Exam Code: ACNP Practice exam 2023 by Killexams.com team
ACNP AG - Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

The Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) Post-Professional Certificate is designed for graduate prepared Nurse Practitioners (NP) or Clinical Nurse certified (CNS) who are seeking to expand their roles via nurse practitioner certification in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care. The curriculum prepares nurse practitioners to function as generalist, principal providers of care for adults and older adults with acute, critical and complex chronic health problems across the continuum of acute care services.

AG-ACNP students may choose a clinical emphasis in cardiopulmonary, critical care, oncology, trauma emergency preparedness or directed study. The directed study allows students to design clinical experiences around a particular area of interest (i.e. internal medicine, general surgery). The curriculum consists of NP and AG-ACNP specialty courses and clinical practice hours.

Graduates of the AG-ACNP Post-Professional Certificate are eligible to sit for the national certification examination in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center or American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Successful passing of the national certification examination entitles the graduate to apply for certification as a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care by the State Board of Nurse Examiners of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Course work may be completed in 3 terms
540 clinical hours
Online or onsite
Students are required to attend 2 onsite laboratory intensives - 2 days in the Summer term and 1 day in the Fall term. Each student will be responsible for the room and board cost during the lab intensives.
Online students will need to arrange for clinical placements and appropriate physician or nurse practitioner preceptors. An Affiliation Agreement between the University and the clinical site is required before clinical hours can begin.

Graduates of the AG-ACNP Post-Professional Certificate are prepared to accomplish the following:

Assume responsibility for promoting, maintaining and restoring health to acutely/critically or complex chronically ill adults and older adults
Identify health risks, promote wellness, and diagnosis and manage acute and chronic illness
Participate in multi-disciplinary research and provide leadership in mobilizing health services

AG - Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Medical Practitioner download
Killexams : Medical Practitioner obtain - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/ACNP Search results Killexams : Medical Practitioner obtain - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/ACNP https://killexams.com/exam_list/Medical Killexams : CVS Is Offering Free Heart Health Screenings This February—Here’s How to Get Yours
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.
  • Elevated cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose, or obesity could mean that a person is at a higher risk for heart disease.
  • The free heart health screenings from CVS are meant to support CVS’s collaboration with the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative.

Stocksy/Sean Locke

In honor of American Heart Month, CVS is offering free heart health screenings at MinuteClinics throughout February, while supplies last.

The free tests—which can be redeemed via online vouchers—are in support of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S., causing approximately one in five deaths.

“We partner closely with our patients to help monitor their risk factors and use the results of these screenings and monitoring sessions to make recommendations,” Angela Patterson, DNP, chief nurse practitioner officer of retail health and vice president at CVS Health, told Health in a statement.

With the information gathered from a heart health screening, individuals and their doctors can make decisions about adopting different lifestyle choices or taking medications to reduce their risk of heart disease. 

Heart health screenings usually consist of a few tests that look for risk factors that can lead to coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common type of heart disease. The condition can cause chest pain, heart attacks, or other symptoms that are signs that the blood can’t move efficiently around the body.

The CVS test will screen for the most common risk factors, Patterson explained—high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood glucose, and body mass index (BMI). These four factors each play a different role in an individual’s heart health.

BMI is considered a biased and outdated metric that uses your weight and height to make assumptions about body fat, and by extension, your health. This metric has been deemed flawed in many ways and does not factor in your body composition, ethnicity, sex, race, and age. Despite its flaws, the medical community still uses BMI because it’s an inexpensive and quick way to analyze health data.

Cholesterol can build up as plaque in the arteries, causing blockages that make it difficult for blood to get to the heart and other organs—and a person is more susceptible to that plaque buildup if they have high blood pressure. Blood vessels can also become more narrow if a person has high blood glucose. And a person may be more likely to have these three conditions if they have obesity. 

Elevated numbers in any one of these areas could mean that a person is at a higher risk for CAD, and possible heart failure. 

Beyond the four metrics included in the CVS screening, smoking, unhealthy eating, and a family history of CAD—especially in people younger than 50—may also heighten a person’s risk of developing heart disease.

“The tests are administered by licensed health care professionals at more than 1,100 MinuteClinic locations in 36 states and Washington, D.C.,” Patterson explained. “For cholesterol and blood glucose screenings, providers use a simple finger prick to collect a blood sample which is then measured using on-site testing equipment. Results take about 5-10 minutes.” 

Blood pressure is typically measured using an arm cuff, and BMI is calculated based on a person’s height and weight.

Because the tests simply check if a person has any notable risk factors for heart disease, there’s no downside to getting it done.

“It won’t tell somebody that they are perfectly healthy,” Lauren Barron, MD, a cardiac surgeon with Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine, told Health. “But if one of those numbers is off, it is a very, very good indicator that you should go to your doctor and ask specifically, in particular women, ‘Can we talk about my heart?’.”

It’s recommended that people fast for eight to 12 hours before the screening, but beyond that, there’s very little prep needed for the CVS heart health screening. Anyone over the age of 18 can go online and obtain the voucher, which can then be printed or shown on a mobile phone at any MinuteClinic location while supplies last.

The free heart health screenings are meant to support CVS’s collaboration with the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative, which hopes to specifically raise more awareness of women’s heart health, even though the vouchers are available to anyone.

Women face unique risk factors for heart disease, Patterson explained, including pregnancy and menopause. Additionally, symptoms of a heart attack often look different in women. While both sexes might experience chest pain, shortness of breath, and jaw or shoulder pain, women oftentimes feel nauseous or tired. 

“When they go into the ER, because women present with multiple symptoms, not just crushing chest pain, they sort of get triaged to anxiety or other things that aren’t as serious,” Dr. Barron said

Beyond addressing discrepancies in women’s heart health, the free screenings might also help address some other disparities in heart health. Heart disease is much more common among people living in rural areas for groups besides white men. And Black Americans are more likely to die from heart disease than white Americans.

After receiving updated personal data from a heart health screening, individuals who have high cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure, or obesity can be referred elsewhere for further testing. The MinuteClinic provider can also look into prescribing some medications, or advise people on lifestyle changes such as plans to quit smoking or Boost their diets, Patterson notes.

People under 40 with a family history of any of these risk factors should get screened at least once, and those over 40 should check in with their doctors about how frequently they should get a checkup for their heart health, Dr. Barron added, it may be as frequent as yearly.

Getting a free screening at CVS could jumpstart that process and help individuals make a clear plan with their doctors.

“When you come [in] with something that’s objective data, like a blood pressure or a cholesterol or a blood glucose [test], that is hard evidence that can be passed even without words,” Dr. Barron said. “That helps you show up with a ticket in your hand for what needs to be addressed.”

Sat, 11 Feb 2023 03:23:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.health.com/cvs-free-heart-health-screenings-february-7108035
Killexams : Florida high school sports officials reconsider menstrual questions

Facing blowback, the director of Florida’s high school sports governing body is backing away from using an eligibility form that requires female athletes to disclose their menstrual history in order to compete.

Instead, the executive director of the Florida High School Athletic Association is recommending that most personal information revealed on medical history forms stay at the doctor’s office and not be stored at school.

The association’s board has an emergency meeting Thursday to vote on whether to adopt the four-page form — which would remove questions that force student-athletes to share details about their menstruation cycles in order to be participate in sports.

