Consumption Sabbath

Give Your Wallet a Day Off

What is the Texas Prompt Pay Act?

Posted By on May 4, 2015

Medical professionals play crucial roles in their respective communities. Thanks to the hard work of doctors, nurses, and other health care providers, communities are able to receive proper medical attention and treatment. Unfortunately, there are scenarios when this hard work isn’t properly compensated by insurance companies that delay or deny medical care payments.

In Texas, medical professionals are protected from such antagonistic practices through the Texas Prompt Pay Act of 2003. Based on the terms mandated by the Texas Prompt Pay statute, medical personnel who are not properly paid by health insurance companies within a specific space of time may pursue their owed compensation through a legal claim.

It’s important to note that note all health insurance programs can be covered by the Prompt Pay Act. The law only applies to health maintenance organizations (HMO) and preferred provider organizations (PPO). Any other insurance plan under the following programs is exempted from the mandated terms:

  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Federal employee plans
  • Self-funded plans for ERISA, and University of Texas and Texas A&M University employees
  • Texas Association of School Board coverage
  • Health Select and Health Select Plus
  • TriCare
  • CHIP
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid

Medical professionals looking for coverage outside the aforementioned programs will need to submit their claims within 95 days of the services they rendered. Their submission must also include data that is, as stated by the law, “complete, legible, and accurate.” These claims will also have to undergo strict review and should follow other eligibility requirements mandated in the Texas Prompt Act. Because this process can quickly become complicated so often, doctors and other health care personnel should feel free to consult with an experienced lawyer to learn more about all the legal options available to them.

Read More

What is a Dry Socket?

Posted By on May 3, 2015

A tooth extraction can be an unpleasant experience for anyone. However, this feeling of discomfort can become a lot worst when certain complications arise. While it may be uncommon, a significant number of dentistry patients end up developing a dry socket. Still, for that small part of the population, the occurrence of a dry socket can be extremely painful.

An extraction leaves behind an empty socket that should clot to protect the area underneath the tooth that has been pulled. A dry socket develops when a blood clot is dislodged or fails to properly form, leaving the nerves and bone exposed to anything that enters the mouth. Unless properly treated, a dry socket can cause excruciating pain and eventually lead to an infection. Symptoms include throbbing pain that continues to intensify in the days following the extraction and a foul odor and taste coming from the empty socket.

According to a study published by The Open Dentistry Journal, there are several factors that increase a patient’s risk to develop a dry socket. The occurrence of dry sockets is more common for smokers. Surgical tooth extraction, which is required in cases involving an impacted wisdom tooth, also increases the risk of dry sockets. Patients can also impede the formation of a blood clot by constantly rinsing their mouths after an extraction. Drinking through a straw can also complicate natural recovery.

The only way to treat a dry socket is to ensure that the affected area is properly healing. Dentists will clean the affected socket to remove any debris that could cause infection and then fill the hole with a specialized dressing. They will typically prescribe certain medications to prevent infection. They might also suggest nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to help ease any discomfort caused by pain.

Dry sockets are easily preventable with the help of an experienced dentist. It’s important for dentists to dialogue with their patients and provide an individual and specialized course of action.

Read More

It’s hard to bounce back from a criminal conviction. Having a criminal record can cause serious consequences and cost a person important opportunities. In Texas, for example, a person is constantly screened for past crimes when applying for a job or looking for a new place of residence.

According to the website of Ian Inglis Attorney at Law, particular circumstances can allow a person some leeway in this regard. The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows certain individuals to file for expunction—a legal process that can have criminal records sealed away or cleared. In some cases, the court can also grant an eligible individual to say that they have never been arrested nor convicted of a crime if asked during interviews and other similar procedures.

Expunction provides opportunities for those looking to start over after a criminal conviction. However, not everyone can be eligible to undergo this legal process. As stated by Texas law, the option for expunction is only open for those applicable to the following circumstances:

  • Wrongful convictions
  • Pardoned convictions
  • Arrests without conviction
  • Acquittals
  • Juvenile offenses

Anyone looking to file for expunction must also have to wait until a specific amount of time has passed. The length of time required for expunction will depend on the nature of the criminal conviction. In Texas, Class C misdemeanors require 180 days from the date of the arrest. Both Class A misdemeanors and Class B misdemeanors require a 1 full year. Meanwhile, felony charges require a wait time of 3 years.

