Health Care and Endocrinology

You may have heard the word Endocrinology used in a sentence by a health care professional, like your family physician or someone that has had to visit an endocrinologist, but not really know what it is or what part of your body is the primary focus for this type of medical need. is a specialty of medicine; some would say a sub-specialty of internal medicine, which deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to hormones.

Endocrinology also focuses on the endocrine glands and tissues that secrete hormones, and it is a branch of biology and medicine dealing with the endocrine system, its diseases, and its specific secretions known as hormones. It is also concerned with the integration of developmental events proliferation, growth, and differentiation, and the psychological or behavioral activities of metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sleep, digestion, respiration, excretion, mood, stress, lactation, movement, reproduction, and sensory perception caused by hormones.

From a clinical and research perspective, the Endocrine Society (100 years old this year) does a significant amount of scientific study about this particular field of medicine. The Society offers scientific statements to educate basic scientists, clinical scientists, and clinicians on the scientific basis of disease and its application to the practice of medicine with regard to both prevention and management.

Scientific statements provide an overview of basic and clinical science content on topics of emerging importance. Content is evidence-based to the extent possible but also identifies areas of basic or clinical knowledge that require additional research. Topics are selected on the basis of their emerging scientific impact on disease and broad clinical relevance to the general population. Much more detailed material is located at this website: http://www.endocrine.org/about-us.

According to the Society for Endocrinology, at its simplest, a hormone is a chemical messenger from one cell (or group of cells) to another. Hormones are released in the body and have an effect on other parts of the body. The effect is to communicate with other distant parts of the body. So for example, the adrenal glands may secrete adrenalin, which has an effect on several different organs. An endocrine gland is a gland which secretes hormones. Not all glands are classified as endocrine glands. For example, sweat glands or lymph glands are not endocrine glands).

Hormones are found in all organisms with more than one cell, and so they are found in plants and animals. They influence or control a wide range of physiological activities, such as growth, development, puberty, level of alertness, sugar regulation and appetite, bone growth and other bodily functions. You also find that problems with hormones and the way they work contribute to some of the major diseases of mankind; for example, diabetes, thyroid conditions, pituitary conditions, some sexual problems, some neurological problems, appetite and obesity, bone problems, cancer, and more. Additional info is found at this site: http://www.endocrinology.org/.

The Journal of Endocrinology is a leading global journal, available through the Society of Endocrinology, that publishes original research articles, reviews and science guidelines. Its focus is on endocrine physiology and metabolism, including hormone secretion; hormone action; biological effects. The journal publishes basic and translational studies at the organ, tissue and whole organism level. You can find more information at this site: http://joe.endocrinology-journals.org/ 

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), founded in 1991, now has over 7,000 members who work together as a professional community of physicians specializing in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism committed to enhancing the ability of its members to provide the highest quality of patient care. Their website has significant information on the study of endocrinology and provides a detailed list of definitions for anyone seeking to know more about this type of medicine. More info can be found at this website: https://www.aace.com/about/mission.

On a more detailed basis, according to the American College of Physicians, endocrinologists are frequently involved with the diagnosis and management of these health care problems:
         Hypothalamic disorders (abnormal sodium and water balance)
         Pituitary diseases (tumors, over- or underproduction of pituitary hormones)
         Parathyroid abnormalities (hypercalcemia, hypocalcemia)
         Thyroid diseases (hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, goiter, nodules)
         Adrenal cortex dysfunction (mineralcorticoid, glucocorticoid, sex hormone abnormalities)
         Gonadal disease (hypogonadism and reproductive disorders)
         Pancreatic endocrine disease (diabetes mellitus)
         Bone metabolism (osteoporosis)
         Lipid metabolism
         Iatrogenic effect of glucocorticoids

Training in endocrinology includes two years of additional training following successful completion of a basic internal medicine residency training program. More details are found at this website: https://www.acponline.org/about-acp/about-internal-medicine/internal-medicine-subspecialties/endocrinology-diabetes-and-metabolism.

An additional materials resource is this site: http://www.nature.com/nrendo/index.html, where you can find detailed scholarly journals and research information about endocrinology. And, Healio online has some very good materials about this type of medicine: http://www.healio.com/endocrinology.

There are many good hospitals and health care organizations in the US that have special sections and staff allocated to the study of endocrinology. One of them is Children�s Hospital of Dallas, and you can find more details about their treatment options at this site: https://www.childrens.com/specialties-services/specialty-centers-and-programs/endocrinology.

