Healthereum – a New Incentive for Healthy Behaviors
When I was a kid, I used to get a lollipop for going to the doctors’ office. Nowadays, I get a copay. How would you like to return go the time of be rewarded for going to your appointments? And I’m not talking lollipops. The health care startup Healthereum is looking to utilize blockchain technology to do just that.
Healtherium Life Portfolio aka HELIOS is creating a rewards system for patients making appointments, finishing surveys, completing tasks, and so on. As a patient completes a task, they’re rewarded with digital tokens that can be traded back in to the provider. The provider is empowered to determine exactly what these tokens are worth. It reminds me a lot of the arcades where you win tickets that you can trade in for prizes. Except ideally these prizes are worth a lot more then the pencil eraser I’d usually wind up with.
You’d be totally forgiven if you were in a rush to dismiss Healthereum after hearing the words ‘blockchain’, ‘startup’, and ‘digital token’. However, the development team isn’t your run-of-the-mill garage hackers. Founded by experienced physicians and software engineers and advised by industry experts and executive business leaders, HELIOS brings a significant amount of expertise to the fore. This team behind Healtherium, has also developed a number of other extremely impressive products.
HELIOS is one of the latest examples in a trend towards incentivizing patient compliance and behavioral interventions. Research done into the behavioral science aspects of incentivizing care shows that it can often result in improved compliance. HELIOS looks exciting and it’ll be great to watch the development of the product to see how practices implement it.
In regards to of the larger field of incentivizing compliance, this writer has some concerns regarding the ethics of such systems. No one likes feeling manipulated or strong-armed into doing things. Such systems also need to consider issues of accessibility. A 20-something software engineer might know how to fully take advantage of something like a digital reward, but a retiree who doesn’t own a PC might have some trouble fully utilizing it and thus may be left out of savings. We absolutely don’t want to leave our vulnerable populations behind as we modernize care.
Spring is here and the weather is finally warming up. As part of our launch into April, we’ll be exploring five ways to get a free national park pass. Read below to find out who qualifies for a free national park pass. Want to just skip to the park page? Click Here!
1. You have a Qualifying Permanent Disability
Who is Eligible?: This free LIFETIME pass is available to people who have been medically determined to have a permanent disability.
To get the pass you can either fill out the online form, mail in a paper application, or apply in person. If you fill out the application online or mail it in, there’s a $10 processing fee. If you are planning to apply in person, then you do not need to fill out any forms in advance, just make sure to contact the site to ensure they have passes available. As with all of these passes, in addition to yourself, this pass also covers everyone in the same vehicle as you.
Documentation Needed for the Free National Park Pass
Here’s the requirements for documentation, directly from the form:
A statement signed by a licensed physician attesting that you have a permanent physical, mental, or sensory impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and stating the nature of the impairment;
A document issued by a Federal agency, such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration, which attests that you have been medically determined to be eligible to receive Federal benefits as a result of blindness or permanent disability. Other acceptable Federal agency documents include proof of receipt of Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
A document issued by a State agency such as a vocational rehabilitation agency, which attests that you have been medically determined to be eligible to receive vocational rehabilitation agency benefits or services as a result of medically determined blindness or permanent disability. Showing a State motor vehicle department disability sticker, license plate or hang tag is not acceptable documentation.
Who is Eligible?: US Citizens and permanent residents 62 or older.
The Senior Pass is one of the very best bargains out there. For $80 you can get a lifetime pass or for $20 the annual pass.
$80 won’t even get you a day at theme park, but it will buy you lifetime access to every national park in the US sounds like a pretty great deal to me! Read more here.
2. You’re a US 4th Grader
Who Qualifies?: This is a really fun program available to all 4th Graders in the US.
Educators can even get the annual free national park passes for each of their 4th Grade Students. Here are the details! More rules and conditions can be found here!
3. You’re a Member of the US Military
Who Qualifies?: All current US military members and their dependents. Also most members of the US Reserves and National Guard and all of their dependents.
