10 Ways: Save On Health Insurance Guaranteed

Save On Health Insurance Guaranteed

To save on health insurance for your business (no matter how big or small), self-insure! If you work with the Houston Healthcare Initiative, we will guarantee that healthcare costs will not increase. How?

First eliminate managed care and pay cash for routine healthcare. This will dramatically lower administrative costs.

Second, utilize the recommended health maintenance tools described below to decrease the need for and improve access to healthcare. The advantage is a less expensive program and healthier people at work. If healthcare costs exceed the previous yearsyear’s costs, your company we will be reimbursed you. by the Houston Healthcare Initiative.

What Are The Health Maintenance Tools to Save On Healthcare Insurance Guaranteed?

Not just ‘sick care’, the Houston Healthcare Initiative program is an entire, comprehensive package. It includes:

  1. Free Annual Physical exam including physical and mental fitness,
  2. Free telemedicine service,
  3. Free Blood pressure cuff and thermometer,
  4. Free medical care for uncomplicated hypertension and diabetes,
  5. Free second opinions,
  6. Health Savings Account,
  7. Financial and other incentives to lead a healthy lifestyle and comply with medical treatment,
  8. Educate employees on how to shop for medical care and ask questions in the doctor’s office,
  9. Educate employees on the advantages of the Health Savings Account or (HSA).
  10. Share the healthcare savings with employees so that employees are incentivized not to over test or over treat.
    A guarantee to save on health insurance.
    Save On Health Insurance Guaranteed. A guaranteed saving on company health insurance from The Houston Healthcare Initiative.

    Save On Health Insurance Guaranteed brochure for download here: Save On Healthcare Guaranteed

The Houston Healthcare Initiative does not just pay for sickness, it helps make your employees healthier.  The likely benefit to employers is fewer lost workdays, lower insurance costs, and employees who feel their employer cares for them.

Save On Health Insurance Guaranteed Small Business & Health Insurance

Businesses with under 50 employees are not required to provide health insurance to employees. But there are good reasons to consider insuring a small workforce.

For one, health insurance is a critical factor for small businesses to retain and recruit the best employees, sustain productivity and workplace satisfaction. Health insurance benefits are a big deal to employees. The Houston Healthcare Initiative Co-op makes coverage possible.

Health Insurance Is Not Required But Is It Needed?

The answer is yes. A 2020 survey of 2,000 people found that 84% surveyed put health insurance at the top of their most desired benefit list. The Society of Human Resource Management reported that 92% of employees say benefits are important to their overall job satisfaction. 

For start-up companies that want to hire and keep the most talented people, health coverage is a must. There are other paybacks from this investment in a healthier workforce. Healthy employees, who believe the company cares about them, are more devoted, industrious, and approving of businesses of any size. The outcome of benefits like these are a challenge to measure, but they are consequentialconsequential, nonetheless.

Competitive Advantage For Whom, Save On Health Insurance Guaranteed?

Health protection for workers is a competitive advantage. For you and your employees if you offer it but for your competition if not.  Health insurance is less of a cost and more an investment in the future and stability of your company.

 How can companies with less than 50 employees self insure and provide an HSA? Health Savings Accounts

Join with other small businesses to share the risk. Join the Houston Healthcare Initiative co-op.

Offer your employees a $5000 deductible plan with an HSA. Your company self insuresself-insures and takes for example the risk for the next $5000 of claims. The not for profitnot-for-profit cCo-op takes the risk from $10,000 on up. This risk is shared by all the co-op members. Members pay their share to the co-op monthly.

How can companies with more than 50 employee’s self insure and provide an HSA?

 These companies can use the same program as the smaller ones companies or they can assume a risk of $50,000 to $100,000 and purchase reinsurance from a reinsurance company separate from the co-op. Either way, by engaging the Houston Healthcare Initiative, the guarantee of no cost increase from last year will apply.

How does the Houston Healthcare Initiative benefit ( or Wwhat’s the Ccatch)?

 WhenIf companies adopt this program, the we can Houston Healthcare Initiative guarantees that your company’s healthcare costs will not exceed the previous year’s expense.  In return, we ask for 15% of the first years’ savings.


  1. 1.Who pays the cost for the healthcare tools?

