Servicing DC, MD & VA

Why Are Health Care Costs Rising?

April 7th, 2017 | Comments Off on Why Are Health Care Costs Rising? | Posted in Misc

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

April 7th, 2017 | Comments Off on Questions to Ask Your Doctor | Posted in Misc

Note: The questions listed below are designed to help you maximize your health care dollars. These questions should not be used as a substitute for your doctor’s professional, medical advice.

Patients often accept their doctors’ advice without truly understanding what alternative treatments are available, and what—if any—differences there are in cost and effectiveness among those alternatives. Asking questions can help you decide what treatment plan is best for both your health and your wallet.

Questions to Ask: General

  1. Why is this treatment necessary?
  2. How much will my treatment cost?
  3. Can I be treated another way that is equally effective but less costly?
  4. What is the current procedural terminology (CPT) code of this treatment so I can price shop this procedure?
  5. What can I do to improve my condition?

Questions to Ask: Prescriptions

  1. Why are you suggesting this specific dosage?
  2. Is my prescription in my insurance’s approved list? Or, is this a specialty drug?
  3. Can you recommend a lower-cost generic or over-the-counter drug as an alternative?

Monitor Your Rice Intake

April 7th, 2017 | Comments Off on Monitor Your Rice Intake | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Monitor Your Rice Intake to Minimize Arsenic Consumption

Arsenic, an element from the Earth’s crust that is naturally found in air and water, may not only cause cancer, but can also negatively affect a child’s development and cause problems into adulthood. Inorganic arsenic is the type of arsenic that is associated with adverse health effects and the type of arsenic that is found in common foods and drinks, like rice and apple juice.

Rice has been found to absorb the highest amounts of inorganic arsenic when compared to other commonly eaten foods. Last April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a limit on the amount of inorganic arsenic to be allowed in infant rice cereal. The FDA, however, has not imposed action limits on other rice items.

Instead, the FDA and Consumer Reports recommend that adults and children eat a well-balanced diet for good nutrition and avoid consuming an excess of rice.

For further information on arsenic in rice and recommendations on how to safely keep rice in your diet, visit the FDA’s Q&A page.

View more Live Well, Work Well tips here.

Home Inspection After Winter

April 7th, 2017 | Comments Off on Home Inspection After Winter | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Performing a Home Inspection After Winter

Snow, sleet, hail and more all have the potential to cause substantial damage to your home. And, although some damage is inevitable, it’s important to inspect your home and the surrounding area in spring to see if any repairs are needed.

Here are five areas around your home to inspect after winter:

  1. Exterior: The exterior and siding of your home can be damaged by snow, ice and hail. And, if moisture makes its way inside your home, it can cause wood rot and lead to costly repairs. Also, ensure that the paint on your home’s exterior is in good condition and capable of blocking moisture.
  2. Roof: When snow or ice melts on a roof, it can run beneath the roof and refreeze, causing ice dams. From the ground, check to see if your roof’s shingles are secure, and that there aren’t any noticeable leaks.
  3. Gutters: Just like your roof, you gutters are susceptible to ice dams. This can damage your gutters and cause them to dislodge from your home. Consider installing additional protective measures—such as gutter screens or heating elements—to prevent damage in the future.
  4. Foundation: Cracks in your home’s foundation can significantly weaken its structure. Inspect the foundation on both the inside and outside of your home for any cracks, and have them repaired as soon as possible to prevent more damage.
  5. Landscaping: Trees that have fallen over or that have damaged branches can disrupt vital utilities, and shrubs or bushes near your home can damage its foundation. Make sure that the landscaping around your home is properly cared for, and that trees are trimmed regularly to prevent damage.

Contact Hodge, Hart & Schleifer to get in touch with certified professionals who can repair your home and keep your family safe.

Renting Your Home – TIPS

April 7th, 2017 | Comments Off on Renting Your Home – TIPS | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

April 2017 Festivals and Events

April 7th, 2017 | Comments Off on April 2017 Festivals and Events | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

The Washington, DC area and its surrounding communities in Maryland and Virginia host lots of annual festivals and special events. All dates, prices, and activities mentioned are subject to change, so please check the official website or call to confirm information. Please note that most of these events are held each year and the dates are updated as available.

See the blossoming of thousands of cherry trees on the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. The capital welcomes spring with this annual tradition begun by the gift of 600 trees to the United States from Japan in 1912. Don’t miss the best events including the parade, kite festival, concerts, fireworks and cultural events.

Spring Theater in Washington DC
Check out the spring theater scene in Washington DC.
With dozens of performances around the capital region, here is the schedule of the top shows for the upcoming season.

Smithsonian Jazz Appreciation Month
Throughout April 2017. Various locations. The Smithsonian celebrates the month with special talks, workshops, concerts and more.

Washington Nationals Baseball
Nationals Park. Opening Day is April 3, 2017. The team will play against the Miami Marlins. The Nationals 2016 schedule includes 81 home dates. The major league baseball team plays through September.

Washington Capitals
The NHL Hockey team plays at the Verizon Center through April. Find information on tickets, schedules and more.

Parade of the National Cherry Blossom Festival
April 8, 2017, 10 a.m. See wonderful entertainment for the whole family including decorated floats, gigantic colorful helium balloons, marching bands, clowns, horses, antique cars, military and celebrity performances, and more.

Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival
April 8, 2017, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. The huge Japanese street party includes live entertainment, food, arts, games and a Ginza Marketplace.

DC Emancipation Day
April 8, 2017. The anniversary of the Emancipation Act, when Lincoln granted freedom to 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia is celebrated with educational and cultural events throughout the city. Note this year’s events are a week earlier than usual due to Easter.

