One of the most efficient ways to use your daily lunch hour is to get in a quick workout and burn away some calories. But the downside is that you end up sweaty and stinky. Is it possible to get in a good workout and not look like a hot mess when you return to work? The answer is yes!
5 Tips for Looking Good After a Workout
If you get an hour for lunch in the middle of the day, consider yourself lucky. The good news is that it doesn’t take an hour to eat lunch. In fact, it probably only takes you 10 minutes if you pack your own lunch and eat in your office. That leaves plenty of time to get in a nice 30-minute workout, while still leaving time to make yourself presentable.
Here are some helpful tips for doing the latter:
1. Remove Makeup Prior to Working Out
One of the biggest mistakes women make is failing to remove makeup prior to working out. Unfortunately, having too much makeup on top of your skin puts your pores at risk fro becoming clogged when sweat enters the picture.
“When you’re exercising and overheating, you’re opening the pores. So you need to cleanse your skin to minimize anything that can clog the pores and lead to breakouts,” dermatologist Paul Friedman says. Otherwise, the combination of makeup and sweat will lead to breakouts, blackheads, whiteheads, and other unsightly irritation.
2. Use a Flat Iron to Bring Hair Back to Life
You’re probably all-too familiar with the havoc an up-tempo workout can inflict on your hair. The first key is to put your hair up prior to working out. A loose braid wrapped into a bun is a good idea. But when you let the bun out, you’re still going to have some problems.
The best thing you can do is carry a really good flat iron in your gym bag. Something like the TYME Iron is perfect since it lets you straighten or curl your hair in less than 10 minutes.
3. Use Cleansing Wipes
Even if you did a good job of removing all of your makeup prior to working out, you’ll still need to clean up after. While a quick shower is effective, you don’t always have time. In these instances, a nice cleansing wipe will do the trick.
Try something like these rosewater wipes by Shoba. They’re gentle on the skin and can be quickly used on your neck, back, chest, underarms, and bikini area to easily freshen up in minutes.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
As you probably know, water plays a vitally important role in reviving your body after physical exertion. But it isn’t just about refueling energy – it also makes your skin look great. Make it a point to drink one bottle of water during your workout and another before you return to work. This will keep you from looking like a tired, dehydrated mess when you get back.
5. Put on a Fresh Outfit
This final tip is optional, but it does help to put on a fresh outfit after your workout – especially if you have an important meeting in the afternoon. This will help you feel more energized and confident.
Workout And Look Good
There’s a common misconception that you can’t workout in the middle of the day and still look presentable. Yet, that’s far from true. You can exercise on your lunch break and look good upon returning to the office.
The key is to pack your gym bag with the right items and have a plan.
Our skin is the body’s largest organ, and not surprisingly it can be an important barometer of overall health and well-being. When the skin becomes sallow, patchy or dry, it can convey the appearance that we are tired or ill – not a look that anyone wants to project if we can help it!
Luckily, with regular TLC our skin can recover quickly, replacing dry and flakey with radiant and glowing. Here are just a few things that you can do to be kind to your skin – you will love how it rewards you in turn!
Use Prescription-Strength Retinol
Retinol is the real deal, with well-documented and proven results when used regularly. Not only does retinol erase fine lines and wrinkles, it also can help to prevent them by stimulating collagen. You need to build up to the full strength version of this cream, so be sure to start with the mildest concentration. Beware – retinols increase sensitivity to the sun, do don’t forget the sunblock! And don’t forget to tell your skin-care provider that you are using retinol as it may make your skin more sensitive to certain ingredients.
Get Regular Facials
A professional facial can make a huge difference to the appearance and texture of your skin. Regular exfoliation of your skin will help to keep it glowing and hydrated, especially if you are using retinol which can be very drying. While there are some great at-home products, you can be sure that the pros will have the latest must-have products and techniques. Make a standing appointment at your favorite spa – if you are New York, be sure to check out Silver Mirror – and be especially sure to pay them a visit at the end of the cool, dry winter months.
