Archive for December, 2009

Doctors’ orders: Avoid insurance

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Many physicians, fed up with patient overload and filing claims, are minimizing insurance-based coverage and offering round-the-clock service for a retainer.

By Parija B. Kavilanz, senior writer

NEW YORK ( — Like a lot of their patients, doctors are sick of long waits in the waiting room and dealing with insurance companies.

That’s why a growing number of primary care physicians are adopting a direct fee-for-service or “retainer-based” model of care that minimizes acceptance of insurance. Except for lab tests and other special services, your insurance plan is no good with them.

In a retainer practice, doctors charge patients an annual fee ranging from $1,500 to as high as over $10,000 for round-the-clock access to physicians, sometimes including house calls.

Other services included in the membership are annual physicals, preventive care programs and hospital visits.

Doctors argue that this model cuts down their patient load, allows them to spend more time per patient and help save the system money.

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Health Care Fraud Endangers Women

Friday, December 18th, 2009

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Unnecessary hysterectomy costs the U.S. medical system $17 billion per year. That’s Billion, with a B. This does not even begin to tally up the costs of caring for women damaged by hysterectomy, oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries) and related procedures. These findings are explained in The H Word, by Nora W. Coffey and Rick Schweikert. Coffey is the president of the HERS Foundation, located in Bala Cynwyd, PA. Schweikert, a playwright, wrote and directed un becoming, a play depicting the needless hysterectomy of a woman.

Hysterectomy and oophorectomy are offered as the best or only option to women with problems ranging from fibroids to heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain. These operations almost always occur without the information required for informed consent. Frequently, they are performed when a woman is under the knife for exploratory surgery. In 98% of these cases, the pathology report comes back normal or with a condition that could have been treated conservatively, meaning that the woman’s reproductive, sexual, and
endocrine organs were removed for no medical reason. The toll in the
Delaware Valley is the same as if the Wachovia Center was filled twice a year, every year, with women whose female organs had been removed!

Anna (not her real name) met the Protest and Play tour in Denver, Colorado. Her experience is more the norm than the exception: “The first of Anna’s three suicide attempts came in the first year after her hysterectomy, but she said that was due to depression related to her complicated childhood. After the surgery she was diagnosed with depression, had back surgery, and began sleeping in a separate bedroom from her husband.” If 49 out of every 50 hysterectomies could be avoided at a savings of $17 billion, and the operation leaves women with an increased incidence of heart disease, osteoporosis, sexual loss, and urinary and bowel problems, why does the
medical establishment still promote it? Coffey and Schweikert take on the AMA, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, hospitals, medical schools, and even Congress. The H Word is a must for any intact or hysterectomized woman of any age. It is also a major contribution to the national health care debate.

See contact information to obtain a review copy of The H Word and to book Nora W. Coffey and Rick Schweikert for speaking engagements and book readings/signings.

Bayer Admits GMO Contamination is Out of Control

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Greenpeace International, Dec 8, 2009

EXTRACT: Bayer has admitted it has been unable to control the spread of its genetically-engineered organisms despite ‘the best practices [to stop contamination]'(1). It shows that all outdoors field trials or commercial growing of GE crops must be stopped before our crops are irreversibly contaminated.

$2 million US dollar verdict against Bayer confirms company’s liability for an uncontrollable technology

Greenpeace welcomes the United States federal jury ruling on 4 December 2009 that Bayer CropScience LP must pay $2 million US dollars to two Missouri farmers after their rice crop was contaminated with an experimental variety of rice that the company was testing in 2006.

This verdict confirms that the responsibility for the consequences of GE (genetic engineering) contamination rests with the company that releases GE crops.

Bayer has admitted it has been unable to control the spread of its genetically-engineered organisms despite ‘the best practices [to stop contamination]'(1). It shows that all outdoors field trials or commercial growing of GE crops must be stopped before our crops are irreversibly contaminated.

A report prepared for Greenpeace International concluded that the total costs incurred throughout the world as a result of the contamination are estimated to range from $741 million to $1.285 billion US dollars.(2) The verdict indicates that Bayer is liable for what could turn out to be a large proportion of these costs, as it awards damages in the first two of more than 1,000 currently pending lawsuits. The decision must be used to support all claims for losses incurred by other US farmers whose crops have suffered from GE contamination.

