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Pitfalls to Avoid When Selling a Practice letteRs to the eDitoR

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2012

Smart Phone Apps To ImproveYour TPractice H E M AG A Z I N E

Disney Park Vacations: More Than Cutesy Kids Stuff

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CoNteNts

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A healthy Practice

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Pitfalls to Avoid When selling Practice

10 Disparities Cloud health improvements in Past Decade, Report Finds 13 help for Patients Who Can’t Afford their Medications

16 the Future of Medicine: homeopathy

24 Golf swing Balance: solve Problems With one exercise!

18 What Are You selling Your Patients?

26 top ten Best Used luxury Cars: intro

20 Why hire a Medical Billing specialist?

29 Disney Park Vacations: More than Cutesy Kids stuff

22 Vacation inspiration: 4 weeks backpacking in the Middle east November 2012 Issue N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 2

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sPotliGht

A Healthy Practice The Health Law Partners is an expanding healthcare law practice in a rapidly growing industry.

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or the five founding partners of The Health Law Partners (HLP)— Adrienne Dresevic, Jessica Gustafson, Robert Iwrey, Carey Kalmowitz and Abby Pendleton —it is a dichotomy that has defined the arc of their professional journey: specialized service within one very specific area of the law. The Southfield, Mich.-based firm touts its ability to present a diverse range of experts focusing on a host of legal specialties within the broader healthcare segment as one of its biggest assets. “But at the same time,” says Dresevic, “we have built our reputation on the fact that we can say what very few other law firms can: everyone here focuses exclusively on healthcare law.”

Each of the five founding partners maintains a specialized service niche within the broader field of healthcare law—a pattern of diversification and specialization that extends throughout the firm. HLP practice groups cover Stark and Anti-Kickback law compliance, healthcare billing and reimbursement issues, and Medicare and Medicaid appeals—as well as licensing issues, physician and staff privileging and participation with third-party payers. HLP attorneys also provide post-audit defense and appeals, a specialty that provides them with valuable insight and experience into the compliance side of the legal

standards for service, responsiveness and experienced legal counsel for a wide range of healthcare clients. Perhaps not surprisingly, HLP’s client roster mirrors the variation found in its practice groups. The firm works with everyone from solo practitioners to group practices, hospitals to hospice organizations, and pharmacies to physicians. Says Kalmowitz, “We have represented essentially every variety of stakeholders, from larger health systems, to individual physicians and specialists.” Ron Lebow, Esq., Partner at The Greenberg, Dresevic, Hinrichsen, Iwrey, Kalmowitz, La Salle, Lebow & Pendleton Law Group A Division of The Health Law Partners, P.C.

equation—identifying and addressing avoidable vulnerabilities and exposures. The result is a complementary and seemingly comprehensive assemblage of expertise that spans the entire health law spectrum. It is this combination of professional focus with a rare breadth of legal and medical expertise that has helped HLP carve out a distinctive niche in the marketplace; a successful foothold that has fueled subsequent expansion into both New York and Georgia. The founding partners make it clear that their goal all along has been to not just start a healthcare law practice, but to do so in a way that met their own high

According to Dresevic, the speed with which the healthcare industry itself has evolved has had a foundational and lasting impact on the firm’s growth over the last five years. “Healthcare is one of the fastest developing areas of the law, simply because the industry is so dynamic, and because it brings together so many disparate elements—technology, finance and medicine—that all continue to have a huge impact on the industry and on our practice.” “Every single one of us has been there and watched the changing trends over the years,” adds Kalmowitz, “not just watching, but participating in some of the most important and influential developments of an evolving industry.”

“Healthcare law is fundamentally a national issue” 4

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“We haven’t just worked in the industry, we’ve lived it.” Accelerating industry growth has also been a big factor in the firm’s recent decisions to expand into New York and Georgia, market-driven strategic choices that were motivated by less by the desire for growth than by the practical demands of servicing an expanding client roster. “Healthcare law is fundamentally a national issue,” says Dresevic. “And with so many emerging legal issues on the federal level, we have always had clients from all over the country.” She goes on to explain that strong client and professional relationships on the ground in New York made it a natural fit for HLP to get licensed in the state and establish a full-time practice. HLP says that, while its client roster may be geographically diverse, the firm’s high client retention rate and long list of satisfied clients stems from an organizational approach that applies sometimes complex legal principles toward a very specific goal: delivering what clients need, whenever and wherever they need it.

HLP says that the firm’s established relationships with decision-makers is also a big plus, particularly when navigating through the alwayschanging features of a complex regulatory landscape. And, in an industry where time can literally be money, HLP’s speed to deliver is a point of pride with the firm’s attorneys. “We have consistently demonstrated to our clients that we have the ability to provide great results quickly, efficiently and affordably: on-time and under deadline,” says Dresevic. But while the firm remains committed to a practical and proactive approach that delivers workable solutions for its clients, in the end, it all goes back to the diversity of the HLP professional toolkit. “We are all healthcare attorneys, but also all have sub-specialties,” explains Kalmowitz. He adds that this facilitates a business model that provides more professional resources and capacity than a boutique firm, but with a level of specialized experience and expertise that few—if any—big national names can match.

Because it is not just the industry itself that is changing. Healthcare organizations of all sizes are consolidating their services, integrating new lines of service into existing practices and restructuring in the face of stricter and more complex healthcare regulations. HLP is banking on the fact that clients, when confronted with the realities of operating in an environment where new legal and logistical obstacles are practically a way of life, will require the experienced counsel of a trusted healthcare attorney to operate successfully. “We believe that in this brave new world of healthcare law, our proven ability to help organizations integrate financially and operationally without violating healthcare regulations will continue to be extraordinarily valuable,” says Dresevic. “If we can continue to help our clients navigate treacherous regulatory waters and identify innovative and effective new ways to structure partnerships and professional relationships that satisfies both their operational priorities and their legal responsibilities, we anticipate continued success.”

That seems like a good place for HLP to be in going forward.

“It boils down to solving problems,” says Pendleton. This constructive, practical and solution-oriented approach demands not just an established level of industry familiarity and legal expertise, but a corresponding ability to be flexible—and even creative—when necessary. The firm prides itself on making deals happen, an ability that demands both sophistication and innovation. As Pendleton puts it, “In an industry that can be a little bit ‘paint-by-numbers’ at times, a little bit of artistry and nuance goes a long way.” “We have consistently demonstrated to our clients that we have the ability to provide great results quickly” N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 2

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MeDiCAl PRACtiCe

Pitfalls to Avoid When Selling a Practice By Ron Lebow, Esq. of The Health Law Partners, P.C.

