6 people per 100,000 people a year. Being diagnosed with a rare cancer may make it more difficult to get an accurate diagnosis and may increase your risk... Read More

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options
Jul 18 2017

Serious diagnosis? Explore your options before starting treatment

Disease Management  •  By Susan Walker

If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious illness such as cancer or your doctor has recommended surgery, your instinct may be to start treatment as quickly as possible. That may not be the best course of action, however, because undergoing some types of treatment may mean that you’re not able to undergo others if the... Read More

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back surgery
Jul 25 2017

What factors affect the success of back surgery?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If your doctor has recommended back surgery for chronic back pain, your next step should be to learn about the factors that may affect the outcome of your surgery. Understanding the potential risks and benefits of surgery and what you can do to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome are the keys to making... Read More

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untreated depression
Aug 1 2017

What are the health risks of untreated depression?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

There are approximately 16 million adults in the U.S. who are living with major depression, but some statistics suggest that nearly 66% of people living with depression do not actively seek or receive appropriate treatment for their condition. There are a range of reasons people don’t seek treatment, including fear of the social stigma that... Read More

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hip or knee replacement
Aug 8 2017

Considering hip or knee replacement? This checklist can help you decide

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re thinking about hip or knee replacement, you’re not alone. Statistics from a Mayo Clinic study found that in a 10 year period, the number of people who underwent hip replacement more than doubled to 300,000 people per year. This was an increase of 92% in people 75 and older and 205% in people... Read More

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Aug 15 2017

Key questions to ask your doctor before deciding to have surgery

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

If your doctor has recommended that you undergo elective (non-emergency) surgery, for example surgical treatment for chronic back pain or joint replacement, there are a number of factors to consider before deciding whether to move forward with the surgery. First, consider getting a second opinion to learn what other treatment options may be available. Your... Read More

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mental health
Aug 22 2017

How you can support your college student’s mental health

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

The number of college students living with mental health issues has grown substantially in recent years. A report from the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State found that over a five-year period, data gathered from 139 U.S. colleges and universities showed a 30% increase in the use of on-campus counseling services compared to... Read More

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active surveillance
Aug 29 2017

What is active surveillance and could it be an option for your cancer?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

You’ve probably heard about radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy to treat cancer, but you may be less familiar with an approach called active surveillance. Active surveillance is most often used for men with slow growing forms of prostate cancer, but it may also be used for some cases of urethral cancer, intraocular melanoma (a type of... Read More

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health insurance for college students
Sep 12 2017

What you and your college student need to know about health insurance

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

Health insurance may not be at the top of the list of things that you’re thinking about as you send your children off to college, but it should be. Access to care is important whether your child is living with a chronic medical problem like asthma or diabetes, a mental health condition like anxiety, ADHD,... Read More

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second opinion different from first
Sep 19 2017

What to do if your second opinion is different than your first

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious, complex, or rare condition or if your doctor has recommended elective (non-emergency) surgery, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion. There are several ways that a second opinion can help you make an informed medical decision: It can confirm that your original diagnosis and treatment plan... Read More

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living with dementia
Sep 26 2017

Hip or knee pain? Consider these non-surgical approaches to pain relief.

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Hip and knee pain, two of the most common causes of chronic pain, can be caused by a wide range of conditions, from arthritis to injuries and pinched nerves. While there are a number of surgical approaches used to treat these types of joint pain, you may want to try non-surgical approaches before considering surgery.... Read More

Topics:
mental health
Oct 3 2017

Could your mental health symptoms be caused by a physical problem?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re experiencing the symptoms of mental health issues like anxiety or depression, you may want to discuss with your doctor whether these symptoms could be the result of a physical health problem. A number of different physical health problems share symptoms with mental health conditions, which can sometimes lead to misdiagnosis. Some researchers have... Read More

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How to advocate for a loved one in the hospital
Oct 10 2017

How to advocate for a loved one in the hospital

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

Being in the hospital can be stressful and confusing. It can be difficult to get the information you need from your doctors and healthcare team, ensure all members of the team are communicating to lower the risk of medical errors and inappropriate testing and care, and make medical decisions when you’re ill or injured and... Read More

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medication errors
Oct 17 2017

What is pharmacogenomics and could it help you choose the right medication?