      The company. It is our contention that these additional costs will be more than offset by the

     savings from decreased utilization of the hospital and ERs.

  1. Not all employees will “buy in” to a healthy lifestyle and are more likely to get sick. Won’t this increase the cost of healthcare?

       Certainly. However, these patients will be paying more for their healthcare to cover the

       additional costs. In most cases, it would not increase the amount the employee currently

       pays. They would not get the reduction that other employees would receive.

3.What about pre-existing conditions?

      Most insurance plans exclude pre-existing conditions. This only arises when one switchinges from one insurance plan to another. We would recommend language in the insurance contract to

avoid fraud.  e.g. Like joining the company for a few months getting an expensive elective procedure done and then quitting. the company. In general, we recommend covering pre-existing conditions.

However, as the company iswith  self insurself-insuranceing, it can decide for itself what is best.  for the company.

4. Some employees will not want the HSA’s. How is this handled?

      If the company has less than 50 employees, they do not have to offer insurance.need to be accommodated. If it the company has more than 50 employees, it can offer to subsidize an individual policy and pay the same amount it contributes for each employee in the self insuredself-insured plan.

What Are The Next Steps to Save On Health Insurance Guaranteed?

 For additional information send email to houhealthcareinitiative@gmail.com.

Save On Health Insurance Guaranteed! Listen Here

Listen to Dr. Goldstein describe several ways to save on healthcare: Healthcare Payment Reform is Critical to Improving Primary Care.

Save On Health Insurance Guaranteed brochure for download here: Save On Healthcare Guaranteed

Save On Health Insurance Guaranteed

Final 3 Biden Administration Healthcare Goals

Final 3 Biden Administration Healthcare Goals

3 Biden Administration Goals: Healthcare Changes to the American Families Plan & Health Savings Plans Could Make Medical Expenses More Affordable.

Biden healthcare reform
There are 3 healthcare priorities for the Biden administration plus one more that Dr. Steven Goldstein suggests.

The new administration, like all of them, has plans for Americans and their healthcare. On this edition of the podcast Dr. Steven Goldstein, who founded the Houston Healthcare Initiative, will get us all better acquainted with what those proposals are and explore other possible ways for how healthcare can be fixed. The Biden administration has three goals.

The Biden Administration Covid 19 Response

Of the three goals, first is the Covid-19 pandemic response. Part of the goal is to prevent over capacity of limited hospital beds and critical care space during spikes in the virus outbreak, like those occurring now. Others include the ability to establish temporary hospitals and better ways to track Covid surges via technology. Making telehealth options more widely available, tasking all relevant federal agencies to set up temporary hospitals and getting the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to develop real-time tracking dashboards to better predict when surges will happen, where they are and other details needed to better inform healthcare professionals about the evolution of the pandemic.

The Affordable Care Act

The second of the three priorities has to do with the Affordable Care Act, or as it is more popularly known, ObamaCare.

The idea is to reduce medical costs for the American public. As part of a separate pandemic relief bill, there is $34 billion to help Americans who buy insurance from the health plan marketplaces that were created by Obama Care now through 2022.  Those who know about it state that this would help lower and middle-income Americans who have fallen through the cracks of the government’s eligibility requirements for ObamaCare subsidies. It would also help people who choose policies with lower premiums and higher deductibles. There is also assistance for the unemployed.

Biden Administration Medicare Reform

One of the more visible proposals is to increase the age of people who are eligible for Medicare from the current 65 to 60 years of age.

“While we can think of these as beneficial to society, there is a considerable cost that comes along with it,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners. “Instead of transferring more money to people, there are other ways to use existing healthcare payment strategies that will benefit everyone.” So why not fund Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s) with this same amount of money?  It is tax-advantaged when received, if the money earns interest while in the health savings account the account owner can keep it and be prepared to pay cash for more health-related expenses. So what is a health savings plan?

Prescription Drugs

The Trump Administration launched a “Transparency in Coverage” ruling in December of 2020 that required health insurers to disclose current drug prices and provide patients with personalized cost estimates. The Biden Administration hopes to increase these efforts by repealing existing laws that prevent Medicare from negotiating lower prices with drug corporations. “Plenty of people believe that the government already uses its mass buying power with Medicare to negotiate better rates,” Dr. Goldstein said. “That is not the case.”

