Lack of Medical and Dental Care Can Hurt Your Business

I have heard people theorize that the reason men tend to die at a younger age than women is because they do not take care of their health. Many men have told me that they do not go to a doctor or dentist unless they are sick or have a horrible toothache.

Because of this, the physicians and dentists do not have an opportunity to do proper assessments or teach preventative measures that will lead to an ongoing healthy condition.

A lack of medical and dental care can hurt your business in a number of ways:

1. You feel poorly longer than necessary – Have you ever had a cold that goes on and on and on. Your head feels full and it is not only difficult to concentrate but also to keep going because you ache all over. Sometimes a problem tooth can leave you hurting or you have eye strain because you need a new prescription lens in your glasses.

It is not always wise to try to persevere. In fact, sometimes you leave an untreated condition so long that it worsens and actually takes longer to recover. When you are ill, you and your business suffer. You are not able to work with the same efficiency and stamina as when you were at full potential.

2. You might miss out on early detection – Often people wait until they are seriously ill before seeing a medical professional. They think that if they just wait long enough, they will get over the problem.

We live in a wonderful world where there are so many tests and procedures that can assess and identify illnesses that can be treated in the very early stages of their development. The longer you wait, however, the more chance you have of allowing the condition to worsen.

3. You might not know about good self-care practices – I remember what life was like before we had simple techniques such as flossing. I know that my mother would have preferred to practice this rather than be subjected to the painful dental surgery she experienced because of gum disease.

Research is constantly uncovering and developing new strategies for self-care. Your medical and dental team will help you to learn about them.

If a solo professional is ill, the business cannot operate. You, as a solo professional, are the business.

It is therefore extremely important that you take care of yourself so that you do not risk your own health or the health. Have regular checkups will assist you to protect your health and detect any problems so that they can be treated in the early stages. That way you will be well on your way to being a healthy person with a healthy business.

Accounting – Tax Deductible Medical and Dental Expenses

An itemized deduction falls under one of the following categories: Medical and dental expenses, taxes paid, interest, gifts and charity, casualty and theft losses, expenses and miscellaneous deductions. Taxpayers who wish to claim medical and dental expenses must use the itemize deduction option and present documented evidence to substantiate the amount being claim. The itemized deduction option gives the taxpayers a larger total deduction. However, the deduction must not exceed one-half of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income, but in order to qualify, the total expenses claimed must exceed 7.5 per cent of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income.

Qualified medical and dental expenses are deductible for yourself, your spouse and dependents, including anyone you claim as a dependent under a multiple support agreement, but the agreement allows for only one of the people involved to claim the deduction. Expenses paid for a child who receives more than half of support from you are also deductible, however, you are not entitled to a personal exemption for a child who earned in excess of the allowed amount of income.

Medical and dental Expenses for self-employed persons that have a net profit for the tax year, or share in a partnership or a shareholder in an S corporation, may be able to deduct, as an adjustment to income, the total amount paid for medical insurance for yourself, spouse and dependents. This special tax deduction is not deductible for any month you are eligible to participate in any sponsored health plan by your employer or your spouse’s employer.

Travel expenses for your medical care are deductible when traveling to the doctor’s office or a medical facility for treatment. If you use your car, a flat rate per mile assessment plus the actual expense of operating the car, such as gas, oil, repairs, parking and toll fees are deductible. Cab fares incurred to travel locally to your doctor’s office, he cost of a trip out of town to visit a specialist and the cost of transportation to a different climate for health reasons are deductible.

Deductible travel expenses are allowed as a medical deduction under the following conditions: When a doctor prescribes trips to visit a child in an institution, when anyone accompanies an individual for medical care who is unable to travel alone and the cost of travel to medical conferences in order to get the latest information on treatment for a chronically ill person.

Special medical expenses are deductible depending on the services provided. Payments to anyone who is unlicensed, but provided legal medical care and legitimate purchases on the advice of a doctor to benefit you or your dependents’ health are deductible. Such purchases include vitamins and nutritional supplements prescribed by a doctor to treat a specific ailment. Expenses incurred by what is considered a non medical treatment such as a massage must be proven as a legitimate medical deduction by the taxpayer.

The entire bill at a hospital or similar medical facility for meals and lodging is deductible. You may also deduct the expense of lodging if you or your dependents’ medical treatment is away from home and lodging is necessary in order to receive the treatment provided by a doctor. The lodging must be moderate, with no element of personal pleasure, recreation or vacation. The amount is limited to $100 for you and one other person.

