Fit Louisville

2014

Greater Louisville Health Guide is a directory and resource guide to health providers and services in Louisville, Kentucky. Includes listings of area doctors and dentists, hospitals, nursing homes and emergency care.

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6 FIT 2014-2015 FIT TIPS Vaccine Age/Time to Get It Why Flu Vaccine Anyone over 6 months; pregnant women To prevent infuenza disease. "There are very few reasons not to get the vaccine," says Gall. "Some have stories about how they 'got the fu' from it, but that's not true because the shot has a dead strain." TDAP Vaccine Pregnant women; any adult in contact with children and infants Prevents whooping cough (pertussis) in babies, which can be deadly. Recommended for pregnant women because immunity is passed on to the baby. "Do not let grandparents see their newborn grandchild unless they are vaccinated! The frst three months of an infant's life are crucial to protect from bacterial exposure," says Gall. Shingles Vaccine Adults 60 years and older The virus manifests itself in childhood as chicken pox and then lies dormant in the body's nervous system. When immunity drops in older age, the virus can reactivate and cause painful skin sores. "All adults over 60 should receive the vaccine, unless they are on steroids or chemotherapy treatments," Gall says. Pneumonia Vaccine Adults 60 and older Increased protection against pneumococcal disease. It's a one-shot deal except for younger people with risk factors. "Anybody who has had their spleen removed is very susceptible to the illness. It is very mandatory that they get this vaccine," stresses Gall. Meningococcal Vaccine Adolescents and young adults, especially those who go to college and live in dorms Protects against meningitis, which can be deadly. Hepatitis B Vaccine Anyone under age 19 Three-shot series, not repeated. "People in medicine or those who work in a medical offce are required by federal law to have this vaccine," Gall says. HPV Vaccine (Gardasil) Females age 9-26; males 9-21 Protects against the most common sexually transmitted virus in the world. Prevents genital warts and, ultimately, cervical cancer. Three-shot series, very effective. "There is no basis in the controversy about people getting more interested in adolescent sexual activity through receiving this vaccine," says Gall. "There is no correlation, just added protection." Yellow Fever Vaccine When traveling outside the U.S. If traveling to places with known cases of yellow fever, get this shot for protection. Yellow fever is not common in the U.S. Give It a Shot Newborns aren't the only ones who need immunizations. Here's a roundup of vaccinations recommended for adults. Source: Dr. Stanley Gall, a maternal and fetal medicine specialist at U of L's Center for Women and Infants. How has the ACA improved the picture for seniors? "Many of them are on Medicare, and one of the pluses is that the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended to 2029 because of decreased waste, fraud and abuse. Another big plus is in the "donut hole" (a section of the prescription-drug subsidy in which the covered person pays 100 percent of the cost). That hole will end by 2020. Also, seniors in Medicare don't have to enroll in any marketplace plans. They don't have to do anything." How about coverage for women? "Well-woman visits are fully covered, which can include pre- conception and prenatal care. That's generally an annual visit, but several visits may be required, depending on the woman's health status or risk factors. It used to be that insurance com- panies had a choice (about fully covering well visits). Now they don't have a choice; it's mandatory. Also fully covered: screen- ing for gestational diabetes; HPV testing every three years beginning at age 30; sexually transmitted infection counseling; contraception-methods counseling (except for those in group plans sponsored by religious organizations); HIV screening and counseling; breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling; interpersonal and domestic violence screening and counseling." Talk about high-risk coverage and rates. "About 20 percent of applicants for health insurance prior to the ACA were denied for pre-existing conditions or health problems. Now no one can be denied; nor can prices be set exceedingly high. (High-risk cost) variation can be based only on age, geo- graphical area (for instance, where health hazards are higher or health conditions are poorer or cost of living is higher), family composition (for family plans), tobacco use (for individuals), size of the group market, and number of health exchanges." Why should healthier people in the pool have to basically subsidize others with pre-existing conditions? "I don't think taking care of our own is a bad thing; I think it's a good thing." Acting Out We asked Dr. Brian Sosnin, who lives in Louisville but runs a solo family-medicine practice in Bardstown, to cue us in on some of the benefts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. 1-17.indd 6 2/19/14 2:40 PM

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