Another great location for treatment, especially for adults who need specialty care, is located at the University of Chicago Department of Medicine. Their 3-fold mission: (1) to provide excellence in patient care; (2) to perform cutting-edge basic, clinical and translational research in endocrine diseases, diabetes, obesity and hypertension; and (3) to provide outstanding educational opportunities for medical students, house staff and fellows. More information is located at this site: http://medicine.uchicago.edu/endo/index.html.

Hormones are a huge part of what makes your body tick. Endocrinologists are medical specialists that can help determine what may be out of whack if you are experiencing symptoms or medical issues that need more detailed study and care. Talk with your doctor or a medical professional who can assist you in getting the quality of care you need for any problems dealing with hormonal imbalances. It�s worth your time.


Until next time. 

Thanks DOC, The 2nd #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day Was A SuccessBecause of YOU.




The 2nd annual #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day on Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere was a success and I�m so grateful and happy. 
Honestly, I was worried because I�d been traveling for the majority of April ( 3 conferences that I still need to finish posts for,) right up until last Sunday night and I was worried that I might not have gotten the word out in time. 

But once again, the Diabetes Online Community came through and hit the hashtag out of the park and across all social media platforms!
THANK-YOU

By 1:23 am on the morning of Wednesday, April 20th, the hashtag had already generated 
2,987,152 twitter impressions thanks to Australia, NewZealand, Japan and Kenya.

By 10:57 pm the night of the 20th, the hashtag�s twitter impressions had reached 14,117,989.

And according to Trendinalia, we were the 24th most popular hashtag on twitter. 
Personally, I  believe we would have cracked the top twenty if it hadn�t been for so many hashtags devoted to the 420 genre. 

As of this morning, there are 16,238,322 #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes twitter impressions in one week.  And since April 17th, 2015, the hashtag has generated 
40,791, 919 twitter impressions - ALL BECAUSE OF YOU

1..  Special thanks to every member of the diabetes online community and from the bottom of my busted pancreas because YOU made the second annual  #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day and #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes.Org happen

2. Individual shout-outs to Renza , Grainne, and Cherise, for keeping me sane and Mike Lawson for keeping me sane & creating the logos, and my brother-in-law C, for dealing handling the website hustle and flow~ 

Special thanks to the following Diabetes Orgs:

JDRF; TypeOneNation, The American Diabetes Association, the Canadian Diabetes AssociationDiabetes Australia, Diabetes Tasmania, Diabetes UK, Thriveabetes Ireland, Diabetescaf, Diabetes Sisters, Diabetes Hands Foundation, The Plaid Journalchildrenwithdiabetes, Diabetes - ConnectionsProjectBlueNovember, DiabetesPac Diabetes_Kenya, #OzDOC, OZDiabetesOC,, YLDIntDiabFed, DiabetesNSW, Alegrija Mecadonia
Medtronic, Roche, Diabetes Innovations
If I missed your diabetes Org or company, please correct me by leaving a comment and I will add yours to the list, ASAP.
I'm still going through the just under 5000 tweets and many facebook posts.  

I tried to keep a list, but I will admit that I didn�t do a great job of it.

HUGE shout-outs to the countries who participated in #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes, and who are continuing to do so. Including, but not limited to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Kenya, Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, Porto Rico,  England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Mecedonia, Sweden and Holland. 
If I missed your country - PLEASE leave a comment letting me know what country you�re from and I will add. 

And lastly, but certainly not least, I will be linking 2016 #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Blog posts here and IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes.Org .
Sidebar: IwishPeopleKnewthatDiabetes.org is looking for submissions - so go for it!

I�m still reading all the posts so if you wrote one, leave a comment with the link and I'll read yours and add it to the mix!

https://diabetogenic.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/iwishpeopleknewthatdiabetes/

https://indpendence.com/2016/04/25/purpose/

https://www.below-seven.com/2016/04/25/iwishpeopleknewthatdiabetes/

https://happy-medium.net/2016/04/20/its-back-iwishpeopleknewthatdiabetes/

https://www.diabetesdaily.com/blog/what-we-wish-people-knew-about-diabetes-270237/

http://www.livetolovediabetes.com/iwishpeopleknewthat-diabetes-day/

http://twicediabetes.com/i-wish-people-knew-about-diabetes/


http://travelbetic.com/2016/04/21/iwishpeopleknewthatdiabetes-has-an-online-community-that-changed-my-life/?platform=hootsuite

Gov. Inslee honors Cowlitz County SHIBA volunteer

From right: SHIBA Volunteer Coordinator Terri Osbourne,
volunteer Elouise Maahs and volunteer coordinator Sarah Clark
Congratulations to SHIBA Volunteer Elouise Maahs for receiving the Governor�s Volunteer Service Award in the health care category.

