HSAs and Choice

2:46 PM Posted by exclusiveMD

I read about this fascinating story below about the ability to be in control of your health care.

For the first time in my life, I don’t have Dental Insurance.

I do, however, have an HSA which can be used for all dental-related expenses.

Today, I went to my 6 month dentist appointment. At the start, they wanted to give me my yearly x-ray, and so — now that I’m in control of my medical expenses — I questioned the necessity of them.

In the end I decided to spring for the extra $50 and get the x-rays done. But it was my choice, since it was my expense (I wouldn’t have questioned it if I knew my insurance was paying for them regardless).

As it turned out, I have a cavity on one of my back teeth (floss, people!) which they wouldn’t have found without the x-ray. If they wouldn’t have found it, over the next months it would have gotten worse, and then my problems — and personal expenses — would have gotten much worse.

I don’t know what it means — and I certainly don’t know if there are any implications for the current Health Care debate — but this experience was very empowering for me. I got to make a decision about my health expenses and in the end, I win.

I’ve also recently switched to a high deductible plan with an HSA. I’ve found it similarly empowering. It’s a wonderful thing. I can’t help but think that this is the way healthcare should work. (via innonate)

I am a big supporter of High Deductible Insurance Plans with HSAs (Health Savings Accounts). I will post more about these plans in the future to help people understand how to save money and at the same time receive better care. Its a win-win for everyone. The unfortunate truth is that Obama's Health Care Reform plans on banning HSAs and even further removing patients from the true cost of medical care.


Think twice about tanning beds

8:43 AM Posted by exclusiveMD

There are new studies showing cancer risks with tanning beds and they are even worse than I expected. To date, tanning has been labeled as "probable" carcinogens until this new study from the medical journal Lancet Oncology.
A new analysis of about 20 studies concludes the risk of skin cancer jumps by 75% when people start using tanning beds before age 30....In Britain, melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, is now the leading cancer diagnosed in women in their 20s. Normally, skin cancer rates are highest in people over 75.
I have no problem with everyone wanting to be tan but there are so many other new alternatives like self tanning lotions, and spray "Mystic" tan that carry no risk of skin cancer. These options may be more expensive up front but the pain, suffering, and expense of a melanoma is far worse.
By the way, if you go to your local tanning salon and they try to sell you on tanning beds claiming benefits in increasing Vitamin D levels, just know that your probably received the same benefit in your drive over to the salon before you even got there.

Obesity is expensive

7:51 AM Posted by exclusiveMD

Recently there has been new data published from the online journal Health Affairs stating some not so surprising data about the current obesity epidemic we are facing.
The estimated annual medical costs due to obesity nearly doubled to $147 billion in 2008 from $78.5 billion in 1998, as the obesity rate rose 37%....Normal weight individuals incurred an average of 42% less in medical expenditures — about $3,400 for per person per year — compared with obese individuals, who incurred an average of about $4,800 in such expenses
Later in the article, the CDC proposes community based changes as one of the strategies to battle obesity such as modifying vending machines, making healthier options more accessible and affordable, and even increasing taxes for not so healthy options like soda.

I think strategies like these are a decent starting point but the root of the problem I believe lies deeper. We all make choices everyday and the choice of either what to eat and whether to exercise are some of the harder decisions we make. Simple but not easy. This is why I choose to focus a large part of my practice on battling obesity. It may not work for all but I plan to serve as a personal coach to make my patients accountable. Everyone can use a push every once in a while. If it were not for my wife, I would gladly choose to fore go the fruits and vegetables for most meals.

Health & Wellness Day on July 29th

10:02 PM Posted by exclusiveMD

exclusiveMD is excited to be hosting a booth at the First Annual Health & Wellness Day at Matt Ross Community Center right here in Overland Park, Kansas from 11:00am to 6:30pm. I will be having a general Q&A for all ages entitled "Ask a Doc?" Other events include health screenings, guest speakers, kids activities, and nutritional information. So if you are in the area or live nearby I would love to meet you and/or your family. Just stop by and say hi!
8101 Marty Overland Park, KS66204


Responding to Emails

10:22 AM Posted by exclusiveMD

I am thrilled to hear questions already about how I practice medicine especially in regards to the use of technology. The question was about how I respond to emails and more specifically if there a system to alert me or the office that an email has arrived. First of all, I own an iPhone and I am constantly checking my email. Some people might say that I am addicted to my email/iPhone or any technology for that matter. Emails are directly pushed to my phone as soon as you hit send. In regards to my office, I have chosen to use an electronic medical record called eClinicalWorks. They are a leader in the industry and have also jumped into the world of mobile technology offering an interface with the iPhone. From my phone I can view your medical record and quickly call or email you back in addition to e-prescribing to your local pharmacy. To add security and comply with HIPPA, email within eClinicalWorks functions through a private patient portal only accessible via encrypted password. Once an email is sent it is pushed automatically to my phone and my tablet PC. Keep in mind that the current health system does not incentivize physicians to practice with these forms of technology or communication because there is no reimbursement for it. So if you are wondering why your local docs do not take advantage of these features that may be the reason.

Website is back online!

6:56 AM Posted by exclusiveMD

Sorry for the delay but the website is back online and functional. Please feel free to visit again at anytime.

Website Down

2:19 PM Posted by exclusiveMD

I just wanted to post to let everyone know that the website is currently down due to unexpected heavy traffic. Thanks to everyone who has visited and we hope to be back up very soon.

Work In Progress

10:09 PM Posted by exclusiveMD

Its really starting to come together!

First Post

10:23 AM Posted by exclusiveMD

Today marks the official launch date of our website, blog, facebook and twitter page. Hopefully the blog will keep you updated on the life of exclusiveMD. We also want to keep our readers informed on current healthcare issues and how that affects everyone. We are currently still in the construction phase of our beautiful office space at Mission Farms right here in Leawood, KS. Stay tuned for future pics of the space as it is being built.