Frederick County Bell and History Day
April 8, 2017. Across the Maryland county, participating museums and historic sites offer free admission along with special events, tours, music, living history programs, and various bell-themed activities.

Anacostia River Festival 
April 9, 2017, 1-5 p.m. Anacostia Park, SE Washington DC. The festival features a wide variety of activities including outdoor recreation, musical performances,  a photography exhibition, a bike parade and more.

Passover in Washington, DC
April 10-18, 2017. Find resources for planning and celebrating the Jewish holiday in the Washington DC area, including kosher markets, restaurants, synagogues and more.

Thomas Jefferson Birthday
April 13, 2017, 11 a.m. Visit the Jefferson Memorial and attend the wreath-laying ceremony to mark the birthday of our third president. The event will feature a military color guard, patriotic wreath tributes and the sounding of “Taps”.

Southwest Waterfront Festival and Fireworks
April 15, 2017. Southwest Waterfront, Washington DC.  A highlight of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the free event features music, water-related activities, cultural experiences, live entertainment and fireworks.

National Park Week
April 15-23, 2017. The National Park Service encourages everyone to enjoy the natural wonders found in parks across the country. Special activities will take place around the region.

Easter Egg Hunts
Dates vary. See a schedule of Easter events for children at a variety of venues around the capital region.

Easter in Washington, DC
April 16, 2017. See a guide to celebrating the holiday in the nation’s capital including the schedules and suggested venues for Easter brunch, Easter egg hunts, religious services and other special events.

White House Easter Egg Roll
April 17, 2017, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Bring the kids to hunt for Easter Eggs and visit with the Easter Bunny on the White House lawn. See also Easter Egg Hunts in Maryland and Virginia.

African American Family Celebration at the National Zoo
April 17, 2017, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. At this year’s multicultural tradition, the Zoo will offer an Easter egg roll/hunt, crafts, live entertainment, a food bazaar, and more family-friendly fun. Talk with Smithsonian scientists, who will share their work with such African animals as the kori bustard, cheetah, gorilla, and gaboon viper.

Filmfest DC
April 20-30, 2017. Multiple venues around Washington DC. The city’s oldest film festival returns this year featuring a wide range of films from around the globe including features, documentaries, comedies, shorts and award winners.

Bay Bridge Boat Show
April 21-23, 2017. Kent Island, Maryland. The show kicks off the boating season each spring with a display of hundreds of new and late model brokerage boats and boat equipment displays.

Bethesda Literary Festival
April 21-23, 2017. Dozens of authors and writers conduct readings, talks and other activities at galleries, bookstores and other sites in downtown Bethesda.

Sugarloaf Craft Festival
April 21-23, 2017. Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Gaithersburg, MD. Enjoy a wide selection of contemporary crafts and fine art at this popular festival.

March for Science 
April 22, 2017. National Mall, Washington DC. Co-hosting with the Earth Day Network, the event will focus on standing up for facts and science and defending the environment for future generations. Speakers will discuss a wide range of science related and social issues.

Earth Day
Throughout the month of April, celebrate Earth Day with special activities that make caring for the planet fun for all ages. Find activities in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.

National Math Festival 
April 22, 2017. Washington Convention Center,  Washington DC. The family-friendly event will include lectures, hands-on demonstrations, art, films, performances, puzzles, games, children’s book readings, and more. 

Virginia Historic Garden Week
April 22-29, 2017. A garden-lovers paradise! This annual event features tours of the gardens at Virginia’s most prestigious private homes and public attractions. See lush gardens, stunning architecture, and historic furnishings. See a guide to more upcoming garden tours around the region. 

White House Spring Garden Tours
2017 Dates to Be Announced. Visit the White House grounds and explore the beautiful gardens. Tickets are required.

DC Craft Beer Festival
April 22, 2017. Nationals Park,  Washington, DC. The American craft beer tasting will feature seminars and food and the spring releases from approximately 75 breweries.

Arlington Festival of the Arts
April 22-23, 2017. Clarendon, VA. The new arts festival features vibrant paintings, contemporary and whimsical art, life-size sculptures, photography, handcrafted jewelry and much more.

Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival
April 22-23, 2017. Historic Leesburg, Virginia. The family friendly event displays landscape designs, gardening supplies, outdoor living items, plants, flowers, herbs and much more.

Smithsonian Craft Show
April 27-30, 2017. This is your chance to buy unique crafts from the most prestigious exhibition of contemporary American arts in the nation.

Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show
April 28-30, 2017. Annapolis, MD. The show includes new and brokerage catamarans, monohulls, racing boats, inflatables, and day sailors. Cruisers University features hands-on training by cruising experts.

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival
April 28–May 7, 2017, Winchester, VA. The annual celebration of spring showcases the blooming apple trees in the Shenandoah Valley with more than 45 events including the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah, the Grand Feature Parade, band competitions, dances, a carnival, a 10K run, Firefighters events and more.

Georgetown French Market
April 28-30, 2017. The spring shopping extravaganza features fashion, French fare, quaint home and antique shops, galleries and live music.

People’s Climate March
April 29, 2017. Washington DC. In response to Trump’s denial of the existence of climate change, The People’s Climate Movement is organizing a nationwide movement, culminating on April 29th in Washington DC in a powerful mobilization to unite all of the groups around the nation.

National Harbor Food & Wine Festival
April 29-30, 2017. Enjoy food and wine pairing, artisinal and organic products, lectures on culinary and wine trends and more.

For more information on attractions, sightseeing, entertainment, shopping, recreation, sports, and things to do all year-round, see Top 10 Things to Do in the Washington DC/Capital Region

Source: dc.about.com