I couldn’t help but laugh when I ran across this video from Costs of Care: What if Your Hotel Bill Was Like a Hospital Bill?
I swear I recently had a very similar conversation with a health insurance company regarding the cost of a new wheelchair for my elderly aunt!
Although insurance covered the bulk of the cost (well over $5,000) my aunt still owed close to $2,000. The bill had a list of about 20 items related to the wheelchair, but neither side admitted to knowing anything about exactly what each charge was … Continue reading
January 2017: Important update on Diclegis! A medical journal recently published a paper questioning the safety of Diclegis, or at least raising concerns about the quality of the research behind its FDA approval.
Although the components of Diclegis can be easily purchased over the counter, as my post shows, it’s very important that ANY drugs taken during pregnancy be OK’ed by your obstetrician first. FN
I don’t usually pay much attention to media’s almost 24/7 coverage of all things Kardashian, but it’s been hard to miss the news tidbits about Kim Kardashian’s second pregnancy.
And to those that follow her … Continue reading
While I don’t think using Google to self diagnose is a good idea, it can give patients access to a lot of helpful, practical information about medical conditions, treatments, drugs and alternative therapies.
Google can help generate a list of questions to bring to the physician or surgeon so patients can be as informed as possible when selecting a treatment modality.
The problem, of course, is there is usually too much information, and much of that is useless or even harmful. It might be scientifically inaccurate and/or trying to sell a questionable product.
But I just discovered Google Scholar! I … Continue reading
Earlier this year, a new online health care cost checking tool became available: Guroo.com
It joins a couple other online tools that are meant to increase price transparency and help patients figure out how much a test or procedure will cost before getting the bill.
But do Guroo or the others really help?
If you’re uninsured or have a really high deductible, it’s nice to have at least a ballpark idea of what you will be spending if you need some kind of medical care. But, as Kaiser Health News puts it:
… Continue reading
I just received an email from my insurance company, Premera Blue Cross.
Dear subscriber, talk to a real doctor anytime, anywhere!
Set up your account with Teladoc.
And get medical care anytime, anywhere for $40 or less.
You and your eligible dependents can now get care from U.S. board-certified doctors and pediatricians by phone or online video with Teladoc®.
A real doctor? I’m not sure why they felt it necessary to add that adjective.
But aside from that, I was intrigued by the idea that my insurance company wanted to support, even encourage, my family’s use of telemedicine, so I … Continue reading
Last month a nurse posted this selfie on her Facebook page with the following message:
If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay in the tanning bed and sun here ya go! This is what skin cancer treatment can look like. Wear sunscreen and get a spray tan. You only get one skin and you should take care of it. Learn from other people’s mistakes. Don’t let tanning prevent you from seeing your children grow up. That’s my biggest fear now that I have a two year old little boy of my own.
I hope a picture is worth … Continue reading
I just read this post on the popular medical blog, KevinMD: How do patients really feel about doctors? Google shares their secrets.
While Google’s autocomplete can be quite convenient, albeit creepy, it can also be pretty mean. I decided to see how Google’s autocomplete felt about various medical specialties. Apparently a lot of specialties are stupid and useless.
The author shares the following examples:
Well, I was a surgical nurse and I have to agree that a lot of surgeons are jerks, but certainly not all of them. And calling gynecologists evil seems a bit extreme, doesn’t … Continue reading
Crowdfunding, done through internet companies such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter, has been popular for some time. It’s a simple idea: You post your project or fundraising goal on their websites and hope enough people are interested to make a donation. You can also offer incentives to increase your donors’ generosity.
It seems the same concept has come to health care. I read about an interesting new internet start-up company called CrowdMed that, according to its mission statement, is:
Harnessing the wisdom of crowds to solve even the world’s most difficult medical cases quickly and accurately online.
Rather than seeking … Continue reading
Lots of data, but not user friendly
Have you ever wondered if your physician receives a substantial amount of money from a pharmaceutical or medical device company?
Is your physician’s decision to write you a prescription for the newest brand-name drug, or replace your knee with a state-of-the-art joint, based on corporate influences? Conflicts of interest run rampant in health care, and it would be nice to know, wouldn’t it?
Earlier this fall, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new website called Open Payments. It’s part of the Sunshine Act, which in turn … Continue reading
Use it or lose it
There are several pieces of advice for helping prevent or delay age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Don’t smoke
- Eat healthy, heart-friendly foods
- Challenge your brain
Keeping your brain active and fit can be especially fun and rewarding, as it usually involves learning something new. Examples of good brain-stretchers are:
- Learning a foreign language
- Learning to play an instrument
- Learning to dance, especially a complicated dance such as ballroom or folk dancing
- Playing games
I love to play games. Board games, card games, word games or video games. You can play with others, which also … Continue reading