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Archive for the ‘Questions for your Doctor’ Category

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … http://www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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Recently, a friend of mine had teeth extractions and when the bill was reviewed while waiting, there was an over-charge. The billing was done in anticipation of how many teeth would be removed, not after the procedure for the actual number removed. In one case, there was a charge for tooth #9, that was not even there (yes, in this procedure they charged per tooth…strange).

It caused me to wonder, how many patients actually check and question their medical and dental bills? (Watch VERY important videos below).

My nurse gave me an article that was written in the Washington Post about healthcare markups for the uninsured. Some interesting points includes:

negotiating-hospital-bills “Fifty (50) hospitals in the United States are charging uninsured consumers more than 10 times the actual cost of patient care, according a research published [recently]. All but one of the facilities are owned by for-profit entities and the largest number – 20 – are in Florida.”  Gerard Anderson, professor at the John Bloomberg School of Public Health noted,  “This means, when it cost the hospital $100, they are charging patients on average $1000. It would appear that these facilities are price gouging, simply because they can.”

Of note, other consumers who would be charged this ridiculously high rates are patients whose hospital are not in their insurance company preferred network of providers, patients using workers compensation and those covered by automobile insurance policy. Most patients covered by private, government and programs such as Medicare do not pay full price, because these entities negotiate lower rates. Location in big cities does not account for these high prices either, as hospital in the suburbs/rural area can be quite expensive.

See the Hospital list HERE

Only 2 states, Maryland and West Virginia, set hospital rate charges for procedures. Federal government does not regulate prices that healthcare providers can charge. Of course, these sky rocketing medical bills can lead to damaged credit scores, bankruptcy, or worse yet, avoidance of needed medical care.

Do consumers now have to shop around for best health care cost for a procedure? As the commercial noted, shopping around for other things, not just your car, especially if uninsured or in one of the above categories, may be to your benefit.

Watch VERY important videos below.

Unfair Hospital Charges

Negotiating Hospital Bills 

Read Rose’s story HERE

Hospital-Bill-Total

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

 

 

 

 

 

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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … http://www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Americans and claimed ~160,000 precious lives in 2014. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has now mandated coverage for lung cancer screening and we are on the way to saving many lives! However, many “high risk” patients are not aware if their “risk” status and availability for lung cancer screening is available.

Should you have Lung Cancer Screening? You may be a candidate for lung cancer screening if you answer “YES” to ALL of the following:

  • Are you 55 to 74 years old?
  • Are you in fairly good health (no symptoms of disease)?
  • Do you have a long or heavy smoking history? (use this link HERE calculate packs per year smoking history- http://smokingpackyears.com/calculate)
  • Are you still smoking or have quit smoking within the last 15 years?

lung_anatomy_rizwan_nuraniThe National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) was a large clinical trial that looked at using a type of CT scan known as low-dose CT to screen for lung cancer. The cost for a low-dose CT scan as a screening test for lung cancer is generally about $300 for each test, but prices vary widely at different centers.

Medicare recently decided to cover the cost of lung cancer screening, but if you are privately insured ask if your insurer covers lung cancer screening – they just might!

If all of the criteria for lung cancer screening listed above was answered “YES”, then you and your doctor (or other health care provider) should talk about starting screening. I would encourage you to also discuss screening, even if only some of the criteria listed are met, especially if you are concerned. Discussion should include what you can expect from screening, possible benefits and harms, as well as the limitations of screening.

The main benefit is a lower chance of dying of lung cancer, which accounts for many deaths in current and former smokers.

CAN LUNG CANCER BE PREVENTED?

  • Not all lung cancers can be prevented, but there are some ways you can reduce your risk of getting lung cancer
  • The best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is not to smoke and to avoid breathing in other people’s smoke
  • If you stop smoking before a cancer develops, your damaged lung tissue gradually starts to repair itself
  • No matter what your age or how long you’ve smoked, quitting may lower your risk of lung cancer and help you live longer
  • People who stop smoking before age 50 cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half compared with those who continue to smoke

After watching the videos below, you will know more about lung cancer and lung cancer screening than most. Take the time to become an advocate for yourself, family and your community!

Great Video: Learning About the Lungs and Lung Cancer

Is Lung Cancer Screening Right For You?

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … http://www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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Survivor – An individual is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis, through the balance of his or her life. Family members, friends, and caregivers are also impacted.

repairman with the tool on a white background. 3D image

Once cancer treatment is completed, patients transition from regular (daily, weekly, etc.,) healthcare provider’s attention, to follow-up regimen that is once every 3-4 months, twice/year or annually.  This may seem like an “unknown abyss” and some patient may even suffer a form of separation anxiety. What to do?

Patients are encouraged to become their own advocate. That includes, knowing follow-up guideline recommendations for your specific cancer. One size does not fit all! Ask your doctor to give you an idea of the follow-up plan for the next 2-5yrs…yes, you can ask for that. Many organization, including The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) provides an update and recommendations annually regarding follow-up.

advocacyWhat does SELF-ADVOCACY mean for a cancer survivor? Well, for starters, here is a list of things you should discuss with your doctor at the end of treatment and during follow-up appointments (not all listed below will apply, but should be tailored to be cancer site specific).

