Fear The Monster!

Thanks to a Freedom of Information subpoena, Federal officials have released reports of 13 deaths in the last four years that cited the possible involvement of high caffeine products.  We all know the suspects: 5-Hour Energy (owned by Manoj Bhargava),  Rockstar Energy, Monster Energy, Red Bull, Full Throttle (Coca-Cola) and Amp (Pepsi).  This is a $8.9 billion industry that resulted in over 12,000 emergency room visits linked to their consumption.  The message is this:  NOT FOR KIDS. Talk to the young people in your life and keep them away from excessive caffeine; adults, if you must indulge, low doses (yes, even during the Holidays).

Fen-Phen Class Action

This diet drug combination was in vogue nearly a decade ago.  Unfortunately, people continue to be diagnosed with heart and lung ailments caused by taking thismiracle weight loss drug.  There remain ongoing cases against the pharm manufacturers which are resulting in medical compensation for victims.  If you or a family member need more information, call me.

Medical Billing -Consumer Advice

“The robo-call from the physicians’ billing service had the intended effect: I panicked.  It sounded like a collection agency, I almost paid what it asked.  In fact we didn’t owe a dime.”  When there’s a difference between the charge from the medical provider and the insurance reimbursement, and a health care provider tries to collect that difference from the patient, that is called balance billing.  Do you have to pay it?  Many times, the answer will be no because your insurance company has a third party agreement which disallows the medical provider from billing you the difference.  My advice: carve out time to deal with the bills, do not ignore them; call your insurance company and be persistent, get a clear answer if you in fact owe payment; and, if necessary, use our State laws by filing a protest with the Maryland Insurance Administration if you believe you are wronged.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all and Mistletoe.

John CM