Unintended Consequences of DMEPOS Competitive Bidding

Medicare’s DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program has been in the public eye before its implementation in January 1, 2011 with lots of clamor on its possible negative impact on the Medicare population. DMEPOS or durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies include wheelchairs, oxygen concentrators, pacemakers, hospital beds, prosthetic limbs and other medical equipment intended for typical elderly and/or disabled.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment give emphasis on price competition among suppliers and providers. The innovation made on DMEPOS competitive bidding program greatly affects vulnerable medical beneficiaries of Medicare specifically on their freedom of choice, access and avail quality DME supplies. During the testing phase of the competitive bidding program, major problems were encountered by patients and beneficiaries that include additional costs to Medicare for numerous emergency room visits and longer hospital confinement, unfamiliar DME providers, and inaccessibility to vital equipment and services.

The CMS Medicare program will also take its toll on the marketplace with DME suppliers and providers engage in cutthroat economic competition to get their bid approved. Reduction in the cost of durable medical supplies will lead to inferior product quality and service for Medicare beneficiaries. Most DME bidders will resort to “predatory” and “suicide” bidding that result to unrealistically low bid prices. Small players in the bidding market such as Dallas medical supplies companies will have a hard time competing with large firms. The DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program could take out most trusted and preferred DME suppliers of Medicare beneficiaries.

Various Home Medical Equipment (HME) organizations and advocacy groups are lobbying for the repeal of the competitive bidding program from influential members of the House of Representative. Certain bills for its repeal or modification are already sponsored for deliberation in the US Congress. Toll-free numbers are set up by HME groups for queries, feedbacks and updates of the program. The competitive bidding will affect nine major metropolitan areas of Charlotte, N.C.; Cleveleand, Dallas-Fort Worth, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Orlando, Miami, Pittsburgh and Riverside, CA. The unintended consequences of DMEPOS Competitive Bidding have yet to come and change the culture of the United States Medicare program.

The Strategic Use of Information Technology

TEACHER: Hello, Student. What do you know about Information Technology (IT)?

STUDENT: Well, I know that most software is full of “bugs”! By the way, why are these errors in programs called “bugs”?

TEACHER: Computer “bugs” have been around since malfunctions in a 1945 Mark II were blamed (facetiously) on a moth trapped in a relay. Nowadays the term refers to programming flaws -commands that don’t accomplish the desired result. But I am sure you must know more about IT than the fact that programs have bugs!

STUDENT: Recently I read an interesting article written by John Diebold years ago. Allow me to quote from it:

“Information technology . . . is becoming increasingly the key to national economic well being, affecting virtually every industry and service. One would be hard-pressed to name a business that does not depend on the effective use of information: to design products and services, to track and respond to market demands, or to make well-informed decisions. Information technology will change the world more permanently and more profoundly than any technology so far seen in the history and will bring about a transformation of civilization to match.”

TEACHER: Interesting. There is no doubt that information technology is currently a major force with the potential to affect a range of organizations in fundamental ways.

The impact of information technology on business operations has been enormous and will increase substantially.

There is no doubt that a shift from an industrial economy to an information oriented service economy is under way; and no one knows when the process will slow down.

In essence, scale and the conventional dimensions of time, space, and mass will no longer be constraints on the products of the information age. Unlike the standardized product created for the mass market of the industrial age, the electronic delivery of banking services, for example, is scale-independent and intangible, provides instantaneous service, and is not bound by the physical location of the bank.

STUDENT: AmbaiU’s online courses are a good example! Students from all over the world can instantly access the courseware. The dramatic growth of the Internet’s WWW service has Uncategorizedly been an important factor in the growth of IT in general.

TEACHER: True indeed. Environmental trends like globalization and heightened international competition are speeding the movement toward increased IT use by corporations. The exigencies of worldwide coordination of operations and the need to react rapidly to global competitive threats have emphasized the importance of IT in the current business context. Dramatic technological developments in hardware, software, databases, and telecommunications have simultaneously pushed the utilization of IT further along.

STUDENT: So, is the sky the limit for IT?

TEACHER: Not exactly. At the same time, several factors are militating against the rapid deployment of IT. Among these are the still-slow development of appropriate software, long-standing difficulties in quantifying IT benefits (for justifying IT investment), issues of database integration, and the lack of standards (for the purposes of inter-organizational connectivity).

STUDENT: I also think that there was “over-investment” in IT in the last decade of the 20th. century and even at the beginning of the 21st. And what about IT and Strategic Management?

TEACHER. True, we are primarily concerned with the likely impact of information technologies on the practice of strategic management. The reason for adopting such a perspective reflects a fundamental belief that information technologies can potentially influence the core of a firms activities: Choices pertaining to products, markets, and technologies (the corporate strategy level), as well as competitive methods within each of the product-market segments (the business strategy level).

