Category : Health Basics

Health insurance claim form

Using Your Health Insurance Could Be Costing You More

In 2017, 84 percent of large employers offered high deductible health insurance plans to their employees and 35 percent of those companies only offered high deductible plans, based on a 2016 Kaiser/HRET survey.

The trade-off for the lower premiums associated with these plans is substantially higher out-of-pocket costs that are incurred before a portion of your medical costs are covered by insurance.

Finding the Low Cost Provider

Health insurance claim formThe onus is now on the patient to manage their medical expenses. The Kaiser Family Foundation found individuals are paying an average of $2,295 and families $4,364 in deductible costs. Now that the first several thousand dollars are coming out of our pockets, it becomes more important to shop around for healthcare services.

Get Tests at Lower Cost Locations

When a health insurance company negotiates with a hospital on how much a procedure or test will be covered, they consider a number of factors.  All of which often make obtaining routine services at a hospital the most expensive option.

If there are outpatient locations in your network, or even private labs outside your network, they are very often considerably less expensive than going to a hospital for the same services.  In a local example the cost of getting a CAT scan at the hospital was over $1400.  The charge for the same CAT scan at an outpatient clinic was $269.

health checkupsUsing Your Health Insurance May Not Always Be Optimum

Most of us believe that large insurance companies negotiate the best rates for their clients.  This is not always the case.  It is worth checking with local labs that do routine bloodwork and other tests to see what they charge. It is not uncommon to find that the hospital’s negotiated rate with an insurance company is higher than the same test from a local lab.

What About My Deductible?

For those with high deductible plans who see a doctor infrequently, chances are most of your medical costs will be out of your pocket. In this situation, shopping for the least expensive option will only save you money, even if you use out of network providers.

If you expect to have surgery, or some other medical procedure, it is more likely that you will reach your deductible.  In this case it may not be as advantageous to use services that are not run through your insurance. If your deductible has been met, it’s also possible your health plan will cover enough of any subsequent medical expenses to make submitting a health insurance claim the preferable way to go.

Blood draw vialsDon’t Shortchange Your Healthcare

Many routine and preventative health services are now included in all insurance plans. These include annual physicals, colonoscopies, mammograms, and vaccinations which are intended to keep you well or catch problems early. Don’t neglect these important tests because you believe with a high-deductible medical plan that you will have to pay for them.  Be sure to know what is offered at no charge in your plan.

High deductible health insurance plans have pushed many of us to manage our healthcare more closely. Dealing with insurance companies and hospitals can be frustrating, but many insurance companies and hospitals now have phone and online resources that provide cost information.  Take advantage of these and stay healthy.  It’s the most important thing you can do for yourself and your family.

Kimi Hathaway, President/OwnerLab Services Blackbird Clinical Provides

The costs of Blackbird Clinical Services lab services are often less expensive than lab services offered through local hospitals or clinics.  We perform the most common lab tests (see below), along with others.

CMP, CBC, Lipid Panel, TSH, Hemo A1C, PSA, Hepatic Function, Renal Function, Total Testosterone, Rheumatoid Factor, Iron Total, STD Panel, OB Panel and Allergy Panels

Please contact me, Kimi Hathaway, at KHathaway@blackbirdclinicalsvs.com with any questions regarding our blood work and lab services.

Blood-glucose-finger-prick-test

Detecting Diabetes Early with A1C Testing

A1C testingThe Center for Disease Control reported 1.5 million Americans were diagnosed with diabetes for the first time in 2015 (the most recent numbers).  As the number of Americans with diabetes or prediabetes grows, it becomes more important that individuals with this disease become aware of their condition and take the appropriate steps to stay healthy and manage their blood glucose levels.

Diabetes Fast FactsIn 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes of which 7.2 million were undiagnosed.  In addition 84.1 million Americans age 18 and older had prediabetes based on their fasting glucose or A1C level.  Nearly half (48.3%) of adults aged 65 years or older had prediabetes.

Early Detection Decreases Long Term Risks

Diabetes increases your risk for many serious health problems.  Early detection and treatment can decrease the risk of developing the complications of diabetes.

With the correct treatment and recommended lifestyle changes, many people with diabetes are able to prevent or delay the onset of complications which can affect your skin, eyes and feet.  Diabetes can also cause high blood pressure, kidney disease and stroke.  Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.