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn

Two patients are prescribed the same medication. For one, the medication is extremely effective and does not cause serious side effects. But for the other patient, the medication is not effective at all or does cause significant side effects. For years, prescription medications were treated as essentially a one-size-fits-all solution, with drug choices and dosages... Read More

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second opinion
Oct 24 2017

How to ask for a second opinion

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

There are a number of different situations when you might want to get a second opinion on your diagnosis or treatment plan. It’s wise to consider getting a second opinion if you’re diagnosed with a serious, complex, or rare condition or if your doctor has recommended elective (non-emergency) surgery like joint replacement or a hysterectomy.... Read More

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seasonal affective disorder
Oct 31 2017

Diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder? Learn about your treatment options

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of the condition and what each type of treatment entails so you can make an informed decision. This Q&A provides answers to some common questions. Q: What is seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? A: Seasonal affective disorder is a form... Read More

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antioxidants
Nov 3 2017

Exclusive Member Information – Tips for a healthy Thanksgiving

Blog  •  By Susan Walker

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday eating season, a time when it’s all too easy to make less healthy choices. From creamy side dishes and buttery rolls to cocktails and desserts, there’s a strong temptation to eat more than usual. The average Thanksgiving meal comes in at between 2,500 and 5,000 calories, with 250... Read More

doctor talking to his female patient at office
Nov 3 2017

Exclusive Member Information – Looking beyond the headlines about breast implants and lymphoma

Blog  •  By Susan Walker

In March, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified a possible connection between breast implants, especially textured implants, and the development of a rare type of cancer, anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). The media headlines that followed the FDA announcement caused understandable concern for the 4.6% of American women, or 1 out of every 26... Read More

a photo of an ambulance in route to an emergency
Nov 3 2017

Exclusive Member Information – How to be medically prepared for an emergency or natural disaster

Blog  •  By Susan Walker

This has been an especially difficult year for many in terms of living through natural disasters and other emergency situations. From hurricanes and floods to wild fires and earthquakes, people all around the globe have faced the loss of their homes and possessions, ending up displaced without even the basics they need for day-to-day life.... Read More

proton therapy
Nov 7 2017

Could proton therapy be an option for your cancer?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Radiation is one of the three most commonly used treatments for cancer. In fact, according to the National Cancer Institute, about half of all cancer patients undergo radiation at some point during their treatment. One limit of radiation is that tumors are surrounded by normal, healthy tissues and organs that can be damaged by exposure... Read More

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documents
Nov 14 2017

What documents do you need to help your parents make medical decisions?

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

There may come a day when your parents want or need your help managing their health and making healthcare decisions. To make sure you’re prepared if the situation arises, it’s helpful to start a conversation with your parents before they’re facing a pressing need or crisis so you can have all the necessary documents in... Read More

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geriatrician
Nov 28 2017

How to choose the right doctor as you get older

Health Risk Management  •  By Susan Walker

Throughout your adult life, you probably received most of your healthcare from a primary care doctor. As you reach your mid- to late-60s however, it may be time to consider choosing a new doctor who focuses on treating older adults or a geriatrician. While one in four adults is living with multiple chronic health problems... Read More

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when is it time to look for a new doctor
Dec 5 2017

How do you know when it’s time to find a new doctor?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

There are many different reasons people decide it’s time to switch to a new doctor, whether it’s your primary care doctor, a specialist, or your child’s pediatrician. And while you might feel hesitant to end your relationship, especially if you’ve been seeing the doctor for a long time, sometimes switching to a new doctor is... Read More

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prostate cancer
Dec 12 2017

Prostate cancer update: New treatment options

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men, after skin cancer, with nearly 162,000 new cases of the disease projected to be diagnosed in 2017. Approximately one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, with about 6 in 10 cases being diagnosed in men age 66... Read More

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health information online
Dec 19 2017

How to find reliable health information online

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

It’s after midnight and your child has an odd rash and fever. Your doctor just told you that you may have an autoimmune disorder. You’re looking for options to help your parent facing cognitive issues. When you have health questions, you and millions of others turn to the Internet for answers. And while everyone consults... Read More

aging parents
Jan 9 2018

Technology that can help you care for your aging parents

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

There’s a technology solution for pretty much everything these days. You can use an app to unlock your front door, even if you’re far from home. Smart thermostats can adjust the temperature throughout the day to help you save energy. Even your car may have an onboard system that lets you call for help if... Read More