Other specific factors might also come into consideration before being granted expunction by the court. The court might also need to take into account the nature and details of the crime being called into question. Individuals considering expunction will have to consult with a qualified defense attorney to learn more about the process.

Read More

First Aid Measures for Drowning

Posted By on Apr 30, 2015

Swimming is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable recreational activities. A quick dip in a hotel or public pool can be extremely refreshing and satisfying, especially during the hot summer months. Despite all this, it’s still important to remember that swimming can pose plenty of risks. The threat of drowning is particularly alarming, especially when children are involved in such accidents.

The enjoyment drawn from swimming should not overshadow your ability to respond to emergency situations. First aid measures can make a huge difference when the worst happens. CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an essential lifesaving technique that can prevent drowning fatalities.

To successfully perform CPR, one will need proper training. Luckily, plenty of hospitals and organizations offer CPR courses. These are open to the public and anyone interested in learning can attend. If you are not properly trained in this lifesaving technique, you will need to contact emergency medical assistance right away. The following is a guide to help CPR beginners respond to quickly in case a child or adult drowns.

After moving the person out of the water, turn them on their side and immediately open the mouth and clear it of foreign material. Observe the chest area for movement and quickly check the mouth and nose to see if they are still breathing. Next, move two fingers to their neck and feel for a pulse. If the person is not breathing or has little to no pulse, lay them flat on their back and place the heel of one hand firmly on the lower third of the breastbone and do 30 quick compressions. If the victim is an infant, place two firm fingers on top of the breastbone. After the compression, open up their airway by placing one hand on the forehead, the other on the chin, and gently tilt the head back. You can then pinch their nose and place your mouth over theirs, giving two slow and steady breaths. Repeatedly give compressions and rescue breaths until you see the drowning victim respond and start breathing.

Drowning can cause devastating injuries and even be fatal. It’s important to learn proper emergency response in case such accidents occur. Those suffering from injuries caused by drowning can pursue legal action against property owners responsible for maintaining the swimming pool where the accident occurred. According to the website of the The Mokaram Law Firm, pursuing just compensation can help victims cover the cost of medical bills and other finances required by treatment and recovery. Ravid & Associates, P.C. also states on its website that the stakes become even higher when the victims involved are children.

Read More

A Quick Look on the History of Yachts

Posted By on Apr 28, 2015

Yachts today often have luxurious designs and amenities. Aside from state of the art exteriors and equipment, yachts are often fitted with plenty of other features that will help ensure maximum comfort for the passengers. The most exceptional models have spacious interiors bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and a dining area. Essentially, today’s fishing boat models allow people to enjoy the comfort of their homes as they embark on an adventure in the sea.

Prior to these advancements, yachts were simply characterized as a light and fast sailing vessel. In fact, before they were used for fishing, these lightweight vessels were used by navy men to following pirates and other known transgressors to more shallow waters. In fact, the term “yacht” is derived from the Dutch term meaning “hunt”. Around the 17th century, yachts were also used to transport royalty and other important personage. This all started when Charles II chose to ride in a yacht-like vessel as he travelled between the Netherlands and England in 1660. As its use spread throughout Europe, yachts also played an instrumental role during the Age of Exploration, allowing explorers to discover new terrains.

Because of its size, yachts were eventually employed by recreational fishers and sailing enthusiasts. The yacht was perfect for these activities because it can sail fast and was easy to maneuver. Through the years, advancements in sea vessel technology allowed yachts to become even more sturdy and streamlined. Customized yachts are also made for sportfishing and cruising.

Today, yachts play an important role in America’s cultural consciousness and have become a symbol for both luxury and adventure. A state of the art yacht has become a requirement for anyone who enjoys the wide-range of activities to be enjoyed in the open sea.

Read More

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) notes that breast reconstructive surgery is among the six most common reconstructive procedures performed in the year 2013. This translates to about 96,000 patients, most of whom are women that have undergone mastectomy. These patients needed to have their breasts removed due to cancer or other medical conditions, and typically experience profound effects on their emotional disposition following the procedure. Thankfully, breast reconstruction surgery can help ease any distress caused by the significant changes in their physical appearance.

There are plenty of factors to take into consideration before one can decide to undergo breast reconstruction surgery. Any type of plastic surgery is considered a deeply personal choice, and a reconstructive procedure might not be the right option for everybody. If you are thinking about having breast reconstruction surgery, you will need to learn as much as much as you can to make an informed decision.

