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Over 12,000 home health https://www.epide.fr/ventolin-price-cvs/ agencies served 5 million disabled and older buy ventolin online usa Americans in 2018. Home health aides help their clients with the tasks of daily living, like eating and showering, as well as with clinical tasks, like taking blood pressure and leading physical therapy exercises. Medicare relies on home health care services because they help patients discharged from the hospital and skilled nursing buy ventolin online usa facilities recover but at a much lower cost. Together, Medicare and Medicaid make up 76% of all home health spending.Home health care workers serve a particularly important role in rural areas. As rural areas lose physicians and hospitals, home health buy ventolin online usa agencies often replace primary care providers.

The average age of residents living in rural counties is seven years older than in urban counties, and this gap is growing. The need for home health agencies serving the elderly in rural areas will continue to grow over the coming decades.Rural home health agencies face unique challenges. Low concentrations of people are dispersed over large geographic buy ventolin online usa areas leading to long travel times for workers to drive to clients’ homes. Agencies in rural areas also have difficulties recruiting and maintaining a workforce. Due to these difficulties, agencies may not be able to serve all rural beneficiaries, initiate care on time, or deliver all covered services.Congress has supported measures to encourage home health buy ventolin online usa agencies to work in rural areas since the 1980s by using rural add-on payments.

A rural add-on is a percentage increase on top of per visit and episode-of-care payments. When a home health aide works in a rural county, Medicare pays their home health agency a standard fee plus buy ventolin online usa a rural add-on. With a 5% add-on, Medicare would pay $67.78 for an aide home visit in a city and $71.17 for the same care in a rural area.Home health care workers serve a particularly important role in rural areas. As rural areas lose physicians and hospitals, home health agencies often replace primary care providers.Rural add-on payments have fluctuated based on Congressional budgets and political priorities. From 2003 to 2019, the amount Medicare buy ventolin online usa paid agencies changed eight times.

For instance, the add-on dropped from 10% to nothing in April 2003. Then, in April 2004, Congress set the buy ventolin online usa rural add-on to 5%.The variation in payments created a natural experiment for researchers. Tracy Mroz and colleagues assessed how rural add-ons affected the supply of home health agencies in rural areas. They asked if the number of agencies in urban and rural counties varied depending on the presence and dollar amount of rural add-ons between 2002 and 2018. Though rural add-ons have been buy ventolin online usa in place for over 30 years, researchers had not previously investigated their effect on the availability of home healthcare.The researchers found that rural areas adjacent to urban areas were not affected by rural add-ons.

They had similar supply to urban areas whether or not add-ons were in place. In contrast, isolated rural areas were affected substantially buy ventolin online usa by add-ons. Without add-ons, the number of agencies in isolated rural areas lagged behind those in urban areas. When the add-ons were at least 5%, the availability of home health in isolated rural areas was comparable to urban areas.In 2020, Congress implemented buy ventolin online usa a system of payment reform that reimburses home health agencies in rural counties by population density and home health use. Under the new system, counties with low population densities and low home health use will receive the greatest rural add-on payments.

These payments aim to increase and maintain the availability of care in the most vulnerable rural home health markets. Time will tell if this approach gives sufficient incentive to ensure access to quality care in the nation’s most isolated areas.Photo via Getty ImagesStart Preamble Correction In proposed rule document 2020-13792 beginning on page 39408 in the issue of Tuesday, June buy ventolin online usa 30, 2020, make the following correction. On page 39408, in the first column, in the DATES section, “August 31, 2020” should read “August 24, 2020”. End Preamble buy ventolin online usa [FR Doc. C1-2020-13792 Filed 7-17-20.

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Q. Is there still an individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act, and does the IRS still enforce it?. A. The individual mandate still exists. But as of 2019, there is no longer a penalty for non-compliance with the individual mandate.

This is due to legislation that was enacted in late 2017. It eliminated the penalty as of 2019, but did not eliminate the actual individual mandate itself. So technically, the law does still require most Americans to maintain health insurance coverage. But the IRS no longer imposes a penalty on people who don’t comply with that requirement.And the federal Form 1040 no longer includes a question about health insurance coverage (you can see the question near the top right corner of the 2018 form, but it’s no longer on the 2019 version).Some states have created their own individual mandates — separate from the federal mandate — with state-based penalties for non-compliance. Residents in California, DC, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island are required to maintain coverage and will face a penalty on their state/district tax returns if they fail to do so, unless they qualify for an exemption (Vermont also has an individual mandate, but has not yet created a penalty for non-compliance).

Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.At a glance. Medicare in New Hampshire Medicare enrollment in New HampshireAs of September 2020, there were 308,049 residents with coverage through Medicare in New Hampshire. That’s more than 22 percent of the state’s population with Medicare benefits, versus less than 19 percent of the total U.S.

Population with Medicare coverage enrollment.[/hio_question] Most Americans become eligible for Medicare enrollment when they turn 65. But younger Americans gain Medicare eligibility after they have been receiving disability benefits for 24 months, or if they have ALS or kidney failure. In New Hampshire, 17 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are eligible due to disability rather than age (nationwide, it’s 15 percent). On the high and low ends of the spectrum, 22 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in Alabama, Kentucky, and Mississippi are under 65, while just 9 percent of Hawaii’s Medicare beneficiaries are eligible due to disability. Medicare Advantage in New HampshirePrivate Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to Original Medicare.

Plan availability varies by county, but residents in New Hampshire all have at least 26 plans from which to choose for 2021, and Medicare beneficiaries in Rockingham and Hillsborough counties can select from among 35 Medicare Advantage plans for 2021.Nationwide, about a third of all Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans as of 2018, but just 12 percent of New Hampshire’s Medicare population had Advantage coverage that year. As of September 2020, however, there were 68,554 New Hampshire residents (up from fewer than 40,000 in late 2018) with private Medicare coverage — 22 percent of the state’s Medicare population — while the other 239,495 beneficiaries had coverage under Original Medicare. So while Medicare Advantage enrollment is lower than the national average in New Hampshire, it’s growing rapidly.Although about a third of all Medicare beneficiaries nationwide choose Advantage plans, their popularity varies widely from one state to another. In Minnesota, nearly half of the state’s Medicare population is enrolled in Advantage plans, whereas only 1 percent of Alaska Medicare beneficiaries have Advantage plans (and those are via employer-sponsored coverage, as there are no Medicare Advantage plans available for individuals to purchase in Alaska).Original Medicare coverage is provided directly by the federal government, and enrollees have access to a nationwide network of providers. But people with Original Medicare need supplemental coverage (from an employer-sponsored plan, Medicaid, or privately purchased plans) for things like prescription drugs and out-of-pocket costs (out-of-pocket costs are not capped under Original Medicare).Original Medicare includes Medicare Parts A and B.

Medicare Advantage includes all of the benefits of Medicare Parts A and B, and the plans usually also have additional benefits, such as integrated Part D prescription drug coverage and coverage for things like dental and vision care. But Medicare Advantage insurers establish their own provider networks, which are generally localized and more limited than the nationwide network for Original Medicare. Out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Advantage are often higher than they would be if a beneficiary had Original Medicare plus a Medigap plan. There are pros and cons to either option, and the right solution is different for each person.Medicare’s annual election period (October 15 to December 7 each year) allows Medicare beneficiaries the chance to switch between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare (and add, drop, or switch to a different Medicare Part D prescription plan). And people who are already enrolled in Medicare Advantage also have the option to switch to a different Advantage plan or to Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period, which runs from January 1 to March 31.Medigap in New HampshireOriginal Medicare does not limit out-of-pocket costs, so most enrollees maintain some form of supplemental coverage.

Nationwide, more than half of Original Medicare beneficiaries get their supplemental coverage through an employer-sponsored plan or Medicaid. But for those who don’t, Medigap plans (also known as Medicare supplement plans, or MedSupp) will pay some or all of the out-of-pocket costs they would otherwise have to pay if they had only Original Medicare. There were 98,155 New Hampshire residents with Medigap coverage as of 2018, according to data compiled by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. That’s about 38 percent of the state’s Original Medicare beneficiaries (Medigap plans cannot be used with Medicare Advantage plans).Although Medigap plans are sold by private insurers, the plans are standardized under federal rules, with ten different plan designs (differentiated by letters, A through N). The benefits offered by a particular plan (Plan A, Plan F, etc.) are the same regardless of which insurer sells the plan.But premiums vary significantly from one insurer to another.

