PROFNET EXPERT ALERTS: Medicare Coverage / Swine vs. Common Flu / Massage Therapy

Friday, October 23, 2009 General News
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form at and we'll take care of the rest. Questions? E-mail us at or call 800-PROFNET (800-776- 3638), ext. 1. ____________ TOPIC ALERTS Swine Flu (continued, 1 response) Health Care Reform (continued, 2 responses) _____________ EXPERT ALERTS 1. Health: Relax, It's National Massage Therapy Awareness Week 2. Health: When Painful Periods Suggest Something Else: Endometriosis 3. Health: Erectile Dysfunction: Treatment with Oral Medications

SWINE FLU (continued)

We've added the following to items posted previously at

1. REDENTOR MENDIOLA, M.D., travel medicine and infectious diseases expert with SUMMIT MEDICAL GROUP in Berkeley Heights, N.J.: "The main difference is that the swine flu has been correlated with high fever, more so than with the common flu. In general, the H1N1 flu presents itself with many of the same characteristics of the flu. These garden-variety symptoms include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. However, there seems to be more acute gastro-intestinal symptoms associated with the H1N1 flu." Mendiola is available to speak on symptoms, treatment and prevention of H1N1 flu and seasonal flu, including the latest H1N1 vaccines. News Contact: Maureen Bennett, Phone: +1-908-277-8834 (10/21/09)


We've added the following to items posted previously at

1. BOB DOWNS, a general manager at UNIVERSAL AMERICAN in Maine and a healthcare expert with the state's advisory council on health systems development and the quality counts board: "The healthcare reform debate is spotlighting Medicare with an open enrollment period beginning Nov. 15, and the complexity of healthcare coverage is getting harder to understand. Maine seniors, the largest Medicare patient population in the country, need to be best prepared to know their Medicare plan, cost, and benefit options." Downs is available to speak about: 1) what seniors need to know about picking a healthcare plan that suits their needs -- balancing benefits, co-pays and premiums; 2) the top three areas to consider when picking a healthcare plan -- economics, network, and special health needs coverage; 3) resources for determining their Medicare eligibility and calculating ROI in Medicare Advantage plans; and 4) differences and advantages of private fee-for-service (PFFS) and preferred provider plans. News Contact: Kim Novino, Phone: +1-617-742-7270 (10/22/09)

2. HOWARD BRODY, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities (IMH) at the UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH (UTMB) and internationally renowned medical ethicist: "Medicare is not inefficient -- with a modest five percent administrative overhead (most private insurers have a minimum of 15 percent), the biggest threat to these benefits is cost inflation due to more tests and treatments that produce fewer benefits. The best guess today is that fully 30 percent of total health spending goes into useless treatment. If this doesn't change, seniors can be sure of one thing: the status quo will sink Medicare as we know it." News Contact: Brianne O'Donnell, Phone: +1-212-220-4444 (10/22/09)



1. HEALTH: RELAX, IT'S NATIONAL MASSAGE THERAPY AWARENESS WEEK. JEFF MANN, licensed massage therapist and president of CORTIVA INSTITUTE - PENNSYLVANIA, can discuss the effectiveness of massage, in light of National Massage Therapy Awareness Week, Oct. 25-31: "From weekend warriors and retail sales people, to tired moms and stressed-out desk jockeys, everyone could use a good massage, but you must choose the massage that is right for you and your situation. Recent research has shown the effectiveness of massage for conditions such as lower back pain, lowering blood pressure, reducing headache frequency and improving body image. Twenty percent of Americans took advantage of massage therapy between August 2007 and August 2008 in this growing $6-11 billion industry." Mann is located in Philadelphia. News Contact: Jeff Durosko, Phone: +1-412-635-7229 (10/22/09)

2. HEALTH: WHEN PAINFUL PERIODS SUGGEST SOMETHING ELSE: ENDOMETRIOSIS. TAMER SECKIN, M.D., co-founder of the ENDOMETRIOSIS FOUNDATION OF AMERICA, laparoscopic surgeon and endometriosis specialist: "Painful periods, nausea and 'killer cramps' for days are not all part of 'being a woman.' An estimated 10 million United States women do not experience relief from a couple of ibuprofen and a day or two to feel normal again. In addition to 'killer cramps,' these women may experience painful intercourse, irregular bleeding, increased gas and bloating, and infertility. When all other causes are excluded, 90 percent of the time, it's probably endometriosis. Unfortunately, endometriosis is the most prevalent, most misdiagnosed, mismanaged, and mishandled disease -- and one of the top three causes of female infertility. Thousands of women end up with unnecessary hysterectomies. Yet every stage of the disease is treatable and, with the correct surgical techniques, even curable. However, early diagnosis and timely intervention are crucial. My approach involves both conservative management (including birth control pills, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, exercise) and aggressive surgery to excise the lesions. Since the disease affects normal social functions, I also recommend talking about it as part of the healing process." Seckin is available to discuss endometriosis, related infertility and treatment options, as well as offer tips on how you can speak up about this "silent epidemic," discuss it with your doctor and find care if you have or a loved one has endometriosis. Seckin, based in New York City, is fluent in Turkish. News Contact: Michael Darden, Phone: +1-917-868-8780 (10/22/09)

3. HEALTH: ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION: TREATMENT WITH ORAL MEDICATIONS. AMIR QASEEM, M.D., Ph.D., MHA, FACP, senior medical associate at the AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS (ACP), is the lead author of ACP's "Hormonal Testing and Pharmacologic Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction" guideline, published Oct. 20. He can discuss how treatment with oral medications demonstrates significant improvements in sexual intercourse and erectile function for patients with ED: "ACP strongly recommends that physicians initiate therapy with an oral phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitor in men who seek treatment for ED unless they have a contraindication to PDE-5 inhibitors, such as nitrate therapy. As for which PDE-5 inhibitor to use, ACP recommends that physicians base the choice on the individual preferences of patients, including ease of use, cost of medication, and adverse effects profile. The evidence is insufficient to compare the effectiveness or adverse effects of different PDE- 5 inhibitors for the treatment of ED because there were only a few head-to- head trials. ACP does not recommend for or against routine hormonal blood tests or treatment in the management of patients with ED because the evidence is inconclusive about the effectiveness in patients with low testosterone levels." Qaseem is based in Philadelphia. News Contact: Steve Majewski, Phone: +1-215-351-2514 (10/22/09)

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