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he opportunity to sell a practice reflects the culmination of years of hard work and can be one of the most satisfying moments of a doctor's career. Unfortunately, since doctors typically only do this once in their lifetime, they do not have a chance to learn from previous mistakes. As attorneys working primarily with physicians, podiatrists, dentists, chiropractors and other healthcare professionals and facilities, we have encountered the fallout from "sales gone wrong" in a variety of circumstances. The following are a few illustrations of how proper planning and structuring can help ensure the success of your practice sale:

Avoid Arrangements That Might Violate "Fee-Splitting" and "Kickback" Laws Obviously, setting the price for your practice is a key consideration, but a willing buyer may not be confident that patients will remain loyal to a new, or younger, face. They may balk at paying a high price due to this uncertainty. You can alleviate these concerns by committing to announcement letters with your personal endorsement of the buyer and by staying on board for some period of time post-transition (with compensation for your work, of course). However, some buyers may suggest "wait-and-see" pricing, pursuant to which they pay a percentage of col-

lections or profits earned post-sale. This approach could constitute illegal "fee splitting" between independent third parties, or be considered a "kickback" in exchange for continuing patient referrals, potentially subjecting both the buyer and seller to disciplinary action for "professional misconduct" that could result in the suspension or revocation of their respective professional licenses – or the risk of an allegation by the buyer’s attorney that the deal is illegal and unenforceable. Be Careful How You Transfer "Goodwill" The major component of a practice's valuation is its "goodwill", which is that amount which reflects

the value of the business as a going concern in reference to historical revenue generation through patient loyalty and referral relationships. Is the goodwill personal to the practice owner, or does it belong to the practice entity itself? Most would agree that the owner has nurtured the relationships. Accordingly, in structuring a sale agreement, a selling entity must be wary if it is classified as a "C" corporation or its equivalent in the applicable state for tax purposes. A "C" corporation is taxed at the corporate level and the owner is taxed again when distributions are made to him from the sale proceeds. To avoid this double taxation, the goodwill can be sold through a separate agreement directly between the individual owner and the buyer, continued...

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while the other assets would be transferred pursuant to an agreement with the practice entity.

able employment contracts containing restrictive covenant clauses where needed.

Minimize Landlord Interference When Transferring Your Office Lease Ensuring practice continuity after the sale is often dependent upon making sure that the office location remains the same. Many professionals fail to note that their lease often does not allow for assignment to a buyer without the landlord's consent. Effectuating a lease transfer (and absolving yourself from continuing liability under the lease, if possible) may become the biggest hurdle, and delay, in finalizing a sale. Any professional who expects to sell their practice should make an effort to add a clause to their lease indicat-

Make Sure That Key Personnel Are Retained Post-Sale By the Buyer The better the buyer does, the more assured you can be that purchase price payments to be paid over time will be there when you expect them to be. This makes it especially important that those administrative and professional staff members who have endeared themselves to patients over the years stick around with the buyer to ensure continuity of the patient experience and the maintenance of goodwill. Familiar faces breed confidence! The purchase agreement should therefore address those individuals who are entitled to remain, and care should be taken to assure their interest in continuing to work with the new owner. On the opposite note, existing professional personnel who decide to leave constitute a major threat to the practice's continuing viability, particularly if they are not subject to a restrictive covenant (i.e., a non-compete) and have access to patient and referral source contact information. Care should therefore be taken before an announcement of the pending sale is made to ensure that adequate protections are in place, including instituting assign-

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ing that no consent from the landlord is required (or that such consent will not be unreasonably withheld) if the lease assignment is to another doctor as part of a prac-

tice sale transaction. If it is too late for that, then as soon as a seller feels comfortable, he or she should promptly commence securing the required landlord consent. The lease may specify the types of information that must be provided to properly request landlord consent. Be sure that the timing of the request for consent is carefully considered, though, so the landlord does not have time to shop around the lease.

and competent legal and accounting guidance, the experience can be pleasant, seamless and, most importantly, rewarding. About the Author: Ron Lebow, Esq. is a Partner in The Health Law Partners, P.C. (www.thehlp.com), a nationally recognized boutique health law firm with offices in New York City, Long Island, Michigan and Georgia. Mr. Lebow practices across the nation in all areas of health law, focusing primarily on medical and healthcare business, contract, corporate, regulatory and related matters. He can be reached for comments or questions at (516) 492-3390 or by email to rlebow@thehlp.com.

These are but a few of the considerations involved in selling your medical practice. With proper planning

With proper planning and competent legal and accounting guidance, the experience can be seamless and rewarding.� 8

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heAlth CARe

Disparities Cloud Health Improvements In Past Decade, Report Finds By Christian Torres

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inority and low-income groups continue to be less likely to have a regular source of health care when compared to the general population, despite efforts over the past decade to remedy the situation. This and other health disparities persist across race, ethnicity, income level and education, according to the final review of Healthy People 2010, which was released Thursday. Healthy People 2010, the third such effort by federal officials, is a decade-long initiative which established an ambitious set of goals in November 2000 to improve the health of all Americans, and the report details how the country did. Progress has been made on a number of counts: Life expectancy at birth went up a year from 76.8 years in 2000 to 77.8 years in 2007. Rates of death from coronary heart disease, stroke and other illness decreased over the course of the decade. Nonetheless, health disparities remain a major problem.

“It’s a source of ongoing frustration,” said Howard Koh, assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, which manages the Healthy People initiative. Much of the movement on disparity-related objectives “is certainly not in the right direction,” or just stagnant, Koh added.

HHS officials expect to renew the emphasis on reducing health disparities as they shift attention toward the next installment of goals — Healthy People 2020. And with the combination of the 2010 health law and a recently announced HHS strategy for minority health, officials said they were optimistic. The report measures the success of Healthy People 2010 based on 733 health indicators, each one with a “very ambitious,” quantifiable target for improvement, Koh said. Baseline data was collected in the 1990s and early 2000s, and compared to the most recent data, 23 percent of targets were met; another 48 percent of health indicators showed improvement, which Koh viewed “very positively.”

A disappointing 24 percent of indicators, however, moved further from their goal. A Look At Access And High Quality Care Among health indicators related to reducing disparities by race, ethnicity, sex, income and education, more than 69 percent showed no change at all. Many of the health measures analyzed by HHS are related to Americans’ access to high quality care, and progress on this front was largely mixed. For example, the number of people younger than age 65 with health insurance remained steady over the past decade, with 83 percent insured in 2008, the latest official figure used in this review.

