Top 5 Common Health Myths Debunked

No myth that water is good for you so drink plenty. Drink plenty of water to stay healthy,

Top 5 Common Health Myths Debunked

We are all seeking ways to improve our health conditions to live longer and better. For this reason, many myths surrounding health matters have risen. Some of these myths have been passed from generation to generation with no scientific backing whatsoever. Today we look at the top 5 common health myths with the view to debunk them.

Consume Eight Glasses of Water Daily

While it is vital to take lots of water daily, there is no scientific backing that says it should be strictly eight glasses. Everybody has varying fluid needs, and as such, you need to consume just enough as per your needs. Many factors will dictate your frequency of water intake. These include the levels of activity, gender, weather, humidity, and body size.

Cracking of Fingers Causes Arthritis

The cracking of fingers is a habit by most people, if not all. This habit does not correlate whatsoever with arthritis,

No myth that water is good for you so drink plenty.
No myth that water is good for you so drink plenty. Drink plenty of water to stay healthy,

according to scientific studies. Arthritis

Comes about when joint cartilages break and the bones to rub together.

Going Out in Cold Weather Brings about Cold

It is a common phrase from mother’s warning the children not to go out in the cold weather or with wet apparels with the fear of catching a cold. Colds originate from viruses. Despite the weather condition, viruses will always spread.

Sugar Causes Hyperactivity in Children

You will hear from parents that when their children take sugar, their behavior changes and they become hyperactive. The truth is a hyperactive kid will always remain to be hyperactive with or without sugar. Science has shown that sugar never encourages hyperactive reactions in children. It is just a myth that people have.

Natural Foodstuffs Are the Best

A lot of natural things are indeed healthy, but not all of them. Some foods with organic ingredients contain empty calories, saturated fat, and sugar. Describing something as natural does not always mean it’s a healthy choice.

Now you know the truth. Do not be entangled with the above myths anymore. Contact us for more great information about healthcare.

Good? Joe Biden wants Medicare to start at 60

Joe Biden wants Medicare to start at 60

Medicare Availability May Not Be Affordable

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumed Democratic candidate for president, has eschewed some of the more grandiose schemes of some of his rivals, such as Medicare for All, which would replace the patchwork of private insurance and various government-provided plans with a single-payer system. Instead, Biden prefers to expand on existing healthcare programs to attempt to extend insurance to people who currently lack it.

One such Biden proposal is the idea of lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare to 60. According to a recent article in Forbes, the scheme may be attractive to seniors, especially in the age of the coronavirus when many people have lost their jobs and hence employer-provided health insurance.

When Paying for Medicare?
Medicare for people at age 60 may not be affordable in the long term.

The proposal is an improvement over plans offered under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which has proven to be unaffordable for many middle-income families because they do not qualify for subsidies. Biden would also keep the privately offered Medicare advantage plans that many seniors use to supplement their regular Medicare

The proposal would work by allowing seniors between 60 and 65 who are unemployed or whose job does not offer health insurance to “buy into” the existing Medicare system. The cost of this buy-in is uncertain; however, one analysis suggests that access to Medicare would be more attractive financially than other options, such as plans under the ACA.  Seniors who do not have access to private insurance or who are still too young to be part of the existing Medicare system would have more options.

Of course, some questions remain about the Biden proposal. An analysis by Avalere suggests that 23 million more Americans would be eligible for Medicare under the scheme. Would the Medicare system be able to bear the extra cost? Will the proposal start to undercut private plans for seniors between 60 and 64, causing employers to dump the cost of health insurance onto the government? Would the temptation arise to lower the age of eligibility further, in effect creating a Medicare for All system, with all of its problems, by the back door? These and other questions will doubtlessly be argued about as the campaign cycle goes forward and beyond, should Biden win the presidency.

Healthcare and Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology concerns the manipulation of materials so small that they are on the molecular or even subatomic level. The new technology, according to SciDev.Net, has enormous implications for the practice of medicine.

Healthcare and Nanotechnology

For example, people who are given drugs to combat cancer do not experience the entire dose at the site of the tumor. This fact is one reason why chemotherapy can be such a stress for the human body, as healthy cells are destroyed along with the tumor.

However, drugs can be carried to the site of a tumor using nanoparticles as carriers, attacking only the cancer cells and leaving the rest of the body alone. Nanotechnology means that people suffering from cancer can see higher remission rates with far less stress on the rest of their bodies. The FDA has approved the first generation of cancer drugs that use nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology has also been used to ensure early detection of diseases such as HIV and cancer. Something called quantum dots has been used successfully to detect a variety of diseases, including tuberculosis and malaria.