Benefits of A1C Testing

Getting out in front and managing your elevated blood glucose levels minimizes the occurrence of complications and allows most individuals to lead normal lives.  Testing provides an average A1C value based on a person’s glucose levels for the previous two months.  An A1C value of 5.7% to 6.4% is considered pre-diabetic, with 6.5% or greater indicating a person has diabetes.

Who should be tested?

Blood-glucose-finger-prick-testThere are a number of symptoms that may indicate you are pre-diabetic or diabetic. These are …

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

Kimi Hathaway, President/OwnerIf you experience any of these symptoms, it is recommended you see a doctor immediately.

Blackbird Clinical Services Offers A1C Testing

For a limited time Blackbird Clinical Services is offering FREE instant/finger stick A1C testing.  Contact Blackbird at 765-447-8700 and request a free A1C test and we’ll schedule an appointment for you.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call.

 

woman with scale crop 370

It’s Not Just About Watching the Scale

woman holding scaleHaving a healthy body weight is a challenge for many, many people.  Trying to maintain your ideal weight takes a combination of eating right, exercising regularly and being active.

But determining if you are at a healthy weight is not always about just the number on the scale.  There are other means available to help each of us assess what weight is ideal for our height, age, gender and body type.

How Much Should I Weigh?

The CDC estimates 3/4 of the American population will likely be overweight or obese by 2020. The latest figures from the CDC as of 2014 show that more than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults age 20 and older and 17% of children and adolescents aged 2–19 years were obese.

Individuals who are obese are at a greater risk of developing diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis and some cancers.  The risk factors for all these conditions go down when our weight is where it should be.

There are several ways to assess your body fat levels.  Learn more by reading further about these measurement processes and what they can tell you. For a great video on this topic go to “How Much Should I Weigh?” 

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is one of the most common means of calculating your body fat levels.

BMI does not measure body fat directly, but research has shown that BMI is moderately correlated with more direct measures of body fat.  For most people BMI appears to be strongly correlated with various adverse health outcomes consistent with these more direct measures of body fatness.

BMI equationBMI is a person’s weight divided by their height (squared). A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fat content.

  • BMI is less than 18.5, underweight range
  • BMI is 18.5 to <25, normal
  • BMI is 25.0 to <30, overweight range
  • BMI is 30.0 or higher, obese range

Determine your BMI by finding your height and weight in this BMI Index Chart.

Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR)

A waist-hip measurement is the ratio of your waist measurement to that of your hips. You measure the smallest circumference of your waist, usually just above your belly button, and divide that total by the circumference of your hips at their widest part.

For example, if a woman’s waist is 28 inches and her hips are 36 inches, her WHR is 28 divided by 36 = 0.77.  Based on the categories below, she would be at low risk of having cardiovascular heath problems.

Below is a breakdown of WHR linked to risk of cardiovascular health problems.

guy measuring waistFor Men ….

  • Less than 0.9 – low risk of cardiovascular health problems
  • 0.9 to 0.99 – moderate risk of cardiovascular health problems
  • 1 or over – high risk of cardiovascular problems

For Women ….

  • Less than 0.8 – low risk of cardiovascular health problems
  • 0.8 to 0.89 – moderate risk of cardiovascular health problems
  • 0.9 or over – high risk of cardiovascular problems

Various studies have shown that people with apple-shaped bodies, who have larger WHRs, have higher health risks compared to people with pear-shaped bodies who have lower WHRs. An apple-shaped person will have more fat accumulating on the waist, while a pear-shaped person has the fat accumulating on the hips.

Although WHR does not accurately measure a person’s total body fat percentage, or their muscle-to-fat ratio, it is a better predictor of ideal weight and health risks than BMI.

Waist-to-Height Ratio

Another measurement that has proven to be a better predictor of future heart disease and diabetes risk than BMI is waist-to-height ratio.  Keeping your waist circumference to less than half your height can help increase life expectancy and overall quality of life. For instance:

  • A man 6ft (72 inches, 183 cm) tall, should keep his waist measurement below 36 inches (91 cm)
  • A woman 5ft 4 inches, i.e. 64 inches (163 cm) tall, should keep her waist measurement below 32 inches (81 cm)

In general it is recommended that women’s waistlines don’t exceed 35”; and men’s should be 40” or less.

