Locating and Finding The Good Plumber

In every home, the owner should make it a point to retain the phone number on a qualified plumber who can be called at short notice because a blocked pipe, broken sink or toilet can cause quite a scare.

Try and get one as soon as possible if you still do not have one because may be you have just moved to a new place.

The YellowPages and the Google are the obvious places to check for such professionals as advertised there. There are some factors to help you locate a good plumber.

If the plumber is licensed or not: Most countries offer some rules to be met by the plumbers worth their own salt, which differ from place to place but the idea is to discourage the fake ones from operating freely without proper documents.

Check the charges: It is good to have a standard but it is normally done on an hourly basis or per each job done since most places do not offer any fixed rule on this.

Most people like to pay per job done and especially do it after they have seen the kind of results achieved by the plumber.

Other charges: It is usually done if there are any transportation charges to be considered or any spares that have been bought for the repairs to be done. It could also include the overtime charges if the person is working outside official working hour, say in the night. Always clarify this in advance on phone before asking the plumber to come for the job.

Warranty period: It is usually covered up to three months but if you need more time then the best thing is to agree in advance through negotiations between you and the plumber. It can happen if you are used to the plumber because he has worked for you before and will not mind giving you such considerations.

Educational Tips for Government, Parents, Teachers and Students


EDUCATION! A word that animates my face whenever I hear it. According to Google, education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits. Well, to me, education is the learning about new ideas, places and the world itself.

There is a great difference between being literate and being educated; the ability to read and write is being literate while being educated is to be able to reason, to use your ability to read and write to your advantage.

We ask ourselves sometimes, why is education important, education is very important in our day-to-day activities, I strongly believe that by the time you are through with this article, you would be able to see the importance of education.

First and foremost, being educated makes a person happy. An educated person has little or no job insecurity, no inferiority complex as he/she would be able to defend his/her word anywhere and anytime due to his well organized understanding of the world. Truly, education is not the key to happiness, but it is definitely the key to a lot of other things which come together to make you happy.

Also, being educated gives the will to keep trying till you succeed. An uneducated person may have better intellectual and labour capacity, but there will be the lack of understanding of multiple ways to achieve their goals which is an obstacle.

Being educated also leads to economic growth of the nation. When the people of a nation are EDUCATED and not LITERATE, they would definitely carve ways to be self sufficient. When the people in a society are economically independent, it will serve as a stepping stone to combined productivity that leads to the economic growth of the nation as a whole. Countries like Russia, Canada, Japan, Israel and the United states have been ranked the 5 most educated countries in the world because of the percentage of people who went to school up to the tertiary level but the question is: are they really educated?

An educated person would be able to keep up with evolution. You can only keep up with evolution if you are aware of them. When I say evolution, I mean things like Whatsapp. Imagine what the world would be like without Whatsapp, Facebook, Nimbuzz, Skype, etc, since all these are made to simplify life.

Education makes one logical. An uneducated person would see evolution as an evil machinery. Remember, being educated does not mean you can’t read or write, it means you can’t apply your literacy in your day-to-day life. I was talking to a woman in my area and she was telling me that online shops like Jumia, Konga, etc are the devil’s machinery. Just think, does this mean this person can’t read or write, of course not, she can read and write but it just means she is uneducated. I had to take time to let her know that online shops makes shopping easier for a busy person and also the other benefits attached to it even though it has its own disadvantages like fraud, but only an uneducated person, mind you, I don’t mean an illiterate but an uneducated person that would be defrauded.

There are other benefits attached to education, but I would like to drop my pen here.

Be Educated!!!

A dream is in your head; a goal is putting into writing i.e. in a book. A dream gets you fantasizing; a goal gets you taking action. A dream makes you relaxed; a goal makes you strive.

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Population Level Health Management and Predictive Analytics

There has been much discussion of population health management coupled with predictive analytics recently in the health care field. Why? Most who are discussing these topics see it as a means of improving the health of patients while reducing the costs of doing so. Providing better care at lower costs is becoming necessary as payers are beginning to pay for quality outcomes as they move away from fee-for-service.