Health Savings Accounts

The Health Savings Account. or HSA, is a type of savings account that is used for medical expenses. HSA’s were established for those with high deductible health insurance coverage. HSAs and high-deductible health plans were created to help control health care costs. The idea is that people will spend their health care dollars more wisely if they’re using their own money. The money deposited by individuals into their HSA account is not taxed.

Further, HSAs feature a triple-tax benefit: money you contribute to your HSA can be written off on your taxes and thus reduce your income tax bill; money in your HSA grows and compounds assuming investments rise. All is tax-free over time; and when HSA money is withdrawn for qualified medical expenses, no tax is paid on the withdrawal. It is owned by the individual so that he or she can pay their healthcare costs. These include everything from doctor visits to blood tests, paid for with cash from the health savings accounts.

As always, information about this and more than 50 other podcasts can be heard and read about at the website, www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

About The Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

Made possible because of ‘Obama Care’… Why Patient Centered Care and a Different Funding Method May be Better for Many Americans

Made possible because of ‘Obama Care’…

Why Patient Centered Care and a Different Funding Method May be Better for Many Americans

For those who ever tried something that said on the label ‘one size fits all’ there is some shared learning, because one size never fits all. This is true for socks, t-shirts and healthcare.

Yet in spite of this collective experience, we settle for doctors, hospitals and insurance companies who approach patients with templates designed to treat everything and everyone the same or at least very similarly. Instead of an emphasis on individual care, there is more weight placed on administrative efficiency.


Whether shoes or healthcare, one size will rarely be right for everyone.

Patient Centered

On his regular podcast respected Houston based neurologist and founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative Dr. Steven Goldstein, describes how a patient centered model and cooperative payment method can work to the benefit of patients and healthcare professionals.

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast can be heard on : Apple Podcasts, LibSyn, Spotify, Radio.Com, Listen Notes, iHeart Radio, Podcast Addict, Podbay, Backtracks, Player FM, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.

Funded with Cooperatives

As Dr. Goldstein explained to his listeners, patient centered care as imagined and funded with health cooperatives, places an emphasis on preventive care and healthy lifestyles. When followed these will reduce the number of hospital stays and doctor visits. “I believe that a patient centered healthcare system is possible with a patient owned healthcare cooperative model that is free from the constraints of the CPT codes used for billing and by providing financial incentives to patients to be compliant and lead a healthy lifestyle,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Physicians rather than insurance companies and administrators should be responsible for care and would be compensated based on results and not hours or activities.”

Thank You Obamacare

The Healthcare Cooperative Model is possible because of the Affordable Care Act often known as ‘Obamacare.’ A ‘cooperative’ or ‘co-op’ is a healthcare system that is a non-profit company owned by the members. With as little as 50 members a healthcare cooperative can be formed either within a company or any other group such as a church, a union or any other group that is dissatisfied with the poor service, bureaucratic paperwork and high prices of the current system. Members are responsible for managing the co-op and deciding the type and scope of what they will support or not. Any profits made are paid back to the members. “I believe too that a member or patient owned enterprise is better suited to patient centered care.” Dr. Goldstein declared.

About the Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.


How Will Healthcare Change for the Better or Worse After Covid 19

Originally published in Healthcare Facilities Today.

How Will Healthcare Change After Covid 19

Doctors, hospitals, state and federal government agencies along with drug and insurance companies have all made concessions to the public during the time of the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. This emergency affects every American so it stands to reason that what follows will too. But will common sense, red tape cutting, sensible changes that benefit patients remain, or be disposed of like so much medical waste? And what about preparations for future outbreaks? Houston based neurologist Dr. Steven Goldstein of the Houston Healthcare Initiative shares his views on this topic with his podcast audience. The podcast is available on iTunesSoundcloudLibsyn, and on www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.


While remote access to doctors via Internet based communications is nothing new, it was never widely used until the

telehealth covid
Telemedicine Video Calls To Doctors On Smartphones became more popular during the Covid 19 pandemic. .

outbreak of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. But will patients continue to use this convenience? “It depends on what insurance companies will cover as well as what the regulations are from the state board of medical examiners,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners. “There are plenty of good reasons to maintain this capability. Remote locations, lack of transportation resources and the reality that sick people are not keen to go to a clinic or doctor’s office whether they have the flu, a stomachache or even the Coronavirus should all help persuade the insurance industry to maintain payments for remote appointments.”

