Over on Shrink Rap News, Roy wrote a post about proposed Medicare cuts. He continued the conversation here on Shrink Rap.
I want to expand on the discussion in what I hope will be easy-to-understand terms. Why would anyone who is not a doctor even care what Medicare reimburses their docs? Let me tell you why you might care.
Doctors all have one of four designated categories within the Medicare system:
1) The doc participates and accepts Medicare assignment. The fee for the service is set by Medicare, the patient makes a co-pay and the doctor bills Medicare and gets the rest of the fee from Medicare.
2) The doctor is “non-participating” –which is a deceptive term, because non-participating docs are within the Medicare system. The fee for the service is set by Medicare and is typically 5% less then the fee for participating docs, but the patient pays the Medicare fee in full to the doctor, the doctor files a claim with Medicare, and Medicare reimburses the patient for a portion of the fee.
3) The doctor has formally opted-out. In this case, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Shrink Rap*
If you live in New Hampshire, or some other state that is withdrawing Planned Parenthood funding, you may need to find an alternate source of affordable birth control, at least until the states get their heads screwed back on straight. In the meantime, please, don’t stop your birth control because you think you can’t afford it – the costs of not using it are much, much higher.
But what can you do to make the choice to use birth control even more cost effective?
Birth Control Pills
- Buy them cheap locally. Walmart, Target and Kroger sell very low priced birth control pills – only $4 to $9 a pack. It’s only a few brands (Trinessa, Sprintec and Trisprintec), but ask your doctor if it makes sense to switch if cost is a barrier for you.
*This blog post was originally published at The Blog That Ate Manhattan*
A common problem in healthcare is the number of times that small adjustments are needed in a person’s care. Often for these little changes, a physical exam and face-to-face time have nothing to do with good medical decision making.
Yet the patient and doctor are locked in a legacy-industrialized business model that requires the patient to pay a co-pay and waste at least half of their day driving to and from the office, logging time in a waiting room, and then visiting five minutes with their practitioner for the needed medical information or advice.
Today I’d like to visit the case of a patient I’ll call “DD,” who I easily diagnosed with temporal arteritis (TA) through a 15-minute phone call after she’d spent four weeks as the healthcare system fumbled her time with delays and misdirection via several doctors without establishing a firm diagnosis. Read more »