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Character-Courage-Conscience
07/27/2010
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Protect Your Medical Information
By John Sileo
www.Sileo.com


Medical records are one-stop shopping for identity thieves. There is no need to slowly gather bits and pieces of someone's personal information - it's all packaged together: Social Security number, name, address, phone number, even payment accounts.

Crooks have received everything from medication to a liver transplant using a stolen identity. And that's only the tip of the iceberg! More than just medical treatment is at stake. Once a thief's medical information is entered into your records, it's extremely difficult to get rid of that information. It's conceivable, for example, that at a later date, you'll need a Type A blood transfusion but be given the thief's Type B with dire consequences.

Identity theft of medical records has more than doubled since 2008, as stated in Javelin's 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report. It's not difficult to imagine the misery that a million Americans have suffered during the past two years when their identities were stolen. And the Poneman Institute, in their National Study on Medical Identity Theft, states that another half million people loaned their insurance cards to uninsured family members and friends. The unsavvy lenders have incurred huge medical bills in this "friendly fraud."

Larry Ponemon says that, on average, it costs $20,000 to resolve a medical identity theft case. Unlike credit card companies,where the banks incur the losses, the victims often have to pay for the fraudulent care and sometimes lose their health insurance or have to pay higher premiums to restore their accounts. Even though there are HIPAA laws to protect your privacy, not all health care organizations have strict safeguards in place.

The risk goes even further: if someone is treated using your identity, your medical records will more than likely be altered and could compromise your treatment and ability to get service. According to Larry Ponemon, "stolen medical records offer a complete dossier to get a passport in a victim's name that could be used for terrorism."

Ways to Protect Yourself:
  • When you receive an Explanation of Benefits from insurers, read it carefully and save - don't throw it away even when it says "this is not a bill"! If a treatment date or doctor's name is not familiar to you, call the insurer and the billing physician to resolve.
  • If your wallet is stolen, contact your insurance company just as you would your credit card company. Don't carry your Medicare card in your wallet. Carry a photocopy and black out the last four digits of the SS#.
  • Urge your health care providers to ask patients for photo ID's.
  • Ask your doctors for copies of everything in your medical files, even if you have to pay for them.
  • Monitor your credit report. If you see medical billing errors, contact your insurer and the three credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
  • Avoid Internet and storefront offers of free treatment and supplies.
  • Ask for a list of benefits paid in your name and an "accounting of disclosures" which shows who got your records.
About the author: To further bulletproof yourself and your business, visit John's blog at www.Sileo.com. To book John at your next event, visit www.ThinkLikeaSpy.com. John Sileo became America's leading Identity Theft Speaker Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.





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Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingValues
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07/27/2010
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Purchasing andPreparing Lamb:
The Basics You Need To Know
Provided by theAmerican Lamb Board
americanlamb.com


The family is coming over for a festive spring dinner but you don'twant to serve yet another casserole#133;How about Lamb? It seems soelegant, but it really is easy, especially if you are armed with thebasics.

What To Look For When Purchasing Lamb:

Lamb is widely available in grocery stores and gourmet food retailersacross the country. When shopping, look for American Lamb as ittypically yields more meat on the bone than imported lamb. Also, mostAmerican lamb is fed mixed grains and grasses giving the meat a milderflavor than its European counterparts. When shopping for a cut, lookfor meat that has a soft pink to red coloring with white marbling.

How to Store/Freeze Lamb:

Fresh lamb should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer immediatelyafter purchasing. Refrigerate fresh lamb at 40 degrees Fahrenheit orbelow. Ground lamb or stew meat should be used within 2 days. Lambchops and roasts should be used within 3 to 5 days. If you plan tofreeze lamb for long periods of time, be sure to wrap the originalpackaging with airtight freezer wrap or place in an airtight freezerbag to prevent freezer burn. To maintain optimum quality, frozen lambshould be used within 3 to 4 months.