Under the new recommendation, answers to additional questions about mental health, alcohol and drug use, and family health history would stay in the offices of the health care practitioner who conducted the medical screening.

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An earlier version of the form, which had mandatory questions about students’ menstrual histories, had been recommended by an advisory committee of the association. It “created concerns and questions from parents, school district administrators, school board members and coaches regarding the health privacy of student-athletes,” according to the agenda for Thursday’s meeting.

“Therefore, this recommendation provides pertinent medical history to the qualified health care practitioner and gives schools the medical authorization necessary for allowing athletic participation, while the protecting the privacy of the student-athlete,” the agenda item said.

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Thursday’s meeting was being held after a group of Democratic state lawmakers sent a letter this week to John Gerdes, the association’s president, calling the reporting requirements in the earlier proposed form “highly invasive.” The letter said, “no girl should be forced to disclose her bodily functions to someone who is not her mother, father, caretaker, or physician.”

The state lawmakers said they were concerned that, if the schools had the information, a coach or athletic director would be able to get access to it. With the current form, such questions are optional, not mandatory; in the revised form under consideration, they would be scrapped.

“There is absolutely no reason for FHSAA to collect such private information and no reason why the schools need it,” the lawmakers said in the letter.

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Wed, 08 Feb 2023 06:53:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://news.yahoo.com/florida-high-school-sports-officials-205350672.html
Killexams : Healing power of soup: Hundreds fill up on 'Our Kids' benefit for child sexual abuse survivors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The local organization that provides free medical evaluations and crisis counseling to victims of child sexual abuse held its annual fundraiser on Sunday.

"Soup Sunday" is the annual event that benefits Our Kids.

"When the child gets to us, the abuse stops, and we can help the child and family move forward and find the path forward," said Sue Fort White, executive director of Our Kids.

Our Kids has five offices in Middle Tennessee as well as an after-hours clinic at Nashville General Hospital. The organization always has a nurse practitioner and social worker on call 24/7 ready to respond.

"Sadly, it happens in every community and every zip code. So, silence and secrecy are the vehicles of abuse, betrayal and exploitation, and Soup Sunday is a beautiful way — a joyful way — to help people [and explain] this is who you call. You call Our Kids," Sue Fort White said.

Around 1,200 people attended the fundraiser at Nissan Stadium. They got to try soups from 28 restaurants around Nashville.

A participant who doubles as the owner of Pinchy's Lobster Co. said chefs love a good cause and competition.

"It's a wonderful thing to see us put everything we have into a little tiny cup, and hopefully we come out a winner," said BJ Lofback.

Chefs competed for three awards: People’s Choice, Judges’ Choice, and Best Classic or Twist on a Classic.

In 2022, Our Kids provided free assistance to 714 victims. Half of the victims who received assistance were seven years old or younger.

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Sun, 19 Feb 2023 07:26:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.newschannel5.com/news/healing-power-of-soup-hundreds-fill-up-on-our-kids-benefit-for-child-sexual-abuse-survivors
Killexams : Why Is Sleep Important? Top 6 Reasons Why You Need Quality Sleep © Provided by A Dime Saved

Getting enough quality sleep each night is just as essential as a healthy diet and regular exercise. As a nurse practitioner with over two decades of experience, I've seen firsthand the widespread health effects poor sleep can have.

Why Is Sleep Important?

In our modern-day world, where work can find us at all hours, where we hold computers in our hands and have access to 24-hour streaming, it is easy to get distracted and put off those much-needed ZZZs each night.


Although your metabolism, breathing, and heart rate may slow, your body and brain are still very active while you sleep. Sleep is when our body works to repair and restore tissue, muscle, organs, and other cells. Sleep is a critical time when our body regulates numerous hormones.


While sleeping, our brain works diligently to convert short-term memories to long-term storage, and your brain's waste removal system, known as the glymphatic system, removes toxic by-products from your brain.


How Much Sleep Do We Need?


According to the CDC, that number depends on your age. However, most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep per night. We know that consistently getting less than seven hours of sleep per night can have widespread health risks. For example, it is regularly reported that chronic sleep deficiency increases one's risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, increased infections, cancer, and mood disorders such as anxiety or depression.


The 6 Health Effects of Poor Sleep


1. Weight Gain.

When we get insufficient sleep, our appetite-regulating hormones are disrupted. Ghrelin, our hunger hormone, goes up, and leptin, our satiety hormone, goes down. This imbalance leads to feeling hungrier and less satisfied. This can contribute to food cravings, increased calorie consumption, and weight gain.

2. Insulin Resistance.

Even one night of poor sleep has been shown to increase insulin resistance the following day. As a result, our bodies produce less insulin, and our cells are less receptive to insulin, leaving us with increased blood glucose (sugar) levels. Over time, this puts one at an increased risk of developing diabetes.

3. Cardiovascular Disease.

Poor sleep increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It can also contribute to higher levels of inflammation, cholesterol, and triglycerides. All of which can contribute to cardiovascular disease.

4. Weakened Immunity.

Lack of sleep may lead to a decrease in protective proteins called cytokines. In addition, our infection-fighting antibodies and cells are often reduced during periods when we don't get enough sleep. This weakens our immune system and makes us more prone to not only getting sick more often but also increasing and perhaps having a more difficult recovery time.

5. Difficulty Learning.

Poor sleep strains our brains and decreases our ability to focus, learn, and retain new material. This disruption interferes with our ability to learn and process new material. Sleep is essential to keep our brains healthy, especially as we age.

6. Mood Disorders.

When we are short on sleep, our bodies often react by making us more emotional, short-tempered, and moody. Over time, irregular sleep habits or lack of quality sleep can contribute to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.


It's well-established that sleep is a significant factor in overall health and longevity. Sleep impacts every system within our body. When our circadian rhythm, the body's sleep/wake cycle, is disrupted by decreased or fragmented sleep, it can cause dysfunction in our gene expression, cellular repair, and repair of damaged DNA. When this happens, it puts us at an increased risk of developing immune-system issues, disease, and other often-times preventable health issues.

10 Best Money-Saving Tips People Learned By Being Frugal - A Dime Saved


What can we do to get a better night's sleep? There are ways to Boost our sleep habits and, in effect, our overall health and well-being.


9 Best Strategies for a Better Night's Sleep

1. Routine.

Having the same sleep/wake time each day is the most critical factor for sleeping well.

2. Morning Light.

Getting natural light within the first half hour of waking up helps to regulate our cortisol and melatonin hormones, which keep our body's circadian rhythms in sync.

3. Get Moving.

Regular, daily exercise helps your body relax and therefore sleep better at night. Pick up your pace and aim for 10,000 steps per day!

4. Curb the Caffeine.

Everyone metabolizes caffeine differently, but caffeine's half-life is generally around five hours. Therefore, half of the caffeine in an 8-ounce cup of coffee will still be in your system five hours later. So, think about that afternoon Cup of Joe, because it could affect your sleep later on.

5. Eat Early.

Our digestion starts to slow down in the evening. The later we eat, the more difficult it may be to digest our meal which can lead to indigestion and reflux. Try to finish your meal at least three hours before you plan to go to bed.

