CE Courses 2007 - 2012
2012 - NEW
Coronary Artery Calcification Testing: This will be an in-depth review testing for coronary artery calcium (CAC) and the implications of test findings in assessing all aspects of circulatory risk as well as how these findings correlate with epidemiological factors and other test results.
Bilirubin and Alkaline Phosphatase: This long overdue course will examine life and morbidity underwriting implications of abnormal AP and bilirubin results in terms of what can cause them, how they are further evaluated, and how they correlate with clinical signs, symptoms, abnormal liver enzymes and other tests. In addition, we will review the burgeoning evidence of the risk implications of relatively high vs. relatively low bilirubin readings – within the “normal” range – as markers for mortality and morbidity.
Respiratory Disease Case Clinic: Case clinics will consist of 15 cases presented for analysis by the underwriter and followed by a complete dissection of each risk based on expert assessment.
Hodgkin Lymphoma: This malignancy is seen disproportionately by underwriters in relation to its prevalence because of the high cure rate. This course will cover every aspect of HL that matters in the determination of BEST CASES. Expect the definitive analysis of HL.
Myeloproliferative Diseases: There are two main disorders of excess blood cell manufacture that have extra mortality but are sometimes readily insurable: polycythemia vera and thrombocythemia. This course will cover the latest information germane to underwriting these disorders, as well as the non-malignant causes of excess red blood cells (polycythemia, erythrocytosis) and excess platelets (thrombocytosis) which often have major risk implications we overlook.
Metabolic Syndrome Case Clinic: Case clinics will consist of 15 cases presented for analysis by the underwriter and followed by a complete dissection of each risk based on expert assessment.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: PTSD is becoming increasingly more prevalent. Some cases are readily insurable; others have excess mortality and potentially fulminant extra morbidity. This course will cover the latest clinic developments, thus enabling underwriters to sort these risk and pinpoint BEST and WORST cases from every relevant angle.
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Alcohol disorders are the Achilles heel of mortality and morbidity. This course will cover every insurance-salient aspect of excess regular alcohol intake, bingeing, chronic abuse and alcohol dependency (alcoholism). When and under what circumstances can recovered alcoholics be insured? All clinical, laboratory, medical history, social and occupational history, and driving-related YELLOW and RED FLAGS will be discussed in depth.
Blood disorder and Complete Blood Analysis (CVC) Case Clinic: Case clinics will consist of 15 cases presented for analysis by the underwriter and followed by a complete dissection of each risk based on expert assessment.
Latest Developments in Tobacco Use and Insurability: This course will review key developments related to our understanding of tobacco mortality and morbidity including cigar and pipe smoking, oral tobacco use, alternative tobacco use practices such as water pipes (which are becoming more prevalent worldwide), implications of aggregate tobacco consumption (pack years), risk of relapse following all treatment alternatives and associations between tobacco use as it impacts other disorders, etc.
Throat and Mouth Cancer: This will be a unique comprehensive assessment of leukoplakia, carcinoma in situ and invasive cancer of the lip, tongue, cheek, pharynx and larynx, as well as the phenomenon known as regional cancerization of the upper aerodigestive tract (which has profound implications for otherwise insurable oral cavity cancers and precancerous conditions).
Rheumatological Disorders Case Clinic: Case clinics will consist of 15 cases presented for analysis by the underwriter and followed by a complete dissection of each risk based on expert assessment.
RED FLAGS in Coronary Artery Disease: Like all of our RED FLAG courses, this one will selectively review issues related to CAD such as risk implications of conventional and new highly-sensitive troponin assays in patients seen for chest pain who are and are not diagnosed with CAD events, cardiac syndrome X, underwriting factors in chronic inflammatory diseases as they alter CAD risk, RED and YELLOW FLAGS related to approved and off-label pharmacotherapies, detecting and assessing unstable atherosclerotic plaque and much more.
EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASE: This will be the first comprehensive course on infectious diseases for life and morbidity underwriters in many years. It will cover insurability implications of Lyme disease, West Nile fever, antibiotic resistant strains of infectious diseases, Clostridium difficile, travel exposures to dengue, malaria and other prevalent topical diseases; Chagas disease, flu pandemics and other issues that increasingly impact mortality and morbidity in industrialized nations.
Diabetes and Endocrine Disease Case Clinic: Case clinics will consist of 15 cases presented for analysis by the underwriter and followed by a complete dissection of each risk based on expert assessment.
