Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Annual Obesity Conference to Offer Continuing Education Credits for Certification Examination for Obesity Medicine Physicians (COMP) PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Jennifer Eisenhofer   
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 07:35

The Fourth Annual Continuing Education Conference will feature nationally recognized lecturers in the field of obesity treatment.

MOUNT LAUREL, NJ — The 2012 Certification Examination for Obesity Medicine Physicians (COMP) will be administered November 3-17, 2012. The examination will test basic knowledge, evaluation and assessment, management and practice issues related to pediatric and adult obesity.

In December 2011, the COMP Steering Committee, composed of 11 professional societies and the American Board of Bariatric Medicine, merged their respective individual exam content, clinical expertise and administrative resources to form the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM). ABOM will administer the certification exam for obesity medicine physicians. The ABOM certification exam is a voluntary certification designed to elevate the professional standard of experience and expertise in the treatment of obesity and influence the future of this vital field. The certification serves as a mark of distinction for physicians treating overweight and obese patients, raising their standing among peers and the public (source:

Prior to the exam, physicians must have a minimum of sixty (60) credit hours of continuing medical education (CME) recognized by the American Medical Association Physician Recognition Award (AMA PRA) Category 1 Credits on the topic of obesity; at least thirty (30) credit hours must be obtained by participation and attendance at a conference.

The 2012 Weight Conference, “The Science and Business of Weight Management for the New or Experienced Practitioner,” will help satisfy 11 CEUs of this requirement. And, during his discussion of Obesity Treatment in Primary Care, Dr. Robert F. Kushner, first chair of the American Board of Obesity Medicine, will be discussing the new certification.

Dr. Kushner joins other distinguished faculty, including, Judith S. Beck, PhD and Deborah Beck Busis, LSW; Thomas Wadden, PhD; John Baker, MD; John Hernried, MD; Susan Baker, MHA; and John Foreyt, MD, to help participants:


  • Gain an understanding of the role of obesity care in primary practices and how to establish an effective program
  • Learn effective counseling strategies for behavior change to help patients stay on your program longer, achieve successful weight loss results and maintain their goal weight
  • Explore the role of the Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) and meal replacements in the clinical management of all overweight individuals, including those with co-morbid conditions especially diabetics

The 4th Annual Continuing Education (CME/CEU) Conference, “The Science and Business of Weight Management for the New or Experienced Practitioner,” will focus on the operational and treatment skills, techniques, and strategies healthcare professionals need to successfully open a new weight loss facility or enhance a current weight management program.

For more information about the 4th Annual Continuing Education (CME/CEU) Conference, visit, or call Jennifer Eisenhofer at 888.519.1192, ext. 3012.



Genesis Offers Free Skin Cancer Screening PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Craig Cooper   
Friday, 20 April 2012 15:33
DAVENPORT, Iowa – April 20, 2012 -- The most common form of cancer also
is one of the most treatable and preventable, but if left untreated, skin cancer can
be deadly.

May is National Melanoma and Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month and
Quad Cities residents are being urged to take advantage of a free skin cancer
screening. The screening will be held from 8-10 a.m. on Saturday, May 19 at
the Genesis Cancer Care Institute, located at Genesis Medical Center, 1401 West
Central Park Ave.

The screening is for people who have not previously had a screening for
skin cancer. Appointments are required and can be made by going to and clicking on screenings. You may also call
(563) 421-8667  and leave a message.

Participants should use the Atrium entrance located on the Central Park Ave. side of
the hospital to attend the screening.

The annual free screening is offered by Genesis to increase public awareness about
malignant melanoma and other skin cancers. Malignant melanoma is the most
serious form of skin cancer. Once malignant melanoma has spread to other parts
of the body, the cancer is often deadly. It is estimated that there will be 76,250
new cases of melanoma this year and melanoma will cause nearly 9,200 deaths.

While the incidence of many common cancers is falling and survival rates are rising,
the incidence of melanoma continues to increase at a rate faster than any of the
seven most common cancers. Melanoma accounts for about 5 percent of skin
cancer cases, but it causes a majority of skin cancer deaths.

Skin cancers are highly curable if detected and treat in the earliest stages.
-- MORE --

2 -- Genesis Offers Free Skin Cancer Screening

It is important for patients to recognize changes on their skin and
skin assessed on a regular basis by their health care provider.

If you have any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor:
• Any change on the skin, especially in the size or color of a mole or other
darkly pigmented growth or spot, or a new growth.
• Scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or change in the appearance of a bump or nodule
• The spread of pigmentation beyond its border, such as dark coloring that
spreads past the edge of a mole or mark
• A change in sensation, itchiness, tenderness, or pain

Risk factors for non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers include:
• Unprotected and/or excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation
• Fair complexion
• Occupational exposures to coal tar, pitch, creosote, arsenic compounds, or
• Family history
• Multiple or atypical moles
• Severe sunburns as a child
The best ways to lower the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer are to avoid intense
sunlight for long periods of time and to practice sun safety. You can continue to
exercise and enjoy the outdoors while practicing sun safety at the same time.

