Notes From the Cockpit – Health Care & Helicopters

I flew a medical helicopter for twenty years. In that time I saw at least one of every illness, trauma, malady, genetic disorder, ailment and medical anomaly known to modern medicine. I saw gunshot wounds, self-inflicted and otherwise, heart attack victims too numerous to recall, electric shocks, pharmocological shock, burns, drownings, highway trauma and farm injuries that convinced me mine was the safer career. I’m not a doctor, don’t even play one on TV, but I was immersed in the so-called health care debate for a long time, from the real grass roots level–the pre-hospital side of things. I can comment on the needs of this society when it comes to health care, and health insurance.

There were a few patients aboard my medical helicopter who had no business being there, but very few. In twenty years, I flew 3,200 medical patients, and I can say that no more than a dozen of those lacked the medical necessity to be flown, rather than driven in an ambulance. Admittedly, some of those few patients could have driven themselves to a hospital. But in any human-devised program some people are going to slip through the cracks, or game the system. There’s no such thing as a perfect plan.

My patients then were, by and large, very ill people. They needed the highest level of medical care available, and at the fastest means of delivery. That was me and my crew in the helicopter. There were, without fail, those who questioned the use of the aircraft, asking about its cost. Our canned response to those folks had a lot of ambiguity, delivered in medicalese, with a dollop of changing the subject. It was obvious when those queries appeared, we said, dismissively, that the inquiree had no personal need of the helicopter, or his (or her) question would not have been posed.

The bottom line of this discussion is, that the helicopter was used only for emergency patient transport, and that determination was always made by someone highly trained and immersed in medical assessment–a physician, EMT, nurse, Paramedic or other professional person. No family member of a patient was authorized to request the helicopter. So, when I lifted from the helipad atop the roof of the hospital, I knew the client who awaited the helicopter was very ill, traumatized, critically injured in some way, or in a life or death situation. I didn’t fly for nosebleeds.

So what’s the point of all this? What lessons are there to learn from all those patient flights? It all centers around a subject near and dear to everyone’s heart just now: Health Insurance.

We all need it. Without health insurance we’re all just one broken leg, a serious burn, medical setback or cancer diagnosis from financial disaster. No reasonable person can dispute this. With no health coverage, we’re at the mercy of the system. Did I fly people who lacked health coverage? Yes, I did. Did they receive care at one of the finest health care institutions in the country? Yes, they did. And hidden in all this prose is the core of the dilemma we face in this country.

Let’s be clear about this. No one lacks health care coverage in America. Not one individual who walks, rides, drives, crawls–or flies into an American emergency room will be turned away. Indeed, in many cases, those lacking insurance coverage who are flown, or drive, or crawl into our towers of medical learning and knowledge, the citadels of health care in America, often receive better medical care than those who hold excellent health care insurance. Again, no one lacks coverage.

What’s this got to do with helicopters? Everything, with a thought to insurance. We’ve reached a point in this society where mission creep has defined health insurance. We buy insurance, and then we expect that policy to take care of virtually all our health care needs–from routine office visits with our physicians, to minor medical crises like bee stings, broken arms, sunburn and measles, to life-threatening events like major falls, heart attacks, cancer treatments, medical crises, you name it, even the flight in the helicopter if need be. We’ve lost sight of what insurance ought to be for, and that is, emergencies. The system we have now is like buying car insurance, and then billing the insuror for our gas and tune ups. It’s equivalent to buying home owner’s insurance, then charging the insuror when the house needs paint.

Plus, no one knows what anything costs. There are no price tags on any ‘product’ available to the medical consumer. I mentioned those who asked about the cost of a flight in the helicopter. As a pilot, I had a vague idea what the cost was, a ballpark figure that was likely well off the mark in many cases, so I used to shun those people. But at least they were asking the question, and those questions aren’t being asked today, so those folks were ahead of the rest of us.