Congenital Heart Disease in Adults: There have been many advances in the treatment and prognosis of congenital heart disorders such as atrial and ventricular septal defects, coarctation of the aorta and patent ductus arteriosus, as well as once-uninsurable cyanotic heart diseases like Tetralogy of Fallot. These will be discussed in the context of diagnosis and treatment in adulthood; plus long-term outcomes in adults who were treated in childhood.
RED FLAGS in Geriatric Underwriting: This course will dissect and analyze RED FLAGS with profound insurability implications including blood, urine and other laboratory findings as well other common test results with distinctive implications at older ages, the impact of social isolation, living alone, care-giving, sleeping problems and other factors prevalent in the elderly but often not used underwriting, subtle signs and symptoms reflective of undiagnosed diseases, etc. This course alone will pay back the entire cost of enrollment fifty-fold for companies writing business at ages 65 and over.
Cardiovascular Signs and Symptoms Case Clinic: Case clinics will consist of 15 cases presented for analysis by the underwriter and followed by a complete dissection of each risk based on expert assessment.
Stroke/TIA Part I: This course covers essential background on the cerebrovascular circulation, risk factors for TIAs and strokes, and signs and symptoms of cerebrovascular events.
Stroke/TIA Part II: This course addresses the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, complications and mortality/morbidity outcomes of strokes and TIA
COPD Part I: Here we cover the pathologic states of emphysema and chronic bronchitis, risk factors for COPD and the signs and symptoms of this disorder.
COPD Part II: This course focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, complications, comorbidities, and mortality/morbidity implications of COPD
Multiple Sclerosis: This course addresses all aspects of MS relevant to underwriting including the nature of demyelinating lesions, risk factors for MS, signs and symptoms, establishing the diagnosis, current treatments, complications and prognosis.
New CV Risk Factors and Their Implications: This unique course explores a range of risk factors for atherosclerotic disease not usually covered in other educational programs. It includes chronic inflammatory conditions, periodontal disease, erectile dysfunction, fibrinogen, testosterone and hypogonadism, resting pulse rate, hematologic and kidney function parameters, lifestyle choices and the very latest findings about key CV markers
RED FLAGS!: This is another unique course found only in CE. It dissects what must know about wide range of oft-under-appreciated RED FLAGS such as underweight/weight loss, red blood cell distribution width (RDW), abnormal serum proteins, MCV, suicidal ideation, bingeing, social isolation, Brugada and other ECG findings, certain Rx combinations, emergency room visits and alarm signs/symptoms for life-threatening underlying causes of common medical complaints. What your underwriters learn in this course alone will save your company countless times the enrollment fee!
Bipolar Disorders: Here we will cover the entire bipolar spectrum (bipolar disorders I +II and cyclothymia) focusing on symptoms, diagnosis, implications of psychiatric and other comorbidities, risk-tasking behaviors, treatment and outcomes.
Prostate Cancer: With the surge in older age business, underwriters are seeing more and more cases of prostate cancer…some innocuous; others deadly. This course explores all aspects of PC with special attention to Gleason scoring and other prognostic factors, risk implications of management strategies, PSA response to treatment, complications of therapy, post-treatment surveillance and outcomes.
Case Clinic - Cancer: This is one of 4 case clinic courses for 2011. It presents a range of cases with varying degrees of complexity involving the more prevalent types of cancer we see. Each case will include our detailed analysis so the participant can compare his assessment with our own.
Case Clinic - Liver Disorders: Here we have cases involving chronic hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, occult cirrhosis, NASH, combinations of abnormal findings without a final clinical diagnosis and more.
Case Clinic - Psychiatric Disorders: This case clinic looks at typical and atypical psychiatric symptoms without a clear diagnosis, major mood and anxiety disorders, psychiatric risks presenting as pain and functional disorders like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, deceptive/incomplete disclosure cases, psychiatric risks comorbid with medical disorders, etc.
Case Clinic - GI Disorders: Again with the same format, we cover upper and lower GI bleeding, “uncertain cause” GI symptoms, IBS vs. occult serious disease, Barrett esophagus, gastric ulcers, xerostomia, inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal polyps, iron deficiency anemia related to possible occult malignancy and other challenging GI risk scenarios
Chronic Kidney Disease: Chronic Kidney Disease will address chronic forms of glomerular disease, distinguishing those with favorable outcomes from others with an adverse prognosis. Kidney stones and pyelonephritis will also be covered.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: NHL comes in many forms, from insidious low grade disease to highly-aggressive tumors often amenable to cure with multidisciplinary treatment. We address them all, looking at clues to undiagnosed lymphoma, biopsy findings and staging, clinical and pathological prognostic factors and all aspects bearing on insurability.