Lessons from the Pandemic – Rapid Strike Force

The speed that a viral outbreak is met with can prevent wider infection. Borrowing from an analogy coined by Bill Gates, Dr. Goldstein compared treatment to fighting a war.  “We need a standing army to spring into action when a virus is first found and ready to travel anywhere in the world to go to work,” he said.

Dr. Goldstein envisions teams of doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, virologists, and other medical professionals who can very quickly construct field hospitals on the site of the outbreak, isolate and treat the sick people and find treatments for them. “This would be like a ‘Mobile Army Surgical Hospital’ or MASH unit; fully equipped, staffed and right at the front line. The enemy is disease and must be fought aggressively.”

No Excuses

Goldstein thinks that the federal government must put a greater emphasis on public health and do more to keep people from getting sick. “This is not the first epidemic we’ve faced in recent years just the most recent,” Dr. Goldstein said. He described the many recent health crises the world has faced and faces including HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Zika, MERS and lately the Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak. “There will be no excuse for any lack of preparedness when this happens again, and we know it will happen again.”

From Parade Magazine: How Much Does Medicare Actually Cost? We Break It All Down Here

How Much Does Medicare Actually Cost? We Break It All Down Here.

Medicare is a huge program that is used by millions of Americans each year, and is a trillion (yes, trillion) dollar government program.

“According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, national health spending will grow at an average annual rate of 5.4 percent for the years 2019-28 and reach $6.2 trillion by 2028,” says Dr. Steven Goldstein, MD, founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative.

And it is only expected to grow.

Photo courtesy of Parade Magazine.
How Much Does Medicare Actually Cost? We Break It All Down Here.

From Parade Magazine: How Much Does Medicare Actually Cost? We Break It All Down Here. “Medicare is expected to experience the fastest spending growth of 7.6 percent per year from 2019-to 2028, largely as a result of the highest projected enrollment growth,” adds Dr. Goldstein.

Related: Let’s Talk About Medicare Supplement Plans—What’s Offered and What’s the Cost? 

Medicare costs are set by a combination of healthcare providers.

“To provide healthcare for more than 60 million people, including older people and those with disabilities or end-stage renal disease, Medicare sets payments and rules for services provided by a wide range of healthcare providers – physicians, hospitals, laboratories, ambulances, etc.,” says Jennifer Podulka, MPA, Senior Consultant for Health Management Associates. “At the same time, new healthcare products and treatments are constantly being introduced, which is extremely beneficial for consumers, but Medicare has to keep up by regularly setting new payments and issuing new rules.”

These can make the cost of Medicare hard to nail down, as they are constantly changing. However, one general rule is that the price of Medicare will depend on the plan you have.

“Medicare costs differ based on whether people have original Medicare or Medicare Advantage,” says Jane Sung, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor in AARP’s Public Policy Institute.

Related: Medicare Enrollment—How and When to Apply for Medicare 

For original Medicare, costs are calculated the same way for everyone in the program, with monthly premiums and cost-sharing responsibilities such as annual deductibles and coinsurance, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (See Medicare Costs at a Glance here.) The costs for 2021 are estimated as follows:

Medicare 2021 Costs

Part A monthly premium: Most people don’t pay a Part A premium because they paid Medicare taxes while working. If you don’t get premium-free Part A, you pay up to $471 each month. If you paid Medicare taxes for 30-39 quarters, the standard Part A premium is $259.

Part B monthly premium: Most people pay the standard Part B premium amount ($148.50 in 2021). For Part B deductible and coinsurance, it is $203. After your deductible is met, you typically pay 20% of the Medicare-Approved Amount.

Part C Premium: The Part C monthly premium varies by plan, and can be compared here.

Part D monthly premium: Your estimated drug plan monthly premium is based on your income, and higher-income consumers may pay more. (See link above for chart.)

Related: Do You Qualify For A Medicare Special Enrollment Period? 

“Original Medicare requires cost-sharing, so many people have some form of supplemental coverage that helps pay for their share of the costs, either through a retiree health plan, Medicaid or by purchasing a Medigap policy,” says Sung.