An ounce of prevention is the best strategy when it comes to ensuring that your skin stays clear and even. If you have not yet made sunscreen your most important go-to product, now is the time to integrate it into your daily routine. Every day. Protecting the delicate skin on your face from the sun’s harmful rays is vital if you want to keep your skin soft and clear as you age. Sunspots (as distinct from freckles) often don’t appear until years or decades after sun damage, and can be very difficult to treat or fade, even with lasers. Wrinkles are well-known to be increased as a result of exposure to sun, as can a thicker, more leathery appearance. Don’t forget the décolletage – if you have any doubts about the cumulative impact that sun exposure has on the delicate skin of the throat and neck, just look at the décolletage of an older woman who has not made sun screen a part of her regime.
Reduce (or quit!) Alcohol and Smoking
Two well-known culprits causing your skin to seem grey and patchy are alcohol and smoking. Both of them reduce the amount of blood circulation that to your skin, which in turn reduces the delivery of oxygen, vitamins and other natural skin boosters. Booze also dries out your skin which makes it look saggy and drawn.
These are just some of the things that you can do to ensure that you have a radiant, healthy-looking complexion.
The term "special needs" applies to a broad spectrum of conditions. Any person who requires additional assistance in their daily interactions or to accomplish routine tasks has special needs.
This could be a child with autism who has difficulty interacting with people or adapting to new locations. It could also be an elderly relative with diminished cognitive functioning or decreased mobility. Regardless of the special needs of the person one is caring for, the primary concern remains the same; to give your loved one what they need to successfully navigate and enjoy their life.
Mobility can be a challenge for individuals with special needs. Those with physical disabilities may have more difficulty with maneuverability and access while those with cognitive conditions will likely have more trouble navigating social interactions.
Many adults find themselves in the position of needing to care for their parents as their physical health declines. As mobility declines due to arthritis or hip problems they may believe it is necessary for their parent to move in with them or into a retirement community, especially if the parent lives in a multi-story home. However, home elevators have advanced to the point that they are now easier to install and less expensive than ever before. This may make it possible for people to remain in their preferred home longer with a greater level of mobility and independence.
Going out of the home may require a different set of skills and resources for those who have limited physical mobility. Investing in a device that can provide assistance is an excellent way to increase personal independence. This may include a motorized scooter, walker, or an electronic wheelchair. The level of assistance each individual needs to facilitate a greater level or physical security and a willingness to explore the world will vary based on their particular circumstances. However, if they are physically able to venture out it is worth it to find ways to actively encourage them to do so.
A sensory processing disorder is one of the issues that is a common crossover across a variety of physical and cognitive conditions. There are numerous misconceptions about sensory processing such as it only occurs in children with autism, those suffering with a sensory processing disorder only have issues with over-stimulation, and that there is one strategy that will help all those who have difficulty with sensory processing.
The truth is, children and adults with sensory processing disorders experience a wide range of symptoms. Some need additional sensory input to feel safe and calm while others need to have excess input blocked. For those who need more input, this may mean ensuring they have weighted vests on when they are around a lot of people. For those who need less sensory input, this may mean wearing noise cancelling headphones when going to crowded locations.
There are many creative ways to deal with any issues that may arise but it is important to be aware that it often takes many different attempts before the right combinations are found.
There are many practical challenges associated with caring for an individual with special needs. There are no courses one can take that will provide a detailed blueprint of everything an individual will need because no two cases are exactly alike. It takes patience, dedication, and persistence to identify what the person’s needs are and then a willingness to be creative and experiment in finding solutions to provide them with what they need.
Depression is much more common than we think. It is a mood disorder that is debilitating and that affects millions around the world. Statistics show that 13% of US citizens now take antidepressants. This is something that should not be neglected because depression can easily lead to suicide. You want to be able to identify the signs of depression at all times. If you do not do this, you or someone that you love may be faced with serious problems.
