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Patent challenges are growing in the strained and complex U.S. health care system



Tamika Davis couldn’t nap on the couch while undergoing cancer treatment. She was consistently frightened that considered one of her young children would come over and pull out the chemotherapy needle.

Friends and family watched her children each time they might during treatment for colon cancer last yr. But Davis had gaps in the lack of help because she couldn’t afford child care and didn’t know where to search for help.

“I didn’t have the strength or energy to deal with these things on my own,” said the San Antonio, Texas, resident.

According to researchers and other experts in care delivery, patients are not getting enough help in the face of an increasingly complex health care system. They argue that increased insurance complications, doctor and drug shortages, and lack of communication are making life harder for individuals with serious or chronic illnesses.

“Basically anything you can think of is harder to accomplish these days,” said Elisabeth Schuler, founder and president of Patient Navigator, an organization that helps people navigate the system.

Tamika Davis (right) poses along with her three children (from left): Shanara, 3, Matthew, 11, and Lionel Jr., 2. at MLK Park in San Antonio, Thursday, May 30, 2024 (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

More and more providers and employers are offering patient management assistance, a practice that has begun to be covered by the federal Medicare program. But this help has its limits.

Patients affected by serious or chronic diseases face a variety of challenges. Contain:

  • Coordinating medical appointments and tests, often while working or undergoing treatment.
  • Dealing with denials of coverage or delays in care resulting from insurer pre-approval requirements.
  • Wondering how one can fill a prescription if they cannot get insurance or their medications find yourself on the growing list of drug shortages.
  • Acting as an intermediary between doctors and specialists who don’t speak to one another.
  • Paying medical bills and getting help with rent or utilities. According to Beth Scott of the nonprofit Patient Advocate Foundation, such help has develop into increasingly difficult to seek out since the Covid-19 pandemic.

All of this may develop into much more complicated for patients who don’t speak English or don’t have any experience navigating the health care system, noted Gladys Arias, policy director for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network.

Davis, a cancer patient from San Antonio, said she was in the hospital when she asked for help finding community resources.

She said the case manager put a book of obtainable resources on her bedside table and did nothing more. Davis, a nursing professor, found the book confusing. The programs he detailed had different qualifications based on things like income or diagnosis. The 44-year-old lost her automobile and left her home after care bills mounted up.

“I feel like someone helped me,” she said. “I just didn’t know where to look.”

Ali DiGiacomo stated that she wished she had learned how one can cope with insurance firms in college. He often has to do that while coping with the negative effects of rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

The 30-year-old personal trainer said she spent years attempting to diagnose bouts of intense chest pain, which doctors consider could also be related to her condition. This requires imaging tests, which insurers often deny.

“Dealing with them while having brain fog, fatigue and pain is like the cherry on top,” DiGiacomo said.

DiGiacomo said her formulary, or list of medicine covered by insurance, has modified thrice. This may force her to go looking for a location where a newly covered drug is out there, causing delays in her medication schedule.

He believes he talks to his insurer no less than 4 times a month.

“I need to get the word out,” she said. “Then you discuss with 1,000,000 different people. I wish I had one person to assist me cope with all this.”

Tamika Davis (right) poses along with her three children (from left): Shanara, 3, Matthew, 11, and Lionel Jr., 2. at MLK Park in San Antonio, Thursday, May 30, 2024 (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Many experts say delays in care resulting from insurer pre-approval requirements are becoming more common. More plans have also made it tougher to get coverage outside the network of doctors and hospitals.

A typical denial appeal can easily involve 20 to 30 phone calls between the patient, insurer and doctor’s office, said Scott, director of case management at the Patient Advocate Foundation, which helps individuals with chronic or debilitating diseases.

She said some patients hand over.

“Sometimes you’re sick and you don’t want to fight it anymore,” she said.

Case managers in hospitals are often overworked, which limits the amount of help they will provide, notes Schuler, who became a patient advocate about 20 years ago when her 2-year-old daughter underwent cancer treatment.

According to Michael Anne Kyle, a researcher at Harvard Medical School, support for patients “is very patchy everywhere.”

“I think we have plenty of needed Band-Aids,” she said.

Many cancer centers offer patient navigators who may also help coordinate visits, get answers to insurance questions, find transportation to a health care provider, and provide other support. Some insurers provide similar assistance.

According to advantages consultant Mercer, more and more employers are offering navigation or advocacy assistance to people covered by insurance coverage.

However, these services are still not common. Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers haven’t got consistent access to such help, said Sam Fazio, senior director of the nonprofit Alzheimer’s Association.

“People have difficulty finding their way,” he said.

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Improving the system for patients would require big changes, said Dr. Victor Montori, a Mayo Clinic researcher who studies care delivery.

He said the system must focus more on minimally disruptive medicine, which tailors care to patients’ lives. This means, for instance, reducing unnecessary documentation and surveys, making visits more flexible and giving patients more time with their doctors.

