Pick a plan right for you…..

We are in open enrollment for health insurance in the US. Meaning that they all are going up in cost and they are cancelling plans and offering new ones. And advertising: pick a plan right for you!

What the hell does that mean?

It means that all of the plans exclude things. Oh, well, aromatherapy…. that’s what you are thinking if you are not a US citizen. Of course the plan doesn’t cover aromatherapy or crystal healing or fringe treatments….

Well, no. I had to choose between two plans when my daughter was 17, that is, two years ago. I could choose the one that covered cancer OR the one that covered pregnancy. Uh, yes, that is correct. One EXCLUDED pregnancy healthcare and the other EXCLUDED cancer healthcare. For me and my children.

Which would you choose?

My mother died of cancer at 61 and my sister at 49. My daughter was not dating yet. Observing.

So we picked cancer.

I photographed the crows out on a walk the other day… how many does it take to make a murder?

 

 

Fraud in Medicine: Pain cream fraud

I got a call at home saying that there is a new topical pain medicine for chronic pain. I pressed the number to talk to the agent. I talked to Shawn. He said he was with “Health Advisors”. He asked if I have had chronic pain for long.
I said “Oh, yes.”
He said, “Can I get your name and number to have one of our associates call you?”
I said, “Can I get your number so that I can call you back? My daughter needs me.”
Shawn: “I will have to call you back.”
Me: “I am not giving you any information. Does your company have a number I can call you back?”
Shawn: “I will have to call you back.”
Me: “No way am I giving you any information.” Hang up.

The phone call started by saying that I could get this great pain cream, my insurance would cover it and I don’t even need a prescription…. I just have to give them some information. Right. How much do we want to bet that there is a little fee to cover shipping and handling and they need my credit card or bank information? DON’T FALL FOR THIS SCAM!

I looked on line for “Health Advisors”. I did find an insurance company. Nothing obvious about a pain medicine cream. I looked for pain medicine creams and found:

http://prescriptionpainreliefcream.com/health-care-professionals/

Live chat representative
My Pain Cream MD Live Chat
Chatting with Ben
Ben: Hello, thanks for contacting My Pain Cream MD. My name is Ben, may I have your name?
Visitor: Are you connected with Health Advisors? I just got a call about a chronic pain cream that my insurance would cover.
Visitor: They wouldn’t give me a number to call, so I thought it might be a scam.
Visitor: What are the active ingredients in your cream?
Ben: One of our representatives can discuss this in greater detail. Before we proceed, may I have your name, phone number and email to better assist you?
Visitor: No, I don’t think so. You have not answered my question. Why would I give you any information?
Visitor: Pass me on to the representative. Or if you require that information first, then I will sign off.
Ben: I am an internet agent representing the company for visitors to their website. I would be happy to pass your contact information on to a representatives who can answer more specific questions and assist you further. Would you like to speak with someone in the office?
Visitor: Are we talking live chat or are you requesting my number? Last chance … live chat and you can’t have my name.
Ben: Unfortunately, that feature is not available. I’m not a representative and am not able to answer your questions. May I have someone from our office contact you? They can assist further.
Visitor: Tell your company to go jump. Information in exchange for email and name and all? Over my dead body. Scammers.

And looking for “Health Advisors” I found:

http://www.futureworldcorp.com/board

Well, how nice. “Mr. Robert Carr for the past forty years has enjoyed tremendous success in law and pharmacy.” Um. This is an attorney, folks. “Rob designed and built the original concept specialty compounding pharmacy, United Prescriptions Services in 2002.”  Lovely. How reassuring. Don’t you just want to use a compounded medicine? Comes with free fungus…….

And my family practice medical advice?

TAKE AS FEW PILLS AS POSSIBLE.

EAT FOOD

EXERCISE

QUIT SMOKING, REDUCE ALL ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCES AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

DO THINGS YOU ENJOY

VALUE GOOD FRIENDS AND GOOD FAMILY

Don’t fall for the “neutraceutical” crap. Hello, it’s food that has been extracted in a lab into pill form. What in the heck is natural about that? I have never seen a pill grow on a tree, though the way things are going….. if they grow a pill on a tree, I personally won’t take it. And you shouldn’t either.

The picture is because these scams, trying to get to people with chronic pain, make me so HOT!

Eat food not pills

As a United States board certified, board eligible rural Family Physician, I am continually mystified by many of my patients preferring pills to food.

I don’t get it.