Unfortunately, so many think that this condition does not exist. This is a dangerous belief. Take a look at all the signs that we highlight below in order to see if you or someone else may suffer from depression. If this is suspected, try to get help as fast as possible. The sooner help is gained, the higher the possibility that recover will be complete! Even going to a chiropractor for a relaxing treatment can do wonders for you.
Common Symptoms And Signs
The big problem is that depression will vary from one individual to the next. However, we do have some really common symptoms and signs that tend to appear more often than others. You want to remember that some of these can be associated with low life moments. However, if they continue for a long time or they are strong, depression may be the case. The really common symptoms and signs you need to remember are the following:
· Feeling hopelessness and helplessness – Having this bleak outlook can have a snowball effect in the sense that it leads to the condition becoming worse and worse.
· Daily activity interest loss – The affected person does not really care much about past pastimes or hobbies. The ability to feel pleasure and joy is basically lost.
· Weight changes or appetite changes – Any significant weight gain or weight loss can be caused by psychological reasons.
· Irritability or anger – A depressed person often feels restless, violent or agitated. Tolerance to these feelings will be quite low.
· Energy losses – When you feel sluggish, physically drained without doing much or fatigued, it is possible to be depressed. The entire body basically ends up affected by the depression and energy levels will be pretty low.
· Reckless behavior – When suffering from depression you will not feel much about you and your well-being.
· Problems concentrating – Depressed people often have troubles in making decisions, remembering things or simply focusing.
· Pains and aches that are unexplained – Physical complaints increases like backaches and headaches without any medical reason can be signs of depression.
It is very important that you go to a doctor as soon as depression is suspected. The idea is that there are some conditions that will lead to the symptoms and signs that we highlighted above. It is important that a clear diagnosis is put before treatment starts. A failure to do this can make everything worse for the individual as the medical condition would become worse.
On the whole, working with professionals and seeking help is the most important thing with depression. Always focus on this so that the best decision can be made.
Depression is hard to deal with. It can appear after divorces and basically any moment in life. That is why the article about the signs and symptoms was written. Always consult specialists when this is suspected.
With another exciting baseball season about to get underway, some of your favourite baseball players are calling for families to go outside and play a few games themselves -- and for good reason.
Over the years, fighting obesity has become particularly important in the United States and Canada, where obesity is now the leading cause of preventable death. Over the last two decades, the number of people who are overweight has skyrocketed in the two countries.
In America, it is estimated that as much as 35 percent of adults are obese, prompting many health officials and advocates to declare an epidemic. These numbers are similar in Canada where 14,222,521 of the 35 million Canadians identified themselves as overweight or obese in 2014.
Combatting obesity is especially important because it can lead to a range of health-related problems, including stress, elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and strain on the heart and internal organs.
While meal portion size and abundance has been one contributing factor in Americans gaining weight, a report last year from Toronto indicates the Canadian Food Guide, a resource given out in schools and frequently referred to by dieticians, may have actually contributed to the mass amount of Canadians gaining weight.
Canadians have, on the whole, followed their food guidelines,” said Nina Teicholz, a science journalist. “Everything that’s supposed to be up is up and everything that’s supposed to be down is down. The evidence shows the public has complied and has got fatter and sicker.”
By refocusing our attention from what we eat to how we move, we can begin to actively fight for a reduction in obesity numbers and untimely deaths.
Due to its universal appeal on both sides of the Canadian-U.S. border, baseball is being touted as one of the sports that can help reduce obesity levels and lead to a healthier, more active society.
As part of her Lets Move initiative, former First Lady Michelle Obama also called on baseball organizations and players to help get the word out about the positive impact the sport can have on people’s health. The national public service campaign, which consisted of 30 radio and 30 television commercials, featured each MLB team and was a united effort.