Insurers in New Hampshire can choose whether to base premiums on the age the enrollee was when they signed up (issue age rating) or to have premiums increase as enrollees get older (attained age rating). Insurers can also choose to use community rating — charging everyone the same rate regardless of age — but that’s not a common approach unless a state requires it, and New Hampshire does not. Attained age rating is the most common approach for Medigap insurers nationwide, but the two Medigap insurers with the largest market share in New Hampshire (Anthem and UnitedHealthcare) both use issue-age rating.In New Hampshire in 2020, there are 19 insurers approved to offer Medigap plans, although the state’s Medigap enrollment in 2018 was spread across just ten of those plans — with two-thirds of the total market share held by Anthem and UnitedHealthcare. All 19 Medigap insurers offer Plans A, F, G, and N. Availability for the other plans varies from one insurer to another.In October 2020, the state of New Hampshire unveiled a new Medigap rate comparison tool that residents can use to see pricing and plan availability (it does not appear to provide rate information for disabled Medicare beneficiaries who are under age 65, but rates for applicants under age 65 can be obtained via the federal Medicare plan finder tool).Unlike other private Medicare coverage (Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans), there is no annual open enrollment window for Medigap plans.

Instead, federal rules provide a one-time six-month window when Medigap coverage is guaranteed-issue. This window starts when a person is at least 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B (you must be enrolled in both Part A and Part B to buy a Medigap plan). Once that initial enrollment window ends, Medigap insurers in nearly all states can use medical underwriting to determine an applicant’s eligibility for coverage, unless one of the limited guaranteed-issue rights applies.Bipartisan legislation (SB646) was considered in New Hampshire that would have added to the state’s Medigap consumer protections. The bill passed in the Senate but died in the House. If it had been enacted, it would have put New Hampshire among a handful of states that ensure some sort of ongoing access to Medigap plans without medical underwriting.

It would have required Medigap insurers to let a member switch to any of the insurer’s other Medigap plans during the month of the member’s birthday. Insurers would have had to notify members each year of the opportunity to change their coverage, and would have had to allow the coverage change regardless of whether it would result in an increase or decrease in benefits. The expected impact of the bill in terms of premiums and plan offerings is discussed at the bottom of this version of the text, but ultimately, it was not enacted so nothing has changed about New Hampshire’s Medigap rules for the time being.Medigap in New Hampshire if you’re under 65People who aren’t yet 65 can enroll in Medicare if they’re disabled and have been receiving disability benefits for at least two years, and 17 percent of New Hampshire Medicare beneficiaries are under age 65. Federal rules do not guarantee access to Medigap plans for people who are under 65, but the majority of the states have implemented rules to ensure that disabled Medicare beneficiaries have at least some access to Medigap plans. New Hampshire was among the first states to require Medigap insurers to offer plans to people under age 65, with a rule that took effect in the late 1990s.

The state’s requirements were reiterated in a 2005 bulletin issued by the New Hampshire Insurance Department.All Medigap plans in New Hampshire are available to disabled enrollees under age 65, as long as they enroll during the six-month window that begins when they’re enrolled in Medicare Part B. Premiums are higher than the age-65 rates for these enrollees — substantially so for some insurers, and modestly higher for others. Disabled Medicare beneficiaries have another Medigap open enrollment period when they turn 65. At that point, they can switch to a plan with the lower premiums that apply to people who are aging into Medicare, rather than qualifying due to disability.SB646 (described above) would have also prohibited Medigap insurers from charging higher premiums to enrollees under the age of 65. The bill has passed the New Hampshire Senate, but failed in the House.

So Medigap rates are still higher for enrollees under age 65 in New Hampshire.Disabled Medicare beneficiaries have the option to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan instead of Original Medicare (as of 2021, this includes people with kidney failure, who were unable to enroll in most Medicare Advantage plans prior to 2021). But as noted above, Advantage plans have more limited provider networks than Original Medicare, and total out-of-pocket costs can be as high as $7,550 per year for in-network care, plus the out-of-pocket cost of prescription drugs.Although the Affordable Care Act eliminated pre-existing condition exclusions in most of the private health insurance market, those rules don’t apply to Medigap plans. Medigap insurers can impose a pre-existing condition waiting period of up to six months if you didn’t have at least six months of continuous coverage prior to your enrollment (although not all of them choose to do so). And if you apply for a Medigap plan after your initial enrollment window closes (assuming you aren’t eligible for one of the limited guaranteed-issue rights), the Medigap insurer can consider your medical history in determining whether to accept your application, and at what premium. New Hampshire Medicare Part DOriginal Medicare does not provide coverage for outpatient prescription drugs.

Well over half of Original Medicare beneficiaries nationwide have supplemental coverage via an employer-sponsored plan (from a current or former employer or spouse’s employer) or Medicaid, and these plans often include prescription coverage.But Medicare beneficiaries who do not have drug coverage through Medicaid or an employer-sponsored plan need Medicare Part D enrollment in order to have coverage for prescriptions. Medicare Part D can be purchased as a stand-alone plan, or integrated with a Medicare Advantage plan. Part D was created under the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush.There are 28 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans for sale in New Hampshire for 2021, with premiums that range from about $7 to $99/month.In New Hampshire as of September 2020, there were 162,154 people with stand-alone Part D coverage, amounting to about 53 percent of the state’s total Medicare population. Another 52,513 beneficiaries of Medicare in New Hampshire had Part D prescription coverage as part of their Medicare Advantage plans.[Medicare Advantage enrollment grew considerably in New Hampshire from late 2018 to mid-2020.

As enrollment in Advantage plans has increased, more people obtain their prescription coverage via Advantage plans with integrated Part D coverage.] Medicare spending in New HampshireAverage per-beneficiary spending for Medicare in New Hampshire was 14 percent lower than the national average in 2018, at $8,692. Only 12 states had lower average per-beneficiary Original Medicare spending. The spending amounts are based on data that were standardized to eliminate regional differences in payment rates, and did not include costs for Medicare Advantage. Nationwide, average per-beneficiary Original Medicare spending stood at $10,096.Per-beneficiary Medicare spending was highest in Louisiana, at $11,932, and lowest in Hawaii, at just $6,971.You can contact New Hampshire’s Service Link Aging and Disability Resource Center with questions related to Medicare coverage in New Hampshire.Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org.

Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts..

Q generic ventolin online for sale buy ventolin online usa. Is there still an individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act, and does the IRS still enforce it?. A. The individual mandate still exists.

But as of 2019, there is no longer a penalty for non-compliance with the individual mandate. This is due to legislation that was enacted in late 2017. It eliminated the penalty as of 2019, but did not eliminate the actual individual mandate itself. So technically, the law does still require most Americans to maintain health insurance coverage.

But the IRS no longer imposes a penalty on people who don’t comply with that requirement.And the federal Form 1040 no longer includes a question about health insurance coverage (you can see the question near the top right corner of the 2018 form, but it’s no longer on the 2019 version).Some states have created their own individual mandates — separate from the federal mandate — with state-based penalties for non-compliance. Residents in California, DC, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island are required to maintain coverage and will face a penalty on their state/district tax returns if they fail to do so, unless they qualify for an exemption (Vermont also has an individual mandate, but has not yet created a penalty for non-compliance). Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org.

Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.At a glance. Medicare in New Hampshire Medicare enrollment in New HampshireAs of September 2020, there were 308,049 residents with coverage through Medicare in New Hampshire. That’s more than 22 percent of the state’s population with Medicare benefits, versus less than 19 percent of the total U.S. Population with Medicare coverage enrollment.[/hio_question] Most Americans become eligible for Medicare enrollment when they turn 65.

But younger Americans gain Medicare eligibility after they have been receiving disability benefits for 24 months, or if they have ALS or kidney failure. In New Hampshire, 17 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are eligible due to disability rather than age (nationwide, it’s 15 percent). On the high and low ends of the spectrum, 22 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in Alabama, Kentucky, and Mississippi are under 65, while just 9 percent of Hawaii’s Medicare beneficiaries are eligible due to disability. Medicare Advantage in New HampshirePrivate Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to Original Medicare.