STUDENT: I assume this is why the role of information technology is becoming broader than that of the traditional Information Systems (IS) function, and is becoming a general management concern and challenge.

TEACHER: Good observation. We will consider three linkages that interconnect three important concepts -strategic management (SM), information technology (IT), and the management information systems (IS) function.

* Link 1: Management Information Systems with Information Technology

According to the traditional view, IS is a service function (just as accounting, human resources, or industrial relations) which is charged with the task of efficient data processing and administration of the management reporting and control systems. According to such views, systems are designed to cater to the informational requirements of different managerial roles and are identified using standard informational requirements assessment methodologies. In consequence, systems are evaluated using criteria such as timeliness, format quality, and reliability, reflecting the technical capability of the system. The implication is that the role of IT was conceived largely as the technical core of the MIS function.

Consequently, the important characteristics of this linkage were hardware and software support for the information architecture, and flexibility of design to support minor modifications in the information requirements or to respond to the fast-changing technical core of the system’s hardware.

The strategic planning level, by virtue of its unstructured nature of decision making, received minimal support from the traditional conceptualizations and role definitions of IS.

Link 2: Strategic Management with Information Systems

The description of Link 1 reflects a view that the charter of the IS function was derived directly from the informational resource assessment and had no explicit linkages with strategic choices at the corporate and business levels. This view was representative of the actual situation until the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the need to tailor the design of MIS to the requirements of the organizational strategic context gained currency. In 1968, McKinsey & Co. published a report titled Unlocking the Computer’s Profit Potential that called for a formal link between the design and implementation of MIS and the firms strategies and objectives. This publication urged managers to visualize the role of computers in business organizations as something beyond a data processing resource at the operational level of the organization and more as a mechanism that supports their strategy.

STUDENT: Even before that McKinsey report, William King proposed that the “IS-strategy set (composed of IS objectives, IS constraints, and IS design strategies) should be derived from the “organization’s strategy set” (composed of organizational mission, objectives, and strategies).

TEACHER: You are a well read student, indeed!

STUDENT: You might remember that I come from an “IT family.” And I keep hearing a complaint from my IT relatives: while there is concern within the MIS discipline to ensure that MIS is designed in accordance with the strategic contexts of the firm, the link in the other direction, from the corporate strategic context to MIS, is still largely ignored.

TEACHER: True, but this is changing rapidly. Also, several authors have called attention to the possibility of exploiting information and information systems for strategic advantages. As William King noted in an editorial comment in the Management Information Systems Quarterly,— Information (and IS) has the potential to be a primary source of (competitive) advantage in the marketplace rather than merely as a resource to be efficiently managed or a service that is periodically turned on and off as needed.

STUDENT: Can we then assume that many see the link between strategic management and IS today as a bi-directional, mutually interconnected link, implying a strategic role for the IS function?

TEACHER: Certainly, and it was about time. In a transition towar
d a strategic role, the goals and tasks of the management information systems function undergo an important transformation. The systems are no longer viewed in terms of informational support for operational decisions, but rather in terms of the realization of the organization’s strategic objectives, especially the achievement of competitive superiority in the marketplace.

Information systems with a charter to achieve competitive superiority are called “strategic information systems” and differentiated from the more operationally focused MIS. Indeed, MIS has been traditionally concerned with the operational control systems for relatively structured decisions based on readily available, internal data. In contrast, strategic information systems are designed to support relatively unstructured decisions, especially those that are intricately tied to the activities of the market-place.

STUDENT: I hear that usually such decisions require a combination of internal and external data that: are neither well structured nor completely specified.

TEACHER: Exactly. Although a perfect demarcation between management information systems and strategic information systems cannot always be made, the conceptual distinction is important enough to be recognized just as the conceptual distinction between strategic and operational decisions.

Let me mention some examples of strategic information systems operating at real companies:

American Airlines : SABRE reservation System -installed in most travel agents for booking airline, hotel, and rental car reservations.

American Hospital Supply Co.: ASAP-order entry system-installed in over 4500 medical establishments to order supplies on-line. The system is internally interconnected to several supporting systems

Citicorp Extensive use of automated teller machines and global transaction network. Several systems that support their strategies for electronic banking services.

McKesson Corp. Economost -order entry system that supports customers with inventory control and analysis of sales.

United Airlines APOLLO-Travel agency reservation system with several augmented services installed in about 7700 agencies.

Student, can you think of specific strategic objectives any of these companies have achieved through IS?

STUDENT: Well, I am sure that SABRE provides American Airlines with critical operating data that can be used for strategic decisions; travel agents hooked on to SABRE are likely to book on American more than other airlines.

TEACHER: Yes, some much so that the US government has stepped in and put some limit’s on SABRE’s propensity to favor AA!