The campaign, which has been hailed a national success for its broad reach and inclusivity, has helped to encourage Americans to think about their health, and according to Rick Burton, professor of sport management at Syracuse University, the campaign was ingenious because of its simplicity.
“What’s encouraging is that the message was coming from the first lady, who happens to be a mother, and who’s supporting an issue that is similar to seat belts in the ’60s and smoking in the ’80s,” he said.
Piggybacking on this concept, Canada has created a 150 Playlist to celebrate the country’s sesquicentennial. Instead of 150 songs, the ParticipAction playlist calls on Canadians to do 150 activities to keep healthy and in shape. Fittingly, for the country that claims to have invented baseball in 1838, the list feature three baseball related activities, number 38 (softball), 77 (baseball), and 133 (Kickball).
The emphasis around baseball as part of a healthy lifestyle is welcome news to Tim Kendall, a Canadian baseball scout and coach. Kendall, who spent many years as a professional wrestler, has always lived an active lifestyle and believes adults need to find the time to make their health and well-being a priority.
“I think a lot of people have replaced outdoor time and activity with smartphones and binge watching TV, making them less active than ever,” said Tim Kendall, baseball scout. “Joining an adult sports league is great because you get the physical activity you need and you meet people with the same interests as you.”
Tim Kendall recommends signing up for activities that you like - that way, even after a long day at work, you are more likely to go to practice or a game because you enjoy it.
Governments also have a role to play to help residents get their weight in check and improve their health. EatRight Ontario, a provincial program established to provide health tips and links to residents, offers some advice to get all family members motivated and living their best life.
1. Limit the amount of time spent watching TV and interacting with digital devices
2. Organize group outings, such as hiking, biking, swimming, skiing or a game of baseball
3. Try new activities
4. Adopt healthy eating habits and eat an array of colorful, healthy foods
Combatting obesity in the coming decades will be increasingly important as populations in both Canada and U.S. rapidly age. As the baby boomers age and health problems put a strain on healthcare systems, both countries will be unable to balance the needs of the elderly population and the widespread health issues of obese citizens.
We all want a great body when we hit the beach in summer time. Yet, many of us leave it too late to do much about it, and end up relying on unhealthy crash diets and extreme exercise plans. A better way to do it is to make small changes to your lifestyle now and keep them up. There are some easy, healthy ways to make sure your body stays in top condition all year around. Here’s a look at the best.
Your body is made up of huge amounts of water, so to keep everything functioning at its best, you need to drink plenty. Drinking water will not only help your internal organs, it will also keep your skin looking bright and youthful, your hair and nails strong, and help you to lose weight. Try to sip water throughout the day and drink a glass with meals to help you feel full faster.
Any kind of movement is exercise. Walk to work instead of driving, or at least park further away. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for a walk around the block at lunch time. Go to the bathroom furthest away. Do some stretches each time you stand up. There are so many small ways to easily add extra activity to your day.
Try to do a 30-minute cardio workout, three times a week. Running is a great option if you are busy, as you can just run out of your door for 15 minutes, turn around and run back. Swimming is especially good if you suffer from injuries or disabilities, as the water helps you to get a great full body workout, without putting too much pressure on your joints. If this sounds like too much effort, start with 30-minute brisk walks, and build up from there.
If you want a toned body, cardio isn’t enough. You’ll also need a weights session every week. If you don’t like the idea of weight lifting at the gym, try an online Pilate’s video. Pilates uses your own body as resistance, so is a great weights workout, without needing equipment.
Often, we don’t need to diet. We just need to cut our portion sizes. If you weigh out your food and eat the recommended amount, you might be surprised to find that you are eating far too much. Some tricks to make eating smaller portions easier include eating off a smaller plate, making sure the main portion of your meal is vegetables, and using a smaller spoon or fork, so that you eat smaller mouthfuls, and it lasts longer.
The easiest way to make sure you look amazing is to smile. Smiling makes you look younger and more carefree. It also works the muscles in your face. If you are self-conscious about your teeth and this stops you from smiling, visit an orthodontist Reston VA.