(1) Bayers Defense lawyer, Mark Ferguson as reported in Harris, A. 2009.
Bayer Blamed at Trial for Crops ‘Contaminated’ by Modified Rice. Bloomberg News 4th November 2009, available at:…

(2) E.N. Blue (2007) Risky Business. Economic and regulatory impacts from the unintended release of genetically engineered rice varieties into the rice merchandising system of the US. Report prepared for Greenpeace International, available online at….

News from The Center for Personal Reflection

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Water, water everywhere

I live on the beautiful Tohickon Creek (ed. in Bucks County PA). The first year I lived here, that first Spring, I saw a variety of fish, turtles and a blue heron who makes his/her home a few yards downcreek from the house. In the Summer, when I walked the creek, I found shards on the creek floor from an old, now defunct, glass factory some small shells and beautiful stones. It was lovely. But something was wrong and I wouldn’t know what it was until four years later. Because, now when Spring comes there are otters, beavers, mussels and many many more fish and turtles. The problem was pollution and as the creek cleans up, life is returning to it. It is exciting, reaffirming and hope-filled to see nature return our waterways to vitality because water is essential for all life on this unique planet we inhabit….this planet we share with the Earth’s flora and fauna and, moreover, this planet that we are bound to protect.
Besides, we NEED water to have healthy minds, bodies, and spirit….never mind the rest of the Flora and Fauna. Lets get selfish here. We NEED water and it behooves us to be the stewards we’re meant to be for our sakes as well as for the rest of life. Selfish is good sometimes.

So lets read on about one of our most valuable assets.

Seeing Water

In the Journal of Active Aging, Sept. 2005, Dr. Oladele Ogunselian, a social ecologist talked abut the effect that water, trees, and flowers have on positive attitudes. He maintains that there is a positive link between a restorative environment and emotional well-being. His research has lead him to determine that bodies of water are one of the environmental features that are viewed as enhancing emotional health by subjects in the tests. Furthermore, in these studies, landscapes with complex designs were not seen as healing. the Term topophillia refers to a study of environmental perception, attitudes and values, including the emotional affective bond between environment and human beings. I suspect this may be true because there is a beautiful creek that flows past my house and it is a source of healing and peace to me and from what other say…well, I suspect it may be true.

Hearing Water
fountain The sound of water has a soothing effect on the human brain. There is an area in the human brain located near the brain stem called the inferior colliculus where cells respond to sound, (frequencies, rate and volume) and process the sounds and identify them. This area of the brain interprets these sounds sending signals to other parts of the brain causing neurological firings to occur. Water calms! Researchers Monti Escari and Heather Read are doing research on the effects of sounds, including the sounds of flowing water on brain function linking sounds with mental wellness. While they are doing their research we know that there are already CD’s of flowing, dripping, streaming and swirling water sounds, table top fountain and wall fountains are found in lobbies, living rooms, offices and even in the salon where I have my hair done. Very soothing. Close your eyes and think about lying on the beach, feeling the warmth of the sun and listening to the waves crashing on the sand. If it weren’t so soothing it would be intoxicating. And, the quantity of water oceanside provides an enormous amount of negative ions that creates a positive mental state. Why, there are even screensavers with pictures of water accompanied by the sounds to calm and sooth when you turn on your computer.

Drinking Water

More research. The brain is 85% water (although some say 78% but whose counting). Water regulates body temperature, carries nutrients and oxygen to the blood, cushions joints, protects organs and tissues, removes toxic waste and more. Dehydration leaves us tired, irritable and foggy, can lead to poor stress management, depression and can induce anxiety. (That 3:00pm slump??? Dehydration!) Furthermore, lace of water creaates a physical reduction of the ionic composition of the fluid surrounding brain cells or neurons which swirls the brain into over activity resulting in a headache.

Feeling Water: Warm water when it is cold outside, cool wataer on a hot day. Doesn’t get better than that. But more good news about water. When I have been exposed to toxic energy I just get in the shower and let the water carry the negative energy down the drain, into the earth, were I belive and hope it get neutralized. Its a little like washing your energy field. Another benefit from being in water is that it removes the pull of gravity relieving your body of stress and physical weight on joints, muscles and tendons. So showering in the morning starts the day our refreshed. If it was a hard day take another soapless shower at night, (don’t want to dry your skin out) and float any chance you get.

Water abounds in our lives so use it to provide the mental and physical well-being it offers. The Center for Personal Reflection also is a resource for mental and physical well-being for individuals and couples. As you plan out your strategy for continued growth please avail yourselves of all the Center offers. Stay well.

Marianne Harms, LCSW
Center for Personal Reflection
3694 Spruce Hill Road
Ottsville, PA 18942