All cosmetics on the skin should be removed prior to the screening. Participants
may choose to have sun-exposed areas such as arms, legs and the face evaluated,
or can receive a full-body screen for which they should wear a bathing suit under


Planning for Long-Term Health Care? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 20 April 2012 14:55
Tips for Selecting Insurance Options

Thanks to Baby Boomers and modern medical marvels, more Americans than ever are heading into their senior years, and they’re expected to live longer than ever, too. Barely 50 years ago, our average life expectancy was 62.5 years; today that number has risen to 78.2 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

That means that more Americans than ever will also soon be deciding how to handle their eldercare. Steve Casto, Retirement Income Specialist and author of Is Your Retirement Headed in the Right Direction?, (, says there are important questions and answers to consider before making that critical decision.

“The key thing to balance is the difference between what you think you’ll need and what you can afford between your liquid assets and insurance coverage,” Casto said. “If you don’t start by asking yourself the right questions, you’ll never get to the answers that will lead to a successful long-term care plan.”

Here are some questions – and their answers:

Q. Should I opt for nursing-home or in-home care insurance?
A. When selecting insurance plans, protect against your worst risk first. In-home care is more about maintenance, while care outside the home is focused on crises. Home care is good for when a person needs help getting around. If he has a stroke, he’d need to be cared for outside the home initially, so there is a need for both.

Q. What should I select as my daily allowance?
A. If your health deteriorates, a daily allowance of $100 per day could cover all your care outside the home, but only a third of the care inside the home. Your home-care costs could rocket to more than $400 or more per day, so plan for the worst.

Q. What is an elimination period?
A. Sometimes referred to as the “waiting” or “qualifying” period, this refers to the length of time between the beginning of an injury or illness and receiving benefit payments from an insurer. With long-term care, the typical elimination period is 90 days, which means you are responsible for covering the first 90 days of care on your own. Most people believe that Medicare covers the first 90 days, which is dead wrong. It only covers it under certain conditions, and not all patients meet those conditions, which include:

o A nursing home stay that follows a three-day hospital stay
o Admission to a nursing home within 30 days of hospital discharge
o A Medicare-certified nursing home
o Physician-certified need for skilled care on a daily basis

Your best bet is to be insured through a long-term care policy for that first 90 days.

“These are just a few of the issues,” Casto says. “A good starting point for those planning early is to completely discount the idea of getting a dime from Medicare. Even if it is still around when you need long-term care, the restrictions on Medicare are tightening. You’ll be lucky to get the program to pay for 10 percent of a nursing home stay.

“The real answer is to get a solid long-term care insurance policy that is based on a sound plan.”

About Steve Casto

Steve Casto is founder and president of Strategic Wealth Solutions, Inc. an Omaha, Neb.-based financial firm that manages money for investors in the Midwest. Steve helps clients reduce their tax bill, minimize their risk, and ensure they don’t outlive their money. He’s the author of Is Your Retirement Heading in the Right Direction? and offers presentations on how to increase income while reducing taxes.

Braley Calls for Investigation into Lean, Finely Textured Beef Controversy PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Kira Ayish   
Friday, 20 April 2012 12:50

Consumers deserve accurate information  


Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) wrote House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings urging them to conduct an investigation into recent claims made in the media about lean, finely textured beef (LFTB).


A series of recent stories on ABC News about LFTB were critical of companies like Beef Products, Inc. (BPI). Other public figures like celebrity chef Jamie Oliver have perpetuated the criticisms of LFTB. Following these reports hundreds of workers were laid off including over 200 workers from BPI's Waterloo, Iowa facility.


“As a father of three, I share every parent’s concern about what their kids eat. We need to know that the food we’re feeding our families is safe and nutritious. And as consumers we deserve to have accurate information.


“It’s important that we investigate the claims made against lean, finely textured beef and do so scientifically to ensure that consumers have accurate information on this and other products.”


Braley has called for those on all sides of the issue to participate in this hearing including the appropriate producers from ABC News, recognized food safety experts, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and workers from BPI.


Text of Braley’s letter is below; a copy of Braley’s letter can be downloaded at the following link:


April 20, 2012


The Honorable Darrell Issa                          


House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform                        

2157 Rayburn HOB                           

Washington, DC  20515                         


The Honorable Elijah Cummings

Ranking Member

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

2471 Rayburn HOB

Washington, DC  20515


Dear Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Cummings:

As you know, there has been significant controversy surrounding claims made in the media about lean, finely textured beef (LFTB).  The public discussion regarding LFTB followed a series of reports on ABC News which were critical of companies such as Beef Products, Inc. (BPI).  In addition to ABC News, other public figures, such as celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, have perpetuated the criticisms of LFTB.  Following these reports hundreds of workers were laid off including over 200 workers from BPI's Waterloo, Iowa facility.