How to Thaw Frozen Lamb:
  • In the refrigerator - oncefrozen lamb has thawed in the refrigerator, lamb roasts and chopsshould be used within 3 to 5 days and ground lamb or stew meat shouldbe used within 1 to 2 days.
  • In cold water - leave frozenlamb in its packaging, making sure it is air tight. If not, transfer itto a leak-proof bag. Keep the lamb submerged in cold water, changingthe water every 30 minutes to continue thawing. Cook lamb immediatelyafter thawing. It should not be re-frozen unless cooked first.
  • In the microwave - As withthe cold water method, when frozen lamb is thawed in the microwave, itmust be cooked immediately. It should not be re-frozen unless cookedfirst.
CookingLamb:
  • For those that don't have alot of experience cooking with lamb, determining when it is done is thebiggest challenge. An overcooked rack of lamb is an expensive mistakeand carving into an undercooked roast can be an embarrassment at adinner party. Don't rely on guesswork - a good meat thermometer willprovide reliable results. DO NOT cut into a roast or chop to checkdoneness. Use an instant read thermometer to give you a quick, accuratereading.
  • Lamb, like any cut of meat,always benefits from rest before serving - the rest allows the meat'sjuices to settle. Give thin cuts like chops five minutes before servingand allow 20 minutes before carving roasts. Keep in mind, as the meatrests, its internal temperature typically rises 5 to 10 degrees. Removelamb from cooking heat when the thermometer reads 5 to 10 degrees lessthan your desired temperature.
  • To ensure lamb remains safethroughout cooking, the USDA makes recommendations for safe cookingtemperatures.
For recipes and approximatecooking times for use in meal planning, visit americanlamb.com. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com

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Tags: Adult Child-ParentCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceDatingFamily/Relationships - Adult Child/ParentMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingRegarding Dr. LauraValues
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06/17/2010
IconI spoke with you about attending court with my father at my cousin's prosecution for robbery, and I want to thank you for your wisdom and help which you shared with me. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceFamily/Relationships - FamilyMorals, Ethics, Valuespolitical correctnessRead On-AirRelativesResponse To A CallSAHM stay at home momSocial IssuesValues
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06/12/2010
Icon"I've been out of work for quite a while now, but have been given the opportunity to work for a friend of mine who has a fast-growing technology company." More >>

Tags: BusinessCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCliff EnnicoEducationFinancesJobPersonal ResponsibilitySchoolStay-at-Home MomValuesWork from Home
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06/09/2010
IconBoundaries separating you from family occur automatically when you're independent, formed either by the physical distance or the amount of contact you orchestrate. When you live together again with family, boundaries can blur rapidly. More >>