Body Fat Percentage

body fat scaleMany experts believe that calculating people’s body fat percentage is the best way to gauge their fitness level because it is the only measurement that includes the body’s true composition.

Any male whose body fat percentage is over 25% or female over 31% is either overweight or possibly obese.

Your body fat percentage is the weight of your fat divided by your total weight. Many gyms and doctor’s practices have devices that can tell you your body fat percentage.

The American Council on Exercise has established these ranges for Body Fat Percentages.body fat % chart

How Can We Help?

Blackbird Clinical Services offers Biometric Testing that will calculate Body Fat % and BMI, along with blood pressure, glucose/blood sugar and cholesterol levels.  To learn more about this service go to Biometric Services and to discuss setting up an appointment go to Wellness Biometric Testing.

sunburst featured image

The Sun … Friend or Foe

sunshine burstAs we start spending more time outside, it is important to understand how the sun’s rays can affect you in both a positive and negative manner.  Taking a few steps to protect your skin, the sun will be seen as a friend, not a foe.

ON THE POSITIVE SIDE

Improves Mood
Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin which is a hormone associated with boosting a person’s mood and helping them feel calm and focused.  When serotonin levels are low there is a greater risk of developing a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Vitamin D with sunBuilds Strong Bones
Exposure to the sun’s rays causes a person’s skin to create vitamin D which plays a big role in bone health.  Low vitamin D levels have been linked to rickets in children and bone-wasting diseases like osteoporosis and osteomalacia.

Prevents Some Cancers
Although excess sunlight can contribute to skin cancers, a moderate amount of sunlight has cancer preventive benefits.  In studies it has been shown that residents living where there is more sunlight are less likely to develop Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and colon, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancers.

Heals Skin Conditions
According to the World Health Organization, for some, sun exposure can treat several skin conditions. Doctors have recommended UV radiation exposure to treat psoriasis, eczema, jaundice and acne.

ON THE NEGATIVE SIDE

While getting the right amount of sun can benefit your health, too much sun can lead to skin cancer.

Hat, lotion sunglassesSkin Cancers
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. Each year in the U.S. over 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people. It is also the easiest to cure, if diagnosed and treated early. When allowed to progress, however, skin cancer can result in disfigurement and even death.

Watch for Early Warning Signs
Look especially for change of any kind to the shape, color or texture of moles or skin lesions. Do not ignore a suspicious spot simply because it does not hurt. Skin cancers may be painless, but dangerous all the same. If you notice one or more of the warning signs, see a doctor right away, preferably one who specializes in diseases of the skin.

Early Warning Signs

  • A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored
  • A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that:
    • changes color
    • increases in size or thickness
    • changes in texture
    • is irregular in outline
    • is bigger than 6mm or 1/4″, the size of a pencil eraser
    • appears after age 21
  • A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode, or bleed
  • An open sore that does not heal within three weeks

block sun not funPreventing Skin Cancer
Using sunscreen with a SPF 15 or higher anytime you are outside is the first step in preventing skin cancer.  But according to the Skin Cancer Foundation sunscreen alone is not enough.  Follow these other skin cancer prevention tips.

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM
  • Do not burn
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning beds
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses
  • Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you do a head-to-toe self-examination of your skin every month. Skin cancers are almost always curable when found and removed early. If you spot anything suspicious, see a doctor.

prescription drug

Do Drug Abusers Target Your Business?

With all the news surrounding the opiate crisis in the U.S., it won’t come as any surprise that opiates topped the list as the drug that employees used the most while at work.  While sometimes legal, these drugs are considered highly addictive and potentially lethal – with or without a valid prescription – and can be detrimental to workers safety.

70% have used drugs at the workplaceIn an article published in The Business Journals on January 18th, 2018, seven in 10 illicit drug users have used drugs while at work, including opiates, amphetamines and cocaine, according to a survey from treatment website Detox.

Opiates are the most commonly used drug, as 17.83 percent said they had consumed them while at work. Benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium came in second at 17.05 percent, and amphetamines and cocaine tied for third at 8.53 percent.