He noted that the burden that falls on patients just isn’t just the time and effort they spend navigating the system. This can also be what they offer up to do that.

“If you waste people’s time on stupid things, you are being unkind to (their) main goal, which is life,” he said. “We need to stop thinking of the patient as a part-time employee of the health care system who we don’t pay.”

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Health and Wellness

Why we all get sick more often after Covid-19




Covid, study

According to an evaluation by Airfinity Ltd., not less than 13 diseases are on the rise within the post-pandemic era. While scientists don’t yet have an evidence, they consider the way in which Covid-19 modified baseline immunity plays a task.

As we reported, one popular one theory that emerged it’s immunological debt. Essentially, which means that people’s immune systems were isolated as a result of isolation, but when the world reopened, people were more at risk of disease, especially young individuals who couldn’t be exposed to disease in settings corresponding to public schools. As Cindy Yuan, an internal medicine physician at a clinic in Shanghai, said: “It’s as if the walls of the immune system have burst, allowing all kinds of viruses to easily enter,” Dr. Yuan said. She told the power that in a matter of months, her patient volume had doubled from pre-pandemic levels. “It works non-stop. From mycoplasma infections last fall to flu and Covid-19 within the winter, after which whooping cough and various varieties of bacterial infections.

Others, like Ben Cowling, head of epidemiology on the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health, usually are not convinced that the immune debt theory tells the entire story. Cowling believes that greater surveillance and more testing have also contributed to the rise in disease reporting and said: “Immune debt certainly happens, but I don’t think it’s resulting in huge epidemics after Cowling.”

Like Cowling, Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, believes there are more aspects at play than simply the debt immunity theory. “Why should it’s worse in places which have done a great job? This seems a bit strange. Part of that’s the concept that these countries are keeping frail, elderly people alive,” Murray added that when combined with the debt immunity theory, “it’s really quite a sophisticated set of things.”

In addition, pandemic-era misinformation about how vaccines work has contributed to declining vaccination rates amongst children, and poverty has played an as yet undetermined role within the spread of disease, experts say. According to the report, poverty levels have skyrocketed around the globe within the wake of the pandemic, adding to the rising rates of infectious diseases. According to Cowling, lower vaccination rates have contributed to a rise in diseases corresponding to measles, polio and whooping cough.

Measles, particularly, serves as a form of litmus test for the spread of other diseases, since 95% childhood vaccination coverage is required to eliminate its spread. Measles, which was functionally eliminated within the United States in 2000, has now been eliminated organized the return after vaccinations for preschool children immersed. According to Katherine Wallace, an epidemiologist on the University of Illinois, the resurgence of measles is an indication that other diseases can have an analogous surge.

Jeremy Farrar, chief scientist on the World Health Organization, identified that COVID-19 has created a “series of concentric circles,” evidenced partially by a decline in vaccination rates.

“We need to make the case for the science and vaccines and explain, clarify and explain the importance. We can’t just say some people are against science or vaccines and forget about them,” Farrar said. “We must listen, explain and try to reach everyone.”

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Health and Wellness

How do we define beauty? Martine Rose asks about the SS25 Show




Justin Shin/Getty Images

Known for making surprise appearances on the fashion week calendar, Martine Rose made her first appearance in Milan, presenting her SS25 collection during men’s week. However, this season, the born beauty raises a matter that many persons are searching for a solution to. How do we define beauty? And what makes yet another beautiful than one other? According to Martine, the answer lies in the “cracks and fissures of culture”: from the extraordinary to the invisible and unpredictable.

“The spring-summer 2025 collection is dedicated to manifestations of beauty born of anxiety, humor and sex,” we read in the program notes. ​​Across the collection of 34 styles, attention was drawn to maximalist nails decorated with puffy crystals and checks, floor-length black wigs and prosthetic noses. Designed to “give a confrontational appearance,” the long, unkempt hair and, after all, the false noses reminded us of the distinctiveness and exclusion of Black people in beauty.

How do we define beauty?  Martine Rose asks about the SS25 Show
MILAN, ITALY – JUNE 16: A model walks the runway of the Martine Rose fashion show during Milan Menswear Spring/Summer 2025 on June 16, 2024 in Milan, Italy. (Photo: Justin Shin/Getty Images)

WITH over 44,000 nose surgeries performed in the USA in 2022 (greater than twice as many as 20.7 thousand in Italy this 12 months), rhinoplasty is commonly modeled after a Eurocentric nose. “The very first thing you see on people is commonly their nose. “It’s often the first thing they change about themselves.” she says . Presenting show notes in the city described as a “traditional platform for mainstream beauty exploration”, the British designer decided to counter this with wide, taped noses (which go against the traditional “ski slope” nose standard), complemented by a “hard wig, soft life” hairstyle “.

