Our e-newsletter for WorldCare members highlights the value of Medical Second Opinions for serious and complex conditions while sharing research and insight from The WorldCare Consortium® providers.

For Your Health

You have the right to access your health information upon request. It’s the law.

You probably know the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was designed to protect the security and privacy of your identifiable health information. But do you know the same law also provides you with a legally enforceable right to access and obtain a copy of your medical records? If you are based in Canada, you have these same rights under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

You may need to file your request in writing, but you can ask for any or all of these records from healthcare providers or health plans: billing and payment records, insurance information, lab test results, medical images, wellness and disease management program information, and clinical case notes recorded in your files.

Access to your personal health records puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to making decisions about your health, whether you are planning lifestyle changes, monitoring a chronic condition, or requesting a medical second opinion.

Obtaining your personal health information has never been easier with today’s electronic health records. If you are interested in seeking a second opinion on an original diagnosis or treatment plan, WorldCare can help you and your physician access your medical records quickly.

Health IQ

Respiratory Diseases

Respiratory diseases include a broad range of conditions such as the common cold, influenza, pneumonia, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19. All are caused by viruses that replicate inside living cells in the upper or lower respiratory tract. They spread through respiratory droplets from people with the infection, either through the air or by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth or nose.

According to the American Lung Association, there are several steps you can take to prevent infectious respiratory diseases:

Get vaccinated. Talk to your doctor to see if your vaccinations are up to date. Immunization protects you and those around you from getting sick.
Wash your hands. It’s one of the best ways to prevent infectious illnesses. Soap and water are best, but you can also use hand sanitizer if those are not handy.
Cover your coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
Stay home when you’re sick. Stop the spread of infection by staying home and isolating yourself from other members of your household as much as possible.
Keep your home clean. Disinfect doorknobs and other high-touch surfaces. Launder used hand towels.
Additional measures. During the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing face masks and social distancing outside the home have helped curb wider transmission of the disease.

Source: American Lung Association

Research Updates from The WorldCare Consortium® Hospitals

A hormone produced during exercise holds promise as a potential treatment approach for Alzheimer’s disease.

It is well known that exercise benefits brain health, including for people living with Alzheimer’s disease. But the biological mechanisms underlying exactly how this works have been unclear.

Recently, researchers at the Mass General Research Institute found that a hormone produced by muscles during exercise, called irisin, plays a key role in conferring the benefits of exercise on brain health. They also discovered that mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease injected with the hormone showed improved cognitive performance in terms of learning, memory, context discrimination and pattern recognition.

The study was published in Nature Metabolism. The findings suggest the hormone irisin deserves further investigation that may one day lead to a new treatment for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Benefits of Reducing Added Sugars

How added sugars harm human health and the healthcare system

If you’re like the average American, you have been consuming a whopping 57 pounds of added sugar every year. That figure includes only sugar added to more than 65 percent of processed foods, such as baked goods, sweetened beverages and condiments. It does not include naturally occurring sugars, like those found in fruit.

Added sugars in the American diet are key drivers of high rates of heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and obesity — and ballooning healthcare costs. A team of investigators from Mass General Hospital, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Tufts University and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recently found that reducing added sugars in processed foods to recommended levels could prevent 2.5 million events, 490,00 deaths due to cardiovascular disease, and 750,000 new diabetes diagnoses over adults’ lifetimes. At the same time, healthcare costs would drop by $4.28 billion.

WorldCare Updates

“Some patients are hesitant to seek a second opinion, making it imperative for physicians to support their right to do so.”

— Neveen El-Farra, MD, a professor of clinical medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and medical director for international services at UCLA Health. 

We’re passionate about the importance of MSOs and we’re not the only ones. Dr. Neveen El-Farra, a renowned professor and medical director for international services at our WorldCare Consortium® partner UCLA Health, recently spoke with Becker’s Hospital Review about why patients should take advantage of their right to seek a second opinion and how it benefits their well-being and care plan when diagnosed with a critical condition.

WorldCare is the benefit that saves lives.