Strategic information systems achieve their objectives through several mechanisms, but two deserve special attention. These are: (1) the reconfiguration of the information flows within an organization to provide competitive advantages relative to competition, and/or (2) development of inter-organizational systems that extend beyond the traditional boundaries of a single focal organization.

STUDENT: Are these modes are mutually exclusive?

TEACHER: No, but we will discuss them independently.

Reconfiguration of Information Flows

Let us consider the case of an airline that uses timely data to increase its load factor -perhaps the single most critical factor for achieving success in the airline industry. By developing a strategic information system designed not only to continually collect data on flight bookings, but also to compare current sales against historical patterns, the airline can instruct its own ticketing agents (as well as travel agents) to modify the number of discount seats available on a particular flight depending on the current level of advance bookings.

STUDENT: By the same token, I guess that similar benefits can accrue to a hotel, where a key determinant of competitive performance is the occupancy ratio.

TEACHER: Correct. And the basic notion of timeliness of information can be extended from the context of the service sector to the manufacturing sector. Consider the case of an oil company which is able to communicate with its dealers directly and instantaneously as oil prices change to ensure minimum delay between the setting of prices in the headquarters and its realization at retail outlets.

STUDENT: But in these illustrations IT does not influence the fundamental strategic business choices.

TEACHER. Correct. However, the implementation of such decisions through organizational hierarchy and channels is facilitated through the use of IT, leading to improved strategic results.

Inter-organizational Systems Inter-organizational IT applications highlight the potential to achieve competitive success that extends beyond intra-organizational informational flows to the deploying and exploiting of information-based links with diverse actors in the marketplace.

STUDENT: Your are using rather complicated phrases today! In simple terms, what you mean is that an inter-organizational strategic information system is a system that extends beyond the boundaries of a single focal organization to link multiple organizations.

TEACHER: Glad to see that you understood! The potential todevelop such links (and the consequent benefits to achieve competitive advantage) is perhaps the single most important reason for the, increased attention to informational systems from a strategic management point of view.

The railroad industry, which has one of the highest levels of “penetration” of electronic data interchange (EDI) among all industries, displays several levels of inter-organizational systems use. And relatively new industries such as couriers (FedEx, UPS, etc.) are good examples too.

Let me also mention the McKesson Drug Company. The case of McKesson is frequently quoted as one of the most successful examples of business transformation using information technology capabilities. McKesson is a US national pharmaceutical distributor that receives close to 100 percent of its orders electronically from drugstores through its Economost systems. A customer orders by making a single pass through the store with a hand-held order entry device, keying in a product identifier or using a bar code scanner. Reorder quantities are indicated on shelf tags. When the complete order has been entered, it is transmitted to the data processing service.

McKesson clearly achieved operational efficiency benefits to improve its profitability. Although the company apparently did not gain share relative to its major distributor competition, it achieved significant strategic benefits in sales and market share gains relative to its larger competition. The system also achieved “increased tying of the customer to McKesson” which is a substantial strategic advantage. Moreover, McKesson offers a number of other services based on the data it obtains from the order entry system.

The company also provides other firms in the health care business with specialized strategic systems. The following announcement is a good example:

In May 2003, McKesson Corporation announced that LibertyHealth in Jersey City, N.J., signed an eight-year, $47 million agreement for products and services designed to transform the use of clinical information to support patient care in its three-hospital system. LibertyHealth contracted for McKesson’s Horizon Clinicals(TM) suite (of programs) to enhance patient safety, reduce medication errors and increase patient referrals by providing physicians and other caregivers with better access to information.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reinvent the use of IT to support patient care and enhance quality as we open our new hospital,” said Dr. Jonathan Metsch, LibertyHealth’s president and chief executive officer. “To create the best environment of care, it’s a given that we must provide the latest medical equipment. But, just as importantly, we must provide the most advanced clinical IT solutions to support our 900 doctors and nurses as they provide healthcare for this community of 600,000 people. That’s why we’ve
partnered with McKesson — we get superb, advanced clinical applications.”

Link 3: Strategic Management with Information Technology

Over the last years, several new and powerful forces in the technological and market environment compel one to recognize the link between strategic management and information technology in terms of the fundamental role played by IT in influencing the formulation of a firm’s strategy rather than merely supporting its implementation.

The potential for innovative modes of competing as well as new products and services made possible through IT provides managers with an entirely different spectrum of opportunities and threats. Given the general explosion of computing power and communications capabilities (integrated voice and data, the Internet), several new business applications can be (and have been) developed in those areas that directly enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the market-place.

Example: Merrill Lynch Merrill Lynch’s strategy demonstrates the potential offered by information technologies to develop superior substitute products (or services) as well as altering the definition and domain of business operations. The introduction of Cash Management Account (CMA) by Merrill Lynch represented a revolution in terms of redefining the concept of financial services in a marketplace that was dominated by the traditional banking institutions. The new business concept was built around integrating diverse financial instruments under one common umbrella such that the individual investor is able to enjoy the convenience of moving money across them as well as benefit from the “float” that the banks traditionally enjoyed. This account permitted the integration of four basic services to investors: (1) automatic investment of cash and dividends in a money market account, (2) credit through a standard margin account, (3) cash withdrawal by check or debit card, and (4) investment advice in managing and diversifying the account.