Even vaccine development, a matter of great concern in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic, is benefiting from nanotechnology. Aerosol and patch-delivered vaccines are being tested using nanoparticles as a delivery system. Even more conventional injectable vaccines have proven more potent when the inactive virus is delivered by a nanoparticle.

How can this new form of nanotechnology-based medicine be made more widely available, especially in the developing world, where diseases that are rare in the developed world are still common?

In any event, nanotechnology is enabling a new science of precision medicine, in which diseases are diagnosed more quickly and are then dealt with, resulting in more beneficial outcomes, increased lifespans, and quality of life. With proper investments, nanotechnology can decrease the cost of healthcare in the long term by making sick people well more quickly and with greater frequency.

For more information contact us.

Do I Have to Pay for the Covid 19 Vaccine?

The short answer to the question as to whether you have to pay for the Covid-19 vaccine is no, according to the CDC website on the vaccine. The federal government, which paid for the development of the vaccines either directly or by promising to pay for their production, is providing shots free of charge. The idea is that the sooner people get the vaccine, the sooner the United States can achieve “herd immunity,” in which transmission of the virus is suppressed because so many people have been rendered immune. Then people can return to normal life without risk of sickness or death, something that the federal government has determined is well worth paying many billions of dollars to achieve.

Do I Have to Pay for the Covid 19 Vaccine?

In other words, you can make an appointment at any pharmacy or designated vaccination site and then walk in and receive your shot without cost. All you will have to do is to fill out some paperwork. You will get your shot regardless of your insurance status. You will not be charged for an office visit or anything else unless you request further healthcare services, which will be billed as appropriate.

The CDC site has some more information that should be transparent to you. You may be asked for your insurance or other healthcare provider information so that the provider of the vaccine can bill them for a portion of the cost. However, you will pay no out-of-pocket costs for the vaccine.

Therefore, the Covid-19 vaccine will be the best healthcare deal you will likely be offered. When you get your shots, either the two required by Pfizer or Moderna or the one by Johnson and Johnson, you may feel some minor side effects. But rest assure any fatigue or fever you might experience will pale in comparison to what might await you if you get Covid-19. In other words, getting the shot costs nothing and will impart peace of mind and protection against the deadliest pandemic in a hundred years.

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New Health Care Pricing Transparency Rules in 2021

The United States has the highest health care expenditures in the world, in terms of absolute dollars, dollars per person, and as a percentage of GDP 1.  The United States is also one of the few industrialized countries to have very limited government health coverage for working adults.  While insurance premiums are currently price transparent, many aspects of health care are not cost transparent at all.  Historically, it was not standard practice to publish prices of procedures or tests to patients prior to performing them.  Patients would not learn about the true cost until they received their bill later.  This was complicated by the various prices for the same test or procedure depending on the patient’s health care coverage, or lack thereof.  This made it very difficult even for informed patients to make financially informed decisions about where to obtain certain procedures or even if they were truly necessary.  One example from 2012 demonstrated, for mammograms in the Boston area, an average cost of $310 per mammogram but a range from $176-$529 2.  This information could have helped save a patient potentially hundreds of dollars had they had access to it.  Unfortunately, at the time of writing this entry, these prices are often only obtainable with persistence, if at all.

New Health Care Pricing Transparency Rules in 2021

The good news is that, as of January 1st, 2021, The Executive Order EO on Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First goes into effect 3.   This will mandate all hospitals and providers to provide the standard prices for procedures and services.  This includes both the gross price of all services and procedures, but also the amount charged to individual insurers 3.  The most immediate benefit will be that it will allow patients to make financially informed decisions about non-urgent services.  One big caveat is that while this executive order will provide information about cost, it will not include any information regarding the quality or value that any particular institution may provide.  Some information regarding quality of an individual organization can be found at 4.  While competitive pricing is critical to help stabilize or even decrease the cost of health care, one should be careful to measure it carefully with the quality of the health care obtained.

For more information regarding health care transparency and medical reform, click here.


  1. 1.”National Health Expenditures 2018 Highlights”. National Health Expenditure Data : Historical. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. December 2019.
  2. “Provider Price Variation: For Mammography Services in the Commercial Market”. Center for Health Information and Analysis. October 2014.
  3. Postma, Terri MD and Grimsley, Heather. “Hospital Price Transparency Final Rule”. Medical Learning Network. Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  December 2019.
  4. “Hospital Compare”.