What is population health and how does predictive analytics fit in? Let me begin by defining population health and illustrate predictive analytics. In statistics, population refers to the complete set of objects of interest to the investigation. For instance, it could be the temperature range of adolescents with measles. It could be the individuals in a rural town who are prediabetic. These two are of interest in healthcare. Population also applies to any other field of research. It could be the income level of adults in a county or the ethnic groups living in a village.

Typically, population health management refers to managing the health outcomes of individuals by looking at the collective group. For instance, at the clinical practice level, population health management would refer to effectively caring for all the patients of the practice. Most practices segregate the patients by diagnosis when using population health management tools, such as patients with hypertension. Practices typically focus on patients with high costs for care so that more effective case management can be provided to them. Better case management of a population typically leads to more satisfied patients and lower costs.

Population health from the perspective of a county health department (as illustrated in last month’s newsletter) refers to all the residents of a county. Most services of a health department are not provided to individuals. Rather, the health of residents of a county is improved by managing the environment in which they live. For instance, health departments track the incidence of flu in a county in order to alert providers and hospitals so that they are ready to provide the levels of care needed.

You should be able to see that the population whose health is being managed depends upon who is providing the service. Physician practices’ population is all the patients of the practice. For county health departments it is all residents of a county. For the CDC it is all residents of the United States.

Once the population is identified, the data to be collected is identified. In a clinical setting, a quality or data team is most likely the body that determines what data should be collected. Once data is collected, trends in care can be identified. For instance, a practice may find that the majority of the patients who are identified as being hypertensive are managing their condition well. The quality team decides that more can be done to improve the outcomes for those who do not have their blood pressure under control. Using the factors from the data that it has collected the team applies a statistical approach called predictive analytics to see if can find any factors that may be in common among those whose blood pressure is not well managed. For instance, they may find that these patients lack the money to buy their medication consistently and that they have trouble getting transportation to the clinic that provides their care service. Once these factors are identified, a case manager at the clinic can work to overcome these barriers.

I will finish this overview of population health management and predictive analytics with two examples of providers using the approach correctly. In August 2013 the Medical Group Management Association presented a webinar featuring the speakers Benjamin Cox, the director of Finance and Planning for Integrated Primary Care Organization at Oregon Health Sciences University, an organization with 10 primary care clinics and 61 physicians, and Dr. Scott Fields, the Vice Chair of Family Medicine at the same organization. The title of the webinar was “Improving Your Practice with Meaningful Clinical Data”. Two of the objectives of the webinar were to define the skill set of their Quality Data Team, including who the members were, and describing the process of building a set of quality indicators.

The clinics were already collecting a large variety of data to report to various groups. For instance, they were reporting data for “meaningful use” and to commercial payers as well as employee groups. They decided to take this data and more and organize it into scorecards that would be useful to individual physicians and to practice managers at each clinic. Some of the data collected was patient satisfaction data, hospital readmission data, and obesity data. Scorecards for physicians were designed to meet the needs and requests of the individual physicians as well as for the practice as a whole. For instance, a physician could ask to have a scorecard developed for him that identified individual patients whose diabetes indicators showed that the patient was outside of the control limits for his diabetes. Knowing this, a physician could devote more time to improving the quality of life of the patient.

Scorecards for the clinic indicated how well the physicians at the site were managing patients with chronic conditions as a whole. With predictive analytics the staff of the clinic could identify which processes and actions helped improve the health of the patients. Providing more active case management may have been demonstrated to be effective for those with multiple chronic conditions.

Mr. Cox and Dr. Fields also stated that the quality data team members were skilled at understanding access, structuring data in meaningful ways, at presenting data to clinicians effectively and in extracting data from a variety of sources. The core objectives of the data team were to balance the competing agendas of providing quality care, making sure that operations were efficient and that patient satisfaction was high.

A second example of population health management focuses on preventing cardiovascular disease in a rural county in Maine-Franklin County. Over a 40-year period, starting in the late 1960’s, a volunteer nonprofit group and a clinical group worked together to improve the cardiovascular health of the residents of the county. As the project advanced, a hospital joined in the efforts.

