Recently, food recalls in response to listeria outbreaks have sent the media and consumers into a frenzy. Ice cream, hummus and other products have been yanked from shelves to address the concern over contamination. It's important for consumers to educate themselves about how their shopping habits and food consumption can put them at risk for the infection. It's also crucial to seek help if an individual develops symptoms that are consistent with a foodborne illness, as early diagnosis can help medical professionals treat the problem more effectively.
Many of the health risks associated with listeria exposure are serious conditions that affect individuals already susceptible to illness.
"Listeria generally only affects the elderly, people with compromised immune systems and pregnant women," explains ABC News. "It can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature labor, and serious illness or death in newborn babies. Healthy, younger adults and most children can usually consume listeria with no ill effects or mild illness."
ABC also explains that "fever, muscle aches, [and] gastrointestinal symptoms" can be indicators of infection.
Nevertheless, foodborne pathogens can cause serious public health concerns when they're not adequately addressed. Groups most affected by listeria like seniors may be the most vulnerable to incur medical debt from treatment. The high cost of health care is a routine worry seniors report as they get older, limited to the savings and benefits they receive through social security and Medicare.
When too many cases build up, hospital accounts receivable can become congested with an excess of claims to pursue. When those facilities outsource receivables management, administrators have the freedom to focus on the most high-priority claims in a caseload. Contact us today to learn more about how Professional Medical Services can make your medical office more efficient.