Featured Articles

U.S. Healthplans cover "Surgical tourists" to Thailand

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A new option for overseas medical treatment available to all BlueCross(R) BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice(R) HealthPlan of South Carolina members now allows those previously lured to Thailand to receive affordable surgical treatment coverage by their health plans.

With the cost of surgery escalating rapidly in the United States, Thailand has quickly become a low-cost affordable alternative for U.S. citizens.  And for 50 million U.S. citizens without health insurance, those with high medical deductibles and those whose procedures aren't covered due to pre-existing conditions, it has become a very real option.


Does Moore's "Sicko" Have Its Facts Straight?

CANNES, FRANCE -  Michael Moore's premier of "Sicko" was an overwhelming success at the Cannes Film Festival.  When the curtain went down it received a 15-minute standing ovation, and had made even the most hardened journalists weep.  It told the story of an American health system in crisis.

President Bush frequently calls the American health system "the best health system in the world." It is a bi-partisan statement used by both Republicans and Democrats alike.  Republican Rudy Giuliani said it on the Presidential campaign trail this year and John Kerry said it while campaigning in 2004.   Our question is simply, are these statements political rhetoric or factual?


Report: Tobacco Industry Spends $13.4 Billion a Year --Still Targeting Kids

WASHINGTON - Tobacco companies spent a massive $13.1 billion on marketing in 2005, about $36.6 million a day, aimed at getting kids to smoke, according to a report released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids calculated the amount of cigarette marketing in each state based on national marketing expenditures contained in a recent report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the percentage of cigarette packs sold in each state. The FTC report showed that the tobacco companies have nearly doubled their marketing expenditures nationwide since the 1998 state tobacco settlement, which was supposed to curtail tobacco marketing.


40,000 Patients Wake Up During Surgery Every Year in the U.S.

KANSAS CITY, MO - Suddenly in the middle of his broken arm surgery, Bobby Greenfield, only 14 years old, was wide awake. He could see everything, but not talk.  His pain was unbearable, but he wasn't able to move or alert the operating staff.  The paralyzing influence of the anesthesia had made it impossible for him to ask for help from the doctors that were operating on him just inches away.

Fischer's story is among a growing number of stories from the 40,000 patients that achieve "interoperative awareness" during surgery every year. Legal issues and public awareness of intraoperative awareness, a state that occurs if the anesthetics don't fully take effect, is driving more anesthesiologists to use new devises, called level of conscious (LOC) monitors.


Report: Asians and College Grads Less Likely to Get Stroke

ATLANTA - Stroke prevalence varies widely from state to state, and group to group with some states and groups having more than double the stroke prevalence of others, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  The report, titled "Prevalence of Stroke - United States, 2005" was published in CDC´s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious long-term disability," said Jonathan Neyer, the study's lead author. "These findings reaffirm the importance and need for people to take steps to reduce their risk of stroke. Avoiding tobacco use, being physically active, and maintaining healthy weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels are steps everyone can take to lower their risk."



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