Today I will discuss probiotics. I have tons of patients taking probiotic pills. I ask all patients to bring in all pills, prescribed or not, fda approved or “natural”, when they come for their first visit. Many people arrive with a shopping bag. People say, “I am not on any medicines.” Then they pull seven “herbal” medicines out of the bag. A pill is a pill to me. I have never seen one growing on a tree. It’s as natural as a shoe, in my opinion. Shoes don’t grow on my feet, but sometimes I wear them. I feel the same about pills.

I hold up the probiotic bottle. “How long have you been taking this?” I ask.

“For a year,” says my patient.

I then get this internal vision. The probiotic leader in my patient’s stomach speaks, “Another load of refugees. I just don’t know where we’ll put them. Everyone is starving as it is. And dehydrated and dessicated with many dead again. Call the burial team and the grief counselors. I swear, it’s like clockwork. We had a forty eight hour break last Saturday, remember? But then we had to handle all that alcohol….”

“Have you thought of stopping it?” I ask.

“Probiotics are good for the digestion,” says my patient.

“Ok,” I say and try to gently introduce the idea of as few pills as possible. Also if they are taking four preparations with vitamin A, I total it up and ask them to consider lowering their dose a bit……

Why don’t people eat their probiotics as food? I am not talking about the expensive advertised yogurt. Live culture yogurt has always had probiotics, but now they’ve standardized, advertised and raised the price. All of the pickled things are sources of probiotics: Kimchi, dill pickles, sauerkraut and all of those interesting pickles that one gets with sushi. I am not so sure about the sweetened pickles, though my mother used to make watermelon rind pickles in a crock, and I am sure there were very many interesting organisms in them. Delicious, too. A friend said that he first got interested in fungi perusing leftovers in my parents’ refrigerator, and he ended up with a PhD. My digestion has been really really healthy, though my recent strep A was hard on it.

I got live kimchi at the Farmer’s Market recently, and hard cider. Both contain love, I mean live cultures. If you make your own beer, that has live cultures when it’s brewing.

The best thing you can do for your intestinal health is stop. eating. sugar. Quit all the junk food and anything with sugar or corn syrup and make your own food. I have some really dark chocolate or two table spoons of really good ice cream most days. I did eat one donut in the last five months. Perfection is silly, boring and stifling.

Another overlooked cheap source of probiotics that anyone can find: dirt. Yes. Dirt from your yard. It contains all manner of live microscopic things and you are focusing on local bacteria. Don’t wash that carrot quite so carefully and you will be adding to the probiotic culture in your body. If you are in a CSA (community supported agriculture) and get a box from a local farmer once a week, you are getting local probiotics. Do be sure to get your tetnus vaccine updated every ten years, too.

Lastly, think about your food. Would you rather have local probiotics from a local farm or attempt to wash the pesticides off of vegetables that have had pesticide genes added to their genome?

Thoughts on the update from ICD 9 to ICD 10

I would be very interested in a tune for this poem. 

This poem was rejected by JAMA, the Journal of the 
American Medical Association. Of course, the American 
Medical Association writes the codes. I do not look 
forward to going from the present 14,000 diagnosis 
codes to 42,000. I think it's just another way for 
insurance to delay and refuse to pay physicians. I 
think our country now has a business ethic of "screw 
anyone you can" and I don't like it. 

Thoughts on the update from ICD 9 to ICD 10


They say ICD 9
Just isn't so fine
Not enough codes to choose
To keep us fungking confused

They say ICD 9
Just isn't so fine
The rest of the world
Uses ICD 10, word

But they are liar liar liars
Pants on fire fire
Noses as long as telephone wires

They are liar liar liars
Fungk ICD 10
And let me tell you fungk them
Fungk starting over again

ICD 9 is now 34
Oh what a bore
They say it's too old
I'm older and gold

They say engage a team
Establish a plan
Get focused training
Learn that sh-t from the man

They say what does your practice
See and learn just those codes
Fungk ya'll but wise
I see everything that goes

I do family practice
I'm a rural doctor
The point of the codes
Is insurance don't pay, suckers

They say ICD 9
Just isn't so fine
The rest of the world
Uses ICD 10, word

But they are liars liars liars
Pants on fire fire
Noses as long as telephone wires

I know my ICD 9
Forwards and backwards, up and down
I can code pregnant
by four circus clowns

I can code pulmonary
embolus past
I can code gerbil inserted in the a--

ICD 10
is starting again
Code left or right or other
Those sh-ts would fungk your mother

ICD 10 is starting again
Code where it happened
Or insurance won't pay
Fungkers make my day

They say champion the change
I say channel the rage
Take a book from my page
Incinerate the fungking change

Fungk ICD 10
Fungk ICD 10
Fungk ICD 10
Fungk it again.