Elouise, who volunteers for SHIBA with Lower Columbia Community Action Council in Cowlitz County, was honored on April 11 at the Governor�s mansion, where she receive her award from Gov. Jay Inslee. A SHIBA volunteer since 2008, Elouise serves as a data specialist, where she records and processes client cases. In the past year she�s processed over 6,000 client cases. Eloise was nominated for her dedication and commitment to ensuring that seniors and people disabilities have their Medicare issues, complaints and appeals processed in a timely manner.

In addition to meeting the Governor on April 11, Eloise also stopped by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner/SHIBA and had the opportunity to receive congratulations personally from Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.

Read more about SHIBA, which provides free, unbiased, and confidential assistance with Medicare and health care choices.

The 2nd Annual #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day Is Here!!!



For the second year in a row, the global DOC, (yep, I'm talking to you, and you, and YOU,) are making #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day a success - thank-you from the bottom of my busted pancreas!
Yesterday afternoon the folks in Australia, New Zealand, and Africa kicked off things -  I started doing the happy dance around my computer & haven't stopped!

Please keep blogging, tweeting, face booking, and instagraming the #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes hashtag and keep sharing your feelings.

What started out as a blog post, turned into a so much more. And every day I learn and am inspired by, your #Iwishpeopleknewthatdiabetes tweets, posts and statuses - and I hope you do to!
For tracking purposes - I'm asking that if you write a post about #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes, please link back to both my blog post from Monday and my IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes.Org site.

And if you're interested in submitting a post, art work, photo, etc to the IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes websites - that would amazaballs!
Click HERE and learn how to make that happen!

#IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day Happens On April 20th !

HUGE shoutout to Mike Lawson for creating and providing the beautiful #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes logo.
THANKS MIKE!!!!!
On Wednesday, April 20th (at least the 20th falls on a Wednesday in this hemisphere,) the 2nd annual #IwishPeopleKnewThatDabetes Day will happen via the #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes hashtag on twitter, facbook, instagram and beyond. 

It's my hope that you will share the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in-between via the #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes hashtag on Wednesday - and everyday. 

I've written about the day HERE , and I'm excited and nervous all rolled into one  - last year we had over 17 million twitter impressions and 16 different countries participating.
And to date, that number has grown to almost 25 million.
 I'll consider 2016's #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day a a success if: 
 1.One person realizes via the hashtag that they are not alone in their diabetes 
2. One person opens up about their diabetes struggles, issues, and triumph
3. One person realizes that diabetes is not only doable - but that anything is possible
4. One person realizes that their diabetes voice matters and needs to be heard. 

I can't wait to read and be inspired by your #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes tweets and  thanks in advance from the bottom of my busted and beautiful pancreas!

If I switch health plans halfway through the year, can my deductible be transferred or prorated?

Insurance companies are not required to credit money consumers already paid in cost sharing from prior plans but sometimes they do for employer-sponsored replacement policies. If you lose employer-sponsored insurance in the middle of the year, and you've already met your deductible the year, you may want to consider COBRA for the rest of the calendar year and get an individual or family plan during open enrollment.

If COBRA is not an option, you likely will be responsible for a new, full deductible. Generally, health insurance deductibles are not prorated for partial-year enrollees, no matter how few months are left in the plan year. Individual or family qualified health plans run from January through December. There is no way to recoup the additional money you may spend towards your health insurance deductible when you switch plans mid-year after paying the first plan�s deductible. However, sometimes medical and dental expenses like deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance can be deducted from your federal taxes, which will lower the taxes you pay that year.

When you choose a health insurance plan, it will be important to understand what your insurance company covers without requiring you to pay your deductible. Then you can decide whether you want a plan with lower monthly premiums and higher deductible or one with a higher monthly premium and a lower deductible. Many health plans cover some services such as emergency room or routine doctor visits such as preventive care without requiring you to pay toward your deductible. 

Deductible amounts vary by plan and can be separated into individual or family deductibles. Some health plans also cover other benefits like doctor visits and prescription drugs even if you haven�t met your deductible. 

Your best course of action is to read your policy and contact the insurance company to find out more about the health plan�s benefits. 