Make these things part of your day to day life. Soon you won’t even know you’re doing it. Changes like these don’t just give you the perfect summer body; they could also lead to a longer, happier life, with fewer illnesses and injuries. So, make sure you get started today.
Thousands of people want to have a home gym but there are two common problems that seem to always appear: room and money. The good news is that you do not have to spend a fortune and there is surely a place in your home that can be turned into your very own workout sanctuary. If you really want a great home gym you have to focus on the essentials. Sure, if you have some extra funds you can improve the aesthetics with blinds like from Exceptional Views or really classy equipment but the basics always refer to the following.
Find A Dedicated Home Space
You need to find a place in your home where the gym will be. Common options include a spare bedroom, a patio, a back porch or an office. Based on what type of workout you want to do, the main consideration is to have the space you need.
Make The Space Airy And Light
You want to boost fitness energy levels as you work out so make sure that you focus on creating an ideal space for fitness. This means you should get as much natural lighting as possible and remove absolutely all clutter. In many cases you cannot add windows but adding extra light sources is almost always a good idea. You can also consider adding some plants. In the event the area is too dark, use soft white bulbs. All this will help you to get a suitable space that promotes working out.
If the space is small or you simply can do this, make sure you consider adding some mirrors. They are great for watching your posture when there is no instructor present and they will increase the light in the room.
Buying What You Need For The Gym
After the space is arranged you will need to get the equipment you will need to actually work out. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily need bulky machines or simply a lot of equipment. Everyone should be aware of the fact that it is possible to buy so much home workout equipment at a really low price. One example is the foam roller. It is versatile and works great when working on core strengthening. Think about buying jump ropes and when you do not have a large budget, improvise the weights that you use.
Do not buy everything when you initially build your gym. As time passes more equipment can be purchased. The trick is to be sure the gym is always organized and includes at least the essentials when you initially “launch” it.
The Last Thing To Remember
Now you do know what counts the most in order to create a great home gym while on a budget but what is even more important is to use it. Do what is needed for this. If you need a partner, look for one. When you need more equipment, buy it. Be sure you always fit training into your weekly schedule or the home gym would be useless for you.
As per recent reports, insomnia is a common health issue among third of Americans as they almost regularly face problems regarding sleeping. Almost half of those may experience sleeplessness at least once or twice a week, which is really bad enough. But for the other half, it is more regular and also an extremely serious problem. Since sleep is extremely important to retain a good mental and physical health, you need to know about why sleep plays a vital role in helping you stay lively and healthy. Read on to know how sleep helps you get back your peace of mind.
Negative effects you may face when you don’t get enough sleep
There could be various health problems when you’re suffering from insomnia. Let’s check out few good reasons to switch off your television and get back to your bed earlier.
#1: Lack of sleep negatively impacts your mind
Just one night of inadequate sleep can drastically affect your attention span, alertness, concentration level and problem solving abilities the very next day. When people don’t get enough sleep day after day, especially when they’re young, they are negatively affected and the effect can be over intelligence levels and overall mental development.
#2: Diabetes and heart disease
People who are suffering from insomnia usually have a higher risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease and heart attack. As per a recent study by the European Heart Journal, it was found out that people who experienced trouble during falling asleep or staying asleep or waking up not feeling good in the morning are 3 times more likely to develop all sorts of heart failure over a period of 11 years. Hence, make sure you invest your best mattresses for side or back sleepers and leave no stone unturned in assuring that you get a good night’s sleep.
#3: Increased risk of accidents
Research also shows that problems regarding sleeping leads to increased injuries while on the job and also increases the chance of traffic accidents too. So, when you know you haven’t got enough time to rest, make sure you don’t drive to work the next day as that way you will just risk yourself. Being tired and yet sitting on the driving wheel can be as scary as being drunk and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigue among drivers is one of the biggest factors in more than 100,000 car crashes and also accounts for 1500 road deaths in a year.