Tags: Adult Child-ParentCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceFamily/Relationships - Adult Child/ParentPersonal ResponsibilitySAHM stay at home momValues
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06/08/2010
IconI have been listening a lot lately and some days the callers are even frustrating to me! So I came up with this little poem, I hope you think it's cute! Keep nagging! More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter-Courage-ConsciencehumorRead On-AirRegarding Dr. LauraValues
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05/13/2010
IconA few weeks ago, the news replayed and replayed the hotel surveillance video tape of a scene out of Law and Order.  A woman was attacked by some creep, and a homeless man went to her rescue.  The creep ran away, the woman ran away, and the homeless man lay bleeding to death on the pavement, with at least a dozed people (caught on video) just walking by.  One man turned him over, examined him, and then walked away.  The homeless man died.  He died alone - ignored - and yet, he was a hero for rescuing the woman who was attacked.I am unaware of any follow-up regarding this hero - who he was, his background, his circumstance.  There was probably little media interest in a homeless man.Then, soon after, a Vietnam veteran alerted police to a suspicious car in New York City's Times Square.  The policeman checked the car and recognized that it was likely a car bomb.  The dominoes fell appropriately, with the bomb squad alerted, and everyone evacuated from Times Square.A Pakistani man who got American citizenship decided to kill as many American citizens as possible, because of his radical Muslim beliefs that infidels need eradication.  Nice family guy, I'm sure.He failed in his attempt to mass murder American citizens, because a military vet used his training well (many years after the fact), and a policeman did his duty.This story had a happier ending than the first one, because of the training and commitment of those who serve us. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceMilitarySocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconRecently, on a Friday afternoon, I had an experience which challenged my fears and comfort level.' I went out sailing in 20-30 knots of wind, with 6 - 8 foot swells, in a very, very narrow boat only 41 feet long.' I have five experienced crew with me.' And I was nervous.Believe you me, it is an intimidating experience when a little sailboat is planing at over 20 knots with gusts and crazy waves.' You don't have a lot of opportunity to think things through or to hesitate - a five degree wrong move and....WIPEOUT!' In the cold water and sloppy big waves, that could mean "man overboard" with the boat temporarily out of control. ( Watch the experience .)I am learning to skipper a boat under these conditions, where you have to run on "feel" and not so much on thinking things through.' I have lots to learn and practice, but whoo hoo!' What a ride!In doing this, I faced rational fear and was out of my comfort zone.' It took 48 hours for me to come down from that exhilaration.' It changes you.' I feel proud of myself; I know I'm getting better and better.' Facing fears and limitations, while scary, leads to such acceleration in joy of life and a growing self-confidence, that it is more than worth the scary moments.As I keep nagging at you folks, things are scary until they become familiar .' Practice and forcing yourself to face the experience time and again gives you familiarity which gives you confidence, and a natural, free, and legal "high." More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceFearHobbiesMental HealthPersonal ResponsibilitySailingValues
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05/13/2010
IconLast week, I attended an event in the beautiful city of Huntington Beach, California.' It was the second annual "Battle Shark Challenge" hosted by the United States Army.' The Army invited new enlistees from southern California to come to the beach to compete in small groups in such activities as:' push ups, sit ups, tug of war, football, Frisbee, rock wall climbing, a 2 mile run, throwing grenades (fake ones, of course) and carrying a "wounded" soldier through a mine field (blindfolded).I participated in everything except Frisbee and football.' My team of 6 won the push up and sit up contests, and we also won the activity where you had to carry a "wounded" soldier through a mine field.' Everyone was blindfolded except the leader who had to give instructions.' The first time I played the wounded soldier; the second time I was the leader and we beat the previous best time by over a minute.' We lost the tug of war, and I wasn't able to throw my grenade further than the closest-in target.' I did the run, however, in less time than that required to qualify for enlisting in the Army, but they still wouldn't take me!It was an amazing experience to meet about 1500 young men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line for you and me.' I was impressed by their spirit, tenacity, good humor, self-respect, hard work, and commitment.' These are certainly NOT the types of kids who spend their days on Facebook or Twitter.' You have to be awed by how unique and special they are.Families came out to show their support, although it was very sad to me when one young woman came up to ask me how to handle her parents, who won't talk to her since she enlisted.' They didn't show up for this event either.' Shame on them and shame for them.' They missed an opportunity to see their child elevated in her own spirit and in our eyes.' I told her that I'd be her surrogate mother, and that she now owed me a Mother's Day card.' We hugged a lot.Frankly, I just wanted to hug them all.' I AM the proud mother of an American combat infantryman...very proud.' I am saddened for any parent who chooses to shun their child because they've made the selfless choice to defend all Americans.That's why we have to support them all.' Whenever you see anybody in uniform, shake their hands, buy them lunch, and/or tell them you're grateful.' It DOES mean a lot to them. More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCommitmentMilitaryPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010
IconHow can your life be better in an instant?Believe it or not, I have the answer to that question.Think about something lousy you're experiencing today.' Frown.Now, think about something wonderful you're experiencing today.' Smile!At any one moment, you get to choose how you're going to react.Here's something to try:Get together with a friend today, and talk ONLY about things that elevate both your souls and your spirits.' No whining about your lives, no talking smack about other people, no complaining about relatives or politics.' Just say the things that elevate both of you and your collective sense of well-being.And guess what?' Your life becomes better instantaneously. More >>

Tags: budgetCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceValues
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