At the beginning of the prevention efforts, the cardiovascular health of this poor county was below the state average. As volunteers and clinical groups became more active in improving the health of its residents, various cardiovascular measures improved significantly and actually were better in some respects than more affluent counties in the state that had better access to quality health services. The improvements were driven by volunteers who went out into the community to get those identified as being at risk of developing cardiovascular problems involved in smoking cessation classes, in increasing their physical activity and in improving their diets. This led to lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol rates and improving endurance.

The results and details of this 40-year effort in Franklin County has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in January 2015. The article is “Community-wide CVD prevention programs linked with improved health outcomes”.

As you can see, a population level approach to healthcare provides effective results. A clinic can improve the outcomes of its patients with chronic diseases while balancing costs through improved efficiency by focusing on data at the population level. A community can improve the lives of its residents by taking a population level approach to preventive care. Population level approaches to healthcare are varied and can be very successful if population level theory is correctly implemented. Better results can be obtained pairing it with predictive analytics.

Donald Bryant helps healthcare providers meet their challenges. Go to http://www.bryantsstatisticalconsulting.com to get the free article “7 Challenges in Healthcare and How to Solve Them” with tips you can use to start improving patient health, improving the bottom line, finding more time to get things done and to learn more about Lean Healthcare. Mr. Bryant is a certified Lean Healthcare facilitator.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Donald_Bryant/8718

Is Mental Health Covered Under Health Insurance?

For people who depend on any type of private or company insurance to cover the cost of their health needs, the question of whether or not the health insurance policy covers mental health problems is a crucial one for a number of reasons.

The idea of a split between physical health and mental health is an old one, and is a fairly arbitrary decision as to which is which some of the time. From a point of view of health insurance, classifying illnesses or diseases can determine whether or not the insurance company will pay for them, and for many people with mental health issues that can literally be a life or death process.

The term mental health can relate to a condition ranging from a fairly mild form of depression through to serious conditions of clinical depression, schizophrenia, alcoholism, full-blown psychotic episodes etc.

Any health insurance policy should specify exactly what types of illness or disease it is willing to provide cover for and those which it is not. This will also include what it specifies as a type of mental health problem or issue and whether or not the insurance policy provides any type of cover for it.

One of the reasons people are wary of health insurance plans with relation to mental health issues, is that often any type of treatment for a mental health issue relates either to what is known as a talking therapy, or some type of pharmaceutical drug based regime.

Any type of talking therapy that is likely to be effective is likely to be a relatively long-term process, depending upon the nature and seriousness of the illness. Any insurance policy that does cover specified mental health conditions will also provide very strict criteria as to what type of talking therapy is covered, for how long and by whom the talking therapy can be carried out by.

The other issue to be really aware of when looking at any type of mental health coverage under a health insurance plan is the nature of deductibles, co-pay and co-insurance. These terms are essentially ways of getting the person who is insured under the policy to bear some of the cost of the treatment on an ongoing basis in relation to the insurance company.

Most people are familiar with the idea of a deductible, sometimes called an excess, in a policy, but any health insurance policy needs to be looked at carefully in terms of what it’s deductibles are. This is because there are often several different deductibles applicable to the same policy, each for differing amounts and applying to different sections of the policy.

This means that a health insurance policy could have both an individual and a family deductible. This deductible could be separate from another deductible that would apply to specific types of drugs, normally where a distinction is made between a generic and a brand-name drug. The amounts involved in terms of these deductibles can be significant, and when taken in addition to any co-pay or co-insurance amounts can stack up into a sizeable burden that the individual will have to carry for themselves.

In summary, as with any insurance policy, it is important before taking out the policy to have complete clarity about what is and is not covered, as the level of coverage and the specifics of what is and is not covered will vary widely between health insurance policies.

Peter Main is freelance writer who writes extensively about health, healthcare and health insurance with a particular focus on current issues and debates, such as the state of healthcare reform and how it impacts on peoples lives.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Peter_Main/788973