#4: Inadequate sleep can make you fat
If you regularly sleep less than 6 hours in a night, it can cause more hunger and increased appetite and it will make you crave for high carbohydrate foods which promote excessive secretion of insulin and body fat storage. Those who sleep less than 6 hours in a day are 30% more likely to become obese rather than those who slept between 7 and 9 hours.
Therefore, if you’ve been sleeping less for the last few days, get in touch with a doctor immediately before you start facing all the above negative effects.
Explaining complex information in a relatable manner to readers can often be a challenge for those working in digital health. But there are huge benefits to being able to do so well.
Health content has never been more available. Readers can access any number of complex and intricate articles, studies and statistics relating to nutrition, exercise and medicine online; but the more complex and intricate this content is, the less inclined the reader will be to process the information presented.
Harnessing the power of infographics then is a necessity. While following SEO principles and conveying your idea using simple-to-understand text might do the trick in capturing readers who are already looking for your content, to grab the casual viewer’s attention, you’ll need to be able to present your data in a neat, consumable visual package.
When assembling visual health data, factual accuracy and the use of reliable sources are obviously key in collating the info you need; that's the first stage. The second stage, where you and your team transform this info into an engaging visual campaign fit for public consumption will require creative inspiration, and an understanding of your intended audience.
The keys discussed below then do not constitute the entire array of tools you’ll need to ensure your visual piece is both engaging and informative. However, they should help to frame your thinking and set you on the right path to creating something memorable:
1. Use a recognisable visual as your basis
Perhaps the most effective way to ensure that your audience will relate to your concept is to take something they see or use everyday, and then adapt, mimic or recreate it to deliver your message.
These public transport calorie maps developed by Treated.com serve as a deft example. The producers of these campaigns have worked out how many calories the average person can expect to burn walking between stops on the London Underground and Manchester Metrolink systems, and added this data to the network maps, with the aim of demonstrating how effective walking can be as an exercise tool.
By applying a novel twist on materials the viewer sees everyday, campaigns such as these immediately pique interest. The intended reader instantly recognises the design, and their own participation in it (in this case, the number of calories they burn on a journey to work).
2. Make it current
Timing can also determine how well a recipient responds to your visual piece, and there are two ways you can use it to your advantage.
Utilising a subject which is very relevant to the present increases the likelihood that your reader will already have a stake in the topic at hand; and be more predisposed to viewing the information you intend to present. For instance, if the subject you are discussing is currently making news headlines, the visual you are presenting has the advantage of being a means of further reading.
On the other hand, if your reader is not up to speed on the topic you are discussing, you can use your design to convey why the subject is relevant right now, and why they should find out more. This Mental Health Month poster by Beacon Health Options is an example.
Readers, social media shares, links and website features are always more forthcoming to those whose material is situated firmly in the present. The poster by Beacon uses the timeliness of this awareness campaign as the basis to introduce some important statistics on its subject matter.
3. Substantiate your message with statistics
Readers can quickly ascertain stories told through numbers, so statistics are a powerful tool. The more you can simplify these, the better: in the majority of cases, percentages and fractions make for easier and more consumable reading than plain numbers. Equating numbers into costs too, as demonstrated by this design on American workplace wellness, can help to translate an issue into relatable (and often, more attention-grabbing) terms.
Where numbers are the basis of the message your design is conveying, it’s crucial to make them the star of the show; giving numbers prominence in your visuals and using text and design features as supporting elements will make your overall message easier to digest.
4. Incorporate achievable aims and benefits
When your audience already knows about a particular health issue, or is distantly aware of how it could affect them personally, they will be more receptive to informative content which tells them how they can prevent it.
Using your design to break these principles down into practicable measures then, is an effective way of getting your message across and increasing engagement. Clearly illustrating the benefits of positive lifestyle changes too is crucial, as it allows the reader to see what they can achieve by incorporating them into their routine.