Topics:
appointment
Jan 16 2018

Tips to ensure you get the care you need as doctor’s appointment wait times get longer

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve tried to get an appointment with a new doctor recently, this won’t be news to you. The most recent survey conducted by Merritt Hawkins, a national healthcare search and consulting firm, found that the average amount of time new patients have to wait to get an appointment with a family medicine, cardiology, dermatology,... Read More

Topics:
pregnancy
Jan 23 2018

What to do if your doctor says your pregnancy is high risk

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

If your obstetrician has told you that your pregnancy is high risk, you probably have a lot of concerns and questions. Your first step should be to put together a list of questions and make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your concerns. Questions you may want to ask include: What factors make my... Read More

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readmitted
Jan 30 2018

These steps can help you avoid being readmitted to the hospital

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve recently been released from the hospital, there’s a risk you may not be aware of—being readmitted to the hospital within the month after your release. That risk is greater for older people and people who were hospitalized due to heart failure, heart attack, and pneumonia. There are many different reasons why people are... Read More

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medical bills
Feb 6 2018

How to save money by catching errors on your medical bills

Blog  •  By Miles Varn

Healthcare is expensive. In fact, Americans spent $3.5 trillion on health expenditures in 2016, the most recent year statistics are available for. As more people enroll in high deductible insurance plans, individuals’ out of pocket costs for healthcare are growing significantly. But there’s another factor that may be increasing your healthcare costs—errors on medical bills.... Read More

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back pain
Feb 13 2018

Is your back pain being overtreated?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’re one of the approximately 80% of Americans living with chronic back pain, you may be at risk of being over treated or undergoing more aggressive treatment too soon. Both in the U.S. and abroad, the guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of back pain start with more conservative approaches, including: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications... Read More

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mental healthcare
Feb 20 2018

How to get the care you need in the face of a mental healthcare provider shortage

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve tried to get an appointment with a mental healthcare provider and failed, you’re not alone. While the demand for the services of mental healthcare professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and counselors has grown significantly, the number of providers has decreased, making it increasingly difficult to get an appointment. There are several reasons for... Read More

Topics:
assisted living
Feb 27 2018

Signs it may be time for your parents to consider assisted living

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

Independence is important to all of us as we get older. Many people resist even talking about getting in-home support or moving to an assisted living or long-term care community until they face a serious illness or injury or death of a spouse or partner. But putting off this discussion means that arrangements must be... Read More

Topics:
HSA
Mar 6 2018

A second opinion can help you save your HSA dollars

Second Opinion  •  By Miles Varn

If you have a high deductible health plan, a health savings account (HSA) allows you to put aside pre-tax or tax-deductible dollars to pay for deductibles, co-payments, and qualified medical expenses that aren’t covered by your health plan, such as prescription glasses and dental care. The goal is to reduce your out-of-pocket medical costs. But... Read More

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high cost prescription drugs
Mar 13 2018

High cost prescription drugs: The right choice for you?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

New, very expensive prescription drugs that treat a range of conditions from hepatitis C, leukemia, and cystic fibrosis to multiple sclerosis and rare inherited conditions like Wilson’s disease and hereditary angioedema have been one of the drivers of increasing health care costs in the U.S. These prescription drugs can cost from $54,000 to more than... Read More

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treatment plan
Mar 20 2018

Why you should set treatment goals when you face a serious illness

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Receiving a diagnosis of a serious illness can be overwhelming. Most people aren’t sure what to do next and simply follow their doctor’s treatment recommendations. But if your condition isn’t an emergency, like a heart attack or stroke, you may want to take some time to get a second opinion on your diagnosis and treatment... Read More

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health insurance isn't healthcare
Mar 27 2018

Good health insurance doesn’t guarantee you’re getting the best care

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

Having a comprehensive health insurance plan that provides the full range of benefits, including preventive care, outpatient care for illnesses and injuries, emergency care, coverage for care in the hospital, mental health care, and prescription drugs, can help you pay for the healthcare you need. But having good health insurance does not mean you necessarily... Read More

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prescription medications
Apr 3 2018

How to travel abroad safely with prescription medications

Travel Health  •  By Susan Walker

If you regularly take prescription medications for back pain, ADHD, insomnia, anxiety, and a range of other conditions, you probably don’t think twice about packing them into your luggage when you travel. In the U.S., the most common issue people face when traveling with prescription medications is lost or forgotten medications. And while people traveling... Read More

overcoming a family history of heart disease
Apr 10 2018

Can you lower your risk if you have a family history of heart disease?