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Certain aspects of coverage, however, showed declines. The total number of adults age 18 and older with a source of ongoing care was down to 84 percent in 2008; in 1998, the baseline used by Healthy People, it was 85 percent. Blacks and Hispanics saw 2 and 3 percentage point drops during that same time period, down to 81 and 69 percent coverage, respectively. Adults with earnings below the federal poverty

percent coverage, and poor children saw a 4 point increase to 92 percent. Meanwhile, the number of people who had a usual primary care provider dropped 1 percentage point between 1996 and 2007 to 76 percent overall; it also dropped one point to 73 percent among blacks. Hispanics saw a 1 point increase, althe 2010 health law, which has already yielded a significant increase in coverage for young adults under age 26 who can now stay on their parents’ plans. “We know that very recently there is progress in insurance coverage, and a lot of the [health] improve-

level ($10,890 for an individual) and the nearly poor—those with incomes up to twice that level — each dropped 4 points to the lowest coverage rates of all populations. They were 71 and 76 percent, respectively.

though the group’s access was still the lowest of all groups, reaching just 65 percent. HHS officials expect access to care to dramatically improve in coming years with the implementation of

Rates for children, on the other hand, showed improvement between 1998 and 2008, especially among minority populations. The

rate for ongoing care among black children went up 3 points and became even with that of the general population at 94 percent. Coverage of Hispanic children rose 3 percentage points but remained at 90 percent in 2008. Among Asian children, there was a 6 point increase to 95

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ments we’ll see in the coming years will be linked to health reform,” said Ed Sondik, director of the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Without insurance, we’re missing an important part of access to care and preventive regimens.”

significantly among people age 65 and over between 1997 and 2008, from 62 to 40 cases per 100,000; the goal was 42. –Access to mental health treatment for children age 4 to 17 increased from 60 to 69 percent, passing the 67 percent target, between 2001 and 2008.

Making Gains In Prevention Prevention was among the bright spots of the Healthy People 2010 findings, according to Carter Blakey, acting director of the Office on Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. The number of adults 50 and older who had a sigmoidoscopy to

–Deaths from coronary heart disease dropped from 203 to 144 per 100,000 between 1999 and 2006; the goal was 162. Deaths from stroke also dropped during those years, from 62 to 44 per 100,000; the target was 50. Among major problem areas, Blakey noted, is nutrition. Between 1994 and 2006, the rate of obesity jumped from 23 to 33 percent among adults age 20 and older, and from 11 to 18 percent among adoles-

cents 12 to 19 years old. Those rates were likely not helped by a disappointing change in care: The number of physician office visits that included diet and nutrition counseling for medical conditions dropped from 42 to 35 percent between 1997 and 2005. The final HHS report sets the stage for further work this decade, with the modified goals of Healthy People 2020. Koh described how, since it came about in its first form 30 years ago, Healthy People has been “a roadmap, a framework, a national plan” for improving health – and now it’s complemented by health reform and other promising initiatives. “There are many challenges ahead, and disparities continue to exist,” Koh said, adding that, in looking toward 2020, “we’re expecting to see progress.”

screen for colon cancer jumped from 37 percent in 1998 to 55 percent in 2008, exceeding the 50 percent target. Full immunization among children between 19 and 35 months rose from 73 percent in 1998 to 78 percent in 2008, nearing the 80 percent target. Other health improvements include: –The rate of pneumonia dropped

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PAtieNts

Help for Patients Who Can’t Afford Their Medications By Richard J. Sagall, MD

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t’s a choice no one should have to make – pay rent and buy food or get prescriptions filled. Yet all too often it’s a choice Americans, particularly older Americans, have to make. Nearly 50 million Americans have no health insurance, and millions more have limited coverage. Many Americans just can’t afford health care, and, if they can, they don’t have the money to buy their medicines. Patient Assistance Programs There is help available for many people who can’t afford their medicines. These programs, frequently called patient assistance programs (PAPs), are designed to help those in need obtain their medicines at no cost or very low cost. Many, but not all, pharmaceutical companies have PAPs. The manufacturers who have programs do so for various reasons. Some believe

that they have a corporate social obligation to help those who can’t afford their products. Others believe it’s a good marketing tool. As one PAP director once told me, many people who can’t afford their medicines now will go on to obtain some type of coverage. And when they do get this coverage, they will continue using the medication provided by the PAP. In 2008, PAPs helped over 8 million people. The programs filled prescriptions with a total wholesale value of over $10 billion. The Basics of the Programs All PAPs are designed to help those in need obtain their medicines. Since each pharmaceutical company establishes its own rules and guidelines, all are different. All have income guidelines, but they vary considerably. Each company selects which drugs are available on their

programs and how long a person can receive assistance. How PAPs Work Although no two programs are exactly the same, most require that the applicant complete an application form. The amount of information required varies. Some programs require detailed medical and financial information, others very little. All require a doctor’s signature. Certain programs require the doctor complete a portion of the form while others only need a signed prescription. Most send the medicines to the doctor’s office for distribution to the patients, while others send the medicine to a pharmacy. A few send a certificate to the patient to give to the pharmacist. Some patients need drugs for a long time. Most, but not all, programs

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that cover medicines used to treat chronic diseases offer refills. What Medicines are Covered The pharmaceutical companies decide if they will have a PAP and, if they do, which of their medicines will be available through the program. Some include many or all of the medicines they manufacture while others include only a few. The reasons for these decisions are not something they reveal. There are a few programs that sell generic medications at a fixed price – usually $20 for a three-month supply. These programs are adding more drugs all the time. Sometimes a medicine or a certain dosage of that medicine will be on a program, then off, and then back on again. Or one dose of the medicine will be on the program but a different dose won’t be. How to Learn about PAPs Your doctor is not the best source of information on PAPs. Surprisingly, many doctors don’t even know PAPs exist. The same applies for pharmacists. Many social workers know about the programs. Books in the library or bookstore on PAPs are probably outdated before they are printed. The best place to learn about PAPs is the Internet. There are a number of sites that have information on these programs. Many pharmaceutical companies have information on their patient assistant programs on their websites. Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to find the page that describes their PAP. Types of Websites There are two types of websites with information on patient assistance programs. Three of these sites list

information on patient assistance programs – NeedyMeds (www.needymeds.org), RxAssist (www.rxassist.org), and Partnership for Prescription Assistance (www.pparx.org). There is no charge to use the information. These sites don’t have a program of their own nor do they help people get their medicines. NeedyMeds is a non-profit funded by donations, sales of software for managing PAPs, and other sources. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), an association and lobbying group whose members include many of the larger pharmaceutical manufacturers, runs HelpingPatients.org, which has information on PhRMA members programs. Then there are a number of sites that charge people to learn about patient assistance programs and complete the application forms. The charges vary, as does the quality of their services. Some offer a moneyback guarantee if they can’t get your medicines.

To use the NeedyMeds site you begin with the name of your medicine. There are two ways you can check to see if your medicines are available in a patient assistance program. One is to click on the drug list. This brings up an alphabetical list of all the drugs currently on PAPs. Find the medicine you take and clink on its name. This will bring up the program page. On the program page, you will learn about the specifics of the PAP – the qualification guidelines, the application process, the information you need to supply, what your doctor must complete, etc. In addition, you will learn if there’s a downloadable application on the website or if you must get an application from the company. (Some companies accept copies of their application form while others require you complete an original.) If you know the medicine’s manufacturer, you can click on the programs list. From there, you can click

How to Use NeedyMeds Most PAP sites contain similar information. They differ in how they organize the material, the ease in accessing the information, and the timeliness of their data.