If you have questions about your plan or your rights as a consumer, you can contact our consumer advocates online or at 1-800-562-6900.

I'm Attending The Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum, AKA - #medtronicDAF

Last night and today I'm attending the Medtronic Diabetes Advocate Forum - and I encourage you to follow and participate by following the #medtronicDAF hashtag on the twitter. 

If you have anything you'd like me to relay to the folks at medtronic, please feel free to leave a comment or ping me. 

Medtronic is covering my expenses including, flight, meals, lodging, etc. 
But as always, all thoughts are mine and mine alone - and I will not hesitate to share them! 

Grant Curry & Ride40: Celebrating 40 Years With Type 1 Diabetes

Grant Curry will be celebrating 40 years of living with type 1 diabetes by completing a 4 day, 400 mile cycling trip, along with four friends and hopes to raise $40,000 dollars worth of scholarships for DiabetesTrainingCamp Foundation.
Grant's an inspiring guy with inspiring POV when it comes to life with diabetes - Give a read and Happy Diaversary, GRANT. 
#######
Grant Curry, today. 
Grant - First off - Congrats for being �this close� to celebrating your 40th diaversary - that�s impressive! 
What do you remember about your diagnoses and how have things changed since your DX?
I remember going to the doctor and immediately to the hospital after. 
I spent a week learning urine testing, injections and dietary instruction. Diabetes management was a bit like playing Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey back in '75-'76;  throw your dart and hope for the best.  
I was terrified hearing about all the complications that I was told were likely on the way.  
Life expectancy for Type 1 back then was 60-65 years. I felt frustrated, depressed, and helpless. 
 So much has changed since then and my outlook is generally positive and I feel more confident being pro-active with my management.  Having resources such as pumps, CGMS, rapid acting insulins has had a tremendous impact on my quality of life.  We didn't even have home blood testing until 1983.  It's a whole new world now.  
That certainly doesn't mean it's easy for people being diagnosed now, however.  
It's not easy for any of us but it is more possible to be more precise in our management with the right tools and education and motivation to do the work.  I think the emotional/mental component of living with Diabetes is the greatest challenge of all.  The phrase "non-compliant Diabetic" has been used for a long time and I've never liked it.  
It doesn't accurately depict the true disposition of someone struggling with their disease.  
There's many effective ways to help someone with Diabetes.  We all need love and encouragement and acknowledgement of our challenges. I think there's a great movement of positive changes for people with Diabetes today.

I know that everyone has moments of struggling when it comes to living with D - how have you learned to handle those moments and do you handle them differently now at 40 years in verses then? 
Yes, we all have those moments to greater or lesser degrees throughout our lives with Diabetes.  Having challenges doesn't change.  Developing resources for dealing with the challenges can change, however.  For many years early on, I was in denial, I was angry and lacked the depth of maturity needed to cope with Diabetes.  I think that's pretty par for the course for diagnosis at 8.  Minus the maturity part, adult diagnosis can be overwhelming as well.  I mean, who's really mentally prepared to be diagnosed with Diabetes before it happens?  Today, I rely on family and peer support, I practice meditation, I look for new ways to adapt and adjust as life changes.  My dear friend and colleague, Carrie Cheadle, Mental Skills Coach at Diabetes Training Camp, teaches "Preparation Equals Confidence" in regards to race or sports event readiness.  The same applies to Diabetes management.  If I'm being pro-active in my self-care, I'm better prepared mentally for the moments of struggle.  I know I'm doing my best (which is rarely perfect) and can be more reasoned in my decision making, as in "Okay, now what do I do?"
Grant 40 years ago
You founded the Semi Tough Cycling Club of New Orleans in ----, tell us about it 
No, that would be my dear friend and Ride40 teammate, Townsend Myers.  He's a longtime buddy of mine who was my main cycling partner before I moved to Georgia in 2010.  He's been an extraordinary friend and supporter of my life with Diabetes.  He started the club not long after I left, somewhat as a reaction to losing his riding partner.  He's a great sportsman and leader.  You could probably say he's The Godfather of present-day cycling in New Orleans.  Look him and the club up if ever you're looking to ride with someone there.