Disease Management  •  By Susan Walker

If your parents and grandparents had heart disease, you might assume that family history means you’re destined for the same diagnosis. Although your genes do play a role in your risk of developing heart disease, there are steps you can take to lower your risk. The first step is to talk with your primary care... Read More

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Could you have undiagnosed diabetes?
Apr 17 2018

Could you have undiagnosed diabetes?

Health Risk Management  •  By Susan Walker

Many of the symptoms of diabetes can be subtle. Maybe you’re thirstier or more hungry than usual. Perhaps you’ve noticed patches of darker skin in your armpits, elbows, knees, groin, or on your neck. Or you can’t figure out why you’re more tired than usual. All these symptoms can be caused by type 2 diabetes.... Read More

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IBS
Apr 24 2018

Diagnosed with IBS? Understand your treatment options

Blog  •  By Miles Varn

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal condition, affecting between 25 and 45 million people in the U.S. IBS can cause a range of symptoms including abdominal pain, cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation. It’s a chronic condition, which means you’ll need to find treatments to help manage your symptoms long-term. Doctors don’t know... Read More

Siblings are doing his homework for elementary school.
May 1 2018

Six questions to ask when choosing a therapist for your child

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve noticed symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns in your child or teen, making an appointment with a therapist can be the first step towards figuring out the underlying cause of these changes in behavior and helping your child manage symptoms that can interfere with his or her life at home... Read More

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HIPAA
May 8 2018

How does HIPAA protect your medical information?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

You’ve probably signed at least a dozen HIPAA forms at the doctor’s and dentist’s office, your pharmacy, the urgent care center, and perhaps even the local hospital. But what does the information on those forms mean and how does HIPAA help protect the privacy of your medical information? The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act... Read More

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brain injury
May 15 2018

What you need to know about traumatic brain injury

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is more common than you may realize. Worldwide, about 50 million people each year experience this type of injury. These injuries range in severity and can be caused by a bump or blow to the head, a jolt to the head that causes the brain to twist or bounce against the... Read More

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finding quality care when you travel
May 22 2018

Travel health: How to find quality care abroad

Travel Health  •  By Miles Varn

When people who travel around the world for work were polled about their top travel health concerns, 35% of those surveyed said the most serious health threat facing travelers is not being able to access quality care if you fall ill or get injured. Taking steps to prepare for a health emergency while traveling abroad... Read More

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sleep problems
Jun 5 2018

Trouble sleeping? Learn what treatments may help

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you have trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, or getting good quality sleep, you’re not alone, although it can feel that way in the middle of yet another sleepless night. According to statistics compiled by the American Sleep Association, 50 to 70 million adults in the U.S. have a sleep disorder, and the number... Read More

Topics:
high blood pressure
Jun 12 2018

High blood pressure can hurt more than your heart

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

You probably know that undiagnosed, untreated, and poorly controlled high blood pressure can increase your risk of cardiovascular problems including angina (chest pain), heart failure, and heart attack. What you may not know is that high blood pressure can cause a wide range of other serious health problems. When your blood pressure is high for... Read More

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menopause
Jun 19 2018

Treatments that can help you manage the symptoms of menopause

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

During perimenopause (the period of time that leads up to menopause) and menopause (when a woman has not had a menstrual period for more than a year), the ovaries try to maintain normal levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen. This effort, however, actually causes fluctuations in hormone levels. And those fluctuations are the cause... Read More

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genetic testing
Jun 26 2018

Should genetic testing be part of your health risk management plan?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

