|Caduceus Medical Group||May 2010|
| Healthcare Reform Corner|
This month marks the launch of our "Healthcare Reform Corner." This corner will provide our readers with a brief update to the immediate changes around healthcare coverage, changes expected in the the next year, and how both will affect our patients. Rather than address the whirlwind of information on the internet, we want to keep the information straightfoward and simple, and focus only on the things that affect us in California and at Caduceus.
The most immediate results of the new legislation are allowing persons up to 26 years of age to be insured under a parent's existing health insurance policy, and the establishment of "high risk pools" in each state. To initiate coverage for an child under 26, contact your insurance carrier directly.
The purpose of the high risk pool is to extend temporary relief to people with preexisting medical conditions beginning this year.
The program is scheduled to begin operating on July 1 and expire in 2014, when private insurers are required to accept all applicants regardless of preexisting conditions. To qualify for coverage under the high-risk pools, residents with a preexisting condition must have been without insurance for at least six months.
The health care reform law sets aside $5 billion for the high-risk pools.States are permitted to create their own pools, expand existing pools or allow the federal government to create and administer the pools for them. The deadline for states to opt out of the public high-risk pools was April 30.
29 states (including California) and the District of Columbia have opted to accept federal funds to expand their existing pools. For California, this means the expansion of the Healthy Families program. 18 states have opted out, deferring to the responsibility back to the federal government to establish and administrate the pools within their states. Some governors of those 18 states said they were unwilling to take on the task because budget representatives from HHS have expressed concern that Congress has allocated too little money.
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|Recent studies link cigarette smoking to depression. What do you think? We would love your feedback. Post your thoughts on our blog .|
Irvine- Opening Summer 2010
| Are you at risk for Osteoporosis?|
Learn the basics about Dexascan.
Bone density testing is used to assess the strength of the bones and the probability of fracture in persons at risk for osteoporosis. The test, referred to as bone densitometry or bone mineral density scan, is a simple, noninvasive procedure that takes just minutes.
Unlike a bone scan, bone densitometry testing does not involve the administration of radioactive contrast material into the bloodstream. The most commonly used test is called Dexascan. This scan involves a much smaller radiation exposure than a standard chest x-ray.
Prior to menopause, estrogen produced in the body maintains a woman's bone density. With the onset of menopause, bone loss increases each year and can result in a total loss of 25%-30% of bone density in the first five to 10 years after menopause. Your physician can help you decide when and if you need a Dexascan. In general, this testing is recommended for women who are peri-menopausal or for younger women who have further risk factors for osteoporosis, including:
-A history of bone fractures as an adult or having a close relative with a history of bone fractures;
-Vitamin D deficiency, which can occur as a result of certain medical conditions;
-Excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption;
-Weight loss or low body weight; small-boned body frame;
-Early menopause or late onset of menstrual periods;
-Taking a medication [such as prednisone or phenytoin, (Dilantin)] known to cause bone loss;
-Low estrogen levels;
Concerned about your current bone health? Getting a Dexascan is easy: just Reserve an Appointment with a physician.
| Lucky to live in the Sunshine State but be Skincare Savvy.|Summer is quickly approaching, but here in California we're outdoors as soon as we think it's stopped raining. The Skin Cancer Foundation states that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States; each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
Early detection is key, so give your skin a self-exam. Self-exams are used to identify cancerous growths or growths that may develop into cancer (precancers). Adults should examine their skin no less frequently than once a month. Look for abnormal skin growth, red spots, black moles or changes in color, shape, size or appearance of a skin growth. See your physician immediately if any moles or pigmented spots on your body exhibit any of the following:
-Asymmetrical shape: one half is different than the other.
-Border is irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined.
-Color varies from one area of the mole to another.
-Diameter; melanoma diameters are usually larger that 1/4 inch, but can be smaller.
-Evolving: the mole or skin lesion looks different from other or changes in size, shape, or color.
Not sure about that spot or mole? We continue to offer free Saturday Skin Screens in our Laguna Beach office. Use our complimentary Online Concierge and make an appointment.
| Caduceus on Thalia Supports Local Elementary School|
Top Of the World PTA's largest fundraiser, the Jog-A-Thon, was held Friday, March 19th, and was a great success! A perfect day and a huge turn-out! Caduceus was honored to be a sponsor and is committed to supporting fundraisers in our local community. The school had some incredibly dedicated students and record numbers of laps were run! Congratulations again to the Jog-A-Thon tee shirt design winner, 5th grader Bruce Knill. Bruce's design was printed on all the Jog-A-Thon shirts.
| Caduceus In Your Pocket|"Hey, look who has the iPhone!"
"Yes, and with the Apps, I can't believe how much more I can get done."
"Really? I thought the iPhone was just for checking email and stuff."
"Are you kidding? My physicians launched their own iPhone App last month. Not only can I access the Online Concierge features on the fly, but can check on Samme's blog, direct-dial the offices, get daily health tips, and even take quizzes."
"What? My docs don't even return phone calls."
"I don't have to call my docs anymore- I just email my doc a question. She responds to me that same day-- sometimes within an hour."
"Well, I'll bet that kind of service costs you a pretty penny."
"Nope, no charge. My docs are all about access. They're even opening a third office in Irvine- in fact, it's near you."
"At the corner of Jamboree and MacArthur."
"That is close to my office. Well, I'd better go. I've got only four days left on my meds and need to get a refill. By the time they call back and get it to the pharmacy, I'll be out."
"It takes THAT long to get a refill? Too bad. My docs have an App for that."
|We are pleased that patients continue to enjoy using our complimentary Online Concierge services: fast bill payment online, prescription refills, reserving appointments, and our perennial favorite, Mouse Calls. More and more of you keep "Caduceus in the Pocket," by downloading our iPhone app, and our fanbase on Facebook grows, as do our followers on Twitter.
We hope that with the new addition of Health Care Reform Corner, Caduceus will be your go-to resource for information on how changes may impact you and your family.
Gregg DeNicola, MD