Sleep Apnea: This course brings underwriters up to date on the latest developments in the subtypes, risk factors, signs/symptoms, comorbidities, treatment alternatives and risk implications.
Heart Disease Pharmacology: How physicians manage patients with hypertension, hyperlipidemia, CAD, arrhythmias, myocardial disease and other cardiac and related conditions has huge implications for insurability. This course covers all forms of heart disease Rx as it relates the clinical diagnosis, disease severity, complications, treatment adherence, comorbidities and prognosis. It equips participants to make sound inferences and judgments based on teleinterview disclosures and Rx profiles.
Mood Disorders in the Elderly: One insidious factor in mortality and morbidity risk at ages 65+ is depression and its complications. Mood disorders often present very differently at older ages. We examine risk factors related to mood impairment arising in elders, symptoms and other clues to potentially-undiagnosed problems, associations with cognitive and physical function, risks related to use of benzodiazepines and other drug classes, bereavement, consequences of long-term caregiving by spouses, and indicators of heightened risk of suicide.
Coronary Surgery: This course encompasses both angioplasty and coronary artery bypass. These procedures are widely undertaken in a range of risks, including many individuals with asymptomatic CAD. We will look at all aspects of these surgeries to distinguish BEST CASE scenarios from those fraught with high risk.
Older Age Lab Test Clinic: Older Age Lab Test Case Clinic will present a range of cases involving abnormalities in lab tests that we see often at older ages. This will include tests we use in underwriting, as well as those done clinically. This is a key topic if only because of the innate differences in the implications of abnormal lab tests at ages 65 and over.
Kidney Tumors: This course will be devoted to benign and malignant lesions of this respective site.
Melanoma 2010: This course will update and expand upon those we did early on in CE, based on the latest developments in clinical medicine.
Bladder Polyps & Cancer: Bladder Ployps & Cancer will be devoted to benign and malignant lesions of the bladder. Underwriters often see early bladder cancer cases, and the incidence of occult renal carcinomas is rising rapidly due to the advent of abdominal scans done for unrelated reasons.
Underwriting Chronic Pain: Underwriting Chronic Pain is a vital subject because it is the #1 symptom sending patients to their doctors. It is also both a leading cause of morbidity and a sinister contributor to early death. This course will investigate the full range of pain symptoms and complications, and all issues that bear on insurability.
Early Heart Failure: Early Heart Failure is focused on what matters most: how to pinpoint evolving/early cases based on symptoms, and telltale evidence of subclinical disease on cardiac tests. This course will enable underwriters to identify applicants at high risk for developing CHF.
Depression 2010: This course will update and expand upon those we did early on in CE, based on the latest developments in clinical medicine.
Neurologic Signs & Symptoms: Neurologic Signs and Symptoms is long overdue. Here we will look at everything from abnormal reflexes, nystagmus and diplopia to peripheral neuropathies, and other prevalent symptoms and findings seldom covered from an underwriting angle.
Aneurysms: Aneurysms are another area that is seldom addressed from an underwriter’s need-to-understand perspective. This course will solve this problem definitively, looking at all aspects of these often-lethal lesions.
Late Effects of Cancer Rx: Late Effects of Cancer Rx has evolved into a major underwriting issue because we are seeing more and more long-term survivors of cancer as insurance applicants. Our prevailing underwriting practices often overlook significant risks that develop long after the patient is deemed “cured” of their malignancy.
Crohn Disease: Crohn disease is the second of two essential courses on inflammatory bowel disease. It will cover all aspects of the risk factors, diagnosis, management and prognosis of this prevalent chronic disease.
Aortic Valve Disease: Aortic Valve Disease will explore bicuspid valves, stenosis and regurgitation (insufficiency). It will also look closely at an insidious condition known as “calcific aortic sclerosis,” which occurs mainly in the elderly and is often clinically ignored.
Pancreatic Disease: Pancreatic Disease is area often overlooked in underwriting education. This course will cover all pancreatic and related including acute and chronic pancreatitis, and cysts and benign tumors.