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on the program you want to learn more about. That should bring up the information you need.

to your plight and willing to help you. What if I Don’t Have a Computer

Once you have acquired the information, it’s up to you to complete the applications, get the necessary signatures, and send the form to the program. A Few Tips The most common problem patients encounter when completing the application forms is lack of physician cooperation. Over and over I hear from people whose physicians just won’t complete the forms – or charge to do it. I am asked what they should do.

Many people without a computer can still use the information available on these websites. Nearly everyone knows someone with a computer – a family member, a neighbor, or a friend. Most public libraries have computers for public use and assistance for those not familiar with their use. Summary

Patient assistance programs may not be the best solution to the problem of inability to pay for medication, but they can help many people. Millions of people use PAPs to get the medicines they need but can¹t afford. If you can’t afford your medicines, a patient assistance program may be able to help you. Richard J. Sagall, M.D., practiced family medicine and occupational medicine for 25 years. He cofounded NeedyMeds and continues to run it. He can be reached via the website, www.needymeds.org. He lives in Gloucester, MA.

Here are a few suggestions: 1. Make sure you have completed everything on the form that you can. Not only should you complete the applicant’s section, but anything else you can fill in. This may include the physician’s name and address, phone number, etc. 2. Bring all the information your doctor may need. For example, some programs require proof of income. If so, attach whatever documents are required. 3. Bring an addressed envelope with the appropriate postage. 4. Don’t expect your doctor to complete the form immediately. A busy doctor may not have time to read the form while you are in the office. 5. If you encounter resistance, tell your doctor that without his/her help, you won’t be able to obtain the medicines he/she is prescribing. Be blunt. 6. If all else fails, you may need to find a physician more sympathetic

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MeDiCiNe

The Future of Medicine: Homeopathy By Chivas Owle

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ore than 3 billion dollars are spent annually on homeopathic medications in the United States. Most people who use homeopathy report being likely to use it again in the future to treat similar symptoms. In Europe, homeopathy is so popular that there are homeopathic hospitals and pharmacies, both covered by insurance. The WHO has endorsed alternative medicine, including homeopathy, as being affordable when compared to allopathic medicine for many conditions. More people use alternative medicine, including homeopathy, than any other system of medicine in the world – approximately 80%! In spite of these impressive and totally true statistics, many people still do not understand homeopathy. The principles of homeopathy date back to early recorded history. However homeopathy was not given its name by Samuel Hahnemann until 1807. The principles taught then are the same that are taught today, that using minute (actually undetectable) amounts of a substance that cause a symptom in the body can cure the body of that symptom.

years. Obviously, if it was good enough for Hahnemann, it’s good enough for me.” After pausing a moment to consider what he has said, Herbmann added, “Also, homeopathy does not cause autism”.

plants – the same plants that were used 200 years ago. That’s how you know they are good. Unlike allopathic medicine that is constantly looking for ‘the next great drug’ with their constant drug research and clinical trials, we homeopaths never trust any medication that hasn’t been around a few hundred

“It makes perfect sense”, says leading homeopathic expert John Herbmann, “It’s just like how a vaccine can prevent a virus from causing a disease. Except that instead of using antigens that go through a rigorous testing and approval process, we use

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In fact, one of the main benefits of homeopathy is the complete absence of any side effects. Because the compound used in the initial manufacturing of the medication is not present in therapeutic concentrations (or even detectable using such fancy and sensitive techniques as GC-MS), it cannot react unfavorably with the patient’s body. How then does it have any effect at all a skeptic might ask? The mechanism of action is not entirely clear. The principles of homeopathy make it clear that “like cures like” and “less is more”. It is unclear if skipping a dose of homeopathic medication


leads to an overdose or how to reverse such an overdose should it occur. Homeopathic medications are prepared by taking a toxic amount of the substance in question, diluting it in water, shaking the water vigorously (a process called ‘invigorating’), taking a drop of that mixture and adding it to a new container of water, and repeating the invigorating process. This is done over and over until none of the original substance remains. How do we know it works? Because Hahnemann said it works, that’s how. Then the water is used to make tablets or something. That part is not important, it’s the invigorating that is important. It is so important, homeopathic remedies list on the package how many times it was diluted invigorated on the package. Hahnemann developed a C scale that had a factor of 100 dilution of each invigoration. So a 6C dilution would result in a one part per trillion “mixture.” Perhaps this seemed too simple, because the scale never caught on. Instead most homeopathic product manufacturers use a system where each dilution has a factor of 10 and is reported on the products packaging using a D or X. In this system a 6C dilution is equivalent to 12X or 12D. Hahnemann had this to say about dilutions: “Don’t get caught up in the numbers, just trust that we know what we are doing.” When asked if there is any number that is considered the “best” number of dilutions he answered with, “Personally, I would never trust a compound that has not been diluted at least 12 times. It would just be too weak, having that many detectable particles around trying to exert a physiological effect. Just remember that the more dilute the compound is, the stronger the effect on the healing

process. Your chemistry professors may have tried to teach you otherwise, but who are you going to believe, people who have been using the same system for hundreds of years or someone who tests their theories against reproducible evidence?” Homeopathic medicine was extremely popular when it was originally created due to the fact that it didn’t cause people to die, unlike the hospitals and physicians of the day. Conventional medicine of that era used such cutting edge procedures as bloodletting to cure what ails you. Homeopathy somewhat fell out of favor around the time penicillin and other actual effective drugs came into use, because people could start

practors, Herbmann was aghast. “What do you think we are, a bunch of quacks?!” He declined any further comment on the subject. So what ailments are particularly well-suited for homeopathic medicine? Anything that you would see your doctor for! Yes that’s right, homeopathy works on everything from asthma to zygomycosis, anal cancer to xeroderma pigmentosa*. Why see a physician with years of education, training, and experience when you can see a homeopathic “doctor” for a fraction of the price? Remember, no one taking homeopathic medication has ever experienced a legitimate effect side-effect from treatment. No physician can make that claim. Hopefully this article has informed you of the many virtues of homeopathy. Sadly due to space constraints, we are unable to publish any of the dozens of anecdotal stories of how homeopathic medicine saves lives. Just trust us on this, it does.

taking medications to save their life. But recently homeopathy has begun to surge back into popularity. Why visit an expensive ER (or God-forbid make an appointment with your PCP) when you can just buy something that is cheap, available everywhere, and has no side effects? “It’s a no brainer,” says Herbmann. “Your body has everything it needs to fight any ailment. Sometimes it just needs a boost in the form of a tablet made with water less contaminated than what you would drink from any sink in America.” When asked to compare homeopathy to other forms of alternative medicine, such as acupuncture (which predates homeopathy by roughly 2000-4000 years) and chiro-

Those interested in learning more about Supplements, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, or SCaMS, are encouraged to checkout Mark Crislip’s Quackcast. We look forward to your comments below and in the forums. Please be on the look-out for next week’s article, “Nurse Practitioners: Why They Are Better Than Physicians (And Save You Money!)”. *Special note: For reasons unclear to the author, the WHO does not support the use of homeopathy in HIV, cancer or other life threatening conditions. They are probably in the pocket of Big Pharma and Big Medicine.