The strategy could not be implemented without the use of information technology, for it requires daily swaps across different accounts to post the credit card charges, checks, securities, and deposits, as well as to develop a daily updated credit limit for each account holder. This complex data processing operation is not incidental to the business concept but is fundamental to its conceptualization and operation. The importance of IT in this strategy is perhaps best emphasized by the fact that Merrill Lynch obtained a patent for the cash management account system. The annual fees generated by this product for Merrill Lynch were quite substantial.

Although several variations (circurnventing the patent protection) of this basic concept have appeared in recent years, none has so far matched the success of Merrill Lynch’s product.

Other firms which have utilized IT to break down traditional industry borders in the services sector include Sears, now an integrated financial services provider; Citicorp, now an investment and realty firm as well as a bank; and American Express, always strong in the travel business, now making a play in international banking, insurance, and securities, in addition, to becoming a financial and information supermarket. Indeed, the entire industry is being transformed due to parallel but related forces: deregulation and technology.

Fashion Shopping For Tall Ladies

Shopping for a tall lady, 5’9″ and up, is a difficult task. You have to consider the inseam on slacks and jeans, the length of sleeves and where the waistline falls. Being 5’10”, I am notorious for taking the hem out of pants.

Places NOT to shop:

When shopping for pants that cater to taller women, you want to stray away from Bebe, Victoria Secret, Metro Style, Macys,Dillards, and Banana Republic. Trust me. I have tried slacks from ALL of the stores above and none of them quite seem long enough. Every now and again Bebe, which caters to petites, will carry a pair of slacks with an inseam greater than 33 inches.

Where TO shop:

When shopping for slacks and you are tall. The internet is your friend. While the selection of tall slacks in stores such as Banana Republic and Ann Taylor may be limited, these stores offer longer inseams when shopping online. J Crew is another store that offers a great tall selection online. If you would like to walk into a store for slacks, The Gap, Express and New York and Company carry longer lengths in slacks.

Denim

When shopping for denim jeans for tall ladies, the same stores listed above will work. However, if you are into designer denim, you would want to learn which brands cater to tall ladies. Rock and Republic and Seven of all Mankind have longer inseams. When shopping for denim for someone 5’9″ or over, you would want to look for a 34 inch inseam. Designer denim brands like True Religion and Citizens of Humanity, cater to shorter ladies.

Internet Marketing and SEO Information

8 Seconds Rule for Business Website

Your website has approximately eight seconds to capture the attention of a prospective customer, before they head off to another website. If a connection is not made between your prospective customers and your Singapore SEO website in a very short time frame, you will lose them.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is critical to the SEO process. The purpose of keyword research is to find out as many keywords that are relevant to your website. So, when customers search on Google and other search engines they can easily find your website.

Professional Quality Link Building

Link building must be done slowly. You must build links with a mix of good high PR and low PR links from different websites, mostly relevant to your site. If you build links too quickly, your website can be penalized by Google.

The higher your link building speed is, the more serious penalty (pagerank drop) your website may get. When Google see a large amount of links come in one month and nothing the next this can look suspicious, and you will not rank on Google, yahoo and MSN’s Bing.com

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is a key factor of any successful website. The internet has become the primary resource for gaining advanced information, services and products. All internet users search the product information from Google. SEO and optimized social media content makes it easier for customers to find product/service information online when they’re doing the research that will help them.

Almost 85% of visitors come from Search engine result pages. Some people search for your company name and your services & products. Hire a SEO Consultant is your best option for your company if you want to increase your sales.

SEO Tips

1. First, one of the most important tips for search engine optimization is to get inbound links. It is for this reason that the more inbound links will have another popular site for your Web site, the more it becomes for you to get better ranking in search engines. For this reason, you should try to get as many of these as possible. Lends credibility to your site and help you improve your ranking in search engines.

2. Social bookmarking is another very important aspect of SEO. It is easier for visitors to bookmark your pages. Not only that, but it also allows you to submit your site to social bookmarking sites and, in turn, gives an additional benefit.

3. In addition, article directory submissions should be used for effective SEO. It also helps to build back links and is considered one of the best Internet marketing tools. By submitting articles to these directories, you can reach the wider audience that can be directed to your site after reading your article.

4. In addition to these, the presentations of the website are also very useful for link building. Since there are countless web directories, so your presence ensures your online presence the best possible way. You only need to pay a small sum although there are many free websites.

5. Site maps are also an important part of SEO. In a nutshell, is basically, you can inform search engines of different pages on your website. Consequently, it helps search engines to rank your page better and more effective.