Health insurance premiums paid to cover your medical, dental and hospital expenses, including eyeglasses and prescription drugs are deductible if it is part of your adjusted gross income. This includes your premium for Medicare Part B. Reimbursement and damages from insurance proceeds and Medicare will reduce your medical expenses. If the reimbursement equals or exceeds your medical expenses, your deduction will be reduced to zero.

You may claim medical expenses for yourself, spouse, dependents and anyone you claim as a dependent under a multiple support agreement that is confined to a nursing home or home for the aged. The deduction includes the entire cost of medical care, including meals and lodging. If the person is residing in a nursing home for reasons other than medical, the only deductible cost is the actual medical expenses. This also applies to rest homes and assisted-living facilities. Any non medical expenses are not deductible.

The cost of medical expenses for mentally or physically handicapped dependents attending a special school geared to improve the person’s specific needs are deductible. The deduction includes all costs for tuition, transportation, meals and lodging. Schools that qualify must offer programs that teach Braille or lip reading, help cure dyslexia, treat and care for the mentally handicapped and persons with similar handicapped needs.

Improvements to your home that aid in treating a disease, such as adding required equipment, is deductible. However, the deduction is limited to the cost of the equipment or improvement, minus the increase in value to your home.

Deductible medical and dental expenses are the total expenses paid and claimed, less what was reimbursed by insurance or any other source. The outcome is reduced by 7.5 percent of your Adjusted Gross Income.

Medical and Dental Considerations When Planning Your Vacation

If you are in any doubt about possible travel problems because of a pre-existing medical condition, then consult your family doctor. People with heart or chest problems, recurrent blood clots in the legs or lungs, recent strokes, uncontrolled blood pressure, epilepsy, psychiatric disorders or chronic sinus or ear problems may be at risk when flying.

Late pregnancy is a contra-indication to flying, diabetics taking medication will need special advice, and the disabled will have specific requirements that may need to be notified to air­line and airport authorities. People with chronic health prob­lems or women who are obviously pregnant should ask their doctor to complete a standard airline form certifying their fit­ness for flying. This form should be obtained from the airline concerned.

Adequate supplies of all routinely prescribed medications, including oral contraceptives, should also be obtained before departure. If you are taking a short trip within Europe, these will be provided as NHS prescriptions. Those planning longer stays abroad should determine the availability of their medication overseas or take adequate supplies, although you may need to pay for these on pri­vate prescription. It is also strongly recommended that you obtain a certificate from your doctor detailing the drugs pre­scribed, including the correct pharmacological name, as well as the trade name. This will be necessary to satisfy customs offi­cials and you may need to obtain certified translations into appropriate languages.

Some drugs readily obtainable in the UK are viewed with great suspicion elsewhere, codeine, for exam­ple, is considered a controlled drug in many countries, and tranquillisers such as diazepam can cause problems. Women going to Saudi Arabia should take adequate supplies of oral contraceptives and will need a certified Arabic translation of the certificate stating that the contraceptives have been prescribed for their personal use.

Those with recurring medical problems should also obtain a letter from their family doctor detailing their condition. The letter can then be shown to doctors abroad if emergency treat­ment becomes necessary. People with surgically implanted devices are also advised to carry a doctor’s certificate to show security officials. Artificial hip replacements often set off metal detection security alarms at airports.

People with cardiac pacemakers are unlikely to run into problems due to electrical interference from British or North American airport metal de­tectors, but should try to avoid going through them and arrange instead for a personal body check by security officials.

Individuals with specific chronic health problems such as epilepsy, diabetes or long term steroid treatment, should obtain a ‘Medic-alert’ bracelet or similar, which is more easily located in a medical emergency than a card carried in a pocket.

Some countries will not allow any known HIV-positive individual to enter the country despite advice from the World Health Organisation that such regulations are ineffec­tive as a means of controlling the spread of HIV infection. HIV-positive travellers should consult their medical specialist and local support groups about specific travel insurance problems and the advisability of travel.

Dental health is often taken for granted by British citizens who get a rude shock when faced with bills for dental work overseas. Those embarking on prolonged travel or work abroad, or planning to visit very cold areas, should have a full preventative dental check up before leaving. Spare spectacles, contact lenses and contact lens solutions should also be obtained before travelling. If you are planning a vigorous holiday or expedition, such as skiing, hill-walking, or trekking, it might be a good idea to begin an appropriate fitness regime before you leave.

