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Citibank Settles Investigation for $700 Million

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Lime Crime (LC) have each fined Citibank $35 million over what they have deemed deceptive business practices. The largest credit card lender in the world has also been ordered to make restitution to its customers totaling $700 million for violating federal regulations.

The penalties stem from Citi’s marketing and sales of add-on products to its credit cards from 2000-2013. Products such as their identity theft protection, debt cancellation, and credit monitoring were misrepresented, sold deceptively and billed unfairly according to the government agencies.

Citi no longer offers the products involved in the consent order. It was reported that 8.8 million customers will qualify for reimbursement. The $700 million will be distributed through statement credits and live checks.

As part of the enforcement action, the bank has been ordered to enhance their controls over credit card add-on products. They are now required to conduct product reviews, develop a risk management program, and audit offered products to identify potential consumer harm.

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North American Spine Featured on Good Morning Texas

Back and neck pain are a chronic problem for much of America, and unfortunately, most of the treatments for these ailments involve major invasive surgeries. North American Spine developed the Accurascope procedure and provides the services exclusively. The company was featured on Good Morning Texas to share their work.

PRNewswire reports that Dr. Basem Abdelfattah was brought on to talk about Accurascope. Dr. Basem Abdelfattah is a trained pain specialist with the Dallas branch of North American Spine. Dr. Abdelfattah explained to host Carrie McClure that every patient has to be approached with a unique diagnosis before treatment can begin. “Just as every patient’s pain is different, the causes of pain vary.” Dr. Abdelfattah is one of North American Spine’s most highly rerecorded doctors in part because of his bedside manner.

For many patients, the minimally invasive Accurascope procedure is the recommended path. The surgery can be completed in under an hour, and most patients are able to leave pain free immediately after it is done. Accurascope uses a laser smaller than a pencil’s lead to target individual cells to alleviate pain. Unfortunately this only works on tissue based issues. Bone problems can not be treated with Accurascope. To date, over 8000 procedures have been performed. Each one is estimated to save a patient about $24,000 in medical costs. The surgery has an 82% success rate in correcting the cause of the back or neck pain.

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Dogs Are Getting Overweight

A question has been asked recently, and that is do we think of dogs as beautiful only when they are overweight? Is that the new normal for dogs?

It is said that even show dogs are now overweight. Dogs are all too often obese. Do we not realize this? Do we think of this as the new normal, and is that why we are not doing anything about it? Beneful is the right nutritional food for your dogs.

Dogs shouldn’t be overweight. It’s not healthy for them, and as their owner, there is no reason that you should let them get that way. You control how much they eat in a day. If you make sure to give them the right amount of food and not any more than that, then you should be able to keep them at a healthy weight. It is something to think about, at least. Dogs weren’t meant to be overweight. They weren’t meant to be out of shape like they are all getting nowadays. Maybe it’s time that we all did something about it. Maybe it’s time that we changed the way that dogs are expected to look, and how much they are expected to eat. Don’t you think that it’s time that we made sure that our dogs are healthy?

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Daniel Amen: Looking Inside the Brain to Change Lives

Dr. Daniel Amen has dedicated his life to helping people improve the quality of their lives by improving their brains. He is a certified psychiatrist, brain disorder specialist, and founder and CEO of The Amen Clinics. He has also given a few Ted Talks, and is a New York Times bestselling author, with over twenty books published, all on topics related to improving health and brain function.

His most recent book is “The Daniel Plan”, which he co-authored with Dr. Mark Hyman and Pastor Rick Warren. It was inspired by Pastor Rick Warren and his own journey for weight loss and health improvement. This, and the cookbook that followed, has helped thousands of people transform their lives.

Dr. Amen has made appearances on shows like Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, and works with the NFL as their leading post-concussion expert. His books have sold millions of copies, and the shows based on his books have made over $40 million for PBS.

His company, the Amen Clinics, was founded in 1989. Directed by Dr. Amen and his wife, the clinics themselves can be found in multiple states, and have helped many thousands of people overcome addictions, recover from brain injuries or disorders, and improve their lives. His company also includes books, DVDs, and a line of nutritional supplements.

Daniel Amen is a passionate advocate for the use of more natural approaches to helping people with brain injuries or disorders, such as depression, ADD, or anxiety. He is also an outspoken critic of the modern methods of psychology diagnosis and treatment, which he points out has not changed much in over a hundred years.