What you need to know in Health Care.

The right to health was initially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1946. According to WHO, the enjoyment of health is a fundamental right of every human being regardless of race, political belief, or religion. The debate over whether health care is a right or privilege has been raging for more than a century. Here is a look at the definition of health care and health care providers and whether health care is a right or  privilege.

What you need to know in Health Care.

Health Care and Health Care Providers

Healthcare is the provision of medical care to individuals and communities. Healthcare careers are not limited to doctors and nurses but also include chiropractors, administrators, therapists, and technology professionals.

According to federal regulations, a health care provider is a doctor of medicine, dentist, podiatrist, clinical psychologist, nurse, or any medical personnel, authorized to practice by the State and working according to the standards laid out by State law. A healthcare provider is; therefore, anyone who is legally permitted to administer healthcare to patients.

Is Health Care A Right or Privilege?

The right to health care is internationally recognized but this does not mean this right is enforced worldwide. In the U.S., health care was included in the Second Bill of Rights that was drafted by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His wife took his work to the UN which led to the clarification of health care as a human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

After the adoption of the UDHR, all industrialized countries implemented universal health care programs to make sure their citizens enjoyed the right to health. However, in 2015, the U.S. report to the UN does not acknowledge health care as a human right. The U.S. does not have a health care system but only a health insurance system in the form of Medicare and Affordable Care Act. It is; therefore, reasonable to claim that in the U.S. and many developed countries health care is more of a privilege than a right.

The Houston Health Initiative is a group of health conscious patients and physicians who have come together to maintain and improve the health of each member of their group. The goal of HHI is to change the way Americans pay and receive medical care. If you want to learn about the state of health care in the country, or to make a change to the health care system in the U.S., Houston Healthcare Initiative has got your back.

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Proper health care when you can’t afford health insurance.

The number of uninsured people in the United States has slowly been rising for the past few years. A KFF analysis of the data gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that 10.9% or 28.9 million people under the age of 65 were uninsured in 2019. This problem is only made worse by the fact that many people who are uninsured avoid medical attention until they are experiencing a medical emergency. Preventable or manageable conditions are made worse and much more expensive when this is done. The U.S. Census Bureau tabulated the reasons why those people were uninsured, and the overwhelming majority, 73.7%, said that coverage was simply not affordable for them.

Proper health care when you can't afford health insurance.

If you find yourself in the same or a similar situation where medical insurance is unaffordable, you need to know that there are options for you to receive proper medical care. One such option is a community health center. These health centers can also be referred to as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) or community clinics, but they all operate similarly. They are non-profit clinics that provide quality health care to people at a very low cost regardless of income or insurance status. Today there are over 1,400 community health centers across the U.S., making them not only affordable alternatives to for-profit hospitals but also very accessible no matter where you live.

Despite the fact that you may be asked to pay only a small fee, you’ll always receive comprehensive, quality care at one of these clinics. That’s because their quality of care is heavily tracked to ensure that they are always providing good care to their patients. These health centers can provide primary preventative care, ongoing care, coordination with specialty care, and much more. For those with severe financial struggles, some of these clinics have on-site social workers who can coordinate benefits through connections they have in your community.

Almost every state has a network of community health centers that can provide low cost or free health care to people regardless of their insurance status or level of income. If you’d like more information about this or like topics, visit Houston Healthcare Initiative (HHI). We are an organization of like-minded physicians and other medical professionals who are looking to help change the nature of our public health in the U.S.

What’s increasing the cost of your healthcare?

A popular opinion in the United States is that the current health care system is broken. Health care in the United States costs more than that of comparable countries but does not provide greater or even equal quality of care when compared to those same countries. Many people and organizations are actively attempting to fix this problem, but without the people’s approval, they cannot effect real change. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand the problem or where it stems from. This article should give you a little more understanding of the problem.

What's increasing the cost of your healthcare?

The healthcare industry used to be just like any other industry in a free market. People would judge care by its quality while contrasting that to its price. Now, insurance allows people to ignore the price of care by introducing a copay that is much smaller than the actual cost of their care.

Since the price is not of much concern, hospitals no longer need to show their prices in order to get patients. As hospitals improve the quality of their care by upgrading technology and techniques, prices go up. At the same time, patients now are more likely to get unnecessary treatment because they are only expected to pay a small copay.