You�ve chosen to celebrate your 40 years of living with diabetes by taking on an extreme cycling challenge with 3 of of your friends, aka RIDE 40
Indeed, it is going to be extremely challenging for me, and my team, Townsend Myers, Rick Crawford and Bryan Yates will be helping me reach my goal.  They're all super strong cyclists and amazing people that have made my life more fulfilling in different ways.  Our friend Sebastien Sasseville was riding, too, but had some things come up that got in the way of his participation.  He's a great guy and we'll miss his humor in our moments of suffering.  I'm the only one with Diabetes on the team.  Obviously, I don't discriminate against people not living with Diabetes.  That's funny, right?

RIDE 40 will happen between May 17th through May 21wt, 2016  and it�s  billed as: �4 days. 4 friends. 400 miles. 40,000 of elevation gain. 
$40,000 raised in scholarship funds for the Diabetes Training Camp Foundation.� 
tell us about your reasons for doing the ride, how you came up with the ride, your teammates, and why Diabetes Training Camp Foundation is so special to you. 
I came up with the idea about a year and a half ago. I wanted to create a challenge to commemorate the milestone and give me something big to work toward.  I have some personal health and fitness goals attached to the event intended to give me a recharge as I near Life Level 50 and move into the second half.  I want to be healthy and active as long as possible.  The challenge needed to be more difficult than any previous endurance events for me. 
I've been working really hard to reach the best fitness of my life for this.  
I also want to reach others in the process and send the message of turning Obstacles into Opportunities.  
I've had an amazing life so far, full of both darkness and light, and my determination and positivity and resilience have come through living with Diabetes and having the opportunity to be involved in Diabetes camp programs.  
Diabetes Training Camp Foundation is special to me because going to the camp in 2008 gave me renewed hope and perspective on living with Diabetes and being able to successfully manage Diabetes and endurance cycling.  I want to see others have the same opportunities I've been given by raising scholarships funds for Diabetes Training Camp.  
I encourage everyone to have a look at the website and read more about the incredible individuals riding and supporting during Ride40.  My wife, Cynthia, is our Team Coordinator - she's got an incredible spirit.
Growing up I know you went to Diabetes Camp - how did that help shape you as a person living with and owning their diabetes. 
Yes, I went to Camp Joslin for Boys with Diabetes for several years and was also a counselor there as a teen.  
Those amazing summers changed my life.  I was a bit of a troubled kid and I attribute that mostly to my struggles with Diabetes.  At camp, I felt free from much of the struggle and was able to be at ease and have fun and feel understood.  I discovered many of my strengths at camp and learned how to be a good friend.  
I didn't necessarily get the Diabetes figured out all at once, but everything I learned at Camp Joslin stayed with me and carried me through some difficult times. It did help me own my Diabetes and eventually find confidence in myself.  I still keep up with friends from Camp Joslin.  
The magic of my camp experiences never goes away.  I say the same thing about my experiences at Diabetes Training Camp.

Exercise and balancing all the diabetes idiosyncrasies isn�t always easy - but exercise is SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT to living with diabetes. 
How have you learned to deal with all the blood sugar/ exercise/cycling issues that come your way? 
That all goes back to my camp experiences in my youth and as an adult.  Our endocrinologists may be outstanding (mine certainly is), but you just can't get everything you need in an office visit.  The doctor is but one part of what is, ideally, a team effort.  Diabetes Training Camp has made the biggest difference in my ability to manage Diabetes and exercise.  It may be incredibly difficult to manage the two, but it is possible and there are answers and solutions for achieving success.  Going to DTC is exactly how I've learned, along with a lot of trial and error testing.  There's no other program like it and I cannot express with more enthusiasm my belief in what happens at DTC.

What�s your advice to people living with diabetes who are struggling with accepting their diabetes? 
My immediate thought is "Go to Diabetes Training Camp!"  
I also think it's important to go easy on yourself as you begin to actively explore solutions to dealing with the struggle.  Acceptance takes time, and usually involves some pain along the way.  You're not alone, although you may feel that way.  There's help out there waiting for you. Years ago, I had a doctor tell me "There is no place for judgment in Diabetes.  There is no good or bad blood sugar.  It's simply information.  Let's start by losing the labels and then we'll look at the information."  
It was a powerful moment for me. I still get a little teary-eyed when I think of that. I used to equate my blood sugars with my self-worth. I think many of us have experienced that at some point.  Let's be a little more kind to ourselves.  Let's connect with each other and share our stories and be empowered together to live more fulfilling and active lives.

Kelly, thank you so much for taking an interest in my story and Ride40!

KK: Thank you for the all the awesome, Grant!

Please checkout the Ride40.com and http://diabetestrainingcamp.com 

Health Care and Data Breaches

This blog post is my 500th article!!! 