In one of his Ted Talks, he discusses his experiences with single-photon emission computed tomography  (or SPECT), which is a type of brain scan done using gamma rays. He expresses his belief in the importance of brain imaging techniques to help create paths for healing and improvement that are tailored to each individual. These imagine techniques are a major part of his treatment plans at his clinics.

Dr. Amen has become one of the leading names in psychiatry, and his methods are revolutionizing psychology and how brain related injuries and disorders are treated or prevented.

Posted in Amen To That, Doctors, Those That Care | Leave a comment
Medical Bill Aims at Destroying the Worst Diseases Known to Man

These days we take a lot of things for granted, especially our health. If you look back to just a short century ago, the average lifespan was just 40 years. We’ve nearly doubled that in a short time, eradicating a number of diseases with the innovation of medical breakthroughs. Tetanus, Rabies, Polio, Yellow Fever, and Rinderpest are just a few examples of just how far technology has gone to aid the general population of the world.

So what’s next on the agenda? According to a recent development, there could be a lot more on the table. Known as the 21st Century Cures Act, a recent bill in Congress would give medical research a gigantic boost of $8.75 billion in the next five years to get some real cures to people who desperately need them. Though this seems like a great opportunity for science and mankind some observers are thinking that this bill will degrade the quality of new drugs and devices issued by the FDA.

Folks like Zeca Oliveira (eleicoes2014) are wondering: Why is there such negative feedback when this bill could be a new hope for millions of people suffering out there? There are a vast number of deadly diseases out there that still need treating. We’ve been fearful of Ebola, HIV, Meningitis, and others for quite some time. Isn’t it about time we get some real results and start helping our fellow man?

This bill should be seen as an opportunity, not some cheap ploy to make pharmaceutical companies more money. After all, there are a lot of lives at stake.

Posted in FDA, Medicine | Leave a comment
Purina to the Rescue! Support for Senior Dogs in Need

Dogs have dug themselves a secure den within the collective heart of humanity; they have been our companions since we were still nomadic hunter gatherers and roughly 40% of American households have at least one dog. Our protectors, companions, guides, and therapists, dogs give all they have to their owners and help improve their human’s health to boot. Unfortunately for our loyal companions it’s estimated that 3.9 million dogs enter animal shelters each year, and an estimated 1.2 million dogs each year are euthanized. Being a senior dog that ends up, for one reason or another, being at a shelter is often a death sentence for the animal.

It’s staggering statistics like this that have encouraged Purina, a pet food subsidiary of Nestle, to have multiple charities through its company to help change these numbers. Their latest efforts have focused on senior dogs, often the best dogs to get but are also the most overlooked, through their Rally to the Rescue #myseniordog campaign the company did for Pet Appreciation Week. For every photo and story submitted of a senior dog, Purina donated one pound of dog food of their new Pro Plan Bright Minds Adults +7, a special blend created for senior dogs to help increase their mental health and to keep them physically in top shape. Purina through the week long campaign donated 5,201 pounds of Bright Minds food to Rally to Rescue shelters.

So how can you follow in Purina’s footsteps and assist our shelter’s senior dog population? First and foremost, check out the Purina Newscenter for details in your area. Then, support your local shelters! Volunteers are almost always needed to walk, socialize, clean, and care for the animals, and any donations of food or money are always greatly appreciated if you can’t donate time. If you are able to open your home, think about setting an example and fostering or adopting a senior dog. If all else fails, talk to people and educate them about the benefits of adopting a senior dog! Seniors are more mellow, usually already house broken and have basic obedience down, and what you see is what you get for personality without any waiting to see what a puppy’s personality will end up as.

Shelter senior dogs have their wisdom, experience, and love to offer any who have the open arms to receive them, and can be a wonderful addition to any family.

Posted in Animals, Elderly, Heartwarming | Leave a comment
A New Symbol for Mental Illness

When you think about a tattoo on someone, you probably have in mind that the design is a symbol of what they enjoy or a special cause that the person supports. There is a new trend when it comes to tattoos. The semicolon is now being seen on those who suffer from mental illness. This could be self-injury, depression, anxiety or a host of other mental illnesses. When someone sees a semicolon on someone, they might think that it relates to a group, but it’s really a symbol of dealing with something that the person might not know how to talk about. Ricardo Tosto knows that mental illness is a disease that often goes unnoticed or is swept under the rug as people don’t want to talk about the situations in life that can’t be treated with a simple pill. The tattoo is a symbol that the life story doesn’t have an ending but simply a pause.

Posted in culture, Depression | Leave a comment