Impact of Drug Use at the Workplace

The Department of Labor states that the impact of employee substance abuse is a problem that extends beyond the employee using the drugs.  Co-worker job performance and attitudes are negatively affected.  This is a result of workers reporting that they have been put in danger, have been injured, had to work harder or redo work, or cover for a co-worker.

Small businesses, with inconsistent or non-existent substance abuse policies, are often the employer-of-choice for illicit drug users.  Individuals who can’t adhere to a drug-free workplace policy seek employment at firms that don’t have one.  With about half of the U.S. workforce working for small and medium sized businesses with less than 500 employees, this leads to a substantial number of unsafe and unhealthy work places.

Workplace Drug Testing

Just one mistake or accident caused by a worker under the influence of drugs or alcohol can devastate a small business financially.  That is why it is so critical that every workplace should be doing pre-employment and follow up random drug testing.

Currently 56% of U.S. employers require workers to take pre-employment drug tests, according to Statistic Bain.  This leaves a lot of businesses vulnerable to the mistakes, accidents and injuries caused by drug impaired employees.

National Safety Council (NSC) found healthcare costs for employees who misuse or abuse prescription drugs are three times higher than for an average employee. Employers can take simple steps to protect themselves and their employees:

  • prescription drugRecognize prescription drugs impact the bottom line
  • Enact strong company drug policies
  • Expand drug panel testing to include opioids
  • Train supervisors and employees to spot the first signs of drug misuse
  • Treat substance abuse as a disease
  • Leverage employee assistance programs to help employees return to work

The annual cost of untreated substance use disorder ranges from $2,600 per employee in agriculture to more than $13,000 per employee in information and communications.

NSC offers a Free Employer Kit that provides information on how to take a more proactive role in addressing opioids in the workplace.  For more information go to Free Employer Kit.

Kimi Hathaway, President/OwnerLet Us Help

Blackbird Clinical Services is a certified drug testing service that can help any employer set up a pre-employment and random drug testing program.  Our experience and knowledge regarding these tests ensures that those abusing drugs are not able to prevent detection by using different avoidance techniques.  For more on our drug testing capabilities, please go to Drug Screening.

Just give us a call at 765-447-8700 and we’ll be happy to arrange a time we can talk about setting up a program to make your workplace safer and more productive.

Cold or Flu?

Cold or Flu? What do I do?

Cold or Flu?It’s that time of year again, when the kids are back in school and adults are inside more and in closer proximity to their co-workers, all of which expose our family members to an array of viruses.  So when you hear that first sniffle and sneeze, or raspy cough, how do you know if your family member is coming down with a cold or the flu?

What is the difference between a cold and the flu?

The flu and common cold are both respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses.  Because the two illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be hard to tell between them based on symptoms alone.  Colds are generally milder than the flu and generally do not result in serious health problems.  The flu can have very serious associated complications.

Flu symptoms can include fever and chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.  Individuals with colds are likely to have runny or stuffy noses and many of the same symptoms of flu, but generally milder.  It is important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Cold or Flu chartFlu Complications

Young children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and persons with certain chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk of serious flu complications possibly requiring hospitalization.  Complications can include sinus and ear infections, and more serious illnesses like pneumonia, especially with those with chronic lung disease or other respiratory conditions.

Steps to Fight the Flu

  1. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older get a flu vaccine by the end of October.
  2. Young children, pregnant women, those over 65 years of age, and anyone with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease, are at a higher risk for serious flu complications and should be vaccinated.
  3. Healthcare workers and others who care for high risk patients and infants should be vaccinated to prevent them from spreading the flu to these vulnerable populations.   See more recommendations at  Caring for Someone Sick.
  4. If you become ill with flu symptoms, the CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. Try to avoid contact with others when you are sick and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Discard the tissue in the trash.  You can find more details at  Taking Care of Yourself.
  5. Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them. Antiviral drugs are different than antibiotics and are prescription medicines that are not available over-the-counter.  These drugs can make the illness milder and shorten the time you are sick.  For those with high risk factors, antiviral drugs may prevent serious flu complications.

Kimi Hathaway, President/OwnerBlackbird Clinical Services Offers Low Cost Flu Shots
It is easy and fast to get your flu shot at Blackbird Clinical Service’s office located off S.R. 26 at 2 Executive Dr., Suite D, Lafayette,  IN.  You can call for an appointment or just stop in.  Cost for the Quadravalent* vaccination is just $27.  Sorry, but we don’t accept insurance for these shots.