Get Around in Comfort With Car Rental in Gold Coast

Gold Coast is one of the most famous tourist places in Australia, as well as around the world. This magnificent coastal city is located in the southeast corner of Queensland, Australia. The major draw for tourists in Australia is its sunny subtropical climate, providing loads of sunshine all year round. The pleasant weather of Gold Coast is a major contributor in making it a favorite tourist destination. The best way to travel across this marvelous city is getting car rental Gold Coast.

Although, this destination has everything that makes for a perfect holiday spot, but it is well revered for its sparkling surfing beaches, interesting waterways and canal systems, a skyline dominated by high-rise buildings, pristine rainforest hinterland in the west of the city, dazzling nightlife, and other tourist attractions. With so much to do, seeking a Gold Coast car hire is a great option.

With over 57 kilometers of coastline, australia boasts of some of the most popular surf breaks in Australia and the world including, South Stradbroke Island, The Spit, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, Nobby Beach, Miami, Burleigh Beach, Burleigh Heads, Tallebudgera Beach, Palm Beach, Currumbin Beach, Tugun, Bilinga, Kirra, Coolangatta, Greenmount, Rainbow Bay, Snapper Rocks and Froggies Beach. If waves aren’t your thing, you can find some of the most beautiful still water options in Australia including our stunning Broadwater and inland rock pools. Moreover, you can easily find car hire at Gold Coast airport to travel around.

As the name suggests, Surfers Paradise is a fascinating place for surfers as well as beachgoers. Considered as the suburb of Gold Coast, this place is true to its name with clear waters, clean sands, sparkling surfs and plentiful of activities to do. Surfers Paradise is flocked by sports lovers and adventure seekers as it provides outstanding facilities for surfing, paragliding, beach volleyball, bungee jumping, golf and other water sports. Apart from that, its closeness to high rises, nightclubs, restaurants and shopping complexes are major draw cards for tourists. With so much to do, you can avail Australia cheap car hire facilities to make the most of your holidays.

With millions of tourists, visiting the city all year around, car rental in Australia is a serious business. If you are traveling during the peak season, then it is recommended that you book a car well in advance. There are many reputed companies offering car hire from Gold Coast airport, so that you can get around in comfort at incredible prices.

Non Invasive Laser Lipo Compared To Traditional Surgery

The UK has one of the highest obesity rates in all of Europe. Often being referred to as the sick man of Europe. Of course, obesity has a large number of knock on health issues and that is one reason why people are turning to “the knife” as a way of shedding excess fat. Recently published figures show that doctors are performing in excess of half a million procedures a year to combat this growing problem. Indeed, ever more people are turning to “Lipo” as it is known, as the silver bullet fix. A recent development in the form of Non invasive laser lipo, or “Lipolysis” promises instant and measurable results, without pain or downtime. Much has been reported in the press and so far, the results are remarkable.

Traditional Liposuction can be quite brutal, and there are many videos on YouTube showing just how invasive and physical this type of treatment is. It involves inserting a vacuum tube under the skin and literally sucking out the excess fat. The end results are less fat, but can also results is saggy skin, lots of bruising, infection, pain and a lot of rest. This type of treatment can only be given by medically qualified people, meaning it is often expensive and out of the realms of treatments that a beauty salon could offer.

Recently we have seen a newer treatment on offer, that being Laser Liposuction which is still invasive and involves a wand with a laser emitter being drawn under the skin and effectively, the laser dissolves the fat. This is not quite so brutal as traditional lipo, but it still has a number of evident drawbacks. Equipment is hugely expensive, and again you need to be medically qualified to give the treatment, so again, not something a beauty salon owner could normally offer.

Step into the breach Non invasive laser lipo, the next generation of fat reducing technologies that has significant advantages over the aforementioned methods. Before we look at how it works, here are some benefits.

1. Being Non invasive it is gentle, pain free and does not risk infection.
2. Anybody can safely ( with training) operate the equipment.
3. The treatment is 20-40 minutes per session, there is no down time and the client can resume their activities immediately.
4. Machines cost less, therefore treatments cost less and this opens up a whole new marketplace.
5. The results are instant and measurable, meaning salon owners can expect repeat and referral business.

Non invasive laser lipo is simple in terms of how it works. Basically laser diodes emit light at a certain frequency that stimulates the fat cells and they lose their cohesion. The fat leaks out and is passed out of the body via the lymphatic system. A course of 8 treatments can easily see a huge reduction in hard to shift fatty areas. The therapist simply attached special pads to the area to be treated and leaves the machine to do it’s job.

Of course, the main things is that there has never been a fatality with the non invasive procedure, and whilst recorded deaths from the traditional methods have dropped recently, there is still a present risk that is simply not worth taking.

Non invasive laser lipo is far safer, costs less and offers results, so it is clear that this is a far superior treatment method. Talk to us about the best machine on the market, Lumislim and we will show you why.