If one of your relatives has Huntington’s disease or breast cancer, should you consider undergoing genetic testing to find out if you’re at risk for the same disease? There are now genetic tests for more than 2,000 diseases, some rare like the movement disorder early-onset dystonia and hereditary hemochromatosis, a condition that causes the body... Read More

Topics:
skin cancer
Jul 10 2018

Are you taking the right steps to prevent skin cancer?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

As the temperatures rise, you and your family will probably be spending a lot more time outdoors. Whether you’re at the beach or pool, working in the garden, or enjoying a leisurely walk around the neighborhood, there’s one thing you should always do before you step outside—take steps to protect your skin from the sun’s... Read More

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health insurance tips
Jul 17 2018

Do you know how to get the most out of your health insurance plan?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

Understanding how your health insurance plan works and what benefits and additional services are included as part of the plan can help you get the care you need and save money. The first step to getting the most out of your health insurance is to choose the plan that fits your needs best. Picking a... Read More

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medical records
Jul 24 2018

How to make sure your specialist has the right medical records

Blog  •  By Miles Varn

If you’ve been referred to a specialist, such as a cardiologist, gastroenterologist, orthopedist, or oncologist, it’s important that specialist has access to your complete, up-to-date medical records to ensure that he or she is aware of any health conditions you’re living with, medications you take, and past surgeries and diagnoses. Having that information can help... Read More

breast cancer
Jul 31 2018

How to protect your heart during breast cancer treatment

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

Like all types of medical care, treatment for breast cancer comes with both benefits and risks. Earlier this year, a scientific statement published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation spurred media coverage of the link between some types of breast cancer treatment and an increased risk of developing heart failure and other types of... Read More

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Lower your risk of cataracts
Aug 7 2018

6 ways to lower your risk of cataracts

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn

You may think that cataracts are something you don’t have to worry about until you reach your 60s or 70s, but cataracts actually can start forming in your 40s and 50s. Cataracts affect about 24.4 million Americans age 40 and older. And nearly half of all Americans have developed the condition by age 75. Although... Read More

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Doctor injecting vaccine to senior woman
Aug 14 2018

Adult immunizations: What vaccines do you need to protect your family?

Family Caregiving

Everyone’s familiar with childhood immunizations. What you may not be aware of is that vaccine science is continually evolving, with new immunizations being developed and approved almost yearly. Immunizations aren’t simply for the young either. There are a number of booster shot recommendations for adults as well as vaccinations that help protect against shingles, pneumonia,... Read More

healthcare directive
Aug 21 2018

Five times you should review and update your healthcare directive

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn

If you have an advanced healthcare directive that outlines what types of medical care you do and do not wish to receive and who should make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself, then you’re better prepared than nearly 2/3 of Americans. But getting your wishes down on paper in the... Read More

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childhood cancer
Aug 28 2018

6 facts you should know about childhood cancer

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn

Unless a family member or friend has been diagnosed with childhood cancer, you may not know much about the topic. These 6 key facts can help you learn more. Childhood cancer is relatively rare: Approximately 10, 270 children under the age of 15 were diagnosed with some form of cancer in 2017 according to statistics... Read More

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medication safety tips
Sep 11 2018

Unused, expired, or lost medication? What to do

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn

Your recovery after surgery went better than expected, so you have leftover prescription pain medication. Your bottle of anti-allergy eye drops is a year past its due date. You’re on the plane when you suddenly realize you forgot your blood pressure medication. Scenarios like these happen every day. But you may not know what to... Read More

Oct 9 2018

Answers to the top questions about lymphoma (Part 1)

Disease Management

To help you learn more about lymphoma, which affects both children and adults, this is the first of two blog posts that will answer the top questions about this disease. What is lymphoma? Lymphoma is the name for a group of more than 60 types of cancer that start in the lymphatic system, part of... Read More

Chemotherapy-induced hair loss
Oct 16 2018

Answers to the top questions about lymphoma (Part 2)

Disease Management

To help you learn more about this type of cancer, which affects both children and adults, this is the second of two blog posts that will answer the top questions about the symptoms and treatment options for this disease. What are they symptoms of lymphoma? Symptoms can vary depending on the type of lymphoma. The... Read More

An accurate EMR can be the key to better healthcare.
Oct 23 2018

Pap or HPV test? What to know about cervical cancer screening

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, M.D.

