Fall Allergies Versus a Cold: Tips on How to Tell the Difference

As we head through fall and on toward winter, it’s the time of year when you might start to have the sniffles, sneezing, or a cough. But what is it? Fall allergies? A cold?

Sujan Patel, MD, Assistant Professor of Allergy and Immunology, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, says “Many symptoms of the common cold and fall allergies can overlap, leaving patients confused as to the best course of treatment. But there are some simple ways to tell these different conditions apart.”

Dr. Patel shares some tips on how to tell the difference between fall allergies and colds by the most common symptoms of each:

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National Healthy Eating Day

We are pleased to announce the winner of the best employee-submitted heart-healthy recipe in honor of National Healthy Eating Day on Wednesday, November 5.

Mount Sinai Heart, Food and Nutrition Services, and the chefs at The Mount Sinai Hospital have chosen two heart-healthy recipes submitted by Anna Horton, Assistant Director of Communications, Office of Development: Mexican Chopped Salad and Crispy Black Bean Quinoa Burritos.

Here are the winning recipes:

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Most Patients Are Confused by Their Medical Bills, Survey Finds

The Becker Hospital Review article noted: “A recent survey by TransUnion Healthcare has found the majority (54 percent) of insured consumers are either sometimes or always confused by their medical bills.”

“The survey made several findings concerning price transparency. The survey found 63 percent of survey respondents want to know the full cost of care, including their insurance company’s portion, while 35 percent said they only cared about their direct medical costs. The survey also found 62 percent of survey respondents were either sometimes or always surprised by their out-of-pocket medical costs.”

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Your Doctor Knows You’re Killing Yourself. The Data Brokers Told Her

The Bloomberg article noted “You may soon get a call from your doctor if you’ve let your gym membership lapse, made a habit of picking up candy bars at the check-out counter or begin shopping at plus-sized stores.”

“That’s because some hospitals are starting to use detailed consumer data to create profiles on current and potential patients to identify those most likely to get sick, so the hospitals can intervene before they do.”

“Information compiled by data brokers from public records and credit card transactions can reveal where a person shops, the food they buy, and whether they smoke. The largest hospital chain in the Carolinas is plugging data for 2 million people into algorithms designed to identify high-risk patients … Patients and their advocates, meanwhile, say they’re concerned that big data’s expansion into medical care will hurt the doctor-patient relationship and threaten privacy.”

“Carolinas HealthCare System … is placing its data, which include purchases a patient has made using a credit card or store loyalty card, into predictive models that give a risk score to patients.”

“Within the next two years … plans for that score to be regularly passed to doctors and nurses who can reach out to high-risk patients to suggest interventions before patients fall ill.”

“For a patient with asthma, the hospital would be able to score how likely they are to arrive at the emergency room by looking at whether they’ve refilled their asthma medication at the pharmacy, been buying cigarettes at the grocery store and live in an area with a high pollen count…”

“The system may also score the probability of someone having a heart attack by considering factors such as the type of foods they buy and if they have a gym membership…”

Click here to read the full Bloomberg article “Your Doctor Knows You’re Killing Yourself. The Data Brokers Told Her” by Shannon Pettypiece and Jordan Robertson.

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Doctor, Did You Wash Your Hands? ™ provides information to consumers on understanding, managing and navigating health care options.

Jonathan M. Metsch, Dr.P.H., is Clinical Professor, Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Adjunct Professor, Baruch College ( C.U.N.Y.), Rutgers School of Public Health, and Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration.

This blog shares general information about understanding and navigating the health care system. For specific medical advice about your own problems, issues and options talk to your personal physician.

Link between Internet Use and How Often You End Up in the Emergency Room

The New York Times article noted “At least that’s one of the curious connections to emerge from a health care analysis project at the insurance division of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.”

“It is at the forefront of an emerging field called predictive health analytics, intended to improve patients’ health care outcomes and contain costs. But patients themselves are often unaware of the kinds of intimate details about their households that insurers and hospitals may use to try to sway their treatment decisions.”

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Five Common Running Mistakes: How to Optimize Your Running Experience

With the New York City Marathon fast approaching this Sunday, many may be inspired to lace up their sneakers and get to running. Running is a great way to get exercise while exploring the city however, below are five of the most common mistakes made by runners.

Improper Shoes

Most novice runners lace up an old pair of sneakers and start to run but, this has many pitfalls. The type of shoe you wear has to be right for your individual foot. It also should not be worn out, as that will change the biomechanics of the shoe/run dynamic. It is best to go to a specialty running store, where a knowledgeable salesperson can evaluate your foot type, and inward foot movement, to see if you are an over-pronator, under-pronator or a neutral runner – each type of foot requires a different shoe type. It is also important to then replace the shoe every 300 miles, or when you can visibly notice wear on the bottom of the shoe.

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Report: 7M People Can Get ObamaCare Early

The Hill reported: “Almost 7 million people can sign up for health plans under ObamaCare even before the new enrollment period begins in November, according to an advocacy group.”

“Enroll America, an ObamaCare enrollment group with close ties to the White House, said Wednesday that millions of adults are eligible to sign up for insurance before Nov. 15 because they have moved, gotten married, had children, lost insurance or become American citizens.”

“Even though millions of Americans got covered before open enrollment closed earlier this year, we’re not resting on our laurels since seven million consumers might have the opportunity to get covered even now through a special enrollment period,” said Anne Filipic, president of Enroll America.

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Federal Health-Exchange Plans to Automatically Renew

The Wall Street Journal article noted “The Obama administration plans to automatically renew for next year the health plans and premium subsidies that consumers obtained through the Affordable Care Act’s federal insurance exchange.”

“The move, which will apply to most of the five million people who selected insurance through HealthCare.gov for 2014, will make it easier for consumers to stay in their plans and retain tax credits lowering the cost of coverage. It also will relieve pressure on the federal exchange, which was crippled during parts of its first enrollment period.”

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Personalized Medicine Meets EHR Integration at Mount Sinai

A Health Leaders Media story noted “At Mount Sinai Health System in New York, a combination of personalized medicine, natural language processing, and clever integration with electronic health record software is allowing clinicians to adjust medication selection and dosages based on patients’ genomic differences.”

“Personalized medicine is one of those technology topics that perpetually comes up in conversations about The Next Big Thing. Think combining genomics data with population health, throw in some predictive analytics, and you’ve got the basic idea.”

Click here to read the full Health Leaders Media article “Personalized Medicine Meets EHR Integration at Mount Sinai” by Scott Mace.

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Doctor, Did You Wash Your Hands? ™ provides information to consumers on understanding, managing and navigating health care options.

Jonathan M. Metsch, Dr.P.H., is Clinical Professor, Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Adjunct Professor, Baruch College ( C.U.N.Y.), Rutgers School of Public Health, and Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration.

This blog shares general information about understanding and navigating the health care system. For specific medical advice about your own problems, issues and options talk to your personal physician.

Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Renamed To Honor Samin K. Sharma, MD

The Mount Sinai Hospital has renamed its cardiac catheterization laboratory the “Dr. Samin K. Sharma Family Foundation Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory,” an honor that recognizes the many significant contributions of Samin K. Sharma, MD, Director of Interventional Cardiology and the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Professor of Medicine (Cardiology). Dr. Sharma, his family, and other generous donors helped the Foundation reach its $5 million endowment, funding that will help support the lab’s clinical, research, and educational initiatives.

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