Posts Tagged ‘Mercy Health Plans’

Will Mercy Health Plans Be the Next to Implement Online Care?

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

skypeAccording to Megan Johnson of U.S. News & World Report, “Visiting your doctor online is a virtual reality.”  The use of technology to connect doctors and patients in real time is spreading fast.  Not only is it convenient for both doctors and patients, it saves quite a bit of money.  Whether using a video camera to see the patient’s ailment or simply having it described, doctors are able to help patients avoid coming into the office nearly 95% of the time.  This saves patients on costly emergency room or urgent care visits off-hours or on the time it takes to schedule an appointment in a doctor’s office.  Not only can you compare health insurance programs offering these services, online care can be helpful to people who don’t have insurance because they usually just charge a flat fee for chatting with a doctor.

These tele-health technologies might be one of the things that can help slow down this steep increase in the cost of health care.  The Hawaii Medical Service Association and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota are two health care plans using these online technologies.  Patients enter medical information into an online database and are charged based on whether they carry the insurance or not.  Members of Mercy Health Plans may wonder if their carrier will implement these programs as well.  Online health care allows patients and doctors to correspond via email, review lab results, refill prescriptions, and make appointments more easily.  This new wave of “visiting” the doctor online seems to be the next step in health care.

Quit Smoking with Mercy Health Plans

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Is your new years resolution to quit smoking?  With information from Mercy Health Plans you can succeed this year.  The Mercy Health Plan System is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.  They serve the health care needs of patients throughout Missouri and in Arkansas, Kansas, & Oklahoma.  Mercy is dedicated to helping their members obtain healthy lifestyles.  One of the most important ways to do this is by quitting smoking.  While there are national and statewide phone numbers and programs to help you quit, Mercy has some additional tips and information to help you succeed.

The first step to quitting smoking is just thinking about doing it.  Let doctors, friends, and family know that you want to quit so that they can help you along the way.  Your chances of quitting actually double with medications like nicotine replacement.  A few weeks of nicotine replacements like gum, the patch, or a prescription can help get you through the toughest cravings and difficulty.  Since many people smoke as a stress release, it is important to find another way to relieve stress like taking a walk or calling a friend.

Most people try to quit smoking around eight times before they succeed, so hang in there and know that you are not alone.  Get ready to quit by selecting a date, getting any medications you need, and throwing away all ashtrays and lighters around you.  It is crucial to change your routines so that you don’t crave a cigarette at the usual times.  Ask for support to keep you on track.  The National Quit Hotline and numerous other support programs throughout the country can assist and keep you on track.