These two factors contribute to the price of insurance increasing. The increase in insurance price increases both your copay and the amount your employer is expected to contribute. Because employers do not gain from contributing more, cuts have to be made somewhere to maintain profitability, this is usually your pay. Unfortunately, now you cannot afford to opt-out of your employer’s insurance because the cost of healthcare has risen too high.

In addition to these problems raising the cost of healthcare, uninsured people also raise the cost of healthcare for everyone. This is because people who do not have insurance are likely to not seek medical attention until a problem goes from bad to worse to emergency. In these events, prices go up for everyone because the hospital has to make up for their loss.

To further add to the problem, affordable health care legislation can backfire by raising the price of healthcare depending on the provisions within. There are many more factors that play into the cyclical nature of this problem, such as pre-existing conditions, managed care plans, insurer networks, and businesses simply going bankrupt. For more information on this topic and many more related to the health care industry, contact Houston Healthcare Initiative (HHI) today.

Healthcare: The high cost you’ll never see

The United States has taken an important step in reducing the cost of health care by mandating price transparency. Unfortunately, people are not incentivized to care about the actual cost of health care under the current system of insurance and care plans. This lack of incentive is one of the major reasons why the cost of health care has risen to its current height. People are allowed to focus solely on the price of their deductible, copay, and out-of-pocket maximum for their insurance instead of the actual cost of care. However, focusing on these things doesn’t change the price of their care or the fact that someone needs to pay it in full. Let’s discuss the effect this has on people who require care.

Healthcare: The high cost you'll never see

There are typically two types of people who use the health care system, those who avoid the system until they need it, and those who rely on it regularly. Both types of people are relatively insensitive to the actual cost of their health care.

Those who avoid it until they need it usually have very little experience with the health care system, and typically only rely on it for emergencies. They may have little knowledge of how it works and what everything costs, but prices are of little concern to most people in an emergency. These people focus on insurance premiums, deductibles, and their copay rather than the actual price of the emergency care they’ll receive, and they rarely will (or can) shop around for the best price.

Those who rely on the health care system regularly are people who need care for extended periods of time or have chronic illnesses. These people have much more experience with the health care system but are still relatively insensitive to the actual price of their care. This is because instead of focusing on the price of care, they only have to focus on their deductibles and the out-of-pocket maximum of their insurance plan. After paying the out-of-pocket maximum, their care is paid for entirely by their insurance for a period of time.

In both cases, the health care system doesn’t incentivize people to care about what the actual cost of care will be. Price transparency can be very helpful for people (mostly those who fall somewhere between the two types of people described above), but it can only go so far in helping the problem. Creating coordinated health systems that stop the fragmentation of care for chronically ill patients can drastically reduce the actual cost of care for each patient. In addition to this, proper preventative care can reduce the overall cost of care for those who avoid the health care system.

Houston Healthcare Initiative (HHI) is an organization of physicians and other medical professionals that is actively trying to fix this problem by increasing coordination, being transparent about our pricing, and much more. Contact HHI today for more information.

Healthcare: mRNA vaccine could become a new, effective treatment for MS

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against the Covid-19 virus use an mRNA technique to guard human beings against the disease. The technique “teaches” human cells to make a protein that triggers an immune response, hence antibodies that attack the virus. Now, according to The Week, BioNTech has developed a treatment using the same approach that appears to stop multiple sclerosis in mice. If the same treatment can be made to work in humans, it could be a game-changer in treating the debilitating disease.

Healthcare: mRNA vaccine could become a new, effective treatment for MS

MS causes the immune system to attack the myelin, a protective sheath that covers nerves and spinal cords. Depending on how the disease progresses, patients can lose the ability to walk, speak, see, or perform other functions. No cure exists for MS, but current treatments can stave off the disease’s progression and help recovery from attacks. However, these treatments can compromise the immune system, placing patients at risk for infections.

The mRNA treatment for MS has been shown to stop the symptoms of the disease in mice and prevented further deterioration of the test subjects. Mice that were given a placebo exhibited typical symptoms of MS.

According to Healthline, roughly one million people in the United States and two and a half million worldwide are living with MS. The progression of the disease cannot be well predicted. It often makes itself apparent, then goes into remission, only to manifest later. Twice as many women as men suffer from MS. Scientists do not well understand what causes the disease.

If a treatment such as has been developed by BIONTech can be brought into a clinical setting, people suffering from MS may be able to live far more normal lives than before. It may not be a “cure” in the sense that it is one and done. Further research needs to happen to determine how long a treatment can stop MS. But anything that can treat the disease without side effects will be a boon to humankind.

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