6. Go Easy With Alcohol.

Even two drinks can contribute to fragmented sleep, leaving you tired and mentally sluggish the next day. Alcohol can disrupt melatonin production, which affects your circadian rhythms.

7. Wind It Down.

We are great at creating regular nighttime routines for kids. Yet why can't we seem to create successful nighttime routines for ourselves? As adults, we forget how important they are for us too. Creating a nightly routine helps to signal our body and brain that it is time to unwind. Try taking a warm bath with Epsom salts, reading a book, or journaling. More importantly, find a routine that works best for you.

8. Disengage.

Turn off electronics at least an hour before bed. The blue light emitted from electronic screens can prevent the natural rise in melatonin (your sleep hormone). If you need to be on your electronics, I suggest installing nighttime apps or wearing blue light-blocking glasses.

9. Keep Your Bedroom Cool & Dark.

Your breathing, heart rate, and body temperature drop as you sleep. If your bedroom is cool, it makes it easier to fall asleep. Aim to keep a nighttime temperature around 65 degrees; this is usually ideal for sleeping. Make sure you use curtains or blinds to keep out artificial light. Even small amounts of light can disrupt our sleep.


The bottom line? To live a long, healthy life, start with quality sleep each night.


More Articles From A Dime Saved:

The Dark Side of Gen Z: Problematic Trends We Need to Leave Behind - A Dime Saved

Tue, 07 Feb 2023 21:15:18 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/why-is-sleep-important-top-6-reasons-why-you-need-quality-sleep/ar-AA17eOiM
Killexams : latest federal actions significantly enhance access to substance use disorder treatment
Credit: Kimberly Boyles/Adobe Stock

Several developments in federal policy are likely to have significant impacts on access to treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) in 2023. These include (1) new legislation to allow all providers that are registered by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to prescribe buprenorphine, a key drug for the treatment of opioid addiction, (2) proposed rules to offer new operational flexibilities for methadone clinics, including greater flexibility to dispense take-home doses to patients when clinically appropriate, and (3) proposed rules to better align SUD treatment data confidentiality requirements with regulations for protected health information (PHI) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

These new and proposed flexibilities are critically important, given the ongoing and worsening substance use disorder epidemic in the United States, which has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The most latest available data analyses from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that an estimated 107,375 people in the United States died from a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending in January 2022. Many of these changes complement the strategies that articulated in the 2022 CMS Behavioral Health Strategy, as the Biden administration continues to seek ways to enhance access to high quality mental health and substance use disorder services.

Tue, 07 Feb 2023 06:33:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.benefitspro.com/2023/02/07/recent-federal-actions-significantly-enhance-access-to-substance-use-disorder-treatment/?slreturn=20230119222926
Killexams : A 2023 Hands-On Review for Moonbird: Can It Help With Anxiety?

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Coming down from the holiday season can be challenging. The burnt-out, sluggish feeling, or even anxiety that can come with the new year’s dawn can sometimes be quite hard to cope with.

That’s why setting healthy resolutions and putting aside more time for mental health is especially important.

Creating space for inner well-being doesn’t have to mean clearing your calendar and booking an island vacation (although if you can, why not?). It can start with something as simple as breathing exercises that only take a few minutes, if that. Studies show that breathing exercises may help reduce stress levels, lower heart rates, improve cognitive function, and help with anxiety.

If you’ve tried breathing exercises before but feel like you could use some help, there’s a device for that.

Moonbird is a handheld gadget created to act like a breathing coach, so you can follow its rhythm and feel less anxious and more centered anywhere you are.

We tried it out for ourselves and are here to deliver you a full, honest review. Keep practicing to see if it sounds like moonbird may help you manage stress better in the new year.

Moonbird is a newer device from a Belgium-founded start-up of the same name.

The handheld breathing coach is a soft little device that “breathes” to encourage you to match your breathing to its calming rhythm. Holding moonbird in your hand, you sync your breathing to the device as it contracts and expands (inhale when it inhales, exhale when it exhales).

The idea behind moonbird is to encourage users to pay conscious attention to their breathing through breathwork, keeping it nice and slow, to promote relaxation and better sleep.

CEO and founder of moonbird, Stefanie Broes, is a breathwork practitioner who holds a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences. Broes says she used to experience insomnia and launched her company to get people to practice slower breathing after noticing how it helped her sleep better.

Why slower breathing? When you’re stressed or anxious, your heart rate and blood pressure increase, and your breathing quickens. This is known as the fight or flight response. Intentionally slowing your breathing can help bring things back down to a healthy level.

A 2020 review on diaphragmatic breathing (DB) (slow, deep breathing) found that though it still needs more investigating, DB may help Boost certain health conditions like stress and anxiety.

Additionally, a small 2022 pilot study looked at how mobile tactile breathing devices — moonbird specifically — may help sleep quality. The study’s 39 participants tested the device for 1 month, and researchers found that it was “an acceptable solution for sleep problems and participants particularly appreciate the standalone function and design.” Though it seems some participants reported mentions of the size of the device (it currently only comes in one size).

Using moonbird

One of my favorite parts about using moonbird is how easy it is to operate.

You “wake it” by giving it a gentle shake — there is no power button. To use it quickly without opening the app, you place your thumb on the sensor (you’ll see a green light indicating where to place your thumb). You don’t need to press hard; just hold it gently in your hand with the thumb in its proper placement over the green light.

Moonbird will recognize you’re holding it and begin inflating and deflating, like a tiny set of lungs. Once it begins “breathing,” you start to pair your own breathing to its pace. Once it stops, you’ve completed one session. You can choose to finish your session or begin again if you’d like more time. Or, you can open the app for free guided sessions for different exercises (we get into more details on using the app in a minute).

One of my biggest criticisms about this device is that, at its $199 price point, it’s not exactly accessible. Right now, it’s available in just one size and four colors, none of which affect pricing.

The good news is that you can test the product for 30 days free of charge, with free delivery, tracking, and a money-back guarantee. This way, you’re not committed if it’s not the right device for you.

Returns and exchanges

Moonbird states on its website that you have 30 days to return your moonbird if you’re not happy with it. You simply email the company (hello@moonbird.life) and inform them about your return. From here, the company will send you a return shipping label.

The device you’re returning has to appear exactly as it was delivered to you — no damage and in its original packaging. The company also requires that you include your receipt, order number, or proof of purchase with a date. After the company has received your return, they will notify you.

Although the return policy states that customers have 30 days to return their device, it has some unclear language about needing to contact the company 14 days after you’ve received your device.

The company says approved refunds will be credited back to the original payment method within 30 calendar days.

I enjoy using moonbird to calm my mind. I have found it useful for taking a breather (literally) and think its pros outweigh its cons. Keep practicing to see my full experience using moonbird.

What it looks like

Moonbird looks like a sleek and silky remote but without any buttons. Instead, there is a censor you place your thumb over when you’re ready to use it. Although it doesn’t exactly look like a bird, the experience may remind you of holding a bird, with its size and rhythm.

The moonbird “skin” is made from biocompatible, medical-grade silicone. The device uses a lithium-ion battery and an optical reflectance PPG sensor, which the company says is used to measure heart rate and derivatives. You can view this information using the moonbird app.