One of the first things you’ll have to consider is when to have breast reconstruction surgery. Scheduling your reconstruction procedure will depend on your current medical condition and treatment plan. Plenty of women opt to have their reconstruction done immediately after the mastectomy. A Des Moines breast reconstruction expert may tell you that an immediate reconstruction saves the patient from having to feel the emotional distress of having their breasts remove. It also prevents a patient from having to recover from two separate operations. You can also opt to have your breast reconstruction surgery sometime after your mastectomy. Doctors typically recommend postponing reconstruction until any chemotherapy or radiation treatment has been completed.

Another important consideration involves the type of breast reconstruction surgery that’s best for your specific situation. There are several options available. For one, you can choose between having breast implants and using flaps of tissue harvested from another part of your body. You can also ask your surgeon for nipple or areola reconstruction, or opt for a prosthetic nipple instead.

Ultimately, choosing to undergo breast reconstruction surgery requires plenty of deliberation. It’s best to communicate openly with your surgeon and ask about all the options available to you. Making such an important decision will become a lot easier after your doctor presents all the factors you need to consider.

Read More

Surgical procedures pose several risks. The benefits from these procedures usually outweigh the risks. Still, many doctors prefer to perform minimally invasive procedures as much as possible. To significantly reduce the risk of infections, doctors make use of specialized surgical tools that allow them to operate using smaller incisions. Among such tools is the laparoscopic power morcellator, which was originally manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and saw widespread use starting the 1990’s.

Morcellators are used to remove benign growths called fibroids inside a woman’s uterus. While these are noncancerous growths, uterine fibroids can still lead to some level of discomfort. Most of the time, these fibroids cause women to experience heavy menstrual bleeding, longer menstrual cycles, pelvic and back pain, frequent urination, and constipation. Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, women can also experience issues with fertility.

The use of morcellators has proven to be very effective. In fact, a good number of doctors prefer to treat patients with fibroids through morcellation due to its quick recovery time. However, recent findings have shown that morcellators can cause a lot more harm than good. In particular, a campaign led by Dr. Amy Reed indicates that morcellators can be exacerbating the spread of undiagnosed cancer in some women.

A statement issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2014 warned doctors of the potential dangers morcellation can cause for patients with undiagnosed uterine cancer. This specific type of cancer can be hard to diagnose prior to surgery, and the growths it cause can be hard to distinguish from benign fibroids. Since morcellation uses a fast-spinning blade to slide down fibroid tissues, doctors can end up inadvertently slicing malignant growths and cause the cancer to spread even more easily.

Still, morcellators the use of morcellators continues to be rampant in the medical community. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, several doctors continue to use morcellation for lower risk patients. On top of that, morcellator manufactures continue to market the dangerous device. The website of Williams Kherkher emphasizes that the correlation between mocellator use and cancer growth will continue to affect peoples’ lives unless the medical community is held accountable for these devastating incidents.

Read More

We typically face the risk of injury in our daily lives. For people working in high risk industries such as construction and transportation, these risks double while on the job. Unfortunately, workplace accidents are an all too common occurrence. According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, accidents in the private industry have caused about 2.9 million injuries in 2013. In some cases, these injuries lead to debilitating disabilities.

People left disabled by workplace accidents are robbed of an opportunity to earn an income. Even worse, their condition will often require medical treatment and specialized care that could cost a lot of money. These l burdens can result in significant effects for their families, as well as the stability of their lives. Anyone suffering from a disability caused by a workplace accident can only rely on certain benefits and compensation plans to help ease their financial situations.

According to the website of the Hankey Law Office, workers with disabilities can turn to benefits provided by Social Security. Depending on specific details of their situation, they can be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. The first option is applicable for individuals who have been able to make regular payments on Social Security or Federal Insurance Contribution. The second option is meant for those who have not earned enough Social Security credits during the period of their employment.

Workers’ compensation benefits provided by employers can provide another viable solution for financial problems resulting from injury and disability. Unfortunately, the process of filing a claim for workers’ compensation can often become long and complicated. Employers and their insurance providers will often impose a complex claim process that will make it harder for workers to pursue compensation. For such cases, it’s best to work with an experienced legal counsel to ensure that benefits are received promptly.

Read More