When it comes to screening for cervical cancer, you may be confused by recent articles about changing screening guidelines. Because each woman’s situation and risk factors are unique, your first step should be to talk with your gynecologist. Here’s some background on the available tests and recommendations that can help you start the discussion. What... Read More

medication errors
Oct 30 2018

Prescribed antidepressants? Ask these questions

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, M.D.

About one in eight Americans older than 12 reported taking antidepressants in a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. That’s an increase of 65% between 1999 and 2014, the last year data was available in the study. The study also found that long-term use of antidepressants has... Read More

flu tips
Nov 6 2018

5 things you should know about the flu

Disease Management

You’ve probably seen the signs in your local pharmacy, doctor’s office, even the grocery store. They all have the same message—it’s time to get your annual flu shot. Although flu activity is still low in most states, the time to start getting ready is now, well before the number of people with the flu grows... Read More

medical records review
Nov 13 2018

Have you reviewed your medical records? You should

Health Risk Management

Thanks to HIPAA, you have the right to get a copy of your medical records and review them. There’s a good reason to take the time to read over your records in detail. A study published in BMJ Quality and Safety found that 29% of the study participants who reviewed their doctors’ visit notes found... Read More

living with dementia
Nov 27 2018

5 things you can do to improve quality of life for loved ones with dementia

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn, MD

In spite of stereotypes that paint people living with dementia as perpetually anxious and unhappy, recent research has found that the majority of years people live with cognitive impairment are happy ones. If a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, these steps can help improve his or her... Read More

birth control
Dec 4 2018

Could your birth control method lower your risk of ovarian cancer?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Researchers have found an association between the use of birth control pills that combine estrogen and progestogen and a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. Most of those studies focused on older formulations of the pills that contained higher doses of estrogen and different forms of progestogen than newer combined hormonal contraceptive pills. A recent... Read More

medication errors
Dec 11 2018

The 7 steps you should take to prevent medication errors

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Medication errors are more common than you may think and they can have serious health consequences. One study found that preventable medication errors affect more than 7 million patients per year and account for more than 3.5 million doctor’s visits and 1 million emergency department visits. The types of errors range from the wrong dosage... Read More

Topics:
chemo brain
Dec 18 2018

Help managing “chemo brain”

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and chemotherapy has been part of your treatment plan, during or after treatment you may notice that you’re more forgetful, have trouble concentrating, or just feel “foggy” mentally. Many cancer survivors call this chemo brain, while physicians often use the term cognitive dysfunction associated with chemotherapy, and up to... Read More

Topics:
Happy holidays from PinnacleCare
Dec 25 2018

Happy Holidays from PinnacleCare

Blog

All of us at PinnacleCare wish you and your loved ones the healthiest and happiest of holiday seasons. We hope you get the chance to relax, enjoy time with family and friends, and recharge for the new year. We are here to help whenever you need us, every day of the year. Whether you’re working... Read More

lung cancer
Jan 8 2019

What’s new in lung cancer treatment?

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

There are several newer treatment options that people who have been diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the most common form of the disease, may want to discuss with their doctor. For people who have early stage lung cancer, surgery is the standard treatment recommendation. But those who are older or in poorer overall... Read More

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caregiver
Jan 15 2019

Strategies to help caregivers manage stress

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn, MD

If you’re a caregiver for a spouse or partner, child living with a serious illness or chronic condition, or aging parent or family member, you have a lot on your plate. And while taking care of family members who need you can be rewarding, it can also be very stressful. Unfortunately, one thing caregivers often... Read More

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food allergies
Jan 22 2019

Tips for safer travel with food allergies

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn, MD

If you or someone in your family is living with food allergies, you probably have a system in place to prevent accidental exposure to the foods that cause those allergies and a plan to handle any allergic reactions that may occur. But what happens if you’re traveling? What steps can you take to lower the... Read More

Topics:
new doctor
Jan 29 2019

Over 65 and need a new doctor? What to look for

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn, MD

There are many reasons you may be looking for a new primary care physician as you get older. Perhaps your doctor is retiring or no longer accepts your insurance. Maybe you’ve moved to a new town or state. Or you could be living with several medical issues and want to work with a doctor who... Read More