This infographic on student health presents a series of simple means in relatable terms, in which readers can improve health, and in turn improve grades. Each of the 12 very achievable measures are illustrated in a clear, attainable, easy to understand manner (with, in this case, no medical terminology in sight).
Simply put, the more readers can see how a certain action will benefit them and their health, the more likely they are to take on the intended message.
5. Use the power of metaphors
Accessibility is perhaps the most crucial element of infographic creation. In the health industry, this can be tricky. Complicated technical terms often abound, and over-simplifying these can be problematic and risk misinterpretation.
Using relatable metaphors then can help to create better understanding, and make health information easier for a reader to process and retain.
The Know Your Lemons campaign by Worldwide Breast Cancer is perhaps the best example of this practice in recent memory.
When we read about the symptoms of a particular condition, we often face a binary choice of either trying (but ultimately failing) to imagine what these might realistically look like, or turning to Google Images and perhaps getting more unfiltered candidness than we were expecting.
The Know Your Lemons campaign strikes a useful balance right between the two. It utilises subtle metaphor to inform and substantiate its subject matter in a clear, accessible way.
When you visit a doctor, everything they do and all of your medical conditions are coded in a particular way, for billing purposes and for your records. For a variety of reasons, however, sometimes the codes that end up in your records and your treatment don’t always line up correctly. It could be a mistake, your doctor could be using an off-label treatment, or it could even be fraud.
But beyond not matching up with you as the patient, what happens when your medical records are incorrectly coded? There are several possible outcomes, and most spell trouble for someone.
What’s In The Details
Sometimes when medical coders enter information into patient charts, they fail to enter all of the necessary details. This can happen either because the doctors’ notes are insufficient or because of inattention or laziness on the part of the coder. However, if important details are left out of the record, such as the severity of a particular condition, it can result in improper care going forward.
Improper or insufficient medical coding can also prevent doctors from catching other medical mistakes, such as an initial misdiagnosis. For example, a patient experiencing a panic attack might have chest pain, which could be misinterpreted as a potential heart problem by a doctor who fails to fill in all the details. If all the appropriate information were coded for the patient however, the doctor would be able to review that information and reassess the diagnosis.
Another reason that improper coding can cause issues in our larger medical system is because it can interfere with proper payment. In the case of Medicare, doctors are paid based on case outcomes and if a case is incorrectly coded, they may not be appropriately compensated. Unfortunately, since doctors don’t typically do their own coding, they may not initially recognize the error.
Payment problems linked to coding may even be fueling fraud in some cases, as doctors try to increase their income. UnitedHealth was recently charged with overbilling Medicare over several years, contributing to rapidly increasing healthcare costs – and they’re not alone. TeamHealth, a major hospital staff provider, recently settled for $60 million with the Department of Justice regarding their overbilling of Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal agencies.
Finally, improper medical coding can result in long term coverage problems for the patients affected. This can manifest in two primary ways:
First, if a doctor prescribes that a medication or piece of equipment be covered by your insurance, but that prescription doesn’t correspond with your recorded diagnosis, your insurance may not approve it and you’ll have to pay out of pocket. This is beyond the financial means of many patients and can delay or prevent appropriate care.
In other circumstances, improper coding can have an impact on a patient’s ability to get coverage for the rest of their lives. For those with certain conditions, health insurance is more expensive, as they have predictable, high medical costs. In the past, it even excluded people from getting coverage altogether. If your medical records indicate that you have more severe health issues than you in fact have, you may find yourself pursuing coverage, unaware of why your path is blocked.
Medical coding plays an important role at every stage of the treatment process, yet patients are rarely, if ever, aware of the information in their records, and most wouldn’t know how to read that information anyway. It’s vital that we put pressure on medical professionals to prioritize coding and institute checks on the coding process to make sure all details are included and accurate.