Plan availability varies by county, but residents in New Hampshire all have at least 26 plans from which to choose for 2021, and Medicare beneficiaries in Rockingham and Hillsborough counties can select from among 35 Medicare Advantage plans for 2021.Nationwide, about a third of all Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans as of 2018, but just 12 percent of New Hampshire’s Medicare population had Advantage coverage that year. As of September 2020, however, there were 68,554 New Hampshire residents (up from fewer than 40,000 in late 2018) with private Medicare coverage — 22 percent of the state’s Medicare population — while the other 239,495 beneficiaries had coverage under Original Medicare. So while Medicare Advantage enrollment is lower than the national average in New Hampshire, it’s growing rapidly.Although about a third of all Medicare beneficiaries nationwide choose Advantage plans, their popularity varies widely from one state to another. In Minnesota, nearly half of the state’s Medicare population is enrolled in Advantage plans, whereas only 1 percent of Alaska Medicare beneficiaries have Advantage plans (and those are via employer-sponsored coverage, as there are no Medicare Advantage plans available for individuals to purchase in Alaska).Original Medicare coverage is provided directly by the federal government, and enrollees have access to a nationwide network of providers.

But people with Original Medicare need supplemental coverage (from an employer-sponsored plan, Medicaid, or privately purchased plans) for things like prescription drugs and out-of-pocket costs (out-of-pocket costs are not capped under Original Medicare).Original Medicare includes Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare Advantage includes all of the benefits of Medicare Parts A and B, and the plans usually also have additional benefits, such as integrated Part D prescription drug coverage and coverage for things like dental and vision care. But Medicare Advantage insurers establish their own provider networks, which are generally localized and more limited than the nationwide network for Original Medicare. Out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Advantage are often higher than they would be if a beneficiary had Original Medicare plus a Medigap plan.

There are pros and cons to either option, and the right solution is different for each person.Medicare’s annual election period (October 15 to December 7 each year) allows Medicare beneficiaries the chance to switch between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare (and add, drop, or switch to a different Medicare Part D prescription plan). And people who are already enrolled in Medicare Advantage also have the option to switch to a different Advantage plan or to Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period, which runs from January 1 to March 31.Medigap in New HampshireOriginal Medicare does not limit out-of-pocket costs, so most enrollees maintain some form of supplemental coverage. Nationwide, more than half of Original Medicare beneficiaries get their supplemental coverage through an employer-sponsored plan or Medicaid. But for those who don’t, Medigap plans (also known as Medicare supplement plans, or MedSupp) will pay some or all of the out-of-pocket costs they would otherwise have to pay if they had only Original Medicare.

There were 98,155 New Hampshire residents with Medigap coverage as of 2018, according to data compiled by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. That’s about 38 percent of the state’s Original Medicare beneficiaries (Medigap plans cannot be used with Medicare Advantage plans).Although Medigap plans are sold by private insurers, the plans are standardized under federal rules, with ten different plan designs (differentiated by letters, A through N). The benefits offered by a particular plan (Plan A, Plan F, etc.) are the same regardless of which insurer sells the plan.But premiums vary significantly from one insurer to another. Insurers in New Hampshire can choose whether to base premiums on the age the enrollee was when they signed up (issue age rating) or to have premiums increase as enrollees get older (attained age rating).

Insurers can also choose to use community rating — charging everyone the same rate regardless of age — but that’s not a common approach unless a state requires it, and New Hampshire does not. Attained age rating is the most common approach for Medigap insurers nationwide, but the two Medigap insurers with the largest market share in New Hampshire (Anthem and UnitedHealthcare) both use issue-age rating.In New Hampshire in 2020, there are 19 insurers approved to offer Medigap plans, although the state’s Medigap enrollment in 2018 was spread across just ten of those plans — with two-thirds of the total market share held by Anthem and UnitedHealthcare. All 19 Medigap insurers offer Plans A, F, G, and N. Availability for the other plans varies from one insurer to another.In October 2020, the state of New Hampshire unveiled a new Medigap rate comparison tool that residents can use to see pricing and plan availability (it does not appear to provide rate information for disabled Medicare beneficiaries who are under age 65, but rates for applicants under age 65 can be obtained via the federal Medicare plan finder tool).Unlike other private Medicare coverage (Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans), there is no annual open enrollment window for Medigap plans.

Instead, federal rules provide a one-time six-month window when Medigap coverage is guaranteed-issue. This window starts when a person is at least 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B (you must be enrolled in both Part A and Part B to buy a Medigap plan). Once that initial enrollment window ends, Medigap insurers in nearly all states can use medical underwriting to determine an applicant’s eligibility for coverage, unless one of the limited guaranteed-issue rights applies.Bipartisan legislation (SB646) was considered in New Hampshire that would have added to the state’s Medigap consumer protections. The bill passed in the Senate but died in the House.

If it had been enacted, it would have put New Hampshire among a handful of states that ensure some sort of ongoing access to Medigap plans without medical underwriting. It would have required Medigap insurers to let a member switch to any of the insurer’s other Medigap plans during the month of the member’s birthday. Insurers would have had to notify members each year of the opportunity to change their coverage, and would have had to allow the coverage change regardless of whether it would result in an increase or decrease in benefits. The expected impact of the bill in terms of premiums and plan offerings is discussed at the bottom of this version of the text, but ultimately, it was not enacted so nothing has changed about New Hampshire’s Medigap rules for the time being.Medigap in New Hampshire if you’re under 65People who aren’t yet 65 can enroll in Medicare if they’re disabled and have been receiving disability benefits for at least two years, and 17 percent of New Hampshire Medicare beneficiaries are under age 65.

Federal rules do not guarantee access to Medigap plans for people who are under 65, but the majority of the states have implemented rules to ensure that disabled Medicare beneficiaries have at least some access to Medigap plans. New Hampshire was among the first states to require Medigap insurers to offer plans to people under age 65, with a rule that took effect in the late 1990s. The state’s requirements were reiterated in a 2005 bulletin issued by the New Hampshire Insurance Department.All Medigap plans in New Hampshire are available to disabled enrollees under age 65, as long as they enroll during the six-month window that begins when they’re enrolled in Medicare Part B. Premiums are higher than the age-65 rates for these enrollees — substantially so for some insurers, and modestly higher for others.

Disabled Medicare beneficiaries have another Medigap open enrollment period when they turn 65. At that point, they can switch to a plan with the lower premiums that apply to people who are aging into Medicare, rather than qualifying due to disability.SB646 (described above) would have also prohibited Medigap insurers from charging higher premiums to enrollees under the age of 65. The bill has passed the New Hampshire Senate, but failed in the House. So Medigap rates are still higher for enrollees under age 65 in New Hampshire.Disabled Medicare beneficiaries have the option to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan instead of Original Medicare (as of 2021, this includes people with kidney failure, who were unable to enroll in most Medicare Advantage plans prior to 2021).

But as noted above, Advantage plans have more limited provider networks than Original Medicare, and total out-of-pocket costs can be as high as $7,550 per year for in-network care, plus the out-of-pocket cost of prescription drugs.Although the Affordable Care Act eliminated pre-existing condition exclusions in most of the private health insurance market, those rules don’t apply to Medigap plans. Medigap insurers can impose a pre-existing condition waiting period of up to six months if you didn’t have at least six months of continuous coverage prior to your enrollment (although not all of them choose to do so). And if you apply for a Medigap plan after your initial enrollment window closes (assuming you aren’t eligible for one of the limited guaranteed-issue rights), the Medigap insurer can consider your medical history in determining whether to accept your application, and at what premium. New Hampshire Medicare Part DOriginal Medicare does not provide coverage for outpatient prescription drugs.

Well over half of Original Medicare beneficiaries nationwide have supplemental coverage via an employer-sponsored plan (from a current or former employer or spouse’s employer) or Medicaid, and these plans often include prescription coverage.But Medicare beneficiaries who do not have drug coverage through Medicaid or an employer-sponsored plan need Medicare Part D enrollment in order to have coverage for prescriptions. Medicare Part D can be purchased as a stand-alone plan, or integrated with a Medicare Advantage plan. Part D was created under the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush.There are 28 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans for sale in New Hampshire for 2021, with premiums that range from about $7 to $99/month.In New Hampshire as of September 2020, there were 162,154 people with stand-alone Part D coverage, amounting to about 53 percent of the state’s total Medicare population.

