Here are all the articles I wrote during July, 2016. I hope they're useful to you.

July 27th, 2016

“What’s Up, Doc?” Blog Series Part 8: A Cure For What Ails You

Hello again, my avid readers.  Hugs for reading the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh of our series, “What’s Up, Doc?”

 

Last time, we left you sitting on the slab as the doctor came into the room.   And now a segment we call “A Cure for What Ails You” and is a continuation of advice from last week on what to do once you have their ear.

 

First and foremost, I like the concept that the doctor works FOR YOU!   Not the other way ‘round.   You are paying that person… she works for you!   You deserve her time and FULL attention.   Remember, you get a vote.   And not just any vote.. you get THE vote on how things proceed!!

 

  1. If you need tests, remind the doctor to use ONLY an in-network lab.
  2. If you need meds, ask if the generic is available.   YOU control how you spend your money!  The docs generally don’t think twice about prescribing expensive brand name drugs.
  3. Did the doctor advise seeing a specialist?  Ask for their IN-network referrals for a trusted doc before you leave.   But it’s still up to YOU to verify that the new doc is IN-network!
  4. If you need a follow-up visit, make the appointment before you leave!
  5. Remember to request a copy of the chart notes from today’s visit.
  6. ASK if the doctor will communicate by e-mail.   Often e-mails become a valuable part of your chart.

 

Who is your fave doc?  What have they done that makes them your fave?  Always love the shares from friends of The Insurance Mom.…

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July 20th, 2016

“What’s Up, Doc?” Blog Series Part 7: The Doctor is in! Now What?!

Look at you, friend of The Insurance Mom!  You’ve learned so much from our first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth parts of our series, “What’s Up, Doc?” Don’t you feel well-informed and powerful!?
Here’s the next revelation, “The Doctor is In!  Now What?”

 

  1. Remind Doc Hollywood of any important medical history.   Do NOT assume they remember everything about you.  If you’re seeing this doctor for the first time give a brief summary of important medical history.
  2. As I mentioned in the second part of our series, always have a current copy of your medical records.   Before seeing a new doc for the first time, email a copy of your chart FIRST.    Hopefully, this will get your new doc up to speed before you get there.
  3. If you’re there for a physical (aka check-up, aka preventive care), remind the doctor that’s the ONLY purpose for your visit.    I want YOU to give explicit permission to the doc if she’s going to do additional tests or treatments that are NOT included in your free physical.  The Insurance Mom also recommends referencing this website which lists all of the stuff that has to  be covered by your insurance (it’s part of the Affordable Care Act!)… so you know your rights!
  4. Ask LOTS of FAQs.   There is always another question to ask!   So ASKAsk for clarification if you need it.  Ask the doctor WHY she is recommending this particular course of treatment or prescription.  Ask about side-effects.  Ask about likely outcomes.    Ask what alternative options may be available.   Just because a doctor makes a suggestion, doesn’t mean it’s a recommendation… or the best recommendation.

Thanks for following along to our virtual tour of the doctor’s office!  Now, talk to me.  Share your funny / interesting …

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July 13th, 2016

“What’s Up, Doc?” Blog Series Part 6: Cold and Alone, Wearing Paper… Make the Most of the Exam Room

You get a gold star for adult-ing, my friends!  Thank you for tuning in to “Cold and Alone, Wearing Paper: Make the Most of the Exam Room.”  Check out the first, second, third, fourth and fifth parts of our series, “What’s Up, Doc?” to get caught up to speed!

 

OK, you’re finally in the exam room.  While you’re shivering in the paper gown and bored of looking at Highlights Magazine, contemplate how you can get the most bang for your buck.

 

  1. Think of the most important thing you’re concerned about for THIS visit.   Start with this topic!   Narrow down the focus so you can use the doctor’s time to your advantage.
  2. Studies show that a doctor stops actively listening after about 30 seconds before she starts taking notes or typing.   I like to make sure the doctor is looking at me and having a dialogue before she starts charting her impressions!
  3. Remember that list of important questions you made before the visit?  Now’s the time to whip it out!
  4. Did your friend come with you?  Remind them what you’d like to accomplish.  And buy them a Starbucks when you leave. 🙂  Don’t have a BFF available to attend the visit?  Use the voice memo app on your phone.   Technology is great when we use it, am I right?
  5. Heads-up… before you leave ANY doctor’s appointment, ask for a copy of that day’s chart notes for your records!   I’ve never had a doc refuse my request.
  6. Be absolutely sure that what the doc wrote in your chart is REALLY what you talked about and reflects the tests or treatments or medications to which you’ve explicitly
  7. Correct any mistakes in an email and fax to the doctor!

 

Learning lots?  Now teach me what you know!  I …

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July 6th, 2016

“What’s Up, Doc?” Blog Series Part 5: Make the Most of Your Waiting Room Time

OK, family!  You’re in it to win it.  Thanks for tuning in for our first, second,  third, and fourth parts of our blog series, “What’s Up, Doc?”   We’re giving you tips starting from the first little inkling of the need to see a doctor to a diagnosis.

 

Today, we’re on our fifth part in our series, “Make the Most of Your Waiting Room Time.”  You’ve arrived at the doctor’s office and they’ve taken your name.  So now what, Insurance Mom?  Here you go…

 

  1. On the day of your appointment, call and ask if the doctor is running on time.  If they’re running late, sometimes the receptionist can give you a heads up that you can arrive a bit later.  Less waiting in waiting rooms when you’re feeling under the weather!
  2. Look at your insurance ID card so you know what your IN-network office visit co-pay is.    Remember, that the office visit co-pay is what the doctor charges you just for showing up!   Sometimes the office visit fee is all you’ll pay for a consult.  But sometimes, you will also pay for any medical services the doctor does to/for you.
  3. On ALL plans that comply with the ACA (ObamaCare), you get one FREE check-up a year with an IN-network provider – NO co-pays required!.    If you’re seeing the doc for your annual physical, know ahead of time exactly WHAT services are covered.   And make sure you do not get charged for the visit.
  4. For a list of what’s covered, see this webpage for guidelines.   Take the list with you so you can show it to the doctor.   You’d be surprised how much the doctors don’t know about the ACA!!

 

Please keep me posted on any thoughts or questions that come up while reading.  …

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