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Dollar

US doctors siphoning millions from Medicare

doctor
© Joe Raedle/Getty Images
In 2012, south Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen received $20.8 million in Medicare payments, the highest amount the government health plan for the elderly and disabled paid an individual provider that year, according to a Reuters analysis of federal data released on Wednesday.

A California laboratory received $190 million, the most Medicare paid a single entity in 2012.

Family physician Tatiana Pavlova Greenfield, who practices in Maryland, may have received an average of more than $86,000 per patient that year, according to the Reuters review, and $3.3 million in total. That compares to an average of $2,200 per Medicare patient in 2012. Asked for comment, an employee at the office where Greenfield worked said she "had left the country."

After decades of litigation and over the strenuous objections of the American Medical Association, the leading U.S. doctors group, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made public for the first time how much Medicare pays individual doctors and other providers.

Comment: See also:

Dead Doctors Still Making Millions from Medicare Billings

Doctors want to keep their Medicare payments a secret

Phoenix

Jeff Volek - The many facets of keto-adaptation: Health, performance, and beyond

Obesity is a condition of excess fat accumulation in adipocytes where the person is literally stuck in storage mode diverting a disproportionate amount of calories into fat cells as opposed to oxidation. Thus it is more productive to think of obesity as a problem in 'energy flow' rather than energy expenditure (i.e., calories in, calories out). The most efficient approach to accelerate the body's ability to access and burn body fat is to restrict dietary carbohydrate while increasing fat intake for a period of several weeks, after which fatty acids and ketones become the primary fuel at rest and during submaximal exercise. The coordinated set of metabolic adaptations that ensure proper inter-organ fuel supply in the face of low carbohydrate availability is referred to as keto- adaptation. This unique metabolic state has recently been shown to have widespread and profound therapeutic and performance-enhancing effects ranging from reversing type 2 diabetes to shrinking tumors to allowing ultra-endurance runners to set course records. This presentation will discuss the physiologic effects of very low carbohydrate diets with an emphasis on their unique effects on both features of metabolic syndrome and human performance.


Comment: Comment: More on the ketogenic diet:

Ambulance

Stroke risk higher among young adults with insomnia

Insomnia
© Getty
People with insomnia may have a higher risk of stroke than their well-rested peers, a new study shows.

The link between insomnia and stroke was especially strong in young adults, who were up to eight times more likely to suffer a stroke if they had insomnia.

That finding - based on an analysis of health records of more than 21,000 people with insomnia and 64,000 regular sleepers in Taiwan - doesn't prove sleep disturbances cause strokes. And even among young people with insomnia, total stroke risk remained low.

"The article raises the question of, are we doctors taking chronic insomnia seriously?" Dr. Demetrius Lopes told Reuters Health. "It gives us ammunition to promote good sleep hygiene."

Lopes, a neurosurgeon who specializes in stroke treatment at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, was not involved in the current study.
Life Preserver

The art and science of nutritional ketosis - Stephen Phinney

Carbohydrate restricted diets are commonly practiced but seldom taught. As a result, doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, and nurses may have strong opinions about low carbohydrate dieting, but in many if not most cases, these views are not grounded in science.

"The Art and Science of Nutritional Ketosis" was presented by Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD, UC Davis at the University of California on November 16th, 2012. It will inspire you to think more carefully about sugars and starches in your diet, and empower you with essential knowledge to help you achieve long-lasting health and well-being.

Comment: For more information, see:

Syringe

Britain wasted £600m of taxpayers' money on useless flu drugs stockpiled by Government in case of pandemic

Flu Drugs
© The Independent, UK
Pharmaceutical giants failed to disclose crucial data revealing concerns over their products Tamiflu and Relenza.
Britain has spent £600m on a stockpile of influenza drugs that are no better than paracetamol in relieving flu symptoms and are next to useless in preventing a pandemic, a major study has found.

The companies behind the two main anti-influenza drugs Tamiflu and Relenza held back crucial information that would have shown just how ineffective their drugs were in clinical trials, according to the independent scientists who compiled the report.

Their investigation found little or no evidence to support the manufacturers' claims about the effectiveness of the two drugs and questioned the Government's rationale for building up an emergency stockpile of 40 million doses.