One of the most critical issues in the healthcare field today, for medical providers and facilities and for consumers, is the breach of personal health care information. The theft of personal medical records is big money on the black market, and ID theft due to that crime is rampant.

According to Modern Healthcare magazine, 2016 is being deemed the �year of data security� in healthcare�if only because 2015 was a substantial wake-up call for the industry. Nearly 90 percent of healthcare providers have been hit by data breaches in the last two years, according to security research firm Ponemon Institute, with many large-scale and criminally driven attacks publicized in 2015. More details are located at this website: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20160227/SPONSORED/160229900/2016-the-year-of-data-security

HIT Consultant reports that one in three Americans were victims of healthcare data breaches in 2015, attributed to a series of large-scale attacks that each affected more than 10 million individuals. These and other statistics are contained in Bitglass� 2016 Healthcare Breach Report.

Among the most significant findings of the report was that in 2015, 98 percent of record leaks were due to large-scale breaches targeting the healthcare industry. These high-profile attacks were the largest source of healthcare data loss and indicate that cyber attackers are increasingly targeting medical data.

Such breaches include the widely publicized Premera Blue Cross hack involving 11 million customers, and the Anthem hack which resulted in 78.8 million leaked customer records. More info is located at this website: http://hitconsultant.net/2016/01/28/hackers-caused-98-of-healthcare-data-breaches/.

According to Health IT Security, 80 percent of organizations handling sensitive information report concern for large-scale data breaches, based on a survey conducted by Advisen. This survey included organizations from several different industries, but the most highly represented industry was healthcare, comprising 22 percent of the respondent sample.

Despite the growing concern for large-scale data breaches, the study�s authors report that organizations may not be doing enough. While three quarters of respondents report having some sort of data breach response plan, these plans may not go through rigorous enough testing. You can find more material on this subject at this site: http://healthitsecurity.com/news/large-data-breaches-top-worry-for-health-pros-survey-shows.

Forbes Magazine reported that 2015 was the worst year yet for data breaches. The online mechanism for the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) under Health and Human Services publishes data breaches as reported to them and required by HIPAA. The numbers last year are just staggering:

         According to OCR, there were 253 healthcare breaches that affected 500 individuals or more with a combined loss of over 112 million records.
         The top 10 data breaches alone accounted for just over 111 million records that were lost, stolen or inappropriately disclosed.
         The top six breaches affected at least 1 million individuals�and four of the six were Blue Cross Blue Shield organizations.

While HIPAA is the legislation (passed in 1996) designed to protect patients against loss, theft or disclosure of their sensitive medical information, the fines and penalties don�t appear to be having a discernible effect on either patient privacy or data security.

A recent data breach study estimates that breaches cost the healthcare industry about $5.6 billion annually. As healthcare moves toward connected care, the amount of data exchanged between organizations is only going to grow. So what does this mean? It means that in 2016, the healthcare industry is going to see a huge movement towards encryption in hospitals and other healthcare facilities in order to protect EHRs (electronic health records) and other vulnerable PHI (Personal Health Information). More detailed material is located at this website: http://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2015/12/31/data-breaches-in-healthcare-total-over-112-million-records-in-2015/#3f9cb33b7fd5.

Oddly enough, however, according to Health IT Security, the first few months into 2016 are showing a slightly different trend, with results from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) indicating that stolen devices and improper disposal are the top threats currently facing the industry. Patient names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, health insurance numbers, other medical status and assessment information as well as some financial information have been exposed with these incidents.

The top five healthcare data breaches of this year so far do not involve hacking or an IT incident, according to the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) data breach reporting tool. Instead, theft, loss, improper disposal, and unauthorized email access or disclosure have caused the largest incidents in 2016. More info is located at this website: http://healthitsecurity.com/news/top-5-healthcare-data-breaches-in-2016-not-from-hacking.

According to IT Business Edge, a big part of the problem is that security organizations are still focused on preventative security � looking for a silver bullet that will keep an attacker out of their networks in the first place. Despite a Gartner recommendation that organizations shift security efforts toward the detection of network intruders and the emergence of promising new behavioral analytic tools and security strategies, well under 1 percent of enterprises have the ability to find a post-intrusion network attacker. Cyber criminals continue to have the potential for unimpeded, long-term success. More info is located at this site: http://www.itbusinessedge.com/slideshows/2016-security-trends-whats-next-for-data-breaches-06.html.