Bariatric Surgery: Bariatric Surgery, once rarely seen by underwriters, is now being done with steeply increasing frequency not only in the morbidly obese but also in patients with BMIs in the 35-39.9 range. There is good news and bad news here, and we will explore the criteria for BEST CASE as well as pinpoint RED FLAG criteria.
Underwriting Frailty I & II: Underwriting Frailty covers all factors associated with physical frailty, including tests to detect premature frailty in insurance applicants. This is essential knowledge for underwriters because frailty is perhaps the #1 key to mortality and morbidity at ages 70 and over.
Peripheral Arterial Disease: Peripheral Arterial Disease is often the “odd man out” in underwriting education aimed at circulatory disease risks. PAD is insidious in presentation and in many studies is as much a marker for coronary disease as it is a potentially lethal, and high morbidity disorder in its own right.
Low Back Pain: The BONUS COURSE for morbidity underwriters digs into everything we need to know to underwriting Low Back Pain from every angle.
21st Century Financial Underwriting: The BONUS COURSE for life underwriters – 21st Century Financial Underwriting – will be the defining opus on this essential subject, written by one of America’s leading experts, Dwayne “DK” Kilbo, MBA, FLMI. A longtime underwriting executive at Hartford Life, DK is now a principal in Windsor Insurance Associates in LA. He also wrote the outstanding Financial Underwriting chapter in our new book for producers Underwriting: What Every Producer Must Know.
Uric Acid and Gout: This course covers underwriting of elevated uric acid. It also reviews all of the latest information on gout, including symptoms, complications and WORST CASE criteria.
Cardiomyopathies: This is a complex subject where the pace of new clinical insights rivals any field of medicine. We will focus on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as well as heart muscle damage associated with alcoholism and diabetes, as well as post-partum cardiomyopathy and myocarditis.
Psychiatric Rx – 2009: The use of psychotropic drugs is growing rapidly in most domains of psychiatric medicine. New approvals, widening off-label use and potent adverse effects abound. This course will provide the background underwriters need to underwrite individuals taking these drugs in all risk contexts.
U-Shaped Alcohol Risk: The mortality and morbidity risks associated with alcohol use vary widely by level and pattern of consumption. There is a robust new literature showing us the distinctions between never-use, former-use and extent of current use as it relates to risk. We will also look at the question of whether or not crediting temperate alcohol intake is feasible and appropriate in some underwriting settings.
Colitis in All its Forms: There are many forms of colitis and this course will cover them all, with a special emphasis on ulcerative colitis. We will focus on identifying cases which can be approved without medical records as well as RED FLAGS for high risk in UC and other significant large bowel conditions.
Monoclonal Gammopathy (MGUS): This disorder is diagnosed with increasing frequency as people age and is often first discovered based on routine blood profile findings. MGUS will be covered in sufficient depth, focusing on its risk implications as well as RED FLAGS for those most likely to progress to myeloma and related malignancies.
Asthma I & II: This course will encompass all significant clinical developments of the last 5 years into a comprehensive review of what underwriters must know about asthma in all of its presentations.
The Prediabetic States: We have found that the three prediabetic disorder – impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are less well understood and appreciated by most underwriters. We will examine all three, emphasizing not only their relative risk of progression to T2DM but also their implications as "stand-alone” impairments.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: PCOS is one of the most prevalent female disorders and its risk implications are now known to the highly significant to mortality as well as morbidity. This course will provide underwriters with a sound understanding of PCOS and how to relate it to its prevalent comorbidities.
Melanoma Precursors I & II: Over the last three decades, knowledge has expanded dramatically on familial and sporadic (non-inherited) nevi at risk for transformation to melanoma. We will cover them all; with a special emphasis on dysplastic (atypical) moles and key characteristics distinguish common benign moles from those capable of malignant change. Melanoma in situ will also be addressed.
Colon Cancer: Carcinoma of the colon is one of the most common malignancies at significant risk for a fatal outcome. This course will cover all aspects of preinvasive and invasive colon cancer, including predisposing conditions, and identify BEST CASE criteria.
Marijuana and Insurability: Issues and disagreements abound regarding the mortality and morbidity risks associated with use of cannabis on any basis. We will review all of the salient considerations regarding marijuana, including comorbidities and potential morbidity and mortality consequences.