To Receive More Details
We are happy to answer any questions pertaining to flu shots.  Please give us a call at 765-447-8700, or send me an email at KHathaway@blackbirdclinicalsvs.com.

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*The Quadravalent vaccine protects against the A H1N1 virus, A H3N2 virus and two B viruses.  This vaccine provides broader protection against circulating flu viruses.

 

Back to School Health Tips

Back to School Health Tips

Back to School Health TipsWhile school is a place to acquire knowledge, it is also a place where our children acquire an array of germs which cause illness, discomfort and missed school days. 

Going back to school can also entail sports physicals, immunizations, and being exposed to more allergens. 

Getting Started on the Right Foot

Many schools require certain vaccinations before children can enroll. Talk to your doctor to find out which ones are recommended, and consider getting the flu vaccine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older.

Here are the required immunizations as listed by the Tippecanoe County Health Board.

Immunizations chartSports Physicals

Sports Participation Physicals

Most schools require students participating in school sponsored programs to have a sports physical prior to a new competitive season.  The exam helps determine whether it’s safe for your child to participate in a certain sport. Sports physicals include both a medical history and physical exam.

The medical history will review family medical history, previous illnesses, injuries, hospitalizations and surgeries; allergies; and medications that are being taken.

The medical exam will record a student’s height and weight; blood pressure and pulse; test vision; check the heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat; and evaluate posture, joints, strength and flexibility.

Teach Good Hygiene Habits

Most children are not as conscious of personal hygiene as they should be, which can increase their risk of falling ill and result in valuable time spent away from the classroom.  Because children are in close proximity to other children throughout the school day, germs can be spread easily.

Young girl with flowers is sneezing, allergiesTo help your kids avoid getting sick, teach them to wash their hands after using the restroom and before going to lunch or eating a snack. It may be smart to provide your children with on-the-go hand sanitizer to use when washing their hands isn’t convenient.  Before giving your child hand sanitizer, please be sure to instruct them on how to safely use it.  Never give hand sanitizer to very small children who are prone to putting their hands in their mouths as it does often contain alcohol.

You should also tell them not to share food or drinks with other kids.  When eating their lunch instruct them to not place their food directly on the cafeteria table.  Show them how to eat out of their lunch container or place a napkin on the table before setting food down.

Dealing with Allergies

Allergies for many kick up in the Fall.  With ragweed and other grasses/weeds more prevalent, our children can exhibit more allergy symptoms including sneezing, runny noses, congestion and itchy eyes. All of which can slow you down, make it hard to concentrate, and generally make you miserable.

Antihistamines are often recommended along with topical nasal corticosteroids to alleviate the symptoms.  Be aware that most schools will require parents to take any medications to the school nurse to be administered by them during the school day.

School NurseYour School Nurse is Your Ally

School nurses play an important role in keeping our children safe and healthy.  In their role they provide health services that increase school attendance and prevent and control the spread of communicable disease.  They also manage students with chronic conditions such as diabetes and seizures; identify and treat accidents and injuries; and counsel students about physical and emotional issues.

Working with your school’s nurse to address chronic conditions and other medical situations can insure your child is getting appropriate care when not at home.

Kimi Hathaway, President/OwnerA Local Resource

Blackbird Clinical Services is a local resource that can direct you to those in the community who can answer your questions or provide services.  Blackbird Clinical offers sports participation physicals at the lowest cost in town.

Have Questions? Give Us a Call.

Feel free to contact Blackbird Clinical Services by either EMAIL or phone at at 765-447-8700.  We are always happy to answer your questions.

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Alcohol in the Workplace

Alcohol in the Workplace …. The Forgotten Drug

Alcohol Free WorkplaceWith so much attention being paid to the impact of illegal drugs such as opioids, heroin and prescription pills, we can lose site that the most common drug of abuse in America, although legal, is alcohol.

The impact of alcohol in the workplace for both employers and other employees, like all drug abuse, can have a significant impact on workplace safety, productivity, absenteeism and medical costs.