But for those on Medicare Advantage, this differs.

However, costs for Medicare Advantage plans have a $0 premium, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Next, 12 Surprising Things that Are Covered by Medicare—From Telehealth to Free Preventative Services 

If you recently joined Medicare, you likely have a lot to learn about how the program works and what services are covered. However, Medicare is a huge program, and it can feel overwhelming to find out which services are covered by your plan and those that are not. On top of that, healthcare products and treatments are constantly evolving, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in Medicare currently covering many items and services on a temporary basis.

“Most people learn about new healthcare products and treatments that have been added to Medicare from their physicians. To share this information with their patients, physicians must find time to keep up with the latest information about Medicare offerings, while continuing to focus on their core mission of treating patients,” says Jennifer Podulka, MPA, Senior Consultant for Health Management Associates. “It’s hardly surprising that some new things slip through the cracks.”

To help you get informed, we created a list of 12 things that you may be surprised to learn are covered by Medicare from various experts.

12 Surprising Things that Are Covered by Medicare

Surprising Thing #1: Telehealth

Before the coronavirus pandemic, telehealth services covered under Medicare were very limited, notes Wyatt Koma, Policy Analyst for the Kaiser Family Foundation. However, as a result of it and the declaration of a public health emergency, Medicare lifted restrictions for telehealth on a temporary basis.

“Through the rest of the public health emergency, which will likely be the remainder of 2021, people with traditional Medicare can use telehealth to video chat with their doctor or talk to them over the phone if they have a medical problem,” says Koma. “People in a Medicare HMO or PPO—known as Medicare Advantage plans—can also use telehealth to get needed care, if offered by their plan.”

Related: How Caregivers Can Benefit From Telehealth Services During COVID-19 and Beyond, According to AARP 

Surprising Thing #2: Substance use disorder treatment

“This is a new benefit offered by Medicare that is potentially life-saving. Opioid use disorder treatment was added in 2020, and treatment for other substance use disorders was added January 1, 2021,” says Podulka.

She notes that medicare pays for ongoing, medication-assisted treatment for people with substance use disorders.  And eligible providers include clinics that focus on opioid use disorder, as well as physicians who opt to provide this service for their patients.

“Providers can tailor treatment to the unique needs of each patient by determining the best mix of counseling sessions and appropriate medication,” says Podulka.

Surprising Thing #3: Free COVID vaccines and tests

Older adults continue to be one of the populations hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic and have been at the greatest risk of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 compared to other age groups. Seniors and younger adults with permanent disabilities with health coverage under Medicare can get free COVID vaccines and tests, without having to pay any cost-sharing for these services.

Related: Can You Get Your COVID Booster (or Regular COVID Vaccine) and Flu Shot At the Same Time? Here’s What Doctors Say 

Surprising Thing #4: Pain management

If you struggle with pain, certain treatments are covered by Medicare. “If you are in pain, Medicare covers acupuncture and chiropractic services under certain circumstances,” says Alison Reeves, Press Officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Surprising Thing #5: Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP)

Half of adults age 65 or older have prediabetes, the condition that may lead to type 2 diabetes, according to Harvard Medical School. In response, Medicare created a program for those with prediabetes with the goal of prevention.

“The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) is a proven, structured lifestyle intervention that includes dietary coaching, lifestyle intervention, and moderate physical activity, all with the goal of preventing the onset of diabetes in individuals who are pre-diabetic,” says Podulka. “The clinical intervention consists of 16 intensive ‘core’ sessions of a curriculum in a group-based, classroom-style setting that provides practical training in long-term dietary change, increased physical activity, and behavior change strategies for weight control. After the 16 core sessions, less intensive monthly follow-up meetings help ensure that the participants maintain healthy behaviors.”

According to Podulka, this benefit began to be offered by Medicare beginning in 2018.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Home Medical Tests, Including Which Ones Tend to Be the Most Accurate 

Surprising Thing #6: Coverage of dental services in emergency situations

“Dental benefits are not generally covered by Medicare, except under limited circumstances, and many people on Medicare do not have any dental coverage at all,” says Koma. “Medicare does not generally cover preventive dental care, although it may be offered as an extra benefit in Medicare HMOs or PPOs (also known as Medicare Advantage plans).”