Another 52,513 beneficiaries of Medicare in New Hampshire had Part D prescription coverage as part of their Medicare Advantage plans.[Medicare Advantage enrollment grew considerably in New Hampshire from late 2018 to mid-2020. As enrollment in Advantage plans has increased, more people obtain their prescription coverage via Advantage plans with integrated Part D coverage.] Medicare spending in New HampshireAverage per-beneficiary spending for Medicare in New Hampshire was 14 percent lower than the national average in 2018, at $8,692. Only 12 states had lower average per-beneficiary Original Medicare spending. The spending amounts are based on data that were standardized to eliminate regional differences in payment rates, and did not include costs for Medicare Advantage.

Nationwide, average per-beneficiary Original Medicare spending stood at $10,096.Per-beneficiary Medicare spending was highest in Louisiana, at $11,932, and lowest in Hawaii, at just $6,971.You can contact New Hampshire’s Service Link Aging and Disability Resource Center with questions related to Medicare coverage in New Hampshire.Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts..

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Take Ventolin by mouth. If Ventolin upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Do not take more often than directed. Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of Ventolin in children. Special care may be needed. Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of Ventolin contact a poison control center or emergency room at once. Note: Ventolin is only for you. Do not share Ventolin with others.

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We live in unprecedented times is it ok to use ventolin for coughing. But what makes them without parallel is not the current ventolin crisis nor the continued problems facing minorities in our institutions. Rather, it’s that for the first time, the problems of accessibility, rights and freedoms are now invading privileged is it ok to use ventolin for coughing spaces. There can be no ‘getting back to normal’, because ‘normal’ only ever benefited the white, Western, patriarchal, abled and cis ideals.

For many, the world is not suddenly is it ok to use ventolin for coughing on fire. It has long been burning.The present ventolin lays bare systemic prejudice against the most vulnerable among us. We at Medical Humanities, with our focus on global health and social justice, welcome discussion about how the crisis has disproportionately affected racial and fiscal minorities, those from the disabled community, those who are LGBTQA+ and other vulnerable groups. What we focus on here, now, can lead to greater accessibility and equity in the future.In this expanded issue, we offer some of the incredible work being done across the is it ok to use ventolin for coughing field of medical humanities prior to the asthma treatment crisis, and we are already reviewing articles on the role of health humanities during the ventolin.

The process of academic publishing tends not to lend itself to immediacy, however, and the challenges of ventolin means greater pressure on everyone, from the authors to the reviewers and readers.To remedy this, we at Medical Humanities have been increasing the work on our blog platform, a place where content can be quickly updated, and where conversations can occur among readers and writers. We openly invite submissions concerning the ventolin, as well as topics relevant to our wider CFP (call for posts/papers) this year on social justice is it ok to use ventolin for coughing and health, to both blog and journal. We will do our best to expedite. Finally, we have also been addressing social justice and access in our podcast, where we interviewed disability activist Alice Wong and most recently Dr Oni Blackstock, primary care physician and HIV specialist in New York.

We hope to have many more on these critical subjects.We wish all of you good health and safety and know that many of you are yet on the is it ok to use ventolin for coughing front lines. Thank you for being part of the community of Medical Humanities.IntroductionMinecraft is a computer game with no specific goals to accomplish. The gameworld consists of three-dimensional (3D) cubes and objects which the player (Steve) can mine and build into infinitely complex (and is it ok to use ventolin for coughing logically impossible) structures. Steve sometimes encounters other characters (‘mobs’), such as animals and hostile creatures.

He can ‘spawn’ and destroy them. While it is it ok to use ventolin for coughing looks like a harmless game of logical construction, it conveys some worryingly delusive ideas about the real world. The difference between real and imagined structures is at the heart of the age-old debate around categorising mental disorders.Classification in mental health has had various forms throughout history. Mack and colleagues is it ok to use ventolin for coughing set out a history of psychiatric classification beginning in 2600 BC with Egyptian references to melancholia and hysteria.

Through the Ancient Greeks with Hippocrates’ phrenitis, mania, melancholia, epilepsy, hysteria and Scythian disease. Through the Renaissance period. Through to 19th-century psychiatry is it ok to use ventolin for coughing featuring Pinel (known as the first psychiatrist), Kraepelin (known for observational classification) and Freud (known for classifying neurosis and psychosis).1Although the history of psychiatric classification identifies some common trends such as the labels ‘melancholia’ and ‘hysteria’ which have survived millennia, the label ‘depression’ is relatively new. The earliest usage noted by Snaith is from 1899.

€˜in simple pathological depression…the patient exhibits a growing indifference to his former is it ok to use ventolin for coughing pursuits…’.2 Snaith noted that early 20th-century psychiatrists like Adolf Meyer hoped that ‘depression’ would come to encompass a broad category under which descriptions of subtypes would emerge. This did not happen until the middle of the 20th century. With the publication of the sixth International Classification of Diseases (ICD) in 1948 and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1952 and their subsequent revisions, the latter half of the 20th century has seen depression subtype labels proliferate. In their study of the social determinants of diagnostic labels in depression, McPherson and Armstrong illustrate how the codification of depression subtypes in the latter half of the 20th century has been shaped by the evolving context of psychiatry, including power struggles within the profession, a move to community care and the development of psychopharmacology.3During this is it ok to use ventolin for coughing period, McPherson and Armstrong describe how subsequent versions of the DSM served as battlegrounds for professional disputes and philosophical quarrels around categorisation of mental disorders.

DSM I and DSM II have been described as products of an American Psychiatric Association dominated by psychoanalytic psychiatrists.4 DSM III and DSM III-R have been described as a radical rejection of psychoanalytic thinking, a ‘neo-Kraepelinian revolution’, a reference to the observational descriptive techniques of 19th-century psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin who classified mental disorders into two broad categories. €˜dementia praecox’ and ‘manic-depression’.5 DSM III was seen by some as a turning is it ok to use ventolin for coughing point in the use of the medical model of mental illness, through provision of specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, and use of field trials and a multiaxial system.6 These latter technocratic additions to psychiatric labelling served to engender a much closer alignment between psychiatry, science and medicine.The codification of mental disorders in manuals has been described by Thomas Schacht as intrinsic to the relationship between science and politics and the way in which psychiatrists gain significant social power by aligning themselves to science.7 His argument drew on Szasz, who saw the mental health establishment as a therapeutic state. Zimbardo, who described psychiatric care as a controlling force. And Foucault, who described the categorisation of the mentally ill as a force for isolating ‘the other’.

Diagnostic critique has been further developed is it ok to use ventolin for coughing through a cultural relativist lens in that what Western psychiatrists classify as a depression is constructed differently in other cultures.8 Considering these limitations, some critics have gone so far as to argue that psychiatric diagnostic systems should be abolished.9Yet architects of DSM manuals have worked hard to ensure the technology of classification is regarded as genuine scientific activity with sound roots in philosophy of science. In their philosophical defence of DSM IV, Allen Frances and colleagues address their critics under the headings ‘nominalism vs realism’, ‘empiricism vs rationalism’ and ‘categorical vs dimensional’.10 The implication is that there are opposing stances in which a choice must be made or a middle ground forged by those reasonable enough to recognise the need for pragmatism in the service of clinical utility. The nominalism–realism debate is illustrated using as metaphor three different stances a cricket umpire might is it ok to use ventolin for coughing take on calling strikes and balls. The discussion sets out two of these as extreme views.

€˜at one extreme…those who take a reductionistically realistic view of the world’ versus ‘the solipsistic nominalists…might content that nothing exists’. Szasz, who is it ok to use ventolin for coughing is characterised as holding particularly extreme views, is named as an archetypal solipsist. There is implied to be a degree of arrogance associated with this view in the illustrative example in which the umpire states ‘there are no balls and there are no strikes until I call them’. Frances therefore sets up a means of grouping two kinds of people as philosophical extremists who can be dismissed, while avoiding addressing the philosophical problems they pose.Frances provides little if any is it ok to use ventolin for coughing justification for the middle ground stance, ‘There are balls and there are strikes and I call them as I see them’, other than to focus on its clinical utility and the lack of clinical utility in the alternatives ‘naïve realism’ and ‘heuristically barren solipsism’.

