Don’t assume your doctor takes Medicare – ask and make sure! Otherwise you may get a surprise – a bill to pay and no reimbursement!
Recently, a WSJ article explained three options physicians have with Medicare claims.
“Fewer American doctors are treating patients enrolled in the Medicare health program for seniors, reflecting frustration with its payment rates and pushback against mounting rules, according to health experts.
Should you take your child to a nearby “walk-in” clinic for what you think is a minor medical problem?
Recently a Wall Street Journal article reported that The American Academy of Pediatrics has expressed concerns about retail health clinics.
A conundrum: go to your local community hospital or an academic medical center?
A recent article in Becker’s Hospital Review reported on a study published in Health Affairs which “raised questions about whether hospitals’ reputations match the quality of care they provide. The study examined the differences between high-price and low-price hospitals and found the more costly providers were the clear winners in U.S. News & World Report rankings, which are partly (32.5 percent for the Best Hospitals 2013-14) based on their reputation with specialists. However, low-price hospitals performed better on certain outcomes-based readmissions and patient safety measures, such as postoperative blood clots. If high-price hospitals tend to have better reputations, the study raises the question of whether there’s a disconnect between how hospitals are perceived and how they perform and whether reputation should play a part in lists such as Truven Health Analytics’ 100 Top Hospitals, Becker’s Hospital Review’s “100 Great Hospitals” and U.S. News’ Best Hospitals.”
How about your basic health data? The solution may be a Personal Health Record.
Here’s some information on PHRs from the Mayor Clinic:
An electronic personal health record makes it easy to gather and manage your medical information in one accessible and secure location.
A recent New York Times article noted “Doctors’ stethoscopes are contaminated with bacteria that can easily be transferred from one patient to another …”
“Researchers cultured bacteria from the fingertips, palms and stethoscopes of three doctors who had done standard physical examinations on 83 patients at a Swiss hospital. They tested for the presence of viable bacterial cells, looking specifically for the potentially deadly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.”
Most health plans must cover a set of preventive services like shots and screening tests at no cost to you. This includes Marketplace private insurance plans.
All Marketplace plans and many other plans must cover the following list of preventive services without charging you a copayment or coinsurance. This is true even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible. This applies only when these services are delivered by a network provider.
Recently a New York Times article reported this vignette.
“A close family friend with cancer had gone to see him (a renowned physician) some years back. When the friend started asking questions about the treatment plan, the doctor had stopped him midsentence, glared at him and said, “If you ask one more question, I’ll refuse to treat you.”
“What could I do?” the friend later said. “He’s the best, and I wanted him to take care of me, so I shut up.”
A recent New York Times article addressed this concept by stating “That it is seldom the reality, however. Deception in the doctor-patient relationship is more common than we’d like to believe. Deception is a charged word. It encapsulates precisely what we dread most in a doctor-patient relationship, and yet it is there in medicine, and it often runs both ways.”
Then a vignette:
We used to hear that male pediatricians do not wear ties to prevent the spread of infection.
Recently an article in the New England Journal of Medicine “issued new guidelines to help prevent infection transmission through healthcare personnel attire outside the operating room,” while acknowledging “role of clothing in cross-transmission remains ‘poorly established.’”
Among the recommendations, published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology:
“… in wild profusion because, in his experience, every question had an answer and a test that would get you there.”
We have become a society where test scores are associated with success so it is not surprising that this has become a controversy in physician education.
Recently an article in the New York Times noted: “My young friend had just finished the last months of his medical training. He had faced down many multiple-choice tests and triumphed over them all.”