My device is black but is also available in a teal color, light blue, and off-white color. I wouldn’t recommend the off-white color since you’ll be holding your device, and the lighter color is likely to become dingey over time.

Your device will come with a carrying pouch (my pouch is blue, I don’t know if other colors are available). I suggest keeping your moonbird in the pouch when not in use so you can keep it safe from dust. I admittedly left mine out on my nightstand and noticed the material can become dusty or linty. This may be because black can show dust perhaps easier than other color options.

Your moonbird will also come with a charging cable (micro USB). You can use this cable to charge it via your computer or a wall charger if you have one handy. It’s important to keep a close eye on this cord — it connects to your device via little magnets, and it’s unlikely you can find a replaceable cable for it in stores. I will say that in my experience using this device, the battery life is impressive and wasn’t a concern for me. I like using it, knowing I don’t have to worry about it quitting on me out of nowhere.

Your free moonbird app, which connects to your device via Bluetooth, will show you precise information on battery life. Otherwise, you won’t know by looking at the device if it needs to be charged or not. The brand says that charging takes about 3 hours to complete.

Speaking of the app, it’s optional. I like that the device doesn’t alienate users who’d rather unplug (literally) and focus on their breathing without looking at their phone. I also like that using all the app’s features doesn’t require additional purchases.

For those who’d like to tinker with the app, there are endless options to explore.

Using the app

You’ll connect your moonbird to your smartphone via Bluetooth to use the app. Your device will have instructions for pairing, but it’s relatively simple. The process may vary depending on your phone, but you’ll need to first obtain the app for Android or Apple.

Next, turn on Bluetooth on your phone, gently shake your moonbird awake, and open the app. The app will “search” for your device and should sync to it pretty quickly.

Once your moonbird pairs to your phone, you’ll scroll through all the breathing exercises available on the app. You’ll see options like:

  • a breathing break
  • falling asleep
  • box breathing
  • curb anxiety
  • set your own breathing rhythm

Once you make your selection, you’ll have the option to “check in” before the exercise begins. This step is optional, but it is designed to help you track your mood before and after you perform the breathing exercises.

The app automatically begins exercises with guided audio walking you through each step, but if you prefer, you can mute the audio. I found the audio to be an extra calming touch worth listening to, especially if you’re using moonbird to curb anxiety or help you fall asleep.

The app also includes a guide with “episodes” to help you learn more about breathing exercises. Plus, using the app, you can view your heart rate and rate variability in real-time.

Finally, you can view your stats, which show weekly, monthly, and yearly information about your completed sessions. I personally haven’t used this feature much. I’m more interested in using moonbird as a quick way to redirect my focus to my breathing rather than charting my progress, but many may find this information useful and encouraging.

First impression

I was pleasantly surprised when I unboxed my moonbird. The packaging seems designed with calmness and simplicity in mind. The box is well organized with its components, and the easy-to-understand directions are a big plus. Your moonbird will probably be ready for your first session upon unboxing it like mine was, but if not, you’ll need to charge it using the cable it comes with.

A little menu shows you in just three steps how to quickly operate your device (for those not using the app). Then an accompanying booklet gives more information about using it with the app.

When you’re not using it along with the app, the device is so simple that you may wonder if you’re using it right at first. I had that moment at first but noticed that its ease of use is part of its appeal. After all, if you’re looking to unwind or calm down, you’d rather it be easy and intuitive.

My first time using the moonbird was a test run — I wasn’t particularly stressed or anxious; I just wanted to see how it worked. My true first session came later on when I noticed I could use a break during my hectic day.

Holding moonbird, closing my eyes, I felt calmer in probably just a minute or so. I think holding the device as I shifted all my focus to my breath forced my mind to shut out distractions. With calmer, deliberate breathing came a calmer state of mind.

Final review

Moonbird is different from many anxiety-relief options because it’s a physical device that can pair with free guided breathing exercises. While there’s an abundance of meditation apps designed to help calm your mind and focus on breathing, they don’t have a physical component.

Holding an object, especially one performing the task you’re setting aside time to do, makes your session feel official.

As someone with smaller hands, I wish the device came in different sizes. I like that it’s ergonomically designed, but the soft silicone material makes the device feel slippery. Initially, this aspect was a little distracting for me, not knowing if it would slip out of my hands as I used it lying down. A little grip somewhere on the device would help.

I’ve already mentioned price as a significant downside to moonbird, but it’s worth repeating. But if you consider the costs you’re saving by not subscribing to a pricey meditation app, meditation classes, breathwork classes, etc., a one-time cost may feel worth it.

Plus, moonbird allows you to access information about your heart rate, and I like that it’s convenient to use it silently without the app, and that you can easily travel with it. It’s low maintenance and has a mighty battery life. I plan to use moonbird to get calm in a hurry next time I feel overwhelmed.

If moonbird is within your budget, and you’ve noticed that slow breathing has helped you enter a calm state before (but feel you can benefit from a physical device that helps you get there), moonbird may be a good idea for you.

Since intentional breathwork can be tricky to master and make time for on your own, this device aims to help you get into a calmer state by breathing with you.

Moonbird can help you perform breathwork exercises both with and without an app. The app gives you access to free guided meditations and more.

While this device is best suited for someone who experiences anxiety or could use some help falling asleep, it’s not a replacement for mental health treatment by a professional. A healthcare professional can help you decide the best way to manage anxiety, and may help you find the cause behind trouble sleeping.

For those who’d rather save some money, it still may be worth learning more about slower, intentional breathing as a form of meditation. Some meditation apps require a fee to use, but you can also browse guided breathwork videos on YouTube or get books from the library to learn more about it.

Moonbird is still a new device, so you won’t find tons of customer reviews on it just yet. For example, at the time of writing, moonbird doesn’t seem to have any Google reviews, but it does have a profile on TrustPilot, a third-party review site.

This profile shows a total of 16 reviews currently, with a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. Here, reviewers mention how the gadget helps them relax and get better sleep. The only poor review, written in Dutch, expresses that their moonbird did not work, and they were disappointed with the wait time to receive a new device.

Right now, the company doesn’t seem to have any lawsuits or a profile with the Better Business Bureau. It’s worth mentioning that the company has plenty of mentions and editorial reviews from a good range of global publications.

Reviews on the company site are mostly glowing, with 82% being 5-star ratings. One 4-star rating says the device helps them remember to take a breathing break since it’s a physical device.

Moonbird is a trailblazing device for handheld help with anxiety, but you can also browse plenty of other options, including:

Moonbird is different thanks to its focus on slow, intentional breathwork and the free app loaded with guided exercises, but it’s not the only handheld gadget for calmness and falling asleep.

For example, Sensate is a newer vibrating device created to soothe users, lowering stress and anxiety via vibrations instead of the contracting and expanding effect that moonbird offers.

Another way it’s unlike moonbird is that it isn’t designed to be held in your hand. Instead, it’s a pebble-shaped object you place on your chest. It comes with a lanyard you can wear around your neck, so your device doesn’t slip off as you’re lying down.

Sensate more or less requires users to lie down in order to use it. Unlike moonbird, you do have to use the app to operate it. Additionally, Sensate is $299 — that’s $100 more than moonbird. It is available in different packages though, in case you want to purchase more than one at a time.