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the UltiMAte PAtieNt eXPeRieNCe

What Are You Selling Your Patients? A

ll too often we as business owners have tunnel vision, and just assume we know what our customers or patients “want”. It may come as a big surprise, but your patients aren’t really coming to you for good quality medical care. In fact, most consumers really aren’t “buying” the physical product or the defined service at all. I know what you’re thinking…”Of course my patients come to me for the best care!” Well, yes. Kind of. One of the most important things to remember about your patient is this: You Are Not Your Patient.

making sure all of your needs are anticipated. They even memorize your name and address you by name the entire duration of your stay.

Your patients do want good quality medical care, but that’s mostly secondary. What they really want is a great experience when they visit your practice. An experience that provides assurances that they’re being taken care of as a priority patient, and most importantly, that they have peace of mind regarding the hands their medical care is in, yours.

The same goes for your patients. They don’t just want good quality medical care. They want to have a fantastic patient experience in addition to the end product of the medical care. If you engineer your practice marketing to provide this, you can put a virtual corral around your patients and they will never go anywhere else. They’ll also tell tons of people about their experience, bringing you new patients by the droves.

This is done by creating a great “Patient Experience”. The importance of this is the same whether your specialty is orthopedics, family practice, pain management, spine surgery, chiropractic, a dentist or anything else. Most of the medical practice marketing companies talk mostly about healthcare marketing advertising –

So the lesson here is this: As a customer at the Four Seasons, I’m not really just looking for a very nice, clean hotel, though that is part of what I want. What really keeps me coming back, is their ability to cater to what I really want, which is the customer experience. I know I’m always going to be treated, and taken care of much better than most other places I would stay.

such as selling you billboards, yellow page ads, and other costly media that they say will get you more patients. Though you can get results from these, there are more fundamental practice marketing strategies you should focus on first. When your patient walks out the door, they should feel that they were the only patient that was being seen in your medical practice today. If you’ve ever stayed at a Four Seasons Resort Hotel, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. When you check in, everyone addresses you by name, they don’t miss a beat getting your bags to the room &

If you can effectively do this in your practice by providing the ultimate patient experience, you can kiss your competition goodbye, no matter what they economy is doing, and no matter how long they’ve been in practice.

One of the most important things to remember about your patient is this: You Are Not Your Patient. 18

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tiPs FoR sUCCess

Why Hire a Medical Billing Specialist? l

ook to improve your medical billing profitability? Looking to control your medical billing cost? To hiremedical billing specialist is best option for this. If you outsource medical billing requirements at trusted and well known medial billing company, then you can save valuable time of your office employee and you can use your efforts in significantly way to provide easy billing solution. Why we hire medical billing specialist to outsource medical billing needs? How medical billing specialists help you to get proper medical billing service? There are some important factors are useful which we have discuss here. Medical billing specialist can maintain high quality and accuracy of services. You can get proper method of medical billing process to improve business profits.

You can get advantage of experienced billing experts and specialization in themedical billing services. You can access your medical billing practice with best output and high accuracy. By hiring medical billing specialist, you can concentrate on your core relative business task. You can down your operating cost by outsource medical billing to billing specialist who can easily provide best medical billing services to the world wide clients. If you look for improve performance of your medical billing system and also medical coding system, you need to electronic medical billing solution. The medical billing specialist allow you to utilize the benefits of electronic billing while keeping its cost considerably lower than cost of manual claims costs. Medical billing specialist can increase your efficiency by turning bill collection into a pleasure Visit DrsReference.com

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rather than a pain. Doctor can focus on what they do best, treating your patients, and leave the billing for the medical billingspecialist to accomplish professional task. In the health care outsourcing industry, medical billingbusiness is the latest trend to booming your business or individuals. Thus, this is how you can hire medical billingspecialist.


VACAtioNs

Vacation Inspiration: 4 weeks backpacking in the Middle East A

backpacking adventure in the Middle East can be eyeopening, exciting, and at times challenging. As you explore sites of immense religious, cultural and historical significance, you will further your educationand gain insights into other less familiar cultures and ways of life. Backpacking through the Middle East is never short of an adventure and you're likely to experience some incredible hospitality, sample some delectable cuisine and meet some fascinating people along the way. Fly into Istanbul in Turkey, a city at the crossroads of East and West. The perfect introduction to the Middle East, Istanbul is both westernised and familiar, while at the same time it's exotic and enchanting. After a good few days haggling in the grand bazaar and marvelling at the architecture, head by comfortable overnight bus to Cappadocia.

Cappadocia: The natural beauty of Central Turkey is breathtaking. Goreme is a good base for a few days sampling delicious Turkish cuisine, walking through the spectacular landscape of "fairy chimney" rock formations and exploring churches cut in rock by the early Christians. From Cappadocia, head to Antakya for your final night in Turkey before

heading over the border by bus to Aleppo in Syria. Aleppo: Syria probably contains almost everything that comes to mind when you think of the Middle East: Legendary Arabic hospitality, mouth-watering mezze, conservative Islam and rich history and culture. The people here are some of the friendliest in the world, and to really get a feel for the place, spend some time in the cafes and markets (souks). Around every corner, there seems to be a point of historical interest, but just observing the culture and chatting to the locals can be an experience in itself.

Damascus: A must on any Middle Eastern traveller's itinerary. A few days can be spent in the coffee shops and souks of Damascus, sipping intense Arabic coffee to the sound of the Muslim call to prayer. The Umayyad Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in the world and the architectural beauty is awe-inspiring. Palmyra: If you're into ruins, you won't want to skip Palmyra. These ruins of one of the ancient world's most important centres of culture are located at an Oasis in the Syrian Desert, and you can get there by bus or taxi from Damascus.

