Profits In Health Insurance Under Obamacare – Forbes

A Happy Marriage Positively Influences Heart Health, Study Says

According to Fortune , UnitedHealth may have been among the medical insurers who feared the rising medical care costs and increased liability expected from implementation of the Affordable Care Act, but the nations largest insurer cited sales to individuals and smaller employer groups as a contributor to its enrollment growth at the end of 2013. The company added 4.5 million customers in total last year and its revenues increased 10.7% with help from a 26% revenue bump for Optum UnitedHealths technology services arm. In what might be an unintentional boost from the ACA, Optum runs the unit that was brought in to help repair in the wake of the government insurance sites disastrous rollout. So far, Wellpoint likewise appears to have profited from Obamacare. Again, according to Fortune : The second-largest insurer in the U.S. faced a year of challenges as the Affordable Care Act went into effect and new CEO Joseph R. Swedish took the reins. Wellpoint completed its integration ofAmerigroup, which gave the company the largest Medicaid roster in the industry with nearly 4.5 million patients, and refocused its core business by selling off 1-800 CONTACTS and The insurer reported sales growth of 16% in 2013, to $71.5 billion, though profits dropped over 6% year-over-year. Swedish said he expects 2014 income to be better as the company adds as many as 1.3 million net new customers, an increase driven by the public exchanges set up under the ACA. Some will take this as a sure sign that President Obamas sellout to big insurance companies has worked exactly as intended: to multiply the profits of five giant insurance companies .Of course, the sometimes acid rhetoric of President Obama , Kathleen Sebelius , Nancy Pelosi and progessive bloggers notwithstanding, insurance company profits were never very large in the first place.
Profits In Health Insurance Under Obamacare – Forbes

How Do You Deliver Health Care Where There Are No Roads? Make Community Health Workers Better | Madeleine Ballard

Zarkpa receives ongoing coaching from an outreach nurse who ensured Precious recovered safely and links her to the referral clinic in case of the unexpected. For all of this, we didn’t expect Zarkpa to serve as a volunteer; we issued her a contract-guaranteed salary — tying it to her performance so she would be accountable to her village. Investing in community health worker performance saves more lives. In September 2012, the Liberian Ministry of Health invited Last Mile Health to partner in Konobo, one of the most remote and worst performing health districts in the country. Our research showed people had to walk up to 14 hours to reach the nearest clinic and the average age of death was just 28.6 years . In just 18 months, we deployed 46 professionalized community health workers — like Zarkpa — to ensure all people in 41 hard-to-reach villages (spread across an area the size of Rhode Island) had access to a healthcare worker for the first time. CHW absenteeism and medication stock-outs are now at all-time lows and diagnostic accuracy is excellent. Today the women and children in Konobo have unprecedented access to care: 97 percent of women now receive prenatal care and 98 percent of children are treated right at their doorstep — where care can have the biggest impact even when there are no roads.
How Do You Deliver Health Care Where There Are No Roads? Make Community Health Workers Better | Madeleine Ballard


Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania have added their data to a growing body of research that suggests there is a link between marriage and heart health. The goal of this study was to determine whether or not the positive or negative interactions between married couples would impact heart health. For the purposes of this heart health study , scientists monitored 281 healthy middle-aged adults. All of them were employed and either married or living with a partner in a relationship that was very similar to marriage. Across a period of four days, the researchers evaluated interactions between study subjects and their partners every hour. Also, the subjects were asked to rate those interactions as ones that were either positive or negative. Besides that, scientists checked the thickness of the subjects carotid arteries. Those are major factors in heart health, because they supply the neck and head with oxygen-filled blood. When carotid arteries become too thick, they can also narrow. Together, those problems can lead to a buildup of artery plaque that is considered a major detriment to overall heart health. The study results were recently published in the Psychosomatic Medicine journal, and indicated that subjects who reported having negative interactions with a partner were more likely to have thicker carotid arteries.


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