Physician’s Circle for Patients
Do you know whether your parents or grandparents struggle with medical costs? You should ask them today!
A major perk of growing older is qualifying for senior discounts, and if you are age 50+ you may be eligible for many discounts you do not even know about. The following is a list of ways you can save on your MEDICAL COSTS:
Vitamins and Supplements – The Sunday paper usually has coupons for vitamins. Use these in conjunction with sales and Senior Citizen discount days at major chains and rack up the savings!
Generic Prescriptions – Not all generics are priced the same. Call around to area pharmacies and ask for the ‘Cash Price’ of a generic medicine making sure to include the strength and quantity. You will be amazed at the difference in costs at different pharmacies.
Name Brand Prescriptions – Learn more about Patient Assistant Programs by visiting: www.PhysiciansCircleForPatients.org/index.php/prescription-medications
Medical Testing – When your physician orders a test, ask them where you can have the test done for the lowest cost. You may also call area hospitals and clinics and ask them what they charge for certain testing.
Social Security Extra Help – If you are a Medicare patient and make less than $1,108/month if you are single or $2,215/month as a couple, you may qualify for Social Security Extra Help with paying for your prescriptions. Qualified applicants will never pay more than $6 for any prescription. For more information and to apply you may visit: www.physicianscircleforpatients.org/index.php/social-security-extra-help
Veterans Benefits – You could be eligible for Veterans Benefits and not even know. To check your status you many visit: www.va.gov
Hospital and Doctors Bills - First you need to review your bill and make sure that there are no errors or unnecessary charges. Once you know how much you owe it is very easy to negotiate with billing departments on a payment plan. Make sure you ask if they have a low-income or senior plan.
Medicare Part D Premiums – Are you getting the best rate for the coverage you need? See how your plan compares at: https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx
Stay tuned for more money saving tips next week! What money saving tips do you use? Leave a comment below!
Insomnia: A sleep disorder in which there is an inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep as long as desired.
Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder in the United States, can be a complicated condition. It's characterized by having difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or returning to sleep. But its symptoms duration and causes vary widely. The National Institutes of Health estimates that roughly 30 percent of the general population complains of sleep disruption, and approximately 10 percent have associated symptoms of daytime functional impairment consistent with the diagnosis of insomnia.
People with insomnia usually experience one or more of the following symptoms:
Fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance in work/school, difficulty falling asleep/staying asleep, waking up too early, unrefreshing sleep (also called 'non-restorative sleep'), feeling impulsive or aggression and difficulty in personal relationships.
If you feel you have insomnia there are habits you can change to improve symptoms:
Meredith Petry, RPSFT, RST is the Director of Athens Sleep and Wellness Center, an American Academy of Sleep Medicine Accredited Facility.
The ‘Doughnut Hole’ is a term that describes when a Medicare patient falls into the ‘Coverage Gap’ of their prescription insurance plan. During this period, a patient will have little to no prescription insurance coverage.
Our specialty is sleep disorders and we want to educate the public on what are common sleep disorders and how they are treated. The most common sleep problem would be breathing disorders AKA sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where as you sleep, your airway closes and causes a drop in oxygen. An emergency response in your body kicks in to increase your heartbeat and slightly awakens you so that you can gasp for air. A CPAP (Constant Positive Airway Pressure) device is the most successful way to treat sleep apnea. CPAP is a breathing device that helps hold your airway open so you can breathe as you need too.
Without CPAP compliance (proper regular use), sleep apnea can wreak havoc on your heart, memory, immune system, physical/mental energy levels and much more. Left untreated sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, obesity, excessive daytime sleepiness and insulin resistance among other things.
For a patient to use this device they need to LOVE it! Improving CPAP compliance is a tough problem and we decided to take on this challenge. We started working very closely with our patients to discover the reasons for their non-compliance. Our goal was to make them say that they love their CPAP. One patient at a time, we started seeing the success of our program. As you can see in the graph, our patients are much more compliant than the national average.
At the Sleep Health 2013 Conference, Dr. Subodh Agrawal brought up within his presentation a critical phrase that everyone should know: 'Drowsiness is a Red Alert.'
Pictured above is Dr. Subodh Agrawal at the University of Georgia Hotel & Convention Center during Sleep Health 2013.
US Healthcare Costs Continue to Rise: Our country’s healthcare spending was 2.6 trillion in 2010 and is expected to rise up to 4.8 trillion by 2021. An estimated 49 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2011. Americans who had health insurance had to pay 7.2% more between 2011 and 2012. Who is responsible for controlling the healthcare costs? Is it insurance companies, hospitals, physicians, government or you?
Continuing the conversation started by Qamar Islam in his article printed on October 29th, we would like to propose a few more ways to contain healthcare costs in addition to taking ownership of your medical records. There are several ways you can save money when it comes to managing your sleep health.
Tip #1: Evaluate the medical facility. When a facility can diagnose,
treat, provide medical supplies and follow up appointments, the costs are significantly lower and care improves. For example, Athens Sleep and Wellness Center has taken this idea of a one-stop-shop and put it into practice by providing initial consultation, diagnostics, DME services and CPAP clinic follow-ups.
This integrated approach allows for shorter turnaround times, quicker treatment initiation, better care and lower healthcare costs. With customized follow up, compliance with therapy rises and healthcare outcomes improve.