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Healthcare claims

3 Ways COVID-19 Has Impacted School Lockdown Procedures

While lockdown drills have become common practice in most schools, COVID-19 posed new concerns in regards to the proper way to ensure school safety. This forced many schools to rethink their approach to school lockdowns and consider the ways the pandemic has affected lockdown protocols moving forward.

1. Crowding Issues

One of the primary concerns for school lockdowns post COVID-19 is that lockdowns encourage students to crowd together as closely as possible. The opposite, however, is true of proper pandemic protocols, presenting concerns on how to both keep students apart and prevent their separation from drawing the attention of a school intruder.

2. Unequal Concerns Across Demographics

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic affects certain demographics such as Black and Hispanic communities more so than traditionally white districts. This forces schools that cater to these demographics to weigh the threat of the pandemic against the increased potential for school invasion or violence when determining an effective back-to-school plan.

3. New Lockdown Drills

For better or worse, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the reasons school lockdown procedures are necessary. The use of the same term for both pandemic and violent threats, however, has encouraged schools to reconsider the use of the term “lockdown drills” to refer to preparation for both viral threats and physical ones.

COVID-19 has brought many changes to the country, including the way schools approach lockdown procedures. Moving forward, districts must find a way to combat external threats without jeopardizing the physical or mental health of their students and employees.

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Healthcare claims

High Blood Pressure Can Be a Risk to Truckers

In the U.S., a lot of Americans deal with high blood pressure. As a silent disease, many patients have no symptoms of the condition. Untreated high blood pressure can lead to serious medical events, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Commercial truckers with high blood pressure are at risk of having a medical emergency while on the road. This is why the Department of Transportation has regulations regarding physicals and blood pressure.

Can Truckers Have High Blood Pressure?

If you were diagnosed with high blood pressure, you do not have to quit trucking. The DOT requires you to keep your blood pressure under control. You have to keep your blood pressure 140/90.  If you test higher than that, then you can keep your certification for a year or less, depending on your level of hypertension. All you have to do is lower your blood pressure before your next physical.

Can You Lower Your Blood Pressure?

There are ways that you can lower your blood pressure. The first way is through medication. The second is through lifestyle changes. Choose water instead of coffee or soda, avoid smoking and eat more fruits and vegetables. With adequate lifestyle changes, you can lower your blood pressure to a healthy level.

The DOT blood pressure physical does not have to be a stressor in your life. If you keep your blood pressure under control, you’ll keep your certification.

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Healthcare claims

3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Providing Mental Healthcare in Nursing Homes

Caring for elderly patients who have mental illness can be challenging. Yet, when long-term care facilities are prepared, these patients can safely receive the attention they need. Here are three pitfalls to avoid when providing mental healthcare in nursing homes.  

Circumvent Potential Liability Issues

Facilities with severe mental illness patients should look outside using powerful psychotropic medications. This may potentially reduce the likelihood of any harsh liability issues. Sadly, when “chemical restraint” is enforced, this generally leaves the door open for expensive lawsuits and other citations that could harm your business.

Purchase Comprehensive Nursing Home Insurance

Elderly patients who have severe mental illness may also present additional risks to care facilities. This is why purchasing comprehensive nursing home insurance is crucial to mitigating the costs of such risks. When proper coverage solutions are in place, problems associated with mental health in nursing homes can improve and even protect both patients and staff members. 

Manage Patient Populations Effectively 

When facilities effectively manage patient populations, they are less likely to encounter issues protecting staff, patients and company assets. Additionally, nursing homes with a proper patient-to-staff ratio are more likely to provide compassionate and safe care.  

You can protect individuals and company assets when the environment within your facility encourages healthy care practices. Having an effective insurance policy in place and managing patient population can also prevent unnecessary issues.   

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Commercial Insurance Coverage Plan Healthcare claims Insurance Coverage Self-funded Insurance

What Makes Self-funded Insurance Attractive?

As healthcare costs continue to rise, companies find themselves in the position of having to pass along those costs to their employees and raising premiums year after year. Many are turning to self-funding their insurance plans as a way to contain costs.

Basically in a self-funded (self-insured) plan, the employer takes the risk of paying the healthcare claims. This works in the following manner.

  • When the employer deducts health insurance premiums from the employee’s pay, the money is deposited into the company’s health care asset account where the funds accumulate and earn interest.
  • When an employee visits the doctor and incurs a medical claim, that claim is sent to the employer (or their third-party administrator) and the claim is paid from the funds in the company’s health care asset account.

Self-funded insurance becomes attractive to employers for several reasons.

  • No risk pooling costs associated with fully insured plans
  • Monies in the asset account can accrue interest
  • Claims are not paid until incurred
  • Any surplus left in the assets account is kept by the company, allowing the reduction of premiums and offset costs from year to year based on their claim utilization
  • Lower administration costs
  • Greater plan design flexibility to meet a company’s needs

Companies should talk to their insurance carrier to see if self-funding may be a viable option to reduce costs associated with healthcare benefits.