Star Wars Halloween Costumes – Top 3 Picks For This Season

The Star Wars Movie is a worldwide phenomenon, and has spawned a huge magnitude of Star Wars fans and followers from people of all ages. George Lucas’ first Star Wars movie begun in the 1970s, and is one of epic proportions. Sequels and then prequels followed up after it first appeared on the big screen. The movie was such a big hit that it resulted in a popular trend for fashion, toys and other merchandise. It also became fashionable to dress up in Star Wars Halloween costumes.

Here are the best and all-time favorite picks.

Anakin Skywalker

Anakin Skywalker is the character before the villainous Darth Vader was born. He is the main and popular character in the prequels to the Star Wars trilogy. Young Anakin assumed the good person and as the trilogy unfolded, his transformation was gradually revealed. He had a tragic fall to the dark side. He became the all-evil alter ego Darth Vader.

Anakin Skywalker is one of the most popular choices when it comes to Halloween Costumes because of its receptivity among kids, teens and adults. Wearing an Anakin Skywalker costume this Halloween will get you noticed wherever you go. Whether it be attending an office Halloween party or getting a nice get-up for your kid, buying Anakin Skywalker costumes make for a really great idea.

Most kids, teens and young children would be happy if their parents bought them Anakin Skywalker costumes. Not only will it be a head turner, it will be a knockout if you are wearing this costume. Anakin is a character every child has come to know and love. A basic Anakin Skywalker costume comprises of a brown shirt, a pair of brown pants, and boots. It can either have a real or printed belt. To add to the realism of the Anakin costume, you may purchase Anakin Skywalker’s light saber, which is essentially a sword typically offered as a separate accessory. Kids would really want to be Anakin and the light saber is the perfect accessory that will go along with this great Halloween costume.

Darth Vader

Visit any costume party and it is almost certain that you will see others wearing the Darth Vader costume. With Halloween just around the corner, a Darth Vader Halloween costume makes the perfect disguise for your upcoming party. Regardless of your age, you can find suitable-sized Star Wars Darth Vader costumes that will fit you and your buddies or family members. These outfits reproduce the true look of your notorious character, and gets everyone noticing you. Kids would really appreciate if they can wear a Darth Vader child costume to go for a night out of trick or treat. Apart from children, adults too can enjoy Halloween, sporting high-end costumes like the Darth Vader Supreme Edition Costume that look so real that you appear to be the actual character from the Star Wars series.

A typical Star Wars Darth Vader costume comes with a suit, boot tops and an attached cape. Shin protectors, a belt and the chest plate also come with the package. A molded mask is included with some Darth Vader costumes package. Complete the Darth Vader look by carrying a lightsaber sword.

Clone Trooper

Joining the popularity ranks is the clone trooper Star Wars character. The clone trooper costume makes an excellent option when wearing it at your Halloween parties or any other special Halloween event your workplace organizes. The adult clone trooper costumes are designed with such great care and detail that they are enjoyable to wear. As I know it, the basic costume includes a printed jumpsuit with Velcro straps, a clone trooper mask and shoe covers. As with all Star Wars costumes, there is a full range of costume sizes available so that you can select the one with the best possible fit.

There you have it, my top choices in the collection of Star War Halloween costumes for your Star Wars character. I hope you will have a great time this Halloween.

Opiate Addiction and Types of Treatment Provided

Suboxone has produced the least amount of acclaim for drug addiction treatment, yet it is the one drug that is widely dispensed by physicians.

If you are taking a prescription drug right now, chances are you are taking it incorrectly. Misuse is a major health problem in the United States. The U.S. Government estimates approximately 11 Million Americans are dependent on drugs, but there are more addicts than drug centers. A large percentage of addicts seeking help face long waiting lists and thus become hesitant to start a program once their name surfaces to the top of the list. Almost 70 percent of people face a waiting list for longer than thirty days.

Those dependent on prescription drugs have a mind-set that is different from what addiction-free individuals believe. Addicts are resistant to letting go of their drugs. They typically justify their drug use because for many, they have gotten the drugs legitimately, from their doctor. Some addicts do not realize they are prone to addiction, and they can become hooked on a legal drug. Equally unfortunate is the addict who finally realizes they require help, and then seek help only to be placed on a waiting list. In the end, far too many addicts go untreated. It would seem the odds are against addiction treatment, but Suboxone relieves this problem since the guidelines to prescribe the drug is more relaxed and offer greater flexibility.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone contains two active substances, buprenorphine and naloxone, both used to treat dependence on opioid drugs. The cost of treatment depends on the dose used and the frequency of services. This cost is higher than that of methadone treatment when the two drugs are served daily; however, there is greater flexibility in prescribing Suboxone.

How Does Suboxone Work?