The natural conclusion the reader is invited to reach is that a middle ground of a heuristic concept is naturally right because it is not extreme and is naturally useful clinically, without specifying in what way this stance is coherent, resolves the two alternatives, and in what way a heuristic construct that is not ‘real’ can be subject to scientific testing.Similarly, in discussing the ‘categorical vs dimensional’, Frances promotes the ‘prototype approach’. Those holding opposing views are labelled as ‘dualists’ or ‘dichotomisers’. The prototypical approach is again put forward as is it ok to use ventolin for coughing a clinically useful middle ground. Illustrations are drawn from natural science.

€˜a triangle is it ok to use ventolin for coughing and a square are never the same’, inciting the reader to consider science as value-free. The prototypical approach emerges as a natural solution, yet the authors do not address how a diagnostic prototype resolves the issues posed by the two alternatives, nor how a prototype can be subjected to natural science methods.The argument presented here is not a defence of solipsism or dualism. Rather it aims to illustrate that if for pragmatic purposes clinicians and policymakers choose to gloss over the philosophical flaws in classification practices, it is then risky to move beyond the heuristic and apply natural science methods to these constructs adding multiple layers of technocratic subclassification. Doing so is more like playing is it ok to use ventolin for coughing Minecraft than cricket.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline for depression is taken as an example of the philosophical errors that can follow from playing Minecraft with unsound heuristic devices, specifically subcategories of persistent forms of depression. As well as serving a clinical purpose, diagnosis in medicine is a way of allocating resources for is it ok to use ventolin for coughing insurance companies and constructing clinical guidelines, which in turn determine rationing within the National Health Service. The consequences for recipients of healthcare are therefore significant. Clinical utility is arguably not being served at all and patients are left at risk of poor-quality care.Heterogeneity of persistent depressionAndrea Jobst and colleagues note that ‘because of their chronic clinical course, approximately 40% of CD [chronic depression] patients also fulfil criteria for TRD [treatment resistant depression]…usually defined by the number of non-successful biological treatments’.11 This position is reflected in the DSM VAmerican Psychiatric Association (2013), the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) guidance and the ICD-11(World Health Organisation, 2018), which all use a ‘persistent’ depression category, acknowledging a loosely defined mixed group of long-term, difficult-to-treat depressive conditions, often associated with dysthymia and comorbid common mental disorders, various personality traits and psychosocial disability.In contrast, the NICE 2018 draft guideline separates treatments into those for ‘new episodes’ of depression.

€˜further-line’ treatment of depression (equivalent to TRD), CD and is it ok to use ventolin for coughing ‘depression with co-morbidities’. The latter is subdivided into treatments for ‘complex depression’ and ‘psychotic depression’. These categories and subcategories introduce an is it ok to use ventolin for coughing unfortunate sense of certainty as though these labels represent real things. An analysis follows of how these definitions play out in terms of grouping of randomised controlled trials in the NICE evidence review.

Specifically, the analysis reveals the overlap between populations in trials which have been separated into discrete categories, revealing significant limitations to the utility of the category labels.The NICE definition of CD requires trial samples to meet the criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD) for 2 years. Dysthymia and is it ok to use ventolin for coughing double depression (MDD superimposed on dysthymia) were included. If 75% of the trial population met these criteria, the trial was reviewed in the CD category.12 The definition of TRD (or ‘further-line treatments’) required that the trial sample had demonstrated a ‘limited response to previous treatment’ and randomised to the further-line treatment at this point. If 80% of the trial participants met these criteria, it was reviewed in the TRD category.13 Complex is it ok to use ventolin for coughing depression was defined as ‘depression co-existing with personality disorder’.

To be classed as complex, 51% of trial participants had to have personality disorder (PD).14It is immediately clear from these definitions that there is a potential problem with attempting to categorise trial populations into just one of these categories. These populations are likely to overlap, whether or not a trial protocol sets out to explicitly record all of this information. The analysis below will illustrate this using examples from within the NICE review.Cataloguing complexity in trial populationsWithin the category of further-line is it ok to use ventolin for coughing treatments (TRD), 64 trials were reviewed. Comparisons within these trials were further subcategorised into ‘dose escalation strategies’, ‘augmentation strategies’ and ‘switching strategies’.

In drilling down by way of illustration, this analysis considers the 51 trials in is it ok to use ventolin for coughing the augmentation strategy evidence review. Of these, two were classified by the reviewers as also fulfilling the criteria for CD but were not analysed in the CD category (Study IDs. Fonagy 2015 and Kocsis 200915). About half of the trials (23/51) did not report the mean duration of episode, meaning that it is not possible is it ok to use ventolin for coughing to know what percentage of participants also met the criteria for CD.

Of trials that did report episode duration, 17 reported a mean duration longer than 24 months. While the standard deviations varied in size or were unreported, the mean indicates a good likelihood that is it ok to use ventolin for coughing a significant proportion of the participants across these 51 trials met the criteria for CD.Details of baseline employment, trauma history, suicidality, physical comorbidity, axis I comorbidity and PD (all clinical indicators of complexity, severity and chronicity) were not collated by NICE. For the present analysis, all 51 publications were examined and data compiled concerning clinical complexity in the trial populations. Only 14 of 51 trials report employment data.

Of those that do, unemployment ranges from is it ok to use ventolin for coughing 12% to 56% across trial samples. None of the trials report trauma history. About half of the trials is it ok to use ventolin for coughing (26/51) excluded people who were considered a suicide risk. The others did not.A large proportion of trials (30/51) did not provide any data on axis 1 comorbidity.

Of these, 18 did not exclude any diagnoses, while 12 excluded some (but not all) disorders. The most common diagnoses excluded were is it ok to use ventolin for coughing psychotic disorders, substance or alcohol abuse, and bipolar disorder (excluded in 26, 25 and 23 trials, respectively). Only 7 of 51 trials clearly stated that all axis 1 diagnoses were excluded. This leaves only 13 studies is it ok to use ventolin for coughing providing any data about comorbidity.

Of these, 9 gave partial data on one or two conditions, while 4 reported either the mean number of disorders (range 1.96–2.9) or the percentage of participants (range 68.1–96.7) with any comorbid diagnosis (Nierenberg 2003a, Nierenberg 2006, Watkins 2011a, Town 201715).The majority of trials (46/51) did not report the prevalence of PD. Many stated PD as an exclusion criterion but without defining a threshold for exclusion. For example, is it ok to use ventolin for coughing PD could be excluded if it ‘impacted’ the depression, if it was ‘significant’, ‘severe’ or ‘persistent’. Some excluded certain PDs (such as antisocial or borderline) and not others but without reporting the prevalence of those not excluded.

In the five trials where prevalence was clear, prevalence ranged from 0% (Ravindran 2008a15), where all PDs were excluded, to 87.5% is it ok to use ventolin for coughing of the sample (Town 201715). Two studies reported the mean number of PDs. 2.0 (Nierenberg 2003a) and 0.85 (Watkins 2011a15).The majority of trials (43/51) did not report the prevalence of physical illness. Many stated illness as an exclusion is it ok to use ventolin for coughing criterion, but the definitions and thresholds were vague and could be interpreted in different ways.

For example, illness could be excluded if it was ‘unstable’, ‘serious’, ‘significant’, ‘relevant’, or would ‘contraindicate’ or ‘impact’ the medication. Of the eight is it ok to use ventolin for coughing trials reporting information about physical health, there was a wide variation. Four reported prevalence varying from 7.6% having a disability (Eisendrath 201615) to 90.9% having an illness or disability (Town 201715). Four used scales of physical health.