The centre of three major world religions, Jerusalem is like nowhere else on Earth. 22

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From Damascus, head south and cross into Jordan. Sharing a taxi is relatively easy in Damascus and is a great opportunity to make friends with the locals. Catch a ride in Damascus heading for Amman in Jordan. Amman: After a day or two exploring this fascinating, hospitable city of contrasts between old and new, continue south by bus to the UNESCO world heritage site of Petra. Petra: Jordan's greatest tourist attraction is the vast rock-carved Nabataean city of Petra. Marvel at the awe-inspiring carvings, dazzling red colours and beautiful rock formations as you explore the Petra valley on foot, or on horseback or by camel. Aqaba: From Wadi Musa (the town to use as base for visiting Petra), head by bus to the Jordanian Red Sea resort of Aqaba. From here, you'll have access to some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world and the timeless crimson beauty of the Wadi Rum naturallandscape. Wadi Rum is virtually untouched by humanity and can be explored by 4x4 vehicle or camel. You can arrange to stay with the local Bedoiun people, spending a night in a tent after a traditional campfire meal.

flag and the town of Aqaba from the beach in downtown Eilat but it feels like a different world. Eilat is an Israeli beach resort, with westernised restaurants, bars and nightlife. If sun, sea, sand and partying is your thing, you'll want to linger for a few days in Eilat.

Galilee: Travelling around Israel is comfortable and straightforward and a trip north to Galilee provides opportunity to explore the area where Jesus lived and taught, including the Mount of Beatitudes (where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount) and the Sea of Galilee.

Jerusalem: The centre of three major world religions, Jerusalem is like nowhere else on Earth. The old city contains sites of huge historic and cultural significance to Jews, Christians and Muslims. A visit to Jerusalem provides an opportunity to explore sites of historic and religious interest, while also gaining an understanding of the background and the issues surrounding the present-day conflict.

Tel Aviv: Known as ‘the city that doesn't stop' because of its reputation for partying, Tel Aviv is the heart of secular Israel and the economic and commercial centre. The highlight is the sandy Mediterranean coastline and the fantastic beach scene where you can relax for a day or two before boarding your flight home.

Dead Sea: Easily accessible from Jerusalem, Ein Gedi is an Oasis on the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. Due to the salt content, the human body will float on the Dead Sea, an experience not to be missed.

Assuming you travel independently as a backpacker, this 4 week itinerary through the Middle East is likely to cost in the region of $1500-$2000 if you travel and share rooms with a partner and in the region of $2400$2700 if you travel on your own.

Into Israel: Allow plenty of time for the border crossing into Israel. It can be helpful to have a clear idea of where you're heading in Israel and what you hope to do there. Be patient and polite and once the border formalities are done, you'll want to jump in a taxi and head to the Israeli resort of Eilat. Eilat: After a couple of weeks in the Arabic countries of Jordan and Syria, Eilat will be a major culture shock. You can see the Jordanian

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ReCReAtioN

Golf Swing Balance: Solve Problems With One Exercise! i

because a wedge is quite a bit shorter than a driver is.

f you often lose your balance when swinging your golf club, this article will give you a quick exercise to address this problem. The most important point to remember is the fact that your inital setup to address the golfball dictates to a large degree the balance that you’ll have during your golf swing. Here is how to achieve a balanced posture position from which to start your golf swing: Stand up straight with your feet about shoulder width apart; Make sure that your knees aren't totally straight, bend them a little; Take a club and place along your spine;

cally places your head behind the ball, which is just what you want; Once in this golf posture position, place a club on the ground in a position to hit a ball. You will have to either bend over more or stand up straighter depending on what club you are using. For example you will have to bend over more for a wedge than you would for a driver simply

Now bend forward, making sure that your spine remains straight. A very, very important point when doing this exercise is that you want your bottom to move back when doing this as it creates a balanced golf posture position. This position results in your weight to be on the balls of your feet; Once you’ve bent over (by moving your bottom back and keeping your back straight), move your left hip (right hip for lefties) slightly towards your target. Doing this automati-

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Once you’ve done this exercise and you're setup, get someone to lightly push on both shoulders from behind and in front. This will help you to set your weight to the insides of both feet which is where the weight should be. Then get your partner to push lightly on your back - if you fall over, it’s because your weight is too far forward, so set your weight more back on the balls of your feet. When you’re in balance, you’ll find that when someone gives you a slight push, you’ll be steady as a rock. This should be your aim, so do the posture exercise and test yourself until you pass. When you do, your balance will be a lot better during your golf swing!


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AUtoMotiVe

Top Ten Best Used Luxury Cars: Intro W

ith more and more of today’s cars incorporating features formerly reserved for luxury automobiles, premium manufacturers have to innovate in ever greater degrees to differentiate their products. Thus, the line between mainstream and luxury cars is becoming increasingly blurred. Further, in an effort to increase profitability, many premium manufacturers are offering lower-priced models in an effort to leverage their brand names into a larger pool of potential buyers. Still, a luxury car is a luxury car and the luxury sedan occupies a hallowed place in the imaginations of the car buying public. Good used luxury cars all share one common attribute—an aura of unquestionable desirability. So even though the best luxury car features are being used by less expensive models, their quiet, sophistication, and elegance along with their dealer’s reputation for outstanding customer service remains exclusive.

ally, the A6 offers a driving experience rivaling that of many so-called sport sedans. As good used luxury cars go, the Audi A6 ranks among the best available.

A showcase of outstanding technology, a used Audi A8 delivers exceptional value, particularly because most car buyers aren’t aware of the model. This has a softening effect on the price of the A8, making it one best used luxury cars for sale in terms of price. Meanwhile, it has one of the nicest interiors on the road, exceptional handling, great power and stunning good looks.

Audi A6 One of the most distinctively styled cars on the road today, Audi’s A6 delivers cachet, outstanding comfort, all-wheel drive and a broad palette of luxury features. One of the best used car values out there, the Audi A6 also has a timeless quality. Even a six-year old A6 looks thoroughly modern and up to date. Addition-

What follows is a selection of ten of the best used luxury cars for sale today.

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siderable allure for driving enthusiasts. Thus the versatility of the big BMW ranks it quite highly among the best used luxury cars.

Cadillac CTS The model that began the turnaround at Cadillac is universally recognized as one of the world’s best luxury sedans. In addition to the exceptionally luxurious interiors one expects of a Cadillac, the CTS also

Audi A8 The first all-aluminum luxury sedan in the world, Audi’s A8 is a paragon of style, performance and features.

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BMW 7 Series BMW’s 7 Series is the ultimate driving machine company’s ultimate luxury car. Offering a sporting driving experience with lavish interior accoutrements, the 7 Series BMW is very much one of the best used luxury cars out there. In addition to appealing to traditional luxury car buyers, the 7 Series also holds con-


Chrysler 300 The Chrysler 300 launched a career as well as a turnaround at the Pentastar brand. Ralph Gilles, the name most closely associated with the design of the 300 was made president of the Dodge division after his work

delivers driving pleasure in the form of a Nurburgring-tuned suspension system. With more than adequate power and the option of a manual transmission, the CTS signaled to the world Cadillac had changed. For these reasons and more, the Cadillac CTS makes our list of the best used luxury cars.

