The Hot Topic in Health: Preventative Healthcare

Mar 09, 15 The Hot Topic in Health: Preventative Healthcare

Posted by in Healthcare

By Jestelle Irizarry Disneyland, or more recently known as “measles kingdom,” is bringing light to an important consumer healthcare topic: parents’ decisions whether to take advantage of preventive care or not. Chronic diseases—like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes—are responsible for seven of every ten deaths in the United States each year and account for 75 percent of the nation’s health spending, but Americans are only using preventive care about half of the recommended rate. Even parents with insurance are not getting the proper immunizations for their children and themselves or the check-ups necessary to keep their families healthy. Thousands of people were exposed to the measles recently, a vaccine preventable virus the U.S. declared eliminated over a decade and a half ago. The current outbreak of the measles, an extremely contagious respiratory disease, proves that vaccines can only protect people if the masses take advantage of them. In the 1960s, healthcare providers led a widely successful national campaign to educate consumers and encourage them to take advantage of vaccinations, including the measles. Now Americans don’t spend time worrying about the measles because in the 21st century, the virus has not been an issue. When the measles were supposedly “eliminated” in the U.S. in 2000, they didn’t suddenly stop existing, but rather the virus no longer had a constant presence. Since, many parents have disregarded recommendations to vaccinate their children and have exercised their right to not do so. As of February 6, 17 states have reported a total of 121 cases of measles, one third related to the outbreak at Disneyland in California. In 2014, the CDC reported a total of 644 cases of measles in the U.S., 383 of those occurring among an unvaccinated Amish community in Ohio that drew national attention. To compare, between 2001 and 2011, the average number of measles cases reported per year was merely 62. Clearly the measles is once again a virus that concerns the general public. Besides the measles, the whooping cough virus, another vaccine preventable illness,...

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Cyber Liability Insurance

2013 Black Friday shoppers got a nasty shock when their Target purchases spoiled their holiday spirit via a massive data breach. However, the December 2013 data breach didn’t just squander the holiday spirit; it cost Target shareholders $148 million, a CEO and a large amount of consumer trust. Although Target’s earnings have dropped since then, the superstore will receive $38 million of insurance payout on the data breach from their cyber insurance policy, a kind of specialty insurance surging in the marketplace today. While the policy will aid in the financial loss, the retailer also has to worry about its reputation with consumers, as the breach comprised the personal information and credit and debit card accounts of as many as 110 million customers. A year later and Target now stands among a handful of brands that have fallen to the PR and financial crisis that is a massive data breach. According to a report by the Ponemon Institute, an independent research firm for privacy, data protection and information security issues, 43% of companies experienced a data breach in the past year, which is up 10% from year before. Specialty insurance covers items or situations that are special or unique. In 2013, the total global losses due to cybercrime amounted to $445 billion, and the increasing rates of cybercrime have pushed the market for cyber liability insurance to grow rapidly. In the U.S., the market capacity for cyber liability insurance could reach up to $2 billion by the end of 2014, as companies try to protect themselves from the financial and reputational damages data breaches can have. While cyber liability insurance stands as an obvious choice for large corporations, small businesses also benefit from this investment, since any company that has a website, uses social media or digitally stores customers’ personal records is at risk for a data breach. And while Target’s reputation suffered in the public eye, imagine if specialty insurance had not been in place. Even if a company chooses not to host data...

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