Whether you choose to test moonbird or not, the start of a new year is a great time to test methods that may help ease feelings of anxiety.

If you can visit a health care professional, especially a mental health professional, great. This is an excellent first step in your mental health journey.

Another good move is considering mindfulness programs, as they can help keep you in the present instead of an anxious future or dwelling on the past.

Meditation is one of the other best approaches for better mental health, and you may notice a difference in one session (but don’t stress if it doesn’t happen that fast).

Keeping an active lifestyle is also a natural way to combat anxiousness.

Where can I buy moonbird?

Right now, moonbird is available on the brand’s website and Amazon.

Is moonbird a medical device?

No. Moonbird is considered a consumer product easily purchased online. It should not be thought of as a replacement for seeking medical mental health treatment, like medication or therapy. For mental health resources, see our guide here.

What is moonbird made of?

According to the manufacturer, the device is made of 100% biocompatible, medical-grade silicone.

How do I care for my moonbird device?

It’s best to take gentle care of your device by cleaning it occasionally (but not too frequently). The brand instructs moonbird users to clean it using a damp cloth with water, mild soap, or alcohol gel at 70%. Do not submerge your device in water, keep it in extreme temperature conditions, or use other cleaning agents aside from mild soap or alcohol gel. The brand also states it’s important to avoid dropping it, and to never disassemble it. Make sure it’s nice and dry before charging it. It’s also a good idea to keep it in its carrying case to protect it from spills and dust.

Breanna Mona is an empathetic writer committed to helping people live their most authentic lives. Her work focuses on general health, wellness, beauty, sexual health, and mental health. Breanna is also a pop culture enthusiast, covering high-profile entertainment stories. She holds a master’s degree in media and journalism from Kent State University.

Thu, 26 Jan 2023 21:01:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.healthline.com/health/a-2023-hands-on-review-for-moonbird-can-it-help-you
Killexams : Here are 15 mental health startups set to defy the funding slowdown and excel in 2023, according to venture capitalists

29k is a non-profit providing mental health services

Maria Modigh, co-CEO of 29k.

HQ: Sweden

What it does: 29k launched in 2014 as a non-profit startup providing mental health support through psychological tools and civic leadership.

Its services are free, and it's backed by philanthropists and partnerships with organizations. The 29k website has over 125,000 users and offers access to exercises such as meditations, mental health-oriented interventions, and microtasks for personal well-being. 

Community is also a key focus, and 29k provides a forum for users to communicate in small groups to discuss any issues or share their experiences.

Backers: Community-funded, individual angel investors

Recommended by: Megali Roy Bentley, associate at Norrsken

Relationship to investor: Non-portfolio

Ambr helps tackle employee burnout

The Ambr team.

HQ: London, UK

What it does: Ambr, which launched in 2022, has designed a platform to help prevent workplace burnout. 

Its platform incorporates three steps, the first of which is to keep track of employee burnout, by taking data from workplace tools. It then notifies employees who are experiencing these burnout symptoms, along with guidelines on how to tackle them. Following this, managers are also alerted to cases of workplace burnout, so they can help employees who may be affected.

Backers: Fuel Ventures, Plug and Play, APX

Recommended by: Nico Albanese, principal at Ascension

Relationship to investor: Non-portfolio

Frankie Health offers personalized mental health support

HQ: Dublin, Ireland

What it does: Frankie Health launched in 2020 to offer personalized mental health support to employees.

The platform takes a preventative approach to mental healthcare, by building virtual exercises based on clinical evidence which helps to curb stress and burnout — facets that can exacerbate conditions such as anxiety.

Employees are also connected with online clinical therapists if they need more support, and the platform is end-to-end encrypted to maintain user privacy. 

A key principle the startup upholds is recognizing that mental health can fluctuate — and that one-size-fits-all solutions are not an effective way to combat a decline in mental health. 

Backers: E15 VC

Recommended by: Ali Mitchell, partner and co-head of EQT Ventures

Relationship to investor: Non-portfolio

Frankie Health has since been acquired by fellow list inclusion Unmind.

Healios focuses on children's mental health

Healios founder Rich Andrews.

HQ: London, UK

What it does: Healios is focusing on children's mental health. Its digital platform caters to children and young adults, as well as families of children with conditions such as ADHD and autism.

It offers a range of practices for users, from self-help mechanisms such as self-management apps to dedicated cognitive behavioral therapy sessions and video calls with clinicians. 

After launching in 2013, the startup has expanded to work with over 65 NHS trusts and has a US-based subsidiary, Meliora.

AlbionVC investor Molly Gilmartin said that the company was "well-positioned" for international expansion after closing a $16 million fundraise.

Backers: AlbionVC, InHealth Ventures, Autism Impact Fund, Spice Capital Partners

Recommended by: Molly Gilmartin, investor at AlbionVC

Relationship to investor: Portfolio

HelloBetter tackles burnout, anxiety, and depression with online therapy courses

The HelloBetter team.

HQ: Berlin, Germany 

What it does: HelloBetter, which launched in 2011, has designed an online therapy course to help patients curb burnout, anxiety, and depression. 

Its courses can be prescribed by doctors, and are free of charge at the point of use for the patient, as they can be reimbursed via health insurers. It's the latest in a host of startups to take advantage of Germany's DiGA act — which enables patients to reimburse digital health providers — in order to reach a wider market. 

Founded by three clinical psychologists, HelloBetter has also conducted over 30 randomized controlled studies to clinically validate its work. 

The startup secured a $6 million Series A extension in March 2022 to expand its services beyond the DACH region. 

Backers: HealthCap, MassMutual Ventures, Expon Capital, Sparrow Ventures

Recommended by: Christoph Massner, investor at Earlybird 

Relationship to investor: Non-portfolio

HelloSelf matches patients with licensed therapists

HQ: London, UK

What it does: Digital health startup HelloSelf was launched in 2018 to enable the early intervention and treatment of mental health conditions. 

Its online platform matches patients with licensed therapists that are best suited to them. Users are then free to work with their therapists at their own convenience, using HelloSelf's in-app self-activities to track and manage their progress.

The startup's clinical team specializes in a spectrum of mental health conditions, from anxiety and specific phobias, to sleep disorders and ADHD.

Gilmartin said the startup was "well-positioned to navigate recessionary market environments and continue growing."

Backers: Oxford Capital, OMERS Ventures, Manta Ray Ventures

Recommended by: Molly Gilmartin, investor at AlbionVC

Relationship to investor: Non-portfolio

LEIA wants to digitize post-partum care

LEIA cofounders Sandra Wirström and Astrid Gyllenkrok Kristensen.
LEIA Health

HQ: Sweden

What it does: LEIA is tackling mental health problems that mothers can face in the post-partum period following the birth of their babies. 

Launched in 2021, the startup aims to digitize post-partum care through its app. The platform presents mothers with a questionnaire, which asks them to log their physical and mental health symptoms. This is then evaluated in order to provide personalized guidance for the user, based on collective user data and evidence-based approaches. The medical data can also be shared with a midwife or other care providers.  

In January, LEIA raised a $1.4 million seed round from Norrsken VC and People Ventures.