The Effects of Alcohol in the Workplace

alcohol hurts your job skillsAlcohol is a depressant drug that slows the messages to and from the brain and body.  Alcohol can affect problem solving skills, judgment, concentration, reaction times and coordination.   All of these can have negative consequences on ‘fitness for work’ as well as individual health and well-being.

  • Preventing accidents that result in injury and or death particularly in occupations involving operating heavy machinery or driving vehicles.
  • Workplace relationships with co-workers and customers. The effects of alcohol can impact behavior including acting unprofessionally towards clients, customers and other employees; co-workers may be resentful for covering for others affected by alcohol or the ‘hangover’ effects of alcohol.
  • Lower workplace productivity due to short-term absenteeism and a lower quality and quantity of work due to poor decision making and disruption to operations.  Also the lost productivity of co-workers covering for alcohol-affected employees.
  • Workplace related costs incurred due to long-term alcohol-related job performance include loss of productivity, damaged equipment, employer insurance liabilities, and the related costs of replacement and training new employees.

Detecting Alcohol Abuse is Everyone’s Responsibility

Monitoring work-related alcohol use and its effects on safety, health, and behavior in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility.  All employers and employees have safety and health responsibilities and obligations in relation to the workplace.Alcohol in the Workplace

  • Employers have a legal obligation to respond to alcohol use and related-harm in the workplace through ‘duty of care’ provisions under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
  • Employees have an obligation to take reasonable care of their own safety and health and not endanger the safety and health of others at the workplace.

Alcohol in the Workplace Policy

If you haven’t already, every employer should have in place a Drug and Alcohol policy that is tailored to your business.  It should spell out why the company established the policy; what precisely is expected of employees; and the consequences for policy violations.

Alcohol Testing

Any drug testing program must be fair, accurate, and legally defensible.  When testing someone who is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol at work, it is important to have that individual tested immediately.

There are different types of tests available for alcohol detection that can be administered at the workplace, on the job site, or at a clinic.  It is recommended that these tests be performed by a certified professional.  This ensures all procedures are followed and the risk of being challenged on the result is minimized.Kimi Hathaway, President/Owner

Have Questions on Addressing Alcohol in the Workplace?

Feel free to contact Blackbird Clinical Services by either EMAIL or phone at at 765-447-8700.  We are always happy to answer your questions.

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Tips for a Healthy Vacation

Staying Healthy on Your Next Vacation

Making Travel Plans
Familiarize Yourself with Your Destination

Learn something about your destination.  Traveling to a familiar spot?  Then you probably know the routine and can prepare properly.  If you are going somewhere new, especially if it is out of the country, there are a number of things you’ll need to do.

Travel Health Notices

Check for Travel Health Notices from the Center for Disease Control for your destination at Travel Notices. This will make you aware of any weather or health concerns before you leave.  On almost any trip you’ll want to bring these common items along:

  • Insect repellent containing DEET (30%-50%) or picaridin (up to 15%)Tips for a Healthy Vacation
  • Sunscreen (preferably SPF 15 or greater) that has both UVA and UVB protection
  • Antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Vitamin C taken regularly will improve your immune system and help you ward off illness

For the complete list of items the Center for Disease Control recommends you include on your next trip go to Travel Health Kit.  And don’t forget your health insurance cards.

Upon Arrival and During Your Trip

Travel Health KitOnce you’ve reached your destination pay attention to your health and take these minimal precautions.

  • Use sunscreen and insect repellent as directed.
  • Be careful about food and water.
  • Stay hydrated, get 9 to 13 cups of fluids per day
  • Try not to take risks with your health and safety.
  • Limit alcohol intake, and do not drink alcohol and drive.
  • Wear a seat belt.
  • Wear protective gear when doing adventure activities.
  • Respect your host country and its people by following local laws and customs

Fun and Relaxing, Most of the Time

Going on vacation should always be fun and even relaxing.  We all need some time to recharge our batteries, enjoy some extra time with our families, and get away from our daily routines.  With a little planning, an unforeseen illness or injury won’t ruin your vacation.

A Little Help to Get Ready

Let Blackbird Clinical Services help you get ready for your next vacation.  We’ll be happy to provide any lab services required by your doctor, prior to heading cross country or out of the country.  Just give us a call at (765) 447-8700.