The scientists also criticised the drug-regulatory authorities for failing to ask for the full details of the clinical trials to be released before giving their approval.

In a searing indictment of the opacity of the pharmaceuticals industry, the ineffectiveness of the drug-regulatory process and the gullibility of politicians and government scientific advisers, the report delivers an excoriating account of one of the biggest drug scandals of the century.

The main authors of the report, compiled by the respected Cochrane Collaboration of independent medical scientists, advised the Government not to buy any further stocks of Tamiflu or Relenza to replace those in the stockpile that are coming to the end of their shelf life. They also urged the World Health Organisation to reconsider its recommendation for national stockpiles to combat an influenza pandemic.

Details buried within the 175,000 pages of clinical trials data held by the drug companies revealed that the only benefit of the anti-flu drugs was that they shortened the period of symptoms by about half a day. However, symptom relief was not the reason for justifying an expensive stockpile by the Government.
Wine n Glass

French winemaker faced possible jail time, fine for refusing pesticides

Wine
© Flickr.com/rogersmj/cc-by-nc
American farmers are far from the only ones feeling the pressure to douse their crops with dangerous pesticides, and it's not only in the U.S. that organic growers are fighting for their right to produce toxin-free harvests. One organic winemaker in France was facing a possible 6 months in jail after he ignored a court order that mandated he spray his grapes with pesticides.

According to VoiceofRussia, Emmanuel Giboulot operates an organic vineyard in eastern France. His operation is biodynamic, or is described as a farm that "functions as a whole organism and relies on both organic biological practices and metaphysical practices."

Biodynamic farmers see their land and what grows on it as possessing its own lifeforce, one that depends on a toxin-free environment.

Where Giboulot lives, however, toxins are the order of the day. The city of Dijon requires farmers to use Pyrevent, a pesticide that prevents the spread of flavescence doree, a grapevine disease caused by the Scaphoideus titanus, or leafhopper.

Though Pyrevent may prevent the disease, it also upsets the balanced ecosystem on Giboulot's property and elsewhere.
Family

Flintstones children's vitamins loaded with aspartame, GMOs and other harmful chemicals

© Incurablediseases.biz
How often are parents aware of the ingredients contained in the multivitamin that they feed their children? We often believe what we hear without ever questioning what mass marketing and media has to say about a product. In this case they have led thousands of parents to purchase multivitamins because they believe it has significant nutritional value. But do these vitamins truly provide nutritional benefit? If so, at what cost? If we look at the Flintstones vitamin, (one of the top multivitamins in the United States) it contains a number of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), aspartame, aluminum, petroleum-derived artificial colors and more. All of these ingredients are not optimal for health and can be very toxic. You can view the entire list of ingredients here.

Let's take a closer look at some of these ingredients.
2 + 2 = 4

Neanderthals were no strangers to good parenting

© Credit: By Randii Oliver [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Artist's depiction of a Neanderthal family. Archaeologists at the University of York are challenging the traditional view that Neanderthal childhood was difficult, short and dangerous.
Archaeologists at the University of York are challenging the traditional view that Neanderthal childhood was difficult, short and dangerous.

A research team from PALAEO (Centre for Human Palaeoecology and Evolutionary Origins) and the Department of Archaeology at York offer a new and distinctive perspective which suggests that Neanderthal children experienced strong emotional attachments with their immediate social group, used play to develop skills and played a significant role in their society.
Video

Zeeshan Arain - Should we all be on a ketogenic diet?

Dr. Zeeshan Arain's speech from the Low Carb Downunder's seminar "LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) Nutrition" (30th November 2013 - St Kilda Town Hall, Australia).

Doctor Zeeshan Arain before and after embarking on his ketogenic diet.

Comment: More info:

Video

Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the diet. Period.

"Did all of a sudden the entire world just become a bunch of gluttons and sloths? All at the same time? I mean, get real." - Dr. Robert H. Lustig
There are many things wrong with the modern diet... but the massive amounts of added sugar may just be the worst.

Numerous studies show that sugar, more than any other ingredient in the diet, may be driving some of the world's leading killers... including heart disease, diabetes and even cancer (1, 2, 3).

The video below (hat tip to Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt) - is from ABC's Catalyst, a popular science program in Australia.


Comment: Don't miss: Food Politics and Power: The Men Who Made Us Fat

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