Backers: Crista Galli Ventures, Norrsken VC, People Ventures, Octaquest

Recommended by: Megali Roy Bentley, associate at Norrsken

Relationship to investor: Portfolio

Mentalstark is tackling the stigma around the unfulfilled desire to have children

MentalStark cofounder Sally Schulze.

HQ: Germany

What it does: Founded by psychologist Sally Schulze, Mentalstark is tackling the stigma around the unfulfilled desire to have children.

The startup has created a platform for women to reach out to an online community, where they have access to digital consultations, group courses, and video and text options with one another, centered around the course of wanting a child. 

The material is backed by medical and psychological guidelines and includes guidance from certified psychological practitioners. 

"With MentalStark, there is a solution for low-threshold access to psychological support on the course of wanting a child," said Gordon Euller, partner at Apex Ventures. The startup has an aim of fostering the "sustainable improvement of women's health," he added. 

Backers: Undisclosed

Recommended by: Gordon Euller, partner at Apex Ventures 

Relationship to investor: Non-portfolio

Mindstep has built an early detection app

The Mindstep cofounders, Hamzah Selim and Aaron Lin.

HQ: London, UK

What it does: Medical student Hamzah Selim was inspired by the dog filter on Snapchat as a template for his early detection app, which later evolved into Mindstep. 

The app takes into account indicators such as eye movements, which it uses to identify the emergence of mental health and neurological conditions such as anxiety, dementia, and even brain fog. 

Patients obtain the app, and have a series of visual tests which screen pupil movements and facial expressions. Mindstep also takes into account holistic issues such as a patient's health data, diet, and exercise habits. This is evaluated by the platform's AI tool, which generates a personalized, at-home treatment plan for patients. 

A key problem is that "around one in three people get misdiagnosed for dementia," with conditions such as depression in the elderly often being confused for dementia, Selim told Insider. "We need to take a more holistic approach" as "these conditions overlap more than they exist distinctly."

"Mindstep analyzes the brain holistically — as it should be in neuropsychiatry — and not just individual conditions like most solutions," said Matt Vallin, healthtech investor at Octopus Ventures.

"The fact it is backed by a clinical trial and is multi-condition (anxiety, depression, mild cognitive impairment, migraine, post-concussion syndrome), makes it one of the more advanced brain care tools in the mental health market," he added. 

Backers: Calm/Storm Ventures, Octopus Ventures

Recommended by: Christoph Massner, investor at Earlybird, and Matt Vallin, healthtech investor at Octopus Ventures

Relationship to investors: Non-portfolio and portfolio, respectively

myReha combines AI and neurotherapy

myReha cofounders, Mario, Moritz, Philipp.

HQ: Vienna, Austria

What it does: Combining AI and neurotherapy, myReha provides individuals with in-app exercises for speech or cognitive disorders, to help them rehabilitate following strokes, dementia, or MS. 

Patients can obtain the app, and fill out a questionnaire about their condition. Using this data, myReha designs an individual plan for each user, which adapts to the patient's progress.

The platform has been rolled out in over 40 clinics in Germany, and also offers a subscription-based platform for individuals.

In December 2021, the startup secured a $2.2 million pre-seed round as it continues to scale across the DACH region. 

Backers: Austrian Research Promotion Agency, Vienna Business Agency

Recommended by: Christoph Massner, investor at Earlybird

Relationship to investor: Non-portfolio

Neotiv helps screen for Alzheimer's disease

The Neotiv founders.

HQ: Magdeburg, Germany

What it does: German digital health startup Neotiv is developing a biomarker that would help in the screening of Alzheimer's disease. 

The startup is creating a set of cognitive tests that can be used to monitor memory problems — an indicator of Alzheimer's disease. These tests present users with visual stimuli, such as a group of images, which the participant is given questions about. External questionnaires or neuropsychological tests can also be accessed via Neotiv's platform. 

The results can be used in the process of diagnosing Alzheimer's, as well as for research or drug development purposes. 

Backers: Capricorn Partners, Convergence Partners AG

Recommended by: Christoph Massner, investor at Earlybird

Relationship to investor: Non-portfolio

Novoic monitors speech to detect early signs of disease

Dr Jack Weston, cofounder and CTO.

HQ: London, UK

What it does: Novoic is a startup that helps diagnose and monitor health conditions in their early stages, including neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and dementia. 

It has developed a speech biometric tool that traces any initial signs of the diseases by analyzing the audio linguistic output. 

"We are also now in the era of therapeutics coming to market, which may have the potential to reverse or stop cognitive decline in its tracks," said Apex's Euller said. "Therefore recognizing this debilitating condition early is vital, not only for patients and their families but also for the pharma industry."

While traditional memory-based tests have been the go-to diagnostic tool for early-stage Alzheimer's, they are subjective and don't always provide a clear picture of the disease. Novoic's AI-based software is developed from a database of its audio-linguistic material, to better diagnose and understand these conditions.

Backers: Anthemis Group, Plug and Play, Apex Ventures

Recommended by: Gordon Euller, partner at Apex Ventures 

Relationship to investor: Portfolio

Peppy provides an employee benefits platform to businesses

Peppy's founding team.

HQ: London, UK

What it does: Digital health startup Peppy provides an employee benefits platform to workplaces, which focuses on gender-based conditions. 

Launched in 2018, the startup focuses on underserved markets such as menopause, fertility, and men's health.

Mental health issues are often a symptom or by-product of other health conditions or life events, such as menopause or parenthood. Peppy wants to remove the taboo around seeking treatments for such conditions, by focusing on their holistic symptoms and impacts.

Its app offers one-to-one virtual consultations and live chats with clinical specialists, which also affords users a degree of privacy to discuss these issues — which was previously a key barrier that hindered many patients from seeking help. 

Users can also form a community and chat to each other via Peppy's digital platform, to further remove the stigma around talking about these conditions.

The startup recently raised a $45 million Series B to expand its services to the US, where it sees more demand. 

Backers: AlbionVC, Felix Capital, Seedcamp, OutwardVC

Recommended by: Annalise Dragic, partner at Sapphire Ventures

Relationship to investor: Non-portfolio

Thymia uses video games to speed up mental health assessments

The cofounders of Thymia, Emilia Molimpakis, PhD (CEO), and Stefano Goria, PhD.

HQ: London, UK

What it does: Thymia uses video games along with assessments of microexpressions and speech patterns to speed up mental health assessments. 

Launched in 2020, the startup aims to tackle what it calls a subjective process for evaluating mental health conditions which is currently the norm. Its technology analyzes voice and facial expression data, in conjunction with AI modeling.

"The founders have drawn on their PhD-level expertise in neurolinguistics and maths to develop clinical-grade tools to provide a much more complete picture of mental health," said Leo Ringer, founding partner at Form Ventures, which is a backer of Thymia.

The startup's platform has three main steps when assessing a patient. The first involves the patient participating in gamified activities to generate a baseline view of their mental condition to refer back to. In the second phase, the patient visits a clinician, who uses the data to generate a relevant diagnosis.

After this, the patient remotely monitors their mental health diagnosis on Thymia, which records any changes to their condition and informs the clinician. The platform also takes into account how effectively the treatment is working for the patient based on these monitored readings.

"We believe that, in the future, all mental health assessments will involve the kind of technology Thymia is developing," Ringer added. 

