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The nauseating ‘side effect’ of medical care

ShantellaSherman 600As millions of Americans celebrate their newfound status as medically "insured" through the Affordable Care Act, they may still join the ranks of financially strapped patients facing the rising cost of medical services.

Fifty-eight percent of Americans reported foregoing or delaying medical care in the past year because, even with insurance, they could not afford the portion of the bill that they were expected to pay. And while many are familiar with the vague concepts of costly prescriptions and expensive tests, the reality can be found in $300 tooth extractions, $200 office visit fees because deductibles had yet to be met, and insured patients who lose their homes attempting to pay the out-of-pocket portion of medical expenses.

The New England Journal of Medicine announced in 2013 that physicians should be obligated to discuss out-of-pocket costs as a "side effect" to treatment when they make decisions about their patients' care. The journal considered this discussion as imperative to reigning in the costs of care. The concern was that healthcare providers often neglected to discuss potential costs before ordering diagnostic tests, saddling the patient with "daunting and potentially avoidable healthcare bills," wrote journal author Peter A. Ubel, M.D., a professor of business administration and medicine and public policy at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

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From ‘Mr. Irresponsible’ to ‘Precious One’

LucyShaw-160Dear Lucy: I am 16 years old and I live at home with my parents and little sister who is 12. My Auntie reads your article and told me to write to you. I used to have ADD and took Ritalin. I got sick of it and don't take it any more. Don't have a lot of crazy, stupid, impulse stuff anymore but there is one thing that I can't seem to fix. It drives me and my parents nuts. I am simply not a responsible person. Most of the time what I get fussed about is not being responsible. I get mad at them and mad at myself. Any tips?
– Mr. Irresponsible

Dear Precious One: I refuse to address you as "Irresponsible." And I urge you to never, ever talk ugly to yourself with negative labels. The greatest power we each have is the ability to choose how we will think. And the most important thoughts are the ones we think about ourselves!

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This Rose is a rose is a rose

AnikaNoniRose 600Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose stars alongside Denzel Washington in the Broadway revival of "A Raisin in the Sun." Her outstanding performance has not only earned her critical acclaim but also a Tony award nomination.

She recently starred as Whoopi Goldberg's daughter in the made-for-TV movie, "A Day Late and a Dollar Short." On the big screen, Anika starred as Lorell Robinson in "Dreamgirls," which went on to receive an AFI ensemble award, as well as SAG award nomination for outstanding cast.

Anika won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in "Caroline, or Change." She also tarred in Deborah Allen's Broadway revival of "Cat on A Hot Tin Roof," opposite James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad.

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‘The Book of Jeremiah: The Life and Ministry of Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’

Book of_Jeremiah_600Susan Williams Smith, an author, ordained minister and former mentee of Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., presents an honorable and comprehensive picture of Wright as a man, an African-American, a patriot, scholar, and pastor in her new book – "The Book of Jeremiah: The Life and Ministry of Jeremiah A. Wright Jr."

Smith first met Wright when she was a student at Yale Divinity School. She had heard him preach a stirring sermon, but it was at a dinner with him and the president of Yale that evening that she "became fascinated with this man and his work, and knew his ministry was something of which I wanted to be a part." She asked Wright then and there if she could become an intern at his church, Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ.

With some help from the United Church of Christ denomination, Smith was able to serve at Trinity, first as an intern, then as associate pastor upon her graduation from Yale. After Trinity, Smith went on to pastor a church in Ohio for 22 years. When Wright and Trinity were maligned during the debacle of the 2008 election, Smith recalled, "I felt in my spirit a need to at least try to tell the story and to embrace those who had embraced me, by writing this book."

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