Cancer Clues: Insurers have been clamoring to discover the most effective ways of detecting pre-existing malignancies. We believe that the most reliable and cost-effective approach is to optimizing underwriters’ understanding of all of the clues that are potentially associated with both undiagnosed and non-disclosed cancers. This unique course will range across physical findings, recent histories, lab test results and other clues associated with this issue.
Fatty Liver/NASH – 2009: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is now recognized as one of the most prevalent impairments in humans. We will look at every aspect of simple fatty liver, its more significant presentation as NASH and all factors bearing on its asymptomatic presence and excess mortality and morbidity. Alcoholic fatty liver will also be covered, mainly in terms of distinguishing it from NAFLD.
Pulse Pressure in Underwriting: Knowledge of this blood pressure marker and its underwriting implications is essential in assessing risk at ages 60 and over. Unfortunately, pulse pressure has yet to be addressed in most underwriting manuals. This course will cover what underwriters need to know and suggest how PP could be effectively interfaced with systolic and diastolic readings as well as other evidence of undiagnosed circulatory system pathology.
Advanced Cardiac Testing: Going forward from our 2008 course in TREADMILL TESTING, we will dissect all of the tests used to further assess at-risk individuals for coronary disease and related impairments. Stress echocardiography will be covered in depth, along with radioisotope scans and the latest new techniques. This is essential learning for all mortality and morbidity risk underwriters.
Incidentalomas: The Underwriting of Incidental Diagnostic Test Findings: This unique course examines a wide range of common incidental (unexpected) findings on x-rays, CT scans, sonograms and other clinical diagnostic tests, as well as pathology and cytology analyses. The emphasis will be on how to assess potential risks – if indeed, they exist – related to such findings, a matter often left unaddressed in clinical care (an d underwriting manuals!).
Type II Diabetes: Part I: This course updates and expands our earlier course on diabetes, focusing on type 2 DM and its precursors (gestational diabetes as well as impaired fasting and postprandial glucose). The emphasis will be on new developments, RED FLAGS, BEST CASE criteria and other issues affecting risk appraisal.
Type II Diabetes: Part II: A continuation of the Type II Diabetes course. The emphasis will be on new developments, RED FLAGS, BEST CASE criteria and other issues affecting risk appraisal.
Risk Implications of Rx and Other Forms of Patient Noncompliance: Patient noncompliance with physician recommendations is a common and insidious problem. We will look closely at the extent of this problem and its manifestations in various domains including medications, routine screening of high and average risk patients and disease prevention interventions. All of this will be related back directly to case underwriting. This is an essential body of knowledge in teleunderwriting as well as Rx profiling.
CBC Analysis & Case Clinic: The CBC is one of two most commonly ordered blood tests in medicine. There are many potential RED FLAGS embedded in what may often seem like innocent abnormalities on individual tests, as well as many other findings that cause concern but have little or no mortality and/or morbidity implications. In addition to reviewing all components of the CBC, we will also include illustrative cases.
Underwriting Assessment of Renal Function Tests (includes cases): This will cover the full range of clinical laboratory screening and diagnostic testing for suspected or known renal impairment, including creatinine, BUN, creatinine clearance, eGFR, macro- and microalbuminuria and the promising new test cystatin C. Case examples will embellish a solid understanding of how these tests relate individually and collectively to pinpointing and evaluating renal (and related) impairments.
Cancer of the Uterus and Its Precursors: Like all of the cancer courses we have done, this one will cover all underwriting-salient aspects of premalignant conditions, endometrial in situ and invasive carcinoma, as well as underwriting of uterine bleeding. WORST CASE and RED FLAG criteria will be cited in depth, based on the most current literature.
Atrioventricular (AV) and Bundle Branch Blocks: As the name suggests, we will cover first, second and third degree AV blocks, left anterior and posterior hemiblocks, and right and left bundle branch blocks. The latest studies on their insurability significance will be reviewed, with special emphasis on potential underlying causes, synergistic implications with symptoms and other conditions, and RED FLAG factors.
Underwriting Headaches: Headache is one of the most common symptoms leading to medical visits and therapeutic intervention. This course will explore the range of headache and related symptoms, diagnostic tests and interventions with the emphasis on identifying RED FLAG issues. Migraine syndromes will also be covered to assure an in-depth appreciation of their risk implications.