Hospitals, health systems, payers and any organization with stewardship of healthcare data are prime targets for cyberattacks, according to Becker�s Hospital Review (BHR). And there are plenty of cautionary tales showing just how much damage hackers can do. While no healthcare organization will ever be completely invulnerable to such attacks, they can learn from others' mistakes.

Here are four lessons, according to BHR, healthcare providers can consider when thinking about data breach prevention and preparedness:
1.    Don't fall prey to known vulnerabilities.
2.    Utilize experience-based training.
3.    Consider a third party for security audits.
4.    Create a contingency plan.


Businesses, especially in the healthcare field, must always make every effort to protect patient information. That is their responsibility, and they can be held civilly responsible, and criminally responsible if there is a proven negligent act. As a consumer, you may receive a letter or an email informing you that your personal information may have gotten into the wrong hands as a result of a data breach.  Perhaps a media report alerted you to a security breach at a company where you do business.

Regardless of the type of data breach, medical information is more difficult to recover, manage, and restore, especially for consumers. According to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, there are helpful tips on what to do if a breach has occurred. Much more detail is located at this website: https://www.privacyrights.org/how-to-deal-security-breach.

Always be diligent to monitor your healthcare information. Take steps to protect your personal data, and never provide your information to businesses that have no protection or privacy capabilities in place. Always ask who will see your information, and request a copy of their privacy policies. If you discover that a breach has occurred, take quick action to reduce the exposure and limit the damage that can be done. It�s your life. Keep it secret. Keep it safe.

Until next time. 

#IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Means That Every Day With Diabetes Is Different

Today is World Health Day -and the 2016 focus is all about diabetes and "beating diabetes,"  and I'm glad that the focus of the world is focused on diabetes. 
I�m seeing lots of tweets/articles/posts about diet and exercise and beating up diabetes- and that�s great - but there are other things that come to mind, (at least for me,) re: living with diabetes on a daily basis for 38.6 years and counting - and no matter the D type. 
Sidebar: This year's #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day is on Wednesday April 20th and it's been on my mind a lot
I feel a little funning writing about it today, but I am, because the hashtag is in my head and stuck on repeat.
Lastly, Today's post was also inspired by last night's #DSMA chat, which was awesome, every single person living with diabetes, as well as the #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes hashtag and Day and World Health Day, #who
I hope you can relate~ 
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#IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes means that every day of living with diabetes is different . 
Some days are brutal no matter what I do - or don�t do -and those are the days when I have to plow through the muck because I must. 
Some days are surprisingly easy and diabetes is playing so nice that I wonder if somehow my pancreas secretly started secreting insulin and didn�t bother to let me in on the joke - until I realize that the joke�s on me and my blood sugar numbers/body is suddenly in desperate need of insulin. 
Insulin that is the elixir of my life and yours, and the price of which - along with my diabetes supplies keeps me up at night. #insulin4life

Most days I�m the one who�s in charge of diabetes - but on the days when diabetes takes the lead and throws a bitchfit, D becomes even more difficult, frustrating, maddening than normal D bitch mode. 
Those are the days when I drink copious amounts of water and coffee throughout the day because of a low hi/gh blood sugar hangover because I have work to do if I want to get paid. 
And it�s on those days that I end up crying the ugly cry and I�m glad I�m not famous because nobody needs to see that shit in high def. 

Other days diabetes makes me laugh because sometimes diabetes is funny and if I didn�t laugh I would go apeshit crazy. 
Plus, laughing is good for the soul and the blood sugar and saying �I�m high,� in public never gets old. 
There are moments (OK, days, weeks, etc.,) when I wish I could take a vacation from diabetes - but I know I can�t. So I bring diabetes with me on my vacation - along with copious amounts of diabetes supplies, sunscreen, comfy shoes and shoes that are anything but comfortable, but make my legs look amazing.
There are days when diabetes becomes a teaching moment - even when I don�t necessarily feel like teaching. But when all is said and done, I�m glad that another person learns a diabetes fact/reality - and that makes me feel really good. 

Some days it's not my diabetes that worries me - it's other peoples. 
I worry for my friends health and I worry about people around the globe living with diabetes without access to insulin, test strips, and the likes there of - and I'm angry and sad all rolled into one.

And on all of the above days and every day in-between, I know that I have my D tribe both online and off and I want every single person in the world to find the DOC Tribe - because it makes life... and life with diabetes so much easier. 

