General Health, Blog, and Company News

Together Clinic Health Update 1/26/2016

January 26, 2016

Eating Healthy Fats May Save Over 1 Million Lives Worldwide

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that replacing bad fats with good fats can reduce deaths from heart disease. Historically people were advised to avoid eating too many fats, however that turns out to be only half true. While minimizing your intake of saturated and trans fats (bad fats) is a good thing, not eating enough of the healthy fats may be hurting you.  Polyunsaturated fats are healthy fats and found in foods like nuts, fatty fish, olive oil, and safflower oil. You can find more information about dietary fats in this Mayo Clinic article.

Over 60? Yoga Improves Balance and Mobility

A new review of existing research shows Yoga can improve mobility and reduce falls among people over age 60 by improving balance according to Fox News Health. "...reduced balance and mobility are linked to falls as well as loss of independence and lower quality of life in older age," study author Anne Tiedemann told Fox News. "It's interesting to note that balance and mobility can be trained and improved at any age - it's never too late to start."

Why Endorphins and Exercise Make You Happy

Feeling the runner's high? Kristen Domonell at CNN Health explains how endorphins released during exercise work to bring about feelings of euphoria and general well-being.

Is Salt Sneaking Into Your Diet?

Eighty nine percent of American adults consume more than the recommended 2,300 mg of salt (sodium) daily. CBS News has complied a list of 10 sneaky sources of salt hidden in your diet putting your health at risk.

Together Clinic Health Update 01/05/2016

January 5, 2016

Can My Phone or Tablet Screen Be Killing Me?

Everywhere we go, people are glued to their devices. Smartphones, e-readers, tablets and more. Can using these devices actually be leading to health problems? Recent research suggests yes! Dr. Anne-Marie Chang, a neuroscientist told The Huffington Post, "This study shows comprehensive results of a direct comparison between reading with a light-emitting device and reading a printed book and the consequences on sleep." The Journal of Youth & Adolescence and the Journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes have published similar results. The light emitted from the device's screen can alter melatonin and alertness levels leading to poor sleep quality and even depressive symptoms. So the next time you decide to read in bed, just pick up an old fashioned book.

Too Much Sugar Can Increase Cancer Risk

On January 1st, the journal Cancer Research published an article suggesting that dietary sugar consumption increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Co-author Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., professor of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine, told Science Daily that the culprits were "specifically fructose, in table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, ubiquitous within our food system". Other types of cancer influenced by sugar consumption include colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate.

Warning Signs For Sudden Cardiac Arrest

A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that many patients actually experience warning signs before suffering a sudden cardiac arrest. According to a report by CBS News, "about half of patients who have a sudden cardiac arrest first experience symptoms like intermittent chest pain and pressure, shortness of breath, palpitations, or ongoing flu-like symptoms such as nausea and abdominal and back pain. Yet 80 percent of them ignore their pre-arrest symptoms." Even though these symptoms can have other explanations, they "should not be ignored," Dr. John Day, president of the Heart Rhythm Society told WebMD. "Particularly if you have risk factors for heart disease, such as a family history of heart problems or high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes or a known heart condition."

Is Aspirin Right For You?

For people with a history of heart disease or stroke, aspirin has been shown to protect against recurrent strokes and heart attacks. Aspirin may also reduce the risk of a variety of cancers. However, the data is less clear in people without a history of heart disease or stroke. A recent WebMD article discusses the current U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations for aspirin use. As always, discuss all medication changes with your healthcare provider.

Together Clinic Health Update 12/22/2015

December 22, 2015

Healthy Eating Tips For The Holidays

Temptation is in the air during the holidays. The office is filled with holiday goodies and everyone is handing out homemade treats. WebMD has a top ten list of holiday diet tips including wearing snug clothes and making sure not to skip meals. The Cleveland Clinic put together a nice infographic to curb the cravings. If you are heading to the holiday party, check out this advice from

Coffee Consumption May Lower Mortality

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study suggesting that regular coffee consumption lowers the 10-year risk of death. Medical News Today reported that compared with individuals who did not drink coffee, those who consumed four to five cups daily had the lowest risk of death from various causes, including diabetes, heart disease, respiratory diseases, influenza and suicide.

Brief Periods Of Standing Or Walking Can Help Lower Blood Sugar

Fox News Health reported on a study in Diabetes Care suggesting that, in postmenopausal women at risk for diabetes, standing up or walking every so often improved blood sugar compared to those who sat for 7.5 hours.

Task Force: Check Blood Pressure At Home

The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends checking blood pressure routinely at home as well as at the doctor's office. Dr. Mark Ebell of the University of Georgia and a member of the task force told NBC News, "We think an even bigger concern is under-diagnosis and under-treatment. There are a lot of people out there who have high blood pressure who don't know it or who have high blood pressure and it's not being adequately treated."

Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers Eligible For CCM in 2016

CMS continues emphasize the importance that primary care and the impact care coordination have to improve health outcomes and reduce expenditures.  Based on a recent change in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, beginning January 1, 2016, Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) will be eligible to bill for chronic care management services. 

Payment for CCM services will be based on the Physician Fee Schedule national average non-facility payment rate for CPT code 99490 when billed alone or with other payable services on a RHC or FQHC claim. For the first quarter of 2015, the national average payment rate for CCM services was $42.91 per beneficiary per month

The core CCM requirements still apply for RHCs and FQHCs. Patient informed consent, personalized care plans, tracking of billable time, and use of a certified EHR are a few of the items necessary to perform the CCM services.

Together Clinic is your chronic care management resource. Contact us to see how our turn-key CCM solution can help start and maximize CCM services in your practice.