Two indicating mild problems (Nierenberg 2006, Lavretsky 201115) and two indicating moderately high levels of illness (Thase 2007, Fang 201015).The NICE review also divided trial populations into a dichotomy of ‘more severe’ and ‘less severe’ on the grounds that this would be a clinically useful classification for is it ok to use ventolin for coughing general practitioners. NICE applied a bespoke methodology for creating this dichotomy, abandoning validated measure thresholds in order first to generate two ‘homogeneous’ groups to ‘facilitate analysis’, and second to create an algorithm to ‘read across’ different measures (such as the Beck Depression Inventory, the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) and the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale).16 Examining trials which use more than one of these measures reveals problems in the algorithm. Of the 51 trials, there are 6 instances in which the is it ok to use ventolin for coughing study population falls into NICE’s more severe category according to one measure and into the less severe category according to another. In four of these trials, NICE chose the less severe category (Souza 2016, Watkins 2011a, Fonagy 2015, Town 201715).

The other two trials were designated more severe (Barbee 2011, Dunner 200715). Only 17 of 51 trials reported two or more depression is it ok to use ventolin for coughing scale measures, leaving much unknown about whether other study populations could count as both more severe and less severe.Absence of knowledge or knowledge of absence?. A key philosophical error in science is to confuse an absence of knowledge with knowledge of absence. It is is it ok to use ventolin for coughing likely that some of the study populations deemed lacking in complexity or severity could actually have high degrees of complexity and/or severity.

Data to demonstrate this may either fall foul of a guideline committee decision to prioritise certain information over other conflicting information (as in the severity algorithm). The information may be non-existent as it was not collected. It may be somewhere in the is it ok to use ventolin for coughing publication pipeline. Or it may be sitting in a database with a research team that has run out of funds for supplementary analyses.

Wherever those data are or are not, their absence from published articles does not define the phenomenology of depression for the patients who took is it ok to use ventolin for coughing part. As a case in point, data from the Fonagy 2015 trial presented at conferences but not published reveal that PD prevalence data would place the trial well within the NICE complex depression category, and that the sample had high levels of past trauma and physical condition comorbidity. The trial also meets the guideline criteria for CD according to the guideline’s own appendices.17 Reported axis 1 comorbidity was high (75.2% had anxiety disorder, 18.6% had substance abuse disorder, 13.2% had eating disorder).18 The mean depression scores at baseline were 36.5 on the Beck Depression Inventory and 20.1 on the HRSD (severe and very severe, respectively, according to published cut-off scores). NICE categorised is it ok to use ventolin for coughing this population as less severe TRD, not CD and not complex.Notes1.

Avram H. Mack et al is it ok to use ventolin for coughing. (1994), “A Brief History of Psychiatric Classification. From the Ancients to DSM-IV,” Psychiatric Clinics 17, no.

Snaith (1987), “The Concepts of Mild Depression,” British Journal of Psychiatry 150, no. 3. 387.3. Susan McPherson and David Armstrong (2006), “Social Determinants of Diagnostic Labels in Depression,” Social Science &.

Grob (1991), “Origins of DSM-I. A Study in Appearance and Reality,” The American Journal of Psychiatry. 421–31.5. Wilson M.

Compton and Samuel B. Guze (1995), “The Neo-Kraepelinian Revolution in Psychiatric Diagnosis,” European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 245, no. 4. 198–9.6.

Gerald L. Klerman (1984), “A Debate on DSM-III. The Advantages of DSM-III,” The American Journal of Psychiatry. 539–42.7.

Thomas E. Schacht (1985), “DSM-III and the Politics of Truth,” American Psychologist. 513–5.8. Daniel F.

Hartner and Kari L. Theurer (2018), “Psychiatry Should Not Seek Mechanisms of Disorder,” Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 38, no. 4. 189–204.9.

Sami Timimi (2014), “No More Psychiatric Labels. Why Formal Psychiatric Diagnostic Systems Should Be Abolished,” Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology 14, no. 3. 208–15.10.

Allen Frances et al. (1994), “DSM-IV Meets Philosophy,” The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine 19, no. 3.

207–18.11. Andrea Jobst et al. (2016), “European Psychiatric Association Guidance on Psychotherapy in Chronic Depression Across Europe,” European Psychiatry 33. 20.12.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2018), Depression in Adults. Treatment and Management. Draft for Consultation, https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/gid-cgwave0725/documents/full-guideline-updated, 507.13. Ibid., 351–62.14.

Ibid., 597.15. Note that in order to refer to specific trials reviewed in the guideline, rather than the full citation, the Study IDs from column A in appendix J5 have been used. See www.nice.org.uk/guidance/gid-cgwave0725/documents/addendum-appendix-9 for details and full references.16. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2018), Depression in Adults.

Treatment and Management. Second Consultation on Draft Guideline – Stakeholder Comments Table, https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/gid-cgwave0725/documents/consultation-comments-and-responses-2, 420–1.17. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2018), Depression in Adults, appendix J5.18. Peter Fonagy et al.

(2015), “Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial of Long-Term Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy for Treatment-Resistant Depression. The Tavistock Adult Depression Study (TADS),” World Psychiatry 14, no. 3. 312–21.19.

American Psychological Association (2018), Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Depression in Children, Adolescents, and Young, Middle-aged, and Older Adults. Draft.20. Jacqui Thornton (2018), “Depression in Adults. Campaigners and Doctors Demand Full Revision of NICE Guidance,” BMJ 361.

We live in buy ventolin online usa unprecedented times. But what makes them without parallel is not the current ventolin crisis nor the continued problems facing minorities in our institutions. Rather, it’s that buy ventolin online usa for the first time, the problems of accessibility, rights and freedoms are now invading privileged spaces. There can be no ‘getting back to normal’, because ‘normal’ only ever benefited the white, Western, patriarchal, abled and cis ideals. For many, buy ventolin online usa the world is not suddenly on fire.

It has long been burning.The present ventolin lays bare systemic prejudice against the most vulnerable among us. We at Medical Humanities, with our focus on global health and social justice, welcome discussion about how the crisis has disproportionately affected racial and fiscal minorities, those from the disabled community, those who are LGBTQA+ and other vulnerable groups. What we focus on here, now, can lead to greater accessibility and equity buy ventolin online usa in the future.In this expanded issue, we offer some of the incredible work being done across the field of medical humanities prior to the asthma treatment crisis, and we are already reviewing articles on the role of health humanities during the ventolin. The process of academic publishing tends not to lend itself to immediacy, however, and the challenges of ventolin means greater pressure on everyone, from the authors to the reviewers and readers.To remedy this, we at Medical Humanities have been increasing the work on our blog platform, a place where content can be quickly updated, and where conversations can occur among readers and writers. We openly invite submissions concerning the ventolin, as well as topics relevant to our wider CFP (call for posts/papers) this year on social buy ventolin online usa justice and health, to both blog and journal.

We will do our best to expedite. Finally, we have also been addressing social justice and access in our podcast, where we interviewed disability activist Alice Wong and most recently Dr Oni Blackstock, primary care physician and HIV specialist in New York. We hope to have many more on these critical subjects.We wish all of you good health and safety and know that many of you are yet on buy ventolin online usa the front lines. Thank you for being part of the community of Medical Humanities.IntroductionMinecraft is a computer game with no specific goals to accomplish. The gameworld consists of three-dimensional (3D) cubes and objects which the player (Steve) can mine and build buy ventolin online usa into infinitely complex (and logically impossible) structures.

Steve sometimes encounters other characters (‘mobs’), such as animals and hostile creatures. He can ‘spawn’ and destroy them. While it looks like a harmless game of logical construction, it conveys some worryingly delusive ideas buy ventolin online usa about the real world. The difference between real and imagined structures is at the heart of the age-old debate around categorising mental disorders.Classification in mental health has had various forms throughout history. Mack and colleagues set out a history of psychiatric classification beginning in 2600 BC with Egyptian references buy ventolin online usa to melancholia and hysteria.

Through the Ancient Greeks with Hippocrates’ phrenitis, mania, melancholia, epilepsy, hysteria and Scythian disease. Through the Renaissance period. Through to 19th-century psychiatry featuring Pinel (known as the first psychiatrist), Kraepelin (known for observational classification) and Freud (known for classifying neurosis and psychosis).1Although buy ventolin online usa the history of psychiatric classification identifies some common trends such as the labels ‘melancholia’ and ‘hysteria’ which have survived millennia, the label ‘depression’ is relatively new. The earliest usage noted by Snaith is from 1899. €˜in simple pathological depression…the patient exhibits a growing indifference to his former pursuits…’.2 Snaith noted that early 20th-century buy ventolin online usa psychiatrists like Adolf Meyer hoped that ‘depression’ would come to encompass a broad category under which descriptions of subtypes would emerge.