  1. Late Effects/Long-Term Psychosocial and Physical Problems – what should I expect? What symptoms should be reported?
  2. Anthracycline-Induced Cardiac Toxicity – Not all chemotherapy affects the heart, but will the chemotherapy used for me affect me heart 20-30yrs down the road? What can be done to lower the risk?
  3. Anxiety and Depression – What symptoms should be looked for and what signs should be reported?
  4. Cognitive Function – What changes should I expect? Is “chemo-brain” real?
  5. Fatigue – Is it associated with treatment? How long will it last?
  6. Talk with your Oncologist and ask questions!

    Pain – What pain level should be tolerable? Can over-the-counter pain meds suffice? Which ones can be taken?

  7. Sexual Function (female/male) – If viagra does not work, are there other options for ED? What can be used to increase sexual desire in a woman?
  8. Sleep Disorders – how do  know if my sleeping problems are associated with past cancer treatment? Will the treatment be any different?
  9. Preventive Health
  10. Healthy Lifestyles
  11. Physical Activity – What is considered low, moderate and intense activity? Any examples? Are there limitations?
  12. Nutrition and Weight Management
  13. Supplement Use – Any specific type to avoid?
  14. Immunizations and Infections – Any immunization that should be avoided?

Self-advocacy is a lot of work! BUT, it is your life..take charge of it!

 

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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MARCH IS COLON CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!

What would you do…if you could truly prevent hearing the double “C” word = Colon Cancer?

Take a moment to watch these very educational videos – this may save your life!

About Colon Cancer

Colonoscopy Procedure

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Liver in the Body

Inside your abdomen

The Scope It Out 5K run/walk is a way to support the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation. Their goal is to bring awareness to this preventable form of cancer and to permanently eliminate the threat of colon cancer through discovery of a cure.

You can register to support a team by following link.  Go to https://fundraising.active.com/fundraiser/ASBCCancerMinistry
to donate and/or register to join the team.
 
To Register as a team member – Click ‘Register Now’, fill out all necessary information and choose the ‘Team Member’ category. Then select the team name, ASBC Cancer Ministry (Gaither), from the drop down list to register. Please consider donating to our ASBC team instead of “yourself”. 
 
To Donate to team ASBC Cancer Ministry –  click on ‘Donate Now’. Your tax deductible donation will be made towards ASBC Cancer Ministry Team. Thank you!

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

Read Full Post »

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! 

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It is almost summer time! Many are exercising excessively – running, cycling, cross-fit, etc., –  to attain that glistening, fit body with chiseled arms, legs and, dare I say firm abdomen (the ever elusive 6-pack for most)!

Urinary systemSo, what if after a hard work out, you notice your urine is “red”… on more than one occasion?  [This is more easily noted by males. Females may note a “bloody”  tissue paper while not on your menstrual cycle].  This, dear friends, is a cause for concern.  Make an appointment with your Primary Care Physician soonest!

Visible bloody urine is called “Gross Hematuria” as opposed to “Microscopic Hematuria” which is not visible to the naked eye and only seen on laboratory microscopic evaluation of a urine sample. Both gross and microscopic hematuria may represent serious underlying disease.

Gross Hematuria can be caused by trauma, menstruation, vigorous exercise, sexual activity/STD’s, kidney stones, kidney disease, cancer of kidney/ureter/bladder, prostate cancer, viral illness or infection, such as urinary tract infection (UTI), to name a few. A urine analysis should be done and can easily diagnose if an infection is present. However,  consultation with a specialist (Urologist) is recommended for further evaluation if not a simple UTI.

The extent of evaluation will also depend on if you are considered a “Low-risk” patient.  Low-risk patients are:

  • Age less than 40years
  • No smoking history
  • No history of chemical exposure
  • No irritative voiding symptoms
  • No history of gross hematuria
  • No previous Urologic history (urinary problems)

Needless to say, if Gross Hematuria is noted, make sure you have documentation of a diagnosis AND regular follow-up until and even after resolution. There is only one you … take care of your temple!

 

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

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From the Physician’s Desk … weekly blog!

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Last week, we reviewed the basic function of the kidneys and disease processes that may affect them.  End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or stage 5 Kidney disease develops when the kidneys are no longer able to function regularly for day-to-day living. You may read more HERE 

The two leading causes of Kidney failures are Diabetes (sugar) and High Blood pressure. If you or someone you know, was diagnosed with either Diabetes or High Blood pressure….please take heed and try to control these disease processes. Talk with your healthcare professional on what lifestyle changes you can make and how to take your medications properly. I know you can make life style changes … your life may depend on it!

A Dialysis procedure typically last about 3-6 hours and must be completed 3 days per week or every other day.  Please see 3 videos below.

  1. Basic information on dialysis
  2. Day in the life of a young (12yo) going through dialysis
  3. Day in the life of an adult during the dialysis procedure

Educational for anyone with or around children!

Please NOTE: Graphic needle insertion

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

Read Full Post »

From the Physicians Desk … Weekly Blog!

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Medication mistakes is one of the leading causes of death in the United States…causing over 200,000 deaths, but could be higher as many go unreported. One-third of Americans take 5 or more medications and with the aging Baby Boomers population, some are taking 10 or more medications increasing the possibility for errors!

I cannot emphasize this enough…please pay attention to your prescription medications. Ask your doctor:

  1. What is the name of the medication? (spell it out and write it down!)
  2. What is the dose that you are giving me?
  3. How many time per day should I take it?

Medmistakes

After initial pick up at the pharmacy, note the name spelling, color, shape and size. Always check your refills carefully and compare to previous prescriptions.

Take note and be careful…your life could depend on it!

Click video below to watch.

 FDA: Drug Info Rounds 

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

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