A possible solution would be highly controversial, but would look like this: Everyone would be required to establish a health care resource, an annual pool of funds that the consumer must tap into for all but the most expensive, most critical medical care, like current pre-tax medical set aside programs. Doctor’s office visits would come from this pool; casting a broken leg would be insured. Prescriptions for sunburn medicine come from the pool; burn treatment from a house fire comes from insurance. Removal of a mole or skin lesion, resource pool; treatment for melanoma, insurance. And on and on, decisions made by experts, in consultation with us, the consumers. This system would force people to consider not only whether they need the care or not, but also the actual cost of the care. It would also encourage a patient to shop around for whatever treatment appeared least expensive, resulting in more choices, thus lowering costs of those routine medical interventions.

The model needs to be this: If the person may need a flight in an aircraft, (airplanes do medical flights, too), then their insurance likely will kick in. If they would not be flown under any circumstances, then they may need the coverage of their own pool of resources. In twenty years I never flew a patient with a nosebleed. There were a few patients lacking the need for the helicopter, but very few. Those I flew needed the coverage, even if some didn’t have it. For those lacking coverage, we all paid the bill. I don’t know how much it was, but it wasn’t cheap. And it’s not getting cheaper.

Byron Edgington is a writer, public speaker, and retired commercial helicopter pilot. He is also the author of several books including an aviation memoir, The Sky Behind Me, to be published soon. ER In The Sky, a memoir of twenty years in the cockpit of an air medical helicopter will be available in 2010.

[email protected]

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Ways to Acquire the Right Health Insurance On the Internet

Would you like to purchase health insurance? Are you feeling baffled by a whole lot of advice presented to you? Here are several steps you can take to find the finest health coverage through performing an internet search. To start with, you will need to enter in the search engine of your choosing – such as Yahoo: “your state” and follow the state name with “health insurance.” It will look like this: North Carolina health insurance. After clicking on the search button, a number of results will show up. Scroll through a minimum of the first two pages of the organic search results (the ones in the middle of the computer screen) and read through the list of companies. Take the time to click the hyperlinks and look at everything the organization offers.

The intention is to locate an agent or agency that are experts in health insurance in this particular state only. One way to achieve this will be to read their “about” page. If they do not focus on that state or give detailied information about their brokers or agents, it is quite possibly only a lead generating website which will sell your info to many other agents all around the country. Lead generation is a term used in marketing that pertains to the generation of a listing of possible buyers. Buyers submit the information for health quotes and the next thing you will know you’ve got a dozen calls and emails within minutes from agents around the country trying to provide you some form of health insurance. This may appeal to a few people but for the majority it is rather aggravating to be hounded for days to weeks on end.

Once you identify a state specific agent you should also make sure they offer all the major health insurance carriers. You will probably be able to obtain quotes and review various policies from them online and get your projected premiums instantly. Because you use an agent or agencies website your data won’t be shared with other brokers; thus, your phone won’t be blown up with countless calls. By looking like this it is possible to compare best case scenario premiums, review benefits, and get a health insurance policy you feel may possibly suit your desires while avoiding the hassle of multiple phone calls from numerous salesman.

Now that you’ve got a general understanding of what you will be interested in, you should simply grab the telephone and get in touch with that broker directly if you haven’t yet already spoken with them. This allows you to go over the plans which you were looking over with a professional. The adviser should then determine whether the policies are best for you by asking a number of questions with regards to your goals and health history. Each carrier has different underwriting guidelines and the specialist may be able to evaluate if one insurance company is better for you than another. You should furnish detailed as well as honest information concerning your overall health. Should you hold back relevant health details you’ll probably be provided with an inaccurate quote or incorrect advice which may produce a considerable boost in your costs or your eligibility to sign up.

Using the steps above will insure that you will be obtaining reliable estimates for your coverage and also a comprehensive understanding of exactly how the benefits work. Your chosen adviser will be able to guide you in submitting the application and assist you in signing up for the best health insurance policy that meets your specific needs.

Kent Kingsley is an independent health insurance professional in Charlotte North Carolina and helps people fully grasp all their insurance choices. If you’re searching for individual coverage you should go to this NC health insurance site to educate yourself about your options.

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A Holistic Health Counselor Talks About Trusting Your Gut

Take the advice of the best health coach and get to know your inner self and your surroundings. We all have inner guidance but many of us are not aware when it “talks” to us. Once you learn how to tap into it, you will change your life.

