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What is Healthcare Exchange and How it Might Influence the Quality of Medical Care?


Our experienced and talented physicians and nurses working at the health care clinics operated by the Front Range Primary Care in Trinidad, DenverHealthcare Exchange and Thornton, CO, are motivated to make continuous adjustments to the offered medical services to ensure compliance with the most recent developments in the healthcare system. Our medical staff members continuously educate themselves on ways to make medical care, especially for emergency situations, more affordable and accessible. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was elaborated by the President’s administration and approved by Barack Obama in 2010. However, most reforms, including the establishment of state or region-operated healthcare insurance exchanges, will be effective starting January 2014. One of the most prominent reforms generated by the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, consists in the creation of marketplaces where the offers of private insurance providers will be centralized on a state or regional level, which will cause the market to become more competitive and may result in lower insurance premiums. 

A Healthcare Exchange is a Marketplace for Health Insurance Plans 

Before the ACA became effective, private insurance providers were able to select their customers based on various parameters, which allowed them to charge higher insurance prices and select convenient, low-risk clients. This trend has led to a staggering number of uninsured Americans that reached 50 million individuals by 2010. Among many other health care reforms, the Affordable Care Act stipulates the creation of state-run healthcare exchanges, where insurance providers will list their standardized health insurance plans. Americans will be able to access the marketplace organized in their home states, and select between the multiple offers the one that suits their budget and coverage needs. The healthcare exchange strictly regulates the amount of insurance premiums offered by private companies, and any price increase should be rigorously justified. Americans can also purchase an insurance plan in multi-state or regional healthcare exchanges, which will result in a wider access to healthcare and competitive, lower prices. Essentially, a healthcare insurance marketplace is a one-stop shop for a convenient healthcare plan, where offers and prices and strictly regulated on a federal level, resulting in increased transparency, lower prices and better quality of healthcare. 

States are Encouraged to Operate a Healthcare Exchange by January 2014 

Every state is encouraged to centralize health insurance offers in a healthcare marketplace by January 2014. States may choose to enroll in multi-state marketplaces, or participate in regional exchanges. If a state decides not to operate a health insurance marketplace, then the federal government will organize one to ensure that every individual has access to high-quality, affordable insurance. The health plans will be categorized into four groups depending on the amount of insurance premiums, which are bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Each group will contain standardized offers strictly regulated by the government, and insurance providers no longer have the freedom to deny coverage to individuals with a pre-existing disease, or use any other reasons to increase the premiums besides those clearly stipulated in the Affordable Care Act. At the Front Range Primary Care clinics, our doctors are confident that healthcare exchanges will contribute to better access to affordable healthcare, which will increase patient satisfaction and will result in a higher income for primary care doctors


Diagnosis of Complicated Fractures at the Front Range Primary Care Clinics

Medical experts who specialize in orthopedics classify bone fractures according to a variety of parameters that may influence the way the bone tissue Bone Fractureheals after a traumatic injury. Several medical interventions may be needed in cases when fractures are complicated by certain anatomical circumstances, which can be visualized through X-rays. Families living in Trinidad, Thornton and Denver, but also other Colorado communities located nearby, can benefit from the proven expertise of our doctors employed at the Front Range Primary Care medical clinics when they are in need of professional medical attention for an injury or fracture. A physical trauma may cause damage to the bone that can range from a bone crack that is barely noticeable on the X-ray film to multi-fragmented, severely displaced bone pieces that may penetrate into the soft tissues or affect vital organs located in close proximity. Our experienced medical staff carefully evaluates the skin of the affected body region to determine whether the fracture is closed or open. The differentiation is extremely important because the decision to use antibiotics is based on this classification. Open fractures are almost always contaminated with bacteria, so our highly trained medical team does not waste any precious time until the first symptoms of an infection appear, and they start the patient on antibiotics as soon as the diagnosis is clearly established by identifying damage to the skin caused by the traumatic impact that caused the bone to fracture. 

The Risk of Bone Fractures is Increased in Patients who are Susceptible to Certain Medical Disorders 

In many cases, fractures can be prevented if our doctors are able to identify patients who are at risk due to the fragility of their bones. What diseases are associated with bone fragility and a higher bone fracture risk? Osteoporosis is the main “enemy” of your bones because it lowers the density of the bone tissue through insufficient bone metabolism and repair. The bones of individuals affected by osteoporosis, the majority of whom are women after menopause, have a lower concentration of calcium and collagen, which diminishes bone strength and resistance to forceful impacts. If doctors are able to identify these patients, they can prescribe bisphosphonates, which are drugs that intensify the formation of new bone tissue, calcium and vitamin D supplements. The implemented treatment usually restores the ability of the bone to resist external forces, and the risk of fractures is dramatically diminished. Repetitive fractures can also be a sign of a compressive tumor, which should be thoroughly evaluated through imaging tools, such as X-rays or CT scans. 

Treatment of Bone Fractures is Prescribed After a Through X-ray Examination 

Simple fractures are usually treated through immobilization and adequate rest. Complicated fractures, however, may require more invasive medical interventions, such as reduction and even surgery. Our talented doctors experienced in orthopedic diagnosis evaluate the X-ray films and look for signs of fracture complications, such as multiple bone fragments, displacements and angulated bone fragments. In certain cases, surgery may be recommended to achieve an adequate position of the fragmented bone pieces, which ensures a safe healing of the fracture. 