I strongly urge the Committee to conduct hearings and investigate these recent claims. I encourage the Committee to invite all sides to participate in this hearing including, but not limited to, the appropriate producers from ABC News, recognized food safety experts, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and workers from BPI.  Our constituents deserve accurate information about the products they consume and BPI's workers deserve an opportunity to answer their critics.

As a father of three, I share every parent's concern about what their kids eat. Food choices must be made based on nutrition and safety and consumers are right to demand that their food supply is safe. I look forward to working with you on this important issue so that accurate information is available to consumers for this and other foods. Thanks again.





Bruce Braley

Member of Congress


# # #

Governor Quinn Announces Plan to Stabilize Illinois’ Medicaid System PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Thursday, 19 April 2012 15:46

Proposal Saves Medicaid System for Millions

SPRINGFIELD – April 19, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a plan to stabilize Illinois’ Medicaid system and prevent collapse of the program, one of his top priorities this session. The Governor’s plan creates $2.7 billion in Medicaid savings – which includes more than $2 billion in Medicaid reductions and federal matching funds from additional revenues on tobacco products. Today’s proposal follows weeks of productive talks led by the governor’s office with a working group comprised of members from all four legislative caucuses, as well as meetings with numerous provider groups.

“We must act quickly to save the entire Medicaid system from collapse, and protect providers and the millions of Illinois residents that depend upon Medicaid for their healthcare,” Governor Quinn said. “This proposal will fundamentally restructure our Medicaid system, alleviate the pressures on the rest of our budget, and ensure the program is sustainable for years to come.”

Medicaid provides healthcare to 2.7 million people in Illinois and coverage for half of all births. In his February budget address, the Governor highlighted the urgent need for a $2.7 billion reduction in the Medicaid program to prevent systemic collapse. At the end of the current fiscal year (FY 2013), Illinois will have $1.9 billion in unpaid Medicaid bills. The Civic Federation projects $21 billion in unpaid Medicaid bills by 2017 if Illinois’ Medicaid system is not fundamentally and immediately restructured.

The Governor convened a working group – comprised of members from each of the four legislative caucuses – to explore all options and develop a framework to save our Medicaid system. The working group met with and incorporated suggestions from many provider groups, including: hospitals, podiatrists, durable and disposable medical equipment companies, long-term care providers, dentists, pharmacists, and hospice providers.

Governor Quinn’s proposal reduces Illinois’ Medicaid liability by $2.7 billion, with three-quarters of the plan comprised of cuts, reductions and efficiencies, one-eighth in state revenue, and one-eighth in federal matching funds:

·         Cuts, reductions and efficiencies to 58 separate items totaling $1.35 billion (50 percent)

·         Rate reduction to providers totaling $675 million – (25 percent)

·         Additional revenue through a $1 per pack increase in the cigarette tax totaling $337.5 million (12.5 percent)

·         100 percent federal match funding from the increased cigarette tax totaling $337.5 million (12.5 percent)

“The status quo is not an option, and I want to thank the members of the working group, who have worked diligently with us to find real solutions to this problem, “Julie Hamos, Department of Healthcare and Family Services director, said. “What we are presenting today is a balanced approach that targets fraud and abuse, continues our move to coordinated care for Medicaid clients, and takes advantage of federal matching funds to make every dollar go further.”

The cuts, reductions and efficiencies across 58 separate items in the Governor’s proposal include:

·         Program integrity to prevent client and provider fraud

·         Elimination or reduced coverage of certain optional populations and services

·         Controls on use of Medicaid services to prevent over-use or waste

·         Adjustments to rates that are outdated or do not reflect budget realities

·         Expanded cost-sharing by clients

·         Redesigned healthcare delivery system through Coordinated Care

·         Complete implementation of all reforms in 2011 Medicaid reform law

To access more funds from the federal government, the Governor’s plan to limit Medicaid liability includes a tobacco revenue increase. By including a tobacco revenue increase, which amounts to just one-eighth ($337.5 million per year) of the $2.7B savings we must find in the Medicaid program, the state will be eligible for an additional 100 percent in federal matching funds ($337.5 million per year).

In addition to the direct revenue, raising the cost of cigarettes by a dollar will improve the health of the people of Illinois, reducing tobacco-related Medicaid and health care costs over the long-term. According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use cost Illinois $1.5 billion in Medicaid spending last year. Increasing the cigarette tax by a dollar a pack will prevent more than 70,000 children from becoming addicted adult smokers, decrease youth smoking by 11 percent and save more than 38,000 Illinois residents from premature, smoking-caused death.

"The American Cancer Society is pleased to see the Governor combining smart fiscal and public health policy with this proposal,” said Katherine L. Griem, M.D., President of the American Cancer Society, Illinois Division. “Smoking remains the leading cause of cancer and this proposal will not only reduce the burden on the state’s Medicaid program for years to come, but more importantly, it will save lives and improve the health of people across Illinois, particularly in curtailing youth smoking."


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