This did not happen until the middle of the 20th century. With the publication of the sixth International Classification of Diseases (ICD) in 1948 and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1952 and their subsequent revisions, the latter half of the 20th century has seen depression subtype labels proliferate. In their study of the social determinants of diagnostic labels in depression, McPherson and Armstrong illustrate how the codification of buy ventolin online usa depression subtypes in the latter half of the 20th century has been shaped by the evolving context of psychiatry, including power struggles within the profession, a move to community care and the development of psychopharmacology.3During this period, McPherson and Armstrong describe how subsequent versions of the DSM served as battlegrounds for professional disputes and philosophical quarrels around categorisation of mental disorders. DSM I and DSM II have been described as products of an American Psychiatric Association dominated by psychoanalytic psychiatrists.4 DSM III and DSM III-R have been described as a radical rejection of psychoanalytic thinking, a ‘neo-Kraepelinian revolution’, a reference to the observational descriptive techniques of 19th-century psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin who classified mental disorders into two broad categories. €˜dementia praecox’ and ‘manic-depression’.5 DSM III was seen by some as a turning point in the use of the medical model of mental illness, through provision of specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, and use of field trials and a multiaxial system.6 These latter technocratic additions to psychiatric labelling served to engender a much closer alignment between psychiatry, science and medicine.The codification of mental disorders in buy ventolin online usa manuals has been described by Thomas Schacht as intrinsic to the relationship between science and politics and the way in which psychiatrists gain significant social power by aligning themselves to science.7 His argument drew on Szasz, who saw the mental health establishment as a therapeutic state.

Zimbardo, who described psychiatric care as a controlling force. And Foucault, who described the categorisation of the mentally ill as a force for isolating ‘the other’. Diagnostic critique has been further developed through a cultural relativist lens in that what Western psychiatrists classify as a depression is constructed differently in other cultures.8 Considering these limitations, some critics have gone so far as to argue that psychiatric diagnostic systems should be abolished.9Yet architects of DSM manuals have worked hard to ensure the technology of classification is regarded as genuine scientific buy ventolin online usa activity with sound roots in philosophy of science. In their philosophical defence of DSM IV, Allen Frances and colleagues address their critics under the headings ‘nominalism vs realism’, ‘empiricism vs rationalism’ and ‘categorical vs dimensional’.10 The implication is that there are opposing stances in which a choice must be made or a middle ground forged by those reasonable enough to recognise the need for pragmatism in the service of clinical utility. The nominalism–realism debate is illustrated using as metaphor three different stances a buy ventolin online usa cricket umpire might take on calling strikes and balls.

The discussion sets out two of these as extreme views. €˜at one extreme…those who take a reductionistically realistic view of the world’ versus ‘the solipsistic nominalists…might content that nothing exists’. Szasz, who is characterised as holding particularly extreme views, is named buy ventolin online usa as an archetypal solipsist. There is implied to be a degree of arrogance associated with this view in the illustrative example in which the umpire states ‘there are no balls and there are no strikes until I call them’. Frances therefore sets up a means of grouping two kinds of buy ventolin online usa people as philosophical extremists who can be dismissed, while avoiding addressing the philosophical problems they pose.Frances provides little if any justification for the middle ground stance, ‘There are balls and there are strikes and I call them as I see them’, other than to focus on its clinical utility and the lack of clinical utility in the alternatives ‘naïve realism’ and ‘heuristically barren solipsism’.

The natural conclusion the reader is invited to reach is that a middle ground of a heuristic concept is naturally right because it is not extreme and is naturally useful clinically, without specifying in what way this stance is coherent, resolves the two alternatives, and in what way a heuristic construct that is not ‘real’ can be subject to scientific testing.Similarly, in discussing the ‘categorical vs dimensional’, Frances promotes the ‘prototype approach’. Those holding opposing views are labelled as ‘dualists’ or ‘dichotomisers’. The prototypical approach is again put buy ventolin online usa forward as a clinically useful middle ground. Illustrations are drawn from natural science. €˜a triangle and a square are never the same’, inciting the reader to buy ventolin online usa consider science as value-free.

The prototypical approach emerges as a natural solution, yet the authors do not address how a diagnostic prototype resolves the issues posed by the two alternatives, nor how a prototype can be subjected to natural science methods.The argument presented here is not a defence of solipsism or dualism. Rather it aims to illustrate that if for pragmatic purposes clinicians and policymakers choose to gloss over the philosophical flaws in classification practices, it is then risky to move beyond the heuristic and apply natural science methods to these constructs adding multiple layers of technocratic subclassification. Doing so is more buy ventolin online usa like playing Minecraft than cricket. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline for depression is taken as an example of the philosophical errors that can follow from playing Minecraft with unsound heuristic devices, specifically subcategories of persistent forms of depression. As well as serving a clinical buy ventolin online usa purpose, diagnosis in medicine is a way of allocating resources for insurance companies and constructing clinical guidelines, which in turn determine rationing within the National Health Service.

The consequences for recipients of healthcare are therefore significant. Clinical utility is arguably not being served at all and patients are left at risk of poor-quality care.Heterogeneity of persistent depressionAndrea Jobst and colleagues note that ‘because of their chronic clinical course, approximately 40% of CD [chronic depression] patients also fulfil criteria for TRD [treatment resistant depression]…usually defined by the number of non-successful biological treatments’.11 This position is reflected in the DSM VAmerican Psychiatric Association (2013), the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) guidance and the ICD-11(World Health Organisation, 2018), which all use a ‘persistent’ depression category, acknowledging a loosely defined mixed group of long-term, difficult-to-treat depressive conditions, often associated with dysthymia and comorbid common mental disorders, various personality traits and psychosocial disability.In contrast, the NICE 2018 draft guideline separates treatments into those for ‘new episodes’ of depression. €˜further-line’ treatment of depression (equivalent to TRD), CD and buy ventolin online usa ‘depression with co-morbidities’. The latter is subdivided into treatments for ‘complex depression’ and ‘psychotic depression’. These categories buy ventolin online usa and subcategories introduce an unfortunate sense of certainty as though these labels represent real things.

An analysis follows of how these definitions play out in terms of grouping of randomised controlled trials in the NICE evidence review. Specifically, the analysis reveals the overlap between populations in trials which have been separated into discrete categories, revealing significant limitations to the utility of the category labels.The NICE definition of CD requires trial samples to meet the criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD) for 2 years. Dysthymia and double depression (MDD superimposed on dysthymia) were buy ventolin online usa included. If 75% of the trial population met these criteria, the trial was reviewed in the CD category.12 The definition of TRD (or ‘further-line treatments’) required that the trial sample had demonstrated a ‘limited response to previous treatment’ and randomised to the further-line treatment at this point. If 80% of the buy ventolin online usa trial participants met these criteria, it was reviewed in the TRD category.13 Complex depression was defined as ‘depression co-existing with personality disorder’.

To be classed as complex, 51% of trial participants had to have personality disorder (PD).14It is immediately clear from these definitions that there is a potential problem with attempting to categorise trial populations into just one of these categories. These populations are likely to overlap, whether or not a trial protocol sets out to explicitly record all of this information. The analysis below will illustrate this using examples from within the NICE review.Cataloguing complexity in trial populationsWithin the category of buy ventolin online usa further-line treatments (TRD), 64 trials were reviewed. Comparisons within these trials were further subcategorised into ‘dose escalation strategies’, ‘augmentation strategies’ and ‘switching strategies’. In drilling down by way of illustration, buy ventolin online usa this analysis considers the 51 trials in the augmentation strategy evidence review.