Behind the messy, tangled hair was a hairstylist Gary Gill (who was also answerable for Fendi and Hérmes) and a colorist Tasha Spencer, tying up her disheveled braids and lifting her thin fringe into the air. From the nose to hair and nails, “body-modifying items challenge conventional notions of beauty, character and anonymity,” Rose wrote, questioning beauty standards and the way they exist in the first place. So between the partitions of the Porta Romana and the seats covered with recycled sheets, tense “untried and interesting evolutions of beauty” could emerge.

How do we define beauty?  Martine Rose asks about the SS25 Show
MILAN, ITALY – JUNE 16: A model walks the runway during the Martine Rose Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2025 fashion show as a part of Milan Men’s Fashion Week on June 16, 2024 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

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Health and Wellness

Why do I poop in the morning? A gut expert explains




No, you’ll be able to’t imagine it. People are literally more prone to poop in the morning, right after breakfast. Scientists have actually studied this.

But why in the morning? What if you happen to are inclined to poop later in the day? And is it price training to be a morning buyer?

To understand what causes us to poop, we’d like to think about numerous aspects, including our body clock, our gut muscles, and what we eat for breakfast.

Here’s what the science says.

So morning poop is real?

IN UK study since the early Nineties, researchers have asked almost 2,000 men and ladies in Bristol about their bowel habits.

The most typical moment of urination was during the period early morning. The peak for men was at 7–8 a.m., and for ladies about an hour later. Scientists speculated that the earlier time for men was attributable to getting up earlier for work.

About a decade later, Chinese study I found the same pattern. About 77% of the nearly 2,500 participants said that they had pooped in the morning.

But why in the morning?

There are several reasons. The first concerns our circadian rhythm – our 24-hour internal clock that helps regulate body processes equivalent to digestion.

In healthy people, our internal clock implies that the muscles in the colon are contracting distinct rhythm.

At night there may be minimal activity. The deeper and calmer our sleep, the higher less these muscle spasms that we have now. This is one in every of the reasons we do not poop while we sleep.

The lower intestine is a muscular tube that contracts more strongly at certain times of the day.

But activity increases during the day. Our colon contractions are most energetic in the morning after waking up and after each meal.

One particular sort of colonic contraction, partially controlled by our internal clock, is often called “mass movements“. These are strong contractions that push the poop down into the rectum, preparing it to be passed out of the body, but do not all the time result in a bowel movement. In healthy people, these contractions occur several times a day. They occur more often in the morning than in the evening and after meals.

Breakfast can also be a reason to poop. When we eat and drink, our stomach expands, which triggers “gastrocolic reflex“. This reflex stimulates the colon to contract strongly and will result in any existing poop in the colon being pushed out of the body. We know that the gastrocolic reflex is strongest in the morning. This explains why breakfast will be such a powerful trigger for bowel movements.

And then our morning coffee. It may be very strong stimulant contractions of the sigmoid colon (the last a part of the colon before the rectum) and the rectum itself. This results in a bowel movement.

How essential are morning poops?

Big international surveys show that the overwhelming majority of individuals poop between thrice a day and thrice every week.

This still leaves many individuals who do not have regular bowel movements, have regular bowel movements but with various frequency, or do not all the time urinate in the morning.

So if you happen to are healthy, it’s rather more essential that your bowel movements are comfortable and regular. Bowel movements must happen once a day in the morning.

Morning poop can also be not good for everybody. Some people with irritable bowel syndrome feel an urgent must defecate in the morning – often several times after waking up, during and after breakfast. This will be quite disturbing. It appears that morning urination is attributable to overstimulation of morning colonic contractions.

Can you train yourself to be regular?

Yes, for instance, to assist treat constipation via the gastrocolic reflex. Children and elderly people affected by constipation can use the toilet immediately after eating breakfast to alleviate symptoms. For adults affected by constipation, drinking coffee usually can assist stimulate the intestines, especially in the morning.

Disrupted circadian rhythms may also result in irregular bowel movements and an increased risk of urination evenings. So not only can higher sleep habits help people sleep higher at night, but they can assist them have more regular bowel movements.

A man preparing Italian-style coffee at home, adding coffee to the pot
Regular morning coffee can assist relieve constipation.
Caterina Trimarchi/Shutterstock

Regular physical activity and avoiding it sits so much are also essential in stimulating bowel movementsespecially in people affected by constipation.

We know that stress can contribute to irregular bowel movements. So minimize stress and give attention to leisure can assist bowel movements turn into more regular.

Fiber also comes from fruit and veggies helps make your bowel movements more regular.

Finally, ensuring proper hydration helps minimize the risk of constipation and makes your bowel movements more regular.

Monitoring bowel habits

Most of us think that pooping in the morning is normal. However, there may be a large variation in the norm, so don’t be concerned in case your poops don’t follow this pattern. It is more essential that your poops are comfortable and regular for you.

If you’re concerned a couple of serious change in your bowel regularity, please contact your GP. The cause could also be so simple as a change in weight-reduction plan or starting a brand new medication.

But sometimes it might mean a very important change in your gut health. Therefore, your GP might have to order further tests, which can include blood tests or imaging tests.

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