Cadillac DTS While the name adopted the new alphabetic nomenclature scheme for Cadillac, the DTS was in fact the DeVille Touring Sedan. Anyone infatuated with what Cadillac used to be, but still searching for a bit of the driving pleasure defining what Cadillac is today, will thoroughly appreciate the size and feature-set of the Cadillac DTS. One of the finest used luxury cars out there, you will also find joy in the dynamic suspen-

sion system fitted to the car to improve its handling. That it does so while maintaining the ride quality Cadillac cars are traditionally known for is a serious plus.

on that car. Further, the bold style of the Chrysler attracted buyers in droves. The 300 quickly became the must-have car of its era and brought major profits to Chrysler. As a used luxury car for sale, the 300 has considerable appeal. With its broad palette of engines and even a high performance SRT variant, the Chrysler 300 still pushes all the right buttons.

Lexus LS The Lexus LS was so good when it was introduced, the car forced Mercedes-Benz to abandon the market segment it had traditionally ruled and scurry farther upmarket. When that didn’t work out the Germans

made the S Class even better and came back to go toe to toe with the

Japanese luxury car. The leather lined, wood trimmed, ultra quiet and thoroughly equipped Lexus LS makes for a very good used luxury car. Factor in the reliability inherent to its parent Toyota brand and you’ll get one of the best used luxury car values on the road.

Lincoln MKS Long, low, sleek and beautiful, what cements the Lincoln MKS’s spot on this list is the fact its relative lack of popularity makes it easily the best used luxury car value you’ll find. Remarkably, the Lincoln handles well, is palatially equipped, and features a stunningly beautiful interior treatment in addition to highly favorable driving characteristics. The Lincoln’s only apparent flaw is that its logo is

a four-pointed star, rather than a three-pointed one. In other words, anyone looking for one of the best used luxury cars for sale can take advantage of the fact that perception tends to lag reality by about 10 years and get one of these wonderful cars for a song—before everyone else wakes up and realizes how good they are.

Mercedes-Benz E Class The beauty of the Mercedes-Benz E Class lies in its versatility. How a car can carry such a premium image, yet be a taxi in nearly every European country is mind-boggling. It’s as if the Ford Crown Victoria were to be

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considered a highly desirable luxury car in Germany. Yeah. Never. Gonna. Happen. As a used luxury car, the Mercedes-Benz E Class is remarkably robust, offers a broad range of trims, engines, and even

suspension tunings to choose from. The cars are highly reliable, which is good because they are also a bit pricey to maintain. However as a good used luxury car, few models are more desirable than the Mercedes-Benz E Class.

Mercedes-Benz S Class The car everyone thinks of when they hear the name Mercedes-Benz, the S Class is the benchmark by which all other large luxury sedans are judged. And well it should be, after all, the founders of its company literally invented the car. An S Class Mercedes-Benz is easily one of the best used luxury cars you’ll find for sale. They are powerful, good looking, highly agile, packed with extraordinary tech, and immediately command respect for the driver anywhere they roll up. For these reasons and more, the Mercedes-Benz S Class is our pick for one of the ten best used luxury cars.

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DReAM VACAtioNs

Disney Park Vacations: More Than Cutesy Kids Stuff t

hinking of things that could go wrong when you plan your family vacation would need a magazine of its own. Thinking of how you just can't go wrong with your family vacation takes only one word: Disneyland. But you don't need to limit yourself to Florida or California. Disney vacations can be found around the world from Paris, to Hong Kong, to Japan, and even Hawaii. Each vacation features hotels resorts, shopping centres, restaurants, spas, amusement parks, and much more.. Featured below are the best in Disney entertainment from around the world, and everything you need to get your Disney vacation started.

Once you're done taking in the view from your Animal Kingdom resort hotel, you can go on a safari tour of at the Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition attraction. Visitors can

Walt Disney World Resort Located near Orlanda Florida, Walt Disney World Resort is the world's largest resort hotel. A tiny city in its own right, this mammoth wonderland features thirty-three themed hotels, ranging from beach resorts, boardwalk villas, and even one with a scenic African safari view. Every hotel is built in the vicinity of an arcade, a variety of restaurants, outdoor swimming pools and indoor hot-tubs.

ride an open-sided safari vehicle into the depths of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve with wandering antelopes, lions, elephants, baboons and many more animals from the African Savannah. Looking for a more hands on approach to nature? Disney's Fort Wil-

dreness Resort and Campground offers an outdoor experience for those longing for the rustic life. But just because you're out in the wilderness doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself with civilized amenities. Disney campsites come with basic utilities, along with internet and cable television, and even grills and picnic tables for outdoor dining. Every night at Fort Wilderness, campers gather around for sing-a-longs, and roast marshmallows over campfires. Feeling a little too campy for your taste? There are also tennis courts, horseback riding, winter sleigh rides, golf courses, fishing, hiking trials, and vehicle rentals ranging from bicycles, to segways, to sailboats. Feel the need for speed? Walt Disney World Speedway lets visitors take NASCAR and stock cars for a spin around the track. Not a fan of NASCAR? How about Ferrari? Test drive Lambourghinis, Ferraris, Porsches and Audis around one of two speedways at Disney World's Exotic Driving Experience. Remember, just because you're in one part of Disney World doesn't mean you have to stay where your hotel is booked. If you don't fancy shacking up in a log cabin for your vacation, Disney World features

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beach side hotel resorts and spas. The grandest of all is the Victorian themed, triple A rated. and Diamond Award winning Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Disney World beaches lie adjacent to some of Florida's most majestic lakes, and feature two water parks, beach volleyball courts, watercraft rentals, as well as beach side spa services, and restaurants. If you are looking for a place to eat, The California Grill, The Flying Fish Cafe, Jiko, and Victoria and Alberts are all highly recommended. Need to work off the calories from all the good food you will be eating? Disney World offers five fitness centres to keep you in shape and feeling good on your vacation. No matter where you book your hotel, Disney World's complementary bus, monorail, and boat will

seamlessly connect you to the beaches, the boardwalk, the downtown shopping centres and outdoor recreation areas. Unfortunatly, Disney World does not feature a car rental service. Vacationers who wish to taxi themselves around the massive resort are advised to rent from the nearby Orlando International Airport. On the upside, parking is complementary to anyone with a resort booking. Don't feel like getting a tan? Hit the boardwalk for a night of food and dancing. Or you can explore by daylight and take in the boardwalk atmosphere with street performances, midway games and rides, along with street vendors and carnival food. Looking for something more substantial to satiate your shopping lust? Head to Disney World Downtown. Downtown fea-

tures shopping centres, gift shops, restaurants, movie cinemas and live theatre. The most spectacular of all being La Nouba, by Cirque Du Soleil; an avant garde circus experience in the heart of Downtown Disney West Side. Finally, no visit to Disney World is complete without a visit to one of Disney World's four theme parks: Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. Each theme park is full of themed rides, movie halls, and restaurants. And of course, you get to meet your favourite Disney characters in person. While there is little to to say about these theme parks that is not already ubiquitous, it is important to remember that there is much more to Disney World than the rides. In the end if you are still unsatis-