He also notes that because many Medicare beneficiaries do not have dental coverage, Congress is now debating whether to add a dental benefit to Medicare, along with hearing and vision benefits.

Surprising Thing #7: Consultation with a registered dietitian

Many older Americans not only struggle with making healthy nutrition decisions, they also suffer from chronic diseases caused by poor diet, including diabetes.

“Medicare offers 1) medical nutrition therapy (MNT) for people with diabetes or renal disease and 2) diabetes self-management training (DSMT) for people with diabetes,” says Podulka. “Eligible patients must be referred by their treating physician and can receive 3 hours of 1-on-1 MNT counseling in the first year and two hours in subsequent years or up to 10 hours initial DSMT training in the first year and up to 2 hours follow-up training each calendar year after completing the initial 10 hours.”

Surprising Thing #8: Certain cancer treatments

As cancer treatments continue to evolve, Medicare has also begun to cover the latest and greatest treatments available.Medicare coversinnovative technologies, including next-generation sequencing cancer treatments,” says Reeves.

Surprising Thing #9: Free preventive services

Medicare covers many preventive services for free, such as mammograms, depression screenings, prostate cancer screenings, and flu shots.

“Within their first year of Medicare coverage, people are eligible for a free ‘Welcome to Medicare’ physical exam, and for each year moving forward they can get a free annual wellness visit,” says Koma.

Surprising Thing #10: Transitional care management (TCM) services

Transitioning from an inpatient to an outpatient setting is a new and stressful experience for many people, and Medicare has responded with TCM services to support patients.

“As part of TCM services, Medicare pays physicians or qualifying nonphysician practitioners to provide care management services for a patient to facilitate the transition,” says Podulka.

Surprising Thing #11: Obesity screenings and counseling

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of adults age 60 and older are obese, and obesity contributes to serious health risks.

“Medicare covers obesity screenings and behavioral therapy sessions, including a dietary assessment to help beneficiaries lose weight by changing their diet and exercise,” says Koma. “These services are offered without cost-sharing.”

Rescue The American Healthcare System In Six Steps

Rescue The American Healthcare System In Six Steps

According to respected neurologist Dr. Steven Goldstein

Dr. Steven Goldstein of the Houston Healthcare Initiative believes that the U.S. healthcare system can be rescued, and that American business can play an instrumental role. He describes the steps to salvage the industry on the Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast.

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast can be heard on: Apple Podcasts, Audible, Audacy, iHeart, Listen Notes, Podcast Addict, Podbay, Podnews,  Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Player FM.

What Needs Rescuing

Rescue Healthcare
Dr. Steven Goldstein describes six steps business can take to reduce costs and maintain employee health.

The current American healthcare system is a mis-mash of government regulations, insurance company and medical industry policies designed to separate the public from its money and provide a minimum of care. The current system does not embrace new treatments or scientific breakthroughs. Insurance companies question the judgement of doctors with double approvals of prescriptions and treatments called ‘pre-authorization.’

Government at the state and federal level demonize off label treatments along with those who advocate them and instead peddle more expensive vaccines and treatments.  It’s a mess.

How to Fix Healthcare

There are practical steps a company of any size can take to transition from the current healthcare system to this new cost-effective solution.

  1. Self-Insurance

In addition to an estimated 20-30% savings compared to regular insurance self-insurance allows a company to adopt new technologies, financial and other incentives to deliver higher quality care at lower cost.

  1. Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

As a practical matter this shifts the costs of routine healthcare to the employee. It allows the employee to pay cash using pretax dollars. Cash prices for tests and procedures are already dramatically lower than insurance company discounts. By paying cash, the administrative costs of processing claims drop dramatically. The employee simply saves receipts and makes a claim only when the receipts add up to the deductible. Additionally, the unused HSA money accrues interest that can also serve as a retirement account for employees.

  1. Establish an Employee Welfare Trust (EWT).

The purpose of the trust is to reduce the cost of reinsurance in later years and to eventually convert the insurance plan from a one-year contract to insurance to age 65. Thus, employees will be able to continue in the plan even if they no longer work for the company if they continue to contribute to the EWT.