Understanding when your inner self is guiding you, is important because you will be aware each time it happens. To begin, be aware of the first thing that either comes to mind or that you feel. Typically, we tend to talk ourselves out of that first thought or feeling, making excuses why it wouldn’t work. For example, deciding if you want a certain job but you tell yourself it is too hard so you don’t apply to it.

As you stay aware of these thoughts and feelings, you will begin to notice the process. Think about if there is something in your life that keeps popping up; this could be anything in life, just don’t ignore it. You might hear from the greatest holistic health counselor to trust your gut, this is another way of saying trust your instinct. It is said that the gut it like the brain of a cat because it is highly intelligent.

When tapping in to your inner guidance, remember to acknowledge the fear that usually develops. Be aware of the fear so you can organize your thoughts with all the relevant information. When you do this, you will be making the right choice…so you may even say “yes” to that job. Like animals, we have instincts that are telling us things but usually we ignore it, that needs to change for a happy life.

When these feelings are ignored, we find discomfort and fear. It is important when this fear develops to recognize it, dance with it and just be aware of it. It is easier to identify your inner guidance when you understand the fear. Everyone wants to be happy and connect so by trusting your gut you will get exactly that.

Many teachers tell their children not to second guess themselves when taking a test, go with your first answer. What often happens after that first answer pops in our head, the fear begins and we begin to doubt. The trick is to not let that fear take over; the more you pay attention to this, the easier it is to listen. The gut holds so much potential and when it is heard the possibilities are endless.

Listening to their inner self will always lead you in the right direction. Just make sure not to let the fear talk you away from it. Learn what tools you need to make this happen by listening to the finest health coach.

If you want to know more you can check out my webpage… greatest holistic health counselor. Just call to set up an appointment. Finest health coach…We have plenty of room for you on the schedule.

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Speaking Sleep Deprivation: Holistic Health Counselor

There is literally a very long list of reasons that you would actually need to be able to get a full night of sleep and it is very important to learn this from the finest health coach. So many people have the problem of trying to sleep and this is on any given night. Lack of sleep causes many problems with being to lose and keep off any kind of weight.

There are so many that do not know that getting a full eight hours of sleep a night can help you to feel energized so that you can be sure to stay active. Something you may not know is that we are often times able to convince ourselves that we are not able to get a decent night’s sleep. It is known that it is a good idea to get seven or eight hours of sleep a night, regardless of the reasons we make for ourselves. Tell yourself that you deserve to have a good night of sleep and that you can do it because you know that it is very important.

Many people are alike in that they want to keep themselves busy up until the last possible second before having to go to bed. About an hour before you plan on going to bed, we need to start making sure that our bodies are going to become relaxed enough to sleep. This is actually the same advice that you will hear coming from the greatest holistic health counselor on how to stay asleep. Another problem that comes with trying to sleep is the fact that technology has gotten in the way; even with all the advancement, a little thing like bright lights can make a difference in you being able to sleep.

You can also make sure you get plenty of peaceful rest when you cut back on eating or drinking after you have already eaten dinner. Any time you decide to eat food late at night you are adding to the many problems you will have with being able to sleep because the food will only give you more energy and keep you awake. Numerous amounts of people have a problem with late-night snacking and the problem is that it can have a major effect on your ability to be able to get a full night of sleep. When it comes to drinking alcohol, it messes with the very same chemicals in your body that would allow you to sleep the entire night through.

Although you will be getting sleep after you have alcohol to drink, many people do not realize that even though you sleep through the night, you will not wake up feeling as refreshed as you should. Any workouts that you plan on doing should not be done right before going to bed. In the same way that eating food before bed will keep you up, working out right before bed can do the same thing and it is because your body is getting to much energy before it needs to calm down and rest. Because it actually releases the very chemical that you need to be able to fall asleep, you can consider sexual activity as an exclusion to the rule of not working out before you plan on going to bed.

Removing all of these factors from your life will greatly help you in being able to not only fall asleep, but stay asleep as well. Any time you are able to actually good a good amount of rest, you know that you will be able to have plenty of energy, higher metabolism, and also better moods. Getting a very effective sleep schedule is considered to be very important from the best holistic health counselor.

Feel free to make an appointment through my website… health coach Let us help you today! Finest health coach …My website is a great place to stop if you live in the area.

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