Myelodysplastic (Preleukemic) Disorders and Monoclonal Gammopathy: These disorders are often discovered incidentally during routine screening or evaluation of (ostensibly) unrelated symptoms and findings. Their manifestations may be overlooked or underappreciated. Given their insidious mortality and morbidity implications, this is absolutely essential knowledge for underwriting at ages 55 and higher.
Case Clinic on Pathology Report Analysis: Our first case clinic course (lab testing) was so well received that we will do another case clinic based on pathology report analysis. While the majority will deal with precancerous conditions and malignancies, we will also cover liver biopsy findings in chronic hepatitis and early cirrhosis, etc. For each case presented in section one, there will be a comprehensive underwriting analysis in section two.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: GAD is one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders. It has significant implications for morbidity as well as, in some contexts such as comorbidities, for mortality risk. GAD may also be misdiagnosed or missed altogether in primary care. As we did with the other anxiety disorders, we will cover all aspects of relevance to risk appraisal.
Socioeconomic Factors, Health Habits and Risk-Taking Behaviors in 21st Century Risk Appraisal: There is extensive evidence that these factors can have important risk implications independent of, as well as in context with, conventional impairments. We believe this to be the first time a course has examined elements of these three issues bearing on insurability. In the age of teleunderwriting, the potential to finally address at least some of these issues is at hand.
Neurology I: Parkinson Disease and Peripheral Neuropathies: As the title implies, this course will focus on the underwriting analysis of Parkinson disease, as well as tremors and other Parkinsonian symptoms associated with other conditions. Peripheral neuropathies are very prevalent medical complaints. Most are transient; others have insidious insurability implications. RED FLAGS and other essential insights will be provided.
Contemporary Underwriting Issues in Lab Testing (includes cases): Lab testing is an ever-changing domain. There are essential “pro and con” issues which need to be independently addressed. We will review the latest analytical and clinical developments in hopes of clearing the air…to facilitate their most productive use and thus maximize their payoff in underwriting. Cases will be included.
Alzheimer Disease – 2008: This course, like the one on T2DM, is updated and expanded from an earlier AD course. It will provide a firm, contemporary foundation in the analysis of pathologic and physiologic cognitive symptoms and signs, and explore the range and implications of cognitive function testing, with an emphasis on screening-feasible components for specialized geriatric paramedicals, etc.
Underwriting Analysis of Treadmill Stress Test Findings: Too often, busy underwriters focus only on the ECG results, glossing over or missing highly significant non-ECG findings inherent in a treadmill test report. These include METS achieved, chronotropic incompetence, post-exercise heart rate recovery, blood pressure response to exercise, symptoms during the tests and the correlation of these with medical histories. This course will cover all of these and those who complete it will acquire greatly-enhanced expertise on a very important (given the prevalence of clinical treadmill testing) subject.
Hip Fracture: Hip fracture has ominous insurability implications. We will dissect the risk factors as the post-fracture implications for short- and long-term mortality, prolonged disability and health care management. The underwriter will come away with an in-depth knowledge of traumatic and non-traumatic hip fracture and their implications.
Case Clinic on Laboratory Tests: This is our first-ever case clinic course, requested by many enrolled companies. It will have 20+ cases involving laboratory test results and other risk co-factors. Full case details will be provided with questions raised for each case. Our best answers to these questions will then be provided as a surrogate for our usual self-examination.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD is increasing in prevalence and needs to be covered in depth for mortality and morbidity risk issues. This course will have all of the latest information on epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis for full-blown PTSD as well as the now-recognized subthreshold form of the disorder.
Major 21st Century Markers for Atherosclerotic Disease Risk: There have been tremendous advances in the development of effective markers for atherosclerotic circulatory disease risk. Among the ones we will cover are BNP, NT-proBNP, hs-CRP, homocysteine,apolipoproteins A-1 and B-100, hemoglobin A1-c, the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio and what is called “non-HDL-C cholesterol.”
Celiac Disease: Perhaps no prevalent disease is less appreciated by underwriters than gluten-sensitive enteropathy, better known as celiac disease. We will cover all risk-relevant aspects of this disorder, including the latest on diagnostic testing, comorbidities and prognosis, and, of course, BEST CASE criteria.
Underwriting Assessment Of Syncope (Fainting): Syncope is one of the five most common symptoms for which patients seek medical care. There are many causes; some with little risk significance and others with profound implications for insurability. This course will cover all aspects of syncope with a special focus on identifying the WORST CASES based on typical medical histories where a definite clinical diagnosis is not established.