  1. Educate employees about what is possible for them. These options include:
    • How to choose a primary physician based on the personal needs of that person,
    • How to shop for medical care and medication,
    • The importance of mental health and the relationship between mental health and the effect on physical health and the immune system,
    • The importance of physical exercise,
    • The importance of financial health and its effect on mental health.
  1. Technologies that can be implemented immediately.

Technology can provide free access to a physician 24/7 for diagnosis, and second opinions. Remote appointments reduce trips to the ER or urgent care. Additionally equip each employee with a thermometer and blood pressure cuff to provide information to the physician. Encourage patients to maintain their own medical records; educate patients on how to do this. Business can also fund fitness apps, gym equipment at the jobsite or gym memberships.

  1. Employ incentives to employees to live a healthy lifestyle. These can be financial incentives or other rewards like increased company contributions to the HSA, lower insurance premiums etc.

In Summary

According to Dr. Goldstein, the means to take control of the healthcare system away from government, big hospital companies, and the insurance industry and create a patient centered system is within our collective grasp. “We just need to do it,” he told his audience. “There are enough remedies in current law available to employers and employees alike to make a major change in the way we all get and pay for medical care.”

If nothing is done to rescue the healthcare business, the public can expect higher costs for insurance with higher deductibles and less coverage. Add to that more regulations and fewer treatments. More government interference with science and medicine and less freedom for our doctors who know us best to treat their patients.

About the Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

To Deliver Preventive Care Enhancing Population Health After Covid-19

While not about health, Franklin was first to say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

What were the additional medical setbacks the American public suffered during the Covid-19 Pandemic…..

To Deliver Preventive Care Enhancing Population Health After Covid-19

On the Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast, Dr. Steven Goldstein said that it was possible to reverse the preventative care reversals suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Everyone can stay healthier, and possibly live longer by re-committing to prevention as part of our collective health regimen.

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast can be heard on: Apple Podcasts, Audible, Audacy, iHeart, Listen Notes, Podcast Addict, Podbay, Podnews,  Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Player FM.

Pandemic Pull Back

Routine health medical tests and exams designed to prevent illness fell during the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr. Steven Goldstein expects the number of tests to return to pre-pandemic levels.

How much did Americans miss when it came to preventative or elective care during the pandemic? Quite a bit according to Dr. Goldstein. “The drop off was precipitous and happened in a very short period during the spring of 2020,” he told his listeners. “Vaccinations dropped by 60% in April 2020. In the same period practically, no one got a colonoscopy with an 88% decline for those.”

What Will Happen Now?

Dr. Goldstein said to expect preventive care use to return to its pre-pandemic rates. “But the gaps created over the last year have critical implications for patients’ long-term health and could potentially lead to poorer outcomes over time,” he stated.

The Full Impact of Covid-19

The full effect of the pandemic on the American public is not known yet. But hospitals and health systems are aware of trends caused by delayed health screenings and the worsening of some chronic conditions.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a decrease in preventive screenings because some patients were hesitant to see their health care provider. That was understandable. “But with more and more places opening, it’s important to get back to the preventative tests, screening and medication that helped you and everyone stay healthy and manage those chronic conditions,” Dr. Goldstein concluded. “Preventive care helps everyone stay healthy.”

The Norm of Preventative Care

Preventative care is and has always been considered best practice for all physicians and their patients.  Finding something and treating it early generally means a better outcome for patients including less expensive treatments. Screenings are important to avoid future health problems or catch them early when they are easier to treat.

Preventive care measures things like cholesterol, body mass, along with breast cancer screenings, prostate cancer screening and some general health counseling. Screening and test diagnosis helps doctors find abnormalities sooner than later. Cancer is the example most know about.  But the same caution with respect to blood pressure, arterial blockages in the heart and other organs are just as important.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This saying is reflected in proposed health reform plans and the efforts to increase investments in prevention throughout the U.S. healthcare delivery system. With evidence that nearly 40 percent of all deaths in the United States are due to behavioral causes, attention to prevention has encompassed obesity and tobacco smoking prevention in addition to vaccinations and cancer screening.

Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide and are linked to increasing health costs. Preventative care is advocated as part of a population health approach and includes both clinical preventative services and screening tests.

Identifying and preventing potential problems downstream is one strategy for controlling utilization and improving health outcomes.Most health plans must cover a set of preventive services — like shots and screening tests — at no cost to you. This includes plans available through the Health Insurance Marketplace®.