Suboxone binds to opioid receptors, and thus produces welcoming effects of euphoria, and a secure comforting feeling, although at much lower levels than those addicts would of total opioid agonists such as methadone. The effects of these agonists are sufficient to allow addicts to stop the misuse of opiates, without encountering withdrawal symptoms.

The Benefits of Suboxone

· Less risk of respiratory problems
· Lower risk of overdose
· The withdrawal symptoms are less profound than when using methadone to combat addiction
· Euphoric symptoms occur less

Adverse Effects of Suboxone

The side effects of Suboxone mainly occur when too much of the drug is taken. The symptoms are similar to the side effects of opiates:

· Headache
· Sick
· Constipation (delayed bowel function)
· Poor sleep
· Sleepy
· Drowsiness
· Dizzy
· Sweaty
· Breathing difficulties (always contact a doctor)
· Dry mouth (brushing your teeth regularly and extra good care of your teeth)
· Slight pain is felt with less risk of causing more inflammation or untreated injuries
· Psychological problems (hallucinations, nightmares, depression) treatment should be coordinated with psychologist
· Itchy rash (contact your physician in connection with possible allergic reaction)
· Sleep apnea (consult a physician)
· Difficult to urinate (call a physician)

Every drug has an adverse effect, yet the result of using Suboxone is positive.

8 of the Most Popular US Jobs in Today's Marketplace

Career advancement begins from the moment you choose a particular college degree. If you haven’t at this point concluded on one, below are eight very appealing occupations you can consider within the U.S.

1. Software Programming Engineers

The software engineering industry is anticipated to increase by about 50 percent within the coming decade. Computer software engineers fundamentally create new computer software packages employing several applications. People in this discipline evaluate client desires and come up with computer products and programs having a variety of programming languages.

2. Surgical Technicians

Because this professional avenue calls for the shortest degree of medical training, it is regarded as a fast track in the field of health and fitness. These associate health professionals, also known as surgical technologists, assist in medical operations under the direct guidance of a physician or registered nurse.

3. Marketing and Advertising Managers

If you possess the creative imagination and motivation to assist a company with the success of their product sales, you may well be a positive fit. Nearly all corporations that offer merchandise or services have to advertise. Advertising managers must be well-equipped with a strong educational background in advertising and business. You’ll need a diploma in marketing or advertising, communication or public relations.

4. Pilots

A profession as an airplane pilot could certainly be quite rewarding. Besides the high earnings, this particular field offers an infrequent chance of flying all around the earth. This field is competitive, provides superior compensation, and requires high skills. A candidate should receive thorough training in aviation and also have the capability to operate complex equipment using calm accuracy.

5. Game Developers

This occupation is a more recent specialty area which has vastly increased throughout the years. Because millions of people prefer to have fun with games on their mobile phones, PSPs, and laptop computers, this blossoming industry needs top specialists to create unique games and support the activity demand of game enthusiasts. Creativity and programming innovation are required here.

6. Accountants

Accountants and auditors are essential in just about every commercial enterprise to ensure the economical firmness and openness of the business operations. If a business person is eager to help improve the corporation, the financial resources must be properly cared for. To become an accountant, an individual should have a college accountancy diploma and be appropriately licensed.

7. Dental Practitioners

Dentists are among the most in-demand medical practitioners. They fairly frequently carry out surgical treatments but can also care for numerous conditions using the assistance of prescription medications. The specializations in the field of dentistry encompass oral surgical treatment, endodontics, periodontics, and public health dentistry, amid others.

8. Mental Health Counselors

Mental health counselors assist people to treat emotional disorders making use of a variety of therapies. To fill a position, a Master’s degree is generally needed in order to be accredited as a counselor; a graduate research program is also a plus factor.

Get Ready Now: Tips For A Stress Free Holiday Season!

Planning

1.) Write — Sit down at the table with a blank notebook and do what I call a Time Out where you write down everything associated with your holiday traditions. Write all of the tasks, to-do’s and commitments you can think of and include things you are responsible for as well as what you take part in. Do you always travel? Are you hosting meals and house-guests? Do you set up or participate in a gift exchange? Annual parties and events? People you always buy gifts for?

2.) Sort & Prioritize– Take your Time Out and sort it into a task list, an events list and a gift list. Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is an event, meal planning, grocery shopping and delegating who brings what, are tasks. Shopping for gifts goes on the task list, what you buy for whom goes on the gift list. You may choose to create more lists to further breakdown tasks or events that you are in charge of. In addition to the gifts your family exchanges, the gift list should include: hostess gifts, teacher gifts, holiday tipping, office gifts, Secret Santa and the like. Having these lists will help you prioritize and you should make a note of the must-do, non-negotiables (visiting grandma) and the things you might be able to skip to save your sanity (decorating 12 dozen cookies by hand).