Accrual Accounting Vs Cash Accounting for Small Medical and Dental Practices

Accounting is a process to identify, measure, and communicate the business economic information in a financial record for decision making and tax returns purposes. Accrual Accounting and Cash Accounting are two commonly used methods. A small business, which renders service and generated revenue of less than 5 million annually, will meet the IRS qualification that allows the small business owner to elect either one of the two accounting methods.

There are many excellent online articles written by CPAs on the advantages and disadvantages of either accounting method. I noted some CPAs were advocating the Accrual Accounting as being superior from the accounting standpoint. As a sole proprietorship owner of a dental practice for many years, I see Cash Accounting should be the choice of accounting for the small medical/dental practice and other service type businesses.

(1) Cash Accounting is simple and intuitive. Nowadays, a simple bookkeeping software program can track all business transactions without the need of a bookkeeper. One only needs to record all daily transactions such as receipts (income) and written checks (expense). The program can display monthly balance sheet and streamline the tax preparation process at the year-end by exporting data to a tax preparation software.

(2) Accrual Accounting is a high maintenance system, which means a higher business expense for professional accounting service. Accrual Accounting has both Account Receivable and Account Payable entries, which have to be meticulously reconciled periodically to reflect the actually financial events. And those two numbers have to be monitored constantly by the business owner.

(3) In a medical or dental practice that accepts popular insurances, Account Receivable receipts are from both individual patients or insurance companies. I have learned that patients who do not take care their bills within first 30 days of billing are likely to be delinquent. Health insurance companies sometimes dragging their feet for more documentation, but they will pay those claims under lower contacted benefits in two or three months. Therefore, the practice books a fantastic revenue in Accrual Accounting will have a false sense of great revenue numbers, but is subjected to massive write off of the Account Receivable later due to the reality of the low patients collection and insurance company low reimbursement rates.

I am a strong believer of KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) principle. It is not surprising that most small businesses have elected Cash Accounting as their choice. However, Cash Accounting has the drawback of unable foreseeing future income and expense cash flows. Knowing his unique business situation, one should seek professional advice on the best option for the accounting method.

A Brief History of Medical and Dental Scrubs

The use of a special medical uniform for surgical and other procedures was not normal practice until the early part of the twentieth century. Surgical procedures often took place in large amphitheatres where medical students could observe the operations being carried out by the physicians. In most cases the surgeons wore everyday street clothing during the procedure, except sometimes the surgeons donned butchers’ aprons to protect their clothes. In those days the importance of sterility was not recognized, so instruments and supplies were not commonly sterilized. The sutures used for closing wounds were usually just gut string sewn with a normal sewing needle which was reused over and over. Even the gauze employed to cover the wound was often nothing more than remnants taken from cotton mill floors.

The sea change in medical dress came after the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 in which twenty million people died; together with the rise of Lister’s theory of antisepsis. The beginning of special medical dress was surgeons and other medical personnel wearing masks, which was done more to protect the physician from the patient’s illness rather than to protect the patient. At this time too heavy rubber gloves began to be used by medical staffers to protect themselves from harsh chemicals used in cleaning the medical environment. By the nineteen forties, with the awareness of how wounds can become infected and of the need to have a sanitary environment in the operating room, medical staff professionals began wearing white uniforms during surgery and routinely in their daily rounds.

The first medical scrubs in wide use were white drapes or gowns which covered the surgeon and medical assistants during operations. The white colored fabrics used in these scrubs symbolized cleanliness. However, it was soon found that white clothing worn against a background of white sheets and a white surgical environment often caused eyestrain. It was in the nineteen fifties and sixties that medical and dental scrubs, usually of a green or blue color which is more restful to the eyes and also doesn’t show bloodstains as readily, came into widespread use. Soon designers of medical apparel began experimenting with different colors and styles of scrubs, and by the nineteen eighties it was possible for medical professionals to select from a wide array of colors and fashionable designs. Today’s medical scrubs range from cheap nursing scrubs to elegantly designed coordinated outfits suitable for street wear; and from short sleeved, V neck shirts with drawstring pants to formal jackets and gowns. Fabrics used for medical scrubs come in a wide range of solid colors, and feature bright prints (which are popular among medical professionals who work with children). Durable fabrics, which are easy to clean, are among the most popular.