You’ll need your military ID when applying (CAC Card of DOD Form 1173). This’ll get you (and your dependents) a free $80 annual pass to the parks. Here’s the full FAQ for the annual military park pass.
4. You’ve Volunteered more then 250 hours at a
Who is Eligible?: Anyone who has volunteered 250+ hours at a national park.
This free national park pass is a really nice perk to reward your generosity and dedication. You do not need to complete all 250 hours in a single year. Read more about the volunteer passes here and here.
5. You Head to the Park on a Free Entrance Day
2019 Has a number of free entrance days to the National Parks
If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, then managing your blood sugar levels is a vital part of controlling the disease. We’ve scoured the internet for ways to get free glucometers for tracking blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, there’s a real lack of options out there. Still, we were able to identify four brand name meters that, with the right insurance, you can reliably obtain for free! Just keep in mind that some terms and conditions do apply.
Also remember that you’ll need to purchase test strips for use with the glucometers. In fact, this is probably the reason why manufacturers give away free glucometers – so you buy the strips later. With that in mind we’ll also show you the common cost for each meter’s test strips. If you’re looking to purchase test strips or diabetes supplies for your free glucometer, we recommend shopping from trusted sources that focus on diabetic supplies, like Total Diabetes Supply.
Choosing the Right Glucometer
Before you pick a free meter, there are some factors to consider.
Is the meter covered by insurance?
Is the meter easy to use?
Are the test strips easy to use?
How accurate are the test strips?
How expensive are the test strips?
What features does the meter come with?
Does the meter come with technical support?
Would it make sense for me to buy a meter with more features?
Pros: The Aviva models are no frills, simple-to-use option. If you’re looking for a dependable and free glucometer, they’re a great way to go. Cons: Some reviews expressed concern with the battery life and the fail rate of the test strips on the Aviva Model. Both of these concerns are pretty common to all the free glucometer models.
Cons: Reviews indicate that the battery life can be short. Batteries are replaceable and not rechargeable = increased costs. May be hard to handle and read by elderly. Website has unclear requirements on how to qualify for this free glucometer.
The Accu-Check Glucometers are produced by Roche. You can choose a free Accu-Check Aviva or Accu-Check Guide. The Aviva is the older model of the two and retails for $30. The Accu-Check Guide is a newer model and also retails for about $30.00.
Features: The Aviva is a simple and easy model and might be ideal for younger patients or patients who don’t want so many bells and whistles. The Guide is Accu-Check’s most accurate model, easy-to-use and has increased functionality. This functionality includes Bluetooth and it can be paired with their mobile app. It’s easy to see in the dark, it has a spill-resistant test strip case, and other features you can read about here!
Customer Assistance: Both of the Accu-Check Glucometers have an excellent support site with customer assistance. You can also chose to speak with a person directly by calling
Test Strips: The Accu-Check Aviva test strips are a little cheaper at about $23 for a pack of 50. The Accu-Check Guide strips run about $26 for a pack of 50 test strips, depending on where you get them. The Accu-Check website has a good, reasonably-priced option for strips.
The Contour Next One Glucometer is produced by Bayer. It’s a stylish, sleek, and USB-shaped device that’s fairly inexpensive, retailing for about $8.00.
Features: The Contour Next One is has simple but effective functionality. It has a logbook which can hold 800 results, meal markers, a “smartLight” that displays if your sugar is above, below, or in range, bluetooth, and a app.
Test Strips: The Contour Next test strips are some of the least expensive out there. You can get them for about $14 for a pack of 50 on Amazon. Really inexpensive test strips for an already free glucometer.
The OneTouch Verio Flex makers boast that the OneTouch Verio test strips have the lowest copay on most health plans and about 50% of users pay nothing for 50ct test strips. You should verify if you’re eligible, and if you are that could add up to significant savings for this free glucometer.
Features: The OneTouch Verio Flex is able to notify you if it finds a pattern of low or high blood sugar. It also syncs with an app, and has a color-coded display for blood sugar – quickly telling you if readings are high, low, or in the middle. For a free glucometer, this is pretty decent functionality.
