I was driving through Seattle the other day when a billboard caught my eye. The large multi-specialty clinic where I worked for many years, and which I still use for my primary care, was advertising something called a “12-month deferred deductible plan”.
Huh, I thought, and as soon as I got home I jumped on their website to find out more.
Acknowledging the problematic trend of high-deductible health insurance plans, the clinic created a program by which patients can extend their deductible payments over a 12-month period, rather than pay the entire amount at once.
Related post: High-deductibles … Continue reading
I’ve written before about the questionable health advice from such TV shows as Dr. Oz and The Doctors.
Now recent reports show that more TV docs, such as those that are “medical experts” for morning news shows or those that have their own TV shows, might be vulnerable to conflict of interest charges.
Using the feds’ new database, Open Payments, you can search doctors by name to see if they receive money or other perks from pharmaceutical or medical device companies.
A review of the database finds physician journalists—those who appear regularly on news shows like Fox
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I read an article in the New York Post this week by a young man who was upset because he lost his student health plan and couldn’t find an affordable new health plan. His income was too low for a subsidy, so his only option under the Affordable Care Act was to sign up for Medicaid.
So there I was: A struggling grad student with no health insurance, and unable to afford unsubsidized ObamaCare plans I’d hardly, if ever, use.
But Uncle Sam was there on his white horse, ready to save my day with . . . Medicaid?
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Consider benefits versus risks
Last spring I went to Florida for spring break and was attacked by sand fleas. I had about a million (okay, about 70) bites over both legs, and I wrote a post about my attempts to find relief.
In short, nothing really worked other than ice packs and cool baths. Cool skin decreases blood flow, which deceases the amount of histamine, which decreases the itchiness.
This year I went to Panama and gave much more thought to bug repellents.
I didn’t care about the itchiness, so much, although it’s an awful annoyance. I worried more … Continue reading
With the news that the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, I was happy to run across this YouTube of the magic comedy duo Penn and Teller. They use a simple but effective game of grapefruit bowling to get their pro-vaccination point across. Enjoy! (Oh, warning, they use a couple of bad words…)
Frugal Nurse… Continue reading
Almost since it went online, experts have been pointing out multiple security flaws in the federal health insurance exchange website, HealthCare.gov.
And I’ve reported about security problems in my state-run exchange, as well.
But the latest information about a security issue affecting your personal data isn’t the result of poor design—it’s intentional—and that makes it even more egregious: HealthCare.gov Sends Personal Data to Dozens of Tracking Websites
The digital watchdog group, Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) reports:
EFF researchers have independently confirmed that healthcare.gov is sending personal health information to at least 14 third party domains, even if the
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I like all things snarky so I enjoyed reading a recent post by a physician poking a bit of fun at health and wellness fads.
Remember the old aphorism You are what you eat? Well, forget it. In today’s busy world who has time for “eating in moderation” or “being heart healthy”? I think that if there’s one thing that the health and wellness industry has proven time and time again is that miracle cures and gimmick diets work. Every. Single. Time. Not only are they logical and effective, but also completely safe.
(Don’t forget he’s kidding here!)
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A recent aspirin study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology says that too many patients are being treated unnecessarily with baby aspirin to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
At this time, the guidelines suggest a daily baby aspirin (81mg) for anyone with a 6% or greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke within the next ten years. This risk, determined by your doctor, is based on a variety of factors such as age, weight, family history, history of other diseases, etc.
But in some physician practices, up to 71% of the patients who have … Continue reading
A few months ago I posted about a new website that could help you find the Number Needed to Treat, aka the NNT.
How many people need to be treated with a drug or procedure before one person is helped? That’s the NNT.
It’s a tool I wish more patients and physicians used. Medical interventions should be limited to those that are proven to work for more people than not.
That seems like a pretty simple aim, doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised how many commonly used treatments are either useless or do more harm than good.
Aaron Carroll, … Continue reading
A study coming out of Harvard this week reveals that ordinary headaches are being overtreated, and it’s costing billions of extra dollars in health care spending.
Each year more than 12 million Americans visit their doctors complaining of headaches, which result in lost productivity and costs of upward of $31 billion annually. A new study by researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) suggests some of that cost could be offset by physicians ordering fewer tests and an increased focus on counseling about lifestyle changes.
The study looked at over 9,000 doctor visits for headaches over a 10-year … Continue reading