Rethinking Annual Wellness Visits

When we discuss preventative medicine and ways we can take responsibility for our health, annual wellness visits might come to mind as a means to accomplishing both. It seems to be part of the conventional wisdom most of us abide by, at least in theory. We may not make that visit every year, but we know we should. Or should we?

Over the last several years, there has been a shift on this topic, with more and more physicians saying there is a better way to approach wellness.

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Freedom, Plus Thousands Of Dollars Saved

One of the key values that animates the work of Liberty HealthShare is right there in our name: liberty. We believe our members should be able to access the healthcare that is best for them and their families, without bureaucratic oversight or interference. It's especially rewarding for us when we find out this emphasis on freedom has positively impacted members on a practical level, enabling them to get the care they need in a timely manner.

This was just the case for Mary and Dan K., members from Texas whose children have endured serious health issues in recent years. We recently talked with Mary about their experience as Liberty HealthShare members through a difficult and frightening season.

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Important Member Info: Understanding Pre-Notification

Liberty HealthShare is not an insurance company. We are a ministry that facilitates the sharing of medical costs among the people who participate in this voluntary community. The funds come from our members, not corporate coffers. For this reason, we often remind our members to join us in doing everything they can to reduce the often outrageous costs associated with healthcare.

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Balance Bill? Here's How to Respond.

At some point in your membership with Liberty HealthShare, you might find yourself dealing with what is known as a balance bill. In short, balance billing is what happens when a bill has already been paid and the physician or provider attempts to get more money directly from their patient. It's important to note that balance bills represent only a fraction of the costs that are submitted to Liberty, however, we want to give you the information and steps you will need to properly respond if you find yourself in this situation.

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What Does "Shopping for Healthcare" Mean?

If you have been a Liberty HealthShare member for any length of time, you know that we ask our members to be actively engaged with the cost of their care so that, as a community, we can wisely steward and preserve the financial resources we all share in times of unexpected and unaffordable medical need.

Any time we interact with the healthcare industry as patients, from a yearly check-up to an unforeseen surgical intervention, we alone have the power to compare prices and choose how and where we will access healthcare.

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Positive Ways Your Pet Affects You

Those of us who are pet owners know that having a dog or cat - or bird, reptile, amphibian, or rodent, depending on your interests - makes life a little bit better. Each breed and individual animal has its quirks, but generally, there is a bond between owner and pet. In the case of dogs and (some) cats, they're waiting when you come home, ready to play, in some cases looking like they're actually smiling because they've been reunited with you after a WHOLE day apart.

Have you ever noticed that being around a pet has a calming effect on your mental and emotional state? Certainly, there are some pets that bring rambunctious energy everywhere they go, but there are others that seem to simply enjoy being nearby. The calming effect of pets is no illusion.

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Solving Healthcare Policy with Health Sharing

Recent months have held ongoing legislative discussions concerning the possible repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Although Liberty HealthShare does not align with or endorse any political party, we make a point of staying on top of any policy developments that might affect our membership at both the federal and state level.

Several months ago, Liberty HealthShare Executive Director Dale Bellis and HealthShare Radio host John Daly interviewed former Virginia governor and presidential candidate Jim Gilmore. 

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Back-to-School Check-Ups & Vaccinations

The school year just ended, but we all know it won't be long before we're shopping back to school sales in anticipation of the start of the new year. You probably don't need to worry about those purchases just yet, but this is a good time to plan ahead for your child's back to school check-up and, if necessary, his or her vaccinations.

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Healthcare Consumerism: The Power of Patient Choice

Elaina George, MD

Physician Advisory Board Chairman, Liberty HealthShare

 

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the American healthcare system has undergone significant changes that affect everyone, whether they are patients or not. The price of health insurance and out of pocket costs have continued to rise while access has fallen. In fact, the US healthcare system remains the most expensive in the world, and yet it continues to rank last compared to other western countries.

Additionally, there has been a decrease in the number of private physicians, community and rural hospitals have closed, and prescription drug costs have continued to rise. As a result, Americans continue to pay more for prescription medication than patients in other countries do.

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What Causes Medical Prices to be So High?

John Hunt, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Liberty HealthShare

Advancements in technology bring costs down in most every sector of the economy. Consider that computers, which used to take up an entire floor of a building, now fit in the palm of your hand, and with exponentially higher processing power than in the past. Yet all this increased computing power comes to us far cheaper each year than the one before.

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