Of these, two were classified by the reviewers as also fulfilling the criteria for CD but were not analysed in the CD category (Study IDs. Fonagy 2015 and Kocsis 200915). About half of the trials (23/51) did not report the mean duration of episode, meaning that it is not possible to know what percentage of participants also met the buy ventolin online usa criteria for CD. Of trials that did report episode duration, 17 reported a mean duration longer than 24 months. While the standard deviations varied in size or were unreported, the mean indicates a good likelihood that a significant proportion of the participants across these 51 trials met the criteria for CD.Details of baseline buy ventolin online usa employment, trauma history, suicidality, physical comorbidity, axis I comorbidity and PD (all clinical indicators of complexity, severity and chronicity) were not collated by NICE.

For the present analysis, all 51 publications were examined and data compiled concerning clinical complexity in the trial populations. Only 14 of 51 trials report employment data. Of those that do, buy ventolin online usa unemployment ranges from 12% to 56% across trial samples. None of the trials report trauma history. About half of the trials (26/51) excluded people who were buy ventolin online usa considered a suicide risk.

The others did not.A large proportion of trials (30/51) did not provide any data on axis 1 comorbidity. Of these, 18 did not exclude any diagnoses, while 12 excluded some (but not all) disorders. The most common diagnoses excluded were psychotic disorders, substance or alcohol abuse, and bipolar disorder (excluded in 26, 25 and 23 trials, respectively) buy ventolin online usa. Only 7 of 51 trials clearly stated that all axis 1 diagnoses were excluded. This leaves only 13 studies providing any data about comorbidity buy ventolin online usa.

Of these, 9 gave partial data on one or two conditions, while 4 reported either the mean number of disorders (range 1.96–2.9) or the percentage of participants (range 68.1–96.7) with any comorbid diagnosis (Nierenberg 2003a, Nierenberg 2006, Watkins 2011a, Town 201715).The majority of trials (46/51) did not report the prevalence of PD. Many stated PD as an exclusion criterion but without defining a threshold for exclusion. For example, PD could be buy ventolin online usa excluded if it ‘impacted’ the depression, if it was ‘significant’, ‘severe’ or ‘persistent’. Some excluded certain PDs (such as antisocial or borderline) and not others but without reporting the prevalence of those not excluded. In the five trials where prevalence was clear, prevalence ranged from 0% (Ravindran 2008a15), where all PDs were excluded, to 87.5% of the sample (Town buy ventolin online usa 201715).

Two studies reported the mean number of PDs. 2.0 (Nierenberg 2003a) and 0.85 (Watkins 2011a15).The majority of trials (43/51) did not report the prevalence of physical illness. Many stated illness as buy ventolin online usa an exclusion criterion, but the definitions and thresholds were vague and could be interpreted in different ways. For example, illness could be excluded if it was ‘unstable’, ‘serious’, ‘significant’, ‘relevant’, or would ‘contraindicate’ or ‘impact’ the medication. Of the buy ventolin online usa eight trials reporting information about physical health, there was a wide variation.

Four reported prevalence varying from 7.6% having a disability (Eisendrath 201615) to 90.9% having an illness or disability (Town 201715). Four used scales of physical health. Two indicating mild problems (Nierenberg 2006, Lavretsky 201115) and two indicating moderately high levels of illness (Thase 2007, Fang 201015).The NICE review also divided trial populations into a dichotomy of ‘more severe’ and ‘less buy ventolin online usa severe’ on the grounds that this would be a clinically useful classification for general practitioners. NICE applied a bespoke methodology for creating this dichotomy, abandoning validated measure thresholds in order first to generate two ‘homogeneous’ groups to ‘facilitate analysis’, and second to create an algorithm to ‘read across’ different measures (such as the Beck Depression Inventory, the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) and the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale).16 Examining trials which use more than one of these measures reveals problems in the algorithm. Of the 51 trials, there buy ventolin online usa are 6 instances in which the study population falls into NICE’s more severe category according to one measure and into the less severe category according to another.

In four of these trials, NICE chose the less severe category (Souza 2016, Watkins 2011a, Fonagy 2015, Town 201715). The other two trials were designated more severe (Barbee 2011, Dunner 200715). Only 17 of buy ventolin online usa 51 trials reported two or more depression scale measures, leaving much unknown about whether other study populations could count as both more severe and less severe.Absence of knowledge or knowledge of absence?. A key philosophical error in science is to confuse an absence of knowledge with knowledge of absence. It is likely that some of buy ventolin online usa the study populations deemed lacking in complexity or severity could actually have high degrees of complexity and/or severity.

Data to demonstrate this may either fall foul of a guideline committee decision to prioritise certain information over other conflicting information (as in the severity algorithm). The information may be non-existent as it was not collected. It may buy ventolin online usa be somewhere in the publication pipeline. Or it may be sitting in a database with a research team that has run out of funds for supplementary analyses. Wherever those data are or are not, their absence from published articles does not define the phenomenology of depression for the patients who buy ventolin online usa took part.

As a case in point, data from the Fonagy 2015 trial presented at conferences but not published reveal that PD prevalence data would place the trial well within the NICE complex depression category, and that the sample had high levels of past trauma and physical condition comorbidity. The trial also meets the guideline criteria for CD according to the guideline’s own appendices.17 Reported axis 1 comorbidity was high (75.2% had anxiety disorder, 18.6% had substance abuse disorder, 13.2% had eating disorder).18 The mean depression scores at baseline were 36.5 on the Beck Depression Inventory and 20.1 on the HRSD (severe and very severe, respectively, according to published cut-off scores). NICE categorised this buy ventolin online usa population as less severe TRD, not CD and not complex.Notes1. Avram H. Mack et buy ventolin online usa al.

(1994), “A Brief History of Psychiatric Classification. From the Ancients to DSM-IV,” Psychiatric Clinics 17, no. 3. 515–9.2. R.

P. Snaith (1987), “The Concepts of Mild Depression,” British Journal of Psychiatry 150, no. 3. 387.3. Susan McPherson and David Armstrong (2006), “Social Determinants of Diagnostic Labels in Depression,” Social Science &.

Medicine 62, no. 1. 52–7.4. Gerald N. Grob (1991), “Origins of DSM-I.

A Study in Appearance and Reality,” The American Journal of Psychiatry. 421–31.5. Wilson M. Compton and Samuel B. Guze (1995), “The Neo-Kraepelinian Revolution in Psychiatric Diagnosis,” European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 245, no.

4. 198–9.6. Gerald L. Klerman (1984), “A Debate on DSM-III. The Advantages of DSM-III,” The American Journal of Psychiatry.

539–42.7. Thomas E. Schacht (1985), “DSM-III and the Politics of Truth,” American Psychologist. 513–5.8. Daniel F.

Hartner and Kari L. Theurer (2018), “Psychiatry Should Not Seek Mechanisms of Disorder,” Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 38, no. 4. 189–204.9. Sami Timimi (2014), “No More Psychiatric Labels.

Why Formal Psychiatric Diagnostic Systems Should Be Abolished,” Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology 14, no. 3. 208–15.10. Allen Frances et al. (1994), “DSM-IV Meets Philosophy,” The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.

A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine 19, no. 3. 207–18.11. Andrea Jobst et al. (2016), “European Psychiatric Association Guidance on Psychotherapy in Chronic Depression Across Europe,” European Psychiatry 33.

20.12. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2018), Depression in Adults. Treatment and Management. Draft for Consultation, https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/gid-cgwave0725/documents/full-guideline-updated, 507.13. Ibid., 351–62.14.

Ibid., 597.15. Note that in order to refer to specific trials reviewed in the guideline, rather than the full citation, the Study IDs from column A in appendix J5 have been used. See www.nice.org.uk/guidance/gid-cgwave0725/documents/addendum-appendix-9 for details and full references.16. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2018), Depression in Adults. Treatment and Management.

Second Consultation on Draft Guideline – Stakeholder Comments Table, https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/gid-cgwave0725/documents/consultation-comments-and-responses-2, 420–1.17. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2018), Depression in Adults, appendix J5.18. Peter Fonagy et al. (2015), “Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial of Long-Term Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy for Treatment-Resistant Depression. The Tavistock Adult Depression Study (TADS),” World Psychiatry 14, no.

3. 312–21.19. American Psychological Association (2018), Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Depression in Children, Adolescents, and Young, Middle-aged, and Older Adults. Draft.20. Jacqui Thornton (2018), “Depression in Adults.

Campaigners and Doctors Demand Full Revision of NICE Guidance,” BMJ 361. K2681..