Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Insurance Companies Killing Off Baby Boomers

During a recent visit with my cardiologist, she recommended I have an echocardiogram to see how my heart is functioning.

For those of you who aren't aware, I have been living with congestive heart failure since 1999. Although I believe my health has improved with a change in diet, medication and exercise, an echocardiogram is necessary to make sure. An echocardiogram uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. This commonly used test allows your doctor to see how your heart is beating and pumping blood. Your doctor can use the images from an echocardiogram to identify various abnormalities in the heart muscle and valves.

Now one would think an insurance company would be delighted to have a patient undergo such a test because good results can mean LESS DEPENDENCE on the company. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOO---my insurance company, Anthem, has denied the test. First, they said it was denied because the request did not come from my primary care physician, which makes no sense to me since she does not treat me for heart disease. But then, after my primary doctor sent over my medical records, I was denied again because the company said I was the one who had to give permission for any records to be released.

I think I can understand the need for the insurance company to see my medical records to make sure they're not being ripped off by paying thousands of dollars for an unnecessary test but requiring my signature to have them released is RIDICULOUS. Call me on the phone and ask my permission. Instead, they sent some paperwork for me to complete to give them a medical history---which is making me duplicate a job already done by both of my doctors.

I'm of the opinion that Anthem Insurance doesn't give a damn about whether I get better or not, which doesn't make any sense because the longer I go without that echocardiogram means I will be sucking them dry with medical expenses.

Perhaps this is an insurance company's way of killing off the baby boomers.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Leave Politics out of Womens Health Issues

The fallout over the recent decision by the Susan G. Komen Foundation not to fund Planned Parenthood spread far and wide like wildfire in very short period of time.

The outrage expressed by women has now forced executives to do an about face. Here is a letter from our Komen NC Triangle Affiliate:

We know it has been a very difficult week for our supporters. The news has been full of stories about the National grant policy.

TODAY, we are pleased to announce that Susan G. Komen National headquarters revised its GRANTS POLICY.

We heard the concerns from many of you and hundreds of community members and shared the messages with National. As an Affiliate, we were just as distressed as you were over the lack of clarity and facts originally given by National headquarters concerning the grant policy. We are continuing to work hard every day alongside our volunteers and community health grantees to educate, save lives, and support breast cancer survivors.

The policy change means that all eligible agencies may apply for health grants. Our grants process must be free of political influence.

The NC Triangle Affiliate LEADS with its MISSION to improve lives and end breast cancer through empowering women and ensure quality of care for all.

In 2011, through support from the Race for the Cure, individual and corporate philanthropy, and other fundraising events, the NC Triangle Affiliate was able to invest $1 million in community health grants to fund 18 organizations throughout our 20 county service area.
Local community support helped to provide:
• 5,168 Mammograms
• 902 Diagnostic services
• 479 Clinical breast exams
• 95 Patient navigation services
• 85,782 Touched through outreach about breast health, symptoms, risk factors and regular screenings.

Thank you for your continuing support! We would not be able to accomplish everything we do without the support of our volunteers and donors. It is with you by our side that we move forward and continue toward our mission of a world without breast cancer.

Please help us spread the word and bring back those who left us over this issue.

Best regards,
Kathy Burns, Interim Executive Director

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Don Cornelius Put Future African American Baby Boomers on the Dance Map

If you're an African-American baby boomer, you grew up with Don Cornelius and the Soul Train gang.

I was 14-years-old when the show made its debut. Before that I was a fan of American Bandstand and a local dance show out of Cleveland, OH---even though there were very few black faces.

I remember how excited I was to see people who looked like me on Soul Train dancing to the music I heard on the radio. Hearing my hometown music heroes, The O'Jays, singing the theme song and seeing someone I knew from high school dancing on the show kept me glued to my TV set every Saturday at noon.

Don Cornelius and Soul Train not only showcased the big stars, but we were also introduced to the up and coming talent and the blue-eyed soul of acts like Hall and Oates and Average White Band.

Who could forget the soul train scramble board or the dance line, where everyone became a star with their own unique style of dance? Soul Train became so popular at one point that some whites started complaining that they were being discriminated against because none of them were represented on the show.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, Soul Train became the longest-running first-run nationally syndicated show in television history, bringing African American music and style to the world for 35 years.

Soul Train put future African-American baby boomers on the dance map in a mighty big way. I am sad to learn of the death of Don Cornelius but as he would say, "I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and SOOOOOUL!