The Abbott Freestyle creators have developed a really impressive line of glucose monitoring products. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes, or are interested in what the newest technology looks like, I’d recommend visiting their website.
Features: The Abbott Freestyle models are simple to use and require very little blood. Recommended for kids or the elderly, or anyone who simply doesn’t want the bells and whistles of a more complicated meter.
Customer Assistance: 1-855-632-8658
Test Strips: The VerioFlex test strips are a bit more expensive then the others on the list. You can get them for about $30 for a pack of 50 on Amazon.
Diabetes is a chronic, but controllable, disease.There are so many websites out there where you can learn more about diabetes from experts and people living with the disease. We recommend you do as much research as you can and talk to your doctor about your options. It’s also important to always consider other costs with free glucometers – like the costs of the batteries and testing strips. Finally, think about shopping at trusted sites like Total Diabetes Supply, where they specialize in diabetes products and care. You may end up paying a little more, but you’ll get a company that understands your needs better.
Dental Care is an often ignored, but very important part of your health! Neglecting dental health can result in expensive bills down-the-road and unintended health consequences. For many people the primary barrier to dental care is cost.
In this article we show you how to get completely, 100% free, dental care from local clinics! Stay tuned, because in future posts we’ll highlight other free community health and dental care programs that you should know about!
1.Free Dentistry Day
This is a great program with dental clinic events all over the US. Their website looks like it’s updated frequently by a really dedicated and caring group. There may be some restrictions at some locations – like some days may only be for kids or seniors and so on, so read up before travel. But if you’re near a location that’s having an event it’s a great option for free dental care.
Now THIS is a website you should definitely bookmark! They have a huge database of free and sliding-scale dental clinics in every state. They also have listings for dental clinics geared towards special needs and disabled populations. You may need to hunt around a little to find what you’re looking for, but if you’re concerned about your or a loved one’s dental health it’s well worth it!
3. ‘Give Kids a Smile’ Program
The American Dental Association runs many wonderful programs, but this may be there best. The Give Kids a Smile program works with practices to hold free cleaning and dental education events for kids. As far as free dental care programs go, this is a winner! Ask at the Give Kids a Smile Facebook page for upcoming events. ProTip: Check out the recipient list on the ADA website. If you’re nearby to a practice on that list, reach out and see if they’ve held their event yet!
Dentistry from the Heart is a non-profit “working to supply the world with free dental care services.” These kind-hearted individuals have a great website with lists of events at local dental clinics.
You should read the FAQ and please note this program is geared towards adults! If you’re looking for dental care for children, check out one of the programs listed above.
5. Dental Schools are a Source of Free Dental Care
Dental schools are a great option for free dental care! The students get practice and you get free care. Not to mention the students are supervised by dental teachers, are some of the most skilled and experienced practitioners out there, supervise everything. You can find a list of dental schools on the ADA website.
6. Mission of Mercy – Free Community Health and Dental Care (AZ, MD, PA, TX)
If you live in Arizona, Maryland, Pennsylvania, or Texas your in luck! This faith-based, independent, non-profit organization has been providing free dental, medical, and prescription medications since 1994. The community health and dental care programs run by the Mission of Mercy help countless people across these four states.
You’ll definitely see Mission of Mercy in future posts here at Thrifty Patient, but don’t wait until then! Check out their site for free dental options.
7. American Dental Association
We’ve already covered the ADA’s big kid’s program – the Give Kids a Smile Program. Also keep an eye on their main website for upcoming events.
8. VA Dental Insurance Program
For Veterans, you have access to the VA dental insurance program. This is a discounted insurance program that also can extend to beneficiaries. If you’re a veteran you should take a look at the website and the fact sheet for more info!
9. The Health and Human Services Website Has Dental Health Care Options
The Health and Human Services website has a list of low-cost programs dental care. If you meet certain income requirements in certain states, the care might be entirely free! They also have a few free dental care programs listed. It’s worth taking a look!
Do you know of any other suggestions? Have you used any of the services we list above? Submit any dental clinics or free dental health programs on our tips page!