Restoring the Functional Capacity of Injured Athletes is a Top Priority

Finding a prep school or a college athlete that did not experience any type of injury or trauma during training or competitive events is a rare Sports Medicineoccurrence. Injuries are a part of athletic activities, and almost any individual engaged in sports who utilizes his or her full physical abilities to perform on a high level has experienced some sort of physical discomfort, pain or trauma in their career. Fortunately, most injuries heal with minimal medical intervention because the human body has the ability to repair itself provided the athlete has adequate rest and high-quality nutrition. However, moderate to severe injuries may require the intervention of sports medicine specialists to correct the underlying issues that result in pain and emotional distress for an athlete or a sports enthusiast. When an athlete or a child who plays sports for fun or proper physical development is injured severely, the most important question that arises is whether he or she will be able to resume training fast enough to avoid losing the skills, the strength and the endurance that he or she has already accumulated during long hours of training and participation in competitions. 

At the Front Range Primary Care medical facilities serving the communities of Trinidad, Thornton and Denver, CO, our adequately trained physicians recognize the necessity to restore the physical abilities of athletes as soon as possible, allowing them to resume their training sessions without losing precious skill and strength, yet ensuring their physical safety. However, this medical endeavor can be accomplished only through a rapid yet impeccable injury assessment and diagnosis. Wasting time with expensive tests and paperwork, which is sometimes occurring in larger hospital ER units, is counterproductive when dealing with common injuries that need immediate medical attention. 

Sports Medicine Starts with Evaluating an Individual’s Vital Parameters 

As soon as an injured individual walks through the door of our primary care clinics, our medical staff begins the assessment for signs of severe brain or bodily damage, which should be excluded before proceeding with any other time-consuming tests. Our experienced physicians evaluate the athlete’s vital signs, such as the heart rate, arterial blood pressure and breathing, assess the basic mental functioning parameters and perform quick vision tests. It allows our medical personnel to rule out possible brain damage and any abnormality that may occur in the cardiovascular or respiratory system following a forceful impact or any other type of external factors that caused the injury. Once our doctors have made sure that there is no immediate threat to the patient’s life, a careful, step-by-step evaluation of the injured region is performed, which includes a physical examination that detect signs of hematomas, infection, swelling or an unnatural displacement in the bones, joints and ligaments. Our talented sports medicine experts use reliable X-ray machines to identify any anatomical problem that may need orthopedic correction or surgery, such as fractured bones, sprains or vertebral displacements. Most frequently, radical interventions are not needed, and the athletes benefit from anti-inflammatory medication, careful orthopedic maneuvers and recommendations regarding recovery, rest and nutrition, which ensure the quickest rehabilitation after the injury and a fast return to full physical capacity. 


X-Rays are a Valuable Diagnostic Tool for Injuries and Tumors

Although more sophisticated imaging tools have been designed over the years, such as computer tomography (CT) or X-raysmagnetic resonance imaging (MRI), an X-ray machine remains an essential, irreplaceable tool for diagnosing injuries, fractures, joint problems or tumors, especially in emergency situations. At the Front Range Primary Care facilities serving the Colorado communities in Trinidad, Denver and Thornton, X-ray services are the backbone of emergency diagnosis and medical care provided by our superbly trained medical teams. When a severely injured patient comes through the door at any of our medical clinics, a bone X-ray is frequently the first test that is implemented to find the precise nature of the injury. In most cases, the information provided by X-rays is sufficient to formulate a precise diagnosis and start emergency care, and more time-consuming, costly CT or MRI scans are not needed. It is not a rare occurrence when the medical care for a severely injured patient is delayed in a large hospital, waiting for a sophisticated MRI scan, when a quick and cost-effective bone X-ray would have been enough to establish the cause of the medical complaint and begin the treatment immediately. 

An X-Ray Scan is a Simple and Effective Tool for Evaluating Bone Fractures 

The bone is a dense tissue that is clearly seen on X-ray films. This simple imaging tool helps evaluate the number of bone fragments after a fracture, their anatomical position and displacement, signs of spine damage like herniated discs, damaged joints through arthritis or rheumatic diseases, as well as many other alterations. A skull X-ray is very useful when our physicians are dealing with head injuries, because it helps them detect the signs of bone damage, hematomas, liquid collections inside the brain, such as cysts, or an increased cranial pressure cause by a compression tumor or internal bleeding. A skull X-ray can also reveal the signs of swelling following a concussion. Besides bone fractures and head injuries, X-ray services may be utilized to visualize the sinuses of the skull, which enables the diagnosis of sinus damage following trauma, sinus infections or nasal polyps. 

X-Rays can Alert Our Physicians About the Presence of a Tumor 

When patients complain about recurring headaches, nausea, vomiting of visual disturbances, an X-ray machine can be used to rule out a compression brain tumor or a hematoma that exerts pressure on the brain. An abdominal or a pelvic X-ray may detect a tumor in the abdomen, liver, kidneys or intestines, which is followed by a recommendation to undergo more detailed imaging tests or biopsy to find the precise location, shape and structure of the identified tumor. An X-ray does not allow the visualization of ligament sprains, but these are easily diagnosed by our skilled medical professionals through a detailed physical examination. Visit any of our Front Range Primary Care clinics in Colorado and discover the gentle yet effective approach of our medical teams when treating medical emergencies. You can schedule an appointment with our medical staff for an annual check-up or an affordable X-ray examination of an injury or low back pain. 


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