“Consumers Expecting Free ‘Preventive’ Care Sometimes Surprised By Charges”

Recently Kaiser Health News reported “The new health-care law encourages people to get the preventive services they need by requiring that most health plans cover cancer screenings, contraceptives and vaccines, among other things, without charging patients anything out of pocket. Some patients, however, are running up against coverage exceptions and extra costs when they try to get those services.

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“A Visit To The Doctor May Mean Seeing Someone Else Instead.”

New models of clinical practice are being used in the “doctor’s office.”

A recent Wall Street Journal article noted: “An increasing number of practices are scrapping the traditional one-on-one doctor-patient relationship. Instead, patients are receiving care from a group of health professionals who divide up responsibilities that once would have largely been handled by the doctor in charge. While the supervising doctor still directly oversees patient care, other medical professionals—nurse practitioners, physician assistants and clinical pharmacists—are performing more functions. These include adjusting medication dosage, ensuring that patients receive tests and helping them to manage chronic diseases.”

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Many Physicians Do Not Accept Medicare!

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.

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With Hospitals: Does A Great Reputation Mean High-Quality Care?

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.”

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“Doctors’ Stethoscopes Are Contaminated With Bacteria … That Can Easily Be Transferred From One Patient To Another”

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.”

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“Free” Preventive Health Services For Adults Under Obamacare

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.

Free preventive services

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.

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Is Your Doctor To Busy To Listen To You?

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.”

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“The Doctor-Patient Relationship Is Ideally An Intimate Partnership Where Information Is Exchanged Openly And Honestly.”

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:

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