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Course are both less than ten miles from Disneyland resort for those with a craving for nine-iron. Disneyland itself is home to more than cutesy characters and children's rides. There are street parades, Disneyland's famous fireworks, live shows, jazz bars, and street performers to entertain vacationers.

fied with everything Disney World has to offer, remember that you're only a few hours away from Universal Studios in Orlando Florida. Maybe take a day off and head into the city for some fun. Disneyland Resort Disney World feeling a little overwhelming? Well there's always Disney World's little brother: Disneyland. Disneyland resort has three hotels for accommodations and a massive amusement park that as a whole trumps any single theme park at Disney World. Disneyland's smaller size gives it a more homely feel, than Disney World. For the most part, visitors can travel from place to place on foot or monorail.

will feel at home at Southern California's famous Huntington, Newport, Laguna and Santa Monica beaches. Noteworthy attractions in South California also include Universal Studios Hollywood, Seaworld, San Diego Zoo Safari, and the Los Angeles night life. Hollywood is only less than an hour away from Disneyland by car. Coyote Hills Golf Course and Black Gold Golf

In the end, one should not look at the Disneyland amusement park when thinking of staying at Disneyland resort. It's important to keep the in mind the perspective that Disneyland resort is truly offering a central hub to explore all of Southern California's most prolific entertainment hubs. Aulani Aulani is Disney's picturesque Hawaiian resort on the island of Oahu. It's also notable for being the only Disneyland resort without an amusement park. What it does offer is the classical Hawaiian resort experience. Complete with spa, beachlife and even a snorkling lagoon. Enjoy golf, or immerse yourself in hawaiian culture with one of the many complementary Hawaiian arts

Apart from its famous theme parks, Disneyland offers quick and easy access to some of southern California's hottest attractions. Shoppers will find all their looking for in the Downtown Disney District, South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island and the Beverly Center. Almost one thousand stores total in these four locations combined. Beach goers

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musicals, and cinemas. Enjoy these relaxing entertainment venues as you cruise along scenic coastlines. Spend a day at the spa or work out at the fitness centre. Escape the trials of city life on the open seas in a cruise ship.

programs. Aulani also runs several guided tours into the heart of the Hawaiian islands. Otherwise sit back on the beach, or go sailboating and even kayaking. Overall, Aulani promises to be a very classical escape from the hustle and bustle of city life in seclusion and tropical climate of the Hawaii islands. Disney Cruise Lines Take a cruise to Alaska, the

Caribbean, the Bahamas, Europe or several other fantastic destinations aboard Disney Cruise lines. The number of activities available on the ship alone are enough to keep you occupied when you're not engaged in port side adventures. Disney cruise ships have daily deck parties, fine dining, nightclubs, lounges, youth activities for the kids, and live Disney

The most exciting aspect of planning a Disney cruise is the port side adventures. Customize your cruise the way you want it. The best part of it all is that Disney provides full guides to whatever port of call you decide to adventure. No need to worry about getting lost in a foreign land with Disney Cruise Lines. There are literally hundreds of different port adventures you and your family can embark on, ranging from mounting skiing, to off-road adventuring, to scuba diving. For a full listing of all the different activities you can sign up for, refer to the link at the end of the article. Regardless, Disney Cruise Lines promises to be rewarding for those looking for a vacation with a sense of adventure, and exploration.

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Disneyland Paris Ever feel like going to France, but shy away from the though of the language barrier? Look no further than Disneyland Paris. A fully bilingual resort with easy access to Paris and the surrounding area. To de-

Of course there is also the famous Disneyland theme park, in fact there are two, but there is so much more to Disneyland Paris than amusement rides. Disneyland Paris offers guided excursions for Anglophones into Paris to fully explore the historic city. Afterwards there are also evening excursions into the city to visit the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe as they are lit up with decorations when the sun goes down. Disneyland Paris is also located right next to Europe's largest Big Cat wildlife reserve which holds over one hundred of the world's most majestic lions, tigers, leopards and more large cats. scribe Disneyland Paris succinctly, imagine if Disneyland was picked up from California and dropped in Paris and then a second Disneyland was dropped beside it. Disneyland Paris is effectively twice as large as Disneyland Paris. It features a hotels, resorts and spas for the casual English speaking tourist, along with, excellent restaurants offering international cuisine, and live entertainment. There are also a few sporting facilities in the form of golf courses, tennis courts and ice skating rinks.

Overall it's important to remember why you're crossing the ocean to go to Disneyland. Ironically the answer is not simply “to go to Disneyland”, although your children will appreciate you more for it, but it is to explore Paris, and French culture in a very supportive and safe environment.

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Disneyland Hong Kong and Shanghai Although Disneyland Hong Kong manages to be smaller than Disneyland California, there are still enough activities to fill up your vacation schedule. While Disneyland Hong Kong offers the same tried and true amusement park and live entertainment features of other Disneyland resorts, there is a noticeable “Zen” about some of Disneyland Hong Kong's attractions.

Inspiration Lake Recreation Centre and the Resort Pier offer soothing boat rides to relax body and soul. The arboretum and the park promenade provide lush scenic views for visitors to stroll through. Most exciting are the seasonal events. This October Disneyland


guide services outside of Disneyland itself. There is also a lack of sporting and beach facilities offered by the North American and European Disneylands. Overall the Asian Disneylands are rather stunted and have nothing special to offer other than resort accommodations in a foreign country.

Hong Kong will be opening a haunted house and redecorating its theme parks with a spooky flair. Despite all this, Disneyland Hong Kong disappoints in that it does not offer any real exploration of Hong Kong or Shanghai. There is also no guarantee of full bilingual support in English. There is no incentive for an American vacationer to travel thousands of miles just to see Disneyland in a different country. Ultimately if you want to have a fufilling vacation in Hong Kong while at a Disneyland resort, you will have to look at third party tour services to supplement your visit, or go adventuring on your own.

tise resort facilities and hotels, the focus of these amusement parks is really to bring the American Disneyland experience to East Asian audiences, not attract American tourists to something they can already do in their own country. As such Disneyland Tokyo suffers from the same lack of full bilingual support as Disneyland Hong Kong along with a lack of any meaningful

What I really want to emphasize is that when planning your Disneyland vacation, you really have to think outside of Disneyland. You have to think of what a Disneyland vacation can offer that a regular resort cannot. While the theme parks are a start, there is also the family environment, the constructive approach to exploring local culture, and the friendly atmosphere cultivated by the staff. For a complete portal to all Disney vacations, please visit www. disneyparks.disney.go.com for booking information and a complete listing of entertainment facilities and pricing.

Disneyland Tokyo

Disneyland Tokyo suffers the same problems as the Disneyland Hong Kong. Although they adver-

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