Topics:
skin cancer
Feb 5 2019

New treatments offer options for difficult to treat skin cancer

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

While many types of skin cancer can be treated successfully, especially when diagnosed early, some can be more difficult to treat. But newly approved treatments and treatments in development for several different types of skin cancer, including advanced squamous cell carcinoma, drug-resistant basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma that affects the eye mean patients have more... Read More

Topics:
rare disease
Feb 12 2019

Strategies to help you get the right diagnosis for a rare disease

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step towards finding the right treatment. But for people living with a rare or complex disease, getting that diagnosis can be a long, frustrating process that delays treatment. Depending on which disease you face, getting a definitive diagnosis can take from 7 to 10 years. And though approximately... Read More

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pricing transparency
Feb 19 2019

Can hospital pricing transparency help you make smarter healthcare decisions?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

There’s a new rule that requires hospitals to list the price for all the services they provide and medications they prescribe for patients in the hospital. In theory, this should give you more information that can help you figure out what your care will cost and where it makes the most economic sense to receive... Read More

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cancer
Feb 26 2019

For people diagnosed with cancer, a second opinion can have a big impact

Uncategorized  •  By Miles Varn, MD

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you may feel as if you need to start treatment as quickly as possible. For most types of cancer, however, there’s no need to rush to begin treatment immediately and there are benefits to taking the time to seek a second opinion on your diagnosis and treatment plan... Read More

in the hospital
Mar 5 2019

Ask these questions when an elderly loved one is in the hospital

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Time in the hospital can be physically and emotionally taxing at any age, but for older people, time spent in the hospital can have an even bigger impact on their health and wellbeing after they’re discharged. You can help advocate for your loved ones and ask important questions. You’ll just need to be sure they’ve... Read More

Topics:
dementia
Mar 12 2019

What you do and eat can affect your risk of dementia

Uncategorized  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Approximately 5.7 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and other types of dementia. As the population of older people swells with the addition of the baby boom generation, that number is projected to increase. But there are lifestyle changes you can make now that can lower your risk of... Read More

chronic diseases
Mar 19 2019

Lower your risk of complications from chronic diseases

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

A growing number of Americans are being diagnosed with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, lung and kidney disease and many people are living with multiple chronic conditions. According to statistics gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 6 in 10 American adults have a chronic disease and 4 in 10... Read More

genetic tests
Mar 26 2019

Are direct-to-consumer genetic tests the right choice for you?

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Over the last five years, pharmacies and websites have offered an increasing number of direct-to-consumer genetic tests. These tests, which you can buy without a prescription, can provide information about a range of health issues, from how well you will respond to a certain type of antidepressant, blood thinner, or other medication and your risk... Read More

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Parents can work with medical providers to help children with ASD.
Apr 1 2019

Does your child have autism? Personalized treatment plans can support your child’s development

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Doctors are diagnosing a growing number of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Currently, 1 in 68 children have one of these conditions, and 30 percent of them remain minimally verbal, even with medical treatment. If you are raising a child who has been diagnosed with ASD, you understand that there can be difficulties with... Read More

testicular cancer
Apr 2 2019

What you should know about testicular cancer

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Although the number of men projected to be diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2019 is only 9,310 compared to a projected 174,650 new cases of prostate cancer, testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for boys and men between the ages of 15 and 44. This type of cancer is highly treatable, even when... Read More

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mental health
Apr 9 2019

Overcoming the mental health challenges faced by teens and young adults from high net worth families

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn, MD

At first the signs were subtle. Their 19-year-old son seemed irritable and was sleeping significantly more than usual. His parents assumed it was the result of his busy schedule. Then they got a call from the dean at his college. Their son had been transported to the local hospital with a blood alcohol level of... Read More

caregiving
Apr 16 2019

Strategies to help you avoid common caregiving mistakes

Uncategorized  •  By Miles Varn, MD

If you’re one of the more than 43 million people in the U.S. caring for an aging or ill family member, spouse, or partner you know how complex it can be to make sure you’re not only meeting your loved one’s needs, but also balancing your other responsibilities like work, caring for children, and taking... Read More

antidepressants
Apr 23 2019

Tips to help you manage the side effects of antidepressants

Disease Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

If you’re one of the one in eight Americans who take antidepressants, you may be living with the common side effects that these medications can cause, such as: weight gain nausea sleep problems sexual problems fatigue dry mouth constipation or diarrhea headaches anxiety The type of side effects you may experience depends on what medications... Read More