Backers: FORM Ventures, Calm/Storm Ventures, Kodori AG

Recommended by: Leo Ringer, founding partner at Form Ventures

Relationship to investor: Portfolio

Unmind provides mental health and well-being tools to employees

Founder and CEO of Unmind, Dr. Nick Taylor.

HQ: London, UK

What it does: Mental health platform Unmind, launched in 2016, provides mental health and well-being tools for employees. 

The startup has designed a questionnaire about the state of employees' mental health, which they fill out. The results then build a holistic picture of their mental well-being and flag any mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Cofounded by clinical psychologist Dr. Nick Taylor, the app aims to detect the advent of any mental health issues so that users can get a better understanding of how to manage these conditions. 

The goal is to also provide employers with an overview of their workforce's mental health; they have access to anonymous data on their employees' mental health, which they can use to better inform their policies and HR strategies.

"We're really excited about Unmind and its growth potential: they have built a first-class product; have a stellar leadership team; and are securing blue-chip customers across a range of global markets," said Annalise Dragic, partner at Sapphire Ventures. 

To date, the startup has raised $62.8 million from the likes of Felix Capital, Sapphire Ventures, and EQT Ventures. 

Backers: EQT, Felix Capital, Sapphire Ventures, Presight Capital 

Recommended by: Annalise Dragic, partner at Sapphire Ventures, and Ali Mitchell, partner and co-head of EQT Ventures

Relationship to investors: Portfolio

Tue, 14 Feb 2023 00:00:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.businessinsider.com/15-mental-health-startups-according-to-top-vcs-2023-1
Killexams : Scholarships available from New Ulm Medical Center

NEW ULM — Applications are now being accepted for the New Ulm Medical Center scholarships for the 2023-2024 academic year. The scholarships are awarded to students who are currently pursuing their nursing degree, nurse practitioner/physician assistant degree or a degree in a health care related field.

Go to the online scholarship application to obtain the application forms and scholarship criteria. If you have questions, please send email to vonda.dulas@allina.com. Scholarship applications are due April 1, 2023.

The Charlotte West Anderson Scholarship will be awarded to a student who resides in New Ulm or the surrounding area and is pursuing a degree in a health care field. Applicants must have been accepted into an accredited health care program. One $5,000 scholarship will be given to one recipient pursuing a degree in health care.

The Ida Ozias Nursing Scholarship is available to students living in the New Ulm are who are entering their second year into an accredited nursing degree program at a post-secondary institution. One scholarship at the minimum of $1,000 will be given to one recipient pursuing a nursing degree.

The Carol L. Ryberg Nursing Scholarship is available for students who are residents of Brown County and have been accepted into an accredited BA or BSN nursing program at a post-secondary institution. One $4,500 scholarship will be given to one recipient pursuing a nursing degree.

A second scholarship by Carol L. Ryberg has been added this year. This scholarship is available for students who are residents of Brown Country who are pursuing a Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant degree. One $7,500 scholarship will be given to one recipient pursuing either of those degrees.

The Kay Witt Nursing Scholarship is available to students who are New Ulm or surrounding area residents and have been accepted in an accredited BSN degree program at a post-secondary institution and intend to pursue a career at New Ulm Medical Center. One $2,500 scholarship will be given to one recipient pursuing a nursing degree.

Please review information regarding application guidelines and criteria for eligibility of each scholarship.

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

Wed, 08 Feb 2023 17:06:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.nujournal.com/news/local-news/2023/02/09/scholarships-available-from-new-ulm-medical-center/
Killexams : Kroger Health and Medical Mutual Announce Direct Agreement

Ensures Access to Kroger Family of Pharmacies for Medicare Advantage Members

CINCINNATI, Feb. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co. (Kroger), its Family of Pharmacies, and Medical Mutual, one of the oldest and largest health insurance companies based in Ohio, today announced a direct agreement to provide pharmacy services to Medical Mutual's Medicare Advantage members.

"We're excited to work with Medical Mutual as we continue to make healthcare more accessible for the communities we serve," said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. "Our collaboration demonstrates a continued commitment to providing patients with quality, affordable healthcare services."

This agreement, effective Jan. 1, 2023, allows Medical Mutual's MedMutual Advantage plan members to continue using Kroger as an in-network pharmacy.  

"Medical Mutual is pleased with our agreement with Kroger that keeps their pharmacies in our Medicare Advantage networks," says Dr. Tere Koenig, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Medical Mutual. "Because our 2023 Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans received five stars from CMS, anyone who overlooked Medical Mutual because they thought Kroger was out-of-network can switch to one of these plans anytime throughout the year."

What This Means for Express Scripts (ESI) Customers in 2023
While the Kroger Family of Pharmacies is not in the ESI network for 2023, it continues to participate in many other pharmacy benefit networks, for example the Medical Mutual Medicare Advantage network. In addition, people may continue to fill prescriptions at Kroger Family of Pharmacies through other options including joining the Kroger Rx Savings Club, using a third-party discount card or manufacturer coupon when eligible to purchase a drug, or paying the retail cash price. 

Additional network information can be found at kroger.com/payorupdate.

About Kroger Health:
Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co., is one of America's leading retail healthcare organizations. Kroger Health and the Kroger Family of Pharmacies and clinics operate more than 2,200 pharmacies and 226 clinics in 35 states serving more than 17 million customers annually. Our team of 24,000 healthcare practitioners, including pharmacists, nurse practitioners, dietitians and technicians, believe in practicing at the top of our licenses, enabling "food as medicine" to help prevent disease before it starts, and helping people live healthier lives. For more information, visit www.kroger.com/health.

About Kroger
At The Kroger Co., we are dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit™. We are, across our family of companies nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and retail food stores under a variety of banner names, serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.

About Medical Mutual
Founded in 1934, Medical Mutual is the oldest and one of the largest health insurance companies based in Ohio. We provide peace of mind to more than 1.2 million Ohioans through our high-quality health, life, disability, dental, vision and indemnity plans. We offer fully insured and self-funded group coverage, including stop loss, as well as Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and individual plans. Medical Mutual's status as a mutual company means we are owned by our members, not stockholders, so we don't answer to Wall Street analysts or pay dividends to investors. Instead, we focus on developing products and services that allow us to better serve our customers and the communities around us and help our members achieve their best possible health and quality of life. For more information, visit the company's website at MedMutual.com.

View original content to obtain multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/kroger-health-and-medical-mutual-announce-direct-agreement-301749951.html

SOURCE The Kroger Co.

© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Fri, 17 Feb 2023 01:25:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/23/02/n30962443/kroger-health-and-medical-mutual-announce-direct-agreement
Killexams : Revealed: the areas where Australians are struggling to access free GP care

Tasmania has some of the lowest bulk-billing rates in the country – and they’re getting worse, a nationwide investigation by Guardian Australia reveals.

Data obtained exclusively by Guardian Australia shows the percentage of patients who did not have to pay any fee to see their GP in a given year and were entirely bulk billed. Bulk billing is when the full cost of a consultation is paid for by Medicare.

The data set also shows a separate figure of the total percentage of all GP services delivered in an electorate that were bulk billed. During an appointment, a patient might get one service bulk billed, such as a vaccination, but pay out of pocket for a separate service, such as an extended consult.

