Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Morning Drill: January 19, 2012

Dr Cole

Good Morning!

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

Center City dentist charged in $5 million insurance fraud

A Center City dentist and his daughter have been charged with billing insurance companies for almost $5 million in fraudulent medical bills through the pain management clinic they operate together.

Owen Rogal, 71, who has been living and working in Center City for decades, runs the Pain Center at 12th and Lombard Streets. His 50-year-old daughter, Kim Rogal, of Delaware, works there as an office manager.

Since mid-2002, District Attorney Seth Williams said Wednesday, the Rogals have repeatedly billed 15 insurance companies $4,800 for a procedure that costs $800 at the most. The Rogals also characterized the routine, low-risk procedure as a delicate form of brain surgery, authorities said.

"This is a case that only happened because of greed," Williams said. "They didn't need to do what they were doing. He could have continued making a more comfortable living than probably 90 percent of all Americans, as a dentist. He saw this as an opportunity, and he took it."

Authorities believe the Rogals pocketed more than $1 million of the $5 million they billed in the scheme. They each face up to 317 years in prison and a fine of $613,000.

Water Pik celebrates 50 years of innovation in Fort Collins

If you showered this morning or brushed your teeth, you may have used a product developed in Fort Collins.

For 50 years, Water Pik has been manufacturing products that have eased the burden for kids wearing braces, rinsed the day's grime from our bodies, pulsated away pain and even given comfort to a newly released American hostage.

Still, some Fort Collins residents may not even know it's here.

Housed in a nondescript, white cinder block building at Riverside Avenue and Prospect Road, there's nothing showy or flashy about Water Pik's corporate headquarters.

And that's just the way Water Pik's President and CEO Richard Bisson likes it.

"That's been my strategy ... to be a stealth operator. The landscape in which we play, selling consumer products to the masses primarily in North America, is extremely competitive," he said.

Study: Indoor Tanning Linked With Early Onset of Skin Cancer

Given that indoor tanning beds were officially classified as a human carcinogen in 2009 -- up there with cigarettes and asbestos -- it should be fairly obvious that frequent tanning-booth exposure would increase your risk of skin cancer.

Indeed, the evidence linking indoor tanning with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and squamous cell carcinoma, one of the more common forms of the disease, is "convincing," according to the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer. But the research concerning tanning beds and basal cell carcinoma, the third and most frequent major type of skin cancer -- which accounts for some 80% of all skin cancer cases in the U.S. -- has thus far been inconsistent.

Basal cell carcinoma, a slow-growing cancer, has traditionally been a disease of middle age. But it's been appearing with increasing frequency in people under 40, especially in women -- a demographic that also happens to like indoor tanning -- suggesting a link. So researchers at the Yale School of Public Health sought to study the association.

The study included 376 people under 40, who had been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma between 2006 and 2010. They were matched with a control group of 390 dermatology patients who were diagnosed with minor skin conditions like cysts and warts. All participants had skin biopsies, and all were drawn from a Yale University database.

Fitness studios stream classes online

It's miserable outside. The whole world is a depressing gray color that just makes you want to lie on the couch and watch reruns of "Sex and the City."

You don't have time to pack your gym bag, drop off the kids, drive to the fitness studio, shower and change, pick up the kids and get back home before dinner.

Plus, you're really tired of floor mats that reek and that woman in the back row who always steps left instead of right, effectively knocking you down on your out-of-shape gluteus maximus.

Whatever your reason is for not wanting to hit the gym, Kristin Knee of Flirty Girl Fitness understands.

"I don't even want to go to my own studio when it's raining," she said with a laugh.

That's why late last year, she and her sister, Kerry, launched Flirty Girl Fitness LIVE, a Web service that streams three or four of their franchise's group classes every day.

Enjoy your morning!

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