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wellness
Apr 30 2019

The keys to wellness during and after cancer treatment

Integrative Medicine  •  By Miles Varn, MD

PinnacleCare talked with Dr. Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, a practitioner at Naturopathic Specialists, LLC in Scottsdale AZ, about steps people who have been diagnosed with cancer can take to achieve a higher level of wellness during and after cancer treatment. Dr. Alschuler is a naturopathic doctor with board certification in naturopathic oncology and has been... Read More

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measles
May 7 2019

What should you do to protect your family from the measles?

Family Caregiving  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Almost 20 years ago, measles was declared to have been eliminated in the U.S., but the disease has returned with a vengeance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest report of confirmed measles cases noted 704 cases in 22 states, an increase of 78 cases since the previous week’s count. Children under 5... Read More

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care coordination
May 14 2019

How to make sure your care is coordinated when you see more than one doctor

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Even if you’re the picture of health, you may see more than one doctor—a primary care physician, a gynecologist if you’re a woman, an occasional urgent care healthcare professional. And if you’re living with a chronic condition like heart disease or diabetes or have been diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer, the number of... Read More

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stem cell
May 21 2019

What to consider before undergoing stem cell treatment

Personalized Healthcare  •  By Miles Varn, MD

It can be difficult to tease out the evidence-based science in the claims of successful adult stem cell-based treatments for health problems from joint pain to Parkinson’s disease, macular degeneration, and spinal cord injury. Even a number of well-respected medical centers now offer patients regenerative medicine treatments that use the patient’s own fat or bone... Read More

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cancer treatment
Jun 4 2019

Strategies for wellness during and after cancer treatment

Disease Management, Integrative Medicine  •  By Miles Varn, MD

The number of people in the U.S. who are cancer survivors continues to grow as new treatments and early detection increase. The American Cancer Society projects that by 2026, there will be 20 million cancer survivors in this country. And while treatment has advanced in both the number of options available and effectiveness, there still... Read More

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misdiagnosis
Jun 11 2019

Questions to ask to help avoid misdiagnosis

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

One of the most important skills your doctor has is listening. He or she should take time to talk with you not only about symptoms you’re experiencing, but about the story behind those symptoms. But sometimes doctors are pressed for time or are used to asking their patients a series of yes or no questions.... Read More

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superbugs
Jun 18 2019

How to protect your family from superbugs

Health Risk Management  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Recent news coverage focused on antibiotic-resistant bacteria and treatment-resistant fungi has increased awareness of the threat that these so-called superbugs represent. Currently, two million people in the U.S. contract these infections each year and 23,000 die as a result. A U.N. report describes the increase in the number and type of health problems caused by... Read More

travel health
Jun 25 2019

What to do if you get sick on vacation

Travel Health  •  By Miles Varn, MD

Summer is prime time for travel, whether it’s a trip to the beach, a week in the mountains, or a tour of Europe. You’ve taken the time to figure out where you want to go, where you’re staying, and where the best places to eat are, so you’re all ready for your trip, right? Not... Read More

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exercise
Jul 9 2019

Exercise is important for more than managing your weight

Preventive Care  •  By Miles Varn, MD

One of the top pieces of advice that nutrition and exercise experts share is that regular exercise is an essential part of any plan to lose weight and keep the weight off. But even if you’re already at a healthy weight, getting exercise regularly is important for your overall health and wellbeing. One study published... Read More

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Aug 12 2019

Genetic Testing – Podcast – Pros and Cons of Powerful Predictive Health Information

Podcast  •  By Dr. Miles Varn and Robert Connors, PinnacleCare

Technological improvements have made consumer-based genetic tests more affordable and accessible. Genetic tests typically use saliva or blood to identify changes in chromosomes, genes or proteins so that a suspected genetic condition can be confirmed or ruled out. Tests can also predetermine the chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. Outcomes may help... Read More