Often “primary care doctors’ appointments to be scheduled at 15-minute intervals”

“Some physicians who work for hospitals say they’ve been asked to see patients every 11 minutes.”

A recent Kaiser Health News article noted “ Patients – and physicians – say they feel the time crunch as never before as doctors rush through appointments as if on roller skates to see more patients and perform more procedures to make up for flat or declining reimbursements.” “

“Doctors have one eye on the patient and one eye on the clock….”

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Be prepared with the questions you want to ask your doctor & make sure you understand the answers before you leave

The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has published lists of questions you should consider before, during and after an appointment with your doctor.

“You can make sure you get the best possible care by being an active member of your health care team. Being involved means being prepared and asking questions. Asking questions about your diagnoses, treatments, and medicines can improve the quality, safety, and effectiveness of your health care. Taking steps before your medical appointments will help you to make the most of your time with your doctor and health care team.”

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If you go to the ER and stay in the hospital, don’t assume you have been admitted

Not so! You can be in a hospital bed for several days without actually being admitted with personal financial consequences.

Recently a New York Times article “ noted: “ But it turns out that even though you are receiving treatment in a hospital bed, you may simply be under observation, and technically are still an outpatient. That can cost you money if you are covered under Medicare, the federal health plan for older Americans.”

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Narrow networks… keep premiums lower but…..

A recent Associated Press vignette noted: “MIAMI — The first thing Michelle Pool did before picking a plan under President Barack Obama’s health insurance law was check whether her longtime primary care doctor was covered. Pool, a 60-year-old diabetic who has had back surgery and a hip replacement, purchased the plan only to find that the insurer was mistaken.”

“Pool’s $352 a month gold plan through Covered California’s exchange was cheaper than what she’d paid under her husband’s insurance and seemed like a good deal because of her numerous pre-existing conditions. But after her insurance card came in the mail, the Vista, California resident learned her doctor wasn’t taking her new insurance.”

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If you do not buy health insurance you will get billed by the doctor, ER, and hospital

Choosing not to buy health insurance as required by Obamacare will result in IRS penalties withheld when you file your income tax returns. But you will still get billed by your doctor, the ER and the hospital – which could affect your credit rating, and in the case of an expensive emergency hospital admission put you into enormous long term debt if not bankruptcy.

Recently NPR published FAQs on “Understanding The Health Insurance Mandate And Penalties For Going Uninsured”. For example:

“Do I have to carry health insurance? Yes, just about everyone is required to have insurance as of Jan. 1, 2014, or else they’ll be liable for a tax penalty. That coverage can be supplied through your job (including COBRA or a retirement plan), public programs such as Medicare, Medicaid or the VA, or an individual policy that you purchase.

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Are Sure You Know What Kind of “Doctor” is Treating You?

If you are not certain who is treating you, ask!!!

We are familiar with M.D. and D.O. (physicians). Many other clinicians are called doctor such as your dentist (D.M.D.), podiatrist (D.P.M.), optometrist (O.D.) and chiropractor (D.C.).

Read this from the New York Times:

“Hi. I’m Dr. Patti McCarver, and I’m your nurse,” she said. And with that, Dr. McCarver stuck a scope in Ms. Cassidy’s ear, noticed a buildup of fluid and prescribed an allergy medicine. It was something that will become increasingly routine for patients: a someone who is not a physician using the title of doctor. Dr. McCarver calls herself a doctor because she returned to school to earn a doctorate last year, one of thousands of nurses doing the same recently. Doctorates are popping up all over the health professions, and the result is a quiet battle over not only the title “doctor,” but also the money, power and prestige that often come with it.”

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Rosacea: myths, reality and treatment

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a skin condition in which your face tends to appear red and inflamed with periods of worsening and improvement over months to years. Individuals with rosacea may flush easily or develop what looks like acne breakouts. It can occur in all ages or ethnicities but tends to be most common in white, middle-aged adults.

How common is rosacea?

Rosacea is extremely common with an estimated 14 million Americans suffering from the condition. Some notable sufferers include former President Bill Clinton, J.P. Morgan, W.C. Fields, Rembrandt and Rosie O’Donnell — not to mention Santa Claus and, most likely, Rudolph!

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