3.) Schedule — Assign the events and tasks to your calendar. Notate all the travel, arrivals and departures of guests, the annual food drive and neighborhood caroling. If you are unsure of dates, put a question mark next to them and add a note to your task list to call people to clarify. This part helps other people make decisions and put plans in motion. Mark time and dates ahead of events for tasks, chores and errands so nothing sneaks up on you. Feeling frantic feels terrible; being prepared feels great! Decide when you have time to bake, write cards and shop online and schedule those tasks too.

Act Now! Looking at your lists and calendar, what can you do now to save time, energy and stress later on? Here are some ideas:

1.) Cooking — Plan your meals, choose your recipes and make your lists.

• Do you make the same Thanksgiving dinner every year? Make your grocery list and start stocking up on the non-perishables. Place orders for the turkey, pies and linen rental. Mark your calendar with dates to call and confirm as well as the pick up or delivery dates. Delegate side dishes to your guests now and don’t be afraid to be specific!
• Plan your recipes for holiday cookies and appetizers for parties and make your grocery lists. Can you make dough or sauces ahead and freeze? Double a recipe and bring the same item to multiple parties. This saves time and money by streamlining effort and ingredients. People will only remember your contribution and the fabulous flavor!

2.) Traveling — Plan your trip.

• Book your airline tickets, car rental and hotel reservations now! Prices are only going to go up as the holidays near.
• Set up your transportation to and from the airport. Arrange home and pet care while you’re gone. Again, set up dates to confirm in your calendar.
• Make lists for what to pack and get all the cold weather gear out of storage, cleaned and ready to go.

3.) Guests coming to you — Get ready for your guests and help them get ready for their travel.

• Make sure their travel is booked. Do you need to arrange lodging or are they staying with you?
• Make sure your home is house-guest ready and check your linens, towels and spare toiletries. What items do you need to buy to make their stay more comfortable?
• Plan events, activities and transportation now, purchasing tickets and making reservations when necessary.

4.) Minimize future errands — Stock up now on items you always need. Remember, being prepared feels great!

• Make shopping lists from your tasks list for the holidays and the normal things you shop for. This step will save you trips to places like the drugstore.
• These items might include your everyday toiletries, paper goods, wrapping paper, cases of wine, water and other beverages.
• Create a space in the closet, garage or even under the bed for all these extras so your home doesn’t get overwhelmed.
• Make a note of what you bought and where you put it!

5.) Holiday cards, newsletters and photos — Start now! Having these time-consuming tasks out of the way will allow you to breathe easier.

• Make your list, purchase your supplies, including postage and put a bag or box together with everything you need including pens and your address book (if you still use one) so you can have it at the ready, but put it away when you’re done.

• Do a few at a time so the task isn’t overwhelming and they’re ready to send on the date you’ve chosen.

• If you order pre-printed cards, do that now too.

• Newsletters are fun to send and keep people updated on your goings on so make an outline of what you’d like to include and start writing!

• If your card includes or consists of a photo, choose one now or set up your photo session ASAP.

6.) Gifts — As an organizer, I love to give people consumables: food, beverages, gift cards and charitable donations. You can buy many of these now and they will save you so much time and energy. Feel free to personalize, but it’s a real time saver to streamline and give everyone, or group of people, the same thing.

• Give all the teachers gift certificates where they can treat themselves to an indulgence, like a pedicure, shopping or restaurants.
• Make charitable donations for hostess gifts — a few favorites are the Heifer Foundation and Charity Checks which allows people to choose where their donation goes.
• The office or neighborhood can pool together and instead of individual gift giving, Adopt A Family, volunteer at or make donations to a local charity or animal shelter.
• If you give monetary gifts to people such as your hairstylist or garbage collector, visit the bank as you can afford to, write the accompanying notes and store the envelopes in a safe place.

7.) Dressing Up — Plan your party outfits now so you’re not scrambling through the mall on the day of the event.

• Comb your (hopefully organized!) closet and find what fits, is occasion appropriate and what you can reinvent?
• If you need to shop, consider basics and/or separates that you can change up with accessories and can be worn year-round. Or maybe you only need a few sparkly accessories to spruce up your favorite frock.
• If you have children, make sure their clothes fit too and that everything is clean and ready to go.
• Taking family photos? Do you need or coordinate what you’re wearing? Plan and shop now.

8.) Decorating — Where are the ornaments? Do I still like everything I have? How is it stored?

• When you take out your decorations, use only what you love or what has meaning and part with the rest. Sometimes we continue to use the decorations we have, even if we no longer like them, out of habit or because you only look at it for 30 days or so.

• Before you put anything away, make sure you have proper storage to protect your treasured ornaments, wreaths and lights. Plastic bins keep the critters and dust out and everything organized inside. Check out The Container Store for their fabulous and helpful products. Don’t forget to label everything!

I hope these tips help you to plan and get ahead for the holidays so you can enjoy this wonderful time with your family and friends!