About the Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.


Enhancing Population Health Approaches After Covid – 19

Podcast on what's after Covid
Enhancing Population Health Approaches After Covid – 19.

Enhancing Population Health Approaches After Covid – 19.

On this edition of the Houston Healthcare Initiative Dr. Steven Goldstein, will discuss the reversals in preventative care the American public experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic and what we can all do to stay healthier, and possibly live longer by re-committing to prevention as part of our collective health regimen.

Criticism of Doctor Prescribed Treatments Could Put Patients At Risk

Off Label Prescription

Criticism of Doctor Prescribed Medicine Is A Bad Idea

Off Label Prescription
Off Label Prescriptions. Doctors have the right to prescribe medication for conditions other than the one approved.

Physician prescribed Ivermectin to help treat Covid-19 may not be the biggest challenge facing doctors today. The bigger problem is likely the deliberate interference with a doctor’s ability to prescribe and treat patients as they believe is best. This is the subject of the latest edition of the Houston Healthcare Initiative Podcast which can be heard on : Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Podbean, Soundcloud, and the Houston Healthcare Initiative website. The virulent criticism and mischaracterization of doctor prescribed Ivermectin as a possible treatment for Covid-19 is one sign that medicine can be and is politicized.

Off Label Prescriptions

This repercussions and longer-term consequences of political interference with doctors and their patients includes the freedom to prescribe ‘off-label.’  Off-label prescriptions occur when a physician gives a drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat a condition other than the one diagnosed. The pressure on Ivermectin and last year’s with Hydroxychloroquine, were both more affordable remedies than other top dollar treatments or even vaccines.

Why The Controversy? Politics

The government under both Republican and Democratic administrations tried to dictate what treatment should be used to treat Covid infections. “The now vice president of the United States declared during the debates in 2020 that she would not take a vaccine based on who the president was and what he recommended,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Any medical recommendation from anyone other than a doctor familiar with a patient’s history is not credible.”

Off Label Successes

There are many examples from the history of medicine where an individual physician working alone has made a major breakthrough with what was at the time thought unconventional. “Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis saved the lives of numerous mothers by suggesting OB doctors wash their hands before delivering a baby,” Dr. Goldstein said. “He was ridiculed by the medical establishment at the time as the germ theory of infections was not yet discovered.”

More recently two Australian doctors, Barry J. Marshall and Robin Warren, found that stomach ulcers were caused by bacteria. “They also were ridiculed by the medical establishment until they won the Nobel Prize,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners.

Stop Politicizing Medicine

Dr. Goldstein’s conclusion from this latest flap regarding off-label prescriptions, “allow physicians to pursue different treatments for Covid. Stop politicizing the treatments and stop publishing premature articles in the press for or against any unproven treatment.”

About The Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

Ivermectin Off Label Prescriptions for Covid-19

Off Label Prescriptions for Ivermectin

Off Label Prescriptions for Ivermectin
Off Label Prescriptions for Ivermectin to treat Covid-19 bring into question the practice of off label prescriptions.

Doctors’ Right To Prescribe Off Label Treatments for their Patients.

Even in the year 2021 the more things change, the more they stay the same. By that I am referring to the off-label prescription options doctors have always had that are still controversial when it comes to the ongoing global Covid 19 pandemic. Off-label prescribing is when a physician gives a drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat a condition different than the one you’ve got. This practice is legal and even common.

In fact, one in five prescriptions written today are for off-label use. Last year Dr. Goldstein discussed the controversy and government interference with how hydroxychloroquine, a common treatment for Malaria was prescribed off-label for patients suffering with Covid-19. Fast forward from September 2020 to October 2021 and the same thing is happening with a drug called Ivermectin, a drug that is approved for treatment of certain parasitic worm infestations, and its possible use as a treatment for Covid-19.

Here on the podcast with some much-needed insight is respected neurologist and founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative, Dr. Steven Goldstein. This on the latest edition of his popular Houston Healthcare Initiative Podcast which can be heard on : Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Podbean, Soundcloud, and the Houston Healthcare Initiative website.

How do the government, media and lobbyists work to suppress affordable treatments for Covid-19 and interfere with a doctor’s right to prescribe off label