So If I haven�t said it lately, thank-you D tribal members, thanks for always �getting it,� getting me and putting up with me. 


Finally, #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes means that we are in this together - and that my friends is a wonderful thing~ 

TSA: My Insulin Pump And A Game Of 'He Said, She Said, And She Agreed.'

"YES, of course I want you to feel me up and or put my expensive electronic pancreas through the Xray/body scanner"... said no one ever.
When it comes to TSA and my insulin pump I feel like a broken record. 
A broken record who has become very good at not taking no for an answer. 
With that being said - it's ridiculously exhausting, not to mention frustrating
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I stood in line at Philadelphia International last Thursday, waiting to go through security. 
I was on my way to the Novo Nordisk�s Summit in Phoenix and I wanted to the TSA airport portion of my journey to be over. 
Sidebar: I�m writing a post re: my experience at the Novo Nordisk Summit, so stay tuned.

The line moved at a good pace and soon I was close enough to take off my shoes, put them in a tray along with my coat and placed my handbag in another tray. 
I looked at the young (and by young I mean I wasn�t sure if he was actually old enough to buy beer legally,) TSA Agent, standing in front of the body scanner �don�t cross THIS YELLOW LINE,�, area. I smiled at him and said: 

Me: Hi! I�m going to need a visual inspection for my insulin pump, please.
TSA Guy: No you don�t.
Me: Yes I do.
TSA Guy: No, you don�t. 
Me: Yes, I do.

TSA Guy: The body scanner isn�t an X-ray, it�s not going to hurt it.
Me: X-ray or not, I need a visual inspection for my insulin pump.
I can go through the body scanner no problem, but my insulin pump can�t - and it can't go through the Xray. It needs to be visually inspected. 
I need to speak with your boss, please.

TSA GUY shouted across to the other side of the body scanner to no one in particular and said: HEY, she needs a full pat body pat down because she�s wearing an insulin pump.
Me: Noooo, I don�t need or require full body pat down - I can unplug my insulin pump, no problem. I need a visual inspection for my insulin pump, not a full body pat down because I�m wearing an insulin pump. BIG DIFFERENCE.

Then a woman TSA Agent walked over and said: What�s up? 
TSA Guy: She needs a full body pat down because she doesn�t want to take her insulin pump through the scanner.
Me: I don�t need or want a full body pat down  - I can go through the body scanner, but my insulin pump can�t. I need a visual inspection for my insulin pump.
And for the record, it was just as tired and annoying continually saying it, as is to continue writing/reading said same phrase. 

TSA Woman to TSA Guy: She�s right, she doesn�t need a pat down. 
And inside my head, my inner monologue was all: I TOLD YOU, I TOLD YOU, I TOLD YOU! 
And then she turned to me and said: But I do need to test and swab your insulin pump and your hands. Are you OK with that?

Me: YEPPER. 

So while my body was being scanned, TSA Agent Lady and my insulin pump waited for me on the �other side,� and then escorted me to the row of machines; where she swabbed my insulin pump and the front and back my hands, put the test swaps in some sort of mass spectrometer thing and waited for the all the clear. 
The whole experience took less than two minutes from escort to mass spec and then I was good to go. 
And then I thanked her and went on my way. 

And once again the confusion as to why some TSA agents are so quick to refuse and argue when it comes to a visual/hands on inspection of an insulin pump and or cgms, while other agents have no problem and seem to be in the know, was frustrating. 
It wasn't rocket surgery and I wasn�t arguing about having my pump or my hands swiped.

I wasn't trying to make someones job harder, nor did I want to be felt up by stranger because it was easier for them.
It�s not easier for me. Being felt up by someone I don�t know isn�t my idea of a good time - and I know for a fact that there are other options available.  
And putting a very expensive, precarious, precious electronic pancreas through an X-ray or body scanner will be never be an option for me - so please stop trying to make it one.

I was at the very same airport where a most excellent TS Agent told me to always insist for a visual inspection of my insulin pump and never to take no for an answer. 

It was also the very same airport where my insulin pump once tested positive for explosives and I was carted off to the little gray room for a more �intimate� search. 

But no matter what airport I'm at, it's always an issue  - and it shouldn't be.

It shouldn�t have to be a �he said, she , said,� when it comes to visual inspections of insulin pumps, cgms, or any other durable medical equipment for that matter. 

It shouldn�t cause a hold up in tline and it shouldn�t involve a three, sometimes four way conversation, every single time - no matter airport


But it always does.  

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