Sexually-Transmitted Diseases (Excluding HIV + HBV): The prevalence of STDs is increasing and there may been many advances in the diagnosis and treatment of some of these disorders. This course will review all of the prevalent STDs except for HIV and hepatitis B (we did a comprehensive HBV course in 2005). All that underwriters need to know to assess these conditions will be included.
Benign & Premalignant Breast Disease: This course will examine all of the major forms of benign and precancerous breast lesions, from cysts to atypical hyperplasias. These growths are more and more frequently being identified and diagnosed due to screening mammography. Some portend significant mortality and morbidity risks. The underwriter will come away with a strong understanding of these pathologies and their relationship to insurability.
Coronary Artery Calcium Scores and the Risk of Circulatory Events: The use of helical CT-scanning to compute calcium scores has expanded greatly in recent years. Many persons now pay for their own scanning (which is quite affordable) when it is not covered by their health insurers. This course will review all that underwriters MUST know about this test, including what may...and may not...be inferred from the results.
Major Eye Disorders: Eye disease is another subject that all-too-often falls under the radar of underwriters. These four conditions all have implications that transcend their direct impact on vision. All four will be covered in depth, with the latest on diagnosis, work-up, comorbidities, prognosis and therapies.
Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer: Basal and squamous cell skin carcinomas are among the most commonly-diagnosed malignancies. Many confer little risk; in others, that risk is anything but modest. We will cover every salient aspects so underwriters can easily distinguish more-common BEST CASES from their sinister WORST RISK counterparts. We will also address comorbidities and other risks that have come to be associated with skin cancer.
Anemia II: This course will complete our coverage of anemia. The focus will be on thalassemia (one of the most prevalent disorders in the world), the various hemolytic diseases and in-depth focus on two issues: the implications of anemia in older-age applicants (which are all-but-unrecognized in most manuals) and the links now appreciated between low-grade anemia and enhanced CV risk.
Stress: Issues in Risk & Insurability: We all know intuitively that stress and disease are profoundly linked. For the first time in underwriting education, these links will be explored in depth for both morbidity and mortality. The world literature will be sifted and the most relevant aspects reviewed in depth. This course may well have implications for readers that transcend matters of underwriting!
Colon Polyps and Carcinoma In-situ: With the advent of screening colonoscopy, the incidence of colorectal polyp discovery and excision has grown steeply. This course will provide a broad-based understanding of the various types of polyps, based on morphology, pathology and association with cancer risk, as well as the polyp-forming syndromes and practices related to lower GI screening.
Smokeless Tobacco and Betel Nut: The proper insurability status for smokeless tobacco continues to be debated. Betel nut use is highly prevalent in persons from Pakistan to the end of the Indonesia archipelago, as well as in immigrants from those countries. This course will give the student a comprehensive understanding of all insurability-salient aspects of both topics.
Hepatitis C 2007: (Brand new course, updated for developments from 2003 to 2007)There are thought to be well over four million chronic HCV-infected Americans and millions more worldwide. HCV is now the #1 cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer in most parts of the Western world and second only to hepatitis B in Asia. There have been so many advances in knowledge about aspects of HCV related to insurability that we MUST now update and expand our 2003 course for matters bearing on how we identify high risk individuals and assess diagnosed cases of this serious disorder. BEST and WORST CASE criteria will, of course, be discussed in depth.
Hemochromatosis: Hereditary and non-inherited forms of hemochromatosis have significant implications for insurability, as stand-alone disorders and comorbidities. This course will provide a strong understanding of everything from genetic tests for the hereditary form to key factors for identifying probable undiagnosed cases based on blood profile test results and medical and family histories.
Social Anxiety Disorder and Other Phobic States: Social anxiety disorder – once called social phobia – is a very prevalent anxiety disorder. It exists in two main forms, both of which have significant morbidity risk and one of which also has important mortality implications. We will examine in depth the comorbidities that so often influence the outcome of this condition. We will also look at the other phobic states that have insurability issues.
Ovarian Cysts & Tumors: Ovarian cancer is one of the leading causes of female cancer mortality. It is also a disease where great strides have been made in diagnosis and treatment. There are several borderline tumors that are being diagnosed more often now, as well as various cysts and benign tumors that need to be understood in a risk context. This course will cover all of this and provide BEST CASE criteria for ovarian cancer.