The rates of GP patients being fully bulk billed are low in affluent, metropolitan electorates such as Warringah and Wentworth in Sydney, as well as the electorate of Canberra. Experts say this likely represents the ability of wealthier communities to pay for visits.

But the bulk-billing rate is also low in several less affluent, regional and rural electorates, including Dawson in central Queensland, Eden-Monaro and Shortland in New South Wales, Indi in north-east Victoria, as well as Tasmania’s Franklin, Clark and Bass.

“This probably reflects doctor shortage and reduced competitive pressure to bulk bill,” said Charles Maskell-Knight, a health funding analyst and former senior public servant in the health department.

Chart showing bulk billing rates are lowest in affluent metro electorates, and less affluent regional areas

The problem is particularly pronounced in the Tasmanian electorates of Clark and Franklin, in and near Hobart, where only about 37% of people had all of their GP appointments bulk billed in the 2021-22 financial year, well below the national average. That has dropped from 41% two years earlier.

You can find bulk-billing data for your electorate in this map:

interactive map of bulk-billing rates in Australia

‘He was sick for months’

As Guardian Australia previously revealed, residents of the Glamorgan-Spring Bay council on Tasmania’s east coast are being charged to prop up bulk-billed GP services as part of their council rates. Yet with a median age of 56 and a high proportion of retirees, many are chronically ill and struggling to make ends meet. The median weekly household income in eastern Tasmania is $854, far short of the national median of $1,438.

When Grant Jenkins from Bichenot on Tasmania’s east coast became ill after being let go from his job in hospitality last year, he avoided going to the doctor because he couldn’t afford the $70 out-of-pocket cost of a visit. He hoped the illness would go away on its own.

“But he was sick for months, and months and months,” said his wife, Nicole Jenkins.

Jenkins had no choice but to pay for weekly visits on top of blood tests, bringing the total to $130 a week over eight weeks, until he was diagnosed with glandular fever.

The couple, who were living off Nicole’s income from contract shift work at the local hotel, were only able to afford the added expense by eating one meal a day.

“I never let the kids go without but we’d miss breakfast and lunch and have tea,” she said. Her husband was not able to access any bulk-billing GPs because there are none in the area.

A collective of healthcare practitioners on Tasmania’s east coast has conducted a survey of more than 100 residents. The results, provided to Guardian Australia, found 40% said it was not easy for them to travel to Launceston or Hobart for health appointments.

Almost a quarter said it was “never” easy to see a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, dietician or podiatrist, while 45% said their healthcare provider did not fully understand or even know what other treatments and appointments they were having.

What can be done?

The federal government’s Strengthening Medicare taskforce report, published this month, found that a system of GPs working in isolation and delivering episodic care without coordination with other health professionals is failing the most chronically ill. The taskforce recommended a move to team-based, multidisciplinary care.

A report from thinktank the Grattan Institute, published in December, found most GPs have steady profit margins and that simply increasing Medicare rebates for GPs will not entice them to rural and remote areas or address patchy access to healthcare, nor help with coordination of care among different providers.

“Australia has many GPs, with more on the way,” the report said. “And general practices have survived the four-year Medicare Benefits Schedule freeze battered but intact, with higher take-home pay and steady profit margins”.

Bondi beach in the Sydney electorate of Wentworth, where GP bulk-billing rates are among the lowest in the nation. Photograph: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

The report said other health professionals – including nurse practitioners, physiotherapists and physician assistants – should be allowed to bill a broader range of consultations and treatments to Medicare, and that requiring GP approval before Medicare rebates can be applied for consultations by other health professionals is adding to fragmented and delayed care.

This type of model did exist nationally in the 1970s, emerging out of the battle for universal healthcare under the Whitlam government. The community health program involved GPs, allied and mental health professionals, and nurses, and it existed in every state and territory. But it was abolished by subsequent governments, and states were left to prop up community healthcare alone. Most absorbed community health services into the acute care system.

Victoria was the only state to retain a comprehensive network of 24 community health services across metropolitan and rural areas, funded by a mix of state and federal money. One of the largest, Cohealth, provides “one-stop shop” access to GPs, nurses, dental care, mental health care, homelessness support, alcohol and drug treatment, and allied health services from 30 sites across Melbourne’s city centre, and the northern and western suburbs.

Richard Di Natale, who is Cohealth’s health policy adviser and a public health doctor and former leader of the Greens, is leading a project to bring this model to east Tasmania. Partnering with councils and GPs, and using funds from a federal government grant, the group will work with the community to establish a health clinic.

Di Natale said once established the community clinic would be a litmus test for how the federal government manages an increasingly ageing and chronically ill population, and responds to the needs of rural, regional and disadvantaged populations.

“It is very clear there is a real appetite to try and build this multidisciplinary, community health model in this community,” Di Natale said. “What we want to do is demonstrate just how effective this can be, and eventually expand the model potentially throughout Tasmania and into other states.”

Not all states are struggling

Tasmania stands out as a particularly tough state to find affordable care. Maskell-Knight said the data showed overall there were 40 electorates throughout Australia where more than three-quarters of the population were bulk billed for all their GP visits in 2021-22, with many of these in the most populous states.

NSW is home to nine of the top 10 electorates for bulk billing. These include Blaxland, Chifley, Fowler and Werriwa, where more than 96% of patients always had their GP appointments bulk-billed.

You can search the data to see the rates for your area here:

Bulk billing rates by electorate 2021-2022

Maskell-Knight said the figures showed it was “still possible to offer a high level of bulk billing while maintaining a viable practice”.

“This calls into question demands from some doctor groups for a doubling of the Medicare benefits schedule rebate to restore the viability of general practice,” he said.

“Such a policy change would cost billions of dollars, much of which would flow to doctors who are already bulk billing most of their patients.

“But there are other options than GP-led care, and just paying more money to GPs to encourage GPs to bulk bill.”

But Bruce Willett, the vice-president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, who has been working at his practice in south-east Queensland for almost three decades, said many GPs were paying a “compassion tax” by continuing to bulk bill. He said he maintains “relatively high bulk billing rates”.

“I could decide not to bulk bill any of my patients and I would still be fully booked,” he said. “I have a four to six week waiting list, which is not something I enjoy as some patients are dealing with chronic health issues.

“You don’t have that kind of waiting time and continue to offer a discounted service unless you really care about your patients. It’s not a market-driven decision to keep bulk billing at all – it’s driven by the care I have for patients I’ve been seeing for 20 to 30 years.”

Willett said reforms were sorely needed, including lifting Medicare rebates so that doctors get more back from the government for bulk billing their patients. Any moves towards integrated community healthcare had to be “built around GP practices”, he said.

“In the UK, there has been too much priority placed on access to care rather than continuity of care, and there are lots of complaints now being made about how impossible it is to see a GP there, and about how you’re referred to a pharmacist or nurse instead,” Willett said.

“People really want to see their GP for the continuity of care, and if people are seeing a number of different people and practitioners, it leads to duplication and confusion.”


Guardian Australia requested bulk-billing data from Services Australia by electorate, which was provided by the Department of Health and combined with census data for our analysis. You can obtain the original data here.

Thu, 16 Feb 2023 09:23:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2023/feb/17/revealed-the-areas-where-australians-are-struggling-to-access-free-gp-care
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